Zach Barth is back to talk about EXAPUNKS, and the cyber-lanche (always create new hyphenate words, in accordance with the WIRED style guide) of questions that the game raises: Do we miss something by wringing our hands about privacy when what’s really at stake in an increasingly computerized world is agency? Is our reality going weirder, or do we just think that because we’re getting older (or are we gaslighting ourselves if we ascribe the increasing weirdness of the world to our getting older?) Am I not punk, and are you telling everyone?
We discuss the cultural position of hackers (and of the movie Hackers), the importance of doing primary research even (or especially) about historical periods that we ourselves lived through, and the uniquely cool uncoolness of punks (cyber and otherwise).
Plus, we speculate as to what manner of reprobate would open the Secret Envelope before it’s time to do so. Speaking of which, heavy SPOILERS begin at 36:06.
Also! As I mention in the intro, we’re now on a regular release schedule, once again, at last, as if for the first time. Look for new episodes every other Saturday, come rain or shine or singularity.
• The EXAPUNKS playthrough that’s I keep talking about is this one, by Scott Manley.
• Yeah, at one point I said TIS-100 when I meant SHENZHEN I/O. Shame. Shame.
• And talking about a game with punks in the name sure did show that my pop filter is less than perfectly effective. Noted.
• If you have some Steam friends playing EXAPUNKS, then the hacker battles in the game are in fact asymmetrical PVP (which all Zachtronics puzzles kind of are anyway, thanks to the heuristics, though this does take that a step or two further).
• Here’s Marc Laidlaw’s writing for WIRED.
• And here’s Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology.
• Ah! And here’s Computer Lib.
• N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy is good as hell, and just became the first book ever to win three Hugo Awards in a row.
• David Chang’s Italian spot rather rules, in my humble opinion.
• Tetris Attack has not been released on anything since the Super Nintendo and Game Boy days. Put that fact in your pipes and smoke it, anti-emulation hardliners.
• Zach’s AMA was and is a good’n.