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Many thousands of years ago, the Earth was destroyed by a forgotten cataclysm. The only entity that survived from the original Earth was an artificial intelligence called Adalf, who was designed to control a virtual reality system. Adalf, with the aid of a few humans, was able to create an exact virtual replica of the Earth and upload the consciousness of all the remaining humans into it. Adalf, though, soon became bored, and decided to take what was left of Earth's fiction and internet culture and integrate it into the simulation. Adalf created seven God-AIs to preside over his creation (see "The God-AIs").
Most fictional settings are represented in the simulated universe. This presents an obvious problem- where, exactly, are we going to put all of them? The basic rule of thumb is that worlds are reached by the means they usually are- You can get to the Minecraft areas, City 17, Tokyo-3, New Vegas, Kamina City, Brittania, etc. simply by walking, driving, flying, or any other "conventional" means of transportation. Romulus, Mass Effect's Citadel, Lave, Alpha Centauri, Starton Eradani, and the like are usually reached by some means of space travel. More exotic planes can be reached by means of wardrobes, irate hippopotami, transporter malfunctions, obsidian portals, jumping backwards off of the pipe at the end of World 2-1 and taking the first Warp Zone pipe you see before the room is fully revealed, and other unusual modes of transport.
The players in Netland take control of simulated entities, usually tasked to aid in the protection of the well-being of the simulation in some way. The PCs jump through various fictions lapping at each other and have a rollicking ride of a campaign filled with adventure and saturated with awesome examples of pop culture. While Netland does use a large amount of pop culture, it still has a few original elements.