- Traveller, by The Lord Weird Slough Feg
- Twilight of the Idols, by The Lord Weird Slough Feg
- Hardworlder, by Slough Feg: Shorter name, same weirdos
- Spaceship Zero, by The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets
- Great Old Ones, by The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets
- Jess and the Ancient Ones
- The Horse and Other Weird Tales, by Jess and the Ancient Ones
Traveller is, of course, the classic science fiction RPG. And you'll find a ton of other SF references on Slough Feg.
Darkest are a Cthulhu Mythos punk band. The concept album Spaceship Zero is from the fantastic RPG Spaceship Zero designed by the band, about a defunct German radio show of dubious existence, about a starship which, every time it uses the "BTL" drive, destroys the universe and recreates it as more Lovecraftian horror.
Jess and the Ancient Ones is new to me, but kinda Fleetwood Mac with magic and Mythos? Good stuff.
- Beyond Cyberpunk: 1991 Hypercard stack
- BCP web version
- Cyberpunk, by Billy Idol: I like it, I don't care if he's a cheesy little idiot.
- Billy Idol's Cyberpunk Mac app: I can't find an emulator of it, but it's just interactive liner notes and a couple screen savers. Enjoy.
- Archive of Hotwired.com from 1997: Most of the art wasn't saved, it's often broken, but you can get some idea of what it was like.
What I want to note here is the UI in the original BCP and Billy's app. Borders filled with wiring and lights. Knobs and switches. Big chunky click areas. Punk rock, graffiti art. When you click things, audio and animations tell you something happened. Not so much the "Jacking into the Matrix. Into the FUTURE!" clip.
It's much easier to find and read information in the web version, but it's not fun. It's ugly and boring. Like almost everything on the web and apps these days, from Jony IVE-1138's sterile white room prisons where you're tortured for daring to have a personality, to all these endless linkblogs.
There are places with personality, but not many. The web looks like shit. One of the best things about cybre.space is that it doesn't look like every other bland, neutral, anodyne Mastodon instance. Update: Brutalist Websites has some GeoCities-like aesthetics in a few. Others are sterile voids.
And that's bothering me about this blog. It looks OK, the stolen Midgar art and my '80s neon colors set some kind of tone, but it can be so much more. So in the weeks and months to come, I'm gonna be doing some redesign, make this into something weirder, if not full-on GeoCities. The RSS feed should be uninterrupted, but I'm going to put a lot more resources on the front page.
In which art is not blamed for the problems of the world:
A man in a controlled, music-less dystopia finds a guitar, learns to play, and feels joy. The priests of Syrinx who rule the system in the name of "average" (a la Harrison Bergeron) crush him. The ancients of rock who created the guitar return and liberate the system with a prog rock concert.
Our world could use this beauty
Just think what we might do
Listen to my music
And hear what it can do
There's something here that's as strong as life
I know that it will reach you
Don't annoy us further!
Oh, we have our work to do
Just think about the average
What use have they for you?
Another toy that helped destroy
The elder race of man
Forget about your silly whim
It doesn't fit the plan!
A game designer dude lives in exile above his arcade, robbed by evil AI & corporate suit. His ex and her dork boyfriend let him into the building, and he goes into the computer world, which the evil AI & corporate suit rule as well. The ancient soul of the machine gives the dork's program access and lets it play Breakout against the AI, and the game designer sacrifices himself, liberating the inner world, deleting the evil AI & firing the corporate suit, restoring the game designer to power in the real world.
A too-young, too-uptight student works for an evil professor, but makes friends with other weirdo students and loosens up. The evil professor and the military trick the weirdos and make a death ray from their work. The ancient student in the closet emerges and the weirdos hack the death ray and turn the evil professor's house into popcorn.
All for freedom and for pleasure
Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world
A boy in a crapsack world, literally in a trailer home on top of trailer homes, finds solace in ancient movies and games from a book by an ancient nerd. The corporation which rules the world and the virtual world crushes him and his friends. The ancient nerd's program runs, and gives the boy power and he liberates the virtual world and the real one.
After a long silence she asked, "So what happens now?"
These stories, they're just stories of their time.
2112 didn't end the "Moral Majority" or censors. The PMRC of Syrinx was founded 6 years later to destroy rock 'n roll and rap; the PMRC is gone but Tipper Gore still lives and hates, and music is still censored; remember Fuck You, by CeeLo Green? You probably only heard the censored radio version "Forget You".
TRON didn't end centralized computing, AI, or thieving corporate assholes. Today EA has ruined large gaming, and Google & Amazon make AIs that will probably kill us all.
Real Genius didn't end all CIA/military weapons. Today the babykillers have unmanned drones that can fly anywhere and assassinate anyone (and any bystanders/witnesses).
Ready Player One didn't make the real Internet a "safe space". Facebook, Twitter, or Google can still track you, filter what you see, and give Nazis access to harass you.
This is not a failing of art, it exists for fun or catharsis, and to give you coping strategies. It is not a magic spell to fix everything.
So, you can do something inspired by art; make art yourself; or, if you are completely useless, just whine unreasonably about art and be held in contempt.
Oh look time has reversed itself and we are now back in the '80s! Forget about 2018, that's some dystopian Blade Runner bullshit, we'll all be long dead from nuclear war before that happens! Time to hit the mall to chat up hot chicks with big hair, and buy that new Van Halen album. Then later go see Real Genius and The Goonies, in theatre.
Sleep and dream is all I crave
I travel far across the Milky Way
'Til we meet again some other day
Where silence speaks as loud as words
And the Earth returns to what it was before