How Casinos Offer A Viable Setting For Modern Storytelling

By Curtis Collins


Casinos are fascinating establishments that are portals to different kinds of emotions and people. For better or worse, almost everyone who goes in comes out a changed man or woman with a definite story to tell. These are just some of the reasons why casinos offer suitable settings for an array of stories – spanning across fiction to non-fiction.

In Nevada, casinos are rather ubiquitous. As a matter of fact, reveals the state has 337 casinos in total that have more than 200,000 gaming machines and over 7000 table games. People see it everywhere, especially in Las Vegas where blinding lights and ear-piercing sounds are essentially part of everyday life.

On the other side of the coin, casinos have penetrated the realms of the worldwide web with various online companies featuring different motifs to attract new-age players. Gala Casino, a popular UK-based gaming platform, has themes such as leprechauns, explorers, and magicians, which – ironically – are also some of the central characters in a variety of classic tales.

In hindsight, casinos have been around the top milieus of many literary works of art. This is a simple testament of the cultural phenomenon of a city such as Las Vegas, as well as the people who contribute to the overall allure of it. These casino stories range from a typical love story to a visually stimulating alien invasion. However, the challenge still lies in the separation of fact from fiction.

The likes of Hunter S. Thompson, Robert Nathan, and Mario Puzo have used casinos as the main backdrops of their stories. Their respective works opened the eyes of viewers and readers to a different side of literature, one that offers a distinct take on the cookie-cutter protagonists and the evil antagonists. Though these characters feature the usual detectives and mobsters, they still epitomize fantastic storytelling that molds people’s view and interpretation of casinos.

The world of casinos goes through the ever-changing chronicles of modern evolution. Amidst the neon signs, in the middle of gaming machines, and surrounded by over-flowing enthusiasm, these establishments offer the potential to come up with compelling stories that define the boundaries of fact and fiction.

Welcome to our Neon Dystopia

by Isaac L. Wheeler (Veritas), Co-Founder and Editor of Neon Dystopia

Note From The Editor: Isaac is also a Submissions Editor for Phase 2 Magazine, beginning with our recently-released 5th issue.

Neon Dystopia was created to fill a void. That void was created when the great site, The Cyberpunk Review and it’s blog went offline. The Cyberpunk Review had been the birthplace of the cyberpunkforums which was, and is, the go to place for good in-depth discussions about all things cyberpunk. The site also held an amazing database of movies with great commentary. The blog itself would look at modern events and compare them to the fiction we all love so much.

Now, cyberpunkforums is still a great place to go for conversations but it is just a forum. Forums are outdated and are alienating, especially to a new audience. There is quite a bit of good social media out there on the subject, but again you have to find these communities. In-depth essays and articles about cyberpunk media, philosophy, and subculture show up from time to time on popular sites like Motherboard, Boing Boing, or io9, but only occasionally.

Neon Dystopia’s goal is to create a website, internet space, and community that fills all of these areas. We are working on databases of all forms of cyberpunk media from movies, to music, to comics. We are working to populate those databases with reviews of all of those works so people can get a fairly in-depth idea of what they are getting into before they go in search of any particular piece of cyberpunk media. We want to really explore some of the deep philosophical ideas that are brought up in cyberpunk on a regular basis. And finally, and most certainly not least, we are working to support the burgeoning cyberpunk community and its subculture.

Our goals are ambitious but it is worth doing. The interest in cyberpunk has been increasing significantly in recent time because of the increasing discontent with existing power structures and our changing relationship with technology. Anonymous and the Occupy protests are fantastic examples of this in the political realm, and the rise of the surveillance state is something cyberpunk warned us was coming. Cyberpunk is now, but there is a post-cyberpunk future in the works. The genre will continue to evolve, but cyberpunk is anything but dead. We welcome all to join Neon Dystopia and become immersed in cyberpunk with us.

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