Ο William Gibson εξηγεί το πώς κατέληξε να δημιουργεί το όνομα Cyberspace – και, όλως περιέργως, δεν πρόκειται για αποκύημα ενός “ψαγμένου” στο χώρο των υπολογιστών, αλλά ενός πανέξυπνου συγγραφέα που, απλά, “ένωσε τις κουκκίδες” τις τότε τεχνολογίας, που υπήρχε όταν ξεκινούσε να γράφει τον μοναδικό Neuromancer. Λίγο από laptop εδώ, λίγο από γραφικά 8bit παιχνιδιών εκεί, η αναγνώριση της σημασίας του Internet αλλά και του πώς οι gamers βιώνουν τα παιχνίδια “σαν να βρίσκονται μέσα τους” και… Ιδού το Cyberspace και το Matrix. Καλύτερα να… σας τα πει ο ίδιος:
I was painfully aware that I lacked an arena for my science fiction. The spaceship had been where science fiction had happened for a very long time, even in the writing of much hipper practitioners like Samuel Delany. The spaceship didn’t work for me, viscerally. I know from some interviews of Ballard’s that it didn’t work for him either. His solution was to treat Earth as the alien planet and perhaps to treat one’s fellow humans as though they were aliens. But that didn’t work for me. I knew I wouldn’t be able to function in a purely Ballardian universe. So I needed something to replace outer space and the spaceship.
I was walking around Vancouver, aware of that need, and I remember walking past a video arcade, which was a new sort of business at that time, and seeing kids playing those old-fashioned console-style plywood video games. The games had a very primitive graphic representation of space and perspective. Some of them didn’t even have perspective but were yearning toward perspective and dimensionality. Even in this very primitive form, the kids who were playing them were so physically involved, it seemed to me that what they wanted was to be inside the games, within the notional space of the machine. The real world had disappeared for them-it had completely lost its importance. They were in that notional space, and the machine in front of them was the brave new world.
The only computers I’d ever seen in those days were things the size of the side of a barn. And then one day, I walked by a bus stop and there was an Apple poster. The poster was a photograph of a businessman’s jacketed, neatly cuffed arm holding a life-size representation of a real-life computer that was not much bigger than a laptop is today. Everyone is going to have one of these, I thought, and everyone is going to want to live inside them. And somehow I knew that the notional space behind all of the computer screens would be one single universe.
Τα παραπάνω αποτελούν απόσπασμα από συνέντευξη που θα δημοσιευτεί σε όλη την έκταση της στο καλοκαιρινό τεύχος του Paris Review, που μπορεί κανείς να αγοράσει online. Αυτό, τουλάχιστον… ανέφερε η πηγή μας – το io9.com.
Over at the Paris Review, William Gibson has finally told the full story of how he invented the term cyberspace — partly by scribbling on notepads, and partly by watching kids playing videogames in early-1980s arcades.