The year is 2018. You’re an awkward, nerdy type shuffling your way through a crowded party with a luke-warm drink in your hand. As you elbow your way through the crowd and spill beer everywhere, you start to recognise a lot of your fellow party goers – they look an awful lot like you. What would you do?
Hey, remember the 90’s? You know, Mr. Blobby, The Spice Girls, that sort of thing? Apart from crap novelty music and terrifying space blobs that passed as prime-time television, the 90’s was also host to great PC magazines. Namely, PC Zone which was where the world may have first heard of the writer and producer of Netflix’s Black Mirror – Charlie Brooker. Wait, what?
Despite what social media might be telling you this modern era spoils us: in 2018, Netflix and its imitators graciously drown our culture in lusciously detailed TV dramas on an almost weekly basis and this renaissance of high-quality entertainment has the shadow of Tony Soprano looming large over its shoulder.
One day, all of this will be gone. When the great nuclear war of 2019 incinerates everything you love, when the wind passes over our scattered bones, when all the cars and stadiums and pubs and high-rise flats are nothing but skeletal ruins, planet earth might start to look awfully pretty again… after about a hundred years. But if post-apocalyptic dinosaur murder simulator Horizon Zero Dawn is anything to go by, it’ll look fabulous.
Heading into the city on January the 8th, you’ll still see the old Christmas lights from December 2017 suspended over The Strand, or maybe you’ll see some old, cheap lights in the windows of people’s flats, one or two every five minutes, who haven’t quite let go of the winter season yet. Those old flashes of love, slowly fading away, where the pulsating heartbeat is now a low hum. As 2018 rises from its slumber the internet seems to scream for a better world. But here on the rickety old busses of London Town, in the decrepit flats and apartments we cohabit, the stillness and imperfection of it all are mildly reassuring.
If there’s anything we can take away from 2017 it’s our constant, enraged reactions to the inhumanity of our godless world. With the year finally behind us like some repugnant bowel movement, looking back at ourselves during 2017 is a bit like staring at an old drunken photograph of yourself mid-blink. It’s shame, it’s misery, it’s embarrassment. 2017 was the year we loved to let ourselves down, again and again, with constant disappointment. But if there’s anything I know about outrage it’s that eventually, that anger, that bile – it just becomes white noise. Was 2017 the year outrage lost its edge?
In the early 2000’s, messenger apps such as ICQ, IRC, Yahoo Chat and MSN Messenger connected people in ways that were previously unthinkable. For a society limited to phone calls or, shudder, actual hand-written letters, messaging a stranger or a friend separated by miles of distance was absolutely revelatory. IRC especially was an acutely hidden underground network of chat channels and communities, stretching into the very earth of the internet like winding never-ending caves, and your own discovery hinged on your own bravery, your own desire to dig deeper. Those early days of internet chat was a true wild west – just as likely to see the worst as you were to see the best, to form unbreakable bonds with people you’ve never seen before or to risk the unknown and witness true human depravity. Being involved with the internet at this time, in retrospect, feels almost romantic, especially with what this beast eventually became.
PSX2017 has crawled by this year rather unceremoniously – a much more muted affair this year with some surprise new announcements but otherwise, it is resolutely par for the course. Some sequels announced, Reddit gets excited. Some remaster that perhaps 100 people will enjoy, Reddit celebrates the nostalgia. Some horrendously awkward on-stage segments with socially awkward game developers that no one really watches but gets posted around the globe anyway. So far so typical for trade shows but aren’t these things meant to be for journalists? What’s up with the awful cheering? You’re literally cheering on capitalism. Did I miss something?
Bloodborne – It’s a tale of a city driven mad by beast blood. A game where grotesque humans have become malformed beasts roaming around a burning city and where Hunters have hastily banded together to hunt the abominations into extinction. Yharnam is the setting for FromSoftware’s excellent Bloodborne from 2015 but recent developments in games media have lead to renewed interest in the game. Weeks … Continue reading Bloodborne shows FromSoftwares incredible potential
One of the great things about the internet is the ability to read, listen and learn about long dead sub-cultures from the mists of time from the comfort of a couch or bed – the potential to broaden your horizon and to learn about the world that came before isn’t something to be sniffed at. Indeed, if you roll the clocks back 15 years or … Continue reading NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub… offers an alternative, sobering look at punk culture and band life.