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Just how "real world" is this anyway


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So I was wondering, how "real world" is this going to get, anyway?

 

Obviously it's going to take place in a world recognizably alike our own. But I'm wondering if the similarities will end with the locales.

 

It seems to me as though a lot of game developers, when creating a real world contemporary setting, often see fit to neglect the sort of proper world-building that you should see in any other game setting. Imagine playing MotB and being expected to already be readily familiar with the spiritual aspects of the Rashemi culture, or what the Red Wizards are all about. That sort of laziness is often seen in "real world" games. Terrorists are terrorists because... they're terrorists. And they come from the Middle East. Since we're familiar with the concept of a terrorist by virtue of living in the world we do, the developers don't have to do any work.

 

Which isn't to say adversaries have to be oh so layered and complex to be believable, but so many games will not even address context. The best way to tackle this sort of thing easily would be to include some sort of historical context, but I'm unsure of how Obsidz will pull this off.

 

Thing is, and here's the important part, "real world games" are loathe to actually take place in the real world, that is, the reality that exists. They all dwell within mockeries of reality. And in this they fail in their potential, utterly. Think of America in these games, for example, specifically the way the executive branch is portrayed. None of them have sitting or past presidents in office. What's more, none of them have any sort of context in the larger scope of history. What happens in the game is never tied back to any decision by a past administration that actually existed. In order to make the game uncontroversial the developers will either create an "alternate reality", or set the game sufficiently far in the future (probably around 2020) that several fictional administrations will have played out between the present and the game timeline. A civil war in Africa, for example, can be said to have started in 2014, and raged on until the present game date of 2020. On the one hand, this allows developers a great amount of leeway with regard to how they want to frame the setting, but on the other hand, it makes the game more fantasy than reality, in that nothing in the game really relates to our world. All aspects outside of the physical spaces are entirely theoretical. And even in a game that takes place on Planet Earth you'll get a lot of countries (usually unstable third world dictatorships) that are entirely fabricated for the game. That never sat well with me. Why not use a real place? The fake places are usually obvious stand-ins anyway.

 

This is all just a long-winded way of asking, how much are we going to see of current events, or history, in AP? And I don't just mean, as an example brought up by a dev, a locale which explores the broader problems of neoconservatism in a more general sense. Do we have any settings or events in the game that tie directly into the events of the real world? Obvious things would be the various Bush wars or 9/11 or the PATRIOT act, but you could go into things like the Middle East and America's funding of regional insurgents in the 80's, or IMF policies in the 90's, or the decision to go into Bosnia or the decision to stay out of Rwanda. These are all valid contexts.

Edited by Pop
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Obviously I can't actually answer your question, though I get the impression that AP will be kind of a lighthearted and mostly decontextualized version of the real world. Even so, I think Obsidian will tap into some 'real' issues through the veil of fiction. It wouldn't surprise me if specific real-world events inspired certain portions of the game.

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