(first published in Southerly quarterly, December 1993)
PANTOPIATM Entertainment Systems
(a subsidiary of CASTLES IN SPAINTM inc.) present:
The LATEST in simulated Utopian fantasy!
(for use with PANTOPIATM CortImpTM and
Super CortImpTM hardware)
Experience TOTAL REALISM with electrical stimulation DIRECT
to the PRIMARY SENSORY CORTICES! (including the PANTOPIATM HaptImpTM available in March which providex
the SENSATION OF TOUCH directly to the Primary Haptic Cortex).
AUGMENT your simulated intellectual and physical attributes
with ALL NEW CoProcessors, including 42830010: "The Albert Einstein";
42830012: "The William Shakespeare"; 42830016: "The Arnold Schwarzenegger"
and 42830018: "The Elle McPherson" (42830014: "The Michael Jackson"
has been withdrawn pending a Supreme Court decision). ALTER
your emotions through chemical moderation of the Limbic System!
PANTOPIATM Entertainment Systems offer you the chance
to enjoy PERFECTION! Since everybody's idea of Utopia is
different, we at PANTOPIATM cater to the
INDIVIDUAL, offering a BIGGER range of virtual
environments than any of our competitors. Why turn to television,
literature etc. for your fantasies when you can experience the
ULTIMATE in interactive media!
For patrons over eighteen years of age, the PORNOTOPIATM
range of modules are also available. All PANTOPIATM
modules are designed to be employed in the PRIVACY of
your own home! Our service is discreet and absolutely
confidential, and satisfaction is GUARANTEED!
The following modules are NEW for January 2003:
Note: PANTOPIATM, CortImpTM and
Super CortImpTM are registered trademarks of
CASTLES IN SPAINTM inc., and any unauthorised
use of these trademarks will be summarily prosecuted.
- AUTOCRACIA: Supreme executive power can be yours! With
Autocracia, you choose to be any authority figure, from
Tribal Chieftan to Fascist Dictator. Grant mercy to a helpless child,
or send millions to the gas chamber - the choice is yours!
Since real power consists in prevailing against contrary desires,
your subjects will be as miserable and as dissatisfied as
you desire! You can choose the option of peasant rebellion,
or limited revolution: see the oppressed masses rise up in a
tide of resentment which will ultimately be quashed by your
fanatically loyal troops. Have all males aged between 14
and 60 castrated; command your citizens to erect pyramids or statues
to your magnificence - your power is absolute!
- CRUXIVERBIA: For many people, the essence of life is
the overcoming of obstacles - physical, emotional or intellectual.
Cruxiverbia provides the subject with challenges,
conundrums, riddles, enigmas of every variety and level of
difficulty. You can assume the identity of perpetual
student taking delight in pure discovery, research scientist
dedicated to the search for knowledge, or Supreme Court judge
ruling on matters of life or death! Used in conjunction
with the 42830010 or 42830012 CoProcessors, this module allows the
subject to solve as many problems of a given difficulty in a given
period of time, as desired. Solve simple arithmetic, or debate
advanced propositions from Wittgenstein! price: $49.95
- EGOMANIA: Have you ever envied a person for being
sexier than you? or stronger? or smarter? With
Egomania you can have it all! You choose the combination
of CoProcesors to make yourself into that person you always wanted
to be. Become the envy of millions. Win game shows,
manage every feat of strength, star in every beauty contest. Get
your face on the cover of magazines and your name in the
Guiness' Book of Records - on every page! Climb Mount Everest,
or swim the Pacific Ocean. Nothing will be beyond your reach.
Become a pool hustler or card shark - or a national hero!
price: $5.00 for world simulator + $9.95 per CoProcessor
- EPICURIA: The satisfaction of carnal desires - this is the
purpose of Epicuria. Whether your taste is for food, drink, hunting,
sex, sleep or tap-dancing, the satiety of your senses
is assured. Eat the world's largest pizza (with or without
anchovies) or ski down a mountain slope as long as the coastline
of Finland! Visit brothels stocked with the most beautiful
men and women in all space and time, from Helen of Troy
to John Travolta. Hear Beethoven conduct Boulez,
or Bach play Zappa. Hunt a Tyrannosaurus Rex
or roller-blade through the Louvre! (due to unexpected demand,
stocks of this module are limited) price: $49.95
- EUDEMONIA: If happiness is your only wish, then it shall
be your only sensibility with Eudemonia. A steady endorphin flow
to the reticular formation of the thalamus and brain stem
ensures a state of well-being, which can be moderated at the
user's command - from simple cheer, through gladness, delight,
glee, felicity and beatitude up to and including
rapture. Simulate the giddiness of first love - or the mature
serenity of ancient companionship. Who needs a reason? Be happy for
no reason at all, or even despite circumstances - brave funerals
and tragic accidents involving kitchen utensils with a smile.
Delight in misfortune; smirk at bereavement; chuckle
at the hardship of loneliness or unemployment! price: $49.95
- IGNORAMIA: Over the millenia, wise men and women have
universally affirmed the aphorism that ignorance is bliss.
And now with Ignoramia, this bliss can be yours! Intellectual
and sensory attenuation will mean that only the vaguest,
the most trivial and temperate sensations and thoughts
will ever cross your mind. Never again will you stagger through the
tortuosity of meaningful conversation, endure the displeasure
of meeting a significant intellectual challenge, or encounter
the stressful consequences of extreme success or failure.
Enter a world of blissful security, the freedom and
happiness of childhood. News of accidents, family deaths, world
wars etc. will be skilfully and professionally kept from your
knowledge so that you may enjoy your irresponsibility
undiminished. price: $49.95
- NECROPHILIA: Since fear of death can mar an otherwise
enjoyable existence, this module simply eliminates that fear.
Chemical moderation of the Limbic System puts you entirely
at ease with the notion of your own mortality. Sleep
soundly at nights! Achieve theological objectivity!
Related phobias of heights, spiders, snakes, etc. will be necessarily
diminished. A Suicide Option lets you painlessly and
contentedly terminate actual physical existence at will - especially
useful for sufferers of terminal disease! An extension module
(available in April) will similarly extirpate existential angst,
ontalgia and horror of the contingent. price: $49.95 (+ $5 for
- UTILITOPIA:For some, Utopia is the condition of feeling
needed, of being a help to others. Utilitopia offers you
the chance to be of service! Your best friend dies
horribly of gangrene - console his widow! Your son is
beaten up and left for dead on the subway - start a concerned
citizens' action group! Your wife hijacks a plane en route to
New York and diverts its flight to Cuba where she declares her
sympathy for Fidel Castro and his Communist ideals - share your experience
on national television with other people in a similar
position! Misfortune after tragedy will hound you - a stranger
will jump out of a ten storey building and bleed to death at
your feet; your neighbour will become infected by a rabid guinea pig -
and only you will be able to help! price: $49.95
- POLYMORPHIA: For some, the physical body is the greatest
constraint. Polymporphia frees you from this constraint - this module
offers you the opportunity to redesign your own body! Grow
an extra leg, or a third eyebrow. Alter your gender,
or invent a new gender! Become a hamster - or a
glacier. With modification of the body, your experiences,
intentions, desires, will be similarly altered. Find out how the
Taj Mahal falls in love! Divorce yourself from the
anthropic principal - weak or strong. See the universe from the
perspective of a flea, or a neutrino, or the letter Q.
We guarantee that on your return to reality, nothing will ever
seem intrinsically meaningful or worthwhile ever again.