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Jumpgate transports virtual spacecraft pilots to a dangerous galaxy that has been disrupted by cosmic forces beyond comprehension. In the recent past, powerful energies moved through space, decimating the planets in its path and destroying thousands upon thousands of years worth of civilization and technological progress. In the years to come, a coalition known as The Reconstruction Initiative (or "TRI") develops, with the high aspiration of relearning the secrets of space travel and reestablishing interstellar trade. Realizing the important potential benefits of the project's success, the governments of the galaxy agree to exempt TRI pilots from nearly all rules and regulations in the hope that this will further entice new and talented pilots to lend their services to the cause.
Participants choose to play as a character from one of three different races, each offering its own combination of strengths, weaknesses, and predeterminations. The Quantar, for example, are a fervently spiritual group who understand science, nature, and aesthetics as different facets of the same religious pursuit. The Octavious, however, are almost completely mercenary in their actions, and staunch in their belief that the only real "right" comes from "might." While players are free to make their own decisions and guide their characters however they see fit, the character's background has strong influence over the opportunities that will become available to her as the game progresses.
A notable feature of Jumpgate involves "JOSSH," or the "Jumpgate Operating System SHell." JOSSH is actually a website dedicated to chronicling the development of the game world in Jumpgate. In addition to an abundance of information concerning the coalition, factions and "current events" in the game universe, JOSSH maintains and posts information on every player persona in the game, updating character statistics continuously. Divided into two main areas, JOSSH allows a "civilian" login, which grants casual web surfers access to basic game information, and a more exclusive login for active players, which allows access to all the information the site has to offer. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide