November 18th, 2019

what if someone installed & launched Moonbase Alpha today, & they joined the game & discovered there were still people
there being like "aeiou" & "john madden john madden", but, rather than there still being a trickle of random people
joining the game to rehash ancient memes, it was like a decently sized core group of devoted players who over the
past ~6 years had facilitated tons of convoluted development for the Moonbase Alpha community's culture, &
it was still kind of rooted in the vibe of those initial meme phrases. all these people lumbering around the
moon for hours, having their strange irony-tinged chats, always incessantly narrated by the text-to-speech
voice, until the mission timer would run out & they'd all sit at a loading screen for a minute then resume.
at first the person was a total outsider to this modern breed of Moonbase Alpha players. they had developed
so many new funny text-to-speech phrases that seemed to carry nuanced meanings that the person didn't
understand. for a while they were kind of the butt of lots of their jokes, kinda pushed around by
these strange & difficult to understand people. but something about the game unexpectedly having
such an enduring player base, sitting here on this lunar petri dish undergoing actual cultural
evolution, was fascinating to them. so they kept joining, first every once in a while, then
once every few days, then every day. eventually they start to get acclimated to the game &
even learn how to interact with the other players pretty adeptly. they begin to develop a
crude social life in Moonbase Alpha. they knew how to crack these weird insular jokes.
they know all the new phrases that have been discovered which make the text-to-speech
do something zany. these people come to be comfortingly familiar usernames. the person
grows particularly close to one of them. Moonbase Alpha is a significant part of this
person's life. they seriously have that game from the motdef video as a significant
social outlet now. over the next five months they don't really notice that their
relationship to this player slowly comes to fit the bill of an abusive relationship,
which is seriously actually being facilitated through this weird freaking 2019 neo-
Moonbase speak that one would be astounded to know even exists. ten months in,
through PMs, they decide to arrange a real life meetup. the conversation would
be barely legible to an outsider through all the Moonbase Alpha slang but the
home addresses are unmistakable. the former outsider makes a seventeen hour
drive across the border to Canada & shows up at their house. they hang out
for a day. six hours into the second day they get into some sort of conflict
& for whatever reasons the residual tension stemming from the Canadian's
manipulative nature just explodes. someone actually dies. the other
person goes to prison. eventually someone pastes the URL of a news
article into the Moonbase Alpha chat. it doesn't support hyperlinks
so everyone pecks out the URL by hand into their web browser &
is stunned to read the story. their reactions vary but in general it
is kind of an irony-poisoned community so there is typically
a degree of emotional detachment from the incident. but in
general they are decently shocked & upset, at the revelation
of the Canadian's nature, at losing a member of the community
... there are arguments about whether they should be glad
they're gone, about who should be blamed, etc., etc.
... after this day the 2019 Moonbase Alpha
community is never quite the same