The pandemic’s thin silver lining is that you can pretend to live in a post-apocalyptic novel where characters treat old-world social behaviors as incredibly exotic, e.g.:
I mentioned to AI Dungeon that Before The Plague, there was a decade called “The 1970s” during which people would form things called “bands” and flout social convention by (I assume, from my hazy memories of The Before Times) standing less than six feet apart on stage. It responded with a lightly fictionalized origin story for The Ramones, involving werewolves.
Elsewhere in AI Dungeon:
Much like the “restaurant” called “In-N-Out Burger” in The Before Times, AI Dungeon has a secret menu if you type numbers not listed in the starting scenario options. A Reddit user has put together a partial cheat sheet for them, if you want to skip the search.
AI Dungeon also has a $5/month premium tier now. It offers support for multiplayer games, audio narration, and wonky behind-the-scenes stuff like tweaking adventure randomness and length. I haven’t dug up a direct link because this entire game just absolutely hates hyperlinks, but if you visit the site it’ll come up soon enough.
“Punk Rock Band”
[PROMPT: You are a disaffected suburban teenager living in the 1970s. You want to rebel against bourgeois conformity, which means there’s only one thing to do: start a punk rock band. After gathering your guitar and your safety pin collection, you catch the bus to New York City and stand at the door of CBGB, ready to find members for your new band called] The Ramones.
But when you arrive, none of the people who work at the record store look anything like you. They’re all middle-aged or older, with beards and mustaches that would make Chuck Berry proud.
Some wear leather jackets; others have long hair. One guy is wearing a red bathrobe. And they all seem to be staring at you with suspicion.
The owner of the shop looks up from his records and says, in a deep voice, as if he were addressing an audience:
“Mr. Ramone! I’m sorry about this… but we don’t sell records here anymore. We no longer carry any music whatsoever. If you really want to play, go buy some records somewhere else.”
You feel sick inside. You know that this isn’t true. This is just another way of saying: We don’t want you here anymore. But what can you do?
> Spit a cool, nihilistic quip and leave
You walk out of the store and down the street. A few minutes later, you get on a subway car headed toward Times Square. As soon as you step into the station, you hear someone call out:
“Hey kid! Where ya gonna be tomorrow night?”
You turn around. It’s the same man who spoke to you on the street. He has a shaved head and wears a black leather jacket over a t-shirt and jeans. His eyes are wide with fear, but they also show anger and hatred.
> Ask the man to join your new band
“I’d love to,” he says. “What time?”
“At least until midnight.”
“Well, then I’ll see you there!”
You ride the train home. When you get off at your house, you take a deep breath and sit down on the couch.
Your mother comes walking in through the front door. She sits next to you on the couch and hugs you tightly. Her face is flushed, her cheeks are pink, and she’s breathing hard.
She tells you that she thinks it’s going to rain tonight. You tell her not to worry about it, because you’ve got something better to do than watch the weather. Your mother smiles and kisses you on the cheek before turning away from you and heading back upstairs.
> Sneak out and find your bandmate
You quickly rush downstairs and run into the basement. The lights are dimmed, so you can only make out shadows moving around in the darkness. You look around for a moment and then suddenly you hear a noise behind you.
You turn around and see a figure standing in the dark corner of the room.
It’s a tall, thin man dressed all in black. He holds a long knife and his hands are covered with blood.
> Ask the man to join your new band
The man looks up at you, his expression one of terror. He begins to scream and beg for help.
You grab him by the shirt collar and pull him backwards against the wall.
> Ask why the man won’t join your band
He asks what you want with him. You explain that you’re looking for a singer for your new band, and he seems like an okay choice.
You tell him that you need someone to sing lead vocals, which he agrees to immediately.
> Gather your band and crash the stage at CBGB
You call the man over to you. He stares at you blankly as if expecting you to kill him right now. You don’t say anything else; instead, you just grab his shoulders and shove him towards the stage.
As soon as he gets to the edge of the stage, you begin singing. The crowd goes wild. Everyone knows this song: It’s called ‘Free Bird’. As you start to sing, you notice that your voice has changed slightly. It sounds more powerful and commanding.
You feel like you could take on the world.
Suddenly, a hand grabs your shoulder and yanks you off the stage. A man wearing all black steps forward and whispers in your ear.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.”
You look down at yourself and realize that you’ve been turned into a werewolf!
Your life is ruined. You’re no longer human. You’re now… A WEREWOLF!
I for one welcome conversation about our new AI overlords. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.