Worldbuilding has always been a favorite subject (and hobby) of mine; I even took a class on the subject in college. The result of that endeavor was an exercise in confused mediocrity; a Pokemon-esque MMORPG set in a world based on my very shaky and ignorant understanding of mutation, evolution and symbiosis. A fairly solid concept, if I do say so, that I needlessly burdened with pirates, mages and jack-booted totalitarian armies. Hey, it was only my second attempt at the craft (no need to delve into the knot of convoluted fantasy tropes that was my first).
For the past couple weeks, Chris Dahlen’s been writing a series of posts on the subject at his Save the Robot blog. Dahlen has investigated worlds from various media and real life, mostly analyzing their details and dissecting their successes and failures. If you haven’t read them, you really should — they’re awesome. He also got me thinking about some of my favorite game worlds and, naturally, wanting to write about them.
In the interest of not simply copying a much better writer than myself, I’m going to take a slightly different approach: I’m going to come up with a theme and investigate seemingly contrasting worlds that fit that theme (or maybe some that fail to). Then, I’m going to try to analyze how these disparate examples come together. I’m going to do something dangerous: try to express my own subjective experience and then back it up with objective analysis…or maybe it’ll be subjective analysis, I don’t know, we’ll see — it’s an adventure! Basically, where Dahlen dissected whole bodies, I’m dissecting individual organs. I want you, the reader, to provide your own disparate examples fitting (or failing to fit) the same theme.