The Cyberdeck: a homebrew, 3D printed cyberspace deck

A small but vital genre of homebrew portable computers is the "cyberspace deck," in which hackers create DIY, special-purpose computers inspired by the ICE-breaking console-cowboy decks of William Gibson's Sprawl trilogy (Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive). Read the rest

Muttnchop Piper explains Netrunner, the cyberpunk card game

It's always a treat to see someone unexpected embrace tabletop gaming. I just got the Netrunner: Revised Core Set, the latest edition of the popular and surprisingly immersive cyberpunk card game originally designed by Richard Garfield (who also designed of Magic: The Gathering). I decided to watch some videos on playing the game using the new set, as I haven't played in a while. I happened upon a series of videos by Muttnchop Piper, a YouTuber who runs a channel on pipe smoking and tobacco.

I was surprised by how good, and charming, these videos are. He talks about how the game brought him and his grown son closer together. His son is an artist, and growing up, wasn't into the typical things, like "hunting and fishing." His son introduced him to the game, and as you can clearly tell from the videos, Muttnchop Piper has really taken to it. He and his son play the game every Thursday.

In the videos, he describes the world of Netrunner, how to play one of the Corporations, how to play a Runner, and he runs through a sample game. There are a lot of how-to-play Netrunner videos out there, but I don't think there's a better intro series than the one from this unlikely of sources.

I also like this brief video explaining why you should play Netrunner. I love this game and think it evokes a cyberpunk world better than just about anything short of reading a novel in the genre. Read the rest

Gorgeous scrap-electronics wearable cyberpunk assemblages from Hiroto Ikeuchi

Tokyo designer Hiroto Ikeuchi creates amazing wearable cyberpunk assemblages out of scrap electronics and other odds and sods. Read the rest

Watch "Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into the Future" (1985)

Before Max Headroom shilled for Coke and collaborated with the Art of Noise (below), he starred in this fantastic and prescient 1985 UK TV movie about a dystopic future. This brilliant bit of cyberpunk science fiction feels even more relevant today than it did back then.

Previously: "Max Headroom, the full story"

(Thanks, UPSO!)

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Cyberpunk anime ad for Murphy's Irish Stout (UK, 1997)

Probably the best cyberpunk anime ad for stout ale in the world. [via Tim Soret] Read the rest

Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky's State of the World address, 2018 edition

Every year, Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky take to The Well and conduct a weeks-long, wide-ranging "state of the world" discussion, trying to dig through to the zeitgeist's bedrock, taking questions from all comers (you don't need to be a WELL member to read, and you can send your questions in to Jonl). Read the rest

Kickstarting an antifascist cyberpunk RPG

Game designer Chad Walker is crowdfunding his latest game: SIGMATA: This Signal Kills Fascists, shooting for USD10,000 in pre-orders to produce "a cyberpunk tabletop role-playing game about ethical insurgency against a fascist regime, taking place in a dystopian vision of 1980's America." Read the rest

Watch the pitch reel for Jim Henson's cyberpunk muppets TV series

In 1987, Jim Henson produced and directed this pitch reel for Inner Tube (aka IN-TV), a cyberpunk, culture-jamming series that just wasn't meant to be but did inform The Jim Henson Hour's MuppeTelevision segments. From Jim Henson: The Biography:

At the heart of IN-TV was a clever concept; each week, a live guest star would get sucked into the television set and would have to work his way back out again, usually by moving from one bad television channel to another. It was a fun idea, giving Jim an opportunity to satirize the seemingly endless parade of upstart cable channels and lame public access shows that were common in the early days of cable.

(Muppet Wiki and r/ObscureMedia)

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Cyberpunk's Asian representation problem

Cyberpunk dystopia lifts from the reality and fantasy of contemporary Asian cities and cultures, but rarely reflects these sources in its human inventory. Sarah Emerson writes about the genre's fetish for Asia without the Asians, most recently on display in the curiously whitebread future of Blade Runner 2049.

neon kanji billboards. Neander Wallace's yukata, and Joi's cheongsam. The busy Chinatown. The interactive wall of anime apps. K's rice-filled bento box. The dual Japanese-English text on everything. All signs that point to a vibrant, multicultural city, but somehow devoid of non-white characters.

If Asians shaped this cyberpunk future, where are they?

Blade Runner and 2049 are like Orientalist art. Gorgeous, albeit skewed, depictions of "other" cultures meant to justify colonialism with their backwardness.

The people making the mistakes seem completely oblivious. They can pretend to get it when something egregious blows up, but then soon coast's clear they go back to casting Robert Downey Jr as Indira Gandhi or some other nonsense. Even when they do hire Asian actors for their exotic Asian hellscapes, they're liable to mess it up! Remember Cloud Atlas? About four fifths of it was brilliant, but the remainder was so hard to look at that the movie left my head the moment I left the theater.

Read the rest

William Gibson's Archangel: a graphic story of the unfolding jackpot apocalypse

William Gibson's 2014 novel The Peripheral was the first futuristic book he published in the 21st century, and it showed us a distant future in which some event, "The Jackpot," had killed nearly everyone on Earth, leaving behind a class of ruthless oligarchs and their bootlickers; in the 2018 sequel, Agency, we're promised a closer look at the events of The Jackpot. Between then and now is Archangel, a time-traveling, alt-history, dieselpunk story of power-mad leaders and nuclear armageddon.

William Gibson interviewed: Archangel, the Jackpot, and the instantly commodifiable dreamtime of industrial societies

William Gibson's 2014 novel The Peripheral was the first futuristic book he published in the 21st century, and it showed us a distant future in which some event, "The Jackpot," had killed nearly everyone on Earth, leaving behind a class of ruthless oligarchs and their bootlickers; in the 2018 sequel, Agency, we're promised a closer look at the events of The Jackpot. Between then and now is Archangel, a time-traveling, alt-history, dieselpunk story of power-mad leaders and nuclear armageddon that will be in stores on October 3.

Mondo 2000, influential 90s cyberculture magazine, returns online

A few years ago, I started seeing evidence of the beginning swells of a nostalgia wave for the iconic 90s "cyberdelic" magazine Mondo 2000 and all things early 90s cyberpunk/cyberculture. One person on Facebook unearthed an old copy of Mondo, photographed it, and gushed all over it in a post. They asked (something like): "What could be cooler than a slick art magazine about virtual reality and cyberpunk, hacking, drugs and mind-alteration, weird art and high-weirdness?" I loved being able to respond: "Writing for it."

I also noticed, in 2014, when I published my writing collection, Borg Like Me, a lot of the focus in reviews was on the pieces reprinted from that era, from Mondo, bOING bOING (print), and my own zine, Going Gaga. People waxed nostalgic about that birth-of-cyberculture era, the creativity and promise that infused it, and the revolutionary dreams it inspired. Several reviews said: We need to bring some of this back. Stat!

It is perhaps that rising sentiment that has prompted Mondo's equally iconoclastic creator, RU Sirius, to resurface Mondo 2000 as an online blogazine. RU tells Boing Boing about the launch:

It seemed like time. What the world needs now is MONDO sweet Mondo. I mean, it’s the only thing that there’s just too little of…. aside from wealth distribution, attention spans, and lots of other stuff.

So far, I've found what RU has posted a surprisingly satisfying mix of reprints of old magazine content, summaries/commentaries on the print magazine (and its predecessors, High Frontiers and Reality Hacker), and new content, including new music from RU Sirius and friends. Read the rest

William Gibson: what we talk about, when we talk about dystopia

With pre-orders open for the graphic novel collecting William Gibson's amazing comic book Archangel, and a linked novel on the way that ties the 2016 election to the world of The Peripheral, William Gibson has conducted a fascinating interview with Vulture on the surge in popularity in dystopian literature. Read the rest

Bruce Sterling in 1994, talking about crypto backdoors and the future of VR

Here's a 30-minute keynote that Bruce Sterling gave in 1994 to the ICA's "Towards the Aesthetics of the Future" VR conference in London. You should watch it, if only for the insight it gives into the early years of today's most contested technology questions. Read the rest

Nerdy nail-wraps

Espionage Cosmetics has your nerdy nail-art needs covered with the D20-themed $10 Critical Hit nail wraps, circuit board wraps and tentacle wraps. (via Geeky Merch) Read the rest

Creepy satirical VR ad pitches cyberpunk thriller

Harsh Reality is a short movie about how horrible VR is going to be; here's the trailer for the crowdfunding campaign.

ENERGEIA FILMS is proud to be a part of the launch campaign for NOIR Systems's latest entry in the field of VR-enhanced rehabilitation -- the NSYS-EX. As seen in the new short film, HARSH REALITY!

What happens when the technology designed to help us is turned against us? Please help fund HARSH REALITY so you can find out!

VR dystopias are usually posed as an assault on our senses, on our privacy, our sense of self. But honoring the utopian viewpoint--VR as a manifestation of everything we want to see and become, an unfettered self--always held more power for me, especially as prelude to dystopia. The 1988(!) Red Dwarf episode Better Than Life, wherein fully-immersive VR is revealed as a way to completely idealize one's everyday personal flaws, remains my favorite! Read the rest

China announces "medical tourism" special economic zone on Hainan Island

Hainan Island will be designated a special economic zone for "medical tourism," where foreigners will be able to fly to get cheap health care (similar to how offshore entities can go to Guandong Province to have cheap electronics manufactured) Read the rest

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