2010-10-06 : Shock:Human Contact Kickstart

Hooray! It's the Shock:Human Contact kickstart!

I've been playing Human Contact since its very earliest non-Shock: beginnings, right up through our most recent session a couple of nights ago. In that session, we discovered that the world-destroying alien orbital-thread is in fact an artifact of an epochally-ancient shared ancestral hominin civilization designed to extend the sun's Goldilocks band to the outer-middle orbits. A solar-system-sized terraformer, triggered by our arrival. Now we have to decide whether to stop it, or try to save as many lives as we can if we decide to let it run its course. This being Shock:, we don't all agree and we all have mutually competitive and inter-incompatible interests. No one knows how it's going to turn out.

So it's very, very cool. It builds first contact kind of the way that In a Wicked Age builds sword & sorcery. Check it out.

1. On 2010-10-06, Joshua A.C. Newman said:

Yeah, I'm really enjoying the game, too. We're in a big fuckpickle right now though, I can tell you! I mean, are the Higher Machines all hot to trot about making an ecosystem while destroying all life? That seems a little... dysfunctional.


2. On 2010-10-07, Vincent said:

I figure that the higher machines are like, "hey! They activated us, so they must have their giant solar-system-colonizing space arks ready, all according to plan. Otherwise why would they have activated us? Everything's great!"


3. On 2010-10-07, Joshua A.C. Newman said:

Well, my greatest suspicion is, as Eppy suggested, that it's not completely functional; like, it seemed to be using the quantum computer on the Rn-Zjaphe for a while, while it needed it, and now that it's done with that, we can have it back. But just because it found *one* missing part doesn't mean that it's found all of them.


4. On 2010-10-11, Robert Bohl said:

For the record, Vincent, that was my take on it too. Joshua: I'm imagining that the quantum computer let them move a lot quicker than they thought they were going to be able to.


5. On 2010-10-12, Joshua A.C. Newman said:

Well, that's just pathetic, then. Geez.


6. On 2010-10-13, Vincent said:

Oh but here's a wrinkle. I said this but I'm not sure anybody noticed: the doomsday cult? It's every single speaker who remained connected to the higher machines. Every person who is networked to this developing thing is convinced that it will preserve their consciousness and personality after it's incorporated them.


7. On 2010-10-14, Joshua A.C. Newman said:

Sure, but it's not like the Higher Machines care about the wellbeing of the Speakers. The Speakers, after all, are interpreters. If they operate on the assumption that the Higher Machines are doing things that are good for the society, and that they're destroying all of the Kotaht Archipelago for that purpose, all that has to happen is for one influential Speaker to say, "Oh! So it must that we live on after the destruction!"

That is, the shoe is on the other foot now. The Speakers are being told to produce 12% more hyperchickens now, by themselves. They're in the position of needing to reconcile impossible resource problems ? where the resources are, in this case, everything, and the problem is that none of it is going to be left over.


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