Science fiction is a vast squishy thing spread throughout all sorts of media and culture/subculture. Got it. I wanted to examine its content in two pretty-specialized media: mainstream television series and table-top role-playing. You’ll see three dialogues: first with Ángel, then Ivan, and finally Moreno. I’m first to admit, the result is a mess: not much more than dialogue, spitballing, trying to stay on track, with a couple of difficult variables in play. But I think what emerged is interesting.
Fortunately, the plan was not to survey it (or them) all, because if it were, it’d be a miserable failure. A couple of titles and topics get over-represented, more than a few get dropped or missed. Traveller and Shadowrun are both mentioned but not acknowledged or well-considered for their powerful defining presence. Gamma World’s legacy, e.g. the Mutant franchise, is woefully under-served. I should have reflected on my experience with the Decipher version of Mutant Chronicles. Eclipse Phase needs to be in there. I had it in mind to talk about time travel shows more, as I finally may have figured out the basics of playing Continuum.
Why did I set this question in place, in this way? Lots of big reasons, to discuss in the comments if people are interested, but the first answer is the two “hobbies” relation to mainstream culture. Viewing science fiction TV, especially in the habitual and ongoing sense, is no longer hobby or fringe or a bit weird, not even a little. Table-top role-playing is all of those things. They both draw upon the larger, diffuse, and incredibly rich range of science fiction in general … I’m interested in their areas of overlap and areas of distinct discontinuity. Especially since the subset topic of games licensed from shows adds more discontinuity rather than less.
With that in mind, I’d also like to develop the triple-variable problem that Ángel and I distracted ourselves from, the interplay among enjoyment, fandom, and consumption.