And the only cure, is some Cyberpunk!
In the beginning, there was Cyberpunk, and it was good.
Then the dying locomotive industry, in an attempt to revitalize itself, worked with the entertainment industry to create Wild Wild West starring Will Smith, and Steampunk was born. But that's another blog, for another day.
I believe Cyberpunk may be the only frontier of gaming settings. That's a bold statement, I know, but I rack my brain in attempts to prove myself wrong, coming up ever fruitless. Let's face it, everything's a rehash of something that's been done before.
D&D is still the most popular game, but medieval fantasy gaming is difficult, as it's been done, and done again. Don't get me wrong, I don't think I'll ever stop playing D&D. But it's all been done in novels, films, or video games. Evil wizards. Orc armies. Magical swords. Dragons with thorns in their paws and all you've got to do is remove it and he's your friend. Oh wait...
And Star Wars is notoriously a hard game to play, because unless you're running it in the pre-film period, the story is laid out for you. Unless your Gamemaster is enough of a goon to allow you to kill Boba Fett and Vader, the best you can hope for in the film eras is to secretly help the heroes achieve the victories you know they're going to achieve.
This holds true for running a game in even the Forgotten Realms, which I try nobly to do. One has to be careful not to allow the characters to do something that will upset the flow of the novels, unless you decide that everything published after your sessions doesn't actually happen.
Sure, you can run a home-brew world, but you'll still run into originality problems. I've had campaign and adventure ideas I thought were genious only to watch a movie three weeks later that had the same plot. Ugh. Curse you, Bigtop Peewee. :D
At the end of the day, one of the few solid frontiers of RPG settings is the cyberpunk realm. That is simply because not enough mainstream media has been produced on the subject to seal off all the exits and pin in the imagination. You can still go places in a cyberpunk world that haven't been reached, in reality and in fiction.
I want to play some more Shadowrun. I've only scratched the surface of that game. It is arguably the most comprehensive character systems, but I think that's where it lost people. Most folks wanna roll up a d20 fighter and hack up the baddies. But not me; I want to get into the crazy world run by corporations, where magic exists alongside machine guns and nukes. Ah, how I wish to bathe walk the sprawl, watching out for a street samurai who will undoubtedly lay down the smack on the baddies in such a unique fashion.
And I want to play in a world where entering the Matrix is a voluntary act, only for the talented.
One day, I will live that dream.