Empire produces cyber-gladiators


The first thing I thought when I saw this IndieGoGO campaign was, “Oh, great, now we have gladiators.” For indeed, everything about this smacks of spectacle, and the appropriation of cultural legacies to serve the collapsing core. So much of this reminds me of “The Hunger Games,” and Ancient Rome. It also speaks to the proliferation of a culture of combat, the continued militarization of everyday life, the socialization of young men for aggression, and therefore preparation for war, and all the downstream consequences like violence against women.

The other thing I saw in was a culture of rich “wankers” buying this stuff—wankers being not only British slang, but a term used by cyclists to denote people with all the best equipment, but no cycling skill. How to countervail these tendencies, augmented by the digital?