William Gibson's 1984 novel Neuromancer is far from forgotten; the times seem almost uncannily like an interregnum between the world he wrote in and the world he wrote. But the 1988 video game adaptation is another matter. [via]
The game’s developers were challenged with portraying this futuristic nonspace while still creating an accessible and interesting game, and all with computers that were barely a step up from a calculator and a potent imagination. The end result is surreal, abstract, and lonely. It’s a virtual world that’s simultaneously leagues beyond our internet, yet stunted and impractical, a world where you can bank online before doing battle with an artificial intelligence yet won’t let you run a simple search query and forces you to “physically” move between one virtual location and the next. It’s cyberspace as envisioned by a world that didn’t yet have the computing power to experience it for real, a virtual 2058 that would look archaic before the turn of the millennium.
Hill gets it, especially how the game seeks to understand cyberspace as a city. But I think he's wrong in suggesting that contemporary hardware limitations ("a step up from a calculator") were the game's undoing. If anything, I feel that the cusp of the 16-bit era was perfect for implementing Neuromancer as a solipsistic, non-networked adventure game. Indeed, much of the history of the 16-bit era can be read as increasingly successful efforts to implement the vision of Neuromancer as a narrative experience rather than a labyrinthine multidimensional bulletin board.
A popular, official Tetris app is going to get bricked. Users of Tetris Blitz fired up the game yesterday to be given a smarmy “it’s time to say goodbye” message from the publisher. Hello Fans, We have had an amazing journey with you so far but sadly, it is time to say goodbye. As of […]
Smarter people than me have pointed out that "work-life balance" says the quiet part out loud, implicitly confirming that you stop living when you're at work. Miles Matrix's Dungeons and Deadlines makes all this much realer with acerbic wit and rockin' chiptunes. My spouse left me after five turns. (via Four Short Links)
Idle Idol, by Daniel Moreno, casts you as a huge immobile statue in the middle of an island. You will attract followers, but if the island gets overpopulated and things run amok, they’ll destroy you in the chaos. Better give them something to die for, then. Idle Idol is a clicker (sort-of) and resource management […]
Traditional headphones are overrated, especially now that this HumBird Bone-Conducting Speaker allows you to enjoy a rich and completely unique listening experience depending on where you place it. A must-have item for true audiophiles looking to switch up their usual listening routine, this compact speaker uses cutting-edge bone conduction technology in order to deliver a […]
You don’t need to be a professional chef in order to enjoy a great set of knives in your kitchen, yet far too many would-be culinary pros settle for subpar blades that lose their edge after a few months. This Schmidt Brothers® Cutlery Carbon 6 7-Pc Knife Block Set will bring a new level of […]
Now that the latest iPhones have embraced the wireless charging revolution, there’s really no excuse for not having a wireless charger of your own. But even the best wireless chargers don’t allow users to use their phones while they’re being powered up. This Suction Powered Wireless Charger breaks that rule by allowing you to comfortably […]