Walter Isaacson’s new biography of Elon Musk is such a fever dream of disconnected and bizarre anecdotes about the man that you almost find yourself skimming past the brief mention of him taking a 200 year old gun to a recording studio to demand he be a cameo in Cyberpunk 2077. Of course he did, why wouldn’t he? That’s just another Tuesday afternoon for this guy, apparently.
While Elon’s then-partner Grimes was recording her part in the game as cyborg popstar Lizzy Wizzy, the erratic tech billionaire turned up with an antique firearm to “insist” on being included in the game. “The studio guys were like sweating,” Grimes is quoted as saying. Musk adds “I told them that I was armed but not dangerous”.
Apparently, the developers relented at the time, though it’s unclear if Musk did actually get the cameo in the end. It’s been suggested by some that a character you see in the bathroom in an early sequence is him, though if that is the cameo it’s a pretty subtle one and the likeness is far from exact.
The book suggests his enthusiasm was driven by the similarities he saw between the cybernetic implants in the game and his own work on his Neuralink technology. Certainly the book paints a picture of a man hugely inspired by sci-fi visions of the future, particularly basing his questionable Cybertruck product on imagery from Cyberpunk 2077 as well as Blade Runner. The vehicle even almost made it into the game, though it never seemed to get further than a render.
Of course, the real question is, why did he have a 200 year old gun with him? I suspect it was the flintlock pistol that we’ve seen he keeps by his bed, next to a revolver from Deus Ex: Human Revolution and a frankly unhealthy collection of Coke cans.
If you fancy reading more low-context stories of Elon Musk being an unpleasant manchild—such as sending photos of Grimes having c-section surgery round to their friends and family including her father and brothers without her knowledge, communicating Tesla’s position on joint ventures to bemused Chinese officials by miming a wedding between toddlers, and receiving a chronic neck injury from trying to grapple a sumo wrestler at his 42nd birthday party—you can pick the book up for yourself on Amazon today. Just be warned you’ll need a high tolerance for suggestions that this sort of obnoxiousness is merely a symptom of his eccentric genius.