What is Space Opera?

A genre filled with genres!

Space Opera is science fiction genre that embodies rollicking adventure and sweeping melodrama with the entire cosmos as it's backdrop. It's a broad category--just about any adventure set in space could be called space opera.

It can range between "hard" scifi with realistic science or military elements, such as those in the Aliens films and Blade Runner. It can vary in scope like in hardened space westerns like Firefly to the wide-eyed optimism found in Star Trek. And there's always the flashy space fantasies like Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers were the pioneers of the genre, and many of their tropes are alive and well today. Common elements include lots of action and adventure with a healthy dose of melodrama or mystery. Evil space warlords, space cowboys and revolutionaries, charming robots, strange extraterrestrials, terrifying monsters, and cool spaceships are all easily found in space opera stories.

It's a root genre that also can easily be mixed with other genres. Any story told in two places can be split up to be on two planets--or on a space station and a spaceship! We've had giant robotic mechas, like in Gundam; investigators of the weird, like in X-files; and road warriors, like in Mad Max. Our games tend to be as varied as the genre itself, depending on what the game master has in store.

Why Space Opera?

Occasionally, some inquisitive folks have asked how we arrived on our theme of space opera. At most game stores across the country, fantasy rules the day. Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Magic the Gathering--you name it--they're the lords of the gaming landscape. They all have regular dates on the calendar dedicated to playing those games and players show up in droves to enjoy those worlds.

But there was no night for science fiction. 

Seeing the chance to bring the multiverse to masses, we launched SNSO as a regular gaming event. We set out to focus on the kind of adventures that can encompass a variety of scifi genres--SPACE OPERA!

If you're looking for a little inspiration, check out this Pinterest board for some astounding intergalactic visuals:

Follow Jay's board Space Opera on Pinterest.

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