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hummus
05-07-2010, 09:44
I mean this from a setting point of view.40k is grim dark but i think a lot of that comes from a british sensibility looking at a lot of british tv it is on the bleak kind of side. i.e. eastenders blake seven and the like.
Whereas american tv is much lighter and upbeat.

cornonthecob
05-07-2010, 09:48
Humanity would be a lot less grim, aliens would stil be disliked but it would be more akin to border skirmishes and general 'there an agressive faction' then the craziness that 40k has. There'd be much less pop culture refferences. The guard would become more like actual U.S military with tours of duty etc.

Polaria
05-07-2010, 09:56
I think if 40k was made by US company we wouldn't probably play it... Lets face it: Much of what makes 40k a unique and loved setting comes from "Old World" cynicism, history of european catholic church and the cultural traumas of WWI and WWII.

In US game Imperium would likely be Star Trek near-utopia or ultra-liberal cyberpunk nationstate. Inquisition would not exist. Neither would Adepta Sororitas. Or Emperor. Or Adeptus Astartes in their current form. Imperial Guard would be cheerfull lads exploring the native alien lands and so on.

cornonthecob
05-07-2010, 10:04
In US game Imperium would likely be Star Trek,.

This is why I love it when people mix star trek and 40k , they are polar opposites of the sci-fi spectrum. You have a group of nice reasoning people who wish for only peace and to create a federation of exploration and peace.

40k is a group of insane war-mongers who want to expand their empire by the standard tactic of 'kill everything' , exploring is only for stuff they can use , anything else is killed.

Star trek use high end energy weapons , massive orbital bombardments and have a rotating tour of duty of about three months.

40k uses gritty ballisitc weapons , sends in crazy super-men who use swords and rifle-grenade launchers to deal with situations and sends soldiers to warzones for over fifty years.

MetalGecko23
05-07-2010, 10:08
I'm not sure. If we look at American video games (the best kind...OK and Canadian) they can be very dark and cynical. Look at American pen and papper RPGs they also can be very cynical and dark.

So I think some things would be different but it would still be the awesome setting that we all love.

DarkMatter2
05-07-2010, 10:25
Kind of a pointless question. If the game was made by Americans and sufficiently different from what it is now, it wouldn't be 40k. If it is was not sufficiently different, then there is no point in asking the question because it would still be the 40k we have now.

Radium
05-07-2010, 10:33
Depends on the company that made it, and the time in which it was made. If it was created in the 80's by a high-profile company (say Hasbro), it would be all nice and cheerful-like. Nothing like 40k like we know it.

cornonthecob
05-07-2010, 10:34
If it was created in the 80's by a high-profile company (say Hasbro).

.....the horror.

AndrewGPaul
05-07-2010, 10:37
What about if it was created in the 80s by a few American punks, bikers and weirdos, instead of a few English punks, bikers and weirdos?

cornonthecob
05-07-2010, 10:40
Then we'd have dark future.

TimLeeson
05-07-2010, 10:47
The ultramarines would have stars and stripes.

cornonthecob
05-07-2010, 10:50
The ultramarines would have stars and stripes.

Patriotmarines anyone ?

Wicksy
05-07-2010, 10:53
Dunno, probably the same as if 40K was created by a bunch of Welsh guys, or French guys or English guys from somewhere else. The Americans can write sci-fi with the best of them, eg Star Trek and Star Wars. I dont think it'd be inherently bad, just different.

Wicksy
05-07-2010, 10:53
Patriotmarines anyone ?

Which is exactly what they are anyway. I always thought the Space Marines were based off US marines anyway.

Polaria
05-07-2010, 11:09
The Americans can write sci-fi with the best of them, eg Star Trek and Star Wars. I dont think it'd be inherently bad, just different.

I don't think anyone said bad, but I find it hard to believe 40k would be anything like it is today if it was US. The conceptual mindspace in US just seems to be something altogether different. Even if US would write it into shades of grim dark the ideas and themes would probably something else than they are now.

Wyrmwood
05-07-2010, 11:18
Dunno, probably the same as if 40K was created by a bunch of Welsh guys, or French guys or English guys from somewhere else. The Americans can write sci-fi with the best of them, eg Star Trek and Star Wars. I dont think it'd be inherently bad, just different.

I hate Star Wars and Star Trek, for the most part...

TheDarkDaff
05-07-2010, 11:25
I have this image of the Emporer dragging the Chaos Gods before Judge Judy because "dey wen an stole my babies dey did!"

Thanatos_elNyx
05-07-2010, 11:26
Just be glad 40k wasn't made in Japan!

Hunger
05-07-2010, 11:26
how different would 40k be if it was made by an american company?

Adamantium would be adamantum.

spetswalshe
05-07-2010, 11:31
I stopped believing in the difference between the people of two English-speaking nations when the Internet turned up.

Seriously, I consider the idea of a 'national character' to be a sweeping generalisation at best, and immensely dumb at worst. Living in an English town packed with American forces personnel, the only difference I've noticed is that Americans still maintain the idea that people actually go on dates (in the real world people just get drunk and hook up), particularly when you bear in mind how much culture the US and UK share since widespread music and television sharing. If I asked my US and UK friends to each write a science-fiction story, there wouldn't be any real way of telling which was which.

I do reckon a US GW would have given the Imperium a flag, though. They seem to regard them as a bigger deal than we do. And, pre-Internet, I would assume the US Imperium would be slightly more responsible, like the facists of Starship Troopers; the grimdarkness would be implied rather than explained - death camps would be rumours rather than holiday destinations.

Arkondak
05-07-2010, 11:36
I can't speculate too much about the main themes, but some of the references would be likely be different. Creed would be based off Lincoln or Patton instead of Churchill, for example; or Grazgull would be named after Reagan instead of Thatcher. Something like that. And the accents in the video games would likely be different.

Also tanks would be protected by Armor, and you would use citadel miniatures paints in a wide range of colors on your models.

Easy E
05-07-2010, 12:18
As a Yank, I feel the main difference would be that 40K would have kept its focus on Rogue Traders at the frontiers of civilization instead of moving into the grimdark setting we have now. Rogue Traders would be the heroes and focus, and the Imperium would simply be a generic sci-fi empire.

The idea of frontiersmen, border skirmishes, and rogue capitalists appeals greatly to our "glorious" history.

Philip S
05-07-2010, 12:42
This is why I love it when people mix star trek and 40k , they are polar opposites of the sci-fi spectrum. You have a group of nice reasoning people who wish for only peace and to create a federation of exploration and peace.

40k is a group of insane war-mongers who want to expand their empire by the standard tactic of 'kill everything' , exploring is only for stuff they can use , anything else is killed.

Star trek use high end energy weapons , massive orbital bombardments and have a rotating tour of duty of about three months.

40k uses gritty ballisitc weapons , sends in crazy super-men who use swords and rifle-grenade launchers to deal with situations and sends soldiers to warzones for over fifty years.
In 40K 'Star Trek' is a chaos cult, probably a bunch of Nurgle sympathisers (smart and shiny on the outside and rotten to the core). The are resistant to disease, have pretty much cured everything, yet tend towards dilemma, worry, and anxiety...

The galaxy is so big that the federation could exist out there in the wilds of 40K somewhere (along with Doctor Who and a whole bunch of others ;))

About the only response the Imperium could have to the Star Treks obvious chaos influence and technobabble (heisenberg compensators? magic!) would be all out war on a scale that would make the Borg blush (and Borg can't blush so it's probably some type of rad-burns when the Imperium lets rip).

Borg would be chaos too, probably Tzeentch.

I think no one in the Star Trek universe would be 'unchaos' aside from those alternate reality nutters. The Imperium may like those lot (very sensible), but still too much techno-heresy... nah, they would be dead too :D

Philip

MvS
05-07-2010, 13:01
I don't see why there would have to be much of a difference really.

Lovecraft was American. Edgar Allen Poe was an American. Stephen King is an American.

More importantly, Frank Herbert (who wrote Dune, and therefore much of the 40K universe, though he didn't realise it) was an American. Robert Anson Heinlein, who wrote Starship Troopers, was an American. Michael Moorcock, although not an American, has a huge following in the States, indicating that Americans 'get' the whole freaky Chaos mojo thing (in case anyone suspected they don't).

Love them or hate them, most 'suburb eats itself' Zombie films are American, along with horror, dystopia and/or cynical 'dark' films like Event Horizon, Equilibrium, Seven, Natural Born Killers, the entire Film Noir genre, Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket and so on and on.

If GW was created by the same kind of geeks in the USA as it was in the UK, then I don't see why there would be any difference in terms of imagery. If, however, we're talking about whether or not a US GW would have been bought out by a larger toy company and then had talentless money-men calling shots to make a quicker buck, then yes, there was probably a good chance - although if British geeks-turned-businessmen could resist the lure then I don't see why American geeks-turned-businessmen couldn't do the same.

People are people. Science-fantasy-horror geeks are science-fantasy-horror geeks. We all should know that on this website.

Most of us are 'out' and proud. ;)

gwarsh41
05-07-2010, 13:06
I don't see why there would have to be much of a difference really.

Lovecraft was American. Edgar Allen Poe was an American. Stephen King is an American.

More importantly, Frank Herbert (who wrote Dune, and therefore much of the 40K universe, though he didn't realise it) was an American. Robert Anson Heinlein, who wrote Starship Troopers, was an American. Michael Moorcock, although not an American, has a huge following in the States, indicating that Americans 'get' the whole freaky Chaos mojo thing (in case anyone suspected they don't).

Love them or hate them, most 'suburbs eats itself' Zombie films are American, along with horror, dystopia and/or cynical 'dark' films like Event Horizon, Equilibrium, Seven, Natural Born Killers, the entire Film Noir genre, Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket and so on and on.

If GW was created by the same kind of geeks in the USA as it was in the UK, then I don't see why there would be any difference in terms of imagery. If, however, we're talking about whether or not a US GW would have been bought out by a larger toy company and then had talentless money-men calling shots to make a quicker buck, then yes, there was probably a good chance - although if British geeks-turned-businessmen could resist the lure then I don't see why American geeks-turned-businessmen couldn't do the same.

People are people. Science-fantasy-horror geeks are science-fantasy-horror geeks. We all should know that on this website.

Most of us are 'out' and proud. ;)

I was going to make a sarcastic comment but I cannot follow that post.

igwarlord
05-07-2010, 13:25
This thread is pointless and stupid
IF 40k was made by americans it would be exacrly as it is
if it wasn't then it wouldn't be wh40k it would be something else

Stormfather
05-07-2010, 13:53
Building off of what MvS said, Dungeons and Dragons was made by a group of geeks in America, it was eventually purchased by Hasbro and utterly r- ... ... changed... That this was a result of the American economy is suspect at best; and whether an American GW would have suffered the same fate is not for me to know. Still, I feel it's an example for his point.

Easy E's idea about the continued focus on Rogue Traders makes sense to me. The allure of the Wild Frontier is a pretty strong theme in a lot of our creative product and I would definitely relate just as well, if not better, with an alternate viewpoint of 40k told from the vantage point of a, well, rogue trader.

Oh, yeah, and Blood Bowl would be the Imperium's sanctioned sport; heretical practitioners of 'soccer' would be rooted out and torched by the Ordo Hereticus. :)


<Edit> Rewording.

MvS
05-07-2010, 14:21
I was going to make a sarcastic comment but I cannot follow that post.
I'll word it more simply then.

Many of the tropes, settings and direct 'steals' that make up the 40K imagery come from the USA and or USA writers. There's no comprehesnive but intangible difference between Americans and Britons that would make a US 40K somehow 'less' dark or whatever.

Economic factors are the only relevant ones, I think, and economic factors are also not unique to the USA.

808thMyrmidons
05-07-2010, 15:06
i think it would be more expansion oriented. a bigger focus on rogue trader and what not instead of this focus on large armies. lets face it WWI and WWII was fought in england(well a bit anyway with the air airs and what not) and they had to face it pretty damn directly while over in america the last war that was fought on our soil was the civil war and at that point it was more expansion of the west, fighting indians etc and it was pretty low tech compared to WWI and WWII. so if warhammer 40k was made in america i'd say it be something more like Traveller than anything else.

Morty
05-07-2010, 15:29
Well for my 2 worth I would agree with those who say it would concentrat more on the rough traider aspect....
However it also would not be still here..............
as the D&D boys woulda bourght up the company and then desolved it so as to reduse the compition

MetalGecko23
05-07-2010, 15:31
A good example of what an American Imperium (lol) would look like can be found in Palladiums Rifts setting. The Coalition is very similar to the Imperium but with a more American flavor.

Rifts is also very grimdark and a lot of what White Wolf makes is also very grimdark. So grimdark is not exclusive to anything English.

Sinisterfence
05-07-2010, 15:56
MvS: It's Englishmen, not Britons ;)
I'm pretty sure Britons were French...
OT: from what I've seen of our cousins over the pond, the scope of the Imperium would be much smaller, much like people have said in that it would be more akin to the original Rogue Trader, and Space Marines would likely be even more garish than they are currently (think Team America) and the Emperor would probably have a name :P

Lord Zarkov
05-07-2010, 15:58
MvS: It's Englishmen, not Britons ;)
I'm pretty sure Britons were French...

Britons is correct (if slightly archaic) for people from Britain.

Bretons is people from Brittany (in France)

MvS
05-07-2010, 16:16
MvS: It's Englishmen, not Britons ;)
I'm pretty sure Britons were French...
As the last poster said.

Speaking as a Briton, Englishmen are from England. Britons are British, so from the entirety of Britain - so Scotland, England, Wales and the isles. We're sometimes refered to 'Brits', which is just an abbreviation Briton.

Bretons are from France.

barrangas
05-07-2010, 16:31
A good example of what an American Imperium (lol) would look like can be found in Palladiums Rifts setting. The Coalition is very similar to the Imperium but with a more American flavor.

"Illinios Nazis, I hate Illinios Nazis" -The Blues Brothers

Assuming that the basic frame work was the same, it would be the same as what would happens when different writers join GW fluff would change.

Col. Tartleton
05-07-2010, 16:33
Well my basic observations:

The Imperium would be less medieval and more British Empire/Third Reich. I just don't think we'd make Marines into knights. They'd be soldiers. Albeit an entire army of cyber-armored Captain Americas, but soldiers. Power Armor would be tighter fitting and more sleek and muscle shaped instead of massive and clunky. More like Ironman than a man shaped tank.

I pretty much think the Space Marines would be exactly that. 2 Dimensional Generic Super soldiers brainwashed into Captain Americas dressed in Ironman armor armed with rocket launchers and belt fed gatling guns. However this would put the main focus on the Imperial Guard where it belongs. They'd be essentially the same as they are now but there'd be a lot more nukes and world war two type fighting. I think the British have a memory of the Trench Wars in their culture but for America the end all be all is WW2.

The Emperor would probably be a bit more George Washington liberating mankind from Chaos then blatant taking over the galaxy. He'd be betrayed by his Horus (who would be a benedict Arnold and lead a civil war resembling our own) at some point. He'd probably also be a mortal man and be killed during the civil war phase just before final victory in echo of Lincoln. The Chaos faction would be anarchist revolutionaries and the Imperium would be a rule of order super republic. However with the death of the Emperor it would turn towards fascism and what had once been shining captain americas are now aryan ubermensch and the guard become good nazis (aka wehrmacht troops who were just doing their duty) and the Inquisition would be the Gestapo/1984 organization rather then religious. There'd be a lot more occult with the psykers and more horror elements from here.

Aliens would probably be similar with Nids (no changes). Orcs would probably be less hooligans and more Proud Warrior Race/Noble Savages native americans. Kroot would have stayed Predators, Tau would be more greys albeit representing the american values in a fascist universe. The Eldar would be more british and less elven. Probably more then a bit Vulcan but ultimately they're just the elder race archetype who happen to look like humans.

And yeah, it would be a space western not a space opera. The Rogue Traders would be the focus of the fluff and the other factions would facilitate them with enemies to battle against.

The Inevitable One
05-07-2010, 16:42
It would be called Blizzard Entertainment.

Kage2020
05-07-2010, 17:10
Speaking as a Briton, Englishmen are from England. Britons are British, so from the entirety of Britain - so Scotland, England, Wales and the isles. We're sometimes refered to 'Brits', which is just an abbreviation Briton.

Bretons are from France.
And, then, this was appropriate to post...



In the first century BC the British (or Pretanoi) lived quite happily on their islands all fighting on another, and probably not even aware that they were Pretanoi. This pleasant state of affairs was disrupted by the invasion of the Romans (actually not Romans, but Gauls, Germans, Spaniards, Numidians, Thracians, and lots of others were a few Italians pretending to be Romans for the appearance's sake). After nearly four hundred years of occupation the Britons thought of themselves as Romans (and under this guise had themselves helped invade a few unsuspecting countries such as Dacia).

According to history, in the early fifth century these 'Romans' 'left.' What actually happened was that, first under Magnus Maximums, and later, under Constantine III, the British (or Romans) went over to the continent to conquer the Roman Empire. Unfortunately they were too early, both were defeated and killed, and we had to wait another 1,500 years for the British Empire. This, however, left something of a military vacuum, which various German (Saxons, Angles and Jutes) were called into fill by the Romans (or Britains) who were left.

Under Constantine I the Roman Empire became nominally Christian (a Jewish religion, not to be mixed up with Judaism), so all the eastern parts of the British Isles were Christian. The Scots (who lived in Ireland) had never been conquered by Romans or by anyone pretending to be Romans, so they were no Christians, but Pagans, until they were coverted to Christianity by Patrick (or Palladius). Meanwhile, behind their backs, the Angles, Saxons and Jutes, who were Pagans, had taken over the east of England, so that now the western part of Britain was Christian and the eastern part was Pagan (the reverse of what it was before, but perhaps the same as it is today).

Never having been conquered, the Scots in Ireland had continued their bad old ways of fighting one another, and when one group of them, the Kingdom of Dal Riada, lost, they decided to take it out on people outside of Ireland. So they attacked the Britons (or Welsh) who lived in Scotland (which wasn't called Scotland, because the Scots lived in Ireland). But when the Scots from Dal Riada invaded Scotland, it became Scotland, except the bits occupied by the Picts and Angles. Much later the Picts and Angles become Scots, which would have made things easier if the Norse hadn't invaded part of Pictland (and remained Norse, until they too become Scots, and the last ones to speak Gaelic).

So by around AD 600 (except it wasn't because Bede hadn't invented the AD system yet) the Irish Scots were in Ireland, the Picts and Scottish Scots in Scotland, the Britons (or Welsh) mainly in Wales, but also in England and Scotland, and the Angles, Saxons and Jutes living in the rest of England and parts of Sctoland, and everyone was fighting everyone else including themselves. So the Irish became Irish, the Scots and Picts become Scots, the Britons became Welsh, and everyone else became English, unlike nowadays when everyone on the continent calls the Scots and Welsh English as well, which understandably annoys them intensely--the Irish are either Irish or Briths, except when they too are called English. This goes to show that you can trust no external source, ancient or modern, to tell you what people call themselves.

In AD 597, St. Augustine turned up in Canterbury and introduced the Roman Church (which became the Roman Catholic Church when it was no longer catholic in the Greek sense of 'universal'). So in the east there were Roman Christians while in the west the Celtic Church held sway, except as there were never any Celts in Britain, it could not have been the Celtic Church. Unfortunately no-one has come up with a better term--the Irish Church is not adequate, as the Irish weren't Irish, and it included Wlesh, Scots, and some Anglians in Northumbria. According to Bede it should be the Scottish Church, but that confuses modern people who still naively believe that the Scots come from Scotland.

At this point in history comes the turning point, from when all the Irish problems stem, the Synod of Whitby in AD 664. In it the Irishman (or Sctosman) Colman was defeated and went home to Scotland (or Ireland), and the English decided to follow the Roman practice. This is why nowadays we have no idea when Easter falls following the Roman system of calculation, rather than having no idea when it falls following the Scottish calendar (the last prehistorian in the House of Lords was Lord Avenbury who introduced Bank Holidays; given this track record of prehistorians dealing with national holidays, we hope Lord Renfrew will finally solve the Easter question). Thus the Irish, Scots, Britons and Picts were on one side, and the English on the other. Except that somehow by the time of the next major event, the Irish had changed their minds, so that everyone in Britain followed the Roman Church and were on the same side, and trying to keep the terrible Vikings and Danes at bay.

This might have been fairly successful, except for the fact that some Vikings went to France and became Normans (or Northmen), so that disguised as Frenchmen (the Franks were Germans who spoke French, whereas the French are Gauls who speak French), they were able to confuse Harold Godwinson by failing to live up to their name and attacking from the scout, while Harold was in the north dealing with the genuine Northmen. The Norman kings spoke French, so were unable to converse with their English (and Danish) subjects, but this did not matter, as they also controlled large parts of France. However, when they lost control of their French possessions, they had no-one to talk to so they learnt English too. Thus it is thanks to Joan of Arc throwing the Normans (or English) out of France that English rather than French is now the major world language (otherwise the English might have ended up speaking French like the Normans). The other problem with the Normans was that they tried to take over everyone else (Welsh, Irish and Scots), but it is always the English who are blamed for this.

Henry VIII, having lost the final bit of France, founded the Anglican Church to oppose Catholics. The Scots too become Protestants (not to be confused with the Scottish Church, which, as we saw, was Celtic). In 1601 the Scots took over England under their king, James VI, who became James I of England, and so took over Scotland, so that England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland were all finally united and could start fighting one another in peace without too much interference (except from the Dutch William of Orange, and various Georges of German origin). As part of this process, James sent some Scotsman back to Ireland to keep the Irish under control. So now the Scots (who had been Irish before the Irish became Irish) now went back to Ireland where the Irish (who had been Scots) were now Irish. Add to this the religious dimension that the Irish (who had not been Catholic) were now Catholic, and the Scots and English (who had been Catholic) were now Protestant, then confusion was bound to reign.

In the eighteenth century the Irish, Welsh and Scots suddenly found they were all Celtic. This fortunately came at an opportune moment, as all over Europe people were discovering the 'nation-state,' and with it their national history. Thus the Germans had Germania, the Italians Italia, and the Greeks Graecia (or Hellas), aod so they united or freed their countries. The English were too superior for such games, and in any case Britannia was Welsh, not English, so, illogically, they became British. The French too had a problem as the Franks were Germans, so they invented the Gauls. This coincided with the moment in time when the Irish discovered they could speak and write English much better than the English (Joyce, Yeats, Wilde, Shaw, etc.), and had largely changed their language, and they might have stopped speaking Irish but for the foundation of Eire.

The problem still lies with Northern Ireland, where just under half the population are Scots who stayed at home to become Irish and Catholic, and are in conflict with just other half of the population who were Scots who went away to become Scottish and Protestant, but then came back again to become British and Protestant. These latter want to remain British and Protestant Christians, when an increasing number of the English are becoming Muslim, Hindu, atheist, druids, witches, or incorrigible agnostics like myself, and are also wondering whether they really want to be British any longer. However, the Ulster Freedom Fighters (a Protestant group) are now drawing on Irish literature in evoking the spirit of the hero of the great Irish epic the Tain Bo Culainge, Cuchulainn, as a defender of Ulster against the southern Irish, and are even beginning to learn Irish, turning the Irish language into a weapon of the north versus the south rather than vice versa. Unfortunately, Cuchalainn came from the south.

To a non-Christian outsider such as myself it seems that Norther Ireland continues to be two communities divided by a common religion.
A bit dated now, since it was written in 1995 (IIRC) but... Well, just throwing it out there for the fun of it. :D

Kage

mob16151
05-07-2010, 17:36
The Space Marines would go into battle screaming, "America, ******* yeah". If the game was designed by us Americans. ;-)

ForgottenLore
05-07-2010, 17:40
"A galaxy spanning, human-centric empire with an incredibly powerful psychic emperor. Once it expanded out into the galaxy protected by the super-human knights but one of those knight betrayed the others and launched a civil war that is still going on."

Am I describing 40K or Star Wars?

If GW had been a US company chaos would have been the "good guys"

Kage2020
05-07-2010, 17:40
The Space Marines would go into battle screaming, "America, ******* yeah". If the game was designed by us Americans. ;-)
And they would then publish it as Deathwatch. :D

Oh, wait... :shifty:

Kage

Brother Valtarius
05-07-2010, 17:41
Humanity would be a lot less grim, aliens would stil be disliked but it would be more akin to border skirmishes and general 'there an agressive faction' then the craziness that 40k has. There'd be much less pop culture refferences. The guard would become more like actual U.S military with tours of duty etc.

wahahaha border skirmishes this is a country that thinks hey that country has something we want, we can beat the poor peasants in a war, hell lets do it. They'd have probably wiped all other alien races out by now, that's if they hadn't shot all of their allied forces first.

Green-is-best
05-07-2010, 17:43
And, then, this was appropriate to post...


A bit dated now, since it was written in 1995 (IIRC) but... Well, just throwing it out there for the fun of it. :D

Kage

HOLY TANGENT, BATMAN!

Anyway, some great points in this thread. As MvS noted, much of the great science fiction of the last century is the product of an American imagination. In addition to the names he mentioned, I think we can add William Gibson, Harlan Ellison, Gene Roddenberry, and Ray Bradbury to that list, just to name a few. Cyberpunk, in particular, shows that American science fiction is capable of some pretty grim Grimdrak.

But, there probably would be some fairly key departures.

Space Marines would probably would've remained Sardaukar instead of becoming space knights. In the US the image of the soldier-fanatic is much more closely associated with Nazis and samurai than crusading knights.

The Imperium would likely be much less communist, though still every bit as totalitarian. Forgeworlds and the like would probably be independent mega-corperations with much more latitude. The concept of corporate quasi-government might play a larger role too.

Technology would likely be less mystical too. Average citizens might look at technology like magic, but the people who produce it would probably have complete mastery over it.

Aliens would probably be almost identical. Orks would probably lose the soccer hooligan bits. Eldar would be identical. Tau might have the Japanese angle played up a bit more. Instead of Kroot, they might have a hand to hand combat caste or something.

So, I think it would be pretty much the same setting over all.

Green-is-best
05-07-2010, 17:44
wahahaha border skirmishes this is a country that thinks hey that country has something we want, we can beat the poor peasants in a war, hell lets do it. They'd have probably wiped all other alien races out by now, that's if they hadn't shot all of their allied forces first.

Let's keep this civil, mmmk. It was really nice that we hadn't dipped into this stuff yet.

Brother Valtarius
05-07-2010, 17:46
Let's keep this civil, mmmk. It was really nice that we hadn't dipped into this stuff yet.

fair 'nuff, my apologies for lowering the tone guys.

Drasanil
05-07-2010, 17:52
Two Words: Commissar Colbert :D

Londinium
05-07-2010, 17:56
Imo it'd be substantially less dark and grim and more over the top heroism with unique individuals able to achieve anything, much like Star Wars. Although 40k has it's heros that can plough their way through armies, that isn't the usual state of 40k warfare. Star Wars has it's dark elements (not enough) but ultimately it stresses the ability of the individual to change anything. Look at the central character of Luke Skywalker, essentially a farm dwelling hick, he is 'special' and goes on to save the universe. In 40k Luke Skywalker would have been send off to a god forsaken rock to die in a muddy trench achieving nothing.

Two things really mark out the difference between American and British sci fi to me. Firstly you have the whole American political concept of the individual and how important to them. To Americans individuals can achieve anything so long as they set their mind to it and this filters through to their sci fi. The British view is substantially more cynical due to our class system, the horrors of the World Wars and our close proximity to the human abuses of both Naziism and Communism. So our sci fi tends to skew off away from the idealistic idea that anyone can achieve something and towards dehumanisation and individuals as just a number.

Secondly since '45 the Americans have been the premier world power and havn't really been challenged, even Vietnam was just a blip. They're proud of their position and optimistic and believe in progress and how they can achieve anything. Whereas Britain has struggled heavily in finding it's place in the world, with it's declining world power and with an economy that was damn near chaotic in the late 40's, 50's, 70's and early 80's. This all fosters a sense of decline and decay which directly manifests itself in British sci fi and our obsession with dystopian worlds rather than shiny Star Trek and heroic Star Wars.

Pacorko
05-07-2010, 17:57
I know the actual producer and main developers aren't U.S. of A. citizens, but if you want to look at how it woudl be like...

Think Starship troopers.

That's as yank as a game can be without being the silly--but likeable--Star Wars of the dull and imbecillic Star Trek or the vomitive Star Gate.

ForgottenLore
05-07-2010, 18:15
Two things really mark out the difference between American and British sci fi to me.

Well said.

As an anthropologist, for years now I have wanted to do a paper analyzing differences between U.S., British and probably Japanese sci-fi and you nicely summed up my point.

Green-is-best
05-07-2010, 18:16
Imo it'd be substantially less dark and grim and more over the top heroism with unique individuals able to achieve anything, much like Star Wars. Although 40k has it's heros that can plough their way through armies, that isn't the usual state of 40k warfare. Star Wars has it's dark elements (not enough) but ultimately it stresses the ability of the individual to change anything. Look at the central character of Luke Skywalker, essentially a farm dwelling hick, he is 'special' and goes on to save the universe. In 40k Luke Skywalker would have been send off to a god forsaken rock to die in a muddy trench achieving nothing.

Two things really mark out the difference between American and British sci fi to me. Firstly you have the whole American political concept of the individual and how important to them. To Americans individuals can achieve anything so long as they set their mind to it and this filters through to their sci fi. The British view is substantially more cynical due to our class system, the horrors of the World Wars and our close proximity to the human abuses of both Naziism and Communism. So our sci fi tends to skew off away from the idealistic idea that anyone can achieve something and towards dehumanisation and individuals as just a number.

Secondly since '45 the Americans have been the premier world power and havn't really been challenged, even Vietnam was just a blip. They're proud of their position and optimistic and believe in progress and how they can achieve anything. Whereas Britain has struggled heavily in finding it's place in the world, with it's declining world power and with an economy that was damn near chaotic in the late 40's, 50's, 70's and early 80's. This all fosters a sense of decline and decay which directly manifests itself in British sci fi and our obsession with dystopian worlds rather than shiny Star Trek and heroic Star Wars.

I really disagree with this notion that American scifi is full of plucky heroes and utopian futures. Phillip K Dick and William Gibson created dystopian futures in the same vein as Huxley and Orwell. Dune, Starship Troopers, and Foundation, the three major touchstones in 40k's background, were all produced by Americans. (Well, Asimov was technically a Russian, but he immigrated to the US when he was 3.)

mob16151
05-07-2010, 18:21
Jeff Somers is a is another good example of a dystopian American sci-fi author. I highly recommend him for people who enjoy 40k.

ForgottenLore
05-07-2010, 18:50
I really disagree with this notion that American scifi is full of plucky heroes and utopian futures. Phillip K Dick and William Gibson created dystopian futures in the same vein as Huxley and Orwell. Dune, Starship Troopers, and Foundation, the three major touchstones in 40k's background, were all produced by Americans. (Well, Asimov was technically a Russian, but he immigrated to the US when he was 3.)

But that is not what s being said here. what is being said is that American sci-fi emphasizes the ability of an individual to change things.

Dune, you have a single individual altering the entire destiny of the galaxy.
Foundation you have a single individual altering the entire destiny of the galaxy (again).
Starship Troopers not so far reaching but still a story about the difference one man can make.

I am less familiar with Phillip K Dick's work apart from some serious identity issues but I believe a lot of his work has the protaganists (sometimes against their will) changing the state of the world.

Can't really comment on Gibson.

By contrast, in Orwell, the main character in 1984 strives against the system and in the end...absolutely NOTHING has changed.

That is the difference and it is that belief in change that frequently gives some American sci-fi a more upbeat, optimistic attitude.

The 40K universe, by comparison, is almost the opposite. It HAD an individual capable of making a difference (the Emperor) and instead of doing that the authors completely disempowered him and made him into the force for stasis. The embodiment of individuality has been perverted into the symbol of faceless conformity and futility.

Same thing with the Eldar. The farseers can see the future and they still can do nothing to stave off the end of their species. It is inevitable and nothing any of them can do is going to stop it.

Tyranids and Necrons are always presented as this inexorable tide that cannot be stopped. Not that it will take a huge sacrifice and many martyred heroes to stop them, but that they can't be stopped.

I think this is a big reason why so many people don't think the Tau fit into the 40K universe. They represent a force for change and growth, the suggestion that maybe a young, powerless upstart CAN, in fact, change the galaxy. Ironic then that they are so frequently perceived as individuality crushing collectivists (I wonder if that was intentional?).

barrangas
05-07-2010, 18:54
Look at the central character of Luke Skywalker, essentially a farm dwelling hick, he is 'special' and goes on to save the universe. In 40k Luke Skywalker would have been send off to a god forsaken rock to die in a muddy trench achieving nothing.

This is actually a common theme in fiction, though I forget the term for it. Actually Luke would have been lost from terra, end up on some backwater world, risen to greatness, and then the Emperor would show up so he could go forth and save the universe. Or he would have been the Emperor.

UselessThing
05-07-2010, 19:13
The characters GW were ripping off - Judge Dredd, Nemesis the Warlock and the A.B.C Warriors frex, tend to be profound badasses.

Brutal Violence by wrought by epic level badasses is an essential part of the warhammer formula.

barrangas
05-07-2010, 19:14
I think one of the problems that people are having is that they are using US tv and movies as the prime example. Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate, and Babylon 5 have been fairly successful SF franchises. on the Doctor Who is perhaps even more upbeat then the majority, most of the time. You have a guy who can travel through space and time, encountering fantastic things, beating enemies with his mind rather then might, and usually have a lot of laughs per episode. Sure there are darker themes but the Doctor usually remains upbeat. Doctor Who is perhaps the most visible form of SF from England that we get in the states and you can see the influence in 40k (Cybermen and Necrons have a lot of similarities). If you want dark SF that is fairly visible american SF think Alien(s) or the Thing.

There will be differences based on culture but I think it's not correct to label american SF Shiney and Happy.

Lupe
05-07-2010, 19:47
"Oh, look... a starving squig... possibly an insurgent or concubine of an insurgent... let's fire this twenty million thrones deathstrike missile at it..."

Okay, I suppose this thread actually deserves a more interesting comment.

We're talking about 40K here. The universe is grimmer than a million hooded reapers. It runs on a subtle and unstable mix of "so over the top it's awesome" and some "so awesome it's over the top". Okay, it's a lot of fi and not very much sci, but we love it nonetheless. Maybe especially because of it. But you really, really have to agree that it's got that Old World feel to it.

It's pretty much a cocktail of every nightmare known to Europeans across the ages (vikings, inquisition, black plague, narcotics, civil war, demons, witches, living dead, Dark Ages, dogmatism), every drug known to man and then set on fire and served in a jar.

Now look at pretty much every other attempt to create a dystopia in the far future, made in the US. Slice random bits off every one of them, put them in a blender, add fireworks, shake vigorously for a minute, sprinkle some stars and stripes on top and serve chilled with a dash of corny dialogue.

Seriously. Even the Alien or Predator franchises (which, at least in their initial films were quite dark, and certainly full of crowning moments of awesome), seem somehow tame compared to 40K.

Chainswords vs Lightsabers?
Traitor marines vs Imperial stormtroopers? (okay, the Star Wars ones)
Space Wolves vs Klingons?
Primarchs vs Jedi knights?
The Imperium vs the Republic/the Federation?
Ian Watson's Space Marine vs Star Wars or Star Trek novels?

You have enough parallels. Extrapolate from there...

The Inevitable One
05-07-2010, 19:59
Two Words: Commissar Colbert :D

If he looks at you and raises his eyebrow your head explodes. And there is always Sergeant Stewart.

Green-is-best
05-07-2010, 20:04
But that is not what s being said here. what is being said is that American sci-fi emphasizes the ability of an individual to change things.

That is what YOU are saying. What the poster I was responding to said was:


it'd be substantially less dark and grim

and


This all fosters a sense of decline and decay which directly manifests itself in British sci fi and our obsession with dystopian worlds rather than shiny Star Trek and heroic Star Wars.

to which I countered with the aforementioned authors.

However, since you mention it, while Foundation and Dune both feature protagonists able to make positive changes in their universe, those achievements are offset by incredible darkness. Hari Seldon is literally trying to create a bulwark against the collapse of civilization and Paul Atreides' new power at the end of Dune is tempered by the knowledge that he will be unable to stop the Freman jihad in his visions. Despite their best efforts and precisely because of their unique gifts both characters know for a certainty that inevitable disaster is imminent.

Star Wars is a conscious retelling of Joseph Campbell's "Hero's Journey." And what isn't influenced by that is taken directly from Akira Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress. So, I wouldn't call it a peculiarly American story.

Star Trek, on the other hand, emphasizes community as the primary engine for positive social change. Its the ultimate socialist fantasy world. Even money is abolished. Roddenberry would've been blacklisted in the 50s.

Once we dip into Gibson, Dick, and Ellison, we encounter some pretty dark, pessimistic stuff. I Have No Mouth but I Must Scream and A Scanner Darkly come to mind as obvious examples.

I'm not saying you're wrong, but squaring your thesis with American cyberpunk and Dr. Who is going to be a lot of work.

Lupe
05-07-2010, 20:23
Once we dip into Gibson, Dick, and Ellison, we encounter some pretty dark, pessimistic stuff. I Have No Mouth but I Must Scream and A Scanner Darkly come to mind as obvious examples.


I absolutely agree with you. The thing is, we're talking about a massive franchise and how that would look like.

To my knowledge (and I really want to be proven wrong here), neither of the names you mentioned have made it to the top level, including books, tabletop games various spin-off computer games and movies.

Realistically speaking, it makes a lot more sense to compare 40K with Star Wars or Star Trek.

DarkMatter2
05-07-2010, 20:30
Paul Atreides' new power at the end of Dune is tempered by the knowledge that he will be unable to stop the Freman jihad in his visions. Despite their best efforts and precisely because of their unique gifts both characters know for a certainty that inevitable disaster is imminent.

I agree. The message Herbert wants you to take from Dune and especially the rest of the series is not "heros can change things" (Herbert was very much against the phenomenon of heroes in human history) but the exact opposite: "Even the greatest man's efforts are futile and meaningless against the tide of human nature and the untameable natural universe."

Muad'dib is a HUGE influence on the GEOM, and Dune is by far the single largest influence on 40k.


Star Wars is a conscious retelling of Joseph Campbell's "Hero's Journey." And what isn't influenced by that is taken directly from Akira Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress. So, I wouldn't call it a peculiarly American story.

Ooh, that is a super simplistic take on Star Wars' origins. I would suggest this: On the Origins of Star Wars (http://www.moongadget.com/origins)

Green-is-best
05-07-2010, 20:48
Ooh, that is a super simplistic take on Star Wars' origins. I would suggest this: On the Origins of Star Wars (http://www.moongadget.com/origins)

Looks interesting, I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the link!

Lexal Graves
05-07-2010, 20:58
As an American, I'd have to say, the biggest difference I would see is more explosions. :D

gwarsh41
05-07-2010, 21:14
I'll word it more simply then.

Many of the tropes, settings and direct 'steals' that make up the 40K imagery come from the USA and or USA writers. There's no comprehesnive but intangible difference between Americans and Britons that would make a US 40K somehow 'less' dark or whatever.

Economic factors are the only relevant ones, I think, and economic factors are also not unique to the USA.

I did not mean in the "Dur I am not clever" way. I meant it in the way that after such a well thought out explanatory post, there is no room for sarcasm. As far as I am concerned, the thread ended with your post.

MvS
05-07-2010, 21:17
As an American, I'd have to say, the biggest difference I would see is more explosions.

Well yes, higher production values are a given. ;)

EDIT:

Ah, I didn't mean it in a "dur you're not clever" sense either. I meant that perhaps I was unclear.

Apologies! :)

Fulgrim's Gimp
05-07-2010, 21:35
I think one of the things is that culturally America is more forward looking while Britain is more retrospective. So Horus could be about to lead a rebellion in a US version while in the British version it is in the dim and distant past where the glory was.

barrangas
05-07-2010, 21:52
I absolutely agree with you. The thing is, we're talking about a massive franchise and how that would look like.

To my knowledge (and I really want to be proven wrong here), neither of the names you mentioned have made it to the top level, including books, tabletop games various spin-off computer games and movies.

Realistically speaking, it makes a lot more sense to compare 40K with Star Wars or Star Trek.

I would have to disagree that 40k is on the level franchises like Star Wars and Star Trek. Both you could ask any one with contact with modern civilization and they'll have at least heard of it. I've met straights who've at least heard of DnD but I've only ever met gamers that are familiar with 40k.

I can't say about the other two, but I know Gibson is a heavy hitter in the cyberpunk genre. He's had a few movies made out of his stories and has been influential in games such as Cyberpunk 2020 or Shadowrun. Not to mention he's a better writter then many of the GW authors combined :D.

I believe that a group of american writers could make 40k just as dark.

ForgottenLore
05-07-2010, 22:07
However, since you mention it, while Foundation and Dune both feature protagonists able to make positive changes in their universe, those achievements are offset by incredible darkness. ... Despite their best efforts and precisely because of their unique gifts both characters know for a certainty that inevitable disaster is imminent.

I would argue the reverse here. Hari Seldon saw the collapse of the Empire coming and he acted to preserve civilization. Yes, it is dark and bleak, but the story is about one man trying to minimize the darkness, and succeeding. In Dune, Paul is unable to bring himself to act and so becomes a tragic figure. His son Leto by contrast makes the sacrifice his father couldn't, essentially sacrificing his humanity, and does, in fact change "the tide of human nature and the untameable natural universe." At least that is what I got out of God Emperor, Heretics and Chapterhouse. Frank never finished Dune 7 and I am not sure how much I trust Brian and Kevin's interpretations so whether he would have been ultimately successful i don't know.


Once we dip into Gibson, Dick, and Ellison, we encounter some pretty dark, pessimistic stuff. I Have No Mouth but I Must Scream and A Scanner Darkly come to mind as obvious examples. You did understand that I'm saying US sci-fi can be dark and angst-y and British can be up beat and happy, right?

BTW, this has been a really fun and interesting debate, thanks guys.

Green-is-best
05-07-2010, 22:25
I would argue the reverse here. Hari Seldon saw the collapse of the Empire coming and he acted to preserve civilization. Yes, it is dark and bleak, but the story is about one man trying to minimize the darkness, and succeeding.

I guess we just have different takes then. I see Hari's actions as an ultimately futile struggle against the inevitable. Even if the two foundations succeed in bringing back humanity from this collapse, what about the next collapse or the collapse after that? Eventually, there will be no Hari Seldon type figure to preserve our knowledge.


In Dune, Paul is unable to bring himself to act and so becomes a tragic figure. His son Leto by contrast makes the sacrifice his father couldn't, essentially sacrificing his humanity, and does, in fact change "the tide of human nature and the untameable natural universe." At least that is what I got out of God Emperor, Heretics and Chapterhouse. Frank never finished Dune 7 and I am not sure how much I trust Brian and Kevin's interpretations so whether he would have been ultimately successful i don't know.

But Leto has transcended human existence to become, at the very least, a demigod. I think think that bolsters DarkMatter2's point. Leto isn't a human hero, he's a god in a galaxy of mortals.


You did understand that I'm saying US sci-fi can be dark and angst-y and British can be up beat and happy, right?

Uh, maybe I'm illiterate, but I didn't see you saying that anywhere nor did it seem to be a point you were debating. I thought your interest was in individualism in sci-fi vis-a-vis cultural differences between Japan, Britain, and the US, not the varying levels of grittiness in sci-fi across cultures. (which is frankly rather banal)


BTW, this has been a really fun and interesting debate, thanks guys.

I guess you're taking your leave then. Ok.

ForgottenLore
05-07-2010, 22:48
I guess we just have different takes then. I see Hari's actions as an ultimately futile struggle against the inevitable. Even if the two foundations succeed in bringing back humanity from this collapse, what about the next collapse or the collapse after that? Eventually, there will be no Hari Seldon type figure to preserve our knowledge.

But the foundation books don't address any of that, the story is about THIS collapse and how the foundations prevent it from being much, much worse.


But Leto has transcended human existence to become, at the very least, a demigod. I think think that bolsters DarkMatter2's point. Leto isn't a human hero, he's a god in a galaxy of mortals.

But he started as a human, and he is one of the main characters, that humanizes him and makes it so that the reader empathizes with him. He made a choice, as a human being, to become what he became (eventually, essentially a mindless animal). The Emperor (as far as we have been told) didn't really choose to be put in the golden throne.


Uh, maybe I'm illiterate, but I didn't see you saying that anywhere nor did it seem to be a point you were debating. I thought your interest was in individualism in sci-fi vis-a-vis cultural differences between Japan, Britain, and the US, not the varying levels of grittiness in sci-fi across cultures. (which is frankly rather banal)


My point was that everyone else seemed to be arguing that the differences between US and British sci-fi was one of optimism vs nihilism, Star Trek vs 40K and that I thought both could be either and that the difference seemed to be more the role of the individual, not the general level of darkness or light.


I guess you're taking your leave then. Ok.
No, but I have come to believe that I sometimes come across as angry or belligerent in these sorts of online debates and I wanted to emphasize that I am in no way becoming emotionally worked up or upset at this thread and that it is not my intention to cause anyone else to do so, either.

baphomael
05-07-2010, 22:49
MvS: It's Englishmen, not Britons ;)
I'm pretty sure Britons were French...
OT: from what I've seen of our cousins over the pond, the scope of the Imperium would be much smaller, much like people have said in that it would be more akin to the original Rogue Trader, and Space Marines would likely be even more garish than they are currently (think Team America) and the Emperor would probably have a name :P

Except, for those of us who arnt Englishmen :shifty:


I think one of the things is that culturally America is more forward looking while Britain is more retrospective. So Horus could be about to lead a rebellion in a US version while in the British version it is in the dim and distant past where the glory was.

A good point. The US is a, relatively, new country - the US is having to make its history, while european states have thousands of years of history to draw upon already.

For a pulpy, pop-culture inspired, setting this must have an inpact - the difference between the wild, new, frontire and the archaic and epic span of the Olde Worlde.

ForgottenLore
05-07-2010, 23:08
Yeah, that is , I think, the root of the argument I have been making. In the US a building is "old" if it was build in 1900. For Europe you have to dig through 1000 year old ruins to get to the "old" stuff. The Conqu...Taming of the American West left a strong cultural trait of individuality on the US.

Green-is-best
05-07-2010, 23:26
But the foundation books don't address any of that, the story is about THIS collapse and how the foundations prevent it from being much, much worse.

Right, but I think there is an implication that civilization and collapse are cyclic. By invoking the Dark Ages, Asimov asks the reader to draw parallels with history and the collapse of the Roman Empire. However, I suppose the intentionality of that is debatable.



But he started as a human, and he is one of the main characters, that humanizes him and makes it so that the reader empathizes with him. He made a choice, as a human being, to become what he became (eventually, essentially a mindless animal). The Emperor (as far as we have been told) didn't really choose to be put in the golden throne.

Still, he's no longer human, so does that mean he can even be considered a human protagonist anymore? I think Herbert is saying that a man must become a god to influence things on the scale of societies and worlds and species. But again, I suppose that is debatable.

The Emperor, however, did choose to be put on the Throne. He gave instructions for its construction to Dorn as he was dying.



My point was that everyone else seemed to be arguing that the differences between US and British sci-fi was one of optimism vs nihilism, Star Trek vs 40K and that I thought both could be either and that the difference seemed to be more the role of the individual, not the general level of darkness or light.

Yeah, that's what I thought you were saying. My contention (at least in my response to you) was that Gibson and Dick, along with many others, take a dim, pessimistic view of humanity and our ability to positively effect our world. When those works are evaluated alongside Dr. Who or the Lord of the Rings, the role of American individualism becomes less pronounced then looking at Orwell vs. Star Wars. Throwing Japan into the mix is even more complicated.


No, but I have come to believe that I sometimes come across as angry or belligerent in these sorts of online debates and I wanted to emphasize that I am in no way becoming emotionally worked up or upset at this thread and that it is not my intention to cause anyone else to do so, either.

Ah, ok, thanks for the clarification.

ForgottenLore
05-07-2010, 23:41
Still, he's no longer human, so does that mean he can even be considered a human protagonist anymore? I think Herbert is saying that a man must become a god to influence things on the scale of societies and worlds and species. But again, I suppose that is debatable.I can see that argument. I don't think I agree with it but I can definitely see where you are coming from.


The Emperor, however, did choose to be put on the Throne. He gave instructions for its construction to Dorn as he was dying.
Did he? I didn't now that. Honestly my knowledge of the details of the ancient history of the 40K universe is a bit weak. Probably because the story never much appealed to me.


Yeah, that's what I thought you were saying. My contention (at least in my response to you) was that Gibson and Dick, along with many others, take a dim, pessimistic view of humanity and our ability to positively effect our world. When those works are evaluated alongside Dr. Who or the Lord of the Rings, the role of American individualism becomes less pronounced then looking at Orwell vs. Star Wars. Throwing Japan into the mix is even more complicated.I see what you are saying. Unfortunately I am not particularly familiar with either Gibson or Dick to reliably argue about them.

Lord of the Rings is an interesting case though. Is the message that Frodo chose to take up the burden of the ring and so save the world or is it that in the end he was unable to act and forces largely beyond the individual's control resolved the story.

MetalGecko23
05-07-2010, 23:42
Yeah, that is , I think, the root of the argument I have been making. In the US a building is "old" if it was build in 1900. For Europe you have to dig through 1000 year old ruins to get to the "old" stuff. The Conqu...Taming of the American West left a strong cultural trait of individuality on the US.
Lol don't sugar coat it. It isn't Manifest Destiney for nothing (remember what the Emperors Great Crusade was). Besides we are mature enough to laugh at attempts to put a negative look on American history (dark it can be). Remember we learned it from our parents..;) So you don't need to hide our dark side...its there, embrace it so you don't repeat it.

So its all good friend :)

Any who back OT. I think we are forgetting a great deal of actual 40k fluff. 40k is actually quite light hearted and not grimdark these days. How many Black Library novels feature a lone (or mostly alone) hero beating the odds and saving the day? A lot by my account, hell, most of them are. We have a habit of projecting the grimdark on 40k because its slipping away.

Space Marines..!!!! Does anyone remember them? Honestly they are all heroes that are capable of making real change and then do. Less then one for ever Imperial world...its not enough to hold back the tide...

Then they go and do it..

DarkMatter2
05-07-2010, 23:43
In Dune, Paul is unable to bring himself to act and so becomes a tragic figure.

Paul is actually "tragic" because he lives his life with prescience. His being special means that he can never simply be a man, and yet at the same time he understands his pretensions to power are bound to be wiped away. He recognizes futility where others do not.


His son Leto by contrast makes the sacrifice his father couldn't, essentially sacrificing his humanity, and does, in fact change "the tide of human nature and the untameable natural universe."

But he doesn't. Over 3,500 years of absolute tyranny he merely breeds beings that cannot be followed by prescience, and causes a reaction following his death wherein humans, deathly tired of absolute stagnation, spread out to various thousands of worlds.

He didn't change human nature, his rule was merely one massive action to which the natural reaction was explosive outward expansion. Cause and effect. And in doing so he becomes the most vile and hated tyrant in the history of humankind.

Even then the Universe goes on, and his life becomes merely a legend. Even the God-Emperor is just a blip in eternity, it was a tiny nudge away from the path to extinction.

barrangas
05-07-2010, 23:48
Yeah, that is , I think, the root of the argument I have been making. In the US a building is "old" if it was build in 1900. For Europe you have to dig through 1000 year old ruins to get to the "old" stuff. The Conqu...Taming of the American West left a strong cultural trait of individuality on the US.

I think your arguement doesn't take into account modern day access to historical information. If I want to write about a dark age in the distant future, I'll go brush up on the Dark Ages in Europe to get ideas.

Also European history really connects with the Americas in the 1500s and the Spanish Conquistadors provided a lot of source material for the Imperium there. And yes it was the conquest of the West, but then again the English have had almost 1000 years experience with that ;)

ForgottenLore
05-07-2010, 23:54
It has been a while since I read the Dune books, but what I got out of them was that Leto's tyranny had a very specific purpose and goal. His absolute reign was specifically designed to alter the destiny of the human race by fundamentally changing the nature of humanity. His tyrannical rule, metamorphosis, downfall and the aftermath were all part of his intricate plan to save humanity from the extinction Paul foresaw but could not bring himself to change, and the overwhelming impression I got from the end of God Emperor was that it worked, and everything that followed was according to Leto's design.

MetalGecko23
05-07-2010, 23:54
I think your arguement doesn't take into account modern day access to historical information. If I want to write about a dark age in the distant future, I'll go brush up on the Dark Ages in Europe to get ideas.

Also European history really connects with the Americas in the 1500s and the Spanish Conquistadors provided a lot of source material for the Imperium there. And yes it was the conquest of the West, but then again the English have had almost 1000 years experience with that ;)

To be honest if 40k was American it would be even more inspired by Roman history. The Romans speak to American subconcious sense of history.

barrangas
06-07-2010, 00:03
To be honest if 40k was American it would be even more inspired by Roman history. The Romans speak to American subconcious sense of history.

Amen. Fortunately Caligula could only buy two elections :D

DarkMatter2
06-07-2010, 00:04
It has been a while since I read the Dune books, but what I got out of them was that Leto's tyranny had a very specific purpose and goal.

Yes.


His absolute reign was specifically designed to alter the destiny of the human race by fundamentally changing the nature of humanity.

He doesn't really change human nature, he alters the course of humanity's development. His plan is specifically crafted to allow humanity to escape from any other prescient beings in the future through the breeding of a line of humans who are invisible to detection.

The other outcome of his death is to allow the expression of thousands of years of built up tension due to stagnation, causing humanity to scatter violently throughout the universe, mingling, warring... etc. So humanity spreads out beyond the range of any one ruler to control.


His tyrannical rule, metamorphosis, downfall and the aftermath were all part of his intricate plan to save humanity from the extinction Paul foresaw but could not bring himself to change, and the overwhelming impression I got from the end of God Emperor was that it worked, and everything that followed was according to Leto's design.

More or less.

Gdolkin
06-07-2010, 00:32
I don't see why there would have to be much of a difference really.

Lovecraft was American. Edgar Allen Poe was an American. Stephen King is an American.

More importantly, Frank Herbert (who wrote Dune, and therefore much of the 40K universe, though he didn't realise it) was an American. Robert Anson Heinlein, who wrote Starship Troopers, was an American. Michael Moorcock, although not an American, has a huge following in the States, indicating that Americans 'get' the whole freaky Chaos mojo thing (in case anyone suspected they don't).

Love them or hate them, most 'suburb eats itself' Zombie films are American, along with horror, dystopia and/or cynical 'dark' films like Event Horizon, Equilibrium, Seven, Natural Born Killers, the entire Film Noir genre, Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket and so on and on.

If GW was created by the same kind of geeks in the USA as it was in the UK, then I don't see why there would be any difference in terms of imagery. If, however, we're talking about whether or not a US GW would have been bought out by a larger toy company and then had talentless money-men calling shots to make a quicker buck, then yes, there was probably a good chance - although if British geeks-turned-businessmen could resist the lure then I don't see why American geeks-turned-businessmen couldn't do the same.

People are people. Science-fantasy-horror geeks are science-fantasy-horror geeks. We all should know that on this website.

Most of us are 'out' and proud. ;)
This. MvS does it again :) You're the best of us buddy, I've been here 4 years and you are always an inspiration matey :) Gonna read the rest of the thread now..

ChaplainOrion
06-07-2010, 02:27
Wait how could 40k be made by America? I mean if we could recognize it still it would be 40k. If it was different wouldn't be 40k.

woodfin
06-07-2010, 03:08
It would have everyone look smooth like the eldar and high tech.

Hellebore
06-07-2010, 04:37
How different would 40k be if it was made by an american company?

About as different as StarCraft.

Hellebore

theJ
06-07-2010, 05:17
huh... wow... you guys are good at this... well, most of you anyway :)

Another point in american writing (in general, that is) is the existance of only two sides in any given situations. It's not that there's one good and one bad, but there's always two sides, with no thirds or fourths operating for their own agenda.
An obvious exception to this rule is individuals. Any individual can operate for their own gain, or can have a separate 'plan' from the rest, but there cannot be three actual sides to any given conflict.

To this end, I think an american WH40K would bring us "alliances" much like so many other fictional universes these days have. There would be an official "team order" and an official "team disorder" whenever a campaign came up. Alternatively we could end up with "team imperium" and "team not imperium", or "team humanity" vs "team xenos", depending on the situation at hand.

As always, I could be very, very, very wrong. Cheers! :)

ForgottenLore
06-07-2010, 05:35
You mean like the new Warhammer Fantasy with the forces of order and disorder, and a couple neutrals?

Malice313
06-07-2010, 05:53
I don't know that there was any sort of super division between the U.S. and England. Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone basically started GW. One American one English.


I stopped believing in the difference between the people of two English-speaking nations when the Internet turned up.

This is a fair point and one that I initially thought of until I remembered that 4+k was created when the internet was basically used only by the military and a few ultra geeks.


Two things really mark out the difference between American and British sci fi to me. Firstly you have the whole American political concept of the individual and how important to them. To Americans individuals can achieve anything so long as they set their mind to it and this filters through to their sci fi. The British view is substantially more cynical due to our class system, the horrors of the World Wars and our close proximity to the human abuses of both Naziism and Communism. So our sci fi tends to skew off away from the idealistic idea that anyone can achieve something and towards dehumanisation and individuals as just a number.

Secondly since '45 the Americans have been the premier world power and havn't really been challenged, even Vietnam was just a blip. They're proud of their position and optimistic and believe in progress and how they can achieve anything. Whereas Britain has struggled heavily in finding it's place in the world, with it's declining world power and with an economy that was damn near chaotic in the late 40's, 50's, 70's and early 80's. This all fosters a sense of decline and decay which directly manifests itself in British sci fi and our obsession with dystopian worlds rather than shiny Star Trek and heroic Star Wars.

This is an interesting point of view.

I have been going through a lot of Cold War and post apocalyptic movies of late, and its interesting to see the difference between American an English movies.

Two good examples are perhaps Threads and The Day After. Both nuclear apocalypse and follow principally the same story line, yet the English Threads seems more graphic and focuses on the state oppression a great deal more.

Its also interesting that during the peak of the Cold War, England made a number of different kind of apocalypse movies such as No Blade of Grass and Day of the Triffids. These movies focus on the excesses and arrogance of humanity, yet the U.S. remained almost totally obsessed with nuclear apocalypse during this time.

As for dystopia, perhaps the master of dystopia in film is Terry Gilliam with such movies as Brazil and 12 Monkeys. Gilliam is an American who spent a great deal of his life in England.


The characters GW were ripping off - Judge Dredd, Nemesis the Warlock and the A.B.C Warriors frex, tend to be profound badasses.

I was just re-reading books 1-7 of Nemesis the Warlock yesterday thinking "Holy Crap! This is exactly what most of 4+k is based on!!!"

Actually I think Rogue Trader even has some illustrations done by Kevin O'Neill


Muad'dib is a HUGE influence on the GEOM, and Dune is by far the single largest influence on 40k.]

See above.

Hellebore
06-07-2010, 05:58
I don't know that there was any sort of super division between the U.S. and England. Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone basically started GW. One American one English.


Actually they are both British. There are two Steve Jacksons. Steve Jackson Games is owned by the American one.

Hellebore

Malice313
06-07-2010, 06:05
Actually they are both British. There are two Steve Jacksons. Steve Jackson Games is owned by the American one.

Hellebore

Ah.. that's right!

I've actually had the pleasure of GMing the American Steve Jackson at a con about a decade ago. Seemed like a nice enough guy.

I used to play a lot of Car Wars (speaking of sci-fi dystopia) before 4+k took over my table top life.

Hellebore
06-07-2010, 06:07
I used to think there was only one too, which made Steve Jackson of Steve Jackson Games out to be some kind of superhuman game designing machine! due to wrongful attribution of work. :p

Hellebore

Malice313
06-07-2010, 06:10
I used to think there was only one too, which made Steve Jackson of Steve Jackson Games out to be some kind of superhuman game designing machine! due to wrongful attribution of work. :p

Hellebore

Ha... according to wikipedia both Steve Jacksons wrote for the Fighting Fantasy books series, adding to the confusion.:confused:

Malice313
06-07-2010, 06:26
About as different as StarCraft.

Do you think that 11 years of 4+k had influenced Starcraft?

There is also the old story about Warcraft being a spin off of WFB that got into licensing difficulties (though I've never heard this verified).

Green-is-best
06-07-2010, 06:37
Why do you keep calling 40k 4+k?

Malice313
06-07-2010, 08:20
Mainly because of cover saves and the rare instances cover saves are not applicable.

Brother of the Hydra
06-07-2010, 11:45
You would be able to shoot into H2H combat..... :eek:

Space Marines would be - 'all the gear and no idea' :angel:

Smurfs would get a star spangled paint job! :rolleyes:

And before you started playing a game you would have to sing the national anthem!! :wtf:

mob16151
06-07-2010, 11:53
You would be able to shoot into H2H combat..... :eek:

Space Marines would be - 'all the gear and no idea' :angel:

Smurfs would get a star spangled paint job! :rolleyes:

And before you started playing a game you would have to sing the national anthem!! :wtf:

Hahahahaha I got a chuckle out of that.

Kage2020
06-07-2010, 12:32
Play ball!

:shifty:

Kage

From Shadows
06-07-2010, 12:56
You would be able to shoot into H2H combat..... :eek:

Space Marines would be - 'all the gear and no idea' :angel:

Smurfs would get a star spangled paint job! :rolleyes:


And before you started playing a game you would have to sing the national anthem!! :wtf:

And do not forget them mandatory flag waving, and chants of USA...USA.
:shifty:

Malice313
06-07-2010, 14:32
And do not forget them mandatory flag waving, and chants of USA...USA.
:shifty:

As opposed to En-ger-laaa-and! or Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi, oi, oi!!!

theJ
06-07-2010, 16:04
You mean like the new Warhammer Fantasy with the forces of order and disorder, and a couple neutrals?

well... yeah... basically... except I don't think I've ever seen any 'neutrals' in american works.

Admittably, my knowledge of said works is pretty darn low...


Thinking about it, that joke (at least I assume it's a joke) about "singing the anthem" got me thinking. I have a hard time believing an american company would release the 40K without any nationalistic factions in it. Flagwaving, anthems, national songs... those things are pretty darn important in america!

Oh, and before I forget it. The Golden Throne wouldn't be situated above a toilet in nottingham* :p

*it would be situated above a toilet somewhere around 'vegas :)

barrangas
06-07-2010, 16:26
I've encountered a lot of people who've seen AT-43 and thought it was American. I mean it's got factions that are SF versions of the USA and USSR. They're surprised when they learned it was made by a French company.

If 40k was developed in the USA you might run into difference like Orcs behaving like the sterotypical highschool football player rather then the soccer hooligan. Ultimately I think it could be very much the same.

Green-is-best
06-07-2010, 17:05
Flagwaving, anthems, national songs... those things are pretty darn important in america!

This is true. Everyday the commissar comes and knocks on my door and the whole neighborhood goes outside to salute the flag, sing the national anthem, and give due praise to our great leader Barrack Hussein Obama.

Drasanil
06-07-2010, 17:42
give due praise to our great leader Barrack Hussein Obama.

Someone clearly doesn't live in a red-state:D

N810
06-07-2010, 17:49
Lasguns would be effective,
and plasma guns would have
an nice cooling system,
and tanks would be grenade proof. ;)

From Shadows
06-07-2010, 20:05
This is true. Everyday the commissar comes and knocks on my door and the whole neighborhood goes outside to salute the flag, sing the national anthem, and give due praise to our great leader Barrack Hussein Obama.

I knew it!!!! ;)

NotMyIfurita
06-07-2010, 20:12
I think color and armor would get spelled differently.. and orks would sound more like hillbillies than soccer thugs. And I don't see too much else that screams a cultural difference to me

baphomael
06-07-2010, 23:33
This is true. Everyday the commissar comes and knocks on my door and the whole neighborhood goes outside to salute the flag, sing the national anthem, and give due praise to our great leader Barrack Hussein Obama.

Course, that would mean the Imperium is controlled by chaos. Obama is clearly a Tzeentch cultist...what with all that talk of change.

Corax
07-07-2010, 00:05
Two things really mark out the difference between American and British sci fi to me. Firstly you have the whole American political concept of the individual and how important to them. To Americans individuals can achieve anything so long as they set their mind to it and this filters through to their sci fi. The British view is substantially more cynical due to our class system, the horrors of the World Wars and our close proximity to the human abuses of both Naziism and Communism. So our sci fi tends to skew off away from the idealistic idea that anyone can achieve something and towards dehumanisation and individuals as just a number.

Secondly since '45 the Americans have been the premier world power and havn't really been challenged, even Vietnam was just a blip. They're proud of their position and optimistic and believe in progress and how they can achieve anything. Whereas Britain has struggled heavily in finding it's place in the world, with it's declining world power and with an economy that was damn near chaotic in the late 40's, 50's, 70's and early 80's. This all fosters a sense of decline and decay which directly manifests itself in British sci fi and our obsession with dystopian worlds rather than shiny Star Trek and heroic Star Wars.

Yes, this! You have succinctly expressed pretty much everything I was going to say on the topic.

40k is very much informed by the political, economic, and social upheavals experienced by the UK over the course of the 20th century, as well as the longer historical baggage of British history.

The point about America being forward looking and Britain being backward looking is, I think, the key factor to understanding how an American conception of 40k would be different. If you had to distill it down to one word, the difference would be "hope".

bugbait_nz
07-07-2010, 00:23
Space marines would be movie marines, an army of 10!

Tokugawa100
07-07-2010, 01:00
I stopped believing in the difference between the people of two English-speaking nations when the Internet turned up.

Seriously, I consider the idea of a 'national character' to be a sweeping generalisation at best, and immensely dumb at worst. Living in an English town packed with American forces personnel, the only difference I've noticed is that Americans still maintain the idea that people actually go on dates (in the real world people just get drunk and hook up), particularly when you bear in mind how much culture the US and UK share since widespread music and television sharing. If I asked my US and UK friends to each write a science-fiction story, there wouldn't be any real way of telling which was which.

I do reckon a US GW would have given the Imperium a flag, though. They seem to regard them as a bigger deal than we do. And, pre-Internet, I would assume the US Imperium would be slightly more responsible, like the facists of Starship Troopers; the grimdarkness would be implied rather than explained - death camps would be rumours rather than holiday destinations.

You honestly dont think that English speaking nations have differing world views:eyebrows:

A nation is shaped by its history, its location and its people.
Of course no country has a genrealisation of character, that borders of racism and stereotyping but a majority of a nation does share similar world views.

The British often from what we can see in their writings, their films, even their comedies are rather bleak.

The US has this whole "we are the light and the way" outlook about them, they are an optimistic nation always looking to the future and that glimmer of hope.
I guess they have a right to be being the world's super power at the moment, things will change but I suppose they should have their chance to be proud of it;)
"Despite the means of getting there".:shifty:

Living in Australia Ive found we too have a different outlook as a nation, we seem to be more about the here and now.
Were a bit more down to Earth and with such a small but unpleasant history we arent exactly bleak but nor are we optimistic.




I'll word it more simply then.

Many of the tropes, settings and direct 'steals' that make up the 40K imagery come from the USA and or USA writers. There's no comprehesnive but intangible difference between Americans and Britons that would make a US 40K somehow 'less' dark or whatever.

Economic factors are the only relevant ones, I think, and economic factors are also not unique to the USA.

There is a difference between "stealing an idea" and making it your own.
Despite similarities to one another the works you described have a very different feel to 40k.


I really disagree with this notion that American scifi is full of plucky heroes and utopian futures. Phillip K Dick and William Gibson created dystopian futures in the same vein as Huxley and Orwell. Dune, Starship Troopers, and Foundation, the three major touchstones in 40k's background, were all produced by Americans. (Well, Asimov was technically a Russian, but he immigrated to the US when he was 3.)

But what is being discussed here is not of individual writers, it is of the genre as a whole and how it is defined in its respective nation.
Of course there are some who break the boundaries but a vast majority have similar themes.

The UK has a pretty grim history what with the Nazi's and the terrible tidings of both the World Wars. This has given them some pretty bleak but fascinating workings in the sci fi universe. The nostalgic and bitter feel to alot of UK work is a very real and interesting take.

The US however ever since the likes of Flash Gordon has focussed on the hero and what the individual can achieve.
This isnt neccesarily a lie, individuals have achieved some incredible things in our history, just not on the scale that alot of US sci fi, indeed US Fiction has achieved.

The US tends to be over the top and will pit a single individual against an entire "evil" nation and have him walk away just fine.
All we have to see is American movies, you will always have a hero who has one thing special about him overcome horrific odds and walk way and get married or something.

I tend to dislike this approach because its simply unrealistic and a little irritating.

UselessThing
07-07-2010, 01:12
The US tends to be over the top and will pit a single individual against an entire "evil" nation and have him walk away just fine.

Like I say, the typical warhammer hero is also likly to kick huge amounts of butt.

He is just not going to be doing it for a particularly good reason.

OTT violence with a sense of nihilism is the way.

--

Snake Plissken is a pretty warhammerish kind of dude. And a yank at that.

Green-is-best
07-07-2010, 01:37
But what is being discussed here is not of individual writers, it is of the genre as a whole and how it is defined in its respective nation.
Of course there are some who break the boundaries but a vast majority have similar themes.

Those are the major writers in the American science fiction canon. You can certainly draw some pretty strong inferences about the nature of the literature by reading them.


The UK has a pretty grim history what with the Nazi's and the terrible tidings of both the World Wars. This has given them some pretty bleak but fascinating workings in the sci fi universe. The nostalgic and bitter feel to alot of UK work is a very real and interesting take.

Yeah, WW2 was totally sunshine for the Americans. We only got bombed once, but we certainly did our share of bleeding. Try reading Slaughterhouse 5.



The US however ever since the likes of Flash Gordon has focussed on the hero and what the individual can achieve.
This isnt neccesarily a lie, individuals have achieved some incredible things in our history, just not on the scale that alot of US sci fi, indeed US Fiction has achieved.

The US tends to be over the top and will pit a single individual against an entire "evil" nation and have him walk away just fine.
All we have to see is American movies, you will always have a hero who has one thing special about him overcome horrific odds and walk way and get married or something.



I tend to dislike this approach because its simply unrealistic and a little irritating.

Yet you just tried to sum up all of an entire culture's perspective on the role of the individual in fiction in less than a page. :shifty: Literature is more complicated then that.

Green-is-best
07-07-2010, 01:50
Like I say, the typical warhammer hero is also likly to kick huge amounts of butt.

He is just not going to be doing it for a particularly good reason.

OTT violence with a sense of nihilism is the way.

--

Snake Plissken is a pretty warhammerish kind of dude. And a yank at that.

This is a great point!

Hellebore
07-07-2010, 02:08
Yeah, WW2 was totally sunshine for the Americans. We only got bombed once, but we certainly did our share of bleeding. Try reading Slaughterhouse 5.


I think the point was more that there was less of a psychological toll on American civilians than British/European ones due to the distance of the war.

Australia was much the same, although with the Japanese advance down through New Guinea it did have some immediacy.

I tend to find US fantasy to have a glint of aluminium to it. Looks shiny, but doesn't do much.

Growing up around Medieval history in Europe would have an effect on people. Living in cities where many of the buildings are several hundred or a thousand years old creates a sense of age and history you don't get in places like Australia (or at least, not unless you travel out into the remotest areas of Australia to look at the amazing 40,000 year old Aboriginal rock art).

I'd imagine many places in Asia are the same. Continuous civilisations for thousands of years build up a history to them that creates a connection to that time. Which is generally the time that fantasies are set.

Sci fi on the other hand is generally forward looking, which is why you see so much coming out of younger countries (considering Japan's massive psychological and social shakedown in the last 150 years, they're effectively a young country).

40k is fantasy in space and doesn't really 'feel' like the scifi we are used to.

Hellebore

MacMortal
07-07-2010, 02:17
the game would be cheaper to play, sence americans believe in cricital mass production.

Green-is-best
07-07-2010, 02:18
I think the point was more that there was less of a psychological toll on American civilians than British/European ones due to the distance of the war.

Australia was much the same, although with the Japanese advance down through New Guinea it did have some immediacy.

Certainly. The experience was completely different. But my point, perhaps not well made, was that getting into the comparative grimness of different countries really isn't a useful thing. American history is just as full of blood, suffering, and injustice as any other nation. Think of the American Civil War or the near total collapse of the American economy during the 30s. Then, of course, there was the experience of Americans who fought in the first and second world wars.

Cowboy Creep
07-07-2010, 02:43
I don't see why there would have to be much of a difference really.

Lovecraft was American. Edgar Allen Poe was an American. Stephen King is an American.

More importantly, Frank Herbert (who wrote Dune, and therefore much of the 40K universe, though he didn't realise it) was an American. Robert Anson Heinlein, who wrote Starship Troopers, was an American. Michael Moorcock, although not an American, has a huge following in the States, indicating that Americans 'get' the whole freaky Chaos mojo thing (in case anyone suspected they don't).

Love them or hate them, most 'suburb eats itself' Zombie films are American, along with horror, dystopia and/or cynical 'dark' films like Event Horizon, Equilibrium, Seven, Natural Born Killers, the entire Film Noir genre, Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket and so on and on.

If GW was created by the same kind of geeks in the USA as it was in the UK, then I don't see why there would be any difference in terms of imagery. If, however, we're talking about whether or not a US GW would have been bought out by a larger toy company and then had talentless money-men calling shots to make a quicker buck, then yes, there was probably a good chance - although if British geeks-turned-businessmen could resist the lure then I don't see why American geeks-turned-businessmen couldn't do the same.

People are people. Science-fantasy-horror geeks are science-fantasy-horror geeks. We all should know that on this website.

Most of us are 'out' and proud. ;)

MvS nailed it, yet again.

If you're just looking for bias opinions though, it would be even more awesome..

barrangas
07-07-2010, 02:48
The US tends to be over the top and will pit a single individual against an entire "evil" nation and have him walk away just fine.
All we have to see is American movies, you will always have a hero who has one thing special about him overcome horrific odds and walk way and get married or something.

I tend to dislike this approach because its simply unrealistic and a little irritating.

So your judging American SF off of movies!?! There is more to American SF then Star Wars and Star Trek people. It really is a drop in the bucket. If we really have to stick with movies that defy your view here are a few: 2001- A Space Odessy, Blade Runner, Terminator, Alien Nation, Pitch Black (Sure Riddick was over the top, but he was at best an Anti-hero and the main protagonist was the pilot IMO), Donnie Darko, etc. I already mentioned Alien(s) and John Carpenter's the Thing. How about we go old school with the Twilight Zone and the Outer Limits. Most of these should be fairly familiar (though some are more cult), often are darker themed, and most don't have happy endings for the protagonists.

This was just a list of movies I got from wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_science_fiction_films:_2000s

You can see all the sci-fi pumped out by the America. Yes there is a lot of SF that is fantastic but that's the nature of SF. It's also not an outlook limited to the US.

UselessThing
07-07-2010, 02:49
I do think it screams eighties Britain though. If you arn't raging against Margaret Thatcher you are doing it wrong.

Lunatic Fringe
07-07-2010, 03:09
I've encountered a lot of people who've seen AT-43 and thought it was American. I mean it's got factions that are SF versions of the USA and USSR. They're surprised when they learned it was made by a French company.at43 is a good looking game. i love the minis. i wish i knew somone who played it.

MetalGecko23
07-07-2010, 03:58
I do think it screams eighties Britain though. If you arn't raging against Margaret Thatcher you are doing it wrong.

Really? I think 40k screams 80s-90s American pop culture outside of the Orks. You got so much influence from American action films and comic books its laughable. Remember Sly Marbo and the army of Rambos or the army of armored Arnolds (Space Marines).

or just Arnold..
http://images.dakkadakka.com/gallery/2009/4/7/26419_sm-2nd%20Edition,%20Artwork,%20Catachan,%20Copyright% 20Games%20Workshop,%20Imperial%20Guard,%20Officer, %20Retro%20Review.jpg

Then you got the Tyranids who were based off Aliens and a bit from Starship Troopers. Space Marines inspired by Starship Troopers. Necrons from Terminator. Imperial Guard stories all play out with the bleakness of a good Vietnam movie....

So America has put a huge dent in the lore of 40k already.

EDIT: And don't forget about Robot Jox...

Hellebore
07-07-2010, 04:11
Space marines started out as punk criminals brainwashed into wearing armour and murdering people. Not very 'arnold in armour' at all.

Imperial Guard are far more WWI/II than vietnam, excepting the Catachans of course. GW has a penchant for redcoatesque uniformed soldiers though.

But I don't think people are referring to those concepts so much as how they are PRESENTED. That the necrons are like terminators doesn't really affect how they are portrayed.

Hellebore

MetalGecko23
07-07-2010, 04:40
Space marines started out as punk criminals brainwashed into wearing armour and murdering people. Not very 'arnold in armour' at all.
Thats isn't what they are now though are they? Inspiration isn't exclusive to the conception phase.



Imperial Guard are far more WWI/II than vietnam, excepting the Catachans of course. GW has a penchant for redcoatesque uniformed soldiers though.
I would disagree. Most movies, books, history, video games, and comic books glorify WWII up until just recently. Nothing in popular culture American or otherwise (that I have experienced) has put the grim nature of war into the stories of WW2 until recently. Now Vietnam was always been a dark dark scar on American culture.

Thats why I find it to be a much greater influence then WWI/II. Simply because popular culture has always painted it as a grim and ugly experience. Drug crazed soldiers, mindless slaughtering of innocents, careless commanders, utter hopelessness that you will live to see tomorrow. Those are the stories (real or otherwise) that come out of Vietnam.

Catachans superficially look like Vietnam American soldiers (because of Rambo) but the tone of the stories and the content of 40k is very Vietnam. Just with the images of WWI and WW2 wrapped over them.



But I don't think people are referring to those concepts so much as how they are PRESENTED. That the necrons are like terminators doesn't really affect how they are portrayed.

Inspiration is inspiration, the beauty of it is that its only a part of the product. I'm not saying that they ripped from stuff but were inspired by it. Which I doubt you can deny.

A added question would be. What would 40k be like without American influences?

Hellebore
07-07-2010, 05:00
Well necrons would probably say 'DELETE!' 'DELETE!' instead.

Tyranids would probably look like prawn men.

Basically the imagery would probably be more Dr. Who. However my opinion is that although some of the imagery is based on American concepts, the presentation of that imagery is not.

Hellebore

MetalGecko23
07-07-2010, 05:25
Tyranids would probably look like prawn men.
Doubtful, District 9 was written by a South African and a Canadian with no Brits involved. Unless were talking different prawns.



Basically the imagery would probably be more Dr. Who. However my opinion is that although some of the imagery is based on American concepts, the presentation of that imagery is not.

Well then we have our answer then. If Americans had created 40k it would look English and be presented American. That makes sense right? There would be plenty of European influence in an American 40k but it would have American flare. It would still be grim dark and all (which has to remain true or the debate is pointless).

EDIT: I have to admit for the longest time I thought GW was an American company. As the only British thing I could identify with 40k was the Orks. Which I just thought was a hilarious joke....still is but not the same joke.

totgeboren
07-07-2010, 05:29
I think the main difference would arise because of the difference in what has been pc in the different countries.

In America, the game would probably focus less on Chaos, with the religious loonies having much much more say in the public debate. It just wouldn't have been a good idea to put much focus on that part of the background, since different religious groups would call for boycotts and such as soon as they learnt about what their kids were reading.

Also, having the main "protagonists" as some sort of xenocidal Nazicommies would probably have become a problem much earlier in the games history compared to how it has panned out in Europe.
It is my opinion that Europeans have a much weaker sense of being "the good guys", which comes from our history of "gloriously" subjugating large parts of the world and exploiting them horribly.
The education system also focuses on different things. American history books places alot of emphasis on the USA, and how great it is in every way, compared to the European version of history, which is abit more... well, not black&white.

Just look at WW2. I would say the Russians defeated the Germans, considering more or less the entire German army was sent to defend against them, and only the reserve was sent to hold the allies.
However, I could bet some money on American history books portraying the Americans as instrumental in defeating Germany.
We are taught to look at the world in different ways, and that would affect how the game would develop.

Malice313
07-07-2010, 05:35
Imperial Guard are far more WWI/II than vietnam, excepting the Catachans of course. GW has a penchant for redcoatesque uniformed soldiers though.

I thought the cover of the original Imperial Guard box was reminiscent of a lot of Napoleonic/ACW paintings with banners flying and weapons shouldered in advance.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_4nzgPbHlNo4/SelF6w-K7uI/AAAAAAAAE00/NMkTJN6N2xs/s320/ig-box-rt.jpg


...However, I could bet some money on American history books portraying the Americans as instrumental in defeating Germany...

Indeed the Eastern Front was going very badly for Germany long before they started fighting on two fronts. America had most of its forces tied up in the brutal Pacific war, which is only recently having a resurgence in popular culture.

MetalGecko23
07-07-2010, 05:47
In America, the game would probably focus less on Chaos, with the religious loonies having much much more say in the public debate. It just wouldn't have been a good idea to put much focus on that part of the background, since different religious groups would call for boycotts and such as soon as they learnt about what their kids were reading.
:confused: This would explain why nobody has made a move against GW products in the U.S. despite it being sold just about everywhere there is a hobby store. Or Magic the Gathering or DnD, any other gaming outlet, video games...etc. The 'religious loonies' don't have half the say that people born out of the states think. In fact I'm suprised with hyper pc Europe that 40k could exist considering how many bad and tasteless cliches are in it. Or conservative Australlia for that matter.



Also, having the main "protagonists" as some sort of xenocidal Nazicommies would probably have become a problem much earlier in the games history compared to how it has panned out in Europe.
You would be suprised how OK that is in America. The only difference is that in America you could call the Nazicommies the 'good guys' and not imply it like it is right now.



It is my opinion that Europeans have a much weaker sense of being "the good guys", which comes from our history of "gloriously" subjugating large parts of the world and exploiting them horribly.
The education system also focuses on different things. American history books places alot of emphasis on the USA, and how great it is in every way, compared to the European version of history, which is abit more... well, not black&white.
Lol, I love this stuff. The differences in percieved identities is so interesting for me. To play devils advocate, most Americans have the exact same view of Europeans. Funny ehhh...? I think it is, I look across the ocean an have a laugh as I see the exact same opinions mirrored.



Just look at WW2. I would say the Russians defeated the Germans, considering more or less the entire German army was sent to defend against them, and only the reserve was sent to hold the allies.
However, I could bet some money on American history books portraying the Americans as instrumental in defeating Germany.
We are taught to look at the world in different ways, and that would affect how the game would develop.
How exactly could you say Americans were not instrumental in defeating the Nazis? I wasn't aware that the Russians did it all on their own. Though the U.S. didn't either and didn't deal the death blow.

I grew up in the U.S. and then stayed. Went through school up to college. An all the history on WW2 is usually passed right over with some details on specific battles. Why? Everyone here has moved on already. The wound is a different one.

Cowboy Creep
07-07-2010, 05:57
In America, the game would probably focus less on Chaos, with the religious loonies having much much more say in the public debate. It just wouldn't have been a good idea to put much focus on that part of the background, since different religious groups would call for boycotts and such as soon as they learnt about what their kids were reading.

This is just silly. I really don't know what to say if you believe it.


The education system also focuses on different things. American history books places alot of emphasis on the USA, and how great it is in every way, compared to the European version of history, which is abit more... well, not black&white.

You think this is exclusive to the United States? Interesting.


Just look at WW2. I would say the Russians defeated the Germans, considering more or less the entire German army was sent to defend against them, and only the reserve was sent to hold the allies.
However, I could bet some money on American history books portraying the Americans as instrumental in defeating Germany.
We are taught to look at the world in different ways, and that would affect how the game would develop.

It's a good thing you're not a betting man then.

Hellebore
07-07-2010, 06:09
Doubtful, District 9 was written by a South African and a Canadian with no Brits involved. Unless were talking different prawns.


Dr. Who again. As was the delete statement.



Well then we have our answer then. If Americans had created 40k it would look English and be presented American. That makes sense right? There would be plenty of European influence in an American 40k but it would have American flare. It would still be grim dark and all (which has to remain true or the debate is pointless).


Actually the original statement of the debate " how different would 40k be if it was made by an american company?" means that it DOESN'T have to be grimdark, because the different origin could change that.

I took that to mean 'if GW was a US company and they created a scifi miniature wargame set in the 41st millennium how different would it be?'

If the question doesn't follow this then it's pointless. You might as well say if Microsoft was a British it would be the same except with a union jack on it. It becomes a circular discussion.

If we wanted to see how 40k would differ if made in the US you have to allow for it to actually differ.

Hellebore

ForgottenLore
07-07-2010, 07:01
:confused: This would explain why nobody has made a move against GW products in the U.S. despite it being sold just about everywhere there is a hobby store. Or Magic the Gathering or DnD, any other gaming outlet, video games...etc. The 'religious loonies' don't have half the say that people born out of the states think. In fact I'm suprised with hyper pc Europe that 40k could exist considering how many bad and tasteless cliches are in it. Or conservative Australlia for that matter.




and the whole rest of the post


What USA are you living in metalgekko, and can I move there? Although I think he was probably being a little hyperbolic he pretty much exactly describes the US I know.

Although to be fair the anti-D&D/magic/ all things fantasy reactionism pretty much died down in the 90's and shifted over to anti-video games as all us nerds who lived through it grew up, started .coms and took over the world.

Of course, 40K was created at the height of the anti-fantasy craze here in the US, so he probably isn't exaggerating all that much.

Frankly this is a case where I wish it had been a US company. I have always found all the chaos stuff to be pretty lame and boring.

Getting slightly closer to the original topic here, I think a US version of the setting probably would not have had the Imperium remaining as intact as it has. Instead it would have lasted 5-8000 years and then collapsed, creating a factionalized and un-unified galaxy fought over by competing warlords and aliens all claiming to be the rightful heirs to the Empire but unable to reclaim the perceived glory.

Lambda
07-07-2010, 07:05
In my opinion the biggest difference would be that airpower and naval power(Imperial Navy) would be far more important it the setting than they currently are. I also think that the forces of the imperium would be presented as having excellent equipment. On a related note i think the imperium would have a much more effective communications net. For an example there would be no "What happened to world XYZ? I don't think anything happened to it. We received a update 300 years ago."

Jonny_N
07-07-2010, 09:08
No offence to any Americans here, but I have a really hard time with the accents for the Blood ravens. It just doesnt sound right to me. Now, I know this can be countered by saying the imperium is a massive place, withy many, many dialects and what not. But I still View the space marines as very English, but this is just my opinion. It also sounds a little odd that every Cadian has a really, really badly acted London accent, with totally offsets the American General (Dark Crusade) and The sisters of battle with American accents just doesnt sound right to me either. Its all about your personal perceptions.

totgeboren
07-07-2010, 09:39
The 'religious loonies' don't have half the say that people born out of the states think.

I'm happy to hear that, though the internet and the media, and some posters here give a different impression.
Also, the Gallup polls (http://atheism.about.com/od/atheistbigotryprejudice/a/AtheistSurveys.htm) show me numbers that, for me, present an America that has succumbed to an almost nation-wise degree of religious insanity.



The differences in percieved identities is so interesting for me. To play devils advocate, most Americans have the exact same view of Europeans. Funny ehhh...? I think it is, I look across the ocean an have a laugh as I see the exact same opinions mirrored.

For us grown-ups, this is without a doubt true, but I'm not English, I'm Swedish, and my view is formed from looking at and growing up with both British and American culture right outside my door.

I could have explained my views better, but what I was getting at was that most people are drawn into 40k at the early teens or earlier, and historically, with the Cold War and all, I don't think the current iteration of 40k would have had the same appeal to American kids as it did to British kids 15-20 years ago.




How exactly could you say Americans were not instrumental in defeating the Nazis?

This is a whole different topic, but from what I know, the Americans committed their major forces to the pacific front, whilst giving aid to the British. Without their aid, the Russians would probably have taken more of Europe, but they would without a doubt still have defeated the Germans.

I know I might be wrong, but this is my interpretation from being a WW2 nut in my youth.

Tokugawa100
07-07-2010, 09:54
Those are the major writers in the American science fiction canon. You can certainly draw some pretty strong inferences about the nature of the literature by reading them.



Yeah, WW2 was totally sunshine for the Americans. We only got bombed once, but we certainly did our share of bleeding. Try reading Slaughterhouse 5.

Hey, I never said the Americans had it all sunshine, they most certainly didnt.
But what you need to remember is while they were facing an enemy off in the Pacific or over in Europe the UK was facing a horrifiying situation.

It was the only nation in Western Europe not occupied by Nazi Germay, thats a pretty scary thing and with the numbers they were facing it gives you a pretty bleak outlook.
There is a difference between putting yourself in a terrible war and having it right on your doorstep.

Pearl Harbour was definately tragic and senseless though I am not down playing that. But of all the countries which had it rough the US is not even on my top twenty.




Yet you just tried to sum up all of an entire culture's perspective on the role of the individual in fiction in less than a page. :shifty: Literature is more complicated then that.

Would you rather I write book, I realise the complication of the subject:D


But my point, perhaps not well made, was that getting into the comparative grimness of different countries really isn't a useful thing. American history is just as full of blood, suffering, and injustice as any other nation. Think of the American Civil War or the near total collapse of the American economy during the 30s. Then, of course, there was the experience of Americans who fought in the first and second world wars.

Thats a joke right:eyebrows:

Just as full of blood, suffering and injustice as any other nation?

I could name a few nations who might disagree, China maybe?, Russia?, Mexico?...
Alot of these injustices of North America were performed by the Americans and their meddling in world affairs has caused the deaths of thousands. People from other countries and continents still suffer from the machinations of the US.

Im not saying that the Americans havnt suffered the horrors of war, most nations have.
Australia for example in the First World War was used as an expendable meat shield against the Ottomans so that the British could land their troops.
That was a pretty horrible time for us personally, we also had Papua New Guinea and we had a part in the shameful Vietnam War and Iraq War.

But comparitively to some other nations out there, we have it good.

Brother of the Hydra
07-07-2010, 10:14
I do think it screams eighties Britain though. If you arn't raging against Margaret Thatcher you are doing it wrong.


Wow wow wow... lets not start on THE First Lady of politics, or I am afraid I will have to detail my Chosen :shifty:

Green-is-best
07-07-2010, 10:38
Thats a joke right:eyebrows:

Just as full of blood, suffering and injustice as any other nation?

I could name a few nations who might disagree, China maybe?, Russia?, Mexico?...
Alot of these injustices of North America were performed by the Americans and their meddling in world affairs has caused the deaths of thousands. People from other countries and continents still suffer from the machinations of the US.


This has somehow turned into a "whose country had it the worst" pissing contest that I have no interest in participating in. So, think what you want.

Malice313
07-07-2010, 10:42
In fact I'm suprised with hyper pc Europe that 40k could exist considering how many bad and tasteless cliches are in it. Or conservative Australlia for that matter.

Wow! I've never thought of Australia as conservative, but then I live in the most progressive states in the country and one of the most "liveable" cities in the world.

I guess there is parts of Australia that are thought of as pretty conservative, but they are a bloody long way from where I live.

Comparative distances would be, say, between New York and Georgia or the U.K. and Sweden... probably about the same again to get to the real conservative heartland (comparative New York to Cuba or London and Tripoli)


Australia for example in the First World War was used as an expendable meat shield against the Ottomans so that the British could land their troops.

Yeah... umm... that's pretty much been debunked as a myth by most modern historians. Australian troops copped it no worse than most other allied troops in the Dardanelles and certainly far less worse than they did on the Western Front.

If you would like to read up on real slaughter in the Dardenelles campaign, check out the French contingent who were rendered combat ineffective having sustained over 95% casualties in the opening few hours of the invasion.

I actually see it as a great time in Australian history as Australia was the only country in WWI that didn't enforce conscription. Two referendums to institute conscription were voted down. While many democracies around the world were drafting levies of troops Australia's democracy resisted state pressure to follow suit.

I personally theorise that it was because ANZAC's were an all volunteer force that they were so effective on the Western Front, where in march of 1918 they faced 39 enemy divisions (19 of them more than once) and defeated them all (forcing 6 to disband due to casualties). Though Australians only constituted 10% of Commonwealth forces they were responsible for capturing 23% of prisoners, 23% of heavy guns and 21% of captured ground.

All this on the Western Front, yet it is the "embellished" history of Gallipoli that serves as the focus for our military history.

Iuris
07-07-2010, 11:12
Pff, latecomer to the debate...

First, re: what 40k would be like: I expect it would be quite similar to what we have now from the start. The difference would be in the "weirder" and "anarchistic" elements that GW has also moved away from with time.

Second, re: USA and religiousness: The US actually has had a period that would best be described as a witch hunt against perceived "satanistic" products, during the eighties, IIRC. Dungeons and dragons were particularly at the top of it. Let's just say that for a time, people actually believed that Chick tracts on the subject were real. Accusations of satanism promotion, suicide inducing and so on. It is apparently the reason that DnD invented the terms tanarri and baatezu instead of demons and devils. The scare has died out eventually, but the religious component was there, and I am not aware of something quite like that taking place in Europe.

Third, re WWII: going from my sources, while all sides were instrumental in victory, the order of importance is USSR first, USA second and everyone else an order of magnitude below. As soon as Hitler went for Russia (a sign of insanity, if you ask me...), his fate was sealed. Although USA did help with equipment, the USSR alone could have finished Germany off - at an even greater price in blood and suffering on both sides, of course.

Malice313
07-07-2010, 11:21
Re: D&D scare.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbcWKWp2UE4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbcWKWp2UE4

Its basically the same old thing as war movies, video/computer games, heavy metal music, next-thing-that-parents-in-denial-at-the-way-they-ignored-pleas-for-help-of-kid-who-suicides-wish-to-transfer-their-guilt-to, etc.

Tokugawa100
07-07-2010, 12:55
This has somehow turned into a "whose country had it the worst" pissing contest that I have no interest in participating in. So, think what you want.


Agreed, and I will thanks;) You too.:)


Wow! I've never thought of Australia as conservative, but then I live in the most progressive states in the country and one of the most "liveable" cities in the world.

I guess there is parts of Australia that are thought of as pretty conservative, but they are a bloody long way from where I live.

Comparative distances would be, say, between New York and Georgia or the U.K. and Sweden... probably about the same again to get to the real conservative heartland (comparative New York to Cuba or London and Tripoli)



Yeah... umm... that's pretty much been debunked as a myth by most modern historians. Australian troops copped it no worse than most other allied troops in the Dardanelles and certainly far less worse than they did on the Western Front.

If you would like to read up on real slaughter in the Dardenelles campaign, check out the French contingent who were rendered combat ineffective having sustained over 95% casualties in the opening few hours of the invasion.

I actually see it as a great time in Australian history as Australia was the only country in WWI that didn't enforce conscription. Two referendums to institute conscription were voted down. While many democracies around the world were drafting levies of troops Australia's democracy resisted state pressure to follow suit.

I personally theorise that it was because ANZAC's were an all volunteer force that they were so effective on the Western Front, where in march of 1918 they faced 39 enemy divisions (19 of them more than once) and defeated them all (forcing 6 to disband due to casualties). Though Australians only constituted 10% of Commonwealth forces they were responsible for capturing 23% of prisoners, 23% of heavy guns and 21% of captured ground.

All this on the Western Front, yet it is the "embellished" history of Gallipoli that serves as the focus for our military history.

On your first point, as an Australian citizen, I too didnt think we were a conservative nation.:confused:

Secondly onto Gallipolli, I hadnt realised this was debunked, its simply what I was taught in school. Of course this could just be a teachers bias or simple brain washing:D

I have also read historical readings and texts which also seem to suggest the same thing, the Anzacs were expendable colonist's used to protect the more valuable British troops. But again Im no historian, I simple love to learn history and I may have been mislead on this subject.

And onto the last point on it being a great time in Australian History, though the idea of not using conscription is a noble thing on our nations part, bloodshed is bloodshed.

I dont consider war to be a great time at all.

Brother Valtarius
07-07-2010, 16:16
Matt Ward would be hailed as a genius...

Wintermute
07-07-2010, 18:31
This thread has gone off-topic and is bordering on being a more suitable for P&R, therefore I'm closing it.

Wintermute