It would come as no surprise that a nerdy kid from the 80s would be interested in video games, and that his own son would most likely get into video games by extension. Some of my favourite games were either based on religious themes (again, no surprise for anybody that knows me) or post-apocalyptic story lines. Post-nuclear holocaust games like Metro 2033 (2010), based on Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky’s novel of the same name, is an excellent example of a beautiful dark story that delves into moral and ethical quandaries. Similarly, Valve’s Half-Life 2 (2004) shows a dystopian Earth in which the interdimensional Combine have harvested nearly all of the planets resources. The worlds in these games are dark and bleak, giving an oppressive feeling to the player (and thus, adding to the tension).
But, obviously, the game I wanted to talk about is Fallout. Originally based on the simpler, blocky Wasteland (1988), Fallout 1 (1997) is the go-to video game series when we’re talking about post-apocalypse. The game is dark, with black humour to match. The fourth game in the series is due to arrive in a few days time (and the internet hype is palpable, if not a bit intense in some places) and I’m excited… oddly, so is the rest of my family. G-Man has watched me play a bit of Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, but I made sure to avoid playing areas I knew would be too graphic or intense. But, with the introduction of the addictive Fallout Shelter on his tablet (and MegaMommy’s phone), the excitement for Fallout 4 has surged again. I’ll do what I can to keep him away from the gore and other adult aspects of the game (which I’m sure there are a lot), but then I think about the kinds of games I played as a kid (and movies I watched, which I recently discussed).
The Fallout series has a huge fanbase, to the point where there are several movies and web series based on the world. For example, Nuka Break is a story of a vault dweller and his “friends” trying to survive the deadly wasteland and bounty hunters (the entire first season is here). It’s an incredible achievement, considering we’re talking about very low budget, crowd-sourced films based off a niche video game series. Fallout Florida is another new series (trailer here) that seems interesting.
One thing’s for certain, I’ll never get tired of these types of games. And MegaMommy is happy with my Fallout-love, since that has me listening to more 40s and 50s music (the “radio stations” within the later games play songs by the likes of Billie Holiday, Dean Martin, the Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby, Peggy Lee, and my current favourite, Marty Robbins).