This post contains spoilers for Neuromancer, Halo: Reach, Braid, and Red Dead Redemption.
Recently, I’ve been slacking on some projects I’m working on, but I have a good excuse. Well, at least my editor might think it’s a good excuse: I got caught up reading William Gibson’s novel, Neuromancer. It’s a foundational work in modern science fiction, one I’m proud to now check off of my long list of shamefully neglected cultural blind spots. There’s a lot to like about Neuromancer, but one of my favorite aspects is the ending—specifically, how depressing it is. This isn’t to say that it’s bad or flawed, just that it’s not a particularly sunny resolution. It’s the kind of ending that also appears in some of my favorite video games.