Maybe Here Now (Blogging Is Dead)

RND/ to consider that, maybe here (right now) Blogging is dead

Maybe Here Now

– A screenshot of a dead blog, as seen from some warm distant shore in old quiet Mexico – a faded polaroid memory of a place never seen

In Mexico your wishes have a dream power. When you want to see someone, he turns up
William S. Burroughs, Junky

// how to play big science

On The Internet, Everybody Knows You’re a Nobody

RND/ some recent freeform lab notes on repeatedly trying and failing to meaningfully engage with others online:

Part of the problem (and, admittedly part of the actual appeal) is that I simply don’t know what I’m doing with this site, or any of its so-called content; it’s not philosophy, certainly not art as the modern global art market defines and imagines it understands it, it’s.. just boring B.S – like a lot of life, and certainly like a lot of the internet – dealing with the down time of Time itself, listlessly punching the life clock in the face with amazingly anti-meaningful, memetic clickbait attention economy splinters before death, just for something-anything to do

Way out here on the ‘tubular interdark’, everybody knows you’re nobody; a kind of self selecting crowd, an invisible dark mass with a strong sense of who already and ‘really’ deserves to be up there – and therefore who to pay attention to; pop stars and other mass produced media personalities ‘should’ be online, should have a visceral media presence, simply because they’re already famous; “I’m famous, therefore I already am”; everybody else does not exist, their voice automatically lost among dry digital grasses

If I was already a rich and famous ‘media personality’ (one of the worst insults you can apply, surely?) I wouldn’t have to sit here alone in my cold, rented shoebox trying to pretend I want to write these cosmically useless lab notes (aka a simple random blog post) telling all the countless billions of people *not* listening about my first world philoso-artistic woes (indeed, I could hire someone to write and perform my dis.content for me – some beautiful, hopelessly naive, fresh-out-of-artschool greenhorn with advanced ‘conceptual new media’ skills and a subscription to photoshop who could also pretend to pretend to ‘play Big Science’ for me, while I, eg. play the latest AAA gaming industry ray-traced titles on my retro 60″ 8k 144hz HDR monitor with my eyes glazed over with hot hyperreal image flux)

The need to continually romanticize the blasted, pathetic little details of one’s as-though-still-not-yet-lived life, since the alternative (not that the truth is an ‘alternative’) is simply too flocking grim and bone achingly dull to remotely contemplate (“Who me? Why, I’m not really an unemployed Sociomedia postgrad from a sh1te Northern university whose still deep in Student Debt two decades after leaving – I’m an ‘amateur postmodern internet media prophet’ with a vast legion of super intelligent fans who adore every artistic twitch of my sensual neural meta-fibres!”)

Indeed, one might consider the internet the greatest technology for generating feelings of extreme loneliness ever developed – what one in fact merely ‘hooks up’ into is not so much a living network of connections, but of dusty overgrown pathways between isolated gravestones in a massive abandoned church, whose towering megastructural gothic architecture makes Dark Souls say “Damn, that’s some dead-ass Gothic right non-there”; ‘self-facilitating media nodes’ are always born dead reactionaries, their mouths choked with the rotten black earth of raw media image

I recently sent an email to gamedev Mosche Link, trying to.. I don’t know – perhaps just intellectually engage with anyone about art / ideas:

Dear Mr. Linke

Hello, I’m a UK based philosopher and artist, who regularly works with the concepts and notions of videogame architecture

I’m a fan of your impressive Fugue In Void, (which reminds me of the work of Thierry Urbain) and think the towering megastructures on display in your game Neon Entropy are simply beautiful

I’m writing to you, to offer my (free) help as a resident ‘Theorist-For-Hire’ on N.E, as I feel i can add a strong narrative element / philosophical context to your game

Here’s what I’ve written so far; I hope you find it interesting and relevant to your project: “My story is that of a distant planet, destroyed by climate change”

Zone 000: For decades, the people of my planet lived under the collective delusion that there was something we could do to finally fix the problem of runaway climate change; the patient had been dead for a while now, and only the illusion of uninterrupted existence was left – huge shocks we applied to its corpse that kept the whole rotten system lurching onward. To nowhere.
Coda: In which there is no whole – no single solid unit of function, only fragments and the useless registers of artificial memory. A pointed awareness of deep time; the secret language of petrified trees in a museum nobody visits.

Zone 001: To paraphrase an ancient Earth philosopher and media prophet: “Immense energies are deployed to hold this synthetic simulation of ecological harmony at bay; to avoid the brutal de-simulation that actually confront us in the face of the obvious reality of a radical loss of meaning of the term ‘finding balance with nature’.”

Coda: Claims to knowledge of the true extent of our predicament must now kept in check with new, default extremes of advanced philosophical critique.

Zone 002: In fact the entire planet was doomed from the very outset by our very existence; the real runaway process at work was not merely our love of ancient alien animal oils, bubbling and oozing beneath the surface, which we used to power the sentient machines running our society – our imagined immortality in the vast technological utopia we built in our own golden image.

Coda: Mystics within certain wandering tribes to the deep East used to say the rivers of oil which actively fueled our demise – as opposed to the convenient myth called progress – resembled immense ropes of interwoven, strangling tentacles.

Zone 003: The thing about utopias – which means ‘non places’ – is that, rather than universal data heavens which anyone may enter, are in fact always constructed precisely by those who are inherently and automatically barred from entering – their labor and lives always conveniently missing from the official image archives adorning the silent, bloody walls of our faithful technological republic.

Coda: Even the brilliant ships we built in order to abandon this storm-wracked, planet sized tomb were themselves abandoned, because it was felt we could not control the wind, and therefore somehow simply not worth the effort. Planetary scale lassitude.

Zone 004: All too soon did the towering megastructures of our breathing biological cities turned back to inert, dusty brick; we became desert people, susceptible to dark cosmic visions of endless, trackless dunes – giant singing manta rays with mile wide wingspans, able to block out the incessant glare of our angry sun – mothers in their millions, crying perfectly oval silicon tears over infinite futures lost – to what? The limits of our imagination, perhaps.

Coda: In which a strange scenario emerges, in which the plain, naked fact of our true planetary predicament actually represents a gap, or unexpected turn – a historically inserted shard of collective possibility for new conceptual horizons. The fingers of the great skeleton clutching eggs once unable to hatch, perhaps now finally releases its ugly, spectral grasp. A low humming sound, heard only at night during sleepless dreams.

Sincerely, Robert What

The reply was as expected (edited and paraphrased for clarity):

Hello Robert; I am flattered that you’re such a dedicated fan. Your writing gave me a lot of inspiration, and as these ideas flow into my mind, I’m sure they’ll influence the overall world design. It’s just that I don’t want to use words in my current project, so I’m sorry I can’t implement your text into the Neon Entropy. For now, almost the entire journey is already set in stone, and there are no new developmental changes planned.

Again, I’m very grateful for your dedication.


There’s a pattern developing here; in the course of my daily research and development, I discover something cool and interesting online, and sometimes try contacting the ‘researc’ / developer in question to talk about it. While they obviously like, and are thankful for attention and complements (who doesn’t like ego-feeding complements?), they almost always immediately follow up with the kind of standardized boilerplate apology I now call “Sorry, butt”

– Sorry, but I don’t need any help right now..
– Sorry, but I haven’t really got any time to X..

I now read such replies as, “Sorry, but I’ve absolutely no idea who you are, who or what you represent, what exactly you want from me or precisely what you possibly imagine I can do for you” – which is fair enough, given that I’ve no real idea what I’m doing (“Just a little R&D, you feel me..?”) but there’s still some kind of underlying assumption that, if the person politely calling you isn’t already rich and famous or at your perceived ‘level’ of whatever – social status or intellect or class or level of self importance – then there’s ‘no real point’ to the conversation

Read ‘no real point’ as “With the first two sentences of our email exchange, I already get the strong troubled feeling you simply won’t be able to actively progress my career / boost my ego to the next level – and therefore interacting with you as a human being interested in art philosophy and the free exchange of ideas is an active waste of my infinitely precious time”

Especially with artists, the feeling is that those with gallery representation and a couple of showings under their belt – very small and standard potatoes most of the time from what I’ve seen – feel anyone that contacts them has to be a buyer or from a large international newspaper with offers of a world shattering interview; and everyone else a mere rescinded priority; sure everyone (well, most of us) has bills to pay and there are only 24 hours available but man, is there ever the feeling one has to constantly justify oneself and one’s existence when in their presence

A related problem: how to make any flocking dough when someone else is already holding all the bread?

Flock art – what about just being a decent human being with half decent listening skills; I’m not a ‘fan’ of anything or anyone (rarely is anything in life that interesting) and neither am I calling you to sell you some vague idea of.. myself, perhaps.. hello? Is there anybody even out here? *sound of high pitched, heavily filtered virtual wind whistling quietly through an empty architectural infinity of global climate cooled data centers*

A pleasant if somewhat listless conversation with Professor Pippin Barr

RND/ Loose pre-conversation notes:

– Considering ‘the existential threat of videogames‘ as a ‘Funpocalypse’ (the fully VR-Baudrillardian version / simulacrum update of Neil Postmans ‘amusing ourselves to death’)

Paida as ‘human computer’ interaction with the philosophical worry about a fully computerized humanity (‘Chinese Room’)

Digital identity and play: contrasting Buddhist and video game avatars as ideological incarnation of modern electronic self-as-futuristic-deity

Robert: Hello Mr. Barr! How’s the semester’s going? Good, I hope My large video game exhibit is finally up – hope you like it

Pippin: Hey there Robert – holy crap this thing is intense. I really like the format a lot – more than I would have expected. It’s exhausting, but also very possible to browser around in rather than read in the obvious way. The pieces of language I’ve landed on have been lovely, poetic, thoughtful.

Robert: Many thanks for your prompt and kind reply! It means a lot. I know you’re very busy, but any time you’d like to hook up online for a quick philosophical chat / freestyle jam about Play, Games – their strange Virtuality (particularly in the context of large scale institutional Education – ‘university considered as whitecube gallery’?) please do let me know, as I’d love to pick your e-brain

Pippin: Hey Robert – yeah definitely. This weekend’s no good for me, but plausibly next week Saturday for a bit? What time zone are you?

Robert: UK – five hours behind Montreal. Thing is I don’t think our chat really needs to be realtime, since we’re already communicating over email, and I don’t want to bother you at the weekend. What say we try a freestyle yet somewhat focused call-and-response, wherein we initiate several small theoretical possibility spaces of conversation and idea-exchange, and then we each jazz riff from there?. This way we can spread the conversation out, let it breath. Some example topics as follows; what would interest me Mr. Barr is that we try to always lean the conversation back around to your particular (expert) view and approach, ie. from within academia. Please bear in mind however: I don’t really know anything about anything, I just enjoy pretending to

Pippin: Asynchrony makes sense to me. Absolutely. Not sure I’ll be able to talk at your level with such. Counter-offers (perhaps we can converse in questions). What are games made of? (makes me think of your noclip stuff a bit, but also a preoccupation for me in many games). Videogame translations? (book to game, game to book, game to game, myth to game to art print to game, ++). What about everything before the game itself? (design and process documentation, did you ever read Jordan Mechner’s book on Prince of Persia? this is something I’m very involved in personally). Hmm.

Robert: Some initial responses. What a games made of? What about games considered as (say) ideal / idealized (conceptual!) platonic forms of (digital) heaven; an interactive retroactive western gnosticism / immaterialist wish for spiritual ascent? (Brian Eno; art-as-‘surrender’)

Pippin Bar – VR2

– The lost mystic art of Noclip as symbolic Virtual Void Architecture; a silent howling electronic (baudrillardian) nothingness out of which emerge flat, ‘fake’, Potemkin-esque surface forms– Games as (coded) language-play abstractions

– On Videogame translations: because everything is always in the disruptive flux of unceasing market colonization. Here Zizek is instructive:

“Herein lies the paradox proper to capitalism, its last resort: capitalism is capable of transforming its limit, its very impotence, in the source of its power – the more it ‘putrefies’, the more its immanent contradiction is aggravated, the more it must revolutionize itself to survive. It is this paradox which defines surplus-enjoyment: it is not a surplus which simply attaches itself to some ‘normal’, fundamental enjoyment, because enjoyment as such emerges only in this surplus, because it is constitutively an ‘excess’. If we subtract the surplus we lose enjoyment itself, just as capitalism, which can survive only by incessantly revolutionizing its own material conditions, ceases to exist if it ‘stays the same’, if it achieves an internal balance.”

– The design-by-committee, focus-group-tested-hipness, pale geekdom hell that is “Ready, Player One

Pippin: What about everything before the game itself? (design and process documentation, did you ever read Jordan Mechner’s book on Prince of Persia? this is something I’m very involved in personally)

Robert: That’s basically what I like to term “Big Science”; conceptual freeform play emphasizing craft rather than strictly art (Eno again), notions notion rather than polished product, contested spaces rather than virtual certainties; games as the convenient hole the artistic catherine wheel spins around

– In which there’s now no ‘before’ the game; the map has long since entirely replaced the territory and the Permanent Virtual Funemployment of Ludocapitalism now constitutes our very dreams *gosh that’s romantic* ;-)

– Discussions of design and documentation reminds me of Michigan’s game archive

– Mechner’s book sounds interesting and I’d like to read it; while I remember digging POP back on my Amiga 500 back in the day, I just hope the book by-implication doesn’t overemphasize the (/myth of) the auteur and forget wider collective gamedev culture

Robert: On games as digital heaven: considered as (say) ideal / idealized (conceptual!) platonic forms of (digital) heaven; an interactive retroactive western gnosticism / immaterialist wish for spiritual ascent? (Brian Eno; art-as-‘surrender’)

Pippin: I’m playing Tetris Effect at the moment having had its virtues extolled by various friends. I think it probably aspires to this sort of idea? It even has chanting monks in one level. There’s a kind of “become one with the tetronimoes” feeling to the design. When I was feeling down the other I tried using it as a medicine but I don’t think it worked. Those points and level rankings kind of thwart the transcendence for me?

Robert: Maybe points levels and rankings don’t necessarily thwart the religious (or at least New Age spiritual) symbolism or possibility of internal philosophical reflection of or within a game space; maybe it’s akin to counting prayer beads, or a recounting of holy scripture as an (/electronic) meditation: queue Rez Infinite. I mean, far out, man: to consider spiritual states, primitive shapes in the context of brain development, and synesthesia = “Sounds like any modern video game“.. Or maybe not ;-) The lost mystic art of Noclip as symbolic Virtual Void Architecture; a silent howling electronic (baudrillardian) nothingness out of which emerge flat, ‘fake’, Potemkin-esque surface forms

Pippin: Yeah I guess there are forms of religious experience that revolve around counting and quantification, that’s true. I’m not a religious person so can’t really speak it it, but it always seemed to me that the quantified-self versions of religious practice would get in the way of spiritual experiences. Like the assignment of set numbers of prayers post-confession or the idea of accumulating blessings via fasting. A bit instrumentalising. Like almost any videogame…

Robert: I’m afraid the ritual nowdays is simply of blind digital consumerism; I wonder where all the more truly philosophical play spaces of free experimentation exist – rather than what the aaa-industry laughably regards as somehow remotely philosophical-by-auto-proxy. Hope I’m not directly suggesting games are literally spiritual; perhaps more simply that in modern secular society it appears they’ve taken over (/from) certain symbolic aspects of traditional (mass) worship; witness the levels of crowd devotion in any regular E3 presentation – or the ecstatic opening of lootboxes as receiving sacriment?

Pippin: For sure games have that kind of cult-y obsession factor going for them. But I guess I think people feel like they have spiritualish experiences too? At least trance-like experiences which are a big part of a lot of religions? And games are nothing if not ritualistic, too…

Robert: Interesting how experiments like Vr2 can be read as appearing churchlike – an cool, noble museum full of strange exhibits, possibly once used by a distant (/dead) alien civilization as fetishistic worship totems..?

Pippin: Huh. I’ve never thought about laying any kind of narrative on top of a game like that – it exists so clearly as a formal experiment for me, but this makes a great deal of sense. I think I’m afraid of stories because I feel like I’ll tell a bad one.

Robert: Aren’t all games embedded in narratives and contexts, ala ‘everything as a text’? As for being a formal experiment, I imagine gamers almost always treat whatever they call games as complete, stand alone experiences – definitely statements rather than open experiments or idea-spaces..

– On the ‘Quantified Self’ and its grasping, Minecraftian style valorization of the individual as a mere stack of exploitable cubed information often feels abhorrent.

Pippin: I thought Detroit was weirdly interesting in relation to the quantified self thing somehow. It’s the first really detailed visualisation of a game’s narrative as another set of accomplishments that I feel like I’ve encountered (though I bet it’s been done before). Sitting there in front of the narrative flowcharts at the end of playing through a scene I was always both fascinated (“I could have done that?”) and repelled (perhaps by the implication I ought to experience it all). The quantified self as a set of time worms.

Robert: You’re right. Wow, that game’s so accidentally postmodern, it hurts. In fact one could use it as the benchmark for games so uniquely wack, they transcend the medium and forge their own aesthetic space – just like Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Pippin: Well I guess David Cage has been pushing pretty hard on this model for a hell of a long time. For better or worse Detroit feels like he “broke through” and kind of nailed whatever it is he believes in. As such it feels simultaneously like a tour de force and problematic and lame in many ways?Robert: In chapter two of your thesis you stated: “A key factor in the enthusiasm surrounding video games’ potential for delivering messages is their motivational power. Unlike most forms of software, people largely play games because they enjoy the process which leads us to a further level where values can be seen as something brought by players to their play.” Perhaps spirituality is one such motivating force?

Pippin: Jesus, my thesis. I’ve never thought about Potemkin in conjunction with level architecture, that’s nice and feels accurate. I think about that when I’m constructing games a lot – the question of realism and solidity, as well as the “authentic” system beneath. When I made a tiny game about finding an invisible dog (for a class in programming I teach) it mattered to me that I displayed the image of the dog even though it was completely transparent and invisible. v r 2 was kind of about this for me.

Robert: Just remember, Jesus loves all thesis ;-) Regarding the authentic system beneath, one is reminded of Zizek’s reversal of Hegel’s notion of ‘abstract and concrete’; the abstract ideological background (techno-utopianism) which makes current social relations possible / concretizes them? Regarding the notion that “decompiling a video game is like dissecting a frog – we learn a lot about it, but the frog dies in the end”; the need to deconstruct videogames – a skeptical re-examination of dialectics forming its apparent basis – an examination searching for points of privilege (ie. claims to knowledge) upon which its hierarchies rest – to bring to light how a game space undermines the philosophy it asserts, the hierarchical oppositions on which it props itself up, identifying in/via its ‘text’ rhetorical operations that produce a supposed ground of argument, key concepts or unexamined first premises

Pippin: Suffer the little theses to come unto him. My own games often feel like dead frogs to me, but not always? There’s also often a big, weird transformational leap from the code+assets representation of a game and the experience of the system running and reacting that can kind of erase your knowledge of the inner workings. That said maybe it’s the opposite and it’s other people who get the dead frogs, or at least mute frogs, that aren’t successfully communicating what they’re “all about”, whereas I know…

Robert: The thing about dead frogs is precisely that their deliciously grotesque historical animation by Italian scientists

– Indeed, yet isn’t code + assets not merely a representation of some future / ideal game (/state) of active play – but already an entire system (albeit ‘low level’) already running and reacting? One that, somehow not only erases knowledge of inner workings, but perhaps of all other (/levels of) workings; programming code as that which ‘retroactively creates it’s own causes’ (Zizek)Pippin: Hmmm. I mean… gee. I don’t know how I feel about saying the code+assets in the absence of processing could be said to be “running”? It implies running and represents a logic, but..

Robert: If one imagines human language as just another special class of machine programming language, and language generally as social behavior – something one performs, then.. I think I mean it’s ‘running’ and ‘live’ in the sense it already depends on a dynamic, contextual (cultural) matrix of meaning and meaning-performance; neither code nor assets arrive tabula-rasa, or ‘raw’ but rather already part of preexisting systems of social intent and signification; one doesn’t have to wait for meaning to arrive until clicking an (apparently) self contained .exe file

Pippin: Life as platform then? Fair enough. I think I’m lamely modernist enough to worry about so much blurring though, starts to be unclear what you can say about anything? But in principle I agree..?

Robert: As for Low Level Language: “Programming language that provides little or no abstraction of programming concepts and is very close to writing actual machine instructions”; perhaps this strange and complex ‘abstraction’ works at all levels; let’s consider that the ‘finished’ game – really, it’s more simply ‘all we have current access to’, rather than finished, complete, self contained, etc. – is an abstraction up, out and away of the (seemingly) raw or uncooked (/cultural) matrix of code.. if any of that makes any sense, don’t mind me I just to make small animal sounds with my mouth ;-)

Pippin: This does actually make a bit of sense. Is it arbitrary to say that the game we play is really a totally different thing from the code that animates it, or are they levels of abstraction? I mean, qualitatively the experience is so different that we’re justified in distinguishing them, but at some other conceptual level maybe it’s also fair to say that the game running is an “abstraction” of the specificities of the code? Or not?

Robert: I’m not sure how this relates to your question, but I can imagine a game in which the act of having to compile the code is the more actual game then whatever regular sense of interactive software occurs after compilation. I think considering “a running game as an abstraction of the specificities of code” is a good heuristic for understanding digital play – but I also like the notion that “code as always already running as a specific abstraction” (if that makes any non-arbitrary sense?)

Pippin: People have even made efforts at games that are played at least in part through code (e.g. else Heart.Break()) though usually still within the confines of a “fake” programming language (though what does that even mean).

While I’m always ready to be instructed by Zizek, though I won’t pretend I’ve often understood what he’s saying. I really enjoyed his riff about the toilet in the movie The Conversation, that’s the pinnacle of it for me. Translation in relationship to capitalism vaguely scares me. Though I translated the concept of Capitalism into a game of Snake in SNAKISMS. Actually my relationship to capitalistic structures goes… pretty unexamined I guess. By me, I mean.

Robert: Ah, the eternal return of the cosmic flush that keeps on giving! Terrifying ;-) Due to embeddedness within global capital, that’s not necessarily any kind of reflective failure on anyone’s part; one is reminded of the old yoke about the fish who, while swimming past two others says “Morning! How’s the water today?” As he leaves, they turn to one another and ask “What’s water?” Watch out – games are everywhere!

Pippin: Are games really everywhere? If they’re everywhere what are they?

Robert: Hmm; no, game’s aren’t everywhere – and if they are, they’ve long since mutated away from being mere games; and yet, to consider the sense that ‘games’ andor ‘gaming’ have long since been the new default metaphor of viewing (/’Western’) reality – which is why in my bad post cyberpunk fanfiction, I often like to refer to some near future retro-80s state “When videogames won The Reality War.”

Pippin: Huh. And this also ties to that kind of boring question “what is a game”. Etc. Maybe it’s everything, maybe it’s something vying to “take over”, maybe it’s a thing with points and rules. I like using “game” as a Trojan Horse to get people to engage with the stuff I make that “isn’t really a game”, since the word has a bunch of helpful connotations in terms of people jumping in and grappling with what they see, at least for a few hundred milliseconds.

Robert: Perhaps no more or less boring than games themselves ;-)

Pippin: They are though aren’t they? I’m struck by this constantly at the moment, though perhaps I’m just more generally depressed. I struggle to stay engaged and interested in the games I’m seeing, though I know they’re acknowledged Good Games.

Robert: Thing is, I don’t really think ‘things which aren’t really a game’ work, since there’s a sense in which everything is now too often already (and only) viewable in the default terms of / set by ‘game’; indeed the use of Alternative Reality games as marketing strategy is nothing new, right? Aren’t games already Trojan Horses to get us to engage with too-often malignantly useless playbor in the service of the global funemployment enconomy?

Pippin: True that the Trojan Horse isn’t just for for killing your enemies or getting people to play art games. Gamification and serious games and advergames and on and on. Free to play for that matter.

Artistic efforts like yours, Pippin, seem inherently worthwhile; it’s just that I think the term ‘artgame’ which tends to stick to such efforts simply means “anything fancy (remotely involved with learning) we Real Gamers care to / can’t quite understand“, ala teh gam3r as the warm little nexus around which all games should be revolve’

Pippin: “Fancy games” sounds good. Game Fancier Magazine. Regarding ‘Big Science’ – what would be the experience here? Should we be releasing half-finished games? What does the polish do?

Robert: Perhaps there’s no experience, since ‘nothing’ is the only non-thing that happens? It seems ‘conceptual games’ or ‘strange imaginary play’ are not only not-finished, but somehow not even yet fully begun.. as an interactive digital art fragment, your cool Vr2 seems more an artistic idea-space potentiality in/via its odd virtual emptiness, than whatever many modern players would remotely consider [irony ;-] A Real Game™; a passing notion for intelligent virtual brains to inhabit. (In fact aren’t all games ‘conceptual’, in the same way one response to the old notion that “Sci fi is the literature of ideas” is to ask “- As opposed to what?”) To consider ‘polish’ as the ideology of professionalism, ie. Culturally sanctioned aesthetic standards linked directly to digital protestant work ethics – and therefore holy market notions of Worth. – I like how the space defined by “It is as if you were doing work” could also be entitled “Acting as if you’re playing a game“; games as much performance as anything else

Pippin: This stuff makes me think a bit of the argument that there a whole class of games that don’t need to be played, or perhaps exist, in order to be “got.”

Robert: Somehow it seems there’s a whole invisible class of games that are never played, and are never ‘gettable’ – which seems kinda beautiful, and ironic – considering the number of Steam games which are never played, even once

Pippin: It’s exactly the kind of conceptual thing of VR2, say, where you can explain the game (or what it would be) and someone can apprehend the ideas that way. (Robert Yang has written about this.) I’m kind of reluctant to accept the idea if only because I wonder if/wish that the experience and interaction with a real game has real meaning distinct from a language-based form of the “same” ideas?

Robert: I think even the very experience and interaction with ‘real language’ also has equally real meaning, far distinct from (code? graphical?) based forms of the same ideas! And to what extent is the choosing of one – the ‘finished, stand alone product’ over the other ‘mere’ documentation of which it’s comprised – always a wilful cultural act? The notion of language evolving into the ‘visual language’ of play

Pippin: Both experiences are meaningful, absolutely, though I guess one is a description of the other? I mean, if we want to be totally relativist we can say there’s no hierarchy there, but one is generated from the other? (If the “real game” exists.) I guess I feel like the real game (made of code and assets) doesn’t communicate “better” than its description, but it does communicate in a way that is distinct and valuable.

Robert: Indeed. Just as total Relativism to Absoluteness seems an entire spectrum, perhaps too is the two way movement from ‘code+assets’ to ‘game’ (might we also include these nondual polarities within a wider sphere of ‘paida’?) Let’s also imagine a game that when run, outputs procedural code+assets as its output (/which in turn, when compiled, outputs a new game.)

Pippin: Absolutely fancy. And here the “play” is the compilation process I take it? I have a student working on games that are just menu systems for games. You choose the ‘new game’ button and end up in the menu for a new game.

Does explaining to someone the idea of a game in which there are cubes with objects inside them you can never see, but which are “really there!” equate to the experience of standing in front of one of those cubes in the virtual space? Doesn’t seem to me that they do unless you boil it down to only the pure concept and not any of the potentially emergent stuff that could spring up from “being there”?

Robert: – I’m not sure they equate exactly, but rather that each of these positions, the seemingly Conceptual and the apparently Actual, both gain and loose a lot in translation between states; and indeed, aren’t they always actually more processes in transition, more bizarre events than objects?

– The philosophical task of equating experiences of / like text, image, and interactive graphics seem fraught with difficulty; perhaps it helps if one regards them as a fluid dis-continuum, some kind of flux; as for simply and effectively expressing this difficulty in the least number of polygons possible, I’ve no idea since I’ve never made a game

Pippin: Better get on to that!

Robert: I’ve emailed Konstantinos Dimopoulos about collaborating on “Terra Nullius“: a browser based, procedurally generated megastructural desert landscape explorer-sim. To consider games as a windowless cube that nobody can see either into, or out of – a Dark Energy Chinese Room, perhaps? I’d sure love to see any Surreal Absurdism in digital play states..

[UPDATE: Konstantinos replied – “Thanks for saying hi; really lovely meeting talented people with similar interests! Your work seems absolutely fantastic, and to be honest I would like to work with you on something at some point. I am admittedly utterly swamped at the moment –over a year of 70+ hour weeks seems to be taking its toll– but hope never dies. We should definitely talk again :-)”]

Pippin: I did want to eventually make “It is as if you were playing a videogame” but I also find that idea exhausting…

Robert: Often it works out like that; that merely trying to conjure an entire, logically / aesthetically self consistent play space appears far more difficult than just-making-a-game; however I think the ideological baggage behind apparently-simply ‘making-a-game’ is far more heavy a burden than just pretending outright that you’ve made one ;-)

Pippin: Haha, absolutely. Maybe this is my next career move. Pretending I’ve made games.

Robert: To paraphrase Borges; making games too often seems a laborious and impoverishing act of foolishness, expanding in five million lines of code an idea-space imperfectly explainable via other means – for instance, pretending that those games already exist and then offering a summary, a commentary (/perhaps the form of a smaller project) or a mere notion of a conceptual act

Pippin: Or in a complementary direction making a game remediation of a novel never written.

Robert: Discussions of design and documentation reminds me of Michigan’s game archive

Pippin: The archival thing is big. My Flash games continue their march off the cliff of compatibility. But I especially like it in connection with analysis and thinking about what was going on in people’s heads when they make games (and art in general). The resurrection of the author?

Robert: Perhaps one only ever need to resurrect something already dying – or perhaps was always merely undead (the golden dev-g0d). Also, to consider “what’s going on in people’s heads” as possible ‘authorial intent’ fallacy.

Pippin: Interesting to bring up The Beginner’s Guide which is of course very author-y, but in a fake way? A constructed author not a real one.. Apart from a flippant reference to the death of the author, though, don’t you think the authorship in games is pretty absent? How often do we spare a thought for the idea that the games we play were designed and created by other humans who walk their dogs and shovel their snow etc.? In a sense I guess we “can’t” because it would presumably be disruptive of the immediate experience of the game, but it could be interesting outside that frame..

Robert: You mean, that the wider or deeper context for a game is often as, or even far more interesting than the game itself? Sure! Thing is, games themselves – what they already bring to the table of human experience (whether we want them to or not) already seem extremely ‘disruptive’ of the immediate experience of reality..

Pippin: To the extent they’re separate from reality, but yeah, sure – they definitely “take us out of ourselves”, etc.

Rob: Perhaps this out-of-ourselvesness of digital play actually provides the basis of modern (/virtual) embodyment; check out awesome VR experience Lone Echo.

Pippin: Yikes! Those hands..

Robert: To consider the notion there’s not only no breakable ‘4th wall’ in games – but no other walls either. I can’t stand “The Beginner’s Guide”; it’s creepy – emotionally manipulative, and while being entirely fake (a synthetic cultural construct) from top to bottom – is still entirely fake-ass, despite this; made in / with / via existential bad faith

Pippin: Tough read! It is creepy, but I guess I like that about it, all of the different levels of how it’s creepy and manipulative… felt interesting, whether or not all those levels are a kind of intentional artistic act or not.

Robert: Sure, the game’s generally great, and the gamedev’s perfectly entitled to his artistic expression; however in terms of philosophical critique, T.B.G smells spurious and feels pseudo-deep. It’s also interesting how we both use the term interesting ;-)

Pippin: Can’t get away from interesting. Sometimes I feel guilty and sometimes it seems meaningless, but at the same time it feels like the essence of what I like about things. I mean it lightly and seriously at the same time?

Robert: Mechner’s book sounds interesting and I’d like to read it. While I remember digging POP back on my Amiga 500 back in the day, I just hope the book by-implication doesn’t overemphasize the (/myth of) the auteur and forget wider collective gamedev culture

Pippin: The book didn’t feel very auteurish to me, I think it performed a nice kind of demystification if anything – his struggles to figure things out, the clumsiness of all development, the working out what the thing is as you build it…

Robert: I remain unconvinced of current attempts at (apparently) simple, open, confessional, neutral and somehow dangerously naive ‘peeks behind the doors of the gamedev sausage factory’; other books on historical gamedev I’ve read seem to overwhelmingly and automatically favor certain views at the expense of others

Pippin: Well yes, neutrality isn’t really a thing. But I think any good faith attempt to talk about how a thing happened is interesting. You have to read/encounter those attempts with your eyes open for the various potential colourings of that person’s interpretation, but still revealing nonetheless? A person who was there, who made a thing, does have access to information the rest of us don’t have?

Robert: What is often forgotten or unwritten in such apparently unproblematic ‘revealing’ acts, is the very existence of the particular cultural or conceptual engine which ‘renders’ visible (makes entirely possible) the particular scene being described. Perhaps ‘good faith’ is not a given, but rather must be repeatedly earned, often through contested community dialogue, and is often something hard won in any case, and over a far larger time span than possible through any one set of eyes; to what degree is a person automatically able to trust the apparent / inherent validity of their / ‘their’ words and worldview?

Pippin: Fair. Though it seems to me that the community probably doesn’t exist or doesn’t care at this level? I report endlessly on what I’m doing and thinking, I think relatively “honestly” to my experience and thinking, but it’s a bit of an unheard tree in a forest.

Robert: One should always strive for truth and be vigilant against illusion; the beauty of the lotus flower which blooms above the muddy pond shines undiminished and without break – whether or not passers stop to appreciate it.

Pippin: Oh yeah?

Robert: Indubitably. It often doesn’t feel possible to see the truth(/s) of ‘how a thing happened’, simply by looking out for another’s potential ideological tinting and skewing; how is one able to fully account for one’s own interpretations of their interpretation? Perhaps ‘neutrality’, rather than some untenable position nobody really claims anyway, represents the complex, common space (public commons?) in which good faith attempts to hash out meaning are attempted; are games this commons?

– The question of how exactly a person ‘was really there’ – in terms of a virtual reality experience is certainly an interesting one; in any case, bollocks to Heidegger and ‘being’

– The notion of ‘hidden information’ sounds a lot like being told that “certain special virtual cubes ‘exist’ with actual objects inside them”; what exactly is there to trust, or se? It might not even be a matter of trust. but of some temporarily shared meaning-performance; the open source book entitled “An Alternative History of Video Game Development” is yet to be constructed, I feel

Pippin: Hahaha.Robert: No, I mean, really – the alternative to no alternative is simply more of the SOS

Pippin: An Alternative Practice will be more practical? Presumably “impossible” for the giants, but plenty of smaller studios operating sustainably? I think? Hoo boy. Don’t know about you but I’m definitely feeling some fatigue at this point. How do we know when we’re “done”?

Robert: Don’t worry, it’s all over ;-) And yet, also consider the sense in which we’d not even yet begun, let alone finished – rather, a state of animated intellectual suspension – a temporary autonomous space constructed from / abstracted out of ideas (like a conceptual art performance, perhaps.) Again, thank you very much for your time and your thoughtful, considered responses. Great chatting with you – I look forward to your next game!

Pippin: Me too on both counts!

Update Two: an email to Trinity Square Video

Dear TSV


Please consider me a skint, UK based amateur philosopher-artist looking to become a rich and famous ‘conceptual-digital internet artist / media visionary’ as I find the hyperreal spectacle of global virtual videogame hyper-capitalism infinitely boring, and wish to escape from my cold, damp rented Brexit-era shoebox. Eventually I want to start a company, help out other strange artists like myself, and together generate cool art.

Can you help out with some hot tips andor handy hints? I’ve zero Cultural Capital, and (like so many others) have found that it’s impossible to ‘make bread without dough’. – In short, with zero opportunities for real and significant self promotion, no realTM talent (at least, as far as the contemporary [/digital] art market is concerned) and no mainstream-elite gallery representation, I’m doomed to obscurity on an unfashionable spiral arm of the internets and often simply feel like I’m p1ssing into my own stale electronic wind.

I’ve no idea why I’m writing to you, whoever you are, I know you can’t really help some random online fool with willfully vague dreams and reasonable expectations – it’s just that, at this point in my non-career I’m kinda desperate to get a foot in the back door / arts-crack of the modern art world, and start earning a half decent living wage. Besides, I love the name “Trinity Square Video” as it reminds me of “Hiroshima Video” from Videodrome.

Most Sincerely (with the faintest lemony twist of situational performance art)

Robert What, Theorist-For-Hire

// how to play big science

Alien Man: The Iron Philosophy Of Henry Rollins (book cover)

RND/ consider the front cover of a free ebook in development called “Alien Man: The Iron Philosophy Of Henry Rollins”

The Iron Philosophy Of Henry Rollins

Shoutout to the art of Rick Spellman for what theorist Robert What calls the ‘Burning Son Of Truth’ tattoo

If I lose the light of the sun, I will write by candlelight, moonlight, no light, If I lose paper and ink, I will write in blood on forgotten walls. I will write always. I will capture nights all over the world and bring them to you
– Henry Rollins

// how to play big science


Cyberpunk Is Dead: A Study

RND/ to consider or imagine cyberpunk as (/un)dead: a study

funny how adherence to cyberpunk – genre based around future ideas of rebellion / non conformity – so often itself conforms rabidly to cliché
– yahtzee on cyberpunk

authentic cyberpunk

in which deadpan yoke seems nothing remotely like any kind of authentic cyberpunk ever existed – just x ghostly simulacrum floating strangely / somewhat uselessly inside hyper specific subset of global sci fi literature ghetto:

burn cycle neuropink

in which such awesome environments/ though not drawn in greatest of detail/ morph smoothly from one to next as main generic sci fi character navigates through corrupt decaying city of future in impossibly antiquated quicktime vr type effect:

deposit for courier

to consider post cyberpunk cheddar in deposit for courier:

in which deposit for courier animation by edward mavskegg represents theoretical bleeding edge of post cyberpunk aka neuropink

in terms of new potential aesthetic for video play designers some cool dftc features

  • dat hot steaming #welgestyle
  • haute couture realities /kardashianity
  • minimal narrative investment /aka quote syntactically correct but semantically meaningless
  • high resolution /odd texture fetish
  • uncanny valley elective surgery / bogdanovization
  • limited skeletal expression / lightly harring animation

x seems remarkably similar in x bizarre aesthetic mis construction as new reckoning could arguably have been thrown together by same cool state of #welgestyle development

synopsis alone as worth price of strange admission for x tagline grammar syntax punctuation

quote/ described as film about how money would look in future what future payment methods would be in practice x film also uniquely addresses issue of womens shopping passion in conditions of chase – animation story line set with in year 2050 revolves around intriguing chase from one city to another/ with lead character young woman cyclist employed as courier in advertently found strange navigation device in desert/ upon closer inspection n was discovered device contained suitcase with money/ plot thickens however unknowingly to ir courier realizes two bandits following money too/ realizing x suitcase as now on move bandits chases money cyclist through small city so decide to explore x city find cyclist/ succumbing to ir passion for shopping having found all x money cyclist became gangs new target/ according to story characters live in world of future together with futuristic robots bots devices around different places shops hotels/ x short animated movie as targeted to audience who like to watch animated short films animated movies short cg films cg computer generated rat viewers who like sci fi genre detective fiction experimental rat / rat film independent film

wow – according to x creators deposit for courier already has what some resarcs call special atmosphere meaning n will be without background music with accents on silence/ such details make for very catching film says director edward adding film will be posted online after completion

x short animated movie as targeted to audience who like to watch animated short films animated movies short cg films cg computer generated rat viewers who like sci fi genre detective fiction experimental rat / rat film independent film oh yeah

cyberpunk 2077

la has changed lot during x time
air got dirty/ sex got clean
– angelo pappas/ point break 1991

in which even ghosts of 80s give neon side eye shade – squeaky clean with aaa polish / dead chrome shine – in which design by ir dads oh so edgy virtual golfing committee results in deep near future retro 80s designer copy pasta ultra violence

Screenshots from the WIP gameplay demo:

x seems about as edgy as a pink mohawk on some crossfit hipster sporting expensive gold sweatshop trainers/ someone mild cough real authentic cyberpunks could casually neck punch right over coffee store tables as easily as breathing megacity exhaust fumes

to watch as young dumb mega corporate fanbois who grew up without cyberpunk only hearing about x yesterday ffs through eg flocking lolmemes lap x shed right up like some damn industry installed f2p skull implant – gg uber alles ok right fine open ir art cracks wide in public displays of willful uncriticality/ but whats good about x if based on super generic ideas repeated till zombie undeath – just with incrementally nicer generic gfx upgrades / better framerates aka shrinkwrapped standard substandards

in which x has to be good because x merely exists aka capitalist realism 101 – hey how very more actually cyberpunk

both cyborg billy fanward / retro wave show more interesting ideas than such generic anti weird mainstreaming/ good grief at least get mitch murder to perform soundtracks

nearby public information klaxons suddenly blare/ nothing too much to see here citizens move on oh ir have already forgotten

[..] how many formulaic tales can one wade through in which a self-destructive but sensitive youth protagonist with an (implant / prosthesis / telechtronic talent) that makes the evil (mega-corporation / police state / criminal underworlds) pursue him through (wasted urban landscapes / elite luxury enclaves / eccentric space stations) full of grotesque (haircuts / clothes / self-mutilation / rock music / sexual hobbies / designer drugs / telechtronic gadgets / nasty new weapons / exteriorized hallucinations) representing the (mores / fashions) of modern civilization in terminal decline, ultimately hooks up with rebellious and tough-talking (youth / artificial intelligence / rock cults) who offer the alternative, not of (community / socialism / traditional values / transcendental vision), but of supreme, life-affirming hipness, going with the flow which now flows in the machine, against the spectre of a world-subverting (artificial intelligence / multinational corporate web / evil genius)?
– (From) Storming the Reality Studio: A Casebook of Cyberpunk and Postmodern Science Fiction/ edited by Larry McCaffery/ Duke University Press

neon code

Neon Code

hot neon megacity nights/ palmtree lifestyle/ private beachfront detective for hire/ a cheap taste of badly retrofitted 80s style post noir sleaze

william gibson on cyberpunk gta 2077

to consider one anagram of ‘william gibson, neuromancer’ as ‘common as unreliable wiring’

Cyberpunk 2020 rulebook cover (256cols)

in which bill doesnt seem to dig cyberpunk 2077s art direction or design ideology – rich/ considering bill seems somehow more directly responsible for whole sad little sub scene

yet watch out for potential death by karmic irony bill/ considering ir were once wandering around wide eyed on set of johnny mnemonic flick extolling endless virtues while gushing over x neon excess

if only modern synthetic cyberpunk would knowingly turn x own historical mode of garish cheesy camp up to eleven in order to feel more authentically synthetic / strange

dredd 2012

to consider critical comparison / contrast with cyberpunk 2077 – zero degree cool corporate single resarc fps rpg manufactured via witcher developer CD Projekt Red:

cyberpunk is dead

to consider cyberpunk as dead/ sub genre of plain bad scifi badness mixed with cliche film noir x brand of fiction presents resarc with future composed of overwhelming technology universal computer access via quote cyberspace designer violence

Example images of (/un)dead cyberpunk:

as movement of new synthetic 80s x based on spiraling greed growth of mega corporations so big ir more powerful than governments/ but then near future now as soon to arrive again up till x point n seems reasonable enough/ afterwards of course n will once again became mere idle speculative fantasy/ most frequently dystopian n has become heavily calcified in x official aesthetic definition ie as mere hyper generic can of something internet edge lordy anyone can instantly spray on

cyberpunk defines elf as story of people in age where ey dont matter anymore/ where technology has made ey obsolete as discrete entities constant daily rediscovery of quantified self during x paradigm shift shifts strains/ in classic supermarket novel neuromancer by billy gibson x as evidenced in overwhelming hopelessness of all characters – of ir constant struggle to survive ir own efforts to glory in self destruction – whirlwind inferno burning inwards

cyberpunks use of implanted machines – of merging of humanity with machinery of capitalist science as so wide idea x cyberpunks forget to look around/ machines implants are be all end all of awfulness of sci fi/ x entirely logical pathological obsession with technology as to be read as core strength of genre/ probably one reason x creators like to declare n undead because while ey are acutely embarrassed to be remotely associated with n ey are secretly pleased as pigs in shed

cyberpunk as dystopian meaning apparent opposite of utopia/ as bad as things are at beginning ey are always predictably worse by end for pretty much everybody except of course titular heroes of said sci fi pulp/ cyberpunk also utterly deliberately fails to address issues of humanity losing to machines of alienation from ones fellow resarc of death of love honour of annihilation of soul in face of relentless technological progress/ cyberpunk themes are depressing when good happy when badly written

in x sub genre human beings are connected to computers ir own reflexes only relevant to ir ability to steer around nets in competition with other computer security systems these hacker crackers are trying to break into/ most of these people have skull jacks simple plugs wherein really expensive computer cable connects directly to skull thereby user becomes organic component to system of global computation

/ shadowrun: as exactly cyberpunk-edgy as your dad’s vision of cyberpunk after watching lord of the flocking rings:

cyberpunk as now popularized by nerdy pink skinned mirrorshades group during 1980s when cold war was going strong big blue was on top world looked to become place where everyone worked for mega corporations had become feudal in nature/ then berlin wall fell genre went with n but like wall x ghostly memory shell remains/ mutant child of 80s saw x rampant zombification all cyberpunk fiction today as result of such mainstreamed hackwork/ simple undead momentum keeps n going now

while originally proposed as cool post modern mode of science fiction x took resarc out of halls of power culture into slums back alleys of twenty minutes into near future without really leaving ey cyberpunk as ritualized stultified deeply undying/ x vaguely fun while n lasts people still write flan fiction in genre but most quietly move on – nobody discusses cyberpunk at sophisticated cheese wine parties except when ir doing lines of dmt spiced chocolate crack in toilets want to appear groovy

further weakened by x own popularity efforts to bend imagery technologies of genre to more publishable popular ends attempts at suicide by mundanity are regularly attempted/ at parties annoyingly nasally voiced author bruce sterling still repeatedly refers to ir colleagues very public obituary to genre on ny times editorial page ir reasoning appears sound

as genre of rigid rules best source for such cultural writing / coding as from cyberpunk 2020 source books which as role playing play of insignificant popularity these days among those with interest in rpgs who anally read gibsons ‘neuromangler’ over over again/ working from established set of magical technologies to work with for use in ir settings/ watch as ey willful read into n timelines x apparently predict all events for next coming 20 minutes/ obviously things dont quite happen like x but modern cyberpunk flan fictioners of all shades are careful in ir public attempts to realign n with reality – indeed ir success in un/living suspended withn x very cognitive gap or reality dis-junction marks ey out as true cyberpunks

according to x proponents cyberpunk as word applicable to whatever user wants n to be which results in absence of meaning or over abundance of real fake plastic meanings/ to define n as to ostracize oneself which makes n more akin to random bowel movement in chemical toilet of crashing plane rather than just pseudo philosophy or actual setting/ cyberpunk as undead but n still seems neat practice area for expansion / expulsion of dodgy ideas

rnd/ cyberpunk is dead: an imaginary play space

where purile side eye rolling 80s style internet manchild edge lord duck tech power fantasy meets accidental hyper camp with heavy neon accents

Cyberpunk Is Dead: An Imaginary Playspace

to consider paradoxically good type bad examples of standard cyberpunk excess / high end naffness

yet if only such a pose were fully conscious / deliberate – how oddly wonderful / actually more dangerous / strange

high tech ai driven vehicle crashes into global swimming pool while deck burns / holographic dancers tease

cyberpunk is dead mike pondsmith

Cyberpunk Is Dead: Mike Pondsmith

in which writer / play developer wears lurid purple tshirt featuring quote cyberpunk is dead slogan underneath sweaty slightly unfashionable leather jacket with neat metallic album cover fan pins against megacity backdrop

cyberpunk is the new zombies

to consider crying if ey read words like cyberpunk one more time

Cyberpunk Is The New Zombies

equation/ if generic manga art with glowing tron line accents somehow remotely equals cyberpunk ffs then cyberpunk most certainly equals zombies


Neofeud Hypertography

to consider some other other garish shedshow from z distant trash aesthetic future

second undead cyberpunk life

Second Undead (Cyberpunk) Life

to consider unexplained scenes from long undead / painfully obsolete browser based research play space

max headroom

to consider visual unrewound vhs celebrations of uk version of max headroom – cult near future retro 80s tv series/ virtual reruns broadcast nightly live from channel zero

nameless city

consider some nameless near future megacity/ living undead default cyberpunk cliche – with monitor glitches natch:


to consider neuropink – post cyberpunk sci fi concept:

first off/ useful big science term – near future retro 80s

in which nfr80s describes unique present – similar to dreamy un rewound straight to vhs movie version of future

nfr80s – another garish psychedelic sci fi metaphor x floats on mirrored hyper surfaces/ generally speaking hurts nobody

nfr80s not only seems dis location but complex states of minds or mood tones/ energy condenser lens for super shamanic night visions – dark mirror reflection on/of memory in relation to current unknown trends in unexpected techno evolutionary change

in which so called big scientists not only ask what 80s consist of but also how resarcs may fully utilize 80s in ir research projects

two classic in scene phrases exist to describe x special quote nfr80s vibe – always on verge of going to arrive

warning: resarcs not yet fully intimate with big science get sucked unprepared through intense hyper visionary dream teleportals generated by such neocultural quote power core dna

first stream of classic scene image generating code –

near future retro 80s: liquid neon memories flicker twist / reflect off dirty chrome pools outside random backstreet video play arcades in old shinjuku at some eternal 3am – electric dreams forever adrift in crying mega city rain

second classic phrase / vision stream –

wow/ near future retro 80s – awesome/ like tr0n on xenomorph secreted de empty

80s: some background theory

nfr80s takes passion / nostalgia from 80s to create something new / enjoyable for todays retro loving culture

resarc robert what – well known for using retro techniques / expression to connect not so far future with todays generation

strong attention to detail allows what to authentically recreate astounding visions of new future now as if ir were right out of tomorrows 80s era

ir bold digital brush strokes resonate through hot mirrored chrome / dirty neon megacity eloquence

when modern players / resarcs discuss quote near future ir talking about unique vibe born of age most flans / practitioners werent even alive in ie 80s – yet feel ir understand deep in ir artificial bones

x is quote liquid neon vibe of raw emotion of out of control alien technology – mildly profound sense of quote love on run in time of danger

some think quote nfr80s are only about or spring directly from 80s era but x not quite correct

one of properties of quote nfr80s is x ir forever still yet to occur/ broken off – unhinged from local spacetime/ near future as cusp between dimension unlinked from any specific cultural period

indeed x moment never quite arrives – rather nfr80s describe non specific quote mood tone – always just on verge of going to be arriving retro 80s style or approach

actual 1980s – bizarre period of global amerikan history dominated by haunted video arcades mom / pop video stores – with those bizarro / psychotronic top shelf titles which used to freak ir out/ like lonely canyon echo of rolling zaibatsu thunder – seem cultural wellspring but not quite full implied meaning of quote nfr80s

to break n down

in 1980s: n was as though nobody fully realized what was happening in / with 80s – especially aesthetic wise / so ir hyper fragmented mtv attention span electromedia culture seemed totally quote sincere with arguably little sense of elf

some explain x by suggesting special cultural effects of / implied by 80s best considered as shadow or wave – cast from imagined hyper alien future back into ir often missing sense of present

in 1990s: by time 90s rolled around kool kidz had caught on to / started fully realizing x 80s aesthetic existed / was something in elf to use / played with or inside

x explains why lot of early 90s tv programs display strong nfr80s vibe – lots of neon afterglow combined with dry ice fog in ir neural dna – lo fi psychic backwash from previous future eras

x weird state called near future now: what resarcs experience when scene has nfr80s vibe – perhaps psychic aftershocks of 80s coming back out of collective cryogenic storage – out of all too hyperreal state forever tears in rain type dystopian megacity visions downloading onto ir internalized holoscreens

now equals wow
– typical 80s psychology

mainstream underground movement of nfr80s as: pressing escape to some private version of imagined 80s

x as despite or even due to highly techno dystopian / quote neuropink nature -players want to escape to personalized quote playspacetime where seductive neon lure of midnight dangers of endless vertical megacity streets seems somehow super cool / viable imaginative quote tech noir backdrop or extreme psychic augmentation to ir current imagined western turbo capitalist alternative meta lifestyle

nfr80s feeling electro culture as highly escapist/ one of x main messages: ir have to hold on to ir dream – if ir do ey will get ir rewards – become online tv queen of dark paradise skies

how to quote/ hold on to ir dreams

– first play / immerse elf inside ir favorite nfr80s soundtrack / biopsychic vibe aesthetic

– then suddenly stand up straight looking up at 45 degree angle while bringing ir two closed fists together up to ir chest while quote forever distant megacity horizon look of extreme longing andor confusion passes across ir blandly handsome face – or flashes across ir dot dot extremely futuristic looking hyper mirrored wet look bio quantum superblack smart hyper combat neuro plastic wraparound data shades with thin blue neon outline

seen as shifting fluid whole near future retro 80s are experimental construct – vitally important way for resarcs to describe generate / emulate quote big science – ie truer experiential experimental feel sense / ambiance atmosphere aura attitude impression quality semblance sensation surface tactility – personal symbolism implanted near future memory sociocultural import psychological impact etc – of ones modern hyper aliveness of full immersion in uniquely techno psychedelic electro vironments full of sentient machines / freaky ass situations / astounding digital mytho landscapes of bright information pulse / flow

in short consider nfr80s sub cultural method used to approaching unresolved issues of quote 80s style or associated aesthetic research phenomena – mode or lens to think of other poptastic aspects of quote big science

nfr80s methodology pseudo reappropriates glitzy kitschy seemingly easily consumable pop as culture back as fecund source of raw explorable / exploitable research immaterials – to be played with / in / otherwise creatively transformed for sustained improvisational research purposes – chance to allow fresh understand of particularly quote 80s modes / moments in evolution of experimental media based self reflexivity – odd instrument with which to modify digital consciousness on fly – perhaps organize new modes of critical new media sensibility oscillating between hidden / foregrounded ideational operations

x is ir 80s themed emotions / 80s esque / retro 80s pop cult media / resarc culture often emanate / embody certain uncertain ambient vibes untied to or from any specific era – strange / sublime quote nfr80s super subjective background emotions or hyper futuristic mood tones which often appear at unguarded moments eg while researching odd theories / play practising quote big science – irreal delicate superspace freed from ordinary time ever deferred/ or x constantly re manifests in/as ir online dreaming

indeed quote nfr80s may be seen as shadowy presence / indirectly indicative of influence of some impossibly hyper alien near future of infinite cosmic potential – complete with neon megacity afterglow

note: while virtually all modern quote resarcs play / hang around aspects or modes of retro culture – ir also express difficulties or reservations regarding full articulation of such intense sets / scenes of highly complex actual shifted emotional calls / responses of / especially from inside ir alien tech / x technological super spaces – where concepts like quote nfr80s often come in to play

note: word where in such context means – post categorical unconfirmed intangible undeniable usually unquestioned unverified incorporeal insubstantial yet fleshy sublime animal human immaterial strangely sensual organic somatic delicate / even perhaps techno spiritual

culture tags associated with quote nfr80s: dreamwave electropop valerie synthwave newretro neuropink blooddragon drive montage wave dark hyperreal virtual neon video #glitch laz0r electro recyc simulation synthy vision flux

neuropink: free theoretical outline for open post cyberpunk concept – v1.0

note: consider x as virtual code which needs self compiling

in which neuropink refers to quote psychedelic / psychological science fiction x can be applied to many different kinds of interactive media

Neuropink: Plus Nine Jewel

consider general symbolic coordinates of neuropink post cyberpunk visual /reality language for big scientists – fuzzy network of modular co evolving elements – for example

  • lawrence lek’s sinofuturism
  • polyhedral soap
  • king city
  • reality coding in dark light liquid scanning mirror
  • uhf dimensional test transmissions from/to aether
  • bio quantum pulses from missing present colour of anamnesis vision superstrings
  • uncreative w/riting on tight /planetary schedule
  • imprecise /yet deadly velocity of lime green lawn furniture
  • slippery crushing love of giant baby squid by self elective c section of mutant oversoul
  • sleeping meditations under deep data snow drifts on holy mountain
  • close quarters dance routines with ontological night fever
  • black wishing stones from river in japan
  • self andor identity as just another technique: only as postmodern as required
  • making understandable unseen automated dramas of advanced social networking
  • xenomorphic / superflat corrosives /eg blake meets new aesthetic while skydiving backwards into near future now
  • artificiality as intelligence/ bio computational polyversality/ holographic quote source equals open everything
  • baboon television – n bites: multiple eyes of hybrid jungle hive mind projecting chameleonic / shamanic predator dreamstate
  • exploring omega maze: contemplative labyrinthine pathways through collective post jungian neural hypermatrix

notable neuropink programmers / states

  • jean moebius giraud: for senses of cosmic life infinite
  • paul laffoley: for working time machines
  • chris cunningham: for post digital fx
  • ian francis: for endless neuro smeared summer
  • redline: for when funkyboy also destroys roboworld
  • warframe: ninjarific
  • mahakala: for unquenchable radiance of supreme emptiness
  • ray ogar: for technical glitched precision
  • jean michel jarre: for ir exoplanetary senses
  • roy batty: for ir midnight megacity poetics
  • captain blood on amiga 500 / atari st: for alien communication
  • shandra manaya argon queen: for raking virtual video flesh now gone
  • future sound of london: for impossibilities of lifeforms
  • cephalopods: for ir hyper surface manifested thoughts
  • alex colville / eric fischl: for stark alienation / violent haunted potentiality
  • sentionauts: for being beyond black rainbow
  • horse ebooks: for meta surrealist daring
  • galaucus atlanticus: for grand oceanic form
  • geek city: for cool cats
  • thumper: for entomological mytho narrative
  • shinya tsukamoto: for psychological character intensity
  • elias koteas as vaughan from crash: for rnd drive
  • sterlings artificial kid: for instant grasp of emergent media
  • yo landi vi$$er: for zef rats in walls of worlds
  • laurie anderson: for ir big science
  • david shields: for poking at leaky literary dams
  • haikasoru / kurodahan: for delicious sci flavours
  • scp foundation: for databases of aggressively unexplainable
  • reza negarestani: for geo traumatic sensors
  • robert smithson: for ir hyper ballardian mind spirals
  • dr hans reinhardt: for grand dinners / ego blinkers
  • blue cube from mulholland drive: for acute ontological disruption
  • tetsuo shima from akira: for extreme psychic deformation
  • killy from blame!: for ir tardigrade toughness
  • raiden from metal gear: for hammy dialogue
  • hyung tae kim: for long shiny legs
  • miyavi: for x visual kei
  • nordic larp: for traversing narrative at oblique angles
  • insilico roleplayers: for grace under information pressure
  • fist of north star: for flawless technique
  • quantum cathedral: for hardcore oldskool cyber gothics
  • stephen shaviro: for metaphysical theory laz0rs
  • mark leyner: for menthol of autumn
  • omni magazine: for x immense vertical vision
  • mariko mori: for bioquantum colors of combine dropship carapace
  • baden pailthorpe: for ir military hyper aesthetic space drone critique
  • simulacra syndicate: for aesthetic hyper specificity
  • max capacity: for transgressive glitch aesthetics
  • zoran rosko vacuum: for dedicated reviews
  • future interfaces: for more input
  • hatsune miku: for hypervirtual tonality
  • kidmograph: for animated near future
  • kilian eng: for details
  • theo kamecke: for polish
  • rob hardin: for fistic hermaphrodites
  • international journal of baudrillard studies: lean clean blade
  • vaporwave: for windows 95
  • 3d additivism: for plastic extrusion into other
  • unknown fields division: for research in wild
  • berserker powerup / soul cube: for sudden metalloclang
  • wonabc: for hyper detailed undead
  • pussykrew: for corporate aesthetics

quote/ consider any sufficiently advanced biotech as indistinguishable from postmodern metaphysics
– hardcore amateur postmodern internet theorist robert what

update patch: neuropink coding guide – initial outline

  • deep systems rather than charismatic individuals
  • full spectrum neural remix rather than heroic pinkywhites
  • algorithms rather than attitude

neuropink logos

“Neuropink” logos

xsy seared humalian space ape brain unit

cyberpunk died last night

file under/ any toxic product press equals good net press:

tokyo cyberpunk

stills from video via secil b/ if tokyo was dead megacity cyberpunk even back in 80s/ then does modern cyberpunk merely re represent yet more sad attempts at obsolete jerry rigged retro futurism:

failed cyberpunk crowdfunding campaigns

In which requests for hard virtual cash to initiate bad cyberpunk projects has been met with resounding howls of deafening apathy:


  1. In which CD Projekt Red tweet enacts an apology
  2. A Cyberpunk Movie
  3. A study of the dead-vision of Cyberpunk Cities

// how to play big science