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Hello. I've been around here now for quite some time (something like 4ish months), but it occurred to me recently that I have yet to properly introduce myself. So I thought I would finally take the time to do so. This is going to be long and probably sound self-congratulatory, so sorry in advance. I will start with a quick little summary for those who don't want to read the whole thing. My name is Lord_Void (or Lord Void, depending), but pretty much everyone just calls me Void. I came to this community during the kick starter, early in September of 2016. As I looked around the community I liked what I saw, and loved the potential for the game, so I introduced some of my friends to the game. This group became Evil Inc. Eventually, we decided to join Band of Outlaws and have been a member ever since. I have made friends with many members of BOO and am extremely proud to have been made one of the Pirate Lords tasked with managing the group and serving our members. I myself am a software developer by trade, with an avid interest in history and linguistics. I currently reside in Southern California, US. I have been gaming since I was a young child, with experience in WOW, EVE, COD, Battlefield, a number of MOBAs, the Civ series, EU4, Chess, Shogi, the elder scrolls, Total War, The Witcher, and Wargame (the list goes on, but you get the idea.) I look forward to being involved in the Politics of this game, as well as recording the history and playing in the markets. I consider myself pretty friendly and open, so feel free to message me whenever for whatever. I'm always open for playing some games, or having a good discussion. Also, I would like to add, while through the course of this game I have acquired, and will likely continue to acquire, a number of "rivals" whether they be in the form of people or organizations, I consider those rivalries as part of the game, nothing more. To the people behind the screens I say: if you are a member of this community, you are my friend. Period. That's the short version. If you're just perusing you can stop there, but if you'd like to read on and can forgive my prolixity, I'm going to go a bit more in-depth, with particular focus on the events and works which shaped my way of thinking. I was born and raised in Southern California, and at a young age I took to computers for both gaming and programming. By the time high school rolled around those two fields constituted almost the entirety of my interests. I was pretty well read for my age, having been raised on the works of Asimov, Frank Herbert, Tolkien, and Robert Heinlein, plus a number of other assorted titles. Upon entering high school, I encountered several developments which would (and still do) shape my life and thinking. First of all, I encountered and read several book series which would provide a foundation for future growth. The first of the foundational series was the (coincidentally named) Foundation series by Isaac Asimov which centered around a fictional science in the distant future that combined many different fields of study in order to predict the broad trends of the future. This series stoked an interest in using historical information and political/economic analysis in order to try and predict the future course of events, an interest which continues and I hope to apply to DU. The second series was the ever-funny "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" which aside from providing a wonderful read, imbued in me a slightly ridiculous sense of humor. The third was less a series, and more a collection of books: unabridged English translations of all of Jules Verne's books which imparted the vision of the old style gentleman scholar, and handy-man adventurer. In addition to these literary acquisitions (as well as many others not listed), I was begrudgingly pressed into studying Spanish by the requirements of my school system. Over time, after about 3 years of study, I began to appreciate the ability to communicate in another language and even picked up some Russian (admittedly minor, I hope to take a few years to truly learn it someday). I decided to continue studying Spanish past the requirements of the school system and upon graduation departed to study at the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain. While there, I came across the unabridged Spanish translations of the very same Jules Verne books I had previously read, so I again traversed his corpus. I completed my coursework there and headed back to the United States. I then studied at Montana State University, attracted by both the Computer Science Department's faculty as well as by the near total contrast to my southern Californian upbringing. It was here that I received a major challenge to my existing world view. While I had always considered myself staunchly liberal growing up, a left-wing democrat to the core, the liberal ideology I encountered at MSU seemed poisoned by cognitive isolationism and more interested in categorizing ideas as heretical than actually engaging with them. Thus, with my world view in tatters and seeking answers, I retreated into the school's library and began to assemble a new world view for myself. I read as much as I could of both classical texts and more modern works, searching for counter-points to every book and having many debates with people I encountered. I eventually settled on a set of ideas that seemed to be both internally and externally consistent and provided plenty of rooms to expand and change over time, which I shall continue to refine till the day I die. I now consider myself (to put it in general terms) economically/politically conservative and socially liberal, with a strong libertarian undertone. After finishing my time in Montana I decided to move back to southern California. It was some time after this that I was bedridden for about a month following a surgery, and came across the book "China: A History" by John Keay, which I devoured. It rekindled my interest in history in addition to the economic and political theory I was mostly reading and again modified my world view. Where I had previously looked at mostly European or Eurocentric history, I now began to see the value of studying other regions and then comparing them against other regions. I added to my library a number of histories on China as well as classical Chinese texts. I decided to take a course in East Asian History at the local community college and was not disappointed. I learned how to read Korean script (more for purposes of transliteration rather than direct comprehension) and added some classical Japanese literature to my repertoire. I resolved to study Mandarin as well, so as to gain a better insight into the culture, as well as increase my ability to communicate with people in varying parts of the world. I took a break from historical study to spend some time realizing my childhood dream of becoming the rugged gentleman-adventurer like in the Verne books. I took a wilderness survival course and took training in wilderness medicine, earning the certifications necessary to become a Wilderness First Responder, so that I might participate in a local search and rescue team, as well as lead my friends on backpacking trips. Returning from that, I began my Mandarin study (and French, because why not? I'm starting to peck away at Verne's books again, this time in original French) as well as taking another course on Middle Eastern History. I continued collecting and consuming histories of various regions, slowly filling in the blank spots. While I certainly do not know everything, nor even most things if one is to look at the sheer mass of knowledge available, I consider myself to be a sort of 'historical generalist', having a wide breadth of knowledge even if it proves shallow in some areas. I am realizing now that this is starting to read a lot more like a biography than an introduction, and I apologize for that, but I am getting to my point. All throughout the previous wall of text, I played EVE. I played under a variety of names and characters, stopping and starting over the years. In the most recent iteration of this cycle, I played as a director of an up and coming little indy corp. This was the origin of the Void persona. I flew with that group for several months, taking them through wars and adventures until we eventually joined up with an old alliance out in Solitude. That went well for a few months, until a war broke the back of that already withering alliance. All of us, all of my friends, scattered in various directions with some heading to lowsec and others back to the highsec mainland. I headed off into nullsec where I was picked up by my beloved TEST Alliance. During this time I marveled at the complexity of the world of EVE and its history. I read "Empires of EVE" by Andrew Groen and bemoaned the fact that I hadn't been there since the beginning. I wished that I could have been there in the beginning, to help shape the world or at least to see the pivotal changes as they occurred. It was like all of the real world history that I had read, and all of the politically and economic theory I had studied was embodied in the comparatively fast paced world of internet spaceships. It was a separate world that could be compared to our real one as the various regions can be compared against each other. I promised myself that if I ever had an opportunity to get in on the beginning of something great like that, I would. That I would throw myself into it. When I first saw Dual Universe I thought it looked stupid. I really did. I thought it looked like a cheap EVE knock-off and didn't give it a second glance. This must have been the first advertising campaign before the kick starter, or even before the forums existed, in those pre-historic times you occasionally hear some of the oldest members of our community speak of. In short, I ignored it and carried on in EVE. It was only when the kick starter came and I again saw the ads for the game that I realized my mistake. This was a chance to get in on the beginning, not to mention that upon closer inspection the game mechanics showed a lot of potential. This was a game I would enjoy playing. I quickly signed up. I showed a number of my friends and together we formed Evil Inc. We resolved to remain independent and build our own empire, handling everything from industry and trade to warfare and exploring, with me as the CEO (Chief Evil Officer), but over time we realized that this was not the best path to take, especially not this early in the game's life. We also realized that we had a bit of an image problem. Coming from the dark, sarcastic humor of TEST, and the dry ridiculousness of Hitchhiker's Guide, the somewhat over-serious tone that most organizations had (and still have) contrasted sharply with our experience in EVE. Surely, we figured, others must feel the same and will be drawn to a group that can provide the proper mix or sarcasm and intellect. So we decided to take the opposite approach that most groups in DU took: instead of declaring we are the good guys who are going to preserve order and peace, we advertised ourselves as the bad guys, the "evil" ones, and this image would contrast with our actual supportive and good natured reality. The sarcasm was supposed to be self-evident (there is even a tv trope listed as "Evil, inc.", look it up), but sadly I think many people missed that. In the end it doesn't really matter though. We decided that the best way to proceed would be to join up with one of the existing groups in Dual Universe. As the CEO I talked with many people from various groups: Cinderfall Syndicate, Terran Union, Band of Outlaws, The Empire, and several others. They were all very nice and made us feel very welcome. We were even leaning heavily towards joining the Terran Union. But in the end, Cybrex won us over with his personality and organizational vision, as well as his EVE background. We joined BOO and as previously stated I now have the honor of being one of the Pirate Lords, working to serve BOO. Evil Inc. is now mostly a group devoted to financial services and scholarship, and sits awaiting Alpha and Beta to kick off. As my time here as progressed, I have had the privilege of watching many changes occur in the community. Some might call these inconsequential, but even the slightest happenings here in this historical epoch, which I have personally taken to calling "The Great Debate", will have large ramifications later on post-release. This is why I went through the long-winded tail of my love affair with history and social sciences (somewhat literally as my lovely lady is a sociologist lol). I wanted to introduce myself to you all, and I believe the part of me that will be most manifest here is my interest in humanity, in the past and its relationship with the future. Plus, (all this other stuff aside) videogames are incredibly fun, which is the real reason we are all here. In this light, I have been working on compiling a history of the community and will be maintaining this record as time goes on. A number of people have already been kind enough to lend their perspectives to this work, and I thank them for it. Even this far from Alpha, I feel like this community has given me enough content to make my pledge worth it. So there we have, my overly long and far too detailed introduction. Thank you all and Happy Holidays! Fly Safe o7 -Lord_Void