• Remembering the Future

    I got a chance to run my semi-dormant Traveller game this past weekend. The campaign has been running for a while; the earliest session notes I still have are from 1984. These days I only get to run it on rare occasions. Our last session was about a year-and-a-half ago. The game went well, the crew of the Whatever3 managed to find trouble again, shot up another science outpost and probably got themselves added to someone else’s enemies list and everyone had a good time. I was glad to visit the old galaxy again but after it was over I felt a bit let down. Some of the shine seemed to have gone. The future just isn’t what it used to be. I discovered the game way back in 1978 but I always associate the game with the 1980’s. And that’s what it feels like, really; it’s the 1980’s with fancier gadgets. Sure, you have interstellar travel, fusion power and antigravity, but that’s really about it. Take those three things out and it would be hard to find a scenario you couldn’t run as a game set on Earth in the present day. Wrist computers and personal communicators don’t seem so unusual when half the players are tracking their characters on iPads while checking in on a cell phone. I suppose this is an inevitable result of any tech-focused science fiction. What seems advanced initially seems quaint later on. The best science fiction of course is about people, how the

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  • Review – Euro Truck Simulator 2

    It was 3 am when I pulled into Paris. They call it the city of lights. Home of culture, of art, of history. Not to me. To me it is just a few blocks holding warehouses and freight depots. Truck showrooms and repair shops. A place to sleep for the night. I find the depot I am heading for and back the load of car parts I am carrying into its assigned loading dock. A probably bored supervisor somewhere notes the delivery and marks it complete, a chime indicating my payment for the run has been deposited into my account. I decide to rest for a few hours until dawn then pick up another shipment, probably heading eastward deeper into Europe. I’m not here in Paris to sightsee. I’m here to work. This is Euro Truck Simulator. I’m not totally sure why I picked this game up. A couple of people on the Gamers With Jobs forums started talking about it in a positive way. I downloaded the demo from Steam and tried it and, when the demo expired, bought the game. The game is actually quite simple. You are a truck driver. Initially you are simply a driver-for-hire driving trucks for others. Once you have earned enough money you can buy your own truck and start carrying loads from the open freight market. Eventually you can buy garages across Europe, buy trucks and hire your own drivers to create your own trucking business. But even then it is still

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