William Gibson criticized Cyberpunk 2077. Predictably, the subreddit for the game got stupid about it and insulted him.
But this has to be my favorite string of comments from the whole thread:
@abbenm Gibson can't have seen the gameplay preview if he thinks it looks like a GTA reskin. Probably a bit early to criticize the game anyway.
@abbenm me, before looking up William Gibson: "huh, who's he"
me, after looking up William Gibson: PFFFTTTTTTTTTTTTT
@abbenm @viciousviscosity Fair, though: Gibson hasn't written anything competent since, arguably 1988, really 1986. So nobody under 40 has any reason to know who he was, and nobody has any reason to care what he says now.
I read "Johnny Mnemonic" when it came out in OMNI, maintained the Cyberpunk Media List back in the day… he faded out fast.
He also had a hilarious has-been moment when he got in Second Life and future-shocked right out when confronted with actual furries, borgs, and posthumans.
@qwertystop @abbenm @viciousviscosity Search (and probably archive.org) will find you the interview about his first time, where he couldn't find anything and was shunned for having an ugly avatar (who'd invite an ugly rando to a party? Nobody. SL took pity on newbies who tried, but not hopeless cases.)
And then he had a book promo appearance, the kind of SL tourism very unpopular in SL, and it went… uh, badly. Heckled, surrounded (outside the security area) with offensive content.
@jbob @abbenm @viciousviscosity @qwertystop I mostly bailed on Gibson after Idoru which had already happened IRL (not even with a real AI) before he wrote it, and his Spook Country was so awful I didn't finish. I dunno if I can give him another shot when there's a billion other better-record writers in my tsundoku. Supposedly there's a series of The Peripheral, if that's any good I'll look at the book.
Locus Awards nominees just got posted, probably something in those: https://www.tor.com/2019/05/07/announcing-the-2019-locus-awards-finalists/
I liked Sue Burk's Semiosis, but she's got a mean streak.
@abbenm I haven't heard his criticism but if I had to guess it's that Cyberpunk 2077 isn't doing a good enough job in the way it handles actual cyberpunk? Like it's not subversive enough?
@radicalrobit @abbenm the game is obviously meant to fetishize the world from the trailer, which is always an element of cyberpunk ("evil but sexy"), but the game tends too much toward just the "sexy" end. What's particularly evil doesn't seem too fleshed out, and responsibility for the world like in any good cyberpunk fiction needs to be pinned somewhere particular (megacorps, world government, etc), but it's not focused enough for that. I haven't read Gibson's critique, but as a writer that's what I'd guess he'd go after.
@radicalrobit @lunaterra @abbenm It was specifically about the aesthetic. https://twitter.com/greatdismal/status/1005958197654351872
@lunaterra @radicalrobit yeah, I think that's right on the money. Some of it just feels really lazy. The news ticker mentions "Anti-corporate protests". Like, they don't even have a name? Not even an issue? Not an industry or a complicated relationship between workers and political issues? Nothing? Just frustrating.
That said, I still trust CD Projekt Red to do a way better job than virtually anybody else who has attempted this genre in recent memory.
@fuckcompute I warn you, this thread is really depressing. I picked the worst comment, but it's probably basically reflective of the vast majority of everyone else in the thread too
@fuckcompute THANK YOU. LIke, seriously? Plus all the projecting like "ohh he's probably jealous" which are just absolute cheap shots.
I got so mad at that thread, so I feel like this equal and opposite mastodon response has been the cure that I needed.
@fuckcompute If it's "just" a re-skinned Witcher I will be super happy. If it's just a more well realized world that will be enough. It COULD be more, but at least that will be enough.
And yeah, the sheer reflexive, low effort nature of the comments is really something to behold
May we have the link to the criticism please? I would very much like to read it. Thank you :)
Sure. I picked arguably the worst comment of the worst. But the whole thread is just poison.
@Eidolon0 William Gibson saw one of the trailers for Cyberpunk 2077 and just remarked that he wasn't super impressed, basically with the game world presented by the trailer.
@Eidolon0 I definitely trust Projekt Red to do that kind of world basically better than anyone else who is attempting it. But it's still kind of guarded optimism.
And I don't think it was criticizing it specifically for not following the spirit of a novel of his, but more generally as a representation of any type of cyberpunk world.
@Eidolon0 I should have been clear, I meant games. And I may literally be the world's single biggest Deus Ex fan (my profile pic is based on it), but I was less than thrilled with recent games. Agree w/ Blade Runner though! And haven't seen Ghost in the Shell.
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