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"Transhuman Contact"- Breaking the Ice for posthuman relationship woes?

Started by Bailywolf, May 05, 2006, 08:48:44 AM

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After reading the novel Mindscan - a fascinating book dealing with consciousness, uploading, and the legal and social ramifications of that kind of thing- I got to thinking about a sort of relationship-driven game cribbing liberally from the excellent Transhuman Space game setting by Steve Jackson games... specifically dealing with questions of human relations in a world where the very definition of 'Human' is being radically redefined.  Can the sapient AI mind running an L4 space manufacturing station find love with the uplifted dolphin pilot of the freighter which delivers the factory's raw materials?  Can a tank-grown combat bioroid forge a meaningful relationship a spoiled firstworld net-brat?

I don't want to reinvent the wheel, and started looking around for games with solid relationship mechanics, which lead me here. 

So... some questions.

I understand BtI's basic premise- the three-date cycle following.  Can it support longer-term play?  Take relationships beyond the initial forming of intimacy, and into commitment, growth, and the rocky waters which often follow familiarity.   

Does it support different modes of play- or is its two-player format too integral to the game's mechanics and thematic elements?

Hrm... some more questions when I have a clearer idea if I'm on the right track here.



Emily Care

Hey Ben,

Good questions. I can easily imagine playing a great game of BtI with an uplifted dolphin* finding love with a sapient AI.  Their conflicts would be things like: "learning to deal with sentience", and "do I have a soul?" The three date scenario could be changed to have a longer scope: each turn being a sequence in the lives of the beings rather than just part of a "date" per se.  But the mechanics are really focused.  You collaborate on making up things that do right for the duo, and then on what goes wrong, and how their conflicts play out.  It works for multi-player play, but is ideal for two, or teams playing the two characters.

A game you should check out is Joshua Newman's Shock:. His game takes social issues and juxtaposes them with technological changes, or shocks, and you play characters dealing with the ramifications of these thigns.  Just a couple weeks ago we were throwing around examples for the game that involved uplift etc.  Especially since you are interested in the social implications, I think you'll dig Shock.

All the best,

*like dolphins need our bloody help : )
Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games