Strange Sunday – Anachronism and other oddities

Penny Arcade is, in my opinion, one of the greatest webcomics out there. Tycho and Gabe don’t just put a smile on my face, but they also use their creative drive to create intriguing and unique storylines. One of my favourite creations of them is Automata, a short comic taking place in what seems an America of the 1920’s, but with robots and stuff.

This kind of anachronism and alternate reality has always intrigued me. It is interesting to see how the addition of one out-of-place element can give an era a new spin. Just imagine what the Napoleonic Wars would have been like if there were dragons involved. Or what about the Wild West, but with werewolves and stuff?

Yeah, games and fiction  make ample use of these combinations, and why not? They make something old seem new, and open up new possibilities. They also pose a fascinating challenge for writers and game designers. having them find a place for this new and strange part of a setting. If these people do their job right, they help create something beautiful and impressive.

It’s not just limited to our own world’s history. The Legend of Korra advances the timeline of the Avatar setting, and reflects that advancement in Republic City. Where the world of the young Aang was one of horse carriages and campfires, citizens of Republic City drive cars and have electricity. However, the traditional elements persist, and blend in nicely with this Industrial Revolution of the modern times.

So here’s my question to you: in what kind of strange settings with anachronistic or out-of-place elements have you played? Is there a video game you recall that does something new with something old?

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