I had previously posted this in the blog's header, but a few readers pointed out that the header information doesn't appear on mobile readers or in RSS feeds.
An interview with me has appeared on the site of the Austrian newspaper Der Standard. The author, Rainer Sigl, posted an English translation on his blog. As Rainer points out, the English "translation" is actually the original, so I don't mind directing people to read that instead of the original.
I want to expand upon one of my answers, which has an unfortunate typo. I meant to write, "Because so many CRPGs are set in fantasy worlds, I don't think they serve well as reflections of their times." But I accidentally left out the "don't," completely obliterating my point.
Even fantasy literature is, of course, a product of its time and myriad surrounding influences. It's hard not to see Hitler in Sauron or the trenches of World War I in the "Dead Marshes." The latter books of Terry Goodkind's "Sword of Truth" series draw so heavily on Ayn Rand that she ought to have been credited as a co-author. I recently read The Last Rune series by Mark Anthony (I didn't think it was very good), which features several gay relationships that would have made the novels unpublishable a few decades ago.
But I see fantasy games as slightly different. Compared to novels, the plot is usually pretty threadbare, and there aren't a lot of words in them. It's much more difficult to find cultural influences on Ultima V than it is The Lord of the Rings. I'm not saying it's impossible; just more difficult. Because of this, there's little about Ultima V, other than the level of technology with which it was created, that screams "1980s!" This is why I concluded that, "Most games, especially fantasy games, tend to be fairly timeless." Contrast this with, say, Scavengers of the Mutant World, which is such a product of the Nuclear Age that it seems almost silly today. I think that this might explain why I have less of an affinity for science fiction and post-apocalyptic RPGs; they're not as "escapist" as fantasy RPGs.
I really like my answers that begin "It's just nostalgia" and "What we've lost"--particularly the second one. Playing The Magic Candle has really driven home the amount of effort that players used to have to put into gaming. Earlier today, I wandered into a sleeping god's chambers, but because I hadn't written down the chants correctly, I couldn't wake him up. No game developer would dare do something like this today. Skyrim probably wouldn't even let you into the dungeon containing the chamber until you already had the chants. Then it would just show the proper chant on the screen instead of making you type anything. You can't convince me that this is better gaming.