Dear Mr. President,
My name is Henrietta Rotwang, a hard-working mother of four living on space colony Pluke. I wanted to write to you regarding your corporation's upcoming Octopus City Simulation Software, Octopus City Blues. You see, my ten year old daughter is fascinated with the simulation you are developing. Posters of Kaf, Daisy and the Conman are all over the walls on her room. She prints and memorizes all of your press releases, and she even wants to be an "Octoblood junkie" when she grows up.
Now, I view myself as a fairly modern and open-minded parent. I appreciate all the great things your corporation has done for us and for everyone in the colonies. I am also aware of the historic significance of the Samarduk octopus city ruins and your ambitious project to simulate what it would be like to live in and explore such a city. I can see the educational value of the simulation, and I am happy when my daughter shows genuine passion and interest in any subject. However, I am a little concerned about the nature of your simulation.
This is an image from an article in the latest Electronic OctoSim Monthly, the one titled "OCB Goes HD: Fatter Widescreen Tentacles Confirmed". In this image, a homeless young girl describes symptoms of "Octoblood addiction". Now I know that Octoblood no longer exists, and maybe it's silly to even bring this up, but... I am worried about the message your simulation is conveying to my children. When my daughter saw this image, she told me being an Octoblood addict must be exciting: living on the edge, bleeding a thick dark blue liquid, and having to consume the same liquid to stay alive. It all seems very graphic and disturbing to me, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
This is another image from the same article. It apparently depicts a dark and dangerous slum area in the lower part of the city, a place so perilous that even the local police force doesn't dare to patrol. I am ashamed to admit not knowing much about history, but it almost seems like your simulation is highlighting the darker, seedier elements in order to sell more copies. All this talk of drug abuse, crime syndicates, ambiguous moral choices, and corrupt government is starting to worry me. What kind of role model is Kaf Kafkaryan? He may have been an important historic figure, but it seems quite irresponsible having children assume the role of an ugly middle-aged man who talks to tentacles, consumes forbidden substances, and commits heinous crimes. Are they supposed to identify with characters like a crafty swindler, a childish mad scientist, a deformed horse, or a jealous tentacle-wife?
This one is from your own marketing material. What is Kaf doing to the poor man? Did he kill him? What is he planning to do with the body? Why is a rat watching them? Does that graffiti show a cyborg blowing their brains out? It's all very dark, gritty and amoral. What happened to good old values? Why doesn't your simulation emphasize more positive things about our past? How about the ingenuity required to build something as impressive as the Samarduk octopus city, or how the actions of one insignificant and cowardly tentacle cutter changed the course of history? Our past was not perfect, and an authentic simulation would have to show a lot of dark and questionable things. I think you should definitely portray all the negative aspects of the city, but it's one thing to show the destructive effects of Octoblood consumption and the consequences of overpopulation and greed, and another thing to focus on these things and make them "cool" and acceptable, using them to market your purportedly educational package.
One more thing, I am very concerned about the release window of your simulation. My daughter started following your simulation over three years ago. So far all we have seen is images, videos, press releases, and the occasional demo. It must be difficult to make something this ambitious, but I want my daughter to have closure already. I'm just saying... people are getting tired of your excuses. I hope you make some concrete announcements regarding that topic soon.
A Very Concerned Mother
PS: I am sending this message anonymously because I heard strange rumors of people disappearing and something called a "spider-bot". Naturally I don't believe such things, and I'm confident that Ghost in a Bottle has our best interest at heart, but it doesn't hurt to be a little prudent...