Publisher: Random House
Author: Ernest Cline
Recommended? Probably? Just be prepared for 80s gender politics nostalgia.
It’s midnight on a Monday. I’m logged into no less than 9 different social media/email accounts, with a browser holding 12 open tabs. It’s a calm day. I’m not sure if I spent most of the evening distracting myself from reality in the OASIS of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, or if it was the other way around. The book follows Wade Watts, a poor nobody of a teenager on a virtual adventure in the ultimate video game, fighting against the evil multinational corporation, IOI, competing to win the largest company in the world and save us all from their corruption. A real rags to riches story, complete with a token queer black woman, an underdeveloped and honor obsessed (cliché) Japanese sidekick, and a beautiful (but not too beautiful, she’s got a birthmark) love interest who uses her superior knowledge and ability to help our hero win the game, because what’s a nerdboy story without the manic pixie dream girl? Especially in a world where one’s best friend’s dead wife should OF COURSE be the password in the game winning puzzle. Duh. It will teach the boy to tell the girl he likes her in real life so he doesn’t wind up pining for her in the virtual world for the rest of his days.
Continue reading Ready for Player One to Not Be a Hetcis Boy
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writers: Hampton Fancher, Michael Green
Recommended? I dunno.
Blade Runner 2049 is a movie about women, and it’s a shame that the people who made it didn’t realize that. Almost every interesting idea that lies untended in the fallow thematic field of the movie is about women. Almost all of the interesting characters in the movie are women. Hell, most of the characters with power and authority in the film are women. Which, it’s curious to realize, doesn’t make the film passably feminist in any regard.
Continue reading Just Like A Real Girl: Blade Runner 2049
Director: Iain Softley
Screenplay: Rafael Moreu
The Plague of Libertarianism
It’s really easy to decide, in retrospect, that certain books or movies are what set up my expectations for what my life should be like. While I do believe that aesthetics and media have an incredible impact on who we choose to become, I’m afraid I might ascribe too much importance to specific movies and books.
Continue reading Hackers (1995)
Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall
Harebrained Studios, 2014
Recommended: Without question
Summary: Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall is a fun, incredibly well-written computer roleplaying game that takes place in a good-guy-anarchists-against-evil-megacorporations future. It nods to punk anti-fascism; it makes fun of state communists; there are multiple, non-sexualized homosexual relationships; and there’s awesome German graffiti everywhere in the background. So yes, I like this game. It didn’t get everything perfect, but it got a hell of a lot right.
There’s always going to be a place in my heart for Shadowrun. I think I was in fourth grade when a friend introduced me to the world for the first time, handing me the second edition core book. There on the cover were a bunch of punk humans and elves, hacking a computer terminal in the middle of a gunfight.
Continue reading Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall