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Conclave Apr 23, 2013 @ 4:10am
[SPOILER]Question to the people not content with philosophical themes in-game
I've read many reviews of this game and I found that many reviewers thought this game didn't fully capitalize the philosophical themes in the story.

I really don't get why.

To me, this game demonstrated how some ideals can sound good on paper but potentially be unethical in practice. For example, Metropol's utilitarianism (maximum benefit for minimum cost) ideology showed that the end can justify the means if the outcome benefits the society as a whole. i.e. Scrapper stealing Horatio's power core so that it can power hundreds of robots not just Horatio and Crispin.

Another case is where Metropol used majority rule to remove all the other members in the robot council. It just goes to show how the same decision method used to elect the next president of USA can be abused easily.

I reckon I could write a really long essay on this game about its philosophical themes if I had to.

Maybe reviewers wanted someone to give them a lecture of philosophy101?
Last edited by Conclave; Apr 23, 2013 @ 4:13am
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Agent Milky Coffee Apr 23, 2013 @ 10:58am 
You are right.
What's more, to me the best about all the cases you mentioned is that we discover everything as an outsider - from said ideals (city of glass and lights, power for everyone) to the core, the truth. We are victims of Metromind's ideology and we may consider it evil and wrong, but at the same time we get to hear opposing arguments. We know motives of both sides. It's not only demonstrated to us, it also makes us THINK and CHOOSE. Maybe the reviewers didn't really play the game. Maybe they skipped some of the dialogues and to the end thought that it's just another regular adventure game...
Mark Yohalem Apr 23, 2013 @ 7:47pm 
As hesitant as I am to defend people who didn't like the game, I don't think it's because they didn't play the game. Some of the worst reviews we've gotten -- like Rock Paper Shotgun's and GameSpy's -- are from reviewers who are careful, thoughtful players with long experience playing computer games.

I do think that Primordia benefits from time and reflection. Game reviewers have to play a ton of games, and write a ton of text, on top of whatever else they do in their lives, and that leaves relatively little time to sit back and just think about the game. I mean, there's enough time to have stunned silence if a game wows you -- they way, say, System Shock 2's twist did -- but I don't think there's enough time to do sit down and mull how various aspects of the story and setting and whatnot fit together to develop a theme. That level of time is especially unavailable for an obscure indie game like Primordia. In addition, I do think that Primordia benefits from dialogue among players -- like there is here, or in the GOG forums, or elsewhere. But I don't think reviewers really can engage in that dialogue, in part out of concern about letting their views of the game be colored by other people. So you end up with a snapshot reaction. In that context, I think what CaseOfInsanity says is probably right: a philosophical lecture, where everything is spelled out, will tend to fare better than a game that invites you to take the time with it.

That said, if people don't "get" Primordia's themes, at bottom that's my fault (or my choice, at least), not theirs. I mean, I'm not Joyce and this isn't Ulysses! I'd obviously have been super flattered if everyone had loved Primordia's story and had spent hours dissecting it, but it's a bit much to hope for. :)
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