Friday, January 8, 2010

Avatars, Shadowrun, and the Matrix

I went to see Avatar recently with Debby and some friends. When it was done, I had an itch to play Shadowrun again. It's an RPG I haven't played since around my college days, that mixes futuristic technology with elements of fantasy like demihumans and magic.

I thought at first that it was the technology shown in the movie that made me want to pull out that RPG again, like the dual-rotor helicopters, one of the many things that look great in that movie. But as I thought more on it, I realized that one of the main concepts of Avatar, that someone can plug their brain into a machine and remotely control another entity that represents them, was triggering my memory of one of the elements of Shadowrun: the Matrix.

The Matrix in Shadowrun is a world-wide network far more advanced than the internet, where users are represented as icons in a virtual reality. Those that are especially good at it can have implants put into their heads to allow them to hook up their brains directly to the Matrix, and hack their way into places that they aren't supposed to be by fighting icons representing security programs. It should be mentioned that this game came out with "the Matrix" in 1989, well before the movie of the same name that shared some of the concepts. Really though, hasn't this concept been around since the days of Tron?

I've been talking to folks about getting a regular Shadowrun game online going. I've had ideas for a campaign based in a future Chicago for quite some time, but haven't had a chance to do much with them - the problem has always been finding a time when I and my fellow gamers are free on a regular basis. A lot of us have games on the schedule already, so it can be tricky.

1 comment:

  1. I keep checking back for more. I hope everything is going well for both of you. I am very excited about the news of the baby. Congratulations!