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Deus Ex: Postgrad
Posted on 23 Aug '16

Deus Educated: Postgraduate Study as a Cyborg?

Taking a break from your studies to relax with your favourite games console? Well, it is summer after all - and there are a few blockbuster releases coming up. Not least of which is the latest installment in the Deus Ex franchise. But what do the adventures of a futuristic, post-human cyborg have to tell us about postgraduate study? Jamie investigates.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is geared to make any technology-buff squeal with joy. This is in part thanks to the slick graphics and heavily augmented main man-robot, Adam Jenson. As an enhanced secret agent, Jenson is pretty awesome.

Sure, he has facial hair that is so on point, shiny sunglasses and retractable blades coming out of his arms, but what really makes him supercool is that he went to university - several in fact, earning himself a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from no less than three institutions. Yes, even half-robot super humans were once lowly undergrads, working part-time at Future-McDonalds and living off rehydrated pizza like in Back To The Future Part II.

So, why is it that Jenson seems obsessed with earning multiple undergraduate degrees in the same subject? Does he really like Criminal Justice? Or is he really afraid of stepping up to postgraduate study? If so, I think he’s making a mistake. Some of those previously mentioned augmentations could definitely come in handy during a Masters or PhD.


There are plenty of implants crammed inside Jenson’s cranium. With a variety of hacking tools, he’d never be locked out of a university computer again. In fact, he’d probably never have to use one anyway because he can simply plug himself into the building mainframe.

Another implant increases Jenson’s social skills, monitoring behavior patterns and building rudimentary psychological profiles. Undoubtedly helpful whilst navigating the multitude of presentations and conferences that are a major part of postgraduate study. Oh – and the aforementioned shiny sunglasses are not actually regular sunglasses, they are attached to his face and are retractable at will. I’m not sure exactly how this would help him complete a Masters, but he’d look cool doing it.


Aside from the nanoceramic blades contained in his arms (great for slicing cheese!), Jenson’s limb augmentations enable him to lift heavy weights and to punch through walls. Not only great for impressing the ladies, this would help him carry around all of his notes, journals and books at the same time. Plus, a huge amount of time could be saved getting from A to B as there would be no need for pesky doors. His fingers are also extra-dexterous, perfect for working with intricate equipment in the laboratory. Oh and they even have the ability to dislocate themselves… for some reason.


Aside from featuring an impeccable six-pack, Jenson’s torso is home to many unique augmentations. His health monitor system comes in handy when trying to balance his diet of cup-a-noodles and beans on toast. Combine this with his internal battery pack and Jenson can power through a 70-hour study week with minimal fatigue.


As previously mentioned in my Pokemon Go article, walking is (clearly) a pastime enjoyed by most postgraduate students. Therefore, having legs that push the limits of human abilities come with obvious benefits - Jenson can walk, run and sprint for longer periods of time. His jumping capabilities far outstrip that of a normal human in case he wants to parkour his way around campus. This heightened physical prowess is useful but when able to do it all silently, things get even better. No more risk of making noise in the library whilst looking for that one specific book or waking up a light-sleeping flat mate after a night of marking papers.

Perhaps Jenson will take this advice on board in time for the next Deus Ex instalment (Mankind Graduated, anyone?). But, in reality, studying for a postgraduate degree doesn’t require being fused with a machine or the need to develop superpowers. Postgraduate study is about being dedicated to a subject and having the skills and knowledge to challenge yourself.

If postgraduate study is on your agenda, then check out our advice section. If you can pull yourself away from this gritty cyberpunk action role-playing stealth first and third-person (deep-breath) game that is!

Last updated: 23 August 2016