Star Trek Simming through the years

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Through the years, Star Trek has touched many people, represented many things to them. At the heart of Star Trek are good stories about good people. And haven’t we all wanted to take part in those stories about the final frontier?

That’s where simming comes in. A sim or RPG are terms familiar to many of us. There are countless computer games out there where you take on the role of a character a go on adventures. However, sometimes, don’t you wish you could write your own adventure? Online roleplaying or writing groups let you do just that!

Back in late 1995 I was introduced to online roleplaying while chatting in a Star Trek group by a guy named Mark. The thought of creating a character, writing a bio, then writing mission logs or stories about that character and his life seemed odd. I’d play all of the Star Trek games out there at the time, and while the idea of writing my own story or working with other Star Trek fans to write bigger stories seemed fun and could really exercise my imagination, not having the visuals of a gaming environment seemed like a turnoff. But was it? Well, I took Mark on his offer, and for a twenty year old from South Carolina it seemed like a lot of fun…albeit a daunting task for someone that hated writing any kind of school or college paper. ‘How many pages? How many lines, words, or paragraphs? How many times could I use THE or AND and it not seem obvious?’ Mark’s encouragement seemed, well, too easy. ‘Write what you know, look at characters you can relate to and take the good and bad you like, make them a part of your character.’ So I did, and Mike K’Wor Bremer was born…hey I couldn’t think of a better name than my own! The half Human, half Klingon gave me attributes of one of my favorite characters, Worf, while still letting me ‘write what I know’ as a Human with a wide range of emotions. Well, that sounded good in my mind at the time. Then Mark told me the position my new character would be assigned, Executive Officer of the Galaxy Class USS Pegasus. So, my inner Riker took over as I took a seat at the computer and started writing my first ‘post’ for the sim. Twenty minutes later I read it, and re-read it and thought it was great. I could ‘see’ and ‘hear’ the scene play out in my mind (let’s be real, it stunk), and in that moment I found something I couldn’t get from PC games, the chance to write the story and I always wanted to see on screen!

As time went on, Mike K’Wor Bremer was promoted to Captain of the Pegasus. Then an Admiral, then Fleet Admiral, then the Pegasus was assigned to a Starbase, Starbase 400 to be precise. How? Well I’m glad you asked. It’s all part of the writing adventure. In the beginning of the story that has transformed over 28 years to be the Starbase 400 you all know today, the Captain of the Pegasus took a promotion and transferred to the new Sovereign class USS Octavian (shortly after “Star Trek First Contact” debuted) and promoted Bremer to Captain of the Pegasus. A year later with some help from other players on the USS Pegasus sim, we created our own simming or RPG group and called it ‘Bravo Fleet’ in late 1997. We had five sims with several players on each sim to start. My character took a position on the Fleet staff and was promoted to Admiral, and by the start of 1998 he was the Fleet Commander and a Fleet Admiral. In those days, we really had no idea what we were doing, but looking back we were not only writing stories for our characters, but we were writing the story of how Star Trek Online Roleplaying worked. Sure, there were some other groups out there doing what we were doing basically. Some closed up, some joined us, some formed when a game would leave, and a few are still around today. We learned some hard lessons, made some great friends from around the world, and also pissed off a few people along the way too. You know, kind of like real life. A few of us would even meet up in person and share some laughs and too many drinks from time to time too. 1995 to about 2005 really was the golden age of the Star Trek Online Roleplaying Game, with hundreds of individual sims and dozens of sim groups or Fleets. Sure, we lost some players to time constraints, Star Trek Online, and sadly even death…but those days, looking back, were really a lot of fun.

Today, Star Trek Online Roleplaying is still a thing, but more of a niche than the massive community it once was. There are many wonderful games/sims and groups still writing and playing out adventures and developing characters. There are even community wide events and awards such as the prestigious ‘Simming Prize’ or officially the ‘The Prize for Simming and Online Role Playing in Memory of Seth Cotis’ ( https://simmingprize.org/ and @SimPrizeOfcl ) for example. Starbase400.org is still going strong too, after twenty-eight years of writing stories about the final frontier, and yes, old Mike K’Wor Bremer is still a Fleet Admiral and in command of Starbase 400 with the Odyssey Class USS Pegasus-C as his flagship. While Starbase 400 is set in the year 2400, if you’re looking to write in the time of Archer, Pike, Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway, or any of your other heroes, there’s bound to be a game or two out there. Most use an interactive app called ‘NOVA’ developed by ‘Anodyne Productions’ for websites, writing and sharing logs (short entries like personal logs in a show) or posts (longer entries like part or a full scene with one or more characters that moves the story’s plot forward or works as a way to develop the character), and sharing character and sim information. However some sims do more of a live sim using apps like Discord to connect with others.

Like the shows and the movies themselves, the stories that have been written for Starbase 400 are near and dear to my heart and I cherish my time and friendships I’ve made with other members along the way. They’ve helped me through tough times, and been there to share in the joyousness too. If you’ve ever wanted to Join the Adventure and take part in a Star Trek Online Roleplaying Game or writing group, check out the Discord channel for the ‘Simming Prize’, they have advertisements from many wonderful groups and games, https://discord.gg/DVEwnnF.

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Mike Bremer

An award winning collaborative fan fiction writing group or ‘sim’ & Star Trek Database set in 2400. Join the adventure!

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