Living in the database: the appeal of the unreal

Ever since the Wachowskis repackaged the themes and imagery of Masamune Shirow’s cyberpunk staple Ghost in the Shell for western audiences in 1999, the notion of living in a virtual world has become something of a fascination among creatives, consumers and conspiracy theorists. The most frightening aspect of The Matrix was in how perfectly the illusion recreated our own existence so that no one thought … Continue reading Living in the database: the appeal of the unreal

Review: Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Rupert Sanders’ Ghost in the Shell plays up to hyper-connection and disconnection felt from our own world, being so drenched in the constant techno-stream. Through the lens, everyone else seems to belong somewhere. The memories ourselves and others present to emulate that same belonging could just as well be fantasy, or mere glitches in our perception. Scarlett Johansson’s special ops cyborg Major grapples with this … Continue reading Review: Ghost in the Shell (2017)

The new punks: updating the sci-fi of Ghost in the Shell

Nineties nostalgia sees the collective consciousness turn to simpler times; the pre-digital age that was a cornerstone in speculative fiction. It was the decade that gave rise to the cyberpunk subgenre and its pluckier, more optimistic cousin – the Y2K aesthetic. Here, distant futures were exactly that, and the world we’ve evolved into is a satire of our own predictions. eSports are a lucrative career … Continue reading The new punks: updating the sci-fi of Ghost in the Shell