Science Fantasy Games

When one thinks about science fantasy games, a range of titles probably comes to mind with everything from cinema-inspired Star Wars to the first-person shooter DOOM which makes one ask the question: What exactly is a science fantasy game?

In short, a science fantasy game is a video game title that uses the trappings of science in some sort of combination with elements from fantasy, in Star Wars case “the Force” and in DOOM’s the “demons from hell.”

Often inspired by hard science fiction’s need to explain everything in terms of science, another aspect of science fantasy games is some sort of explanation of the in-game phenomenon in scientific terms. Whether it is the hated “midichlorians” in the Star Wars prequels or the gate to hell and using the energy of the demons to power scientific progress, what would normally be explained through magic or sorcery is often lined in terms of science or pseudo-science.

As a fusion genre in video games, that is one that covers multiple different categories, science fantasy games are also allowed to put fantasy tropes in science fiction environments such as space. In terms of modern video games that could possibly fall under this banner, we have the Resident Evil series, later Final Fantasy games, Bioshock, Shadowrun, Phantasy Star, Warhammer, and, to some extent, World of Warcraft. There is no real set balance between elements although most agree that science fantasy aims to achieve a balancing of both fantasy and sci-fi in its execution and presentation.

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