War, war never changes. It is one of gaming’s best-loved catch-phrases. But what does it mean? In what sense does war never change? Certainly, warfare — the ways in which a war is fought — has changed dramatically in the millennia leading up to Fallout’s fictional 2050s. Weapons, tactics, scale: every aspect of conflict has undergone transformation. Fallout’s world is not that dissimilar to our own and we can safely know as much.
Death and destruction are a staple of war but their scale differs vastly from conflict to conflict. Even the most advanced of energy weapons found in the wasteland is a relic from a past that is being forgotten and a far cry from the nuclear war that caused all the desolation. The game’s primitive, back-to-basics setting also suggests that the presumably constant factor may lie much deeper and closer to the roots of conflict than something as superficial as tools and means.
Why do people go to war? Perhaps there is a single fundamental reason underlining all conflicts.