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Subject: Quasi religion in board gaming science fiction rss

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Wray Cason
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I have the perspective of a curious outsider here. I do not own and have not played Space Hulk or any Mutant Chronicles games. I observe that their theme includes quasi religious themes in a dark future world. I get the vague sense that the idea is that in a dark and fearsome future, The Church will be one of the prevailing powers along side evil corporations and scary aliens.

What is the deal with these religious themes in these games.
 
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Wrayman wrote:
I have the perspective of a curious outsider here. I do not own and have not played Space Hulk or any Mutant Chronicles games. I observe that their theme includes quasi religious themes in a dark future world. I get the vague sense that the idea is that in a dark and fearsome future, The Church will be one of the prevailing powers along side evil corporations and scary aliens.

What is the deal with these religious themes in these games.


They're extrapolated from the era of the Spanish Inquisition.

What kind of question is "what is the deal with..."?
 
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Wrayman wrote:
What is the deal with these religious themes in these games.


Playing Space Hulk is a mortal sin.
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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Wrayman wrote:
I have the perspective of a curious outsider here. I do not own and have not played Space Hulk or any Mutant Chronicles games. I observe that their theme includes quasi religious themes in a dark future world. I get the vague sense that the idea is that in a dark and fearsome future, The Church will be one of the prevailing powers along side evil corporations and scary aliens.

What is the deal with these religious themes in these games.


Given the scary church-states that we've seen already happening in our own personal history, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to project that onto a sci-fi type future.

Crusades
Spanish Inquisition
Salem Witch Trials
Islamic Terrorists
etc
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pronoblem baalberith
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Wrayman wrote:
What is the deal with these religious themes in these games.


I play Here I Stand... the only time I won was when I played the Vatican. I burned people at the stake and I went to war against the Hapsburg. The war with Hapsburg may have not been historical but the Vatican committed some dirty deeds in history. If some sci-fi or fantasy game (Dune is a great example, so is Chaos in the Old World) wants to extrapolate corrupt religion based on our history into a game I am cool with that. Art imitates life.

I'm not sure why it is "quasi"... why not just "religion". Look what Jedi has become, or L Ron Hubbard... or Mormonism for that matter.
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Wrayman wrote:


What is the deal with these religious themes in these games.


Fiction is Fiction.
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I like religion in sci-fi games and fiction in general. I think the idea that it will die out is a not-very-convincing fantasy, although certainly it can and will change in unexpected ways.

As far as the evil/complicit religions in the settings you mention, most dark settings of any type (past/present/future/whatever) will have everything dark for thematic consistency. It wouldn't make much sense for government and corporations to be blatantly corrupt and oppressive, but on the other hand there's a happy little church over in the corner that is completely unaffected and everyone is just full of joy and light.

Plus the dark humor/satire that DCAnderson mentioned.
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Wray Cason
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quozl wrote:

What kind of question is "what is the deal with..."?
It is a familiar aphorism that successfully got your attention.
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There is no good or bad, just eternal war. There is no harmony, just chaos. It could be said that the forces of the Emperor are just a few steps shy of becoming their corrupted brethren, if their fanaticism can just be tweaked a tiny bit. It's a vicious cycle as the search for corruption becomes more brutal and order is forced on the Imperial citizens, they are ironically driven into the arms of chaos, which causes more atrocities in the name of the Emperor and therefore sows more chaos. In the end, the ultimate chaos god, Entropy awaits. Order and harmony are doomed artificial constructs.

"When tempest tossed, embrace chaos" - Dean Koontz
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If only I weren't atheistic to Slaanesh as well. Alas.

(I'm not a Warhammer fan, but I gather he'd be my go-to guy.)
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pronoblem baalberith
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GAWD wrote:
pronoblem wrote:
Wrayman wrote:
What is the deal with these religious themes in these games.


I play Here I Stand... the only time I won was when I played the Vatican. I burned people at the stake and I went to war against the Hapsburg. The war with Hapsburg may have not been historical but the Vatican committed some dirty deeds in history.


Actually violent conflict between the Papacy and (Catholic) Hapsburgs is very historical ...


Oh, I know. I am speaking to the game event itself. I declared war on Charles (with the Machiavelli card ), excommunicated him and then sacked Naples in 1545 where he was hanging out. It did not quite go down like that historically.
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Wrayman wrote:
I have the perspective of a curious outsider here. I do not own and have not played Space Hulk or any Mutant Chronicles games. I observe that their theme includes quasi religious themes in a dark future world. I get the vague sense that the idea is that in a dark and fearsome future, The Church will be one of the prevailing powers along side evil corporations and scary aliens.


I suspect that a great deal of the inspiration comes from several authors in the 40s and 50s talking about religion as the main agent in the preservation and re-acceptance of science and culture after a cultural and political decline in a sci-fi evironment. Asimovs' Foundation and its paralelism with the Catholic Church and the decline of the Western Roman Empire is a classic example.
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Moshe Callen
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HeinzGuderian wrote:
Wrayman wrote:
I have the perspective of a curious outsider here. I do not own and have not played Space Hulk or any Mutant Chronicles games. I observe that their theme includes quasi religious themes in a dark future world. I get the vague sense that the idea is that in a dark and fearsome future, The Church will be one of the prevailing powers along side evil corporations and scary aliens.


I suspect that a great deal of the inspiration comes from several authors in the 40s and 50s talking about religion as the main agent in the preservation and re-acceptance of science and culture after a cultural and political decline in a sci-fi evironment. Asimovs' Foundation and its paralelism with the Catholic Church and the decline of the Western Roman Empire is a classic example.

or Frit\ Lieber's Gather, Darkness! but I prefer th Dune approach which just accepts religion as one aspect of human society among a plethora of others.
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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HeinzGuderian wrote:
Wrayman wrote:
I have the perspective of a curious outsider here. I do not own and have not played Space Hulk or any Mutant Chronicles games. I observe that their theme includes quasi religious themes in a dark future world. I get the vague sense that the idea is that in a dark and fearsome future, The Church will be one of the prevailing powers along side evil corporations and scary aliens.


I suspect that a great deal of the inspiration comes from several authors in the 40s and 50s talking about religion as the main agent in the preservation and re-acceptance of science and culture after a cultural and political decline in a sci-fi evironment. Asimovs' Foundation and its paralelism with the Catholic Church and the decline of the Western Roman Empire is a classic example.


Canticle for Leibowitz was an interesting read.
 
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Moshe Callen
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ejmowrer wrote:
HeinzGuderian wrote:
Wrayman wrote:
I have the perspective of a curious outsider here. I do not own and have not played Space Hulk or any Mutant Chronicles games. I observe that their theme includes quasi religious themes in a dark future world. I get the vague sense that the idea is that in a dark and fearsome future, The Church will be one of the prevailing powers along side evil corporations and scary aliens.


I suspect that a great deal of the inspiration comes from several authors in the 40s and 50s talking about religion as the main agent in the preservation and re-acceptance of science and culture after a cultural and political decline in a sci-fi evironment. Asimovs' Foundation and its paralelism with the Catholic Church and the decline of the Western Roman Empire is a classic example.


Canticle for Leibowitz was an interesting read.

Too antisemitic for my liking in that it's just a well-written version of the Wandering Jew myth.
 
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Shushnik wrote:
Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.

An open mind is like a fortress with it's gates unbarred and unguarded.

There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

Even a man who has nothing can still offer his life.

Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment.

It is better to die for the Emperor than live for yourself.

Hatred is the Emperor's greatest gift to humanity.

Faith without deeds is worthless.


Either you get these quotes or you don't. I find the genre to be compelling in it's darkness and horror. Others certainly wouldn't. To each his own.

Damnit, now I have to go fix up my Dark Angels and get back into 40k. FOR THE EMPEROR!

These come from the RTS, right?
 
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Gary Page
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Shushnik wrote:
Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.

An open mind is like a fortress with it's gates unbarred and unguarded.

There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

Even a man who has nothing can still offer his life.

Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment.

It is better to die for the Emperor than live for yourself.

Hatred is the Emperor's greatest gift to humanity.

Faith without deeds is worthless.


Either you get these quotes or you don't. I find the genre to be compelling in it's darkness and horror. Others certainly wouldn't. To each his own.

Damnit, now I have to go fix up my Dark Angels and get back into 40k. FOR THE EMPEROR!


From the Old Testament, right?
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John So-And-So
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Somebody give me a primer on the Chaos Gods, I love pantheons.

Doesn't 40k also have some kind of thing where "magic" is actually tech that's so old, people have forgotten how to understand it anymore? I always thought that was a cool idea.
 
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CapAp wrote:
Somebody give me a primer on the Chaos Gods, I love pantheons.

Doesn't 40k also have some kind of thing where "magic" is actually tech that's so old, people have forgotten how to understand it anymore? I always thought that was a cool idea.


Some good info on the Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_(Warhammer)
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Gary Page
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In the background, the golden age of mankind has passed and has left a kind of "dark ages". Many things used by humanity, such as teleportation technology and plasma weapons can no longer be manufactured. Their repair and maintenance rituals have as much ritual as they do effective techniques. However, this is always recognised as far as I have seen, that is the users of such technology do not think it is magic, and just know that they don't know how it works.

The magic is really the connection to "the warp", where the chaos gods exist. Psykers can tap into this to use "magic-like" powers.
 
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Shushnik wrote:
HavocIsHere wrote:
These come from the RTS, right?


Yes. The most wonderful thing about Dawn of War is the heavy influence Games Workshop put into the development to ensure the flavor and universe didn't come off watered down or inaccurate. They did an absolutely amazing job. Best RTS I've ever played. In fact, this thread had me playing it last night. ;)


I really like the sequel as well, although it feels like it just missed off being really awesome due to the levels feeling very samey. I love having the devastator squad behind cover mowing down a hoard of gaunts as they run at you.
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Shushnik wrote:
The most wonderful thing about Dawn of War is the heavy influence Games Workshop put into the development to ensure the flavor and universe didn't come off watered down or inaccurate.


Well, it's hard to water down GW's backgrounds...
 
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