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How Blaseball’s fantasy sports fever dream is embracing the future

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A star pitcher is resurrected from the Hall of Flame. A Hellmouth swallows the state of Utah. Crows descend on Tastykake Stadium, pecking slugger Jessica Telephone out of a peanut shell.

This is Blaseball, the absurdist baseball simulator that captured the most delightfully wacky corners of the internet when it launched in summer 2020.Developed by indie studio The Game Band, Blaseball arrived at a moment of global isolation and fear.

So, naturally, swaths of extremely online gamers with lots of anxiety and too much time on their hands welcomed the distraction and developed an expansive, collaborative fan community.

There’s an international grunge band with dozens of members; an hour-long, original rock opera about sibling sacrifice; a Blaseball News Network posting in-depth splorts analysis (yes, Blaseball is a splort); a data analytics and research society; Houston Spies fans hosting workshops about unions; and of course, thousands of fanfics.Blaseball is inherently a collaborative game, like a vaguely sports-themed version of Twitch Plays Pokémon, or a massive multiplayer asynchronous Dungeons & Dragons campaign.The Game Band also developed Where Cards Fall, a more “traditional” puzzle game on PC and Nintendo Switch, but Blaseball is more of a role-playing game with randomized elements than a video game.

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