Post-Apocalyptic Myths Busted. Part IV.
As many of you already knows, recently, in my work designing and analyzing concepts for another weapon from our game, I heard that there hasn't yet been a hard science fiction video game. In complete disbelief, I checked the Internet and Wikipedia. It's hard to imagine my surprise when I came up empty handed.
Yes, the international gaming community has industry standard space operas (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect, etc.); space westerns (are you waiting for Firefly too?); purely apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic games (Fallout, Metro, etc.); cyberpunk (Deus Ex, Syndicate, etc.); steampunk (Arcanum, Dishonored etc.); alternate history games (Command and Conquer) and more.
But it turns out that no one has yet made a completely hard science fiction game, despite the fact that since the time of H. G. Wells, it has been considered the original science fiction genre. The difference lies in its strict adherence to scientific laws firmly established at the time of writing. What really made these books stand out was their detailed scientific and technical basis and their realistic extrapolation from that.
It turns out that the relentlessly scientific approach that we've been building into every nook and cranny of our setting since the beginning has the potential to make After Reset RPG the first hard science fiction video game in history.
After discussing this discovery with our team and gaming journalists, I decided to summarize and share some of the most enduring classic myths about life after the apocalypse that we intend to do away with in our game. I remind you that this is intended for an adult audience, and in order to convince that audience of the reality and authenticity of our game, and by the same token to allow the game to really let the players immerse themselves in their characters – it needs to be truly scientifically convincing as well as being based on facts and real world experience.
Well, what are we waiting for? Pour yourself a glass of something cold, lean back in your chair and let's keep busting those classic movie and video game myths about life after the end of the world.
You can read the first part here: Post-Apocalyptic Myths Busted. Part I.
You can read the second part here: Post-Apocalyptic Myths Busted. Part II.
You can read the third part here: Post-Apocalyptic Myths Busted. Part III.
MYTH #11: CONSTANTLY MIGRATING RAIDERS
Myth: Total chaos and submissiveness reign in the world. In all four corners of the earth, roaming bands of raiders threaten, rob and murder the simple peaceful settlements and scattered solitary homes of other less aggressive groups of survivors.
Reality: According to Game Theory, after the apocalypse in the first years, surviving migrating groups of people will interact in a way similar to the prisoner's dilemma. All the same, it will only take a few decades before some kind of union of similar groups into larger societies comes about. As far as raiders on motorcycles are concerned we should look to social biology. It's fairly conventional to see the archetypal roaming raiders as wolves, and a settled hardworking community as wild sheep. This conventionally "herbivorous" community can allow itself to produce and support a fairly large population in the long term thanks to farming, gathering, hunting or any other productive specialization aimed at making goods. Raiders are just like wolves in nature, they take just enough to fill their bellies from the weak members of the "sheep" groups, and in order not to cause them to die off, they have to cover a huge territory with a lot of food sources. A similar model in nature does not allow a large population of wolves, but only small groups of these predators over a fairly large territory. What's more, a similar model of behavior (once again over a long period) wastes a lot of energy. That is, for example, if a "pack of wolves" finds a "rabbit den," it spends weeks threatening and frightening them in order to convince them to pay them off. And that means they spend a huge amount of calories, which as a result leads the predators themselves to exhaustion and the brink of starvation. Let's say they just simply quickly attack and destroy the "den," if they survive that day, they are once again without a source of food and resources. Instead of that, human history shows that a community of "wild sheep or rabbits" that produces resources can be quite aggressive and even more violent than predators when defending their young and resources.
In After Reset RPG: During your travels through the State of Eagle and the Great Desert you'll come across small settled societies who have no problem defending themselves from marauders and raiders. You'll also witness the birth of one of the global factions of the new world – the New Confederacy. You'll come across the united tribes of the Indian Alliance. And yes, you'll find raiders. But not cool bandits like you see in popular media. People who become raiders and marauders don't come from good backgrounds. The structure of these opportunistic groups will largely remind you of small wild bands of the early Wild West. At the same time, you'll also come across societies, completely built on evolved and adapted "prisoners" concepts.
MYTH #12: PERSONAL HAREMS
Myth: Being physically stronger, and having a lot of endurance and bravery, surviving men will become objects of desire for all women they come across. Men who have survived the apocalypse will dominate, form their own personal harems, fuck whoever they want and those who don't submit will be taken by force and kept in chains. Gender relations will revert to their primitive form.
Reality: In sociology and ethnography it is well known that gender roles even in primitive societies are not the same from group to group, and they depend on each group’s level of economic development as well as their societal norms. During the apocalypse and in the first few years after it, a large part of the population will really die, and women are just as likely to die as men. Even slightly more likely due to their position serving men in modern society prior to the cataclysm. If anarchy comes, the first few years create the real possibility of a patriarchal alpha mindset, all the same in the time to come they will be restricted to non-natural selection. There are noteworthy social experiments in history about this issue. For example, during the Second World War, a group of women and one man were cut off from the mainland on an island in the Pacific. The man quickly oriented himself, hoarded all the food supplies, armed himself and declared all women his property. He set up a harem and an order for seeing his concubines. During the first "wedding night" the first girl simply slit his throat and the women began living together in peace, waiting to be rescued by friendly forces.
In After Reset RPG: In the new world After the Reset that came to be on the ruins of the Past Civilization, male and female roles (and with them ideas about what someone in each of those roles should do and be) vary considerably from one community to another. So, among a small population in the former North America, there is really a weak form of patriarchy, however at the same time, any woman with skills deemed useful for the survival of the community is generally seen as a member of that community rather than as an object. In the newly formed New Confederacy, people traditionally treat women with respect, and women have equal voting rights. But that only extends to female citizens, and not to female slaves (enslaved women are not citizens of the NC). Among the multitude of tribes of the Indian Alliance there is a highly developed system of female and male roles, and also rites and traditions for determining masculine and feminine genders. All the same, de facto, hidden matriarchies can freely flourish in these tribes. And only in the cities of the United Governments and among their social groups will you encounter an earnestly equal relation to women, under which gender discrimination is punishable by law.
MYTH #13: THE REBIRTH OF SLAVERY AND THE SLAVE TRADE
Myth: In a post-apocalyptic world, might makes right so you can easily take other people as slaves, becoming their unquestioned master. At the very least you can live without a care in the world, forcing others to do your work for you. At most you can even make a handy living trading in human cargo. And with your newly obtained, trouble-free sex slaves this radiation soaked world starts to take on a certain charm.
Reality: This may sound cynical, but in the first few decades after the apocalypse, even if people return to a primitive state, slavery is not a livable or economically effective solution. To achieve effective production, a division of labor is necessary for life. When organizing this division, hard labor (above all physical) is the least attractive. If we look at the history of humanity, we see that only after achieving a certain level of development (when technological developments can provide a laborer with a larger amount of products than he needs to support his own life) can a society take those captured in war, who would once have been killed, deprive them of their freedom, and force them to do hard labor for a master. According to modern concepts, in the epoch of primitive society, slave ownership was initially completely absent; after that it did appear, but it was not on a massive scale. In that period, naturally there weren't slaves as such, but captives taken in war. In intertribal warfare, the captives were men, or as a rule they either weren't taken at all, were accepted into the victorious tribe, or were simply killed. Sexual slavery is another kind of slavery all together, but I already wrote about that in the section on personal harems.
In After Reset RPG: The year is 132 After Reset. It is the time of opportunists and big possibilities for the descendants of those who survived the apocalypse on the surface. A time in which the first seeds of the new future empires are sown. It is a historical period for the new world, in which small settlements are starting to farm once again. The period when the New Confederacy is born. It is the period when slavery becomes economically efficient and is only beginning to become popular. In addition, it takes considerably different forms from community to community. So, for example, some communities reject it out of principle. Others, like the New Confederacy use it and integrate it into their culture in a way not dissimilar to the Greco-Roman model (a citizen of the NC cannot be made a slave, and any slave after 10 years of service, or earlier if the master, which could be the NC itself, decides can become a "proper citizen"). Among the united tribes of the Indian Alliance slavery is not very popular. They generally hold "white savages" in contempt, and avoid contacting them. At the same time, many whites have tried every possible way to assimilate into the Indian tribes due to the relatively happy and dignified existence of these descendants of the native population of the former America.
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I hope, you've liked this concept and lore series. And as I promised, we've put all our illustrations for this series in HD available to our backers exclusively in the previous closed update.
Thanks for your support and stay tuned for coming news!