Online Role Players & Pokémon Go

Editor’s Note: This article was published shortly before Pokémon Go’s February 16, 2017 Gen 2 update.

The mobile application Pokémon Go was released a little over seven months ago today.  Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know what a big hit it was.  Indeed, almost immediately it broke multiple download and revenue records for mobile apps.   Continue reading Online Role Players & Pokémon Go

How to Win a Squiddie (and other awards too)!

Ongoing Worlds Medal for Superior Online Role Playing
Ongoing Worlds Medal for Superior Online Role Playing

Despite the title, we are not accepting Squiddie nominations right now.  Sorry!  In case you missed it, the 2016 prizes have already been awarded.  However, we have received a few questions about how we choose the winners and what makes a good candidate.  Before we get to that, I want to do two things first:  1) Explain the Squiddies to anyone who might not be familiar with them, and 2) Provide a brief overview of some of the other major annual awards within the greater simming and online role playing community.

  1. The Squiddie (officially the “Ongoing Worlds Medal for Superior Online Roleplaying”) is presented annually to three entities: one person, one sim, and one sim club.  It also consists of three categories: Excellence in Roleplaying, Originality & Innovation, and Facilitating the Community Experience.  The award is sponsored by us, Ongoing Worlds, and was first presented in 2013.
  2. The Squiddie is one of three families of major community-level awards.  The oldest is the Simming Prize (officially the “Prize for Simming and Online Role Playing in Memory of Seth Cotis“), dating back to 1999.  Originally awarded by the Simming League and later by Ongoing Worlds, it is now bestowed by a group of trustees.  It is presented to up to five entities each year and is named in memory of an early influential simming leader.  ToS (“Tournament of Simulations”) is the final group of awards.  In ToS, volunteer judges from around the community read posts form participating games and choose winners in different categories that may vary from year to year.  ToS also dates back to 1999.  It is currently presented by Ongoing Worlds, but began in the Simming League as well.

Clear as mud?  Fantastic!  So here’s how we choose Squiddie winners… Continue reading How to Win a Squiddie (and other awards too)!

Forget the Brexit! What about the Squexit? Top 10 Splits in RP History

brexit

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.

OngoingWorlds logo - an alien holding a world
The Squiddie voted to remain our mascot, preventing a possible Squexit.

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. Continue reading Forget the Brexit! What about the Squexit? Top 10 Splits in RP History

Yahoo! Groups Sims… Take Note

This article was written for us by Sam Jones from the roleplaying game “Chronicles of Gaea”.

Yahoo groups in a CoffinAs you may or may not have heard, Yahoo! is going through some financial difficulties. This isn’t a huge surprise to those of us who have been using their products for years, but it still is something of concern, especially for the simming community.

Yahoo! Groups has been invaluable (and, even further back, Egroups and ONElist) for play-by-email simming.  I, personally, have been using them for fifteen years.  They archived everything, so as long as your old sim group wasn’t deleted, all the posts still exist.  Permissions issues notwithstanding. Continue reading Yahoo! Groups Sims… Take Note

Interview with Mike Bremer

Mike Bremer
Mike Bremer

Last week I had the opportunity to ask simming legend Mike Bremer a few questions.  Mike needs no introduction as he’s arguably one of the most important leaders in simming and online role playing history.  Mike started his career in Allied Electronic Simulations (AES) way back in 1996.  After moving over to Tango Fleet later that year, he then co-founded Bravo Fleet with Pat Weber in 1997.  Mike served as Bravo Fleet Commanding Officer (BFCO) from 1998 to 2004 and grew it into one of the first true mega-clubs of the Internet era.  Mike has received numerous accolades over the course of his career, including the 2011 Simming Prize and, most recently, the 2015 Ongoing Worlds Medal for Superior Online Role Playing (aka the Squiddie).  Mike also hosts the Starbase 400 sim (SB400, previously known as the USS Pegasus), which is incidentally one of the sims he joined back in 1996!  Starbase 400 has won multiple awards for its high-quality and longevity.  With that, I present to you, Mike Bremer in his own words… Continue reading Interview with Mike Bremer

How will the Simming & Online Role Playing Universe End?

NASA's 9 Year Microwave Sky Image
NASA’s 9 Year Microwave Sky Image
“The Face of God”

Much like the origin of the universe, the beginnings of the simming and online role playing community remain shrouded in mystery.  Sure, we know that it developed out of fan fiction on primordial online services of the late 1980s and early 1990s, but we lack specifics, and many of the details we do have are quite vague.

Records exist for many of the major players and significant historical events, but we miss a lot of the nuance.  It is also highly likely that there are pockets of our cosmos that we don’t even know about it, and now may never know about.

In the approximately 25 years since our creation, clubs, much like stars, have come and gone.  And role-plays, much like planets have come and gone too.  The community is much different now than it was then.  Indeed, just as the physical universe is more mature and less volatile than it was during its early days, our demographic is older and our universe more stable as well.  But how will it all end?  Here are three possibilities:  The Big Freeze, The Big Crunch, and The Big Bounce.
Continue reading How will the Simming & Online Role Playing Universe End?

The 2015 Squiddie Award Winners

Ongoing Worlds Medal for Superior Online Role Playing

It’s time!  That’s right, it’s time to present our top award for the entire simming and online role playing community: the Ongoing Worlds Medal for Superior Online Roleplaying… better known as the Squiddie.  For anyone who isn’t familiar with the award, we present three respective citations annually for Excellence in Role Playing, Facilitating the Community Experience, and Originality & Innovation.

We received 30 outstanding nominations this year.  However, we are only able to present Squiddies to three: one club, one game, and one person.  And believe me when I say that picking the winners was extremely difficult as there were many absolutely fantastic nominees!  Without any further ado, here are the winners of the 2015 Ongoing Worlds Medal for Superior Online Roleplaying: Continue reading The 2015 Squiddie Award Winners

How it all began

early cyberspace retro

This post is a part of Senile Rapture, a periodic instalment by Chas Hammer. In it, he revisits, mostly, his era of online role-playing, the 1990s and 2000s.

When our geeky ancestors ventured into the late 20th century unknowns of bulletin board systems and CompuServe, it was inevitable some would act out their collective Star Trek fantasies. While the particulars of the first play-by-post online role-playing games have been lost to time, enough fragments remain to paint a general picture of the rise of our hobby.

Play-by-post online role-playing is essentially a fanzine or offline role-playing game – like Dungeons & Dragons – adapted to the online medium. The basic premise is the same – people come together, play a character, describe their actions, and work to complete a quest. Continue reading How it all began

Recruiting: The Lifeblood of Role Playing

Fish joining others in another goldfish bowl

No single factor plays a greater role in determining the success of a sim or club than recruiting. Continue reading Recruiting: The Lifeblood of Role Playing