If we invent time travel, then where are time travellers?
If it was possible to travel back into the past, then surely it would have been done? After all, it might be possible to travel back in time, event time travel technology earlier and keep the profits for yourself. A paradox of possibilities?
If we scroll back in time and to April 2020 then Geek Native was giving away a copy of the Life is Strange comic book from Titan Comics. To enter the giveaway, you only had to pick one of five possible answers to “Where are the time travellers from the future?”
Nearly 100 people took part and here are the results;
|Time travel option||Votes|
|Time travel creates alternative branching dimensions, so we never see any travellers.||35.6%|
|It will only be possible to travel forward in time.||8.5%|
|Time travellers are here, most people just don’t believe it.||19.5%|
|Time travellers need to remain hidden.||18.3%|
|Time travel will never be possible.||17.0%|
So, according to Geek Native readers, time travel is possible, but it creates branching dimensions. In other words, you don’t travel back in your own timeline but create a new one in which time travel happened. In this timeline, no one has travelled back in time.
Does that make sense?
In the second place, but only just, was the notion that time travellers are here but just doing an excellent job at hiding or simply being ignored by people who don’t believe their claims.
Or, if this article has inspired you to put some time-travelling in your RPG campaign, then there are several time-themed articles from the Genre Police and Ben Jackson-Ellery.
In Deep Time Ben talks about moving the time dial – such as skipping to the next morning in your narrative.
In the next article, Time Stand Still we look at what happens when you speed up like, as in montage, or slow down time as in a comics-style splash panel.
What do you think? Where are the time travellers?