The Apocalypse Isn’t Lonely

And I’m not sure that isn’t a problem.

I awoke in a comfortable bed in a an apartment the size of something I’d expect in New York.  It was Reclamation Day–the day I’m supposed to abandon all of my worldly comforts and run unarmed into a wasteland of anarchy in naught but a jumpsuit.  I speak, of course, of Fallout 76.

The vault was exclusive to the upper echelon of society.  Reading some personal diaries on abandoned computers (the future of infosec in this timeline is somewhat unimpressive), I find that the former residents all had extensive military backgrounds or multiple PhDs.  And we were in this vault for the last 25 years.  Soooo, they opened the door and forced a bunch of people in their 50s to go out, reclaim the wilderness, then repopulate?  Discounting the radiation human gametes will be exposed to in the nuclear aftermath, I question my future procreative virility regardless on the very basis of age.  And with the way my joints hurt now whenever it rains, I doubt I’ll be sauntering off through Appalachia.

The game world also saw fit the match me into a server with someone else just emerging from his studio.  And, as one would expect of any 50 year old just waking up, starts jumping and running around the atrium at full speed.  He says nothing, which is most agreeable with me.  I, in turn, ignore him and amble up the stairs to the exit.

Outside, I surveyed the scenery, and immediately began the search for shelter in accordance with basic survival tenants.  I followed the path to the right, and was set upon by hostile robots shooting lasers.  Devoid of weaponry, I ran away, spot a corpse, search it, and pilfered a machete.  Oh good.  A blade–perfect for taking down steel robots.

As I debated, the gentleman I encountered earlier in the vault ran past, and in the squeaky voice of an adolescent (odd for a man in his 50s), uttered something–I didn’t listen, because whenever kids talk I immediately tune out.  I then searched the settings and found the option to disable all voice chat.

These were my first few minutes with the game.

My impression of the game so far is that we’re all on a general truce with the rest of the players, and we have some sort of vague objective to find out more about the world and why there’s bad things.  And to survive.

And it’s this last point that pulls me in, for I feel the need to be self-sufficient.  So I generally ignored the quests and instead spent my time collecting junk that I could use in the construction of my base of operations–or shack filled with weapon-producing workstations.  Apparently, I’m role-playing the Unabomber.

It’s an MMO designed for aging gamers.  I don’t want to enter the fray and pull victory from the jaws of defeat.  I want to putter around.

What would I do were I to enter West Virginia and found it devoid of people?  Why, drink moonshine and learn to play the banjo of course.  Maybe I’ll eventually track down the source of the Scorched and mow down Deathclaws with gattling guns, but those seem like activities for a younger man.  I just want to grow tatoes.

–Simon

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