Archive for the ‘ Media ’ Category

Dragon*Con with Richard Epcar

*tap* *tap* Is this thing still on?

Yeah, this has been neglected. But, I have some interesting news: Richad Epcar is going to be at Dragon*Con this year, and I’m moderating the session he will be attending discussing his work on Ghost in the Shell. You might know him as the voice of Batou in that series.
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GitS cyberspace via Kinect

Saw a link to this, thought people here might find it interesting. It’s a recreation of cyberspace from Ghost in the Shell as a game for the Kinect.

「攻殻機動隊 S.A.C.」シリーズ 電脳空間システム from BMCL on Vimeo.

(via http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/30/kinect-dives-into-anime-cyberspace-dares-you-to-catch-cute-robo/)

Interesting concept. Still, I think it requires too much activity to be a functional replacement for the good old browser.

The next evolution of cyberpunk?

I’m heading to a conference for the “day job” part of my life next week, so I might not have time to post. So, I’ll leave you with an open-ended question to discuss: what’s the next step in cyberpunk?

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Games in Cyberpunk

Given my “day job”, I love games. But, they seem to be conspicuously absent in a rather technical-minded genre like cyberpunk, particularly in the classic works. So, let’s take a look at the role of games in the future.
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Immortality in Cyberpunk

Immortality is a recurring theme in many fiction stories. It tends to appeal to the part of us that fears death, or at least wants to hold it off until we’re ready. Immortality, while desirable, is sometimes seen as a bad thing in stories.

Cyberpunk, of course, has its own twist on the subject. Let’s take a look at some examples.
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Chaos vs. Order

I came across another interesting review of TRON: Legacy today over at Terra Nova, an academic site that covers online games. The article is Blizzard is CLU, and goes into some interesting detail about the nature of MMOs and how the “living parts” were driven out, reminiscent of the plot of the movie. (Warning, there are some mild spoilers in that article and this. But, if you’ve read my review you probably already know the plot points covered.)

This brought up some thoughts about the classic themes of chaos and order. Read on for my take.
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Review of TRON: Legacy

I recently went to see the new movie TRON: Legacy, the biggest cyberpunk-related movies this year. It’s the sequel some of us have waited decades for. I’m sure all the hard-core fans here have already seen it, but in case you haven’t I’ll be including a few spoilers. Go see the movie if that’s a big deal for you. Otherwise, read on and then leave a comment with your thoughts.
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Sp.A.I

A reader sent a link to the game Sp.A.I, a cyberpunk themed “third-person puzzle platformer”. I had already downloaded the game, but it’s taken me a bit to actually sit down and play it. The game was developed by // No comment, a team of 5 students from the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. Fairly interesting for a student project.

You can download the game at http://www.indiedb.com/games/spai/

So, what’s it like? Read on for a small review.
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Interview: Jess C. Scott

Jess contacted us with news about her new book, The Other Side of Life which combines Urban Fantasy and Cyberpunk. She offered to do an interview, so we took her up on the offer before she changed her mind. ;) This is her first book in a series, and she’s offering free copies to people willing to do advance reviews. Read to the end if you’re interested.

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The Cyberpunk Soundtrack

And he woke again, thinking he dreamed, to a wide white smile framed with old incisors, Aerol strapping him into a g-web in Babylon Rocker.
And then the long pulse of Zion dub.

~ Neuromancer by William Gibson

What does cyberpunk sound like?

We’ve discussed what it feels like, and what it may look like at times, but the cyberpunk soundscape is transient and varied.

Dub reggae plays a big part in Gibson’s Neuromancer. Music speaks for the book’s Zionite characters, forming the soundtrack of their orbital colonies and even providing Case with audio cues to wake him from brain-death. Music is also acknowledged in the Lo/Rez rock group of Idoru (Gibson) and voice of the refugees, cyber-brain rapper Densetsu (Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2nd GIG), to name but two.

"Densetsu", a cyber-brain rapper and target of the Individual Eleven assassins.

Cyberpunk is usually associated with techno, but this is often down to the influence of cybergoth culture. While there are electronic artists making cyber-friendly tracks like Return of the Machines (Oforia), Red Shift (Ayria) and Elektrobank (Chemical Brothers), do they represent the sum total of a cyberpunk soundtrack?

I wonder if, for example, you associate certain rock tunes with cyberpunk. Reggae seems at first glance to be quite an organic genre, but its echo-effect dub remixes speak to a certain sub-culture in Case’s world, of people who pursue Zionite ideals in face of a depressed Babylon. That in itself suggests the cyberpunk condition; a willingness to escape the ‘meat’ reality and embrace something other. Perhaps you eschew electronic music for jazz when contemplating the ordered chaos of our own ‘matrix’? It may be that there are lyrics which speak to you of a cyberpunk reality, or that techno beats really do transport you to the neon, computerised matrix.