Block Slam - back story
Here's the complete story of Block Slam, if you don't want to spend hours playing just to read it......
Block Slam has it's origins in 'Breakout', a video arcade game popular in the late 20th century. The objective of Block Slam is simple - use the PowerBall to smash all the objects in the arena. To smash an object, kick or punch the PowerBall towards an object. The PowerBall will gain energy and break or damage the object on impact. Although not mandatory, the Block Slam Council recommends new players attend the Training Compound before playing in the arenas.
The primary technology used in Block Slam is the Inertial Control Unit (ICU), a self-powered device inside the PowerBall. The ICU provides velocity control and bounce stabilization, and can release additional kinetic energy on impact. Developed in 2022, this military technology found its way into many urban extreme sports before Block Slam became popular. Due to widespread property damage and personal injury, unlicensed use was made illegal in 2024. Commercially available force field generators, like the FieldCo Electrogravitational Emitter, are an invaluable addition to any Block Slam game. By matching the field to the PowerBall inertial signature, the ball can pass through the field but players cannot. Players are physically prevented from moving out of the play arena, a better solution than relying on simple boundary markers which are often ignored and lead to line disputes with referees.
The Head Up Display, or HUD, feeds targetting data directly to the PowerBall's guidance system. Inertial sensors detect the player's line of sight, and the target position is calculated from this vector. Although this technology has become popular, many purists disaprove of its use and prefer to play unaided.
Over time, many new game play elements have been adopted by the Block Slam Council. These include in-game bonuses, some of which affect the PowerBall inertia settings to change ball speed or size during play. The use of a Mingun is not officially approved, as the high recoil force requires active inertial damping to prevent spectator fatalities.
Despite the ban of Inertial Control technology, street PowerBall sports continued to grow in popularity, and themed competitions were often set up by enterprising promoters. Around this time, there was a renaissance of some early video games, including Breakout. With its ball-on-block play style, Breakout was easily adapted into a real-world PowerBall game, and the first Block Slam events were born. In 2026, Wikipedia 4 listed Breakout as the first computer game to move from virtual to actual reality.
Due to poor planning and inadequate promotion, the early Block Slam events proved to be financial failures. However, many small groups and individuals took the idea and set up their own events in run-down industrial areas, drainage culverts, airfields - just about anywhere that offered some interesting or unique game play. The most popular games became massive internet hits, generating huge amounts of advertising revenue.
To prevent major sporting promoters from cashing in, the Block Slam Council was formed by an anonymous group of players from around the world. A not-for-profit organization, the Council maintains the official game rules, organizes major events, and holds the world ranking lists. All profits are apparently used to promote the game and 'fight government control', although there is little evidence of expenditure and no accounts have ever been filed.
Many people refused to abide by the Block Slam Council's rules, and prefered to operate outside their jusisdiction. Small events were often run for individual competition or practice, where the objective was to complete a series of arenas with a limit on the number of PowerBalls available in each arena. Only a few skilled players ever complete the entire series.