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Old 05-28-2020, 02:35 PM   #1
Astromancer
 
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Default Body Horror and High Fashion

It seems to me that in the THS setting, the plasticity of flesh and the simple fact that there are fashions in flesh leads to body horror both seriously and for laughs. Any glance at Transmetropolitan(a truly great comic book) will give plenty of instances of both.

In what ways does body horror come up in your game?

It seems to me that the world of haute coture (sic) is an area where body horror would be especially intense and prevalent. Just look what models go through now. In a world of bioroids and TL10 reconstructive surgery the bodies beneath the fashions might be deeply disturbing.
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Old 05-28-2020, 07:33 PM   #2
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. Just look what models go through now. In a world of bioroids and TL10 reconstructive surgery the bodies beneath the fashions might be deeply disturbing.
<shrug> It could easily go the other way. The actual technology is usually quite neutral. It's the people who think up the horrors.

For example, take pieces of 2 bad/stupid biomods and combine them to make 1 good biomod. I speak of Archwork (Bio-tech p.171) and Polykeratin Grafts from p.177.

The first is probably a bad idea but I have no doubt someone would try and sell it and someone else would try and buy it. The Polykeratin Grafts are just stupid and horrifying combined for horrifyingly stupid. Cut off and replace important parts of your body and you'll have the equivalent of a dull knife that can't be detected by the Mark 1 eyeball but will always show up on SOTA security scanners.

So what you do is upgrade the TL9 Archwork with the TL10 Polykeratin. You don't even need to cut off the feet and replace then with Polykeratin feet. You can just replace parts of the ankle joints and add some adjustable tensioners to some tendons and ligaments and your Archwork is now Switchable.

You then accessorize with shoes with bioplastic heels that adjust to different lengths while you're wearing them. You now have soemthign that requires those SOTA security scanners to check your shoes before the measure your height.
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Old 05-29-2020, 01:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: Body Horror and High Fashion

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<shrug> It could easily go the other way. The actual technology is usually quite neutral. It's the people who think up the horrors.

For example, take pieces of 2 bad/stupid biomods and combine them to make 1 good biomod. I speak of Archwork (Bio-tech p.171) and Polykeratin Grafts from p.177.

The first is probably a bad idea but I have no doubt someone would try and sell it and someone else would try and buy it. The Polykeratin Grafts are just stupid and horrifying combined for horrifyingly stupid. Cut off and replace important parts of your body and you'll have the equivalent of a dull knife that can't be detected by the Mark 1 eyeball but will always show up on SOTA security scanners.

So what you do is upgrade the TL9 Archwork with the TL10 Polykeratin. You don't even need to cut off the feet and replace then with Polykeratin feet. You can just replace parts of the ankle joints and add some adjustable tensioners to some tendons and ligaments and your Archwork is now Switchable.

You then accessorize with shoes with bioplastic heels that adjust to different lengths while you're wearing them. You now have soemthign that requires those SOTA security scanners to check your shoes before the measure your height.
But let's remember, you are sane, how many fashionistas are sane? It's as you say " It's the people who think up the horrors."
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Old 05-29-2020, 10:02 PM   #4
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But let's remember, you are sane, how many fashionistas are sane? It's as you say " It's the people who think up the horrors."
It may be one of the basic principles of Transhuman Sapce that the inmates will not only be granted control of the asylum but that they will be given billion $ grants to help them realize their hopes and dreams. However, it's always been my opinion that this lessens suspension of disbeleif and I've tended to minimize it.

Besides I aso believe there will be some actual progress in treating mental illnesses.

I don't really think there can be another 80 years of steady progress in ever more nonfunctional and even counter-productive body modifications. There might be something beyond that woman who went blind after she had her eyeballs tattoed but 80 years worth?

You'd need a set of random tables. "In 2100 people will have their (roll on body part table) (roll on nonfunctional modification table) for (roll on irrational purpose table)".
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Old 05-30-2020, 09:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: Body Horror and High Fashion

Transhuman Space setting has absurdly safe bio-tech. If you could change something radically for a short time just for "the lols", why is it a sign of mental illness to do so? It would not be unreasonable to treat body modifications like how we treat cosplay now.
"Oh look, another Venom" would be just like, "Oh look, another goth."
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Old 06-11-2020, 04:21 PM   #6
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Remembering an old episode of Kolchak specifically "The Trevi Collection," and the Sondheim's horror musical Evening Primrose it seems to me that bioroids made to be living manikins have deep elements of horror in them. Both the horror of their existence as living statutes and their capacity as hidden threats. Also the possibility of turning people into living manikins frozen but fully aware strikes me as truly horrible, a brutal living death.
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Old 06-19-2020, 11:01 PM   #7
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The problem with extreme body horror is that the rest of society may begin to classify the offender as sufficiently inhuman to warrant killing after a certain point. If the modification is grotesque enough to cause fright checks, then the offender will likely have people attempting to kill them out of self-defense of their sanity. After a certain point, vigilantes will hunt down the offender and kill them, just to prevent anyone else from having been scarred by the offender's visage. Even lesser forms of body horror could have individuals arrested and imprisoned for obscenity.
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Old 06-20-2020, 06:40 AM   #8
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The problem with extreme body horror is that the rest of society may begin to classify the offender as sufficiently inhuman to warrant killing after a certain point. If the modification is grotesque enough to cause fright checks, then the offender will likely have people attempting to kill them out of self-defense of their sanity. After a certain point, vigilantes will hunt down the offender and kill them, just to prevent anyone else from having been scarred by the offender's visage. Even lesser forms of body horror could have individuals arrested and imprisoned for obscenity.
This is strangely parallel to a less futuristic type of not guilty plea, one appealing to having failed a fright check too. But seems like at least in your land, society is growing a thicker skin in terms of being exposed to such non-futuristic sights of 'obscene horror', and hopefully will also grow a thicker skin when it comes to witnessing people enjoying their morphological freedom.
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Old 06-24-2020, 07:54 PM   #9
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That would depend on people accepting the concept of morphological freedom, which I really do not see happening in the USA, especially if the resulting form appears grossly inhuman and/or violates obscenity laws. For example, an individual that decided to cover their body in a dozen extra phalli could not go displaying them in public without being charged with obscenity violations, no matter how much they scream about morphological freedom. There is no constitutional right to morphological freedom in the USA, as body modifications stop being covered by the right to privacy when they cannot be concealed.
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Old 06-25-2020, 05:09 AM   #10
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That would depend on people accepting the concept of morphological freedom, which I really do not see happening in the USA, especially if the resulting form appears grossly inhuman and/or violates obscenity laws. For example, an individual that decided to cover their body in a dozen extra phalli could not go displaying them in public without being charged with obscenity violations, no matter how much they scream about morphological freedom. There is no constitutional right to morphological freedom in the USA, as body modifications stop being covered by the right to privacy when they cannot be concealed.
  1. Caveat: USA is not the whole world.
  2. USA also didn't initially appear to recognise other freedoms, including by bringing up the views on the constitutionality of those freedoms (or lack thereof), and I don't mean a long time ago, but rather within living memory. But things like these can change on very short notice - often as short as decades. THS is set eight decades in the future, and had a divergence, putting it on a track towards quick radical change somewhere in the 90s, giving it even more time to achieve the ideals of morphological freedom (as evidenced by the examples of stuff found in the books, such as transparent braincases).
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