Hello, my name is…
1 – Hello, my name is Jack. We had a really small military when The War started. Sure we were building the new generation of warships and other stuff, but most of that was just political favors by politicians making certain to pay off their campaign contributors. But large-scale military spending was hard for politicians to support when the interviews started, so they bragged about how much money they transferred into social services. Yosemite changed that.
2 – Hello, my name is Charles. World War II in Europe is largely considered the worst war ever waged on Earth by the Western Alliance. The National Socialist government of Germany waged a war for power and genetic purity. Over five million Jews, twenty five million Slavs, and as many as ten million Germans died in the resulting holocausts. Poland, Russia, and Germany were hardest hit, with between ten and twenty percent of their total population killed before the war ended. They were, quite literally, decimated.
3 – Hello, my name is Betty. The virtual worlds were only popular amongst the geeks and younger generations at first. Once computer interfaces surpassed the mouse and keyboard, the virtual words began gaining widespread visitors. A mouse was an old pointing device by the way. It was called that because of the long “tale” or cord that connect it to the computer. Yes, they used cords for communication. Yes, prehistoric. But that ancient hardware actually built the first virtual worlds.
4 – Hello, my name is Jack. The days of the small American military ended when the Shang brought down Yosemite Yards. I was one of those new volunteers. I remember they talked about the draft back then, but after seeing the number of people volunteering those talks ended real quick. America may not be full of people that enjoy being in the military, but we are full of people perfectly happy to bust someone up if they come trolling in our neck of the woods. And the Shang were real good trolls.
5 – Hello, my name is Charles. World War II in Asia is mostly about the march of American Marines across the Pacific in Western eyes. The Battles of Midway and Coral Sea are taught to our children. But we rarely look at the land war in Asia because we weren’t heavily involved. What most don’t know is that thirty-five million people died in Asia, victims of the literally genocidal conflict between Japan, China, and India. The entire region was devastated almost beyond the capability of rebuilding.
6 – Liberator
7 – Hello, my name is Betty. The earliest virtual worlds were created by kids playing around and looking for something fun to do. They had no connection with other humans and were distributed by literally pinning them to public bulletin boards. Copies were free or cheap and their graphics were made out of letters and symbols. Players used their imaginations, often edited them to create new games, and their use spread like wildfire. They changed computers forever.
8 – Hello, my name is Jack. The War made us a nation of warriors. A nation of Veterans. We answered the call of freedom and flew the red white and blue over thousands of battlefields. And red white and blue covered those we carried home. We all gave something in The War. Some of us gave everything. I hope the next time you see a Veteran you will remember this. The liberties we all enjoy exist because someone fought and bled for them. A Veteran.
9 – Hello, my name is Charles. World War II, The Global War as Europeans still call it, only ended after a sustained Allied bombing campaign that turned Germany and Japan into smashed collections of rubble. Germany’s great industries were gone, and Japan’s cities lay flattened and burned. German’s capital was occupied by Allied troops and Japan was targeted by the only two nuclear weapons used in war in the entire century. The surrender of both nations was total and complete.
10 – Hello, my name is Betty. Big business joined the game for the second generation of virtual worlds. They created powerful graphics cards that could use art to bring virtual worlds to life, and companies built the worlds. Kids modified them of course, sometimes against the wishes of the company, and an underground hacking culture soon appeared. Free and modified versions of pay-to-play games hit the bulletin boards and kids changed computing again.
11 – Hello, my name is Jack. The War built the largest military we’d ever fielded. We measured our star fleets by the thousands. Our armies counted hundreds of millions of men and women. We fought across hundreds of star systems. It was the largest war any of us had ever imagined. Most of us at least. There were some of us really impressive imaginations. But I think my point stands. It was really big. I hope we never fight another one like it.
12 – Hello, my name is Charles. World War II ended with the Allies acting as occupying powers of Germany and Japan. The decimated countries could not rebuild on their own, so we moved in and began to rebuild them ourselves. It was one of the most successful and popular extra national rebuilding effort ever undertaken. The booming West German and Japanese nations became our closest allies within a decade, and their descendents continue to be our friends and compatriots to this day.
13 – Forge of Wars: Tactics. Forge of Wars: Tactics is designed to be a fast paced game of miniature-style infantry combat. I've played games for years and I've always wanted a way to play quick and dirty battles. Yes I love involved systems with rules for everything from morale to whether or not it is easier to slip on wet concrete or dry ice. But sometimes I just want to roll dice and watch things die. Virtually of course. Forge of Wars: Tactics is my answer to that wish.
14 – Hello, my name is Betty. The third generation of virtual worlds brought high-end graphics together with online play and many memorable worlds still played to this day found their origin. The famous Lord British, the Wing Commanders, and the Mechs of War are but three examples of the many memorable creations of that era. Many characters created to speak a few words and then be left behind now have entire teams of cybers that give them life to modern players. It is amazing what we can do now that early game makers wished they could do.
15 – Hello, my name is Jack. I retired after War’s End. Took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Hooked up with old friends of course. Handled a crisis or two you’ve heard about if you’re reading this. And then…well…that’s when things got interesting. When one life ends, it really gives you options to reinvent yourself. It took me a while to decide how I wanted to do that. Let’s just say that Gamma Trianguli had a hand in helping me decide.
16 – Hello, my name is Charles. If one good thing came out of World War II, it was that Europe never fought each other again. They learned the horrors they could inflict on each other, and for the first time they were recorded in motion pictures and immortalized in photos of destroyed cities. Humanity could ignore what they did, but never again could they forget. And Europe has chosen in all the centuries since that those are one set of horrors they will never again inflict on each other.
17 – Hello, my name is Betty. Many of the best third generation virtual worlds required top-of-the-line computer systems to run. At first this limited the player base to a fraction of the population, but technology improved and cheapened the ability to get better performance out of comparatively lower technologies. Then the second advent of dedicated home gaming consoles revolutionized that generation of virtual worlds in a way that nobody expected. They laid the foundation of the fourth generation worlds.
18 – Hello, my name is Jack. A lot of my new life goes back to Gamma Trianguli. Free Tibet. Shambhala. I was at a crossroads when I went there. They helped me decide what I wanted to do with my life. I know lots of people give me credit for helping them out of a pretty serious bind. Some even say I saved them. But fact is, they saved me. I don’t know what I’d be doing now if I hadn’t met them. But I don’t think I’d like me as much if I hadn’t.
19 – Hello, my name is Charles. World War II did not make Europe a peacenik society. The most militantly peacenik movements had their day of course but fell to the harsh realities of life on Earth in the end. They continued to spar with others and themselves, but they rarely went to full-scale war. Europe never wanted to see another of those on their soil ever again. In some ways it reduced the greatest powers on Earth to footnotes. In other ways it made them far more devious and dangerous in their methods of fighting.
20 – The Empire-class battleship, Los Angeles-class heavy cruiser, and Austin-class destroyer were the preeminent Early War warships deployed by the United States of America against the alien Shang and their Terrestrial allies. Creations of the Fleet 2300 Project, they revolutionized American naval capabilities and gave us a fighting chance to survive. Here you can see miniature versions of the warships responsible for keeping The War from ending in its first few months.
21 – Hello, my name is Betty. Home gaming consoles allowed budget-conscious or casual gamers to play the best games on the market. The “true gamers” often derided them, but this acceptance of the virtual worlds into normal society laid the framework that made the fourth generation virtual worlds a possibility. The third generation virtual worlds often touched the edge of fourth generation capabilities, but they were niche products, once again limited to only those with the highest budgets.
22 – Hello, my name is Jack. Music has been an important part of my life since the very beginning. Even before I was born in fact. My mom was one of those parents that believed listening to Beethoven or the other great composers in the womb would make their kid smarter and better in school. The joke was on her though. She used to love to exercise to the Lone Ranger theme. Now I get motion sickness every time I hear it. How’s that for a childhood trauma?
23 – Hello, my name is Charles. People ask me why I am so obsessed with the past. The answer is that I intend to learn from it. I do not wish to make the same mistakes our ancestors did. I wish to build a better future than they did. And more than wishing, I plan to do exactly that. But as the old saw goes, if one does not learn from history one is doomed to repeat it. I do not intend to repeat it. And so I make plans.
24 – Hello, my name is Betty. The introduction of truly portable computer systems, what was once known as the “tablet” before modern three-dimensional interfaces, made the fourth generation virtual worlds a final possibility. The tablets revolutionized society in a matter of years. Everyone carried a computer that could access the network on their person. Anyone could enter a virtual world at any time, wherever they were. The virtual and the physical worlds began to reflect each other.
25 – Hello, my name is Jack. My parents played music all the time when I was growing up. I don’t think the speakers in our home were ever silent. We listened to a lot of the classics of course. Elvis. Cash. Sinatra. Add in rock and roll and old-fashioned country rock and that was the soundtrack of my life. I was Born in the U.S.A., I wished Billie Jean was My Girl, and Johnny B. Goode was my role model. My parents loved the oldies and I caught the bug from them. Ain’t no music like old music.
26 – Hello, my name is Charles. History is the roadmap we all must study if we are to find a better route to where we wish to go. Roads are built by improving the landscape they are on, and so one must understand the faults of the landscape. Our nation is good and strong. But we have our faults. And so the roadmap of our future must deal with those faults or it will split wide open at the fault lines. We have done this in the past. I do not intend to see us do so again.
27 – Forge of Wars. Forge of Wars: Tactics is designed to be a fast paced game of miniature-style infantry combat. I've played games for years and I've always wanted a way to play quick and dirty battles. Yes I love involved systems with rules for everything from morale to whether or not it is easier to slip on wet concrete or dry ice. But sometimes I just want to roll dice and watch things die. Virtually of course. Forge of Wars: Tactics is my answer to that wish.
28 – Hello, my name is Betty. The creation of virtual worlds started as a small business with very little money in it. Those who worked in the field did it because they loved it. They went to the same parties, virtual or physical, and their children played with each other. It was a small business. Whether you created worlds are reviewed them, you only did it for the love of the game. Money was just not something you had in the early days unless you started with it. Hence the old joke about needing a large fortune to make a small fortune…
29 – Hello, my name is Jack. My parents pushed me to start singing at church when I got old enough. Like three or something. Churches like to start the kids out early you know. So at first I was signing out of tune and cringing adults clapped with encouragement. Then I was singing much better in the Wednesday-night youth group worship team. And I’ll never forget the day the pastor sat me down and told me I was on the Sunday-morning worship team. I was sky high. They taught me to sing. I can never repay them for that gift.
30 – Hello, my name is Charles. In the aftermath of World War II, the Global War as the Europeans call it, they sought to divest themselves of their Colonial holdings in Africa and Asia. Many thought that if they granted the Colonies freedom newer and better nations would grow up with only minimal Western guidance. It had worked in the past after all, and at first it appeared to be working again. Then one battered nation put its stamp on the time period. Russia.
31 – Happy Halloween. Many of you will be dressing up in costumes today. Cheerleaders. Long dead politicians. Brain dead zombies. Why do I keep repeating myself? I’m sure some of you will be sexy nurses or demigods with padded swords. Bug-eyed aliens, ghosts, and of course ghost busters are more favorites. Who you gonna call? There are always all kinds of people dressing up tonight. Just be careful where you go and what you eat. And have a happy Halloween.