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Mass Effect: Most Important Sci-Fi Universe of Our Generation

MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member

A Great read over at io9:

Why Mass Effect is the Most Important Science Fiction Universe of Our Generation

 

Life, the Universe, and Everything io9

 


 Mass Effect is epic. It's the product of the best parts of Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica and more with a  protagonist who could be the love-child of Picard, Skywalker, and Starbuck. It's one of the most important pieces of science fiction narrative of our generation. Mass Effect goes so far beyond other fictional universes in ways that you may not have yet realized.

It is cosmic in scope and scale. Basically, Mass Effect is the most important science fiction universe of our generation.

Here's why:

Science fiction fans have long debated over which fictional universe is the best. The Star Trek vs Star Wars contest is infamous into banality, with lesser skirmishes among fans of shows and books like Battlestar Galactica, Enders Game, Xenogenesis, Farscape, Dune, Firefly, Stargate, and others fleshing out the field. Don't mistake this piece as another pointless kerfuffle among obsessive basement dwellers. Mass Effect matters because of its ability to reflect on our society as a whole.

Science fiction is one of the best forms of social satire and critique. Want to sneak in some absolutely scandalous social mores, like, say, oh, I don't know, a black woman into a position of power in the 1960s? Put her on a starship command deck.

[Cont'd...]

 

Diversity io9

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Comments

  • PalladinPalladin Atlanta, GAPosts: 426Member

    Sounds like a comercial to me

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  • metalicosmetalicos BucharestPosts: 6Member

    I am not very familiar with the Star Trek universe except for two movies and about 3 dozens of Next Generation episodes and I know that the Star Wars universe it's quite known but to me it's quite obvious that the Star Wars universe it's nothing compared to Dune for example. Yes, SW is appealing, the sides are very clear, it has a gazillion planets and races but when it comes to depth it's pretty shallow. But then again, so are most of the succesful movies, music, games etc.

  • MehveMehve Kitchener, ONPosts: 487Member

    The article is perhaps a little overdone, but it's a good read. And it outlines a lot of the reasons I find the ME universe more interesting than the more sterile-feeling Star Trek/Wars ones. As aluded to, if you had H.P. Lovecraft go and do a futuristic sci-fi, you could imagine some of these elements showing up.

    A Modest Proposal for MMORPGs:
    That the means of progression would not be mutually exclusive from the means of enjoyment.

  • LawlmonsterLawlmonster Dallas, TXPosts: 953Member Uncommon

    I started hammering away a diatribe of a post explaining why I think the author of this article isn't a reader, and subsequently spent around thirty minutes searching the internet to find the books I was certain existed which were clearly better stories than Mass Effect. Long story short, I think he's probably right. This generation's science-fiction literature has been relatively shit, and ME looks great in comparison. Still, I feel like the people writing for Bioware are incapable of producing something more than what I would equate a dime store novel.

    "This is life! We suffer and slave and expire. That's it!" -Bernard Black (Dylan Moran)

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member

    My reasoning would be there's more attempt at science in this one than star wars and there's an attempt at less tropes than star trek. For sure, there is a lot of sci-fi literature that is likely "harder" sci-fi or more exceptional plots etc but for a mainstream Universe-Building... boy done good esp. the genetic references + reapers. image

  • CujoSWAoACujoSWAoA Nooo, AKPosts: 1,781Member

    Sorry, but next to Firefly, Mass Effect is a steaming heap of shit.

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member

    Originally posted by CujoSWAoA

    Sorry, but next to Firefly, Mass Effect is a steaming heap of shit.

    Succinct. I'll look into this IP, I've been aware of it but not really paid it attention. image Someone pointed out Alastair Reynold's

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revelation_Space

     

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,949Member Uncommon

    I dunno, I never met a ME fan as dedicated as trekkies or star wars fans.

  • smh_alotsmh_alot Area 51Posts: 976Member
    Ah, yes, I read that article not that long ago. When it comes to hardcore scifi, I think that Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space universe is top of the bill. The Mass Effect universe is in the top as well, I think. Personally I find it better than the SW/Star Trek universe, but then again, I prefer Bablyon 5 above those 2 franchises. Serenity and Firefly I find awesome, but they're only great because of Joss Whedon's stellar wit and smart writing, the universe in itself is a 'scifi westernised' version of 19th century post-Civil War era, kinda meh actually, only Whedon could make something more of such setting. Mass Effect universe in itself easily beats the Serenity universe setting, although admittedly when it comes to high and grand scifi ideas, Reynolds' Revelation Space beats most others (although Dan Simmons' Hyperion saga or Tad Williams' Otherland is hard to beat as well).
  • Snaylor47Snaylor47 Des Moines, IAPosts: 962Member

    Originally posted by Loke666

    I dunno, I never met a ME fan as dedicated as trekkies or star wars fans.

    Give it a few years and an MMO. Never met anyone who was a huge Warcraft fan until WoW came out.

    I don't care about innovation I care about fun.

  • TealaTeala SomewherePosts: 7,430Member Uncommon

    No more so than Halo was.

    image
  • MajinashMajinash st louis, MOPosts: 1,320Member

    The Uplift universe by David Brin.  Single best Sci-Fi universe ever.  Go check out the books, 6 in the series.  I'd say the 2nd is the best.

    Everything creates huge amounts of negativity on the internet, that's what the internet is for: Negativity, porn and lolcats.

  • DJJazzyDJJazzy louisville, COPosts: 2,053Member

    Isn't Mass Effect kind of based on Babylon 5?

    Anyway, what does our generation entail anyway? I found the movie 2001 more profound than the Mass Effect games personally but I'm not sure that movie would fit into this discussion.

  • LeetheLeethe WarringtonPosts: 889Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Majinash

    The Uplift universe by David Brin.  Single best Sci-Fi universe ever.  Go check out the books, 6 in the series.  I'd say the 2nd is the best.

    I raise you Neal Asher's Polity.

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  • Dren_UtogiDren_Utogi OuterSpacePosts: 1,707Member Uncommon

    which generation ? you have at minimium of 5 generations using this forum

    reviews are !@#$ing stupid. Play what you love.

  • DeltaFrc670DeltaFrc670 Temecula, CAPosts: 71Member

    I enjoy the Sage of the Seven Suns universe alot more then the Mass Effect one.

    image
  • MajinashMajinash st louis, MOPosts: 1,320Member

    Originally posted by Leethe

    Originally posted by Majinash

    The Uplift universe by David Brin.  Single best Sci-Fi universe ever.  Go check out the books, 6 in the series.  I'd say the 2nd is the best.

    I raise you Neal Asher's Polity.

    I've never even heard of Neal Asher, please expand.

    Everything creates huge amounts of negativity on the internet, that's what the internet is for: Negativity, porn and lolcats.

  • augustgraceaugustgrace Cottonwood, CAPosts: 624Member Uncommon

    I would say that Warhammer 40k is much richer that ME.  The last decade has seen a great deal of new products associated with the Warhammer lore including tabletop games, paper rpgs, an animated movie, several games, a magazine and more.  The books from the Horus Heresy alone offer a far richer sci-fi universe that every ME product combined.

  • MajinashMajinash st louis, MOPosts: 1,320Member

    Originally posted by augustgrace

    I would say that Warhammer 40k is much richer that ME.  The last decade has seen a great deal of new products associated with the Warhammer lore including tabletop games, paper rpgs, an animated movie, several games, a magazine and more.  The books from the Horus Heresy alone offer a far richer sci-fi universe that every ME product combined.

    Wait... when did this happen?

    Everything creates huge amounts of negativity on the internet, that's what the internet is for: Negativity, porn and lolcats.

  • thekid1thekid1 GroningenPosts: 789Member

    Perhaps it is. I didn't like the world of Mass Effect myself; way to clynical.

    Scifi is dead to me anyway.

    Aliens, Star Trek, Starwars 1, 2, 3, Robocop, bladerunner. Those were good scifi worlds.

  • uohaloranuohaloran ., GAPosts: 811Member

    Eh, I don't see it.

  • spookydomspookydom BristolPosts: 1,782Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Majinash

    Originally posted by augustgrace

    I would say that Warhammer 40k is much richer that ME.  The last decade has seen a great deal of new products associated with the Warhammer lore including tabletop games, paper rpgs, an animated movie, several games, a magazine and more.  The books from the Horus Heresy alone offer a far richer sci-fi universe that every ME product combined.

    Wait... when did this happen?



    http://ultramarinesthemovie.com/

    Oh yes it did :)

    image

  • antonatsisantonatsis heraklionPosts: 109Member

    well i dont know about you guys,but the ME universe is quite good...i mean the detail on things and the way it works.I find it quite good.Its not as deep as others but its still one damn good universe to explore and the possibilities for it are endless BUT i dont think BW will exploit it in a good way,most probably the franchise will be destroyed but,lets hope for the best.

  • EkarosEkaros TurkuPosts: 367Member

    No there must be much beter Universes out there than ME. Likely they aren't very widely know... And no Star Trek or Star Wars aren't them, both are very simplistic and dimensionless, ST got somewhat better with DS9, but still...

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