How it all started
Qpawn has been in existence in various forms since the winter of 1998. With only very basic html knowledge and the tools provided by Angelfire, high school students from Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania got together and created this irreverent political simulator.
Originally, the game was to be called "CPAWN", which stood for Commoners Posing as World Nations. Unfortunately "CPAWN" was taken. Many people believe the name is derived from Queen to Pawn, but it was revealed that Qpawn was simply the coolest sounding alternative.
The basic concept was simple; people signed up to play as world leaders. They were to send all actions to their regional avatars (moderators), broken up into North and South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and Europe. The avatars acted as Gods over their respective regions, causing reactions to their player’s actions. If the actions were private in nature, the Avatar would generally email the reaction. If the action was deemed newsworthy, the avatar would post it on his regional news site. All major actions, generally involving war and cross-continental disputes were written about by the Arch-Avatar, or Qpawn God. All disputes, questions, and logistics were handled by him.
In 1998, Qpawn had roughly 40 players from two high schools in Pennsylvania and Ohio. The rivalry was intense, but do to inactivity from the Avatars, it quickly fell apart. The next incarnation was done entirely through the high school kids from Pittsburgh, managing to have a continuous game from 1999 all the way through 2002. What started as a game for just local kids, quickly expanded into a global game with hundreds of players trying to sign up every week, spanning 4 continents.