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"On-line gaming environments are completely different things... Essentially it's massive global role-playing."
- Peter Watts

Robot Situation Neurosis  
  Robots go mad when given competing instructions.  

The machine was developing a situation neurosis and the ambivalence of its response was destroying it. In a way its anguish had a human quality, but he could not feel sorry for it. It was a mechanical contraption trying to assume a posture of disguise and attack at the same time; the breakdown was one of relays and tubes, not of a living brain.
From The Unreconstructed M, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Science Fiction Stories in 1957
Additional resources -

Readers might be thinking about Susan Calvin the robopsychologist at US Robots and Mechanical Men, Inc. in Isaac Asimov's Robot series. Also, fans of Arthur C. Clarke recall the psychological difficulties of the HAL 9000 from his 1968 novel 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Unreconstructed M
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to The Unreconstructed M
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

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