Elon Musk Mars plan draws comparisons to The Outer Worlds and Red Faction

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently became the richest person in the world, surpassing Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Musk has been using some of his mass fortune on space exploration and plans to send a million people to Mars by 2050. It will be incredibly expensive for all involved and some of his plans for payment have drawn ire for sounding a lot like the oppressive worlds of The Outer Worlds and Red Faction.

How Musk’s SpaceX Mars plan is like The Outer Worlds and Red Faction

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Part of this stems from a Reddit thread, which itself comes from a BusinessInsider article about Musk. The screenshot cross-posted to the Outer Worlds subreddit highlights one of the most questionable parts where Musk describes the payment plan for those don’t have enough money for the trip. Loans and jobs will be there for people to pay off debts, which is where it sounds a lot like the dire worlds of The Outer Worlds and Red Faction.

The Outer Worlds was applauded in 2019 for its RPG gameplay, but also its story and narrative that focused on corporate greed and capitalism. The mega corporations carved up a lot of the game’s world and many of its citizens work off their debts to said corporations. This struggle is a central source of conflict and parody as it is taken to such extremes. For example, bodies are company property and getting hurt can be seen as an offense.

Red Faction: Guerrilla is perhaps a little close to Musk’s plans as the game also takes place on Mars. The Mars citizens are eternally forced to work for the state because of the grasp Earth’s corporations have on the Earth Defense Force, the oppressive antagonists of the game. Colonists initially went to the planet for work but ended up being taken advantage of as Ultor’s lust for profits far outweighed how much it cared for its workers. As seen in The Outer Worlds, this dynamic of working off debts in space naturally creeds a huge power disparity, which can essentially lead to indentured servitude.

Locking citizens into such a draconian deal in space is naturally grounds for science fiction. And if Musk is as much of a gamer as he says he is, maybe he should realize that part of his plans sound like something predatory company in a game would do.