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Standing on the Shoulders of Michael Pondsmith

and seeing past the horizon of his dark visions of the future.

In case you’re wondering, Michael Pondsmith is a writer, a game designer, and an all around awesome fellow. Amongst his achievements is a tabletop role-playing game called Cyberpunk.

It’d be only too prescient for him to have imagined Citizens United, but the corporate states he envisioned in the 80s and 90s look like tomorrow’s headlines from here, and that makes his games no longer fun for me to write about or play.

Why envision a dark future when I”m already in one? Sure, we don’t have the cool cybernetic enhancements (at least I’m not seeing where I can buy a replacement pancreas at Wal-Mart and last I checked the Mayo Clinic doesn’t have a section for replacement arms with built-in missile launchers) but we have all the corruption and graft and ennui.

I can’t find a cheap sleep inducer, but chemically induced insomnia is only too available.  There’s no wheat-based aviation fuel, and our power armor is still in its prototype stages, but we’re well on the way to creating a permanent underclass and an even more permanent overclass.

So, to borrow another concept from Mr. Pondsmith, welcome to the Incorporated States of America.

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