In dark times games can fill us with joy and hope.
Return to the Stars is a narrative tabletop role playing game designed to make it easy to tell stories of exploration and adventure in an optimistic space opera setting. It is a game where you can paint a better future in bold primary colors.
There is a surplus of dystopian science fiction games and media. Putting aside fiction, simply watching the new provides stories of political conspiracies, mega-corporations, and fascist mobs.
We need to face hard truths but we also need stores that show how humanity can be better in the future. That enlightenment values, reason, cosmopolitanism, diversity, and humanism are a path forward. As NPR pop culture critic Linda Holmes said of the movie Arrival: “There is great faith in these stories that the more we know, the more we grasp, and the more we turn around and communicate to others, the better off we are — and the better we are, too.”
The genre is Return to the Stars is hopepunk. It is a game where you can paint a better future in bold primary colors.
To quote Sun Ra:
“In some far off place
Many light years in space
I’ll wait for you.
Where human feet have never trod,
Where human eyes have never seen.
I’ll build a world of abstract dreams
And wait for you.”