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[FYI] /.: Katz meets Shadowrun and hits the Zeitgeist again.



Intentionally or not, Shadowrun is much more than a game. It reflects the
attitudes and values of younger, technologically-centered Americans. It may
also project their futures, at least of the ones who are individualistic, creative
and discontented. How ironic that young gamers have sensed for years (the
original Shadowrunner rules were published in l989) what journalists and
politicians still keep missing -- that life for individuals gets rougher by the year
here in the Corporate Republic. That a handful of megacorporations are
becoming powerful beyond anyone's control. That individualism is not only
growing more difficult, but one day soon may actually be dangerous. That this
creeping reality has been a role-playing exercise for brainy kids for more than
a decade is an amazing thing. 

"Shadowrun" is as much a political manifesto as entertainment, a social and
political fantasy that feels increasingly prescient. Shadowrun's creators saw the
growing power of corporatism ( the forces of evil are dubbed "megacorps.")
They grasped its inherently amoral nature, its wanton invasions of privacy, its
embrace of technology and co-option of politics and culture; they anticipated
the marginalization and isolation of individuals who don't want to go or get


A generation ago, "Shadowrun" would have seemed a particularly geeky
game, the obsessive fantasy of brainy oddballs holed up in their bedrooms and
basements. At the dawn of the 21st century, in the Corporate Republic, it
looms much larger, both a warning and a prophesy. 

Kristian Köhntopp, NetUSE AG Siemenswall, D-24107 Kiel
Tel: +49 431 386 436 00, Fax: +49 431 386 435 99
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