Transhuman Space

Tagged: Game

Role Playing Game (2002). Steve Jackson Games (SJG). Designed by David Pulver.

Transhuman Space uses an adapted version of the GURPS mechanics to depict a richly realized twenty-second century in which humanity has colonized the solar system, while simultaneously splintering into multiple sub-species which have been variously improved or adapted to extraterrestrial environments (see Pantropy). Nonhuman intelligences such as partially mechanical "bioroids", Uplifted animals and self-aware AIS also exist, in a setting clearly influenced by such Cyberpunk and post-cyberpunk works as Bruce Sterling's Schismatrix (1985) and the anime film Ghost in the Shell (1995). This future is neither a Utopia nor a Dystopia; instead it is a world that has continued to evolve from our own time, becoming ever more complex. Thus Britain's Royal Navy now patrols the Asteroid belt, while Mars has been partially Terraformed by local rebels and a thousand exotic cultures bloom in obscure Space Habitats. Humans have become very long-lived, though not immortal, and sexism and racism are largely forgotten, replaced by speciesist prejudices against sentient constructs. While this civilization is a highly technological one, it is explicitly not a milieu in which a Singularity has occurred. Instead, the assumption made is that creating a truly superior AI is so difficult as to make such a radical transformation unlikely. Many aspects of Transhuman Space have been extrapolated from such contemporary political and social trends as European unification, the culture of computer hackers, anarcho-capitalism (see Libertarian SF) and Posthumanism, making the setting very much a "future of its time"; influences associated with the subculture of science-fiction, such as the "transhumanist" extropian movement, are particularly prominent. In the end, however, what is important is not the milieu itself, but the variety and richness of the stories that it enables players and Gamemasters to create. [NT]

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