Westworld: Throwing Shade

For those of you not in the know, HBO’s Westworld is basically set in a huge sprawling RPG.

The best part of episode 2 (it dropped 2 days early on Go) is the lengthy dressing-down of the game’s writer/GM (Sizemore, the dude in the picture). For railroading, basically. The game’s designer, played by Anthony Hopkins, makes a fairly compelling argument in favor of “play to find out what happens.” The railroady auteur GM is arrogant and petulant and it makes me wonder how much of the creative crew at Westworld (the show) has been exposed to tabletop RPGs.

If only our NPCs threatened to murder us in our beds, maybe finally we’d get better GMing.

Oh and the show introduces us to the concept of rapeandmurderhobos, which I think would probably be in much greater proliferation in ttrpgs if players didn’t have to look each other in the eye. It does make me wonder what social media looks like in Westworld’s future! Are there lengthy moral/ethical arguments? Or because it’s such a 0.1%er game, they kind of keep it to themselves?

0 thoughts on “Westworld: Throwing Shade”

  1. I have now watched the episode in question. Brr.

    How do we feel about spoilers in this comment section?

    (There is even the scene with the old man in the tavern with the lame-ass quest).

  2. THAT SAID, the first Principle of someone’s inevitable PbtA adaptation should really be:

    NPCs you put in the crosshairs will eventually return the favor.

  3. I am interested in learning more about how pre-game choices affect the outcome. Whether you can have your Little House without someone getting their High Plains Drifter in it.

    Now I feel a bit emotionally stunted.

  4. Spoiler(?)

    You have to squint a lot not to see the hosts as people. You can conveniently shut them down and brain-wipe them, but it seems hard to ignore that their pain and fear is real while it happens.

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