People could channel their inner voyeur by watching the battle in the lobby of the combat center while buying some FASA swag. Video monitors inside the combat center played CNN type news updates on the events across the Inner Sphere. Players inside the Tesla II pods were treated to a lavishly designed cockpit with all manner of controls and buttons to make your first mech battle like the first time you had sex...short. There was a real attempt to capitalize on the interest of this type of gaming with the opening of "Virtual World" locations that were an successor to the Battletech Combat Centers. Virtual World locations were networked to other locations, allowing players to engage in mecha combat with players around the globe. As the virtual Battletech games continued, they were dumbed down for less skilled players and more of a rec/arcade feel, rather just appealing to the Battletech, Mobile Suit Gundam, or ROBOTECH fanbase. While cool, the party didn't last long for the Chicago Battletech combat center, closing around 1992 or 1993. The Tesla II pods would float around, and even today, you can still track down these pods and play your own game of VR Battletech...or you could pour a Jack & Coke, and play some Titanfall at home, which is what I plan on doing. I do think it is important for gamers today to understand that it has all happened before and it will happen again...see you out there. FWS will return with the blogpost about female soldiers...just taking longer to write it than I planned...typical of me.
Here is the Beyond 2000 Video