Saturday morning, November 29th, 2008, at 2:25am, an email was sent to Wil, Sco, Tim, Toms, Benny, Nick and Bob, titled Desert Bus. How have I never heard of this?

This game was made in 1995. It sounds fantastic. This makes Wil’s Snow Day, Godzillopera and my Night Wizard all sound more credible. I thought you guys needed to be aware.

Later that morning Benny responded with,

this game sounds awful. really awful. so I know Dan and Scott and Wil are going to love it.
there should be a marathon game where you have to keep watching Kagemusha again and again without pause. That game also sounds awful. really awful. nobody would like to play it except three men previously mentioned in this missive.

Just over ten minutes later, in response to Benny, Wil wrote,

I’ve never seen Kagemusha.  But I did once drive a bus for eight continuous hours.  My life = a videogame.  Now if only there was a videogame where you had to reply to emails from Dan.

And that is, essentially, exactly what happened. Exploiting the living hell out of the Reply to All function of Gmail, and adding a few more Desert Busers to the fun (Tony added at Nick’s request, quickly followed by the addition of Andy, Kosmo, Erin Rose, and Tim S from Libertyville), the email thread has become an open, manic conversation and link dump.

Later on, hoping to exploit this dream of a future upon which we aimless children happened, a group of Desert Busers, led by Tim, who usually admonishes any diversion of the Bus’s trajectory, began a separate email thread (perhaps the most successful of the DB apocrypha), entitled dnd online.

On the 8th of May, 2010 (also a Saturday) at 5:12pm, Tim wrote:

hey everyone,

not to distract from the desert bus adventure we’ve been on for the last year, but sleep is death got me contemplating the prospects of an online, penta-state dnd adventure.

Andy volunteered to design an interface for the game, which sparked great enthusiasm from the Desert Busers. In Andy’s own words:

The bandying about needs to take a long time, so bandy folks. Bandy a lot, all the hell about. From the fact that Tim’s proposition got 3 responses in an hour, I’ll assume that we’re at least a little bit on-board, and I’ll get started with the coding.

Some days passed. Andy and Tim tested early versions of the software. When it was ready, Andy sent an email to the dnd online contingent of the Desert Busers:

From Andy
Re: dnd online
Mon, May 10, 2010 at 9:10 PM

I was really hoping to have something worth showing off by tonight, but I don’t so I’ll show this off instead. The first Desert Bus: The Video Game screenshot.

From Dan
Re: dnd online
Mon, May 10, 2010 at 9:56 PM

Not to be a prick, but you do realize that Desert Bus is already a videogame, right?
You have to go back about 230 emails, but it’s the very first thing that was shared.

From Andy
Re: dnd online
Tue, May 11, 2010 at 6:14 AM

Double Dog Dammit! I’d forgotten that Desert Bus was a video game.
Dan: new name now!

It was at this point that Benny, who neglects DB at long stretches and then responds to a number of different strands in the thread in a rapid-fire sequence of his own highly-potent DB weaves, awoke from his recent dusty slumbers and responded to three or four DB and dnd online emails. The last lines of the last missive ran:

From Ben
Re: dnd online
Tue, May 11, 2010 at 8:07 AM

we can rewrite the rules on combat to be anything. I, for one, am fine with just doing combat based on screaming. who ever screams the loudest doesn’t die. everybody else dies. Does everyone have a microphone on their computers to scream into? you may need to check with the manufacturer to make sure it was designed to handle the screaming frequencies.

P. S. you know how they make dog whistles that exist outside the frequency of the human ear? do they make dog microphones? for screaming into?

From Dan
Re: dnd online
Tue, May 11, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Dog Microphone: The Game.

And so it happened. Dog Microphone, newly christened, launched into the universe an immediate success. Even Scott liked it.

Finally, we understand the What. Which leaves only Why?

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