Original Sci-Fi?


  • Coder

    @seraphim73 Also agreed.

    I think for techie types, telling how something works helps to answer a lot of 'what can it do' questions in one fell swoop. It's the same sort of shorthand that you might get if you said, for instance, "gravball is football with (this change)."


  • Pitcrew

    @tinuviel

    @tinuviel said in Original Sci-Fi?:

    @surreality said in Original Sci-Fi?:

    You, RL, may or may not know exactly how your phone works down to the circuits and signals and so on, but you do know how to call on it, tinker with an app, send a text, and so on.

    Magic blue-black smoke and pixies.

    I let my smoke out of the box... everything will be ok, right?



  • Most of these people can be a little snippy over, but it's not a big deal. it's just a little nudge and most reasonable people are able to go with the flow. That's not usually what causes the big blowups, though.

    What happens though is these little debates become proxies for real huge fights. Like the 'Gravball has 5 man teams' isn't really because someone is passionately dedicated to the idea of 5 man teams or bigger teams, but because Frank just showed up and would be a 6th, and Bob hates Frank's guts, and really doesn't want frank there, so he tells Frank to learn theme and get the hell out. Or because Chad was just shot in the face, and then spends 4 hours debating ballistics to show why, no sir, it would be impossible for him to be shot in the face. It's not because Chad is mortally offended by the audacity of someone to handwave ballistics, but because he really would rather not be shot in the face. This also comes up hardcore when a setting wants to avoid a problematic element and someone's like, 'THAT IS UNREALISTIC' when they really mean, 'hey, fuck you man, #thatsmyfetish'. The issue is usually really not realism vs pedantry, so much as the really uncomplimentary truths underlying it.


  • Coder

    @surreality I really do think we're talking apples and oranges here. You're describing ridiculous levels of pedantry that, yes, would be obnoxious.

    The science/tech stuff I was talking about wasn't "OMG you've got the wrong color dress for this time period" level of stuff, it was more like "OMG you're wearing jeans and a t-shirt on this Game of Thrones MUSH". It's insisting that Batman can fly (under his own power) or that morphine can cure the common cold. Some things are just egregiously wrong, and correcting people (politely) to maintain a consistent theme does not make you an elitist or theme dictator.



  • @faraday said in Original Sci-Fi?:

    @surreality I really do think we're talking apples and oranges here. You're describing ridiculous levels of pedantry that, yes, would be obnoxious.

    The science/tech stuff I was talking about wasn't "OMG you've got the wrong color dress for this time period" level of stuff, it was more like "OMG you're wearing jeans and a t-shirt on this Game of Thrones MUSH". It's insisting that Batman can fly (under his own power) or that morphine can cure the common cold. Some things are just egregiously wrong, and correcting people (politely) to maintain a consistent theme does not make you an elitist or theme dictator.

    I completely agree with this, and this is the level of pedantry I'm describing and calling out as Not At All Cool.

    Maybe my conceptual shorthand has been bad here -- but this is what I mean by 'baseline'. Baseline info would cover the things that are egregiously unthematic or deeply absurd for the setting -- 'there are no hand held mobile phones in the game, this is 1960', for instance -- without getting deep into the weeds.

    For instance, for the historical game I was going to do a page on 'modes of dress'. What people would need to know could probably have been summed up in 3 short paragraphs, 5 tops, with links to external further reading if people wanted to dig into deeper detail if they wanted to specialize in that area for whatever reason for their character. That would allow them to avoid the 'why are you wearing a bikini, WTF?!' pitfalls and incorporate things into their character or descs based on that information without having to do a deep dive into sumptuary laws, how people dealt with corsets and which ones meant you were wealthy (with someone to dress you) and which meant you were poor (and thus had to dress yourself), and so on.


  • Coder

    @surreality said in Original Sci-Fi?:

    Baseline info would cover the things that are egregiously unthematic or deeply absurd for the setting

    I agree in broad strokes. The only place I think that breaks down is when you start talking about science. How do you make a "baseline shorthand" on your wiki for physics? Or biology? This is not a problem unique to sci-fi games, but I do think you get a bit more disparity on the "commonly accepted baseline" on those games. And wikis don't normally address it at all.



  • @faraday Still, there's got to be a limit to what you expect people to know. Somewhere in the back of my head I have to think there's probably something out there from Neil DeGrass Tyson that would serve as a good basic primer, for instance, that could probably sum things up for a general audience in a quick and engaging way. (As in, I don't know of a specific thing off hand, but that's where I'd start looking if I wanted an everyman primer to link as reference.)


  • Coder

    @surreality yeah I’m obviously not getting my point across clearly and I’m giving up. My experience with sci fi games has been very different than yours it seems. I’ve seen waaay more nitpicking on historical games than on any sci fi one.



  • @faraday There's also just making a policy that states 'unless you are more than passingly familiar with tech and science, don't make a tech or science officer on this game' if it truly is that important to you.

    What you're missing is that things like clothing -- or the comic book history of a character -- are just as important to those players as tech and science are to you. Your immersion isn't any more precious and special as any of theirs is, and just like they don't get a pass on making demands beyond an everyman-with-minor-primers-and-research understanding on the player level, neither do you.

    In short, no, science and tech aren't any different from any of those things, and this is exactly the problem I've been trying to describe as a barrier to entry, and a genre in which the behavior that is typically called out as negative is instead embraced.

    Again, I don't expect people to even know there was once such a thing as a 'sumptuary law', let alone what any of those laws were, or why they came to be, but to me, 'sumptuary laws are a thing' really is, internally, very basic rudimentary knowledge about clothing. My internal baseline for 'basic', however, is far afield of the average person. Being aware of this is actually important, and managing expectations based on it is even more important, because no game is all about (generic) you and (generic) your sensibilities unless you say so right up front.



  • I think another core issue with sci-fi is that there are hugely divergent opinions on what sci-fi is and if one person is operating under another set of assumptions to another? They are likely to clash.

    If one person is expecting Star Trek, one is expecting Flash Gordon and another is expecting District 13? Non of the gut feelings those people have for how things work are going to be compatible in the slightest.


  • Coder

    @surreality Yeah I never said tech was more important than those other things (in fact I said the exact opposite to @Seraphim73 a couple posts ago). But thanks for the condescending lecture.



  • @faraday There's no intent to be condescending here. Just a response to:

    @faraday said in Original Sci-Fi?:

    I agree in broad strokes. The only place I think that breaks down is when you start talking about science.

    ...which read like science as an exception that is truly different and must be handled in a different manner and held to different standards than other subjects.

    Edit: Further: I have gone out of my way to note that I do not believe you have negative intentions, have clearly labeled 'generic' you to confirm I am speaking generally and not attempting to attack you in any personal way, have refrained from ascribing nasty motives to you, or snarking at you with sarcastic cracks and accusations. I would appreciate it if this courtesy was returned, as it isn't the place for it, and it isn't the conversation anyone is interested in having here.


 

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