Why do you play Sci-fi games?

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#1 Posted by JamesCoote (25 posts) -

I'm interested in why people play sci-fi games (or don't).

For me, a sci-fi setting is a bonus, or often the thing that first grabs my interest in a game. I'll naturally gravitate towards screenshots of nebula-infused starfields and laserbeams streaking through the void, but more important as to whether I end up playing it is the quality of the game (the strength & execution of the storytelling and/or the game mechanics).

(p.s. I know there are rather a lot of 'which XYZ do you prefer' posts around at the moment, but this is something I've also posted on a number of other gaming, sci-fi and other forums and I'm hoping to share the results to see if there is a difference depending on where I poll. Since there is no poll option on these forums (or I'm too noob to find/use it), for reference, here are the poll options (though you don't have to stick to just these when answering):

  • I like all sci-fi; games, books and films
  • I prefer games with a sci-fi setting, but it's not vital
  • If the game is good, I play it. I don't care if it is sci-fi or not
  • I don't play games or don't like sci-fi


Update: Here are the results from all the forums.
Sci-fi Forum Poll Results
There are some more details on my blog http://www.crystallinegreen.com

#2 Posted by Ravenshout (1210 posts) -
I play good games. Of course, Sci-Fi is my most preferred setting, which explains why Mass Effect 3 is my personal most anticipated game of 2012. Let's see...I think Sci-Fi is cool, but it is getting overridden with cliches
#3 Posted by DJ_Lae (42748 posts) -
I'm not a massive sci-fi fan, but it's a nice break from fantasy once in a while. The two aren't all that dissimilar, either - developers get to play with crazy races and technology (instead of magic) and give you a world that feels new and foreign. Then you get really boring/bland sci-fi like Killzone or Resistance.
#4 Posted by Sharpie125 (3904 posts) -

I like sci-fi in general, but it's such a broad brushstroke. To be precise, I think I prefer the sub-genre space opera. I love Mass Effect simply because it heralds stuff like Trek, a little Battlestar, and some Firefly. Exploring deep space in a ship with a (fairly) good ensemble cast is pretty much a dream come true for fans of the genre, and it helps that the games aren't lacking in the story department.

And a lot of it has to do with aesthetic or visual design, too. If we're reaching, we could put FF in the "soft" sci-fi genre (more belonging to fantasy, though) but I don't automatically like those games, and that's due to the look of the universe and the characters. There has to be something for me to latch onto that I love about the game, so for ME, it's a space opera staying true to its predecessors; for Halo, the military and super soldier aspect; for Starcraft, space truckers.

#5 Posted by Starshine_M2A2 (4087 posts) -
I've always been interested in outer space. It's such a difficult area to tackle with games because usually you're either stuck on a space ship Dead Space style or are left to wide open and barren areas like in EVE Online. I'd like to see a game set in space that really rewards exploration and just generally being able to discover what's out there. That's the central reason I love games set in space because it's the only setting that does make me feel like I've left my room and gone to this other place.
#6 Posted by Jackc8 (8500 posts) -

I've always been fascinated by outer space - the limitless unknown, alien creatures we can't even imagine, stellar phenomena beyond our comprehension, etc. Of course you don't get too much of that in sci-fi games or even movies for that matter, but I'm still really interested in them.

And I love the hardware. Spaceships, weapons, armor, all that cool futuristic stuff. The weapons especially can be much more creative than the standard assault rifle and shotgun.

#7 Posted by brucecambell (1572 posts) -

If the game is good, I play it. I don't care if it is sci-fi or not

I will say though that when it comes to film & televisions i prefer the Sci Fi genre over anything else simply because i want to see something that i couldn't see in day to day life. Too many shows & film are centered on family, teen drama, which i've lived in real life.

#8 Posted by donalbane (16342 posts) -
I think I play them because I love technology, and I wish I could live to see all the cool technological advancements in the future. And really, Sci-Fi is just philosophy with props, so it's fun to think about the meaning of life etc. in a different context... futurism facilitiates objectivity, as it removes the sense of 'self' from the equation. And this isn't related, but don't you have to be lvl 10 to post threads?
#9 Posted by Ballroompirate (22902 posts) -

I prefer Sci-Fi cause I got into at the age of 5 while watching Aliens and Star Wars.Ever since then I've been fascinated with lasers,space ships,space,planets with weird stuff,space babes ect ect.

#10 Posted by tjricardo089 (7429 posts) -

Because im in love with everything that escapes from reality.

#11 Posted by YoungSinatra25 (4314 posts) -
It depends on the game/genre. For an online MP game I want authentism, real guns, real gear, etc. No moon bouncing and jumping flying jetpacks with lasers beams. **** all that, I want to hurt real people in a real manner. (in game of course) But for say co-op and camapign it's definitely a sci-fi affair. Why? Simply in the real world humans act a certain way so human A.I. has to act accordingly. But monsters aliens robots and the like can act however they want along with their being... mosters and aliens and robots. Variety in gameplay is important so shooting terrorist all day gets boring. So for online its Bfbc2 and for the other stuff its Halo, L4D, Gears, etc...
#12 Posted by almasdeathchild (9517 posts) -

if it's good i'll play it,nuff said

#13 Posted by Namgis (3577 posts) -

Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.

#14 Posted by ShadowsDemon (10136 posts) -
Because I love modern sci-fi style (like ME style) and nothing pleases me more than playing 'em. And sometimes you get to be a non-human character...which is sooo much better.
#15 Posted by FreakShowScot (78 posts) -

Because space is cool lol. If it's a good game i'll play it but if it has a sci-fi universe then I tend to gravitate more towards it. Most recent example was when I was looking for an RTS to play and got sins of a solar empire.

#16 Posted by gargungulunk (145 posts) -

//...Sci-Fi is just philosophy with props, so it's fun to think about the meaning of life etc. in a different context...// donalbane

This is well-said; and a large part of it.

While traipsing through random corridors and killing who-knows-what, there is something to think about. One that reflects the big questions of our own lives. A good game will cover full scaled humanity---down to individual personality/involvment.

The other side of the coin is the escapeism they provide; such effort goes into the making of any landscape other than earth; it's fascinating to imagine through the frame-work of a new world and discover what it holds...and to also bounce those changes upon what it is already known.

What is neat about games is that it brings in the a tad of the mundane if you will; again it's about walking those corridors, and feeling the real-time effect of being there. A move is cut down to size, whereas a game literally takes you there in a decisive format.

Edit: to mention that also, space is rad, even as we know it.

#17 Posted by JamesCoote (25 posts) -

Thanks for all the replies! Two weeks is a long time in internet land, and most of the poll threads have stopped being active, so I've decided to take the results as they stand at the moment and have created the handy graph as seen in the updated op.