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As I lay in bed at 6am today, crying, I knew: it’s time. They say Christmas is a season for cheer and goodwill towards all but that’s not an observation, it’s an imploration. Christmas can be difficult for so many reasons, and that is why we must offer people cheer and goodwill. So truly, genuinely I find great comfort and joy in Christmas Pain In Christmas Town, a novelty Christmas song by a fictional washed-up musician from 90s infobahn detective game Hypnospace Outlaw. May this music video bring you cheer too.
The Chowder Man (whose songs are performed by real musician Hot Dad) is a fictional musician within the world of Hynospace Outlaw, whose music and tragic stories are scattered across that weird 90s Internet.
This is what I crave in Christmas music, musical maximalism and a raw blast of emotions. Look, The Chowder Man isn’t a poet but his feelings are real. No irony: it is a great song. I adore the wall of festive sound, especially that synth melody and the bonus shredding from Dave Pino. And that music video from Hypnospace boss Jay Tholen…!
A friend once likened Christmas Pain In Christmas Town to a Carly Rae Jepsen song, and yes, I would love to hear Carly Rae cover it. Or duet on it with Hot Dad. Or release her own response song telling the other side of the story. Carly Rae Jepsen, please, get on this. It’s important. For Christmas.
A Hypnospace follow-up is on the way, jumping into the alt-history Internet of the early noughties with Dreamsettler. And speaking of fictional people from Hypnospace making real things, notorious loudmouth ZANE_ROCKS_14 is ‘making’ a retro FPS named SlayersX, which currently has a demo I know our Liam liked.
Take care this oft-difficult time of year, reader dear. We have quite a few Christmas traditions to share cheer and godwill, including the RPS advent calendar celebrating our favourite games of the year, the long-dreaded Christmas cracker jokes, and a few personal favourite festive games. Please know that you remain my power, my pleasure, my pain.
Disclosure: infrequent RPS contributor Xalavier Nelson Jr. was narrative designer on Hypnospace Outlaw.