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A Vision Of Tomorrow: 'The Rim Of The Sky'

It is purely a painting. Such a thing could never move

The Rock, The Paper & The Shotgun occasionally calls into its employ a local vagabond, a wretched oik whose perpetual presence on the filthy streets of Bognor somehow enables him to catch wind of vital information one would otherwise not hear of. It was thanks to his disgusting contacts that we were able to bring you the first news of the Snakes & Ladders expansion set, Frogs & High-Chairs. It was he who advised us that the Colonies had devised a means of controlling a ball on a stick’s movement with the keys on a typewriter.

This week, however, has been a very quiet week for video games. Even our vagabond has failed to bring us news. Yet we needed something. Hence, we dragged the disgusting creature into our handsome office by his horrible ear, and forced him to smoke enough lithium that he began to hallucinate. We knew his rotten little mind would give us something. It did indeed: a vision of the far-future’s miraculous entertainments.
The little oaf has imagined for us electronic gaming, a series of flashing lights somehow arranged into remarkable scenes. These scenes may be controlled by an onlooker – the manner of achieving this was not revealed, but our best estimations have it that some manner of biscuit is fed into an nearby dog, with the resulting emanations causing the light patterns to fluctuate. The ‘player’ dictates the nature of these fluctuations simply by chooing which type of biscuit is next consumed by the animal.

Our vagabond refers to this particular vision as “The Rim Of The Sky”. He was able to recreate a few images from his prophecy via a strange form of tongue-painting. His eyes rolled heavenwards, showing only whiteness, and he seemed to no longer be present. Yet he repeatedly dipped his tongue, so delicately, into a series of paints made from the crushed shells of various insects, and captured these scenes.

It began simply enough:

A forest, a lake. Pshaw. Is that the peak of these futurefolk’s imaginations?

Next, a strapping fellow’s back, carrying some manner of fearsome blade.

How can this be a vision of tomorrow? This looks like the distant past, or perhaps contemporary Ireland.

Our strapping hero apparently intends to burn these wolves:

What a fool he is – that will ruin the pelts, and leave their bestial faces too charred to possibly mount upon the wall. What a hapless hunter this future-past gentleman must be.

Oho, this strange-faced blighter speaks of other worlds indeed:

I fear now that our drug-addled vagabond has strayed too far from the realm of accurate prophecy, and fully into lunacy. We shall have him beaten to within an inch of his life in penance. Again.

What next?

No! Murder must foul! Is this what passes for entertainment in the world of tomorrow? It is not proper. How can culture, standards, etiquette have crumbled so far?

This one, this one I can barely countenance. It horrifies me to the pit of my gentle soul:

Spectres now? This devilry! This is not of God! This ‘game’ must be stopped! Although not due for release, our vagrant claims, for another 138 years, we should start our lobbying against it now. Gentleman: write to your newspaper, your politicians, your local naval regiment. Ladies: leave the room. You are too weak to witness this monstrosity.

With that, the vision mercifully ended. Our urchin muttered strange words, partly in tongues, but the best of our translation yielded this “these six screenshots are new.” Then, he perished.

We harvested the body’s organs and threw the rest in the Thames.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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