Re: >H games (Was: 2001 Prometheus Award)

Date: Mon Apr 16 2001 - 08:56:39 MDT

   --Well, Actually I rather think Shadowrun explores a more important aspect of transhumanism, at least when it applies to the near future. In Shadowrun, datajacks are used for *everything*, nearly everybody has one, even some mages despite the fact that it hurts thier essence. It's almost essential for life. Also they explore future themes like the increase in the importance of symbols and visual interface and the decline in writing as important to communication. Matrix (computer network) users, for example, use an entirely visual and symbol-based control interface for decking, it's the only way the brain can process the informatino fast enough, written code is just too slow for Direct neural interfaces.

  Also, in a sourcebook to the game called "Man and machine" they talk about something called "Cybermancy" which is the result of what happens when a person gets closer to being a machine than a person. Cyberware is very common in Shadowrun, I think it's an exploration of people's desires to increase what they are, even if it's mostly rather petty things like increasing their strength and reflexes in combat. Still, there are other things, like Encephalons and Math SPU implants that give a character additional dice in intelligence related tasks (like decking) and bioware like Cerebral Booster and Memetic Enhancement that directly increase a person's intelligence.

  And even in the main book there are the important but often neglected or ignored "Skillwires" which let a character plug a chip in, and they can access a skill from that chip, even if they don't actually know it. Kind of like borrowed memories, in a way.

   So, while Shadowrun maybe doesn't take it as *far* as Mage does, I think themes of Ascension are there, espcially regarding deckers and the Matrix, which resembles more and more that collective mind-interface that somebody mentioned.


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