Games and Pastimes

Image from Steve Bowers

A day in the life of a Gamer:

Peltok wakes up at 4am, having only gone to bed some two hours previous. It was a light but entirely refreshing sleep. Due to his new (and highly engaging) hobby he's in the process of transitioning to being an asomniac. Each day he requires less and less sleep, in another month or so his medisystem will finish with the augmentation and he will be able to game all the time.

The bed morphs into a sofa, lifting Peltok into a reclining position. Sensing his requirements an envirosuit in the corner (the only object in the room other than the sofa/bed) walks over and lovingly envelops him. Peltok experiences a slight twinge of regret for his nonexistant breakfast. Eating, dressing and other ablutions were taking too much time away from his beloved games. The envirosuit, with its symbiotic feeding and waste recycler systems, was a much more efficient option.

Settling into a comfortable position Peltok absentmindedly rubbed his head. Until a few weeks ago he sported a lavish head of hair. A trip to the mod-mall had rendered his scalp heavily crinkled to better vent the heat from his extensive DNI. Stylish piercings resembling diamond studs on his crown granted ultra-high laser bandwidth to the room's computronium (a mild body-image program was smoothing over any dysphoria, it wouldn't be long until he felt as natural with this look as his previous).

Everything set he smiled, anticipating the thrill and challenge of the session ahead of him. Through his tribe-link he could already sense his clanmates logging on. Recommended games filtered through his mind (soft-SF empire managers being the latest vogue). Following the crowd he jumped into a popular virch. Hours later as he commanded attack fleets in an impossibly large gas giant he stopped to savour his choice for this decade's hobby. It was going to be a good time indeed.

Throughout the Terragen sphere sentient beings enjoy the choice of billions of different games, pastimes, and contests.

Some say that these games are a distraction from the real business of self-development, or a deliberate ploy by transapients and archai to keep the population in check. Others say that the games themselves provide opportunities for development within a structured set of rules. Games and pastimes, according to yet others, are not a distraction from real life, but are in fact more important than any other aspect of society.
  • Anachrotech  - Text by Matthew C. Johnson
    Obsolete, no longer common technologies or other objects that have been improved upon with modern materials and techniques, but retain the same fundamental properties.
  • Asteroid Defense  - Text by MrOnyx
    Asteroid Defense is a game in which a team of sophonts defend against an asteroid on a collision course with a planet. The game can be played either in ril or in a virch. While a small rocky planet is usually the main target in the game, a gas giant may also be used.
  • Autovory  - Text by John B
    Eating meat cloned from oneself.
  • bAdmod  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Antihero low grade adventure sim interactive and 3d created by the SI:2 hyperturing Seroz 12 (Radwin-Ho Orbital Band, Dorminy Iv, NoCoZo) in 8412 "to amuse my humans".
  • Chameleon Suit  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev; minor additions by Stephen Inniss
    Full-body stealth suit covered in specialized interlinked mesobots and nanobots that form an Optical Phased Array. The background on one side of the suit is detected via cambanks and this is then projected on the other side, enabling the wearer to be invisible. Some models also have built-in laser capacity. Not as sophisticated or impervious to detection as a janusuit, and easily detected by most perimeter security tech (motion analysis, nano cloud, sonics, interferometry, etc). It is still used in some kinds of games and sports, or on occasion for casual anonymity where security devices have not been deployed. It is till popular among some feral and barbarian groups.
  • Cliff Dancing  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Ancient art form combining elements of dance, acrobatics, and rock climbing.
  • Cluenes  - Text by Fernando Peña D'Andrea
    Game practiced in several polities where direct mind connection to the Net is available. The game is loosely based on a game from pre-Information Age Earth.
  • Cosmogenesis  - Text by John B
    A popular modosophont recreational activity in the Negentropic Allianc. A 'game' whose principle object is to develop a ruleset whereby a cosmos may be created and continue to operate over a simulated period of time. Once the ruleset has been crafted, there is no further input by the creator, who joins the other spectators.
  • Death Parlor  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Somewhat shady, and on many worlds illegal, entertainment venue in which the customer is given the option of experiencing death in any number of varied, interesting and exciting ways. The majority of these establishments only simulate the experience of death using virch technology. It is well known however that with the right connections and for a hefty fee, some black market establishments literally kill the customer. The dead client is than resurrected using onsite medical equipment up to and including activation of their backup copy.
  • Dimension of Violence, The  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    The Dimension of Violence was a virtual environment theme especially popular among young radicals of the Integration. In its rich iconology resided beings such as the creation parodies, the turnip humans and the feared dictator RatHitler.
  • Dropball  - Text by Mark Ryherd
    Solo sport played by launching a ball from orbit towards the surface of a planet
  • Eaglenet  - Text by Jorge Ditchkenberg
    A recreational device allowing unaugmented hu, and other clades, to fly like a bird.
  • Ecotourism - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Service industry built around tourism and leisure value of Garden Worlds and other ecologically sensitive areas. Ecotourist operators may often have to consider the needs of a local caretaker god or eco-protectionist clade.
  • End of the World Survivor Competition   - Text by Ryan B
    (EWSC)Highly acclaimed competition held on Thanatos wherein players attempt to survive in environments designed to resemble mythical, historic or otherwise popular apocalyptic environments.
  • Entertainment Programming  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev after the original in Ad Astra
    The vast media industry dedicated to bringing entertainment and new stimulation to the ever hungry masses of sentients.
  • Festival - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Originally (in pre-technological) strongly tied to harvests and the year, festivals came to be related to different social, spiritual and emotional functions. Some of these continued to persist long after the religion or philosophy that invented them disappeared. Today, festivals tied to nature and the year are most often local, and associated with prim or low tech planetary societies. Religious festivals follow their own calendars, but with a few exceptions religions doesn't dominate entire empires. But these basic socio-emotional festivals are celebrated very broadly.
  • Freedom Day  - Text by Michael Walton
    Holiday celebrated in observance of full Sapients' Rights being granted to clades of provolves, splices, neogens, AIs and vecs that did not have such rights when they were first created.
  • Funware  - Text by John B
    Addictive software which uses gameplay as a way of using the player's mental resources.
  • Mahamaad Yubeen's Pre-T Cuisines  - Text by Kirran Lochhead Strang
    A wildly popular semi-interactive virch series in the 1300's AT, detailing the most popular dishes of the Interplanetary Age over the course of thousands of episodes.
  • Meditation glade  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Peaceful locations for contemplation on various Sophic League planets.
  • Mortsobkin Paperclip Maximizer Blight, The  - Text by Worldtree
    The Mortsobkin Paperclip Maximizer Blight reportedly started as a joke from a FabHacking (public fabricator hacking) forum located in the Mortsobkin Orbital collective in 6577AT, based off an ancient parable from before the Sundering.
  • Pun Wars  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Peter Kisner
    Even a simple subturing expert system can mathematically generate and insert puns; thus, punwars occupy a uniquely level toposophic playing field. Nevertheless, the true masters of punning are the hyperturings and po who have made the creation of awful puns into a supreme art.
  • RAISE (The Race of Aam - Inner Sphere Eaglenets)  - Text by Jorge Ditchkenberg
    The Terragen Sphere's top eaglenet race between Aam Taam and Jara Tian, Wega.
  • Sampler Jam  - Text by John B
    An ongoing musical fad in the Metasoft sphere of influence for the last hundred years or so. In this art form, the audience is often the star of the show.
  • Scorn Cannon  - Text by Peter Kisner
    Multi-barrelled autocannon popular among steamecha enthusiasts.
  • Shivverskate  - Text by John B
    A relatively recent fad. the Shivverskate stores a moderately impressive amount of kinetic energy in molecular flywheels and releases it as a standing sonic wave beneath itself, allowing a relatively frictionless interface with the ground in a standard-gravity environment. Useable for transport or as a weapon.
  • Shopping Festivals - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A common type of corporate sponsored or encouraged festival in many regions. The NoCoZo celebrates the ancient rites of shopping festivals like xmas with gusto.
  • Skypirates of Ember, The  - Text by Mike Miller
    Hobbyists who stage competitive sky battles in outsized aircraft, styling themselves as 'pirates'.
  • Solar Surfing - Text by James Ramsey
    Solar surfing, also known as sun diving or sun skipping, is a form of vec entertainment in which specially designed ships are placed in a orbit such that they will fly through the outer edges of a star and even skip across its surface. Highly dangerous sport requiring high speeds and extremely accurate trajectories. May also refer to riding solar flares and other solar eruptions.
  • Steamecha  - Text by Peter Kisner, M. Alan Kazlev, Steve Bowers
    Steam-powered armoured bipedal dreadnoughts popular among extreme hobbyists and steampunkers in the NoCoZo and elsewhere. Steamecha are characterized by a surreal mix of advanced material research and astonishingly primitive fire-control / targeting systems all powered by baroque steam engines.
  • Steampunk, Steampunker - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Baseline subculture popular in the the NoCoZo and MPA. Steampunkers try to cultivate elaborate steam-powered retro cultures, often using baroque and baseline-dangerous weaponry and machinery, and combining this with advanced uploading and biocloning technology to ensure their revival in the (likely) case of extreme injury or death.
  • The Gods Ourselves  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Popular virch roleplaying game where the players become archai.
  • TopoGo  - Text by Adam Getchell
    Topological Go, or TopoGo, is a game that dates from pre-Singularity Earth. The inventor of the game was reputedly a baseline interested in modelling wormhole networks. It is a variation of the classical game.
  • Uchuu-senshi  - Text by Octachoron
    Late Information Age and Interplanetary period immersive virch game that involves over-the-top martial arts combat using ridiculous physics.
  • V-Life  - Text by Michael Jones
    There are many long-running virtual worlds which can be easily accessed by corporeal nearbaseline humans for entertainment purposes. One of the oldest formats of this kind of entertainment is the V-Life or Virchlife world. V-life scenarios are differentiated from games in that games, even those played on servers between millions of virtuals, have clear sets of rules; V-life scenarios have no rules, and constantly change according to the whims of the directors and the preferences of the participants. Once inside the V-life world, it is generally impossible to tell the difference between participants who are avatars of corporeal persons, and participants who are entirely virtual constructs.
  • Vacation Activities  - Text by Todd Drashner
    A list of some of the things an ordinary sophont might do for a vacation in the Terragen Sphere.
  • Variable Gravity (VG) Sports  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Class of sporting and competitive activities that make use of the location-based nature of spin generated gravity in space habitats to add one or more layers of additional difficulty.
  • VirchGods  - Text by John B
    Fairly common recreational theme for virches or some rare highly angelnetted habs, in which an ordinary sophont is empowered with 'archailect-like powers' to manipulate other sophonts, either the real thing or emulations thereof.
  • Zeegrav-ball  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev after the original by Kevin Self
    Popular sport among baseline and nearbaseline humans, especially those spending extended time in microgravity environments.
  • Zero Tag  - Text by Michael Walton
    Common children's game played on space habitats throughout the Civilized Galaxy.
Related Topics
Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev

Initially published on 20 November 2003.

vignette added 2016/2018 by Rynn
Additional Information