It's not splitting hairs, but I do think that it —might— be part of the reason Bethesda changed the setting, if any of them understood it. The elevator pitch for Fallout is too complex, and so it has become "the future, but like if the 50's never ended"; this is the wrong portrayal. The reason this is wrong is because these buildings are made of the same materials and designs—they look like the 1950's, but they are 120+ years after them. They wouldn't have built them like that in their prediction of the future; the meaning is two-fold. The houses would have been 'great improvements' upon the old way of building & living in them; plastics, new metals, automated features, waterproof, fireproof... obsessed with convenience and protecting their home from damage. Megaton (aside from the silly bomb) is a lot like Junktown in premise; built from salvage. This is a mistake, these two are the same, but they are not what was being compared. The comparison was "50's world of tomorrow; what they thought the world of tomorrow would be", and a "1950's held over to the year 2077, and stopped by the bombs". This is a key difference that is the problem in FO3. Most of FO3 looks like the world stopped in the mid 50's; there were game reviewers that thought it was actually set in the 1950's. www.youtube.com/watch?v=laq9ua5VjTs&t=3m46s Not 'also', it's the principle. Fear of the Atom was central to the setting; so much so that their fear & expectation bent the very laws of their reality. Fallout's setting is a GURPS campaign setting; nearly a comicbook world where green goo and radiation have caused mutant B-movie monsters, and evil cyborg villains try to take over the world by converting humanity in to giant superhumans. The wasteland of Fallout  is more of Twilight Zone/'There be Dragons' place left by the absolute unknown [and unfathomable] aftermath of the war. Normal life is only in the towns, with the still recovering humanity. *This is why Gecko's Renewal cult, and the chess playing scorpion were so wrong in Fallout 2; both could have fit in the deep wastes, but not in town. Ghouls were implied to actually (and only) be the first inhabitants of Vault 12 a freak accident of the war, their fate caused by exposure to the outside during the bombs, due to their vault door not sealing properly. As such they would be the only living creatures to personally remember the world as it had been before the war... because they lived it. It meant that every ghoul was from the Necropolis vault. In the recent games they are no longer so special or interesting, having been given the generic origin of being due to radiation exposure, and could appear almost everywhere in the world—cause & effect. Not at all. Pre-war was 2076; that's past our own modern era. 2077 culture wouldn't be sock hops, bomber jackets and Brylcreem—that's 1950's era culture, not the 50's envisioned culture of 2077. Not this: He had some nice concept art. Adamowicz extrapolated down the wrong path; modern day 1950's with pre-war post millennium tech, become post apocalypse. He probably gave them exactly what they asked of him. These are examples I'd of chosen myself; though these are from Fallout 2. I picked the plasma cutter. Compare the Fallout plasma & laser rifles to the FO3 counterparts: The gun they got right was the alien blaster. *Notice that the blaster and the post-war Brotherhood (experimental) guns are futuristic of 2077, and the pre-war Fallout  laser rifle is futuristic of the 50's. While the laser rifle from FO3 looks more like an idea for an industrial laser with a gun handle/stock tacked on. I like the FO3 laser rifle, but it's symptomatic of a larger disconnect with the source material.