Tackling Lovecraft in the Modern Day

7TV: Lurkers from the Deep Development Blog: Entry Two.

7TV: Lurkers from the Deep is inspired by H. P. Lovecraft’s 1931 ‘The Shadow Over Innsmouth’.

Before plunging into the depths of game design, there were some careful considerations we needed to take into account: Lovecraft’s work is riddled with racism.

Much of our Villainous Cast are inspired by Deep Ones, or Fishfolk, as they are known in 7TV  – anthropomorphic fish-like humanoids devised by H.P. Lovecraft. The creation of Deep Ones, however, is deeply xenophobic.

In Lovecraft’s writing, Deep Ones reproduce through the, interbreeding of humanity with the Deep Ones, subsequentially leading to the devolution of their hybrid children. This highlighted Lovecraft’s abhorrent beliefs that the mixing of races leads to racial degeneration through the pollution of the gene-pool.

In Lurkers, we instead opted for a scientific way of creating Fishfolk. We introduced the concept of an Incubator; an occult device that sparks the conversion from Human to Fishfolk. This avoids Lovecraft’s problematic views, and instead lends itself to the themes of horror, as well as providing Lurkers with a Maguffin bespoke to the Campaign.

Additionally, the science-fiction approach falls in line with the 7TV universe, and our fictional studio: Pinnacle Pacific Pictures. Packard, the head of Pinnacle and Producer of Lurkers, found the racial degeneration of the Deep Ones deplorable. Moreover, the Incubator added a certain level of horror and action that Packard found lacking in Lovecraft’s ‘Innsmouth’.

We moreover considered it important to recognise Lovecraft’s racism directly. The ‘Hateful Prejudice’ Special Effect acknowledges Lovecraft’s xenophobic beliefs, as well as the beliefs that permeated many corrupt law-enforcement institutions throughout history and the media.

It is important to separate the works from the writer. In 7TV: Lurkers from the Deep our goal has to been open and inclusive to all players.

Next post: Expanding the team and Lurkers.

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