From The Writer: Help me Address Social Issues

I got an email from someone today asking something very important:

“Dear Part Time Rogue: How are issues like racism, sexism, or LGBT issues handled [in Cold Start]?”

I recognize that as much as I attempt to approach social issues in the context of this game, I might not have the best perspective and might unintentionally offend someone with how these issues are addressed.

I have thought about social issues in Cold Start a couple of ways, and I honestly don’t have a perfect solution. A couple ideas have included:

  • The computer erased physical biases entirely when rebuilding humanity.
  • These biases exist, at the discretion of the ST
  • It just depends on the colony.

I am partial to the third one. Since the colonies of the Span are so numerous, and part of the mood of the game is the fact that these colonies have strange (and often arbitrary) social rules, I rather like the idea of playing on these themes to the players’ content, and seeing how the characters deal with those situations.

Maybe at the Juniper 7 Station, Men are sterilized after having one child, as a means of population control.

Maybe on Colony 56-BA, the people who work out in the fields suffer a bleaching effect on their skin from solar storms that turns them snow-white, and those people are discriminated against.

Maybe in the City of Kazzi, everyone goes through gene therapy so they all look, sound, and act alike.

These themes are endless, and I honestly want to encourage exploration of social biases and discrimination in the context of the game, in the hopes that it will help us, as players, perhaps understand each other a little better.

That said, I would be remiss as a writer if I didn’t ask for feedback. What kind of representation do you WANT in this game, and how can I provide it? Feel free to reply here, or email me at