Redefining a new generation

On the bookshelf: William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition, his latest book and his first foray into a story based on the modern age. That’s right, this time he has no cybernetic femme fatales or sentient holograms to rely on; he only has his stylized prose going for him.

The story is still very technocentric, with the jetsetting main protagonist Cayce (pronounced “Case”…hmm remember him?) trying to uncover the author of a series of CG videoclips posted anonymously on the Internet. A Macintosh G4 Cube, an iBook, and a corporate credit card are the main props. Still, Gibson manages to squeeze in his obligatory visit to Tokyo and a brush with organized crime. His use of metaphor makes everything sound special.

However, in the end, you realize you read a whole freakin’ book on email and forums and Internet video.

In the D drive: Doom 3. No interactive environment. Very few physics or ragdoll effects. Requires a top-of-the-line PC just to run properly. The one thing that defined Doom – large, arena-like rooms with the screaming hordes of hell barrelling toward you – is noticeably absent. Instead, you traipse through identical narrow grey corridors in pitch dark while dispatching monsters in twos and threes as they try to ambush you from behind, which stopped being scary after the 263rd time they did it. You can’t actually be “knee deep in the dead” because dead critters just disappear in a puff of red smoke.

Still, great graphics. I especially like the PDA (a touch of System Shock), the crisp, clickable graphical displays, and of course Super Turkey Puncher 3.

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