Saturday, June 13, 2015

Cyberpunk!

Way back in the 80s I'd treasure the few moments I could convince my parents to drive the 15 minutes or so to the local bookstore so I could slip to the back, find the science fiction section and read a few RPGs in the half hour or so it took them to circumnavigate our very small, very sad mall. One of the games I looked for was Cyberspace, which had an 80's awesome cover, truly inexplicable rules, and a courageously specific future-setting.



Last night, my good friend +Alex LaHurreau found a nearly mint copy of this classic RPG in a Worcester used book store. The feelings came in waves.

The cover is every bit as epic as I remember but the true gift was flipping through the timeline the creators put on nearly every page. I've included a few below. The predictions range from comical to poignant. Having hacked a few RPGs myself, I don't post this in the spirit of mockery but in a legitimate sense of awe. I remember reading these pages with absolute credulity and poured through the hyper-specific character generation system (you could buy a voice modulation implant for a character that raises/lowers the frequency of his/her voice - each octave of adjustment sets you back $1500!) with a genuine sense of discovery. Every generation presumes it knows the future, but was there ever an era capable of imagining a world nearly as weird as our own while being wrong in nearly every way?

This book was published in 1989...

Oh, the long and bright future of home faxing.

One of my absolute favorites.

Pretty much right.

Also weirdly close.




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