X-Message-Number: 12618
From: "john grigg" <>
Subject: I want to build on your ideas about game development...
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999 16:29:25 PDT

Hello Jeff,

I really enjoyed your post!  You have special talents that should be put to 
work in this cause.  I actually am one of those people who love to go to the 
comics shop once and awhile and pour over all the new games and comics!  I 
just don't spend money on it like I used to.  I love the imagination and 
detail that goes into at least some of the games and comics I see.  There is 
a feeling of magic for me.

Did you see the episode of MTV's animated "Downtown" which had the main 
character go to a gaming and comics con?  It was a classic and if you have 
not already I hope you do see it sometime.  The show has a real heart to it.

Jeff Dee wrote:
>But there's no reason why games based on a grim struggle
>can't succeed, and popularize cryonics concepts at the same
>time. Look at Monopoly. It's about cutthroat financial
>competition - hardly a "fun" thing in real life. Or look at
>Battleship. Chess. You name it. And yes, even role-playing
>games and Magic: the Gathering.

Or look at "The Masquerade" role-playing game!  I was shocked when I first 
saw this rpg that had sometimes bloodthirsty vampires and werewolves as the 
player characters.  Yet it has a huge following.

Other rpg's are set in post-apocalyptic worlds that are created by 
scientific or even magical holocausts.  "Gamma World" and "Aftermath" are 
among games I remember with this theme that were somewhat dark in tone.  
"Gamma World" was a favorite of mine with it's fun yet very dangerous 
depiction of earth.

Maybe people are attracted to dark, sad themes due to the painful nature of 
life and the hope cryonicists project just does not gel with their attitude. 
  We need a game where you are reanimated into a world of stylish vampires 
and cute japanese creatures that like to fight each other.  Now I am 
thinking like a marketing exec!

The technology is not here yet(reversible cryosuspension) to make it a 
near-sure thing that would impress people.  But important work has been done 
by 21st Century Medicine with hopefully more to come.

>Okay, maybe not Twister, but you get my point.
Twister can be dangerous to play anyway! lol

Ahh...but a fun kid's activity could really capture the imagination of young 
minds!  How about a "mad scientist" kit where the kid gets to play 
suspension team member and dissect and later freeze a sugary confection that 
is a model of a human body complete with inner organs. Later after the 
"cryonaut" is frozen the kid gets to eat him!!

>Anybody out there ever played The Game of Life? Not the
>cellular automata one, I mean the one where you drive
>around the board in a little car, trying to get a job and
>build a family and buy a snazzy house. What if that game
>ended with players trying to accumulate enough cash to
>arrange for cryonic suspension, instead of just comparing
>bank balances?

I love that game!  You have a good idea but I want to add to it.  A player 
not only has to get the money to be suspended but then after that gets 
reanimated and then goes to a part of the board or a new one representing 
the late 21st century!  At this stage he "starts over" and the player gets 
the feel of how living in the future could be really glorious.  At this 
point the player must either raise money to help another player get 
reanimated or else perhaps reach a certain level of "self-actualization" 
points to ultimately win the game.  And maybe the game would be designed to 
be not about winning but teamwork.

We could also have a game where you manage a cryonics organization.  You 
have to do p.r. and recruit, raise funds, maintain your facilities, upgrade 
technology, deal with your own board members as well as other organizations 
and try to stay financially and emotionally afloat.  And be careful or some 
of your board members may quit you and start their own organization!  In the 
meantime you are occasionally sued by the government, swamped with debt, 
ridiculed by scientists and to top it off you must deal with other cryonic 
organizations that see you at best as marginal friends or even as rivals!  
But of course this game would have nothing to do with reality!  Right?? :)

>Why not a role-playing game that begins with your modern-
>day character being defrosted in a fantastically exciting
>world of the future? Or a game like "Operation", where the
>goal is to prepare the patient for freezing? And these are
>just cheap ideas that put a cryonics spin on existing
>types of games. The best cryonics game idea might not bear
>much resemblance to any game that's already been done.

There have been already games and movies galore about a person being 
reanimated in a strange, new world.  I enjoy "Futurama" but am really 
irritated by creator Matt Groening's jabs at us with the disembodied head 

There are already many good science-fiction role-playing games out there.  
Perhaps supplement campaign books should be written for the major rpg's that 
have a person from our time being reanimated in that game universe!  That 
way we immediately tap into major game system markets.

I would love to see a well done computer game where you take the role of a 
man who gets reanimated in the future.  Have the game start in the present 
and follow him into the future.  Had I the resources I would bankroll this 
endeavor.  It would be more of a playful yet serious simulation and not a 
sci-fi shoot 'em up.  I would want the graphics and interactive non-player 
characters as real as possible.
You as the player would decide what activities, people and areas to explore. 
  He could attend school, visit his hometown, meet his  descendants, travel 
to an undersea city or go into space.  I may be describing "The First 
Immortal" computer game actually!

There could be no "goal" or you could score points by doing constructive 
activities that make you grow as a person.  Perhaps in a mature way romantic 
themes could be handled.  And when you do an activity your character is 
programmed to "respond" in certain ways to give the game a realistic feel.

Now if we let the Extropian Institute membership help design this game it 
would be REALLY interesting.  It would be a competition to see if the player 
could ascend to being a god-like power while transhumans, posthumans, 
uplifted animals and artificial intelligences competed with him.

A cryonics version of "Operation" could result in alot of laughs at a 
cryonics conference!  Those who have taken part in suspensions would be 
tickled I bet.

>Hey Steve Jackson, are you listening? Let's talk. We
>should do this.

I loved the Steve Jackson microgames as a teenager.  I remember "Ogre" and 
"Chitin" fondly.  And I like his gurps rpg system.  A supplement book for 
that could be a good place to start Jeff.  I always wanted to attend 
Illuminati University or good ole IOU as it is known!

I think the key thing is to give any game based on cryonics a sense of real 
wonder and a bright sense of hope for a glorious future.  Make the person 
playing realize that they want to make it there!

Best of luck to you,

John Grigg

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