Quick PSA: The Technology of Fallout

Fallout is not the 1950s. It's retrofuturistic. 

It's a setting inspired by 1950s science fiction media, from books, through comics, to movies. It's the future as seen by people in the 1950s: widespread atomic power, rayguns, bulky tin-man power armor, robots, large tube-powered computers, the American Dream, and much, much more. Many people miss that.

Added to the mix is our contemporary approach to storytelling, themes, politics etc. The retrofuturistic setting is used as a backdrop to explore various mature themes, most importantly the role of conflict in the history of humanity and our affinity for it. Ideals and their survival in face of circumstances forcing pragmatism. The nature of virtue and sin. Human corruption.

If you want to get a feel for the Fallout technology, take some time to examine the science fiction of the 1950s. Start with classics, like Heinlein's Starship Troopers (the book, not the movie), Forbidden Planet (a must watch for any self-respecting Fallout fan), On the Beach. Look into 1950s comic books and pulp sci-fi novels. A good resource is NMA's own archive of sci-fi covers, with over 100 entries. Look for actual US government materials from the time, such as designs for future soldiers(including model photos).

Bottom line is: Never forget that Fallout is retrofuturistic. Some technologies, like nanowoo, simply don't fit such a setting. 


  1. I wish most people who first heard about the fallout universe with the third installment read this article. Perhaps they would stop arguing with "how is it possible that there's this and that, if it's 1950's?"

    1. Thank you for your kind words (or, well, the gist of your reply). Feel free to point to the post whenever you see fit. Any ideas on how I might improve it? :)


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