Happy Friday: this special edition Xbox One X comes with glow-in-the-dark graffiti that says “No Future.” It’s probably right.
I wasn’t down with this Cyberpunk 2077 Xbox One X when it leaked on the Canadian Walmart website yesterday. Instead of something bright and neon-fuelled, it looked to me like the sort of colourful scrap metal you might use as a pillow if you lived in a scifi junkyard. But this glow-in-the-dark shit is my shit.
Under normal circumstances, the phrase “No Future” would almost certainly qualify as the sort of bad virtual graffiti that tries to club you over the head with a game’s grim-dark themes. See “What happens when the food runs out?” in The Last of Us or “No one will keep us from death!” in Dishonored. Did you know things are not good in these worlds? Did the zombies, raging pandemics, and crumbling social orders not properly convey that? If not, check out the side of that concrete underpass.
But the year 2020 feels like it asks for something more. Apparently, it demands a a console that brings that obvious, needless graffiti out of the game and into our living rooms. It demands a console that reminds us “No future” even in the dark, even when it’s not on.
If I wasn’t already planning on buying the Xbox Series X I might make an exception for this One X just so I could be haunted by its relentlessly, prescient epigram every time existential dread keeps me up at night.