As reported earlier, Blaseball is coming back. Over the past couple of months the site has been playing host to “Fall Ball,” where players from past eras of Blaseball have been falling out of a Black Hole onto the 24 teams.
More information has been scarce. Fact Alpha about Blaseball is that information is always scarce. But they did post a FAQ on the site with information on what is happening, and what is to come. (If you are still clueless about this whole Blaseball thing, see after the list.) Basically:
- The players falling out of the Black Hole are the simulation seeding the teams for the next season. We don’t know if this is just drawing lots or if some underlying process is at work.
- This is the form of the “Pre-Season” for the next era. It’ll end on December 30th, and some time after that games will resume.
- Blaseball’s return won’t just be on the web, there will be iOS and Android apps!
- The number on the site is the number of fans (human being persons) who have signed up to keep up with news on Blaseball’s return. As more fans sign up, more information about the season, and the weird universe of Blaseball, will be revealed. As of this writing the next reveal is slated to happen at 30,000 fans, which is some ways away with just a month to go. Even fans who had been active before should still sign up, they say. It’s kind of like a RSVP.
- “Prizes” given out as the number of signups increase include special social features and commemorative pins.
- The FAQ recognizes that Blaseball had gotten a bit involved at the end of the previous season (its words are that it “contains multitudes”) and the new format is meant to make it more accessible to new (and lapsed) fans.
So, what is Blaseball? It was a weird sports simulation that went viral in 2020 at the height of COVID pandemic social distancing. “Players” of Blaseball are not the humans who follow the game. Instead, they’re wholly virtual entities. In fact, games of Blaseball, for now at least, have no visual component beyond a text ticker and a diagram showing which bases are occupied.
A Blaseball season is roughly one week (or, towards the end of the previous era, two weeks). Games advance at the rate of one event every couple of seconds or so. Blaseball players possess a whimsical assortment of stats in a variety of ways, some more obvious than others, with names like “buoyancy,” “patheticism,” “Shakespearianism,” and a player’s “soulscream,” which is a string of random-like characters.
What Blaseball is, essentially, is a sport for people who don’t like sports. (Blaseball calls itself a “splort.”) Blaseball players aren’t millionaires, and won’t express odious political opinions, and Blaseball teams won’t stubbornly stick to offensive stereotypes for their team name and logo. Yet Blaseball doesn’t lack for its own form of drama. Ordinary baseball players may get injured, but Blaseball players can be outright incinerated by rogue empires during solar eclipses. And, while fans (Blaseball’s name for human participants like me and, perhaps, you) cannot directly affect games, they can indirectly influence outcomes by voting on advantages for their teams, and can bet fake money (but not paid-for perks or NFTs!) on outcomes.
Blaseball developed a huge and absurd fandom during its early months which, truthfully, it seems to have been trying to recapture in the time since. There is a website player statistics, blaseball-reference.com. There’s both an unofficial and official channel giving seasonal recaps. There’s even an internet-famous band, the Seattle Garages, named after the Blaseball team, and songs like Mike Townsand Is A Disappointment.
Blaseball may never again become as popular as it was during quarantine times, but it is a unique internet thing and I personally eagerly await its return.
That official YouTube channel is pretty humorous, by the way, and you might be interested in a couple of videos from it. Here’s one recapping its earliest seasons:
All of those videos are very entertaining! And quite confusing!
Blaseball – Blaseball FAQ – Blaseball’s YouTube Channel – The Blaseball Roundup – Blaseball Blexplained