cyberspace. A term invented by the science fiction author William Gibson and introduced by him in the novel Neuromancer (1984). The inspiration for the term, says Gibson, came in the sight of the rapt intensity of teenagers in video arcades and the familiar sensation of 'actual space' behind the computer screen. In Neuromarcer, accordingly, cyberspace (or 'the matrix') 'has its roots in primitive arcade games [...] in early graphics programs and military experimentation with cranial jacks' and is further defined as 'A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitiimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts. [...] A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system.' Gibson's Neuromarcer and other novels of the 1980s are thought to have pioneered the genre of cyberpunk fiction. In these stories Gibson's main characters (called 'console cowboys') 'jack into' cyberspace through a deck connected to a socket in their heads and are able to access information though this is protected by artificial intelligences (AIs) servicing multinational corporations. This scenario with its emphasis on technology, information, and anonymous global business operations has led a critic such as Fredric Jameson to describe cyberpunk fiction as 'the supreme literary expression if not of postmodernism, then of late capitalism itself.' The term cyberspace is in common use in the worlds of business and l information technology and associated therefore with advances in information storage and retrieval and with the ethical and political questions of privacy and public access. In these and other popular discourses it is often used synonymously with references to the Internet, simulation, and virtual reality. (see also: cyborg; hyperreality)