ETAO Podcast, Episode 55.

Jay Tholen remembers the internet of the ’90s, when things were a few shades dorkier, and whole lot less smoothed-over and centrally managed—and especially the internet of the late 90s, when an end-of-days urgency and paranoia hung over all of that. Hypnospace Outlaw is in some ways his attempt to capture that time, but it’s also about the travails of the present-day internet, and about our relationship to technology more generally.

In this episode, Jay talks through his sci-fi alt history online detective game, and the fictional people that populate its equally fictional (and equally plausible) somnambulant network.

When Prophesy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of a Modern Group That Predicted the Destruction of the World is indeed, so far as I can tell, the origin point of the term cognitive dissonance.

• Here’s the Video Games Hot Dog podcast, and you’ll find Zach Johnson’s episode of The Zachtronics Podcast at the bottom of this here page.

And then there are the other “operating systemsey” games that Jay and I briefly discussed:
Broken Reality (which, as Jay says, is more just vaporwavey)
Everything by Nathalie Lawhead
Black Room
“All The People Say (Season 3)” by Holly Hyperion (feat. HypnOS text-to-speech).
“Global Groove” from the Hypnospace Outlaw OST Vol. 2 by Jay Tholen.
“Apple Blossoms” by Vernon Geyer.
“Ready to Shave” from The Chowder Man by Hot Dad (feat. Dave Pino).

We’re on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Spotify, PocketCasts, Overcast, Breaker, and RadioPublic. You can also subscribe using good old-fashioned RSS.

Logo by Aaron Perry-Zucker, using Icons by by Llisole, Dávid Gladiš, Atif Arshad, Daniel Nochta, Mike Rowe, Jakub Čaja, Raji Purcell and IconsGhost from the Noun Project.

Left-click to play. Right-click to download.

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