I like games that have a real connection to their subject matter. On the flip side of the coin, I get frustrated with games that have a great concept but never really connect with that concept. Today I want to highlight one of these games that seem to be a brilliant concept but has lost its connection with it.
Shadowrun was an epiphany for myself and my group when it arrived in its first edition form. Here was a game that pitted science with magic, man and machine. It was buoyed by the growing Cyberpunk movement and it was a brilliant game. Here was a game that questioned what it was to be a human. The magic created mythical beings from humans and machines also turned us into something new. Another world was created in our computers and minds. The heady days of first and second edition of this game look sternly into what it was to be a human.
But it then all just lost that edginess. The game literally became a stereotype. It was no longer about the self, it was just about being backstabbed and amassing money. It became the modern-day equivalent of Dungeons and Dragons. The cleverness left the game as it progressed in versions and that concept, and the connection to it just disappeared. I have said it many times that Shadowrun is a great game in which all the wrong stories are explored. This is the reason that I say it. All that beauty and complexity is lost in the noise of making bigger and better and finding the next credstick! Bring me back to the early days! and keep rolling.