Episode 73: Futuristic Gaming

Hosts: Todd, Megan, Mike, Lexx, Scott, Timo

We meander on and about the topic of games and gaming set in the future. It takes us a hell of a long time, but we eventually get to the topic. We then lose that topic in time and space, but we get it back eventually. The conversation get’s a little confused and nebulous at times, but we try to make some sense of the topic let alone our own blather.

Banter: Timo has large ears and had a mullet (which leads to more on hair), Blood on the mic, Megan is emasculating us every time, Timo’s sweater has accessory problems, we have a big board now, different measures of distance, the dice roll, rolling behind the screen (and we draw the lines yet again for no reason), why doesn’t anyone want to kick JohnKelly in the nuts, Pro-champion, John Kelly and Elijah, we get compassionate about the homeless, space-hobo’s, new segment: Where did Mike sleep last night (1:02)

Main topic: Futuristic Gaming (16:54)
Futuristic tropes (The prog rock album) (17:15)
Games that start “x time from right now:” Remember Tomorrow, Bliss Stage (19:10)
We degrade back to blather: this time being mean to kids and how bullying helps make people better. (21:50)
Topic returns: talking about class structure through futuristic settings (30:45)
Being able to deal with our societal discomforts via a fictional medium (33:35)
Talking about now by making a particular point stark (Todd is a fictional racist) (36:04)
Ron Edwards Justifiers game (38:50)
Future games from the 80’s are the ones doing well now (Shadowrun, post-apocalyptic settings, blade runner) (39:50)
Established and nostalgic (41:35)
Characteristics of the future as seen from different decades (Star Trek) (43:20)
The future doesn’t last: Bro’s in space (44:44)
Transhumanism: Eugenics onwards (47:05)
Horror is fear of the unknown, Science fiction can be fear of the known (and hope as the counter) (48:50)
Prevalence of “organic == human” (50:05)
Freemarket as a counter example (45:45)
Futuristic games as the future without commentary (53:15)
Game/setting design: asking the question and not answering it (54:25)
We finally get around to explaining what Freemarket actually is (55:10)
What is meant by unanswered questions (we disagree) (58:00)
How this works with defined settings (Shock, Freemarket, Misspent Youth) (01:03:05)
Recent futuristic games: Dark Heresy, Eclipse Phase, Cthulhu tech (01:06:20)
Advancing epochs in game settings (Fireborn, Wild Talents and Godlike), the Trinity Universe (01:07:45)
Psionics (01:09:45)
Sci-fi versus future fantasy (Lexx’s beard) (01:10:28)
Buckets get kicked (01:13:13)
Star Wars as an example (01:14:48)
Why the fuck do we need a definition? (01:17:02)
We try to make a point. I’m not sure we do (01:21:34)

Scott: Bringing the nephew in to the RPG fold.
Lexx: Delay mechanics are fucking stupid.
Mike: Our modern military is scarily effective.
Megan: Don’t bullshit me, if you don’t want to see my show then just tell me.
Todd: Seriously, Jank Cast, just shut the hell up.
Timo: Just can’t follow Todd up.

You have been listening to The Jank Cast, copyright 2010 under the creative commons license. You can find out more about us at jankcast.com. All the music in the show is from the song, “Jank is a Dork Word” written and recorded by Todd and is used with his permission. You can send comments and feedback to feedback@jankcast.com Again, we are sponsored by Chicagoland Games, and this is JOHNKELLY reminding you to support your local gaming store. Now go out and roll some dice.

9 thoughts on “Episode 73: Futuristic Gaming

  1. Oh, I do enjoy it when we blather. I just feel like we should warn anybody who might be under the impression that we’ll say something comprehensible that we’re not going to. Sort of thing.

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  3. I’d be interested in seeing your mods to Arkham Horror that removes the delay mechanics, Lexx.

  4. So, it seemed like amidst the incoherent ramblings, that you covered a few of the interesting issues that I have had with the various futuristic games that I have played. Specifically, it was the tendencies of developers to pose questions about the future and then beat you with the answers which they have come up with for their setting. I tend to throw out a ton of the fluff, when I GM those games, in those cases I warn my players that the fluff may or may not be in effect on a case by case basis so that they can explore the questions that the developers raise.

  5. Yeah. That’s definitely a thing, Tristansaurus. Like I said- I grew up on Rifts and I totally love the setting, so when they start doing things like leveling whole cities in new supplements because technology and magic must clash and technology wins it makes me a sad panda. It’s this sort of micro-managing of what people do with the game, that tends to be really common as game worlds get bigger and bigger.

  6. I totally understand what you are talking about with developers using new supplements to railroad setting developments. When White Wolf was mentioned I thought, as the conversation had been heading onto a tangent about this, that it was going to be about the way they ended the last iteration of the WoD, the name of the book escapes me right now (finals week drives facts out of my brain) but it was exactly what you guys were saying, you don’t get to answer the questions they pose and instead you are relegated to sand-boxing within their world to a one degree or another.

    I tried getting into RIFTS, unfortunately I ruined myself for it immediately (being that I was a beginning player and I did what everyone in High School does, grabbed the meanest thing I could find) as I chose a Apok. It broke the party dynamic, because now there was an internal tension within the party which I, as a new player, was unable to deal with. It caused the party to eventually self destruct as the one magic user (me) was faced with an ultimatum given by a pair of party members who said either I would have to turn myself in to the authorities as a magic user, or they were going to make me. That kind of stripped a little of the fun out of the game for me, and I have not really found a RIFTS group that I will play with, because of the limitations that the system places on the players. Instead I play Shadowrun, as the system seems not to limit the choice of character for the players as much.

    I agree with what someone said on the cast, forgive me for not placing all the voices to names, that the setting should provide a place for questions, that the group has asked, to be answered at the table.

  7. Ha. Yeah. That’s pretty much the prototypical Rifts party. The group I Gm’d for in high school included:

    1) A juicer
    2) A Glitter Boy
    3) A Ley Line Walker
    4) and a frickin’ MINOTAUR.

    Trying to find something they could all agree on to do was a chore. Every. Damn. Time.

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