Friday, April 24, 2009

Thoughts and Questions!

Alright, this is spurred by the previous post, along with a few other factors: The World After Humans, and Fall Out 3 (in specific).

Alright, I was watching the show The World After Humans (TWAH) with FDR last night, and something occurred to me as they hit the "200 years after humans" point. It was fairly fascinating. Vegetation everywhere, animals doing the natural order of things, etc. Now this may not be very question spurring to most of you out there, but it was to me.

I got to run "co-pilot" (which means I got to read the strategy guide out loud at crucial points) to FDR while he spent hours playing Fall Out 3. Now! A short background of the game: 200 years after nuclear fallout in the DC area. Humans have survived in underground vaults. (aka GINORMOUS bunkers.)

That's the part that matters to this blog at any rate. 200 years after a fallout? Aaaand...for those of you that have played the game, you will notice that there is quite a bit of land that lacks
vegetation, aside from Eden. Now you are probably sitting there, saying to yourself, "But was a nuclear fallout!"

Good point, and I'll admit that. FDR pointed out, "There are still humans left." True again!

But the flaws I see in both points were actually covered in TWAH. First, we shall observe a few photos of Chernobyl twenty years after the accident at their nuclear power plant happened:

Now, there are vague similarities between the above picture of a Fallout 3 screenshot, and the pictures of Chernobyl...vague.

Really this post is just a mild complaint about how unbelievable Fallout 3 appeared to me last night after watching TWAH. Because if Chernobyl already has that much recovery over twenty years? Then how can you explain the landscape of DC after 200 in the game?

A wooden house still stands in that screenshot. Wooden. Where the show clearly pointed out that wooden structures would be gone by then. Why only vegetation in Eden? The water is still irradiated there, so what is the difference between there and the rest of DC?

Now to bring up the point of FDR's: "But there are still humans." Yes there are, but again, I will reference TWAH when they mentioned that without the constant maintenance that the world puts into keeping the structures up to snuff, they would crumble and decay, returning to the basic elements they were before man. (yay run-on sentence!)

That being the case, I will concede that there were a few settlements that were maintained...but they still looked like crap. Practically all vegetation throughout the game was dead. Rocky, deserted...wastes. Sounds fun, hm?

Alright, that's my beef with the world moving on, but not doing so in the game. is my other issue with the game's storyline.

Vaults. 200 years in a vault? You are seriously telling me that a large group of people can live within a vault for 200 years, and not be inbred? Not be insane, for that matter? What about food? Clothing? Shoes? Where did they get the material to keep making the things that they needed? Who made the goods? Where was it made? Where did all their waste for 200 years go?! How about the leather for those Tunnel Snakes jackets? And if you are so safe from the outside, then how do your GIANT rad-roaches get in?!

Electricity was another thing that was pointed out in TWAH. Almost all of the world would lose electric power within thirty-six hours of humans being wiped from the planet. Guess who still had electricity after 200 years? That's right...most everyone. Radios still worked, lights, computers. (Granted, everything was really old, but still.) They said on the show that the Hoover Dam would most likely be the one power plant that would be able to keep running without humans, due to the near limitless supply of "fuel" (i.e. water) that was behind it. The only thing that would put a hold on it in a few years, would be this certain species of mussel that would eventually clog the cooling pipes, causing the turbines to overheat, and the automatic control system would shut them down. Thus, no more electricity for that area.

I do not hate the game, it just became apparent after the show, that it was now very unbelievable. Yes...I know it is a video game, and many are created to be unbelievable, to give you that escape from the real world, the norm, if you will. But...if you are going to go so far as to try and keep a real-life base-line to the game, shouldn't you consider the future possibilities of a situation before creating said situation?

Maybe I just do not understand nuclear fallout that well. I just figured, if Chernobyl could make it that far in twenty years? Why has there not been any progress in the Fallout 3 world in 200 years?

Alright, I'm off my soap box now, and my rant is done.

(Chernobyl after twenty years. None of those trees really existed before the accident. I would venture to guess at least 85-92% of them were not there, anyway. I just couldn't find a similar view from before the accident to prove my point.)


  1. There is a rather larger difference between a reactor meltdown (radiation leak) and a nuclear explosion. It would be possible to survive though.
    Oh and the Teller–Ulam design is a fission fussion reaction that tends to produce much less radiation. Don't ask how I know all this

  2. Still...200 years? And you know all this because you're weird! (j/k)

  3. There would still be a lot of radiation without any sort of clean up attempt even 200 years later but you're right there would be plant growth. Animals can sense the radiation and stay away from the Chernobyl reactor. I actually designed a new kind of fusion reaction after reading a book on the big bang. I know you probably don't believe in the big bang theory but it got me fascinated with nuclear physics:p

  4. I do not disbelieve the big bang theory. It is a theory all the same, like many others. Worth hearing, your choice for believing, right?

    If I understood it, or you were able to dummy it down for me, I would be interested in hearing what you came up with!

  5. Ok do you remember spiderman 2. The scientist, doc oc, used something called tritium to create the sun. Even though the movie made tritium out to be some sort of goldish metal it does, indeed, exist. Tritium is an isotope of hydrogen (a special relatively rare and radioactive version of hydrogen). A normal hydrogen atom is made up of a single proton (a positively charged particle) and that is it. A single tritium atom is made up of a proton and a neutron (a neutrally charged particle). If you fuse two tritium atoms together you get two protons and two neutrons in a single atom which is equal to a helium atom. So in other words you start with two radioactive materials and end up with a single safe one. It sort of gets more complicated from here but this is very similar to how scientists believe the sun works. It turns out that containment is a huge issue because hydrogen and tritium atoms are really small and can actually seep through some metals so I ended up giving up on my idea when I couldn't get anyone to help. It turns out asking someone about nuclear stuff over email makes them edgy. They use small amounts of tritium in nuclear bombs theses days sort of like a two stage boom where there is both a fusion and fission reaction. This was the Teller–Ulam design that tends to produce less radiation but its pretty much just a destructive. However what I thought was most interesting: consider a modern watch with glow in the dark dials. What do you think makes them glow...