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Chris
Outsider philosopher, game designer and author
Recent Activity
Taking my usual break from social media for a few weeks this November. I will be hiding from the socially mediated world from Sunday November 11th until Monday 26th November at the earliest. A Hundred Cyborgs will continue soon afterwards.... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Only a Game
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It’s amazing to think that just a whisker over a century ago, there were no headphones of any kind. Since 1910, this technology has not only advanced it has proliferated. Most people reading this see people with headphones (or ear... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2018 at Only a Game
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This Saturday (10th November) at 12:15 pm GMT, ihobo’s founder Chris Bateman is giving a talk at AdventureX entitled The Secret of Game Narrative. The event is being streamed live on Twitch. We hope you’ll join us for this special... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2018 at ihobo
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This Saturday (10th November) at 12:15 pm GMT, ihobo’s founder Chris Bateman is giving a talk at AdventureX entitled The Secret of Game Narrative. The event is being streamed live on Twitch. We hope you’ll join us for this special... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2018 at Only a Game
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Fascinating cyborgs are made through the use of miniaturised speakers and a microphone in what is frequently called ‘an earpiece’, a term that also refers to the speakers of any telecommunication device held up to your ear. The earpiece joins... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2018 at Only a Game
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Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law famously proposed that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” But there is an subtle corollary to this... call it the Bateman-Clarke Conjecture: “Any entirely imagined technology is interchangeable with magic.” To put it... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2018 at Only a Game
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If the spooky festivities of Halloween do not strike us as having any corresponding cyborg, it can only be because we habitually fail to see the technological networks we are embedded within, and thus the vast webs of machines and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2018 at Only a Game
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Contains ideas some people may find offensive. What a fascinating cyborg the President of the United States has become! Heads of state always had their vast networks of beings and things – “all the king's horses and all the king’s... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2018 at Only a Game
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Big things are brewing at International Hobo… After nearly two decades of providing our acclaimed game design and narrative services to nearly 60 clients on four continents, we are opening a new office in downtown Manchester and putting together development... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2018 at Only a Game
Seems that Typepad has an outbreak of gremlins in their authenticators, so it may not be possible to comment (I certainly can't...). I've flagged it to TypePad and hope for a swift and vengeful solution. Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2018 at Only a Game
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Big things are brewing at International Hobo… After nearly two decades of providing our acclaimed game design and narrative services to nearly 60 clients on four continents, we are opening a new office in downtown Manchester and putting together development... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2018 at ihobo
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Our contemporary mythology is rife with associations between clothing and power – every superhero and supervillain testifies to the importance of sartorial influence, every queen and king has their crown. How would you know a superhero without their costume? How... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2018 at Only a Game
Hey NoShep, Always a pleasure to meet a Ghost Master fan! There were definitely issues with timing involved in that project, and the situation is very different now. As for the sound track - that was the magnificent Paul Weir, who also did the soundtrack for Discworld Noir... I've always enjoyed working with him - and we'll get him back for the spiritual successor when it's time comes. Now we're not officially ready to launch our mailing list, but if you hop over to ihobo.com you'll find you can already sign up from the sidebar. We're in shakedown right now, but the list should launch later this week. That's the best way to stay in the loop about what we're planning. All the best, Chris.
Toggle Commented Oct 22, 2018 on Post Mortem: Ghost Master (Part One) at Only a Game
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Hey dmf, I wouldn't single out object oriented ontology specifically as useless - my general sense here is that "all ontology is utterly useless" i.e. our imagined models of how things sit together are not as important as we like to emotionally invest into. This was as true of Middle Ages cosmotheology as much as it is true now, for reasons I wrote about previously in Ontology as Non-theology, which is a piece that (rather fittingly!) nobody really cared about, even though I feel it contains an absolutely critical observation on our contemporary philosophical situation that perhaps ought to be taken more seriously than it is. Ian does great work in The Atlantic, and I admit a little touch of envy that he has such a platform available! But he has earned it, too. I'm also jealous that he has got to be part of a philosophical movement whereas I get to be a loner, which is not as much fun. But these feelings are pretty trivial and I don't let them bother me. :) All the best, Chris.
Toggle Commented Oct 16, 2018 on The Black Library at Only a Game
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What are the behavioural effects of technological networks? What happens if we stop thinking about technology as shiny machines and start looking at other, subtler tools? Can we design technology to have better effects upon humans? These and other questions... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2018 at Only a Game
Hey Justin, "Every time a new piece of software or modular synth comes on the market, you can hear the kids teasing the wonder hidden within them. Instructions manuals belong in the bin. The chaos continues." This is such a wonderful reflection on this topic, many thanks for stopping by and writing such a lengthy comment, Justin! I had put this into the list of pieces to write about a while back, in part as a result of conversations we had had previously, and writing it was particularly satisfying since so many of these A Hundred Cyborgs pieces end up downbeat, and this one (if you'll excuse the pun) danced around the issues more joyously. I'm wary of being too positive about the details about the electronic music scene, but at the same time I do find Illich's conviviality amongst this network of beings and things, and think it a context where we can still find some hope in our relationship with robots. Hope life is treating you well, and vice versa, Chris.
Toggle Commented Oct 15, 2018 on Techno at Only a Game
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Hey dmf, Thanks for another weird and wonderful link! You certainly have your fingers in some interesting internet pies! Chris.
Toggle Commented Oct 15, 2018 on Techno at Only a Game
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Ha, Ian and I go way back... He's the one dual class philosopher-game designer to have more name recognition than me. :) Thanks for the link, Chris.
Toggle Commented Oct 15, 2018 on The Black Library at Only a Game
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Almost all human music is made by cyborgs – from the pipes and drums of the Stone Age to electronic music today, the compositions we are engaging with are facilitated, created, and distributed through technological networks. Techno was among the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2018 at Only a Game
Hi Karthik, No idea why you chose this particular piece to ask this entirely unrelated question, but it was nice to revisit it! :) I believe the game you are referring to is Relic's Homeworld, which was released in 2003 and was a strategy game with a largely yellow palette for the main ships. I can't vouch for giant robots and spider-like machines, but everything else seems to fit. Thanks for stopping by, Chris.
Toggle Commented Oct 11, 2018 on Absurd Doubts at Only a Game
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If a ‘black market’ is anywhere goods and services are exchanged illegally for money, a ‘black library’ is where they are exchanged for free. Although some illicit copyright infringement did happen in bricks and mortar library buildings – music CDs... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2018 at Only a Game
Ha, that's priceless! Thanks for sharing, PM! Chris.
Toggle Commented Oct 5, 2018 on Free Parking at Only a Game
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Thanks for the kind words, Filip! I know I say it often, but it means a lot to me that there are fans of this title, which is still the game I'm proudest of designing. Since I was unable to recover the rights to Ghost Master when Empire Interactive folded (they are now owned by Strategy First) a sequel under that name is unlikely, but I have spent a great deal of time thinking about a spiritual successor. We are working right now on a small scale Kickstarter for a different project (this should launch soon); if that goes well, it will be a step towards pursuing a spiritual successor to Ghost Master some time in the future. Many thanks for dropping by and sharing your love of this game! Chris.
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Of all the strange things that money does to humans, one of the most arcane is the venture capital fund. These networks of investors and businesses are geared towards the willing exploitation of start up companies who happen to have... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2018 at Only a Game
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We should not confuse ‘free parking’ with the ability to park without cost. The latter is a capacity created by the absence of any parking arrangement, although not in the absence of technology since we are always dealing with roads,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2018 at Only a Game