EA's Anthem is Science Fantasy not Science Fiction

monkeymagick

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In a radio interview with BioWare's general manager, Aaryn Flynn explains why the game is a science fantasy title instead of a science fiction type of story. The Edmonton based company is responsible for bringing the new videogame for its parent company, Electronic Arts after finishing Mass Effect 3, a game that still is very divisive. Anthem has garnered quite a bit of industry praise, but lukewarm reception for its generic design by non insiders. Flynn passingly mentioned Star Wars as an example, which I assumed was in the space opera genre versus Star Trek's hard sci-fi that some consider soft.

"It's in a genre we call science fantasy, very much like Star Wars, very much like the Marvel Universe. You see a lot of amazing things happening but we don't worry too much about why they are happening or how they are happening; the science of it."
 

DeathFromBelow

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Star Trek is not 'hard sci-fi' by any stretch of the imagination.

Star Wars completely avoids science 'issues' other than the parsc thing from Episode IV (and it can be explained away without much difficulty). Star Trek throws around science jargon inappropriately all the time and modifies the universe to fit it's needs (like putting Titan in an inclined orbit so we could get a good shot of Saturn in the Star Trek reboot).

It annoys me when people compare the two like that. They're both fantasy stories set in space.
 

Kranium

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Sounds more and more like Tribes. Would be nice if EA doesn't screw it up.
 

kju1

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Star Trek is not 'hard sci-fi' by any stretch of the imagination.

Star Wars completely avoids science 'issues' other than the parsc thing from Episode IV (and it can be explained away without much difficulty). Star Trek throws around science jargon inappropriately all the time and modifies the universe to fit it's needs (like putting Titan in an inclined orbit so we could get a good shot of Saturn in the Star Trek reboot).

It annoys me when people compare the two like that. They're both fantasy stories set in space.

Prepare to be annoyed. "Generally Star Trek is pretty intelligently written and more faithful to science than any other science fiction series ever shown on television." From a bonafide scientist: https://www.nasa.gov/topics/technology/features/star_trek.html
 

boomboy2k1

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Prepare to be annoyed. "Generally Star Trek is pretty intelligently written and more faithful to science than any other science fiction series ever shown on television." From a bonafide scientist: https://www.nasa.gov/topics/technology/features/star_trek.html

Save for teleporting. The science behind it is absurd. It's more fantasy than anything. Actually it's to save studio money than having to show a spaceship landing every time.
 

OutOfPhase

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Trek had physics PhDs on staff to consult during writing. While of course it isn't fully hard sci-fi, they did a reasonable job of making things have at least one foot in reality.

There are of course leaps of faith in any show where tech is ultra-advanced past our own.

Edit: Yes, transporters are one of those leaps of faith, heh.
 

kju1

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Save for teleporting. The science behind it is absurd. It's more fantasy than anything. Actually it's to save studio money than having to show a spaceship landing every time.

I mostly agree with the transporters having little basis in reality at the time of the show. However scientists are working on it - in fact they have managed to do it with some elementary particles recently. So there is hope that it could become a reality some day (certainly not anytime soon).

Warp drive was another one that was always questionable at best...but even that is looking like it will be possible.
 

Kinsaras

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Trek had physics PhDs on staff to consult during writing. While of course it isn't fully hard sci-fi, they did a reasonable job of making things have at least one foot in reality.


My understanding the writers would just leave blanks and the guys with PhDs would fill in the blanks with science terms. Kind of like some nerdy Mad Libs.

I forgot where I heard this (Wil Wheaton interview maybe?) so I could be totally off.
 

kju1

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My understanding the writers would just leave blanks and the guys with PhDs would fill in the blanks with science terms. Kind of like some nerdy Mad Libs.

I forgot where I heard this (Wil Wheaton interview maybe?) so I could be totally off.

I thought that was the actors that did that (per a LeVar Burton interview ages ago)
 

Riouken

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Save for teleporting. The science behind it is absurd. It's more fantasy than anything. Actually it's to save studio money than having to show a spaceship landing every time.

While we do not know for sure if or when we will ever get "Start Trek" like teleportation. in the future we will have some type of teleportation. they are already doing it now:

https://phys.org/news/2014-09-quantum-teleportation.html.

http://jqi.umd.edu/news/first-teleportation-between-distant-atoms


If the base level physics are there its very hard to disprove something totally. You dont really know what we are going to learn about science in the next 25,50,100+ years.

If you brought a doctor here from 200 years ago and showed them an MRI they probably never would have conceived that something like the MRI was possible. Yet it is used thousands of times everyday.
 

Armenius

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Well it's kind of hard to suspend my disbelief when the characters look like they're using conventional thrusters, yet still defy the basic principles of gravity that we deal with in our every day lives. Fantasy is fine, but it still needs some footing in reality to fool observers just enough that they won't think about it.
 

Kinsaras

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I thought that was the actors that did that (per a LeVar Burton interview ages ago)

I could see LeVar giving pointers. Like I said I'm fuzzy on the details. Maybe they did that for the Scott Bakula series.
 

Jagger100

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Star Trek is not 'hard sci-fi' by any stretch of the imagination.

Star Wars completely avoids science 'issues' other than the parsc thing from Episode IV (and it can be explained away without much difficulty). Star Trek throws around science jargon inappropriately all the time and modifies the universe to fit it's needs (like putting Titan in an inclined orbit so we could get a good shot of Saturn in the Star Trek reboot).

It annoys me when people compare the two like that. They're both fantasy stories set in space.
I think you're confusing realism level determining the split. To me, what separates Sci-Fi from Science-Fantasy is if the differences from today's world provide the backdrop and or world in which the story takes place or are an integral part of the story. For the most part Star Wars (Ep. 4) was Science Fantasy, except for the Death Star. In the story, the Death Star was novel to the SW universe and without its existence the SW story ultimately falls apart.
 

STR

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Star Trek is not 'hard sci-fi' by any stretch of the imagination.

Star Wars completely avoids science 'issues' other than the parsc thing from Episode IV (and it can be explained away without much difficulty). Star Trek throws around science jargon inappropriately all the time and modifies the universe to fit it's needs (like putting Titan in an inclined orbit so we could get a good shot of Saturn in the Star Trek reboot).

It annoys me when people compare the two like that. They're both fantasy stories set in space.

Well, they also reinvented the force as a product of magic space bacteria. It's not science, but it's a science-like fiction.

Everything else in Star Wars is Tolkienesque fantastical "it's magic. just deal with it and no we're not even going to handwave it" except without the Christian undertones.

Which is why Star Wars is considered the foundation of modern sci-fantasy. Though, even Star Wars is a successor to earlier pop sci stuff like Flash Gordon, though the former takes a lot of queues from postwar Japanese films (e.g. Akira Kurosawa) instead of westerns.

Star Trek explicitly rejected those same pop sci serials and the like 10 years prior. Everything on the show was supposed to have rational, consistent methodology. Warp drive works a certain (unspecified) way therefore all warp capable ships must have identifiable warp engines at the end of pylons, since you don't want that much power right next to the crew spaces.

Trek, pretty much from the 2nd pilot, stepped away from that a bit. However, there was still supposed to be a reason underlying anything.

At least until Nemesis and the succeeding JJ Abrams movies. None of those make a lick of sense.
 
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Comixbooks

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Spiderman was biten by a Radioactive spider that is science fiction the Incredible Hulk was created with radiation accident from Bruce Banner.

The problem with science fiction today all avenues of science on the planet have been explored so it's no longer a mystery.
 

Bigdady92

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It's mass effect without mass effect but still need to drive home the "WE ARE INCLUSIVE LOOK AT ALL THE LGTBBQ WE HAS!" bullshit that no one cares about. I honestly don't care about the sexuality of ANY of the protagonists and ASSUME that in this day and age all video games MAY have something in there for all sides.

This is titanfall on a smaller scale mixed with destiny. That's it. Battletech with the Clan infantry. OH! OH! OH! HELLGATE:LONDON!!!! OH YES I WENT THERE!
 

DeathFromBelow

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I think you're confusing realism level determining the split. To me, what separates Sci-Fi from Science-Fantasy...

Sure, but what I said is that I don't consider Trek (or Star Wars) to be 'hard' sci-fi. One is a traditional heroic epic set in space, the other tells stories about contemporary ideas and issues in a sci-fi setting. Neither makes any real effort to be scientifically rigorous. See my example of the Saturn scene from the Star Trek reboot. Besides Titan's position being completely made up for a good camera shot, there's also some nonsense about using the 'magnetic fields of Saturn's rings' or something like that to hide from Nero. It's just sciency gobblygook that is supposed to imply that they found a way to hide.

And I'm not picking on Trek or the new movies. The old movies/shows are even worse about the 'sciency' stuff. I just think it's weird to call Trek 'hard' sci-fi when the only scientifically rigorous fantasy elements in TOS were the automatic doors.
 
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Darunion

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Oh gawd. I hate these types of arguments. Like people on youtube arguing about which genre their songs are. e.g. this track is not Drum and Bass, it's neo-proto-liquid neuro funk...WTF?

The obsession with labels now-a-days and arguing over popular opinion of which label it should be, baffles my old mind. This particular one is just creative fuel the marketing team at EA/Bioware came up with to get people talking about their game. This way it gets talked about and goes up in search results, cheap advertising.
 

STR

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So, what I'm seeing, is that EA/Bioware has already alienated everyone in this thread. :p

A pun?

Assuming not, I'm not sure if EA can alienate me, when it looks like they're selling a MMOFPS and I don't play MMOFPS in the first place.

I do play RPGs (not MMOs) and did buy Andromeda. I'd have bought DLC too if they had offered it. But I guess whatever marketing niche I represent isn't big enough for them. So my dollars simply won't go their way.
 

STR

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Oh gawd. I hate these types of arguments. Like people on youtube arguing about which genre their songs are. e.g. this track is not Drum and Bass, it's neo-proto-liquid neuro funk...WTF?

Maybe. AFAIK there's only 3 sci-fi subgenres:
Sci fantasy: e.g. Star Wars
Grounded/soft/allegorical Sci fi: star trek, B5
"Hard Sci Fi": Arthur C Clark literarily wanking it to future pron that has zero relevance to real world.

I'd recommend a thick text book over the latter, personally. Equally boring, but less pretentious.
 
D

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A pun?

Assuming not, I'm not sure if EA can alienate me, when it looks like they're selling a MMOFPS and I don't play MMOFPS in the first place.

I do play RPGs (not MMOs) and did buy Andromeda. I'd have bought DLC too if they had offered it. But I guess whatever marketing niche I represent isn't big enough for them. So my dollars simply won't go their way.

Yeah, I don't play any MMO of any kind actually. As "massive" as I'm willing to go is me and a few friends in Borderlands or a round or eight of a Quake game. I was mostly commenting on the fact that if anyone is going to argue over the genre period, that the one EA chose here isn't for them. The fact that people are arguing over that, pretty much puts them in a group that I imagine (and I could be wrong) wouldn't appreciate non-scientific/non-technical space fantasy. I'm also not 100% serious, but it was a conclusion that I drew. :D
 

kju1

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Sure, but what I said is that I don't consider Trek (or Star Wars) to be 'hard' sci-fi. One is a traditional heroic epic set in space, the other tells stories about contemporary ideas and issues in a sci-fi setting. Neither makes any real effort to be scientifically rigorous. See my example of the Saturn scene from the Star Trek reboot. Besides Titan's position being completely made up for a good camera shot, there's also some nonsense about using the 'magnetic fields of Saturn's rings' or something like that to hide from Nero. It's just sciency gobblygook that is supposed to imply that they found a way to hide.

And I'm not picking on Trek or the new movies. The old movies/shows are even worse about the 'sciency' stuff. I just think it's weird to call Trek 'hard' sci-fi when the only scientifically rigorous fantasy elements in TOS were the automatic doors.

I think the new ones are way worse...and I blame Abrams. Take the scene of vulcan blowing up...WTF?? No way he would have been able to see that. Then take that SAME scene practically and look at it in the new star wars movie....everyone in the galaxy watches a planet blow up IN THEIR FREAKING SKY.

I mean come on...
 

STR

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I think the new ones are way worse...and I blame Abrams. Take the scene of vulcan blowing up...WTF?? No way he would have been able to see that. Then take that SAME scene practically and look at it in the new star wars movie....everyone in the galaxy watches a planet blow up IN THEIR FREAKING SKY.

I mean come on...

That's not the problem with that movie. The problem is that you have a guy who sees his homeworld and family wiped out in a natural disaster, somehow goes back in time, and rather than save his people he just kills everyone who had nothing to do with the problem in the first place.

It's the kind of contrived, mindless angry slash stupid that only ever happens in bad movies. Hell, at Least Tom Hardy had a semiunderstandable inferiority complex before going full "kill the earth" stupid in the last act.
 

kju1

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That's not the problem with that movie. The problem is that you have a Romulan who sees his homeworld and family wiped out in a natural disaster, somehow goes back in time, and rather than save his people he just kills everyone who had nothing to do with the problem in the first place.

But thats at least *somewhat* plausible if a) time travel is posible and b) the dudes insane.

Remember he stated his goal was to punish Spock and to make sure the federation never existed so that Romulans could live and grow without them.

You might think its a shitty plot but at least it doesnt severely shrink physical space into a single solar system...
 

Jaybone909

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Maybe. AFAIK there's only 3 sci-fi subgenres:
Sci fantasy: e.g. Star Wars
Grounded/soft/allegorical Sci fi: star trek, B5
"Hard Sci Fi": Arthur C Clark literarily wanking it to future pron that has zero relevance to real world.

I'd recommend a thick text book over the latter, personally. Equally boring, but less pretentious.
3 sub-genres are totally ok with me. But you see how overboard people go with these new styles from a music perspective mostly. it's like the slightest nuance warrants a new genre.
 

otherweeb

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I would say to be 'fantasy' battle must include melee weapons such as swords, axes, and hammers (but not limited to)

..which,btw, I did not notice in the trailers.
 

kju1

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3 sub-genres are totally ok with me. But you see how overboard people go with these new styles from a music perspective mostly. it's like the slightest nuance warrants a new genre.

But but my dark elf romantic space opera with chicks in bikinis is totally unique!
 

lcpiper

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It would seem that there are a great number of people who do not understand what Science Fiction is, and why it exists.

Science Fiction exists because writers wanted a "vehicle" that would allow them to address contemporary issues without being burdened by nit-picky details. It offered a way for a writer to address a specific issue, like racial inequality, free of all of our real history and prejudices and such. To distill a problem and look at it from it's core. To express ideas unburdened by real world issues and events. Science Fiction was freedom to many writers who wanted to question our world without all the bullshit that is tied to every little issue. Science Fiction was never really about science.

So go back and remember your original Star Trek with people who have half black and half white faces and you'll see exactly this for what it is.
 

DeathFromBelow

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It would seem that there are a great number of people who do not understand what Science Fiction is, and why it exists.

Science Fiction exists because writers wanted a "vehicle" that would allow them to address contemporary issues without being burdened by nit-picky details. It offered a way for a writer to address a specific issue, like racial inequality, free of all of our real history and prejudices and such. To distill a problem and look at it from it's core. To express ideas unburdened by real world issues and events. Science Fiction was freedom to many writers who wanted to question our world without all the bullshit that is tied to every little issue. Science Fiction was never really about science.

So go back and remember your original Star Trek with people who have half black and half white faces and you'll see exactly this for what it is.

One of the earliest known works of [western] science fiction is Kepler's 'Somnium,' which uses a narrative to explain his mathematical model of the solar system and then imagines a trip to the moon using magic to overcome gravity. I'd certainly call that the 'hard sci-fi' of its time.
 

M76

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It would seem that there are a great number of people who do not understand what Science Fiction is, and why it exists.

Science Fiction exists because writers wanted a "vehicle" that would allow them to address contemporary issues without being burdened by nit-picky details. It offered a way for a writer to address a specific issue, like racial inequality, free of all of our real history and prejudices and such. To distill a problem and look at it from it's core. To express ideas unburdened by real world issues and events. Science Fiction was freedom to many writers who wanted to question our world without all the bullshit that is tied to every little issue. Science Fiction was never really about science.

So go back and remember your original Star Trek with people who have half black and half white faces and you'll see exactly this for what it is.
The audacity to claim that sci-fi is nothing more than a vessel to express identity politics covertly. This sickens me to the core. Not everything is about politics, why can't we just appreciate nice things?
 
D

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I would say to be 'fantasy' battle must include melee weapons such as swords, axes, and hammers (but not limited to)

..which,btw, I did not notice in the trailers.

Fantasy can be applied to anything. Sure, there is a "fantasy proper" genre, which is as you describe (Tolkein-esque for example...) However, fantasy is more or less synonymous with fiction. To apply something like science to fantasy just implies that it's pseudo scientific (maybe space related) but completely a work of fiction with no additional rules applied. It's a way of saying it's loosely scientific or futuristic in nature. Not trying to apply real-world science to fiction. I don't see it as a perfect term, genre, descriptor, etc. but it kind of fits.
 

lcpiper

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The audacity to claim that sci-fi is nothing more than a vessel to express identity politics covertly. This sickens me to the core. Not everything is about politics, why can't we just appreciate nice things?

Fortune favors the bold :cautious: :ROFLMAO:
 

Semantics

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Star Trek It not hard sci-fi because the story isn't driven by the science, science is more of the background and the story is more driven by human elements. Granted it's not the soft Sci-fi like Dune it does focus on the science part a bit more than say a space opera but the problems that show up and the ways to solve it tend to not be technological. I am for the most part talking about the original series.

It's not a bad thing pure hard-sci-fi is a difficult sell especially for a TV series, movies are a better setting for such a thing.
 

STR

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The audacity to claim that sci-fi is nothing more than a vessel to express identity politics covertly. This sickens me to the core. Not everything is about politics, why can't we just appreciate nice things?

I guess you just aren't paying attention. Everything is ultimately political, because politics is merely the extension of philosophy and preferences. Using your computer to express your opinion here is a political statement. You are implicitly supporting a right that is not universal. Free speech. Free association. Free exchange of ideas.

If get so upset you feel ill with half-black-half-white Frank Gorshin being held up as an example of how not to treat other people, I doubt your beef is with "politics" so much as you not liking people with beliefs different from yours poking a momentary hole in your bubble.
 
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