Game World Versus Real World - Which One Is Best?

Transport Links

For the most part, R has some good transport links of various kinds, allowing travellers to reach many destinations in a relatively short time. Public and private transportation is available in a range of speeds, sizes, types and colours, mostly safe and fairly inexpensive. The only problem comes when things go wrong, and you have to sit in a traffic jam caused by nothing at all, be delayed by the thinnest of mists or the wrong type of snow on the rails.
When it comes to G, transportation is much more varied, and more interesting, although also hazardous. You can ride anything from a beetle to a dragon, a hover car to a space ship larger than a reality TV star’s ego. Some will even have weapons, although this should give you a clue something bad is going to happen. The best part of G transport is the lack of delays. Maybe in G time there are hold-ups, but neither the GM nor the players want to sit around acting those out, so the metarules are rolled out and moving from one place to another is instantaneous, even if riding a three-legged tortoise. (What kind of person are you, riding that poor creature? Shame!)
So we have safe but often slow, and interesting and usually quick. I think G takes the point for an early lead.


In R, as in G, the quality of health care very much depends on where you live and how much gold/credit chips/Woobawungo Clumping Nuts you have. On the whole, R medicine is pretty good, some recent advances really making a difference, providing you can get to a hospital and have the aforementioned wherewithal to purchase the care you need. So overall ok, but needs work.
G medicine could be anything from a herbal poultice bought from a witch, and probably containing things you wouldn’t touch never mind swallow or rub on your skin if you had a choice, to A.I. controlled nanobots that can cure anything and even rebuild a missing appendage, again, if you can afford it.
It seems there’s some kind of cosmic link between R and G when it comes to health care, only those who can afford it can have it. The poorer you are the less you can have. Until we move to a moneyless merit-based society, probably forced on us by our alien overlords, it looks like wealth-based healthcare is here to stay. (If we’d just all joined together as one to fight the aliens, we wouldn’t be in this mess.)
I don’t think either side comes out of this one well, although adventurers with healing skills do their bit, so I’m giving the point to G.


This is obviously a highly personal thing, as different people find different things entertaining. Some people like more placid pastimes, like origami, crosswords, or watching various creatures humping. Some aren’t entertained unless they’re throwing themselves out of a perfectly good aeroplane, dangling by one finger over certain death, or prodding something lethal with a stick. Luckily for all you R fans, these things are available in a seemingly endless procession, and can be enjoyed twenty four hours a day, if you have the stamina and plenty of cash.
In a G world, you aren’t there to have fun, you have a job to do soldier, no time for enjoying yourself. You might find some entertainment in your down time between jobs, but that will probably mean visits to the tavern/pub/intoxicating beverages distribution centre. Because, as we all know, that’s where the best adventures can be found. (People with problems really shouldn’t be drinking, but hey, no one’s perfect.) Other entertainments found in G, especially in the places adventurers find themselves, usually consist of various creatures fighting each other for money, (although often it’s not the creature who gets the cash, which seems a bit unfair) and, shall we say, a more relaxed, possibly horizontal occupation.
So, in G we have the possibility of some full-body VR experiences, but are more likely to just get two people hitting each other with bits of metal. In R, we have the whole range of activities, and so I think R pulls back a point.


Another potentially sensitive topic, but I won’t shy away from such issues. Like healthcare, particularly in the western world, education is linked to wealth. (I’m talking about the attendance of quality establishments here, not the ability of the pupil to understand the lesson.) We all know there are certain universities normal mortals can’t get into unless they’re in line for the throne and/or have rich parents. The rest have to make do with a state education, rely on charities, or just have none at all, depending on circumstances. (Again, when the aliens invade, we’re all going to regret this.)
In G, education is probably more firmly linked to wealth, although the choice of subjects on offer is immense. You can learn how to regrow a leg, neutralise hydra poison, or turn someone into a zombie. You can be taught how to calibrate a particle vortex coherent light rail gun, disassemble a series 3000GTi battle droid, or build a phase-locked loop force field generator. You can also buy memory stones or mind downloads to bypass the whole tedious education thing altogether, and have the knowledge implanted directly into your brain. (I wish to learn bricklaying. Buzzzz! aha, flemish bond, good choice.)
G is awarded the point here.


When it comes to R, people are far more likely to live to be a ripe old age and spend their children’s inheritance than at any other time in history, mathematically speaking. Health and wealth are on a general upward curve, with scientists reckoning children born today have a very real chance of living to 150! (Imagine the birthday card expenses for all the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc, never mind remembering their names.)
In G, characters are members of a special elite for the most part, and can be healed of the most fatal symptoms, and even brought back from the dead. For the rest of the population, those who aren’t special, sudden and violent death and maiming are an everyday occurrence. (Not for the same person, obviously, unless they’re very unlucky.) Characters have it easy compared to the hoi-polloi, and so I’m going to call this one a draw.


Just to clarify, as this word seems to be regularly misunderstood by modern society. Diet is what you eat, not when you’re trying to lose weight. (Saying “I’m on a diet” has got to be a low point in the grammatical history of the English language, almost as bad as “that’s just an excuse!” and don’t get me started on “baby kitten”... Ok, deep, cleansing breaths...) Anyway, the modern diet, and I’m talking about choice offered, not what people actually choose to eat, is varied, with foods coming from all over the globe.
The G diet is dependant on setting. Your character might have a smoothie and a couple of pills and have everything they need for a growing body, or might be eating hacked off pieces of unicorn charred over an open fire day after day because there’s nothing else. (I think unicorn is one your Five A Day.) In the past, they didn’t have processed foods, and so their diet would have been better than ours, at least in times of plenty.
This is a difficult one to call, and very dependant on the G setting. I think I’ll have to call it a draw.


In R, housing has always been a status symbol. People with money live in houses so large they close off the rooms they don’t use, which could include an entire floor or wing. Most people manage with less, but are always dreaming of moving to a better home, never content with the one they have. For most people, a house is that small area where you store all your stuff, a boring box among hundreds of similar boring boxes. The majority of people have running water, heat and light, and somewhere to sleep and cook. (Not at the same time, that would be dangerous.) Some people do live in more interesting spaces, but this often means no services and a metal bucket for a toilet.
In G, most people will live in a shack, a cottage or a mansion, or maybe a pod, communal habitat block, or a tiny compartment in a space ship, depending on the setting. But they could also live in a tree house in a giant sentient tree, or the hollowed-out ribcage of some gargantuan beast, or a floating gourd carried along on the streams of mana. For sheer variety and freedom, I think G takes the point here.

So overall, it’s fairly obvious the G world is far better than R. Unless you’re rich and have a private income, a country estate, and went to university with the country’s top people, life in reality just can’t compete with the many game worlds available to us normal people.