(c) Fallout (1997)
T.S. Eliot was known for his modernist, dystopian, and early science fiction literature. Of course, he didn't actually write the script for the Fallout franchise, but her certainly inspired Interplay and Electronic Arts in 1988 with their debut video game, Wasteland.
(c) Wastleland (1988)
The Fallout franchise (released under this name for the first time in 1997) was an immediate success, and this role-playing franchise was heavily-inspired by T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland" (1922). Eliot's 1922 epic poem is considered one of the most influential poems of the twentieth century, and a major component of modernism. Of course, Eliot's epic poem depicts an alternate history and reality- and so does Fallout.
T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)
In late 2020, I read a collection of Eliot's poems for the first time. As a man with an English degree, I knew I would enjoy this collection of poems since I focused on modernism during the last two years of my B.A.
Not surprisingly, many of the works in this book (The Wasteland and Other Poems) focuses on the human condition, which is a major aspect of literary modernism. Along with Samuel Beckett, writers like T.S. Eliot in the 1920s and 1930s influenced writers such as Isaac Asimov, who is known for writing the first official science fiction novella in 1950 (I, Robot).
(c) I, Robot (1950)
Eliot depicts the human mind as a wasteland, and this becomes a major for the popularity of science fiction books by the 1950s. The issue of questioning reality, recognizing the world as a dangerous place resonates and reminds readers of this when they look at the works of Eliot and Asimov.
Fallout, the game:
So, how dangerous is the Wasteland in Fallout 3 (2008), and The Commonwealth in Fallout 4 (2015)?
"Some encounters in Fallout 4 are a nightmare to complete. Players will need to utilize weapon mods, stealth, and power armor if they want to get through some tough fights. "(Game Rant)
My personal favourite aspect of The Commonwealth is the theme park settlement known as "Nuka World". This settlement appears in the first DLC from 2016, about six months after the game's original release. Although not the toughest challenge in the game, the raiders stationed at Nuka World are damaged beyond repair.
(c) Fallout 4/ Nuka World
Since raiders are the weakest enemies in The Commonwealth, the raiders that have resettled in an old amusement park in order to establish their dominance, and enslave those already living there aren't much of a challenge- for the most part. In Nuka World, there are three main factions: the Operators, the Pack, and the Disciples. Not surprisingly, the three main raider factions are completely outlandish, and dangerous for different reasons.
(c) Fallout 4/ Nuka World
So, which of these raiders stands out the most? That's easy.
Dixie is a high-ranking member of the Disciples, yet she's not their leader. Dixie is beyond dangerous, so it's wise not to reminder her she's not the leader of any faction. According to Fallout Fandom,
"Even in a gang centered on violence and bloodshed, she easily sticks out as the most bloodthirsty and psychopathic among her peers. Her abode in Fizztop Mountain is filled with mutilated corpses, and trophies in the form of holotapes."
Video by: Klone Wolf
In the event the players eliminates Nisha (leader of the Disciples), if Dixie has not been killed already she will attempt to kill the player at all cost. Interestingly, once Dixie is eliminated, her final words might be "finally..." which proves she is a tormented soul. Evidently, Dixie's behavior was the result of life-long mental health issues which cannot be treated in a world that lacks genuine medical care and facilities. Yes, there are places in The Commonwealth which offer medical services, but mental health treatment is often absent in a world created through modernism.
It's been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic started in North America (at the time of writing this blog post), so my immediate question was whether modernism would make a return. Well, clearly it has. In fact, I've written a short poetry book based on science fiction because of my own mental health issues. Here's an excerpt from my book:
The largest hill that reached the summit: here is where the warrior stands alone. Weeping into the charcoal-painted ruins of what was once the glimmering city... (Skanes, 2021)
Readers can buy my book (or download through #kindleunlimited) right here: https://www.amazon.ca/Escaping-Summit-Brandon-Skanes-ebook/dp/B08YXZD33V
A few months ago, I watched the Netflix film #LoveandMonsters, which deals with the events that transpire seven years after a monster apocalypse. This film is a notable example of the modernist revival, and it addresses the anxiety people experience in a world we cannot always explain.
What are your thoughts?
Thank you, and stay safe
The Modernist Son, 2020-