General Holding Corp

General Holding Corp (GHC), also known as General Hosting Corp, is “where the rubber hits the road” in the Galactic Milieu assemblage of games; it pays the hosting and bandwidth bills upon which ultimately the entire edifice stands/depends.

The hard fact is that the game's foothold upon The planet known as Earth does have to interact with that planet's financial systems, if only at this crucial point where the software meets the hardware. General Holding Corp, also known as General Hosting Corp, was formed to encapsulate that critical interface.

This is also the Corp which pays the salaries of the professionals who keep the game servers running, buys more hardware in which to run the software footing most of the bills for software development and testing, hosts the “mining pools” various factions use in generating cryptocoins and so on.

Basically all aspects of the game which require hosting and bandwidth obtain it from this Corp and thereby do their part in supporting the infrastructure upon which they all ultimately rely to weave together all the many and various components and subsystems into the whole fabric of the metagame that is the Galactic Milieu.

In particular, the Freeciv based nations pay in accordance with the “square miles” figures shown for their nation in the Freeciv servers running the worlds upon which they operate. This cost is rationalised into the game setting as the cost a political party needs to pay in order to control that nation in the ways that a Freeciv player controls a nation. It is thus the price that must be paid by a nation in order for it to be played. It thus should act both as the moat or “advantage of the incumbent” that any players thinking of taking over a nation face in real costs and as the liability that players seeking to maintain control of a nation must deal with in order to retain control. Basing this fee upon the number of square miles the nation is represented as controlling provides a useful metric for correlating the size of the nation according to the Freeciv system with such things as the number of “regions” it would take to fully represent the nation's entire territory using OpenSimulator. Considering that one square mile would actually be somewhat larger than a block of four “regions” by four “regions”, one map-tile of a Freeciv planet would require at least 160,000 “regions” to fully represent even if we fudge the numbers by pretending that a square only 1024 metres by 1024 metres is a “square mile”. Thus even fudging to make square miles cheaper it is clear that planetary surfaces are not cheap to fully represent at a scale where people can walk around on them in three dimensional immersive representation. It is hoped and intended that even the small peek into the actual cost of fully representing territory that is provided by the almost token fees the nations pay to this Corp for their hosting will have the side effect of encouraging nations to be populated by numerous players per nation rather than being “one-player nations”, but ultimately it is really only the tip of the iceberg in terms of how much it is really going to cost to fully flesh out each nation in the ways ultimately intended.

The per square mile cost is accounted in internal units pegged to the price of the “deuterium” resource in the Galaxies Online server, such that one square mile costs 1.6 units of that resource per month. That does not mean one actually needs that resource in order to pay, it is simply a convenient unit to use because it is the internal unit the currency conversion scripts use to make consistent conversion charts of all the currencies and assets on the Digitalis Open Transactions server.

GHC is set up as a Corp having one million shares; it and its shares are accounted by the asset valuation scripts but its shares are not - not yet anyway - publicly traded on the Digitalis Open Transactions server. Nations are thus able to offset somewhat their hosting costs by holding GHC shares; in general the larger the number of square miles a nation controls the more of these shares it is likely to hold (or, at least, to attempt to hold). It is largely due to this fact that it aquired the name General Holding Corp, as within the games themselves obviously it is not regarded as a hosting Corp but rather as some kind of “major fundamental infrastructure” type of Corp. Thus it is outside of the game that it is known as General Hosting Corp while inside the game it is referred to as General Holding Corp.

(Put another way, the two Corps, one fictional the other actual, are actually the same Corp in some larger framework in which the fiction and the fact both exist.)

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