As I discussed in my previous article, the idea that there is a direct, linear relationship between science and technology, also known as the “assembly line” model favored by policymakers (Kline, 1995), though often taken for granted in videogame mechanics, doesn’t stand up to even a passing glance at history.
The cat’s meow in tabletop role-playing games (RPGs) for the last several months has been Monte Cook’s Numerera. Set one billion years in Earth’s future during a time known as the Ninth World, Numenera is a Kickstarter-funded science fantasy RPG that embraces as its core concern one of the fundamental
I think historians and sociologists of science might be surprised to learn that video game designers spend a considerable amount of time and energy building playable models of the history of science and technology. In game design circles these systems are commonly referred to as “Technology Trees”. Below is an example of one of these trees from Civilization ll.