July 26, 2010: Magazines!
It has been said that cyberpunk, as a literary genre, is dead -- killed by an advancing technology that was unforeseen by the authors of the movement. But since we live in a world of constant internet connections, uncaring corporations, and global mercenary companies, I'd say "high-tech low life" continues to be a relevant playground for gaming. Luckily, Pyramid editor Steven Marsh agrees, and has provided us with Pyramid 3/21: Cyberpunk.
Since commercialism is found at the core of cyberpunk, Matt Riggsby has written a random mall generator, perfect for shoot-outs, car chases, or just shopping trips. There's "The Treasure of Joni Monorail," an adventure that takes jaded runners out into the wastelands, and "Console Cowboys and Cyberspace Kung Fu," which applies the sensibilities behind the Action! series to netrunners. Add in an article on maintaining realistic trait choices during the cyberpunk character creation process, as well as the normal batch of props and Murphy's Rules, and you've got a packed issue!
Speaking of computers, the other e23 release this week is Space Gamer #31 -- the special computer issue! In addition to the normal reviews and Deus Ex Machina article, SJ and crew surveyed the field of computer game publishers. A note to nostalgia buffs: don't miss the ad on page 12 for a TRS-80 -- "INCLUDES: 16K MEMORY (16000 CHARACTERS!), LEVEL II BASIC, TAPE STORAGE." They also crammed in the fifth installment of "Game Design: Theory and Practice," errata for Kung Fu 2100, and a bit of fiction putting Beowulf into Sam Spade's (gum)shoes.
-- Paul Chapman
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