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Friday, 8 July 2016

The Things I Do For Gaming...


For a variety of reasons my weekly television viewing schedule has gone from rammed to tumbleweeds in the last week or so (seasons ending, shows finishing, waning interest etc)

This paucity of quality programming has let some old 'favourites' slide back into my timetable, including that venerable chestnut: Ancient Aliens.

Please don't for a minute think I take this show seriously (what on Earth is it doing on the History Channel, anyway? And how has it managed to reach its 10th season?).

I watch it purely for material I can recycle as backstory or plots for roleplaying game adventures (everything from fantasy, through pulp, to superheroes and sci-fi).

That being said, having been away from it for quite a few months, I'd forgotten how much bullshit is spouted on this show. The brazen chutzpah and wilful cherry-picking of facts by the legion of self-styled 'experts' and self-taught "scientists" makes my head hurt.

Do these people really believe what they are saying or are they just trying to sell books to the tin foil hat brigade?

Spouting technobabble doesn't make their claims any more true, and using random quotes lifted out of context from the Bible (or similar religious texts) as supporting evidence makes as much sense as quoting Lord Of The Rings or The Silmarillion.

Sure, science doesn't know the answers to everything, but science admits that. It doesn't just pluck ideas out of the air. It tests possibilities through scientific methods.

Watching Ancient Aliens, I find myself repeating the mantra "just think about the game, think about the game" as a way of keeping my sanity and not throwing anything at the television.

I must confess though that the rubbish they spin on the show does make cracking inspirational gaming material (e.g. the gods of Cidri, the world where our current campaign is taking place, are pretty much the definitive Ancient Aliens, with a heavy dose of Jack Kirby's comic book take on the same material from back in the day).


2 comments:

  1. I know what you mean! I go through phases where I'm really drawn to ancient alien and (especially) Atlantis-related stuff that I find to stream. I definitely think a lot about gaming while taking in the stories! The pseudoscientific nonsense does get annoying, although for some reason I don't find it as harmful as, say, that Noah's Ark museum that just opened in Kentucky.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, that's a whole other kettle of fish, because it's more pervasive.

      At least the Ancient Aliens crowd are easily sidelined as kooks and have no real political or social power to try and twist the world to their way of thinking. They just have a TV show ;)

      Delete

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