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The Great Game


Since a lot of the plot of MindGames is caused by the play of the Great Game, an explanation would probably be helpful:

First and foremost, The Great Game is NOT like an athletic contest where two sides try to score a goal.

It's more a symphony of violence where the conductor builds to a crescendo. The whole symphony is part of the Great Game, not just the big bang at the end. 'Points' are judged on how well the violence has been orchestrated, its strength, its 'beauty'. 'Points' go to the Starborn's reputation among its peers.

When more than one Starborn is playing, they're not opponents but rather friendly rivals. Picture two brothers on safari, each trying to outdo the other in spectacular kills - until one kills the last living white rhino. Or, the same two brothers in college, each trying to bed a more beautiful blond - until one of them beds the Homecoming Queen. Occasionally, a Starborn might make his rival's play a little more "challenging" - like telling the Homecoming Queen that his brother has gonorrhea right before their Big Date - but it's all in good fun.

The Starborn want to see ever-larger battles all over the Solar System. Each battle is a movement in the symphony, building to the eventual crescendo - the destruction of all space-traveling life.  Once mankind has again been confined to his ancient homeworld, the round will be considered over.

This is chilling. Are the Starborn genuinely murderous, or do they just destroy everything because they deem it insignificant? Actually, reading parts of that description, they sound remotely like Shadows who forgot that they were trying to win an ideological war, and just started trashing everyone for the sake of it. Hey, makes for good gameplay. :D

I don't think you can call the Starborn murderous, any more than you can call a kid who plays D&D 'murderous'.  In their own terms, you can't even call them amoral or unlawful.  It's simply that their morality and laws don't apply to Coldlife.  To them, they're just playing with their toys.

As far as the Shadows - at least they started out with some kind of plan to help the rest of the galaxy.  The Starborn have always been concerned only with themselves.   Everything they've accomplished was done to make their own lives more pleasant and comfortable.

Stay tuned :D


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