Kindred and Computers
One of the questions that came up at the Grand Masquerade (in conjunction with tabletop RPGs, and Vampire: The Masquerade in particular) is how the feel of that original Vampire setting would have changed over the course of its almost 20 years, with regard to personal technology. It’s a great question, and one fraught with significance, given that one of Vampire‘s core themes was neonates versus elders, the modern young versus the hoary old.
Part of what makes it even more interesting are recent changes in personal computing. Back when Vampire was young, the emergent technological scene was the Internet, which was powered on the user side by file-driven applications and the Web being a destination of its own. Now, with the look and feel of Web 2.0 development being a very different thing than the AOL portals and rough dial-up gateways of the mid-1990s. Now, with many (if not most) Web use being driven by custom applications (of which browsers are now a subset), those static elders are even more behind — but are 10 years ago’s ancillae equally as out of date with their PDAs? Imagine how out of touch, how downright comical, it is to imagine a bigshot Ventrue using one of those old toaster-sized cellular phones. Or seeing a limousine with one of those old boomerang-shaped car-phone antennas. Could you take someone seriously if he called in his Brujah backup using a Nokia 9000 tonight?
On a surface level, “vampires using Twitter” is kind of a silly idea, and I said as much at the Grand Masquerade. But realistically, like I followed up at the Grand Masquerade, what young vampire wouldn’t use Twitter? What tech-savvy group of fledglings wouldn’t use a social networking tool — one alien to the very mindset of elders and even Kindred as comparatively young as their own sires — as a way to outmaneuver the more powerful but less technologically proficient old Draculas whose domains they want to undermine and usurp?
Years ago, I remember having many discussions on how the ready availability of cell phones radically changes the dynamic and pace of a Vampire game. Well, guess what? That technology shift is happening again, and it has an amazing impact on the way the undead — not to mention the other World of Darkness critters — communicate.