I wrote about:

  • Time Travel
  • Spinnortality – Cyberpunk Management Sim

Time Travel

I’m binge watching CONTINUUM from Netflix these days. Time Travel and its related consequences is a favourite thinking topic of mine so I’m enjoying it. As far as I know, there are two main schools of thought in this subject. One suggests that we are living in a single timeline. In essence this means if we change something in the past, it will have a direct consequence on the present. So when we return we’ll be in a changed timeline. This line of thought is famous for the grandfather paradox. This paradox goes like this: If I go back in time and kill my grandfather, that will make me nonexistent. But if I am nonexistent, then how did my grandfather die? 

The other school says, in simple terms, time travel happens between parallel universes. It bypasses this paradox as a result. If we change something in the past, our original timeline is not affected by our changes. In simple terms my act creates a parallel universe. So if I kill my grandfather in the past, it does create a timeline without me. So I start from timeline A, create timeline B by killing my grandpa before he sires my father. My return journey may end in two possibilities. One: I return to timeline A, see everything as usual – nothing changes. We may even think the experiment is a failure. Two: I return to timeline B and this will be a reality where I didn’t exist. 

Back to the Future uses the first school as reference. Time Machine by H.G. Wells is unclear on this because traveler goes to the future. Continuum, as far as I understood, is on the second school. I don’t want to give spoilers so I can’t give details on that.

Spinnortality

I became aware of SPINNORTALITY with ALEXIS KENNEDY’s mailing list. I like his creative output and his definition of interesting often matches mine so I checked it out. As far as I know this is the first game of their “free mentorship scheme”. After I read the steam page description I felt sorry for not knowing it before. As he says it is “the labour of love project, tiny budget”. Its creator is JAMES PATTON and he developed it in three years. Amazing!

In this game we play as a founder of a company, create horrific products and take over the world by our influence. That is one of the possible endings by the way. We can also make the world a better place but that seems hard. Because game enforces any good corporation’s bottom line: Making profits. To do that we can manipulate politics, deregulate industries, launch black ops and so on. What I like most is that we are not playing as an eternal person. We have an age and a guesstimated dying age. We have ways to extend this time by clones, transferring our mind to a computer etc.

I interpret this game as a criticism of our times. Who can say that companies don’t manipulate our opinions by their products? I mean do we know how many wars have “protecting trade interests” as their original casus belli?

This game offers a fresh outlook on the cyberpunk genre. This is the other side of it, where we don’t play the people in fringes but the corporate mind. Our tools aren’t weaponry, violence and mayhem but economy, indirect approaches. If s__t hits the fan we can use spectacular direct interventions too! Like shooting a gigantic laser beam from the moon for example

Its Steam page is here. I recommend it with high praise!

Photo by Sonja Langford on Unsplash