Implicit Insanity

My Creative Endeavors   

an internal dialogue

Anonymous asked: I think your tumblr is totally spammy. And yeah, what have you or your generation got to do with cyberpunk ?




this is hilarious on so many levels. like, first of all, you went out of your way to send me not one but two of these dumbass messages. secondly, my tumblr isn’t even a cyberpunk blog.

but to answer your question: cyberpunk may have been dead since 1990 or whatever, but ~my generation~ are a gazillion times more cyberpunk than any old-school Neuromancer fanboy could ever have dreamed. we live in a Google and Facebook-owned dystopian hellscape of police spy drones and PRISM, and have the ability to use Bitcoin to buy everything from hamburgers to hard drugs. a 13-year-old girl Snapchatting youtube clips of One Direction to her friends is probably more cyberpunk than the “real” cyberpunks of yesteryear. (and on a personal note, i’m an internet culture journalist. i think we can all agree that that’s a pretty cyberpunk job, so the joke’s on you, my friend.)

*Let me express my profound sympathy for poor Gavia here 

— 3 days ago with 216 notes

*Also, I was 60 years old yesterday during the lunar eclipse, but who’s counting


*Also, I was 60 years old yesterday during the lunar eclipse, but who’s counting

(via josephdreamboatlevitt)

— 3 days ago with 133 notes





Oh goodness it’s taken me a while to reply to this ask, sorry about that. Hope you all don’t mind, here’s some EddxMarie stuff I never posted.




I shipped it before I knew how to sail.


— 3 days ago with 3443 notes


Arkady and Boris Strugatsky are probably the most famous Soviet-era science-fiction writers, but only recently have any of their numerous books come back into print in the US: Chicago Review Press published a new translation of Roadside Picnic (the basis for Tarkovsky’s Stalker) in 2012 and Melville House just published Definitely Maybe (translated by Antonina Bouis). CRP will also publish Hard to Be a God in June.

These scans come from the 50 Watts hoard except for the top 1979 Penguin (art by Adrian Chesterman) courtesy of David/qualityapemanRichard M. Powers illustrated the bottom Roadside Picnic and the four other covers in that style.

— 1 week ago with 346 notes
space-chan asked: Help me out. I don't understand how people could be offended by Luftrauser's graphic style. Yes, the nazis were bad but these are cartoonish caricatures in an arcadey video game where you can fly a knife plane. There is no plot. I'm usually with people on these things but I'm totally lost. Let me rephrase, I can understand why people could be offended, but I don't understand why there is an uproar. No artist should cave because some people aren't happy. Not trying to fight, just confused.



Let’s start unpacking this.

"I don’t understand how people could be offended by Luftrauser’s graphic style."

The first step is realizing you might not understand someone else’s position but can respect them for having it. That’s basic empathy. You don’t have to agree with them, but given your life experiences are different from this other person, it’s possible to, at least, realize they have a reason for it.

Now, let’s look at what Elizabeth Simins (a terrific artist whose work you might be familiar with on Kotaku) and Rob Dubbin (a writer on The Colbert Report) originally said. From what I understand, Simins started publicly talking about this issue, and Dubbin later came to her defense.

Simins does not ask for developer Vlambeer to change the way Luftrausers looks, but simply raises the question about whether its aesthetic could be reasonably seen as leveraging nazi imagery in a way that’s been glossed over because the game is so damn fun to play. (Which it is.) This is what we call criticism, and it’s especially important to be critical of that which we love. That’s often the hardest.

A few hours later, Dubbin weighed in on Twitter, as well.

A-ha. Dubbin underscores the subtext of the aesthetic content in Luftrausers: maybe we’ve become desensitized to nazi imagery as a culture, likely in a way less true in Jewish circles for…obvious reasons. This big picture cultural question isn’t easy to digest but worth asking.

Vlambeer doesn’t have to respond to this. Dubbin and Simins expressed their opinions, and that could have easily been the end of this. But Rami Ismail has proven himself to be an intensely empathetic figure who is OK listening to the opinions of others, even if it’s critical of his own work. It’s not easy to acknowledge criticism, and even harder to grant it any merit.

Yet, Ismail does exactly this in a blog post. There’s far too much to quote, but here’s the part that underscores what I’m talking about:

"We do have to accept that our game could make some people uncomfortable. We’re extremely sad about that, and we sincerely apologise for that discomfort.

The fact is that no interpretation of a game is ‘wrong’. When you create something, you leave certain implications of what you’re making. We can leave our idea of what it is in there, and for us, the game is about superweapons. We think everybody who plays LUFTRAUSERS can feel that.

But even more so in an interactive medium, we do have to accept that no way of reading those implications is ‘false’ – that if someone reads between the lines where we weren’t writing, those voids can be filled by the player, or someone else. If we accept there’s no wrong interpretation of a work, we also have to accept that some of those interpretations could not be along the lines of what we’re trying to create.”

From there, Ismail goes on to explain why he disagrees with Dubbin and Simins, even while acknowledging their opinion is a valid interpretation. That line is so critically important to having a reasonable, nuanced dialogue about difficult subjects, and it’s the part we often miss out on.

It often feels people confuse “criticism” with “censorship” in a way that is never intended when those speaking up are explaining their views. 

It is unlikely Luftrausers will undergo any major aesthetic change as a result of what Simins and Dubbin said, but the conclusion of this exchange brings a better understanding of what Vlambeer intended by creating Luftrausers. No one has to agree with either side, but our understanding of Luftrausers’ place in game culture was deepened.

That’s not controversy. That’s criticism, and I wish we had way more of it.

Like I’ve said, I worry that the endless jackboots, and the triumphant 8bit orchestral, as well as a healthy dose of screen shake and particle effects could serve to submerge people’s critical thinking about LUFTRAUSERS. As a game, it just feels so good, and regardless of the creators’ intent, it is this sort of aesthetic that Sontag was talking about.

— 1 week ago with 320 notes
#nazis?  #luftrausers  #sontag 
Study: Breath of Fire IV


Fou-Lu (Battle)
Breath of Fire IV (2000)
Developer(s): Capcom
Frame sheet can be found here.
Sprite map can be found here.

one day I’ll stop liking pixel art.

— 2 weeks ago with 65 notes

“Home Depot™ Presents the Police!®” I said, flashing my badge and my gun and a small picture of Ron Paul. “Nobody move unless you want to!” They didn’t.

“Now, which one of you punks is going to pay me to investigate this crime?” No one spoke up.

“Come on,” I said. “Don’t you all understand that the protection of private property is the foundation of all personal liberty?”

It didn’t seem like they did.

“Seriously, guys. Without a strong economic motivator, I’m just going to stand here and not solve this case. Cash is fine, but I prefer being paid in gold bullion or autographed Penn Jillette posters.”

Nothing. These people were stonewalling me. It almost seemed like they didn’t care that a fortune in computer money invented to buy drugs was missing.

I figured I could wait them out. I lit several cigarettes indoors. A pregnant lady coughed, and I told her that secondhand smoke is a myth. Just then, a man in glasses made a break for it.

“Subway™ Eat Fresh and Freeze, Scumbag!®” I yelled.

— 2 weeks ago with 106 notes
Ambrose Bierce is fabulous →


ABSURDITY, n. A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one’s own opinion.

ACADEME, n. An ancient school where morality and philosophy were taught.

ACADEMY, n. [from ACADEME] A modern school where football is taught

ADMONITION, n. Gentle reproof, as with a meat-axe. Friendly…

— 2 weeks ago with 19 notes
"Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret."
Ambrose Bierce (via observando)
— 2 weeks ago with 8036 notes