Shock – oh fuck it

“Shock” by Joshua Newman is called “Social SF game”. It’s possible, but Bucyrus can’t say, since he didn’t get past introductory stage.

Why? Just look:

Shock:  uses  genderless  personal pronouns when the gender of a person — a character or a player — is unknown or is irrelevant. In these cases, Shock: uses the genderless personal pronouns preferred by many contemporary gender theorists, using “zie” instead of “she” or “he”, and “hir” instead of “he” or “she”.

If this is disorienting to you, that’s what a Shock is.
If it’s not, you’ll feel right at home playing the game.

Actually no. Neither. You see, this isn’t disorienting, it’s just a replacement instead of some groundshaking change. It’s also rather “disheartening”, or simply “making things more complicated that they ought to be“. On the other hand, it’s not giving the feel of being “right at home” either.

Way Bucyrus sees it, it’s an attempt to emphasize how much of different experience the game delivers. And while it’s completely ok to develop atypical games, the difference should come from what the game has to say, rather than the way it wants to say it.

Why? Glad you asked. If you think about making the game complicated to read and learn for typical player, then you’re effectively taking a dump on accessibility while saying “I don’t really care about the game being played or not”. Well, if you don’t, then everyone else is obliged to return the favor, right?

This or that, it’s one of worst selling points.


Bucyrus can’t comment on the rest of this game, since his time, energy and patience are too limited to waste on something that puts more emphasis on “different” than on “interesting”. Wanna something different AND interesting? There’s Eclipse Phase, Magicians, or if you’re feeling  extra adventurous, Low Life for Savage Worlds.

On second thought, how about a good piece of New Wave music instead? The album comes from Neo and serves as the soundtrack for truly amazing Hungarian movie titled “Kontroll“, which could be as well a scenario for KULT, or other modern urban horror role playing game.

Shock – oh fuck it