Thursday, November 18, 2004

[RPG] More reasons to love The Farm

It’s locked into a sub-genre of horror, the “Being Eaten by Other People” thing … but at the same time it feels like it’s referring to an established work, some sort of ‘60s TV series like The Prisoner that was way too extreme and quickly cancelled. So the game creates that sense that it’s archetypal.

The details are schematic, forcing you to figure out how The Farm works yourself. Maybe that makes you complicit in its evil. If you can imagine how it runs, part of you can accept it. And running it like an institution, so that the process of preparing people to be eaten is so clinical, just amps the horror up.

Finally, the people who run the Farm, especially the Headmasters (the ones who eat you) scare me. They lack any empathy for the Farm’s residents, while at the same time being able to engage them in pleasant conversation. There’s something about this duality that’s inhuman, insane, fascinating. It’s the ‘nice evil’ of The Emperor from Star Wars I & II or (at a stretch) Tony Soprano.

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