The bombs that failed to detonate at Columbine detonate and a notorious school shooting is now the deadliest terrorist attack in US history, topping Oklahoma City.
If this was a cheesy teen TV movie or novel the tragedy would be fictional set in a fictional school that is not Columbine and school shooters who are not named Harris and Klebold out of respect.
The nanny state politicians and activists come down hard on pop culture. Pop culture is toned down and set back a decade.
Mass Effect still happens although it is a popular book or comic book series rather than a video game. If that doesn't happen Casey Hudson and Drew Karpyshyn concoct a space opera that is set in an optimistic future where humanity has united under freedom and democracy and has became part of an intergalactic community full of aliens. The main character would basically be an All American military leader with a cool spaceship and badass crew who is trying to save the galaxy from an ancient threat. A military spaceship captain inspired by Captain Kirk and John Sheridan.
In America's school's "be a nerd so that you'll succeed as an adult" would be replaced by "be a jock because nerds are dangerous."
The circa is 2005-06. During the release of the first Mass Effect novel/comic or Casey Hudson's optimistic military space opera.
In one such American High School fans of geek stuff have been driven underground and scared to admit they love geek stuff like DnD or computer RPGs.
Then one day an athletic, intelligent, handsome, and compassionate military or JROTC cadet who is a fan of the Mass Effect/Optimistic military space opera and Honor Harrington stories shows up and amazes everyone. He shows the popular people that people who enjoy geek stuff are normal people and not to be feared. He also stands up to the anti intellectual faculty. They can't do anything because he comes from a powerful military family.
He graduates with a 4.0 GPA and is accepted into a military academy.
He ends up making geek culture like DnD more acceptable although he is only a fan of military space adventure. He receives the Medal of Honor during combat in a peacekeeping operation in Africa and ends up becoming one of the first humans on Mars.
What would you think of this cheesy teen story set up in a screwed up alternate history?
Also in this timeline Mass Effect ends up becoming a successful movie and/or TV series or any space opera Casey Hudson and Drew Karpyshyn created in this timeline ends up becoming a successful movie and/or TV show.