Earth Commerce

Welcome to Earth Major, 2307. Firmware 3.1.53. 

It has been 2 months and 12 days since the last consumer uprising. Estimated GNP loss of  ¥R 42 Billion. Since the Great Capitalist Rebellion of 2205-2209, Corporations are officially recognised as the governing elite, as Commercial Autocracy washed away the obsolete ways of State and Party rule. With the fall of the old establishment, Conglomerates now map the globe. National pride and brand identity has become one and the same.   

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Oct 3 , 2020

It’s been a while, but the 5th episode of Prompt Night will be going live very soon! Rhys and I had a lot of fun recording this new session for the podcast, and whilst the short hiatus did us good, we are back and raring to go. Expect more content on this site too.

I’ve Been Struggling To Write Anything Lately…

My Friends Suggested I Write About It.

For the past couple of months, I have been suffering from Writer’s Drought. “Block” is simply too good a word, suggesting a stream of creative discourse is merely backed up, desperate to be unclogged by some cognitive Mr Muscle. My mind is a barren wilderness. If you listen close enough you may hear the wisp of the occasional heading or opening sentence as it tumbles from ear to ear.

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Supermash and The Art of the Hybrid-Genre

For the past few days, I’ve been playing Supermash, developed and published by Digital Continue. Supermash bids itself as a “game that makes games”. You run a video games store, that’s on the verge of closing, when you discover an old retro console that lets you combine (or mash) two different genres of game together to generate a unique old-school title that borrows elements from your chosen genres.

Every game you generate has its own challenge for you to complete. Whether the task is achievable however, is a whole other story. In fact, Supermash begins with a screen that states:

Supermash doesn’t design games a person would. The mashes can be: Good, Weird, Unbalanced, Incredibly Hard, Super Easy. The fun comes from finding and saving the games and rising to the challenge to overcome seemingly unbeatable mashes.”

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Partial Recall – Passing the Childhood Memory Baton

What’s your earliest memory? I have a particularly vivid snapshot from when we moved house when I was four. Sitting down on the delightfully brown carpet of the living room with boxes all around us, and watching Knight Rider with my family on our small colour television.

That was thirty-four years ago. Crikey.

I also have a vague recollection of an incident from when I was about two. For some incomprehensible reason I gleefully emptied all of my clothes from the lower drawers in my bedroom onto the floor. Ah what a rush! Only for my Mother to walk in and tell me she wasn’t going to put them back, and I quickly realised I had to tidy it all. Cue the tears.

Only, is that a genuine memory? Or is it a fabrication my brain has constructed from being told about it enough times by my parents? It’s entirely likely that this is an implanted, or “fictional memory”.

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Welcome To The World of Tomorrow!

From Annihilation Earth to A Quiet Place, Pacific Rim to Edge of Tomorrow, The film industry’s elaborately fictitious presentations of 2020 have often been pretty grim, typically featuring monsters or alien invasions, being fought with equally elaborate technology such as giant battle mechs and advanced robotic exosuits. Where’s my exosuit? Probably in the garage next to the hoverboard and self-tying shoelaces from 2015…

However, for a more reserved, optimistic portrayal of home-life in Twenty Twenty, we may look no further than a 1989 episode of the classic British TV show Tomorrow’s World.

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New Parenting During a Pandemic Lockdown

This is not the dystopia I had in mind.

In the 2011 film “In Time”, time itself is the ultimate commodity. Those who can afford it enjoy the infinite spoils, whilst everyone else scrambles to hold on to what little they have left. Since becoming a father in February of this year, the latter has become all too increasingly real. It’s barely been 3 months, but the word “spare” has seemingly vanished from my mental dictionary, only to be replaced by “sleep deprivation”. Meanwhile the definition of the word “reality” is steadily being rewritten as the weeks progress. Raising an infant for the first time in any scenario would do just that. During a pandemic however is something we could never expect.

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The DigitalGyoza Awards – 2019 in Review

The end of 2019 not only ushers in a new year, but a whole new decade. 2020 still sounds like the realms of science fiction and far flung future, but yet here we are in the flesh, and the world looks set to be as bewildering, maddening and eventful as it’s ever been. But what about 2019? How to summarise it? Do I have any fond memories or exciting moments of the last year? What were my absolute favourites that I experienced? Whether it be novel, film, music, what raised the hairs on my neck or hit me right in the feels?

Here are my personal top 3’s of 2019.

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James O’Brien’s How To Be Right

Not all is lost for a world gone wrong…

The world is a weird and troubling place right now. (To be fair, its always been pretty weird, but right now feels especially boggling.) The current state of global affairs feels like satire adopted as policy. With fake news, alternative truths, and brazen offence in the face of accountability, parody & reality have been forcibly conjoined, stitched at the hip.

Swapping learning, understanding and experience for ill-thought views and the echoes of whispered bias can produce a very closed, one-sided view on a variety of subjects. Opinion threatens to replace evidence. And as always, the most vocal are of the opinion that their opinion is evident.

So how do you reason with those so intent on being heard?

Whilst I’m not an LBC regular listener, I’d heard several excerpts from James O’Brien’s radio show and appreciated his calm, rational approach to challenging & questioning motives of the most forthright of callers. (The famous “shape of your bananas” Brexit exchange will stick with me for a long time.) However, any account of what’s right or wrong from an individual perspective has the risk of appearing self-righteous if not well executed, and could simply come off as preaching. So even with my positive expectations I went into “How to be right in a world gone wrong” with mild apprehension.

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SLOWLY Return to Meaningful Discourse

In the age of instant access, limited patience and diminishing attention spans, “social” exchanges are commonly reduced to that of few words at a time. The likes of Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and Line have enabled us to mindlessly chat away with each other at the press of a button, but what does that do to the quality and meaning of the content therein? How much thought goes into an emoji? Gone are the days when a thoughtful letter rich in content was the regular communicative method of choice for most people. Even if you have a pen pal or long distance acquaintance, an email can reach them in seconds. How much more time & effort would you make if it didn’t reach them for days, and took a week to get a response?

SLOWLY is a digital platform for a traditional pen pal experience.

Designed for people in search of meaningful conversations in the era of instant messaging, their aim is “to connect people around the world at a slower but better pace – one letter at a time.”

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