This article originally appeared in the July/August 2021 issue.
The last Confession finished on the downer of ‘no hope’. Of course, I don’t actually believe that life is hopeless for a minute. I’ve written in this column before about my faith. That gives me an ultimate hope – not just in the good news of a better life to come but in the beginning of God’s kingdom ushered in by Jesus a couple of millennia ago.
Of course, in the meantime that doesn’t make the world perfect and from time to time it’s nice to escape – for some into sports, for some into tv, and for others of us into the Far Future, thirty five millennia or more hence.
Traveller gives all sorts of reasons for hope. Here are just a few that I’ve quickly come up with:
- hope that there is a future, that we don’t wipe ourselves out with nuclear weapons, or succumb to a plague-ridden zombie apocalypse, although the latter possibility is feeling less unlikely now than I’d ever imagined it might be;
- hope that, as we spread out to the stars, there is less danger of the human race being destroyed accidentally by a rogue asteroid or supernova or some such;
- hope that we’re not alone in the universe but that there are other sentient beings that we can meet, communicate with and work with to better our circumstances. Well, there are exceptions….
- hope that, for all the faults of individuals and polities in Charted Space, progress can be made and there is a reason to go on. Yes, Interstellar Wars and the shattering of the Imperium may occur, but we pick up the pieces and go on. Even Virus is given hope by the 1248 setting (and others to come?) which look past that dark time – or perhaps make us:
- hope that our Referee takes the GURPS timeline where Strephon isn’t assassinated!
and of course,
- hope that a game first published over four decades ago is still going strong gives hope that it will be around for a long time to come.
Traveller is necessarily filled with hope and positive thoughts but it is interesting to read that films with a positive moral message outperform all others at the box office and are more likely to be profitable1.You can probably think of others. I’m fully aware that not every game, or campaign, or group playing
I’m not suggesting that every game of Traveller we play should be positive and upbeat, nor that a game which involves a Total Party Kill is necessarily a failure. I’ve once played in such a game at TravCon but a lot of fun was had and it didn’t feel a waste of time. But in general Traveller strikes me as positive whether in the subcreation, the generation of story, or the meeting together of friends to share an experience and tell a tale. A hope I look forward to much more of over the years despite a difficult year and difficult personal circumstances.