Friday, November 4, 2011

Realms - The Gap, Part 2

Today, we continue examining The Gap, the empty space between Realms where discarded pieces of broken Realms and the dispossessed former inhabitants drift in empty space.

The Gap's Real-Life Inspirations are the "Hoovervilles," tent cities created by the mass unemployed during the Great Depression. A place for people who have nowhere else to go, like refugee camps but built by the disenfranchised themselves. Admittedly, most of what I know about Hoovervilles comes from The Grapes of Wrath and the Doctor Who episode "Daleks in Manhattan," so "real-life" inspiration is perhaps selling it a bit strongly. However, the notion of people with nothing building themselves a new life is a meaty one, and we would certainly see some interesting and innovative physical and social creations in a world made up of the remains of others.

The Theme of the Gap is surprising self-sufficiency. That is to say, the people who have fallen through the cracks in the worlds have managed to survive despite everything being against them, and so the culture of the Gap will reflect that "something from nothing" attitude. There will be a bit of a Cast Away/Gilligan's Island/Robinson Crusoe sort of thing going on, the inhabitants surviving on their ingenuity and bits and pieces they've managed to pull from the wreckage of their world. I'm reminded of the novel 1632, in which a small modern town is abruptly transported to the titular year in the midst of Germany, and they have to figure out how to survive in this new/old world with whatever bits and pieces of modern technology happen to have been transported with them. Visually, I also see parts of Neverwhere's scrap-built society and an image from the old American McGee's Alice computer game, where bits of Wonderland float in a dark void (in a section of the game I can't find visual evidence of online).

A secondary theme of the Gap is likely one of desperate escape. I'm not sure how anyone would be able to visit the Gap and return to the Realms, but it is certain to be difficult and unreliable, or else the people inside wouldn't be there. Hence, many of the Gap's inhabitants are likely to be desperate to return to their own world—or, at least, a proper Realm designed to support life. Visitors might find themselves in chains, interrogated about how they arrived and how to get out. While the self-sufficiency theme gives the Gap mood, this theme implies plotlines.

That'll take us through the Gap, and next time, we'll take a look at... well, this blog itself. Check in.