(A basic introduction to Sims) (Version 1.00)
Star Trek Simulations, aka Sims, are basically role-playing games. As someone once put it, a sim is where people come together to act out an "episode" of ST. These start with a mission briefing (to provide a general objective of what you're supposed to do during the sim), and often last about an hour (The longer sims have lasted for 4-5 hours or more, more about this later). This is a sort of way to find out who's so "into" ST that they want to act it out.
Sims are usually held on IRC (see my getting started on IRC pages), but sims via E-Mail happen, as well as on MUDs, MUSHes, MUSEs, etc. In a sim with many people, and a moderately lagged network, it is common for several events to be happening simultaneously. In the more usual and more controllable sims with less people, things usually happen sequentially, so your skills and your positions may not be needed at the moment.
Most sims take place on starships, as they do in Star Trek the majority of the time (DS9 adds a space station to add some variety [highly debatable]). As such, there are the usual positions needed, ie. Captain, First Officer (normally shortened to XO [executive officer], Operations, Science, Engineering, Tactical, Security, Chief Medical Officer, and plenty more if needed.
99% of all sims are held by Sim Organizations. These organizations are not "organizations" legally, and are just used as a form of group. This group structure establishes mini-"empires" that are totally independent of each other. As any good empire there are ranks. Some orgs use ranks as just a formality, others use it as a determinant of what is acceptable. As usual, one gets promoted as they sim more, and gain experience. Another note, if you're in an organization, sometimes if you join another one, you do not have to start off at the lowest of the low ranks, as many will start you off at higher ranks. The rationale behind this is that those Cadets or Ensigns (or whatever else), are reserved for those with little/no experience.
Many sim orgs have their own pages, for example, Star Trek PLUS! (hosted locally). These pages are helpful to see what the group is all about, and most offer pages about basic lessons in simming.
Unfortunately, most sims are held during the Eastern time zones. For those living in the Pacific region, regularly scheduled sims held there are most likely inaccessible due to many reasons. I am not sure what is being done about this (the above-mentioned group has sims whenever, so if there's people and they're interested, there's a sim).
Well, enough of talk. Lets get to the action.
LINKS TO SOME SIM ORG PAGES ARE HERE.
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