You’d think in Fallout if scientists could create house robots and power armour they could’ve at least figured out colour TV by now right? I mean really, good job creating a “fictional universe” there guys [slurps Diet Coke] [Game Theory theme plays] Hi guys, caption writer here. Since Mat didn’t give one, this is a [SPOILER WARNING] for all the Fallout games. Not big spoilers, but spoilers nonetheless, especially for Fallout 4 and 3. You have about 5 seconds. Enjoy the video! HELLO Internet! Welcome to GAME THEORY Buying up all the Ramen in preparation for the Great War. Actually, that’s a lie I bought six hundred cases of Ramen noodles ‘cos they’re delicious And they had a nifty deal at Costco *cha-ching* But, in all seriousness have you SEEN the news lately? I mean, 2016 was a scary year, filled with terrorist attacks, and the world on edge. 2017…well, it’s still early, but I think it’s gonna be more of the same. Remember when your Twitter feed WASN’T people arguing about politics? Pepperidge farm remembers. I do too, I remember that, those were the good ol’ days all this doom and gloom DID have one positive thing to come out of it- it got me to revisit Fallout. And not only that, I am determined to keep 2017 positive, so instead of an episode calculating the odds of a nuclear holocaust that would wipe out 99% of humanity, today’s episode is gonna focus on FIXING Fallout’s society. Rebuilding civilization from it’s own ashes. Out with the old, sad, scary theories about heroes being villains, or heroes being dead. It’s the start of a new day, making fictional, virtual worlds better one theory at a time. [Circle of life plays] Game Theory 2017 for a brighter future. Now, there’s always been one niggling issue in the back of my head about the Fallout series that never quite sat right with me. It’s been over TWO HUNDRED YEARS since the bombs went off. And in the real world, two hundred years is a REALLY long time. Two hundred years is about the time it took from inventing the steam engine to getting us to fly! It took less than sixty years after THAT to get a man into space! Alan Turing first proposed his Turing machine back in 1936, -laying the groundwork for modern computers- computers that, when first built, took up 72 square meters (775 square feet) weighed 27 tons (54,000 pounds) and cost millions of dollars! And now, only eighty years later, we have smartphones like the Vivo Max, currently the world’s thinnest phone at literally 4.5 millimetres (0.177 inches) thick. No exaggeration, that is forty MILLION times smaller, costs fifteen thousand times less, and is one thousand, three hundred times more powerful, IN EIGHTY YEARS! And yeah, I get it, the world of Fallout has suffered a HUGE catastrophe. But for as bad as the Great War was, there’s still functioning robot servants, and power armour suits just lying around the Wasteland. Surely with that level of tech, humanity could’ve rebuilt SOME level of infrastructure. Add to that the fact that there were pockets of people prepared for the coming nuclear war. We all know that Fallout’s Great War happened in October of 2077, but according to the Fallout Bible the United States’ government was fully prepped for a nuclear attack from China eight months PRIOR! Back in MARCH of 2077. This was all done by the Enclave, consisting of the President of the United States and all the government and corporate officials who made up the secret shadow government pulling the strings behind the scenes They were traded to remote sections sections around the globe and made contingency plans for continuing the war against the Chinese. Operating under the belief that as long as the important people of the U.S. survived, they could regroup quickly and wipe out communism once and for all. And as we see in Fallout 2, the Enclave established itself on the abandoned Poseidon Energy oil drilling platform off the coast of California. One that was fully protected from the nuclear firestorm of 2077. CLEARLY they should’ve had the knowledge and leadership to rein America back in, even in the wake of nuclear devastation. Then, there’s the city of Las Vegas: or New Vegas in the games, which escaped the nuclear attack relatively unharmed thanks to Mr. House’s defence system. A city that could take it’s technology and serve as a new hub for growth and recovery of the country, but just… ….doesn’t….really. And those are just two quick examples. In short, between the still operational technology, the preservation of pre-war knowledge found in places like New Vegas, and the still living world leaders in groups like the Enclave, in two hundred years, the Fallout world should be in a much better condition then where it’s at in the game. The New California Republic is about as close as you get: it’s a functional democracy, with a dollar backed by water reserves and everything, but lets be honest, how successful is it REALLY when it can’t even manage to kill a bunch of dudes wearing skirts and wielding knives? Which means that holding the Wasteland back isn’t external; but internal. It’s the citizens, the people themselves that are stalling this progress and recovery. Let me explain. In order for society to function, it needs rational, law-abiding citizens. If every person in the country might just get up tomorrow and murder twenty people, or decide they’re not upholding the basic laws, chances are you’re looking at whats called ‘A Failed State’. Basically, the Purge movies. At a very basic level, the primary rule of government is to sustain a system of trust. What’s known as ‘The Social Contract’. We sacrifice some personal freedoms, for a state of protection You can walk outside and your neighbour WON’T launch a nuclear warhead at you with a shoulder mounted slingshot But in the world of Fallout, it’s hard to feel safe when the Jones’s next door are amassing a human skull collection on their front porch. The basic glue of society requires that the majority of its citizens be of sound mind. But in the Wasteland, that might not be so scientifically possible. And the biggest reason for it is in the title of the game: Fallout. The lingering radiation from the bombs that were dropped during the Great War. Huh, oh man I just realized! *ding* That moment when you realise that the game’s title is referring both to NUCLEAR Fallout as well as to the fact that the game literally explores the FALLOUT- or after effects of a nuclear war. WELL DONE Bethesda, Clap and a Half to you. [clap and a half] Anyway, when people talk about radiation they typically focus on the physical effects associated with exposure. The horrific deformities and tumors, the classic “fish-with-three-eyes”. But even more terrifying are the permanent effects that radiation poisoning can have on our brains! Studies have linked high doses of radiation to learning and memory impairment. And survivors of the Chernobyl disaster, in which a nuclear reactor basically blew up and launched radiation into the air for nine days, were up to five times more likely to suffer from schizophrenia. Now, it’s worth mentioning that people suffering from schizophrenia often have ‘persecution delusions’. They’re convinced that somebody, or something is out to get them. It could be the government, aliens, Illuminati, whatever. And the people we see wandering around the Fallout Wasteland exhibit these same symptoms: they’re CONVINCED that The Institute is out to get them Tinker Tom, one of the agents of the Railroad in Fallout 4, swears that The Institute poisoned the air and launched the nukes that started the Great War. And throughout these games, time and time again, we encounter multiple characters preoccupied with their own delusions and conspiracy theories. NPC: “Ghosts. Commie ghosts what don’t know they’re dead.” [creepy music in background] In Fallout 4, we meet journalists who are convinced that The Institute is replacing humans with synthetic versions of themselves. The condition where you feel that your friends and loved ones aren’t who they say they are is a well documented delusion called ‘Capgras Delusion’. In this delusion people become convinced that someone has been replaced my an impostor. In other words, being convinced that your mother isn’t actually your mother, but instead a perfect robotic replica falls squarely into the definition of a ‘Capgras Delusion’. And whats a common cause for ‘Capgras Delusion’? You guessed it: radiation poisoning. Now, yes, I know, as we play Fallout it;s pretty obvious that The Institute IS actually replacing people with synths. And that a shadow government exists and plans on killing everyone, and YEAH, we even encounter aliens that we can kill and loot and Motherships that we can explore across different games, in the franchise. Fallout gives us no reason to disbelieve the events that we see, but all of these are incredibly similar to common paranoid delusions that come with schizophrenia. So you have to ask yourself: “How much can we really trust the narratives coming from the protagonists of these games?” In particular, the Sole Survivor. I mean, in the intro to Fallout 4, your character supposedly just misses the shockwave from the bomb, but radiation travels at the speed of light. You ain’t dodgin that! In this moment, the Sole Survivor essentially got a huge dose of radiation straight to the brain, before being frozen for two hundred years. This, compounded with witnessing the murder of his wife, the kidnapping of his child and the collapse of all of civilization!? Thats enough to drive pretty much anyone crazy. So you gotta ask yourself as you’re playing these games, “How reliable are the events that you’re witnessing?” “How truthful are the perceptions of these narrators?” Speaking of losing your loved ones and watching the world collapse thats the other major problem with rebuilding society in Fallout: PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Living in the Watseland and seeing people you know regularly getting butchered by Deathclaws and Raiders ain’t gonna be too good for your mental health radiation poisoning or no. In fact, we know from similar real life disasters that anywhere between 25 and 75 per cent of survivors can suffer from PTSD. In Fukushima, Japan, where an earthquake and tsunami caused the meltdown of three nuclear reactors back in 2011, around 50% of the survivors were believed to be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. And if it’s not the disaster itself that triggers it, the ensuing displacement of being forced out of your home, the financial insecurity from losing your job, and all the effects of a disaster that continue for years on after, well, those’ll certainly do it for ya. But at least the survivors of Fukushima had a society to return to…in Fallout? There’s just…nothing there. The entire WORLD has been obliterated. Untreated, people suffering from PTSD can have a ton of problems integrating into society. Aside from their brain forcing them to constantly relive the horrors that they survived, many people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder -per the Anxiety and Depression Association of America- have, quote, “persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world.” People with PTSD can become irritable, reckless, self-destructive, does any of that sound familiar to the world of Fallout? [NPC hissing and roaring] It’s also common for PTSD sufferers to seek refuge in drags and alcohol: something we see literally everywhere in the Wasteland. With drugs like ‘Jet’ and ‘Psycho’ being peddled all over the place, or the empty whiskey bottles that just litter the ground There’s even a quest in Fallout: New Vegas where you have to retrieve a book on PTSD for a doctor. Carrington of the Railroad describes this very situation when discussing the Post Traumatic Stress his agents are dealing with. So, what can you do to save a society like this? Well, within Fallout the solution given for solving this issue is, pretty depressing. At the end of Fallout 4, Father comes to the surface to see if the Wasteland is really as bad as everyone says it is. He concludes that the whole thing is doomed and that The Institute is humanity’s best hope for progress. Same goes for John Henry Eden, the leader of the Enclave in Fallout 3. The irradiated inhabitants of the world had to be eradicated for the world to be rebuilt. Fallout 2, again the same solution. And while all of these psychological issues and delusions make it incredibly difficult for the Wasteland to rebuild itself, mass genocide isn’t the only answer. It is AN answer but probably not the one most of us would actively want to choose and honestly, one the game pushes you away from. No, in order to rebuild the Wasteland, The focus shouldn’t be on rebuilding society on the macro level, but on fixing the people, in the micro level. Instead of wasting time with world-wide genocide viruses, or human replacement synths, the true solution in Fallout is psychological treatment. While there’s no catch-all solution for PTSD or schizophrenia, doctors have proven several types of medication that can help these conditions. Namely, antidepressants for PTSD, and anti-psychotics for schizophrenia. Thus, the key to curing society in Fallout isn’t dependent on which faction you choose- whether you go with the Brotherhood of Steel, or the Railroad, or the Enclave or whoever- it doesn’t matter who’s ruling philosophy you go with. They’re all doomed to fail if the citizens don’t get proper treatment first. In a game full of choices, the single best choice for an ending would be helping the citizens self-medicate. Only by doing this can the Wasteland ever have a shot to… not be the Wasteland. No amount of free-flowing clean water is ever gonna change that. But hey! That’s, JUST A THEORY. AAAAA GAME THEORY. Thanks for watching! HEY! If you liked today’s theory and are in the mood for more Fallout action, when then click this the annotation to go and learn about the philosophy and ethics, of the Fallout universe. It’s a video from my friends over at the Wisecrack channel. A channel that, like this one, specialises in fusing pop culture, learning, and a little bit of humour along the way. They also helped out a lot with the research that I used in today’s theory, so if you didn’t hate this episode, then, chances are you’re not gonna hate THEIRS. If you’ve ever been curious about which of the major factions in Fallout 4 is “ethically the right one”, well then you’re gonna wanna click that button And seriously, you guys going and showing them some love will make them like me more, and prove my value to them as a friend. Because isn’t that the true meaning of friendship? Bribing someone to like you because you can provide them with a valuable service? Aaah, it just tickles the heart Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to go work on next week’s theory which is gonna start to get a little…… DARK. See you then!