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Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › What we Played: Come into the Light (Microscope)

What we Played: Come into the Light (Microscope)

user 11624621
Olympia, WA
Post #: 2
We started with the bookends: mankind sets out for the stars and in the end is corrupted into something inhuman. In the gaps we chronicled the exodus of an alien race, what they left behind, and how going to the center of the galaxy might actually suck.

Players: Robin, Martin, Ben, Caroline
Thursday, October 21

Humanity is indeed corrupted as an alien force pilots an 'abandoned' spacecraft across the galaxy, causing everyone it comes near to slowly go insane with the following symptoms 1) an inexplicable desire to be murdered or murder, 2) the sensation that it is always day, 3) a curse to endlessly wander in another dimension, bathed in maddening light.

It was difficult for me (but super fun) to create entirely disposable characters while traversing a large period of time while maintaining focus. I had a really good time though, and would love to play Microscope again. Thank you everyone for being patient and playing a great game!
Ben R.
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 66
It's true: Microscope can break your brain when you first try it. Being able to jump all over time and space and make whatever you want, even when you're focusing on a particular thing, can be a little intimidating, but I think everyone did really well.

The whole "imprisonment in the timeless light / parallel existence" thing was extremely cool. I loved that we played that whole scene in the colony without knowing the people talking had already vanished.

I always wind up leaving a Microscope game with even more questions I want to ask:

- The mission to send the Luminus to explore the center of the galaxy was a big secret. We know there was disagreement about whether to go. But why? I think there was definitely something more going on there.

- We asked what the ancient Arkosians sacrificed to escape the horror at the center of the galaxy*, and found out that they did something that was going to doom all life in the galaxy to save themselves. How was that doom going to come about? Did something prevent it, or had it just not happened yet before the last Period of our history?

- What happened to the crew of the Sparrow? Did they save Doc from space madness? Did he and the plucky comm officer ever hook-up, or was her love unrequited?

We didn't even get to finding out how humanity was corrupted into inhumanity by the unspeakable horrors of space.

* totallly should have come up with a cool name for the horror at the center of the galaxy, something shorter than HatCotG
Jamie F.
user 12636925
Bellevue, WA
Post #: 7
I always wind up leaving a Microscope game with even more questions I want to ask:

Do you think that's a problem with Microscope or just the nature of fiction? I'm reminded of Lost, when one of the characters said, "If I answer your questions it'll just lead to more questions" or something like that.
Ben R.
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 67
Absolutely intentional. Given the concept (a vast history where you're zooming in) you are literally _never_ done exploring the history. There's always more you could find out, if you wanted to.

You often come to a nice closure on a particular facet of the history (we saw enough about that astronaut's life that we feel it's pretty much good, no one feels the need to look at it more, that story is done), but that's a lot less likely for the history as a whole. Even when you have explored enough that you think you have the whole picture nicely sorted out (or at least you like where things are and don't want to complicate it more), if you kept playing one more turn someone could open up a whole new area you hadn't thought of.

It's pretty much the antithesis of the usual story arc game.

The funny thing is that when I play games like Shock, afterwards I often think "oh hey, we never brought in X or explored Y" but because the dramatic arc played out, I don't really care so much. The story's done, so it doesn't seem to matter anymore. That kind of simplification is an advantage in some ways, and Microscope takes that away.
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