Day 16: Historical Person I’d Like in My Group? What Game?

Well, this is proof positive that I do not read future questions until I write them.  So for Mr. Ian Borchardt who keeps calling me a cheat for writing these up front and scheduling them – at least you are getting a raw response.  So the reason that this is proof positive that I do not pre-read questions, I answered this in Day 14: Dream team of gamers.  I suppose I will elaborate here on my reasoning and give some links for the Luddites who do not know the name of Ada Lovelace.


Ada Lovelace

The first programmer.  She formed some programs for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine (that was never completed) and hence created the profession (kind of) software engineer.  A little about me to reference this, I have a Bachelor of Science (Computing) Hons. so I pretty much love programming.  To the disgust of many of the people at my Uni I did every class that had software in the title (considered the hardest classes) and it is one of the more therapeutic things I do.  So my choice here is homage to the person that began it all for us.  I also minored in English and Ada was the only legitimate child (born in wedlock) of the poet Byron so she talks to my heart I suppose.

Portrait of Ada Lovelace

Why would I like to game with her?  Several reasons really.  First, I would love to find out what the mind of someone like her was truly like.  She was the “first” to do this thing that I love and really build a concept that is so important to every computer program today.  Not only every computer program, but every computer.  Her work in this regard was not only fundamental to computers but also to the war effort in World War II also.

Secondly, I would love to see her reaction to what her skills helped shaped.  What would she think of the creations of today and what new things would she consider because of these revelations?  Imagine her playing a game like Eclipse Phase where the possibilities of her work not only look at how a computer operates but possibly become so important to a future where her findings may shape evolution itself?

Which Game?

Well, has to be futurist, doesn’t it?  I probably would go to great lengths to prepare this game.  It would not be Eclipse Phase, though we would discuss it.  I think I would run something very Gibsonesque.  I think in the previous post I mentioned Shadowrun or FATE but on a rethink I think it would be the Cypher system.  My reasoning behind this is the mechanics are exceptionally simple and would not get in the way of discussion or the game.

algorithm lovelace
First algorithm for a computing device by Ada Lovelace

The game itself would be set in the Android Netrunner universe with the melding of man vs. machine in a dystopian future where the corporation rules the land and the Government is a mockery.  Why?  Well, to my twisted mind it is the future.  As Governments corrupt and over legislate and people become blinded by brands this is a serious possibility.  The invasions of privacy that even 15 years ago would have been thought as criminal are now commonplace in business so they can “better tailor marketing” to you.  I want to know how these things would play on someone that did not experience the horrors of WWII and was at the first rank of the machines that she created.  Imagine the conversations.

So thanks for reading.  If you are interested in her life after reading this then Wikipedia do an OK job of a brief history.  There are many sites out there that you can go to for much more detailed account of her achievements and life (this is only a snippet of a brilliant life).  Keep on rolling!


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