Simming, a phenomenon that has it’s humble beginnings and it’s majestic present, but some have always worked to expand on the creation, right from the very beginning. The how is sometimes very obvious, but the why is at times very unknown. – Admiral Kalvin (First documented admiral in simming)
First let’s explain that the original online simming was itself an expansion to something that already was around, and in fact was around for many years before going online. When simming itself was invented, nobody is really sure, but there is a belief based on facts that it was around for fanzines back in the 1980s. The evolution to where simming is today is one that went through many changes, stalled a few times and even had jump starts. From where and how it began, if any of the documented original seven online players were told that it will be where it is today defies logic.
Just starting with the documented major changes since the start of simming until today, there are three phases, the beginning or founding period, the golden ages, and finally the modern era. With each generation came drastic changes to the way sims were played. In the founding time, players were paying to be members of fanzines where they were able to read fan fiction and through mail would write their own stories almost in chain mail fashion with the enjoyment of others getting a chance to read their contributions and add their own little part to the story. In the 1980s though fanzines were starting to become a dying field, so a small group of fanzines writers moved to the Internet to continue.
This move to the end Internet is the period that I would call the founding era as it was being established online and there were changes happening even then. The first real breakthrough in advancing the art of simming was when two groups of players moved almost at the same time to develop new methods on how to play. These became the play by email and play by forum post methods. Still officially part of simming versions 1 but they were probably version 1.5 and not true to version 1.0 totally even though they were founded by players of simming. Both if anything brought simming back closer to what they were back on the fanzine period with players posting and then sending it on for others to read when they had the time and we’re able to post back.
As simming events continued, so did the creation of new technology and upgrades of existing technology which actually expanded the opportunity for players to experiment on different styles of simming. There are twitter, blogs and Facebook all of which were attempted for simming and while the author does not know of any games that have successfully used those formats for simming, there are many uses for news outlets such as Ongoing Worlds which do use them very well, or as details for the game itself. All of this could easily be termed simming 2.0. So far there is no use of anything that would be termed simming 2.5 but that doesn’t mean that it’s not in the works somewhere and won’t be out eventually.
The question then becomes what would simming 2.5 or even more out there, maybe even a simming 3.0 consist of, how would the games be played and what would make them 2.5 or 3.0? Comment and let your thoughts out since this author is still At times stuck as a 1.5 player but would love to hear what new thoughts there are.