I’ve been asked to start a dungeons and dragons (DnD) style game with the Everett students. DnD is a popular table top “war game” which has become a proprietary eponym for basically any game where people sit around a table and play a mainly story telling based game. DnD is often played with a rule book and uses dice and some kind of game board. We aren’t going to bother with this. I will act as the Dungeon Master, my role will be to create the imaginary world while the other participants will act as single characters within this world. Game play will consist of me telling a story and the players acting and reacting to that story. In this post I will outline the world that the Everett players will be inhabiting.
It’s around 3,347 million milliseconds after the Unix Epoch, earth. It’s a very different world now. Imagined space and physical space blur together. Autonomous and human controlled robots are ever present. Radically different political systems co-exist in a complex and ever shifting act of power exchange. Humans are also radically different with genetically altered variations abound as well as a rich spectrum of human integration with machines, even to the point of leaving the physical world behind all together. The variations are extreme, from primitive “leavers” living off the land in between the super cities to super human computer hybrids living in cyber space, a far cry from the current world’s relative hegemony.
There are some major events beginning to take place on and around earth as our story begins. There is a major rise in the waking of “sleepers“, people who have been placed in suspended animation and the return of many “travelers“, humans (and machines) from space missions to the outer reaches of our solar system. With their return comes old (even ancient) people, ideas and technology. It remains to be seen what this clash of culture will mean for this world.
Also, faster than light travel seems to be within reach while many have tired of waiting and begun preparing for massive interstellar mission. While this doesn’t represent the first time in history that humans have traveled beyond the solar system it seems to be one of the greatest pushes. The question everyone is asking, why now?
Political and religious groups still struggle over ideological and economic ideas, some things never change…
The “people” of earth
Distributed Autonomous Systems (DATs) form the major institutions across the world. These computer networks are only as powerful as the people who support and maintain them. Their code is law and to change this law requires the agreement of all members of each DAT to agree on which code to support. Complex branching of DATs and fundamental disagreements around their role and use in the world act as a backdrop around which this world turns.
Nearly all people support a number of DATs. These systems form massive federations and syndicates which cooperate, compete, and vie for power.
Most power flows from massive urban areas networked together by high speed transportation systems. Between the cities are many autonomous rural areas. These communities are just as varied as the humans who inhabit them. Religious cults to simple farming communities who have tired of technology.
The physical world is only a small fraction of the actual world humans inhabit. The NET is a nearly ever present connection between people and computers. Imagined worlds are shared and laid over reality. Two people can inhabit the same space but experience it in completely different ways. Most citizens of the NET have an avatar which is how they express themselves in the NET. Robots and machines and computer programs also can be expressed through the use of avatars. What might be a small robot in the real world will look like an octopus wearing a top hat through the lens of altered reality.
And much more…
I hope to document and expand this world and it’s story with the help of the players. I’m very excited to start telling this story, and I hope the players will also document their story as well.