The Virtual Earth Project: A Shared Simulspace History

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Galactophage Galactophage's picture
The Virtual Earth Project: A Shared Simulspace History
The Virtual Earth Project is an elaborate simulspace encompassing the mesh across several sections of the solar system. Different "scenarios" and "variants" exist for different factions, but many are interconnected in some manner, as per the original intention of the project. Think a sort of combination/analog of Second Life and Wikipedia. The basic idea was a group of argonauts decided to catalog and archive as much information as they could about the era before the Fall on Earth as far back as records go. While data is incomplete, they extrapolate backwards from patterns to interpolate or extrapolate possible scenarios or outcomes to fill in the gaps. The precursor to the VEP originated decades before the Fall, as a tool for plotting climate change and projecting future weather scenarios. As the software became more complex, geopolitical, sociological, and economic data was entered in to envision the outcomes of several scenarios. While these projects did not survive the Fall in complete form (perhaps due to some deliberate "losses"), they served as precursors to the current post-Fall VEP. The VEP has many uses. It serves as a research tool for the argonauts, hypercorp researchers, and political/economic speculators to observe major trends in planetary and social behavior (obvious applications in economics, psychology, and even environmental engineering/terraforming). For recreational users, it is a spot to see what "might have been" or "once was" as a museum/grim reminder, or just a location for games. A number of infugees have also taken up residence here, attempting to re-establish pre-Fall communities with varying degrees of success. It's also used for therapy at times, helping infugees or Fall survivors deal with trauma or help them adjust more gradually into the present era. For the reclaimers, it shows them what Earth was once like, and what they want to restore. A conflict emerged, however, based in factional politics. The Planetary Consortium, Jovian Junta, autonomists, Morningstar Constellation, LLA, and others each have their own accounts of pre-Fall records and information, much of it conflicting. Historical revisionism and edit wars start over certain information portraying certain people or events in a bad light. Trolls enjoy editing or modifying parts of the VEP simulspace in hopes of starting or provoking an edit war. I think this just screams for some adventure seeds: -Some of the code used in the VEP is related to the TITANs' Seed AI, specifically when alternative scenarios are generated. What happens if an "alternative history" in the simulspace takes on a mind of its own? -An infugee adds in some damning information about an influential figure in a faction. Is it true, a trolling attempt, or something else (false flag, etc.)? The PCs, if inside, may be caught in the middle of an edit war to end all edit wars soon. -Some reclaimers and Extropian scavengers add information into the VEP based on (technically illegal) trips to the surface. The PC is hunting blockade runners by trying to trace additions of sensitive information based on findings only they might know (hypercorp files, etc.). -What happens if the Exsurgent virus gets lose in the VEP, perhaps even posing as an "NPC"?
"Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est."
AaronLee AaronLee's picture
Re: The Virtual Earth Project: A Shared Simulspace History
I love this! I'd love to see edit wars and trolling more extrapolated. Griefing has got to be orders crazier when it involves a fully fledged virtual planet. Also have you considered the sort of future history failure a-la option 1 in the pretend-to-be-a-time-traveller-day thread? http://forums.koalawallop.com/viewtopic.php?t=1719 It seemed pertinent. Future-historic screwups make me chuckle at the thought. Maybe everyone wore copious amounts of gold to ward off the Flying Dutchman, and in that era everyone had mysteriously come under the delusion that they were genetic siblings, in spite of no material evidence present at that time or in the past. Or, perhaps, the rise of an untouchable caste that wore pieces of plastic in their pockets to ward off the uninitiated, it was a torturous like actually manually programming! With words defining abstracted meanings even! The horror! :D But seriously, this is a fun idea.
Gene police! You! Out of the pool, now! -Charles Stross
Nathan Brazil Nathan Brazil's picture
Re: The Virtual Earth Project: A Shared Simulspace History
On Idea 1, if the "alternative history" sees itself as "facts" and other "facts" as simulations or inaccuracies misleading or providing misinformation to transhumans, would it not try to "inform" by erasing or modifying other systems? Now combine that with your statement that VEP is involved with TITAN creation and I see info-FALL coming. Woo hoo, good times....