Author Topic: Mass media and entertainment in the Imperium of Man.  (Read 3857 times)

Offline Ynek

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Mass media and entertainment in the Imperium of Man.
« on: January 23, 2012, 06:58:29 PM »
I think that we're all more than familiar with various aspects of Imperial entertainment - live performances and recordings of orchestral music, reading books, watching plays, and attending fancy parties. On the less sophisticated side of things, there are caged animal fights, gladiatoral combat, and robbing the local alcohol vendor.

However, what I'm actually asking about are things like television, radio, and other forms of mass media. If you were to walk down an average street on a civilised Imperial world, or a hive city, what sorts of mass media would you expect to be exposed to?

Propaganda posters are probably a given, but what about televised speeches from government, or televised sermons from the Ecclesiarchy? What about entertainment? Personally, I quite like the idea of cartoons and comics designed to appeal to Imperial children, ensuring that they are indoctrinated from a young age. (Things like brightly coloured, visceral cartoons about the Space Marines kicking alien ass and being presented as the supreme paragons of virtue... Or a comic about Imperial Guardsmen doing pretty much the same thing, in the hopes of encouraging more youngsters to set their sights on a military career.)

I'm basically curious about what forms of mass media entertainment might be found in the Imperium, overall...
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Offline Dolnikan

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Re: Mass media and entertainment in the Imperium of Man.
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2012, 07:02:17 PM »
On one of the planets I made up there is a channel devoted to the Eternal Parade of new troops marching off to war. Other than that there could be shows about local enforcers who track down Vile Heretics(TM) and completely destroy them. There would also be lots of sermoning I guess. Perhaps also news about how great the Imperium and its rulers are.
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Offline Flinty

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Re: Mass media and entertainment in the Imperium of Man.
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2012, 10:41:41 AM »
I was reading the Orlando Figgs book on life in Early Communist/Stalin's Russia - thier idea was indoctrination of the youth at a very early age. Most homes had a Lenin Corner filled with pictures and extracts of speeches from the recently deceased leader, often collected by children as young as 4 or 5. Most Totalitarian societies ran Youth Groups (Pioneers or Hitler Youth for example) which offered activities and preferrential treatment as one demonstrated thier adherance to the party line. I can see things like the Emperor's Little Eyes and Ears Club or the Junior Mutant Watchmen filling a simillar role. 

Mass media in the Imperium would probably follow a simillar pattern again, 'approved' news casts and holo-shows, with a broad range of products aimed at ensnaring all ages; a cuddly 'Judge Pal' type show, where smiley enforcers protect small children from gribbly Tau enslavers/sneaky infectious mutants/feeble chaos spasmed wierdos, helped by plucky little Jimmy informing on the strange family next door, through to soap operas and mockumentaries for the adults.

Its more than likely that any subverisve, rogue reporters or underground news casts are run by the Hive/City Intelligence services to provide an outlet for anti-Imperial feelings and a handy method for identifiying and locating dissident elements.
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Offline Dolnikan

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Re: Mass media and entertainment in the Imperium of Man.
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2012, 12:40:24 PM »
I would also expect praising articles about the government like on http://www.rodong.rep.kp/InterEn, to us it would seem idiotically bombastic and full of lies, but in the Imperium people are raised with such blatant propaganda. For most people the very idea of there not having to be an Imperium is purely preposterous, without the Emperor there would grow no food and such things.
Circles of the wise My attempt at writing something, please comment on it if you have any advise.

Offline Draco Ferox

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Re: Mass media and entertainment in the Imperium of Man.
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2012, 05:32:51 PM »
I would say that if you walked down a hive street, you'd probably hear looped recorded sermons being played from speaker horns, or at night, soothing canticles. In the manufactories and ministorum precincts, booming announcements of production quotas, inspirational phrases and other such work-related information and propaganda.

I like the kids' TV show idea, maybe PDF challenge (like total wipeout for the PDF)

Also, for those who haven't seen it, this webcomic is pretty funny

Edit: forgot some text
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Offline Dolnikan

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Re: Mass media and entertainment in the Imperium of Man.
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2012, 07:01:18 PM »
The webcomic is obvious heresy of course. I have just one little question, what is total wipeout? (I'm too lazy to look it up, having to read the entire webcomic's archive now)
Circles of the wise My attempt at writing something, please comment on it if you have any advise.

Offline Draco Ferox

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Re: Mass media and entertainment in the Imperium of Man.
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2012, 07:18:08 PM »
It's a gameshow where people go on an obstacle course which is above a pool of water. Most of them fall off. Not particuarlaly scintillating, but that's not realy my thing, so I can't comment.
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Offline Molotov

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Re: Mass media and entertainment in the Imperium of Man.
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2012, 09:45:00 PM »
Sandy Mitchell's Cain series makes reference to a pict-show known as 'Arbitrator Foreboding', which is a pretty obvious Judge Dredd rip-off.

A while back Christian Schwager drew this as part of a conversation about television in the GrimDark millennium:

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Offline Draco Ferox

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Re: Mass media and entertainment in the Imperium of Man.
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2012, 11:07:19 AM »
Said webcomic has an Arbites judge called Judge Redd. And guess what movie they're always trying to make him quote from?
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Offline Alyster Wick

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Re: Mass media and entertainment in the Imperium of Man.
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2012, 05:31:57 AM »
I think this is probably one of the more interesting concepts to play with in 40K lore. After all, isn't someone running a pirate broadcast station a certain form of heretic? I think the idea of running a campaign completely absent of your "standard issue villains" is a refreshing concept.

Anyway, more to the point I feel like there are tons of ways to exploit this. If a scenario takes place in a particularly well-traveled part of the hive then it's fully possible that Imperial hymns/sermons could be blaring, making it that much harder to hear each other (or possibly conferring bonuses on the faithful). Characters could be pirate broadcasters utilizing ancient radio-frequencies to put out their messages or simply fall back on more primitive print to spread their heresy (or perhaps even both). Malefic forces could be attempting to mass broadcast a daemonic code to start transforming the population (a la Videodrome) or a vid-crew is following an arbites around to capture his heroics for rebroadcast. Propaganda Ministers, spokespeople for Planetary Governors, repressive impulse signals, the characters and scenarios around this seem endless.

Definitely ripe for a DM article in my opinion.