I’m on the third season of the Wire, an HBO series from the early 00s. The first season really rocked my socks, from the fully realized characters, to the consistent and believable portrayals of police and criminal processes, to the plot twists. Season two was good, but it really didn’t hook me as much as season one. What season two had going for it was a great examination of an individual’s slow slide into corruption. Season three is interesting, but it doesn’t tug on my attention as much as season one did.
And while the Wire is a very modern story about police and criminals, it’s the characters and situations that are universal, and could easily be applied to gaming, be it fantasy faux-medieval or far future sci-fi. I can imagine a version of Stringer Bell trying to consolidate the gangs of Everthorn, always looking over his shoulder for Omar, the killer of criminals, while a lone wolf among the Urban Cohorts finds a home among an incorruptible squad hunting down both. Or maybe the Wire placed in the lunar mining colony of Outland.
For those of you who dig on cops and robbers, I can definitely, heartily recommend season one of the Wire. I think that season two and season three are better than 90% of the stuff on network TV, so consider that a recommendation as well. There are lots of ideas to mine for those of you out there looking for game inspiration, and there’s just straight up excellent drama for everyone else.
Read more about the Wire here.
Read more about High Noon in space: Outland.