30 Years of STF: 1991-2021
A few weeks ago I got to celebrate the 20th anniversary of my home club. But how about a 30th anniversary?
As far as I can tell, today is the 30th anniversary of the founding of STF, which likely makes it the oldest club still in existence, if not ever. According to a 1994 history by Jim Midyette, what would eventually come to be known as the Star-Fleet Sim Club (and later STF) began on July 21, 1991 on Prodigy when a group of Star Trek fans decided to return fire against some 90210 fans:
“We Star Trek fans can’t let the 90210 fans take over this board. Everybody take a ship and head into the 90210 subjects and trash them. This is war.”
Captain Jose Monroy, U.S.S. Hornet
The rest, as they say, is history! STF is also known for perhaps the biggest innovation ever in simming: the dedicated ship crew. The brainchild of STF’s Adrian Kowalewski, each ship would have a defined crew with each player filling a specific crewmember role. Before this development in July 1992, simming was very unorganized–downright haphazard with no real coordination.
The ship/crew concept may seem obvious today, but it was completely novel at the time. It’s unclear if Kowalewski came up with the idea himself or drew from other sources. Regardless, it marked the beginning of the defined club structure and the end of the anything goes era of simming. In that sense, almost all of us can trace our lineage back to STF in some way.
STF’s history is much more than that, of course. You can read more about its 30 years at their award-winning library. Here’s to 30 more years of this great club…