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On RPGs and Technology

I’m getting a little tired of the whole “technology is evil” cliché in RPGs. It seems like whenever there is some kind of convenience that raises the technology level above that of the Middle Ages (even if that convenience isn’t technological in nature: eg: the ability to cast magic), then it’s either inherently evil or has some kind of horrendous upkeep cost. According to RPGs, if we don’t earn everything we have with eighteen-hour days then we’re doing something wrong. And by golly, the heroes are going to drag us back into the Middle Ages whether we like it or not.

Imagine if one day, oil was suddenly rendered inert by a group of environmentalists who claimed, “It’s all right, since excessive drilling was slowly killing the planet.” How many people would die in the ensuing chaos and breakdown of society? Remember how much chaos there was during the oil strikes? And that was when they were still allowing oil through for things like the emergency services! What would happen to the world economy, now that a vast amount of highly-demanded material was now worthless? Now I’m not going to argue that our dependence on oil is all sunshine and roses, but why don’t heroes realise that simply removing the problem is not like tearing off a band-aid?
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