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The MMOG Nation Broadcast #3
Wed, 13 Feb 2008 15:52:00 GMT [download/play]

The MMOG Nation Broadcast's third episode is yet another response-cast, this time to Craig Dalrymple's ill-conceived defense of Fantasy vs. Sci-Fi. Doesn't he know resistance is futile? A few more naughty words are used, and I even manage to insult religion. Next time will be more listener-friendly, I promise.

Root Posts:
Why Fantasy?
Sci-Fi Ghetto
Is There Hope for a Science Fiction MMORPG?
No Hope for a Science Fiction MMORPG?
MMO: Science Fiction MMO Outline #1 "Book of Days"

My post: Five Reasons Sci-Fi Pwns Fantasy
His response: One Reason Fantasy Pwns Sci-Fi

Beachcoma, Finished Symphony, Wide Angle. Album by Hybrid. Used without permission.

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Episode 3 Discussion Thread

'Not that this is not a great episode..' by Beauturkey
Submitted on 2008-02-13 12:30:10 CST
..but I'm not sure that it is that deep of an issue, well at least the issue of why "fantasy games are more popular than sci-fi." I don't think that this is because of the quality of the sci-fi games out there, but just the lower numbers. And anyway, many of the fantasy games I play now feature some form of "steam-punkery"...big gears, lil goblins that make steam powered machines, stuff like that. So all the genre's are blurring.
Ok, maybe it IS that deep of an issue. Do I prefer one to the other? No, just like I don't have a preference of music. I have literally hundreds of different bands that I like, and the same goes for my games. Give me a good one is all I care.
BUT, if I do go for a good sci-fi romp, I can't STAND that shadowrun stuff hehe..seriously I hope no one gets mad at me but I never got into that "cyber-punk". It seemed way too cartoony, all I rememebr is going to dance clubs to get messed up and have fun and seeing these guys with lasers taped to their arms. We called 'em post-moderns back then. Goth now I guess? I like my sci-fi like Gattaca or 2001, something beautiful, lonely, surreal. Maybe that's why? Maybe we don't get into sci-fi as much because we DO have these technologies that get bigger (actually smaller) and badder every year? I mean I look at games sometimes and think (although rarely) "This is going to be laughed at one day like I laugh at the commodore 64 I had when I was a kid." With fantasy, you are always moving AWAY from it, and it's always kept safe.
I dunno. Shit. Good podcast! :)

'Did that guy just say bad things about Shadowrun?' by Scarybug
Submitted on 2008-02-14 14:32:58 CST
As someone who's taken college physics, I gotta say that much of Star Trek is fantasy too. But you make a good point on what makes Star Trek appealing vs Star Wars.

Of course, you know me. I'm a fan of Sci-Fi-Fantasy mash-ups.

'Yeh sorry bout the ramble..' by Beauturkey
Submitted on 2008-02-14 20:35:57 CST
..I was like, 1/4th drunk at that point. Love the show though!

'Sci-Fantasy' by Talyn
Submitted on 2008-02-14 21:46:05 CST
I'm also a fan of Sci-Fantasy, although my roots were more planted in Palladium's Rifts RPG than Shadowrun, which I'm not a fan of because of it's cartoon-ish-ness. I'm sure there's quality material in there, but the art and the gimmicky phrases are very juvenile so... I'll pass on Shadowrun. But I feel a good sci-fantasy game with some quality cyberpunk and meaningful pvp would go over well.

'Mind-blowing' by Stargher
Submitted on 2008-02-15 06:03:33 CST
This was one of my favourite podcasts of all time. It was captivating and just beautiful. Sci-Fi really is something that should be embraced and excellent Sci-Fi games like Deus Ex, System Shock, Fallout would make excellent MMO:s in my opinion, but the MMO market needs to move a bit from mob-slaying to storytelling before the games will be any goof though...

'Cartoony?' by Scarybug
Submitted on 2008-02-15 11:54:22 CST
What exactly is cartoony about Shadowrun? Art & gimmicky phrases are just in the source material, it has nothing to do with how you actually play the game. Or are we talking about the X-Box FPS now?

'Shadowrun and stuff ... ' by Elsyth
Submitted on 2008-02-15 13:24:11 CST
OK now you gone and done it .. you step over the line by diminishing Shadow run to merely SCi-Fantasy. You better delve into the law behind it before commenting again or I'll have to come over there and tell it to you straight .. Shadowrun is Sci-Fiction that explains myths and legends through technology. Remember that line about any sufficiently advanced technology yadda yadda yadda .. thats ShadowRun. None of this poncy Elf stuff, they are mutants, big ugly .. er .. pretty pointy eared mutants. Bah why do I even bother anymore ....

*The above was brought to you by the people who know absolutely nothing about what they're talking about and the Letter 'Q' .... Thats the Letter 'Q'. Right.....

Interesting show .. keep it up .. but I still want to see a ShadowRun MMO no matter what you or anyone else thinks .. whether it would be any good is a different matter but thats not the point is it ... and don't ask me what the point is either .. I don't know and if you know why the heck are you asking me in the first place.


'hehe it's MY job to make comments like that! :)' by Beauturkey
Submitted on 2008-02-15 16:34:27 CST
I'm not sure who's talking to who, but just to clarify:
When I was younger, I played some D and D with my brothers (we have a huge family of nerds) and we had a friend that got into Shadowrun. We got a lil into it, and to be honest I haven;'t given it a run in recent years. It was late 80's early nineties right? So yeh last time i tired it was a lil before I moved out soo(does math beep beep beep) around 92-93? I just didn't like it.
So yeh, I am in now way referring to the Xbox game, which from what I've read, everyone hated.
I need to go look up some Shadowrun stuff then, and see how I feel now. And although the art and catchy saying do not make up a game, you gotta admit it has a lot to do with how people generally feel about it.

'Cartoonrun' by Talyn
Submitted on 2008-02-15 18:04:42 CST
No, I'm not talking about the atrocious FPS game at all.

Yes, I absolutely judged the RPG books by their cover (and interior art) and while I'm certain there's plenty of quality stuff there (if not it wouldn't be so popular, right?) the presentation was too Saturday Morning Cartoon for me. That was back then. Now? I recently read a Shadowrun novel, and while it was "ok" much of the Shadowrun phrases are just silly for the sake of being silly. Or as the hardcore would say: "it breaks my immersion QQ"

Shadowrun was called sci-fantasy back then, if I recall? If not, I couldn't care less; I'm calling it sci-fantasy today. It's got tech, it's got magic, it's got big ugly doofus orcs and poncy elves... sounds like sci-fantasy to me.

As for an MMO, I'd rather see an original IP that takes the best of Rifts and the best of Shadowrun and pushes the envelope since... pen-and-paper rules DO NOT translate to video games. Ever.

'FantasySciFi' by Akely
Submitted on 2008-02-18 05:03:19 CST
For me it is apples and oranges. It's this ancient OPINION thing again. For me SciFi need to be well established in real physics and tech. Therefore I don't even consider Star Wars SciFi. Star Trek at least tries to keep some sort of "hard" science. So for me Heinlein's definition is spot on.

A game like Neuromancer (or the follow-ups) would rock. Can't argue that, but what I'd REALLY want is a setting in Peter F. Hamiltons "Nights Dawn" setting. That would be creamtastic!

Still... I think for a game I prefer fantasy games. At least I won't be sniped from 3 clicks!

'Now THAT was a great podcast' by d1551d3nt
Submitted on 2008-02-19 17:58:51 CST
Right on Michael! I loved this episode. You took a stance, defined your terms, defended your position all the while fleshing it out. Great stuff and really a good way to get this Face the Nation thing running well, right off the bat! I'm a dedicated listener now for life!

Just some of my opinions:

Star Trek is equally fantastic - just because they spout 25 cent science jargon doesn't mean they're combining the words correctly. How is it that every single Star Trek crew member can write a polymorphing self replicating nano-virus capable of rewiring alien technology to bypass the laws of physics by generating a variable wavelength tachyon beam to somehow save the day?

The most lethal weapon ever invented in the Star Trek universe is the freakin' transporter beam which seems, in some episodes, to be able to penetrate even shields (especially when encapsulated in the ubiquitous tachyon beam) and instantly turn any matter into pure energy. The Enterprise could have so totally escaped certain disaster on numerous occasions by simply transporting chunks of enemy ships, like the bridge or warp core, into the energy state. Imagine the damage?!?!?! Imagine the power supplied by that? Who needs dilithium crystals? Just beam up an unfortunate red shirt for power for the next warp space jump.

Ignoring the Matrix MMO - A cyberpunk based MMO could be very cool and deep. Especially if there was war raging across the virtual and real worlds simultaneously.