On Thursday, June 23rd, voters in Great Britain elected to withdraw from the European Union (EU) with 51.9% of the ballots cast. This event received wide media coverage and led to the resignation of United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron. The political, economic, and social repercussions of the “Brexit” (British Exit) continue to be debated by pundants.
While the world tuned into the unfolding Brexit decision last week, the media missed another important vote: The Squexit! Fortunately for us, our very own Squiddie elected to remain the Ongoing Worlds mascot for the foreseeable future. With both the Brexit & Squexit still very much on our minds, here are the top 10 (+1) splits from simming and online role playing history.
Top RP Splits in Chronological Order
- 1995: Tigra Tigress, the Chief Editor of Starfleet Online’s (SFOL) official newsletter, is forced to resign by club leadership. A significant portion of SFOL’s membership then follow Tigress to form Continuum Online. This is one in a line of multiple splits for SFOL, which struggled to transition from its place as a leader in AOL simming to an Internet-based club. SFOL is eventually absorbed by Federation Sim Fleet (FSF) in 2005. It is unclear when Continuum Online went defunct, but it is believed to have occurred circa 2000.
- 1996: Mark Casey and Andrew Grimm leave fledgling Seventh Fleet to launch Tango Fleet (TF). TF’s models for Internet operations and culture go on to influence many other clubs in the community. In addition, graphics created by TF member Steven J. Marriott come to adorn many simming websites, both TF and non-TF. Seventh Fleet’s fate remains unknown.
- 1996: United Federation (UNIFED), originally founded in 1993 on BBS portal FIDOnet by Jon Shuni, splits into three new groups after a historic collapse. The only group to survive long-term, led by Shuni, launches Federation Sim Fleet (FSF) in January 1997. FSF grows into a mega-club after a series of strategic mergers and recruiting campaigns. The club also exerts significant influence on the Simming League.
- 1997: Pat Weber and Mike Bremer leave Tango Fleet (TF) to form Bravo Fleet (BF) after what Bremer describes as “a very serious dispute” with TF CO Mark Casey. Bremer serves as BF CO from 1998-2004 and grows the group into a mega-club, becoming one of the biggest and most influential clubs of the Internet-era.
- 1999: Annika McKenzie and Taraan Rahl leave Bravo Fleet (BF) to found Utopia Fleet (UF). UF rapidly grows into one of the leading clubs on the Internet, but quickly fades, and ceases operations sometime in late 2000 or 2001. Independence Fleet (IDF) emerges from UF’s ashes and goes on to become a major influence on the community in the 2010s.
- 1999: Several leaders leave Online Simulations Association (OSA) to form Interstellar Simming Confederation (ISC). A few months later, United Star Confederation (USC) splits from OSA as well. After being a leader within the Simming League and seeing its own Ender Maki establish the SciWorld Online Convention, these splits and further internal strife devastate OSA and it is absorbed by Federation Sim Fleet (FSF) that same year. USC is also absorbed by FSF while ISC’s fate remains unknown.
- 2000: A group of simmers, including Seth Cotis, depart United Space Federation (USF) to form Starfleet Legacy Alliance (SLA). SLA goes on to become a leader within the community for its decentralized structure and excellence in role playing. SLA remains in operation today.
- 2001: A significant portion of Bravo Fleet’s (BF) members, including multiple senior leaders, leave to start Obsidian Fleet (OF). OF goes on to become a mega-club and one of the few to rival BF’s size and influence. As for BF, the split is one in a long line of separations, though the club continues to endure. Both groups remain in operation today.
- 2003: SO’koth Vidiot qul’tuq and a significant following leave Trek Online (TOL) to form Rogue Fleet over dissatisfaction with TOL leadership. TOL, which had struggled for years to transition from AOL to the Internet, eventually closes shop in 2004. Rogue Fleet sputters along for a few years with its last sims likely ceasing operations sometime before 2008.
- 2006: Most of Tango Fleet’s (TF) members and senior leadership leave to establish Sixth Fleet due to disagreements with TF CO Cian Benoit following extensive internal turmoil. TF goes defunct the following year while Sixth Fleet continues operations today.
- 2010: A significant number of players and senior leadership depart AJJE Games to form Phoenix Roleplaying (PR) over a disciplinary dispute. PR goes on to be recognized multiple times for its high quality role plays and continues operations today. AJJE Games eventually merges into PR in 2016.
- Unconfirmed: 1994: Andy B. Clements leaves Federation and Klingon Alliance (FKA) to eventually launch United Space Federation (USF) in 1995. Both clubs continue successfully for some time. FKA eventually goes defunct in 2008 while USF continues operations today.
- 1996: Warpspeed Sim Group (WSG) is formed from Federation Sim Group (FSG).
- 1997: Final Frontier Sims (FFS) is formed from Star Trek Sims (STS).
- 1997: Allied Electronic Sims (AES) is formed from Federation Sim Group (FSG).
- 1998: Alpha Fleet (I) is formed from Bravo Fleet.
- 2000: Allied Confederation of Interstellar Planets (ACIP) is formed from UCIP.
- 2000: Pi Fleet is formed from Bravo Fleet.
- 2002: Nova Fleet is formed from Independence Fleet.
- 2002: Star Trek Simulation Forum (STSF) is formed from Spacefleet Online (SFOL, formerly known as Starfleet Online)
- 2003: Alpha Fleet (II) is formed from Bravo Fleet.
- 2005: AJJE Games is formed from STF.
- 2009: Exodus Fleet is formed from Bravo Fleet.
- 2009: Theta Fleet is formed from Obsidian Fleet.
- 2010: Task Force 93 is formed from Bravo Fleet.
- 2012: Alpha Fleet (III) is formed from Bravo Fleet.
Disclaimer: These spits may not actually be the biggest or most important in online role playing history. They are just what I consider to be the most important based on the information available to me at this point in time. As we all know, simmers and clubs don’t always maintain the best of records!
I’d also like to give a special thanks to Chas Hammer for reviewing several drafts of this article before publishing.