What Happens When a Video Game’s World Ends?

In the curi­ous lex­i­con of games crit­i­cism, we often speak of “world-build­ing,” yet rarely do we stop to think about its oppo­site. Any­thing made can be destroyed, yet destruc­tion in games is rarely the destruc­tion of games. What mas­ter­piece of escha­to­log­i­cal design could pos­si­bly con­vey the all-encom­pass­ing, crush­ing final­i­ty of a true apoc­a­lypse? Per­haps we will nev­er know. But, in the mean­time, we have the next best thing.

It’s not Cyberspace anymore.

Twen­ty years after Bar­low declared cyber­space inde­pen­dent, I myself was in Davos for the WEF annu­al meet­ing. The Fourth Indus­tri­al Rev­o­lu­tion was the theme this year, and a big part of me was gid­dy to go, curi­ous about how such pow­er­ful peo­ple would grap­ple with ques­tions intro­duced by tech­nol­o­gy.

What I heard left me con­flict­ed and con­fused. In fact, I have nev­er been made to feel more ner­vous and uncom­fort­able by the tech sec­tor than I did at Davos this year.

Table Manners

The last time I was back to see my par­ents, I real­ized how much there was to remem­ber when eat­ing at home. Since many people’s expe­ri­ence is lim­it­ed to eat­ing at Chi­nese restau­rants, I put down some rules in these notes.

Inside the Sweet, Strange World of Cereal Box Collectors

Duane Dimock once paid $450 for a box of cere­al. But this wasn’t the mak­ings of a week of very expen­sive break­fasts: Rather, it was the box itself that he was after. Dimock belongs to a small niche group of hob­by­ists who col­lect cere­al box­es, and in their world, $450 doesn’t raise many eye­brows. Last sum­mer, an unopened pack­age of Post Ten — the now-defunct vari­ety pack of mini cere­al box­es — dat­ing back to 1961 sold for a whop­ping $2,550 on eBay. Just a few weeks ago, a box of Quak­er Quisp from the same era fetched over $2,100.