Jonathan Coulton fights “Nice-Nice fascism” with a textual adventure clip and a graphic novel
Musician Jonathan Coulton has released the first video for his upcoming album, Solid state. It’s a glorious dispatch of classic text-based adventure video games, as well as an uplifting tale against the encroaching surveillance state. As a bonus, the album has its own graphic novel.
Coulton’s new music video, for his excellent song “All This Time”, can be summed up as a more upbeat version of this episode “Fifteen Million Merits” from Black mirror. It tells the story of a worker / gamer who struggles to figure out his purpose in life which is largely to deal with widgets for credits. As the story continues, the power of human connection and empathy surfaces, bridging the gap between man and machine. Coulton made the video himself using an app called Cathode.
The album is linked to a graphic novel by Matt Fraction (The invincible iron man), designed by Albert Monteys (Universe!) As Boing Boing explained, Solid state is a mind-boggling futuristic tale about two men named Bob whose destinies are linked over time, set against a backdrop of “gentile-nice fascism” perpetuated by artificial intelligence and growing reliance on technology. Inevitably, as the clip shows, love is the only thing that can save us.
All images: Jonathan Coulton (via Boing Boing)
Solid state releases April 28, along with the graphic novel, and both are available for pre-order.