I mentioned Omikron: The Nomad Soul (the 1999 game by Quantic Dream and the infamous David Cage that features David Bowie in a prominent role) in my Ode to a Starman earlier this week and apparently it’s being offered for free on PC until he 22nd. I can’t say it’s a must play, because it isn’t. I can say that don’t remember hating it though and I did play it through to the end. Keep in mind that this was a year prior to Deus Ex coming along and blowing my mind, so my expectations were a bit different then.
You get a hit of Bowie pretty close to the beginning if I recall so if that’s something you’re interested in, check it out.
I first really got into David Bowie during college. At the time he was doing some of his more industrial sounding work (see: Outside and Earthling) and that was the kind of thing I was into at that time so it gelled. In that period he also appeared in the video game Omikron: The Nomad Soul, the first game by David Cage’s Quantic Dream studio. Bowie was part of the zeitgeist of my world and I became a fan not only of his current work, but over time his early work as well.
The amazing thing about David Bowie is that he was always part of the zeitgeist and one of a small handful that I believe defined pop stardom for the 20th and 21st century. Bowie almost seemed to exist as a non-linear entity, an ever changing, many faced god of pop and while his work had its ups and downs he kept moving forward, growing, changing.
Whenever I’d hear that Bowie was putting out a new album I’d always think “what’s he going to do this time?”, because even though his recent output had seemed to stabilize somewhat, there was always something surprising or unique about it. It’s strange to think that I won’t get to ask that question anymore and yet I think that he’ll remain (for a time) ubiquitous to pop stardom and very much in the zeitgeist.
Bowie long ago became more than a person to the world at large and yet, was capable of showing such fragility through his songs; a celestial pop star who was reassuringly human as well. While the children of today and tomorrow will grow up in a world where Bowie is history, there is no doubt that he will forever remain a presence: an interesting, confusing, and inspiring figure for all manner of creatives, the man of many faces, the embodiment of pop, the god of ch-ch-change.