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02 AUGUST 2012

Computer History Museum: Selling the Computer Revolution

"The brochures selected here (just a fraction of the Museum's holdings in this area) show some of the more important technologies, companies, and applications in computing from 1948 to 1988. This covers the period from mechanical and relay–based computers to those based on the microprocessor – a remarkable transition that occurred over only 25 years. We hope you enjoy browsing through these historical documents."

(Computer History Museum)

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1940s1950s1960s1970s1980sanalogue computerAppleApple LisaApple PCArs TechnicaAtariBBC Microbrochure • Burroughs Corporation • COBOL • CommodoreCommodore 64computercomputer historyComputer History Museum • computer revolution • David Ogilvy • device • file system • Fortranhistorical documentshistoryhistory of computingIBMIBM PC • IBM PCjr • important technologiesindustrial archaeologyindustrial designinformation ageinnovationMad Menmainframemarketing campaignmaterial culturemechanical computer • microprocessor • museumPCproduct design • relay-based computers • retrosales brochureselling the computer revolutiontechnological change • technological evolution • technological innovationtechnologytechnology companiestechnology marketingtechnophobiaTexas Instrumentstransitional technologiesUNIVAC 9000 Seriesvintage technology • Wang Laboratories • ZX Spectrum

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
18 OCTOBER 2011

Cyberpunk: the future has already happened

"Cyberpunk' is a 60–minute documentary, the ad for which states: 'What started as a book became a literary movement. What was a literary movement became a subculture'.

And that's one of the major flaws of this film. It perpetuates the general myth that everything 'cyberpunk' expanded out of 'Neuromancer' and Gibson's vision. In truth, most of the stuff covered here (virtual reality, hacking, industrial music, cybernetics, designer drugs, anarchy) was already developing quite nicely before Lord Gibson, Chairman Bruce, and the rest (Shirley, Rucker, Shiner) were kind enough to provide a fictional universe in which to fuse these disparate explorations.

The production of 'Cyberpunk' is very inconsistent, too –– some parts are professional documentary, while other parts have the odor of quick–cash opportunism. The breathy women narrator is ultimately aggravating, oh–ing and ah–ing over all this stuff.

But there is some good material here, including interviews with Gibson, Leary, Scott Fisher (of NASA/Ames), Brenda Laurel, Vernon Reed (Living Color), Bill Leeb (Front Line Assembly) and others. There's also some cool computer graphics (circa 1989) and an industrial soundtrack with Front Line Assembly, Ministry, and Severed Heads.

'Cyberpunk' is still a must–see since it's the only documentary about cyberpunk that we have."

(G. Branwyn)

Fig.1 Produced and Directed by Marianne Trench and Peter von Brandenberg, Intercon Productions, 1990.

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1990 • anarchy • augmentation • Bill Leeb • bodybody modificationBrenda Laurel • Bruce Bethke • computer graphics • computer virus • corporeal augmentationcyberneticscyberpunk • Cyberpunk (1990) • cyborgdesigner drugsdystopiaembodimentethicsfictional universe • Front Line Assembly • hackinghacktivismhuman beings • industrial music • informationinformation wants to be free • John Shirley • Lewis Shiner • Living Color • Mariana TrenchMinistry (band)mutant scienceNASA Ames Research CenterNeuromancerorgan • phone phreaking • posthumanRudy Ruckersci-fiScott Fisher • Severed Heads (band) • speculative designtechnological determinismtechnophobiaTimothy Leary • Vernon Reed • virtual realityvirusvisions of the futureVRWilliam Gibson

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
08 DECEMBER 2009

Gamers and Gorehounds: The Influence of Video Games on the Contemporary Horror Film

"In translating a digital game to the big screen, these titles rely on the integration of aesthetics and narrative from their game counterparts to further enhance the viewing experience. The utilization of game narrative in the horror adaptation film is partially based on the acceptance of the video game medium as a cyberdrama, which emphasizes 'the enactment of the story in the particular fictional space of the computer.'[54] Many popular titles were not only about motor coordination and skill, but about becoming immersed in good storytelling. Author Janet Murray states, 'A story has greater emphasis on plot; a game has greater emphasis on the actions of the player. But where the player is also the protagonist or the god of the story world, then player action and plot event begin to merge.'[55] Murray describes the player's attachment to the game narrative as dramatic agency, which 'requires that we script the interactor as well as the world, so that we know how to engage the world, and so that we build up the appropriate expectations.'[56] "

(Timothy D. Alley, p.47, 2007)

54. Janet Murray, "From Game–Story to Cyberdrama." First Person. Eds. Noah Wardrip– Fruin and Pat Harrigan (Cambridge, MA: The MIT P, 2004) 4.

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TAGS

aesthetics • Brainscan • consoleconvergenceculture • cyberdrama • David Cronenbergdigital culture • Doom • Duke Nukem 3Ddystopia • eXistenZ (1999) • first-person point of viewfirst-person shooterFPS • Freddys Dead • gamesGrand Theft Autohorrorhorror filmJanet Murray • Lawnmower Man • mediumQuakeremediationrepresentationtechnologytechnophobiaThe Matrix (1999)The Wizard of Ozvideo gamevirtual realityvisual communicationvisual designvisual languageWolfenstein 3Dzombie • zombie invasion

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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