Panic Quake Servers
Author's Note: Quake is id software's much-anticipated follow-up to Doom,
the most successful computer game of all time. Addictive, immersive, and
hyperviolent, Quake has already established itself as the ultimate productivity
black hole. Now, across the network, puzzled system administrators are
discovering more and more machines that have been transformed into secret
servers dedicated to managing the shadow traffic of non-stop multiplayer
Quake is just one step toward the future, but I think it has a good shot at
spawning a pretty complicated online, networked universe.
- Michael Abrash, id programmer
Panic Quake Servers are the avant-garde of a parasite nervous system
grafting itself onto the corporate backbone. Bandwidth scavengers hosting the
endless recombinant congregations of vapourwar.
Forget virtual reality and cyberspace. The ultimate synthesis of
architecture and cinema is already being coded up around you. Forget about
soaring over gleaming spires of data in a weightless universe of pure
information. Quakespace is claustrophobic, scatological, pre-pubescent, and
very, very dangerous.
And forget about leaving the meat behind: Panic Quake is nothing but
bodies. Bodies splattered, pulverized and exploded. The body fragged and
multiplied, becoming pure speed in a point-to-point network of ammunition flows
and tactical lust. All-sucking, all-spewing, the Quakebody is projectile and
target, monster and hero, author and interface, key, switch, and trap. It is the
body with nothing but organs, irrupting and transmitting, and always forever the
barricaded global variable in an infinite cascade of light-speed calculations:
surface, perspective, and line of sight - the baroque codes for subjectivity in
the digital space of deathmatch culture.
Frank Lantz is a computer game designer from New York City. He
also teaches game design at NYU and writes software reviews for ID
(International Design) magazine.
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