ParadiseOS far from it

ParadiseOS depicts an alternative computing world from the turn of the millenium: a desktop obscenely slathered in compulsory and broken services, ads and applications, an experience designed by dotcom era advertising boyars but hopelessly unrealistic before the wide availability of broadband internet and hardware video decoding. It's part Black Mirror, part vaporwave, part ironically brilliant web development by Stephen Kistner.

Paradise OS imagines an alternate version of 1999 where the personal computer is a gateway to a commercialized global network. Palm Industries, a former mall developer turned technology giant effectively controls all online experiences.

Acting as a time capsule, the desktop captures the moments of December 30, 1999 — just days before a catastrophic Y2K event leads to the computer emerging in our dimension. Participants explore this frozen moment from time, using the content to discover more about the world from which it came.

The project references the visual vernacular of the 20th century American shopping mall. It establishes a connection between the mall and the Internet as escapist experiences and hubs of social activity.

The desktop's content deals with Internet phenomena including fake news, instant gratification and information overload. By engaging with contemporary topics from the perspective of an alternate reality, the project encourages participants to think more critically about the state of our own digital spaces.

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Documentary about Polybius, the urban-legend arcade game

POLYBIUS: The Video Game That Doesn't Exist is an hourlong exploration of the ultimate arcade urban legend: play it, and it'll drive you insane. The documentary was made by Stuart "Ahoy" Brown, who has mastered a sternly British documentarian voice and applies it mercilessly to the subject of games. [via]

Of the various efforts to implement the legend, Jeff Minter's is surely the best, though I love the more accurate (albeit rasterized) period stylings of this vectorbeam mockup:

Previously: Gaming urban legends; Nomen Ludi Read the rest

Chill out with the Current Conditions channel

Current condition (via Mefi) is a website lurking in the airwaves and wires somewhere between teletext, those high-number cable channels that just play music and weather, and where the planes were in 19A0 or so. Read the rest

Too Many Cooks

"It takes a lot to make a stew". Read the rest

"Do Ghosts Have Civil Rights?" -- magazine cover article from "Ghostbusters" montage, actually written up!

At The Awl, Matthew Phelan created something wonderful: the text to go with a fake cover article from The Atlantic, "The Politics Of The Next Dimension: Do Ghosts Have Civil Rights?", that appeared for barely a moment during a montage during 1984's Ghostbusters.

Until the beginning of the current fall semester—when Columbia University abruptly shuttered its psychology department's program in paranormal studies—Dr. Egon Spengler, Dr. Ray Stantz and Dr. Peter Venkman had been conducting research into extra-sensory perception and recurring manifestations of what they call vaporous apparitions and psychokinetic activity. "Psychics, ghosts, floating stuff, to the lay person. But to us it's way more technical," Dr. Venkman explains, half ignoring me as he rifles through the bottom drawer of a filing cabinet, then fixing me with a cold stare. "Stuff floats for a lot of different reasons."

It'd be neat if The Atlantic quietly slipped this into their archives. Read the rest