Everyone is addicted to something. Sometimes you get to choose your poison, sometimes it’s chosen for you. In my case, one bad madcap and a state-funded drycleaning bill turned this Neko’s tastes from illicit psychosis devices to cyberpunk mind games.
Which, when it comes right down to it, really isn’t all that different. Now I just get paid for doing what I do best.
The last time this little Neko jacked into Second Life cyberpunk, I focused on the man who many believe to be the father of the genre: William Gibson. Three years after his well-known Neuromancer novel, a gal named Pat Cadigan wrote a novel called Mindplayers, which was quickly embraced by cyberpunk fans for its in-depth exploration of technology and the human mind.
Mindplayers describes a world in which the relationship of cyber technology and human perception is blurred, because the mind has become a completely explorable (and exploitable) place.
Welcome to your psychosis. These are not the memories you were looking for. I’ll try to get your eyes to line up properly when I’m done…
In the story, Allie Haas tries out an illegal “madcap” (a device that induces temporary psychosis) just for kicks. When the device malfunctions, she wakes up at a “drycleaner” (a clinic that treats mental mishaps), and soon discovers she has a choice: face a criminal sentence for what she’s done, or become a mindplayer for hire.
Allie opts for the new career path: a “pathos finder” mindplayer, who accesses the psyches of selected clients via direct mind-to-mind interface. This requires just one messy little detail — popping their eyeballs out temporarily — in order to connect with their optic nerve and gain access to their brain.
Other mindplayers perform different jobs: dreamfeeders serve up images and fables, fetishizers specialize in fantasy trips, some mindplayers can inflict neuroses. Still others have teamed together to create a virtual mental landscape called The Pool. There are even mind criminals who fence stolen memories, simply because minds have more value than bodies in this world, so currency is based on memory, experience, and knowledge. (Remember the 1990 movie Total Recall?)
Hangars Liquides cyberpunk sim under (re)construction in Second Life
They tell me I’m doing a public service. Whatever. Give me my addiction and I’ll serve it up any way you like.
You may think this sounds like fascinating science fiction reading for a rainy day, but this future is not entirely impossible, and perhaps not so far away…
A decade ago, implanted neural prosthetic devices began restoring hearing in thousands of people. Soon after, “brain computer interfaces” (BCIs) started connecting brains to computers and robots to cause movement and function by thought. Cell-cultured implants are in the making (click here and read the last paragraph under ‘cell culture BCIs’), and companies like Emotiv are already marketing headsets to control wheelchairs and create more immersive gaming experiences.
But wait there’s more! Just this week, Honda Motor Company announced technology that allows the electrical impulses on a person’s scalp to control a robot, without any pesky neural implants. From there it’s not a far leap to imagine one person’s electrical impulses manipulating another person’s brain.
What’s next? Hard to say. Let’s just hope our eyeballs remain intact…
Top left: Fifferling tail and the back of the Oralune belt. Top middle: DV8’s glowing cyber ears. Top right: back view of the cape and necklace. Bottom left:Tekeli-li Plasma Necklace. Bottom left center: LittleGirl Cyber Angel. Bottom right center:Armbands and front of the Oralune belt. Bottom right: Neurolab cyber glasses. (Click photo to enlarge.)
Neko Cyberpunk Fashion for Exploring the Second Life Universe
The only drawback to these photos is their lack of animation. This outfit features more glowing, scripted, scrolling-data-covered parts than a starship has warning lights. Clicking on various parts causes even more scripted effects (like the armband movement shown in the photo below).
The foundation for it all is a fantastic outfit from a store called Grim Bros, by the very creative Cutea Benelli. Whether you’re jonesin’ for cyberpunk, steampunk, post-apocalypse or just plain funk, this is a very fun (and very affordable) store. When you’re done shopping, walk around back and play on her poetry machine!
| Ears |
DV8: Elektra Cyber Neko ear in lime green
| Eyewear |
Neurolab: CyberGlass X-1 Evo.2 (3eyes) attached to mouth
| Hair |
Fatal Error: Cyberlox (store moved; slurl updated 12-28-10)
| Necklace |
Tekeli-li: Plasma necklace, attached to spine (color changeable with 19 metals and 77 gem colors; includes a headpiece, bracelets, and earrings in two sizes; comes with extra copies on multiple attachment points).
| Arm, left upper |
LittleGirl Pets: 003 Doll Type & Cyber A(Angel)
| Arm, left lower |
Neurolab: KomBi-Z1 CyberGloves Left-haut_Female 1.3 with Holo-Pad (this is the orange one in the large photo above, featuring excellent detail and a holo-scrolling data effect).
| Arm, right lower |
Black Heart: Solaris Patrol Forearm II, small (this is the one pictured above at left… top photo shows how it looks when closed, middle photo shows what happens when you click the armband open, bottom photo shows the holograph that appears once it’s open).
| Cyberpunk suit |
Grim Bros: Information Overload Cyber in Cyanide. I’m wearing the scrolling data bra (cyber bra), the scrolling data cape (cyanshoulder cloakelement), and the shoulder fur with data spikes (cyber shoulder right); it also comes with a belt, a very cool spiked helmet, and various scrolling data armbands and bracelets which I did not wear.
| Belt | Oralune: Girl belt v2 black, attached to pelvis (when you take the teleport, you’ll need to look for the red beacon and fly to get to the store, located in a large rusted tank).
| Tail | Fifferling: Cyber Tail (this store has left SL unfortunately)
| Boots | Black Heart: Cyber Kitty Boots (pictured below)
Read an Interesting Interview with Pat Cadigan:
See More Amazing (Non-Fashion) Works by Cutea Benelli:
Visit Second Life Cyberpunk Sim – Hangars Liquides
Visit Second Life Cyberpunk Sim – Omega Point
Top photo by the intergalactically talented Bobby Yoshikawa <3***
©Stacia Villota / Virtual Neko in Second Life