Ultraculture, Episode 12: Satyros Phil Brucato, developer of Mage: The Ascension, on Life as Magick
In this episode of the Ultraculture podcast, I’m talking to Satyros Phil Brucato, the developer of the role-playing game Mage: The Ascension.
Mage was possibly the most metaphysically sophisticated game ever created, and beyond being just a game, was a massive hypertext linking genre literature, philosophy, world mythology and the occult, opening up a world of much greater sophistication to smart 1990s teenagers and college students, much like Vertigo comics did. If you’ve never heard of Mage, you’ve still probably felt its presence, as it was a major inspiration behind the Matrix movies and a lot of late-90s pop culture in general.
Mage was a kind of parody of 1990s occulture, in which the various pagan and counterculture groups became playable character classes. That meant Wiccans, tantrikas, acidheads, Eastern mystics, Mondo 2000-reading hackers and lots more. These various groups were banded together by their hatred of the Technocracy, a New World Order trying to stamp magic from the world and regiment everything. These and various other factions fought for control of reality, using magic, technology or any other means at their disposal. Obviously this had a big effect on me.
Phil is a pagan in real life, so it’s little wonder that his views on magic and politics found their way into the game. He’s also a freelance fantasy writer, and has blogged at Daily Kos and Posterous. Recently, he was tapped by Onyx Path to reboot Mage for a Kickstarted 20th Anniversary edition, which is out now.
I was super happy to find out that Phil is a fan of Ultraculture, and we sat down to have a great conversation on the nature of magick and how to shape our reality.
If you enjoy this show, please check out my free course on chaos magick. It’s packed with informative reading, instructional videos, guided meditations and lots more, all on how to use magick to shape your life—exactly what Phil and I discuss here.
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See you soon for more episodes of the show!