The SFFaudio Podcast #632 – Jesse, Paul Weimer, Marissa VU, talk about the 1997 Westwood Game computer game of Blade Runner
Talked about on today’s show:
1997, Good Old Games GoG, PCs, old games on new computers, what style of game is it?, another excuse to talk about Blade Runner, very happily, years later…, Marissa’s introduction to Blade Runner and Philip K. Dick, a point and click adventure, first person shooter, make your guy walk across the room, a meditative game, Myst, King’s Quest, Police Quest, graphics, these are sets, its all Blade Runner, the sounds of Blade Runner, the mood of Blade Runner, its always raining, go through the sewer again, its still a story, still storytelling, replayable, 10 hours, a wordless walkthrough, somewhere deep in the operating system, a designer’s cut, different things that can happen, the sets are the same, randomized at the start, what you’re uncovering, replicant or not a replicant, Jesse likes being one of the horrible creatures he’s killing, Ray, the things we thought were cool in the game, the esper, so fun, so cool, the gun part of the game is the least good part of the game, the interactions, the surprises, moving towards a particular answer, NieR:Automata, different endings, work your way down, an ending you want, 13 or 26 endings, moonbus, shoot them all right before the end, good job slick, killing replicants, the ending from the theatrical cut of Blade Runner, The Shining, a happy ending, the weird fake happy ending of Brazil, drive off with the 14 year old sex slave gynoid, drive off with the adult replicant, drive off alone, the moonbus ending, a hard game to find out what you’re missing, unrelenting in a way games were back then, you had to know DOS, VGA graphics, the moonbus track, that can’t be me, wait a second I might not be what I think I am, is it a real dog?, we’ll see, Deckard and Gaff, little people, landed off the coast, that moonbus, a parallel story to the movie, a lot more world building than we see in just the world , for example the cheese, did you find the cheese?, real cheese in her fake jerked chicken, food and meat, Mercerism, everybody in this society must be vegan, animal murder, this game is a bridge between the movie and the original novel, the people who made this game paid fucking attention, Philip K. Dick’s other novels, robot Lincoln, We Can Build You, Clovis is the Ray Batty of this story, the actors, James Hong as the eye guy, Jeff Garland, Brion James at the Yukon Hotel, Tortoise? What’s that?, he’s only 4 years old, J.F. Sebastian, the movie brings back memories of the game, the wok restaurant, landing on the police headquarters, Tyrrel’s sunlit room, a lot of sewers, the music, the enhancement, the background voices are all separated out, very grainy, graininess, a whole “enhance” meme, a wonderful wonderful game, nostalgia, its too smooth, claymation smooth, 8-bit love, impressionism, they have the ability to do it another way and are choosing not to, more like a novel, more like a story, walkthrough vs. play, that’s what I look like, Blade Runner 2049, unresolved plot threads, full of cutscenes, form of dialogue, change your demeanor, Fallout 3 and 4 and New Vegas, conversation wheels, good cop bad cop random cop, the more options you’re given the more immersed you are, you can put yourself in there, look Marissa you’re in the book!, Ray McCoy, we just get into this when reading novels or playing games, away from Paul’s life, obsessively strange, a rat you have to shoot, frustrated or playing around, what makes it more immersive, we theoreticalize our own behavior in the real world with no saves, if I just rewound five minutes, somethings that humans do, an important and human thing, why stories are so important to us, immersive in a different way, mid-1990s cut-scenes, Mass Effect, Call Of Duty, get over with the briefing, saving, give kids computer games for school, sometimes bad things happen, I didn’t want to be a murderer of all these replicants, what good relationships are, can I take that back, a meta-consciousness, abusive to an animal one time, endangered by the narratives we tell ourselves, meta-cognize, a pretty terrible story, the immersion level is so incredible, I’ve unlocked something, I’ve got a lot of suspects, oh, I’m smart, notebooks and maps for video games, manuals, helplines, Zork, Invisclues, copy protection wheels, Space Quest, incorporate horrible copy protection schemes into the gameplay, Starflight, a black map with red ink, a level of writing very focused on making gameplay aspects cool, a little subgame, the arcade, Red Alert: Command And Conquer, games of the period, Street Fighter, a spinner flying simulator, a very old fashioned VR game, a Moonbus game!, The Electric Ant, other Blade Runner games, Blade Runner Revelations, fiddly, he’s got a bomb in there, Google Daydream, a revelation, oh I see how it went, great storytelling, point and click adventures, this format, solving a murder, you’re a murderer, corruption and double dealing, very noir, hunting down and executing escaped slaves, how vegan this society must be, we have to infer that there’s no shrimp, fake insects for fake snakes, artificial goat, artificial cow, simulated feelings, we’ve thought our way out of feeling bad, R2D2 and C3PO are slaves, restraining bolts, wiping memories, breaking up families, they’re droids, skinjobs, SJs, time in a movie is immersive, that extra length of time, you’re world is changed, you’ve had an experience, the re-playable thing, shifty or grumpy?, shoot them, a found family, the evil human who has collaborated in the destruction of a people, go with the replicants, they’re underground railroad, only one years old, empathy towards to these semi-living creatures who didn’t ask to be born [like us], Logan’s Run by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, how are we going to treat other people, other beings, Jesse’s dishwasher is his slave, the more feedback we get from it, puppies struggle, The Player Of Games by Iain M. Banks, uncovering, side-quest, Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, spend a little time thinking about the construction of the world, its the world, the basic premises of what’s going on, robots to replace ecosystems, make everybody slaves, the euphemisms, retirement, always missing the pet-shop scene, fewer sewers, $10 on Good Old Games, the walkthroughs, its more like you get to stand on a balcony in Blade Runner Los Angeles, looking up All Dogs Go To Heaven (1989) on DoesTheDogDie, J.S. Sebastian is vet tech for a fake animal place, very solid, Maggie!, ridiculous, clunky early videogame logic, incredibly passive in a certain sense but it doesn’t feel that way, the writers and executors of the game thought really hard about how to make it an experience and not a product, the faithfulness, wandering around the Bradbury Building, the soundscape is amazing, real-life locations, another medium, such a good idea as a show, different kinds of games, less story, The Last Of Us, good story is more important than almost anything else, PC Gamer magazine, Gary Whitta, Star Wars: Rogue One, Denzel Washington, The Book Of Eli, meditating on what good storytelling is in games, how to make the story really interesting for your participating audience, why is this story good?, narrative design in video games, hearing game designers talk about story, the audience’s mind, pushing essay writing, more essays Jesse, understand whether the game is worth buying or not, writing designed to create interest in something, school uniforms are a good idea, Battle Royale Games are here to stay (or a passing fad), why essay writing is interesting, a form of expression, a medium, a whole cultural legacy designed to fill a function, being wry and sly and ironic, what the difference between an 85 and 86 would be, reading the article and seeing the pictures, show me that gameplay is the thing that it has, Sid Meier’s CIVILIZATION has the gameplay, playing with people you know, Scriptlock podcast, 2049 took inspiration from this game?, a few of the vibes?
The SFFaudio Podcast #631 – Jesse, Maissa Bessada, Evan Lampe, and Will Emmons talk about Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy
Talked about on today’s show:
2000-1887, utopian, 1888, its kind of disappointing, Evan doesn’t agree with Jesse, sequels and rebuttals, 3rd bestseller of its time, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Ben Hur, responses, Mack Reynolds, Equality In The Year 2000, utopias and communism, we have a problem, not enough good work, academics complaining, UBI, you can’t spend the money fast enough, a real cool problem to have, going from Dickensian horror capitalism to a theoretical utopia, horrible and ok, underwhelmed, hey Jesse, William Morris’ review of Looking Backward, News From Nowhere, everything interesting about this book is the political content, FAQs, Fredric Jameson, Evan, idiosyncratic, about the person making it, Anglo-protestant utopia, Calvinist utopia, very American, smaller firms, Jack London, an artist, upper middle class dude, the Bellamy clubs come to nothing, economic fatalism, no political actions necessary, the extra homework, they’re sermons, Christmas In The Year 2000 by Edward Bellamy, Ladies’ Home Journal, Women In The Year 2000, February 1891, the way they read, less plot than sermon, so interesting, the true spirit of Christmas, they don’t understand what Jesus’ message is, weekly reminder you’re supposed to be like Jesus, give to the food bank like Justin [Trudeau] wants us to do, a few loopholes, some people to escape, no reservation like in Brave New World, totalitarian, council of elders, everybody old runs everything, Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, this is it upside down, the subscription services, Glenn Greenwald leaving The Intercept, actual journalists, Jeremy Scahill, Laura Poitras, you can’t talk about Biden and what was revealed in the Hunter Biden emails, New York Times has never apologized, the institutions of magazines all in the hands of people’s disposable income, Patreon or whatever, Substack, like Twitch for writing and journalism (the opposite of 1984), stenographers for the government, two anonymous sources tell us, a real functioning journalism, Dentists Weekly (journal), like regular free market within a UBI, how all the artists would work, go to art school vs. just do art, dental school, hair school, officiallize, before the eight hour workday, educational flexibility, child labour reduced, we’re done, education, the single most important thing, how cheap it is, we should be spending half of our gross national income on tutoring, the testing, there’s no bookstores, skin whitening salons and doggie spas, Costco grocery with pneumatic tube delivery, where Bellamy is totally right, The People’s Republic Of Walmart, The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer Lytton [that Vril book], the setup is the same, less eugenics based, a classical liberal, women will be looking at the genetics rather than the inheritance, unattractive men, an incel problem, credits for prostitutes?, cultural hangups, more cafes, more relaxed, everybody would be like Picard, organic mozzarella, Morris was essentially an artisanal anarchist, what Bellamy is writing about, nationalizing Amazon, internationalizing, other countries, two continents, three countries, empires in Africa and Asia, teaching them socialism very slowly, how China is impenetrable, seen what he’s done, okay but, better refinements, The Unincorporated Man by Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin, The Coming Race is a little longer, somebody falls asleep and wakes up in the future, Edith, the secret we didn’t want to tell you, $6 and compound interest, the only person who is not a corporation, socialism and a universal army, just neoliberalize everything, sell your shares at age 18, the most horrible intrusive, Nineteen Eighty-Four not to crush but to extract value from you, keep going until there is nothing left to privatize, apprentice yourself or go to university, no employment and no skills, no public anything, the horror inversion of this, Idiocracy (2006), The Marching Morons by C.M. Kornbluth, a terrible terrible terrible story, a satire taken as an actual reality possibility, when George W. Bush was president, only stupid people are breeding, The Little Black Bag, a time traveling doctor’s bag, we’re going to dumb ourselves down, what people said about audiobooks back in the day, ‘audiobooks are not reading’, you’re saying blind people don’t read, push-button elevators vs. elevator operators, you need to be skilled, how to use a slide-rule, new weird diseases in Star Trek, there’s no tension, its a static society, all these other stories are stories, its a treatise, The Iron Heel by Jack London has more story, the gap between, the narrator might be a villain, Bellamy was a villain, a historical document from the future, people who live in this society, a government propaganda text, polemicizing against the labour unions, liberal elites, Trotsky said about American socialists, middle class snake-oil salesmen that are good at describing socialism to dentists, why is that?, American socialism, what happens in 1886, the Haymarket Affair, we’re really looking out for you here, suppressing continents, The Moon Maid by Edgar Rice Burroughs, socialism from the moon, also named Julian, time doesn’t exist, the socialist moon people, savage tribes in Africa and Asia, permanent dominance, Reconstruction, the scramble for Africa, reducing everything to economic questions, every class fragment is going to have an idea about socialism, the politics is a distraction, employment relationship, the woman question, Jim Crow, Rip Van Winkle, the 2nd American Revolution, a little bit dangerous, a bad bible for socialism, no strife, similar in the setup to The Dream Of Debs by Jack London, he comes from wealth, he’s at the club, his motorcar needs maintenance, general strike, our narrator is humbled, his foreman doesn’t have the labour to finish his new house, the labour of other people, a private tax, my passive income from investments is a private tax on other people’s labour, he’s upset his new wife is unable to move in with him in his new home he’s having built, the fact he’s having trouble sleeping, a hypnotist who is not a real doctor, a sleeping draught, a sealed basement room, when all of his anxiety at living off of other people’s labour, he doesn’t produce art or help to anybody, a consultant to historians, we’re all benefiting from the overall progress of humanity over the centuries, that labour has already been performed, the conversation on copyright, we’re standing on the top of this mountain, we are post-scarcity , he’s really good about post-scarcity, salesmen, styles and fashions of behaviors, no-pressure sales, Best Buy vs. Future Shop, HUGE in 1887, the employees aren’t trying to pressure you into sales?!, Counter Cultures: Saleswomen, Managers, And Customers In American Department Stores, 1890-1940 by Susan Benson, shop girl, shopping for a husband, pre-show chat, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Picard, Deep Space Nine, The Neutral Zone, a homemaker (whatever that is), a musician, a capitalist (a CEO), you don’t need money you need to improve yourself, learn to paint, when not visiting Brave New Worlds, the kids lab, stealing a bunch of children, Wesley’s hunger strike, their schools are like the Bellamy schools, really good a sculpture, the ideas from this book are incredibly powerful, the responses never seem to have stopped, the early 21st century, it was really novel, think about how big this book was, like Harry Potter, Hedwigs and Hagrids, children vs. “adults”, everybody had something to say about this book, countries have actually tried to do this, this book had fans who went on to try to do this, more to reflect on, being in the Bellamy club, equality for everybody, basic needs met, Will cried multiple times reading it, a number of really good metaphors, that umbrella metaphor, about the carriage, you can see those people on twitter, go fund me, kids raising money for their cancer ridden teacher, when Jesse talks to Americans who are not Evan and Will, outside of the mainstream propaganda, what Jesse and Maissa has, you have to pay a parking fee, I hate going to the hospital, they don’t understand, you have to go to a country and just feel it, what its like over there, how can you be bankrupted?, from this perspective, because of segregation, the Southern Democrats killed universal healthcare, an apartheid system, so obsessed with suppressing a part of the population, two main barriers to progress, a large class of small property owners, the color line, reason with them, this helps everybody, you’re set for life, private health insurance, its guaranteed money, the cancer, the stroke, the TV is a CRT from the 1980s, there are problems, the thing that nobody wants to use but has to use, such a guaranteed return and they write policy, one thing that’s never going to happen, Bellamy’s method, why nothing happens, labour problems, some incentives, the Yugoslav postal workers vacation spot, now we don’t have that system anymore, special profit being made, super easily regulable, not a lot of surprises in the postal system, enough strife at the bottom, guillotines for everybody, the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the counter revolutions, how to explain that, planning errors, where the pathos of the novel is, dreams, the Ghost of Christmas Present, you don’t have to worry about that stuff anymore, The Soul Of Man Under Socialism by Oscar Wilde, criticism of industrial capitalism in the USA, why the book is so popular, pushy salesclerks and urchins on the street, legit trying to solve things, when he’s looking backwards on the writing of this, how and why he wrote it, not fully understanding his own motivations, his attack on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, All Good Things is a retelling of A Christmas Carol, Q is the ghost of Christmas whatever, a sermon from Christmas In The Year 2000, July 4th and Christmas, Christmas has been co-opted, just such a family feast, two beggar children, a picture that typifies the age, a hard-hearted businessman who doesn’t want to give his employee the day off, what’s the solution?, a Christmas goose, all problems of society solved, Jesus was hardcore, food banks are a new thing, soup kitchens, getting out of it through Christian charity, Will’s subversive reading, soviet propaganda, production is amazing, T-34s, get to the Moon and humble us, owning, soviet public housing, no style at all, they all have their own home, that’s why they built those things, a functioning feedback system, the internet is described with the music rooms, music piped to your bed, telephones, wired radio, a streaming service, they are really lacking CyberSyn, we need more Volkswagens, the gerontocracy thing, racism was solved somehow, needs some tweaking, classes and castes, a third rail, his basic premise is not to divide anybody, an interesting system for the elite feedback, the prestige is your pay, people admire, their legal system, fewer lawyers, what you want the law to be, tutored up to that level, judges should be drafted just like juries, the supreme court shouldn’t exist, 53 people, we can hear jury cases…, judges tell how to do their job, most cases don’t go to trial, discovery, for years on end, constitutional right, lesser charges, Louisville, Kentucky, electing judges vs. appointing, sortition, say “cast” instead of “vote”, bluechks telling other, a Shirley Jackson sort of way, An American Utopia: Dual Power And The Universal Army by Fredric Jameson, Stanley Aronowitz, responses, Kim Stanley Robinson, Slavoj Žižek, the video that summarizes the ideas, dual power, create new institutions of government, colonial legislatures, Lenin, the army, universal conscription, the army does everything the economy does, a really weird youtube and internet hole, Djibouti, where the pirates are, the Gulf of Aden, naval power, failed states, China, India, United States, Italy, the reason it exists, tourists to Djibouti, its a hell hole, really horrible, the police want to issue permits to photograph things, a horrible dystopia created by a bunch of foreign military bases and geography, Camp Lemonnier, a gym, tours of the countryside, the base store, we provide air conditioning, a tour of life under the universal army (actually the navy), what life is like in the army, specialists, life under socialism, trying to give you little incentives besides pay, hot showers, to stay in, attrition, the healthcare is free (of course), dentists, on base banking, a mixed system (100% socialism), back to Star Trek, Starfleet is socialist, Sisko’s dad has a restaurant, there’s no mess, nobody knows how to cook except for Riker, Sisko, Neelix, only sex magnets, learn the trombone, that and the beard, if you’re gonna sell the united states on socialism just draft everybody, a peaceful universal army, wars of aggression, the Japanese, the hoplites, if women and slaves were in the universal army, most of the military today is not the pointy end, pull the ropes (or cables), Carrier (PBS), the Iraq War, education, get out of that shitty small town full of drugs, some people are again it, ruin your career (by getting pregnant), everybody is housed, turn the tables, a lot of terrible things, who the audience, 14 minutes of congratulations to all the professors, a useless proposal, a political program called: REVOLUTION, wizened professors, the grad students’ questions, Jameson is playing, the NDP, Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbin, thought experiments, on comic utopianism, what utopia isn’t a game, the Star Trek Communist, the people he’s trying to convert, I like anime will you join the socialist party?, triumphalism, he needs to go the the Waffle House and replicate some phasers for them, heavy stun, The Lord Of The Rings communist, branded identities, Lovecraft Country, Raised By Wolves, Lovecraft Country communist, you gotta watch this, Banshee, the Communist party is in power in China, the Banshee communist, all we talk about, corrupt that with communism, Jim Howard, take downer, fire departments are socialism, the repair of the car vs. the repairing of my body, having bridges paid for collectively, that makes sense, what do they teach in school?, a sixteen part series about social systems, zone out and not question, having the test, made China the way it is, students the way they are, whoever makes the test is in control, control what answers (and questions) are acceptable, a YouTube REVOLUTION, remember the Justice Democrats?, completely co-opted, AOC might say a few nice things, push him in office?, actual leverage, AOC is running for President, YouTube controls what you see, Google controls what you see, become a duckduckgo guy, not gonna be an Apple guy, it isn’t going to happen through academia, a popular book, instill a lack of hatred, Marco Rubio, are all Democrats are socialists?, move to a small town in Italy and live there for six months, then I’ll understand it, until someone puts it in your hand you don’t really understand it, incredible popularity, a recognition that something was wrong, selling the message to dentists, how did the Russian Revolution happen?, it was the War, the infrastructure had been built for decades, Woodrow Wilson, the Bonus Army, a joke about how it was going to help them get jobs, 15 minutes of introduction, go listen to Evan’s podcast, Evan should give Jesse an award, we’ll bootstrap, quality edification certificate, trump university sort of thing, the Willis Institute, run it through Scott, spend 7 hours in this utopia, I’ll know that town, this is what the peace corp was supposed to do, working for the Clinton Foundation, stealing resources from your own government, books can be powerful, Marx had better ideas, look fellow comrade, this thumb drive, instead of watching Star Trek watch Das Capital, scientific socialism, the merger formula, an international American choice, fellow people who read books, you replace the body of Donald Trump and replace it with the Star Trek Communist, he was sticking it to the system, if you backed it up, his personal support, stick it to the people who need to be stuck, the elites, the Rachel Maddow audience, the deep state, the elites of those bureaucracies, their fiefdoms, Homeland Security is not going away, a path forward, very despairy, how to communicate its ideas to people generally, harness the bourgeois media, the left has to find the right spokesperson, some other mechanism of reaching the people, alternative media, the means of communication, 6 corporations (soon to be 5), the need for organization, Julian West was able to ask was that one of the workers’ parties?, Lexington, tenants unions, serious barriers to progress, the importance of America in the world system, the NDP are not powerful, until the USA gets its shit sorted out, what Washington, Oregon, and California will do, we’re never gonna legalize marijuana, Jesse, the Americans wont allow it, a bunch of hoops, Justin was permited to allow us this privilege, waffling in the USA, abandon the game, the current path, keep swapping Republican for Republican lite administrations, civil disturbance for 180, fascists, white supremacists, Oregon is kinda weird, Vancouver police, the lower border for this province as a colony, 54:40 or fight, Oregon Trail, a weird countries, a whole bunch of different countries, France is relatively homogeneous, who can handle it, Canada has it, lave each other the fuck alone, only Ottawa listens, Britain’s political system is fucked up too, is that because they got Vril instead of Looking Backward, Canada doesn’t have a national utopian book, pancakes and maple syrup and loons and bears.