We’re here with another interview with a newer member of our community. The title of this column is “Lower Decks,” hearkening back to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode titled “Lower Decks,” in which junior officers aboard the Enterprise-D speculate on the reasons for recent unusual actions taken by the command crew near the Cardassian border.
This month’s interview is with the writer behind LtJG. Oddas Aira, playing a Bajoran female assigned to the Duronis II Embassy.
WOLF: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?
ODDAS: I was born in Florida and, except for a seven year stint living in Alaska, have lived here most of my life. I still work for a software development consulting company based in Juneau, Alaska so I work from home and travel across the continent back to Juneau a few times a year to keep up with my clients and coworkers face to face. I have a Masters in Computer Science.
I’m the married father of four, ages 6 to 11, and we just brought our youngest adopted son home from China just over a year ago. I am currently taking sign language classes because our youngest is deaf and wasn’t taught any language at all before we met.
Were you a Star Trek fan before joining UFOP: StarBase 118? If so, what were your favorite shows and/or movies?
I first became aware of Star Trek watching The Next Generation when I was younger, probably when I was ten or so, but didn’t really get ‘into it’ until I was in High School. It was around that time that my uncle showed me The Wrath of Khan which remained my favorite for some time.
I watched Deep Space Nine from its premiere and it really reminded me of the classic sci-fi, like Asimov and Heinlein, that I read and re-read. I loved it. There are still characters from The Next Generation that I love, but the overall feel of Deep Space Nine was perfect for me.
Is this your first simming experience, or have you done other forms of role-playing before?
I’ve done roleplaying games here and there on and off. In High School we played games like Rifts, and tried getting into Dungeons and Dragons. Even in High School we played games we made up and I was looked to as one of those people who did a majority of the ‘world building’.
I played SecondLife for a really long time, most recently I had the original ‘Dune’ themed sim which I shutdown and then I played in a similar sim where I helped start the Spacing Guild propaganda service.
This is my first experience with this exact method of roleplaying though and I like it.
How’d you find out about our community?
I was on Google+ and read someone’s post in the Star Trek community, I don’t remember who’s. I followed the link and it looked great. Since a majority of my day is spent at my computer I knew I could fit it into my schedule and it would work out well.
What duty post are you playing, and how’d you choose it?
I work in Engineering. It started mainly because it fit my particular strengths and would let me run around a ship and fix things. Having played it for a little while it also seems like Engineering has a lot of freedom, simming-wise, to come up with odd solutions to the problems of the day.
When I chose Oddas I started thinking about different species and I knew I wanted to do something with a rich history, and that’s why I went with Bajorans. The Bajorans have a tragic past and it seemed that history would be an interesting character to play. I gave Aria some tie-ins to that past as well as a family that cut her off for wanting to leave the planet and it seemed that, while a little cliched, it was motivating.
It also seemed that a people that were living under occupation for half a century would have at least a few people who were used to making do with half broken equipment or making things work that weren’t supposed to.
Are you working with any of our OOC teams? If so, what drew you to that one in particular?
I’m not sure it counts as a team, but I am working with a couple of different Engineering initiatives. I recently published a paper in the Journal Corps of Engineers based on a recent mission we had. I had come across the page on the wiki and thought it was an awesome way to fill out the universe and was just inspired to make my own addition to it.
I’ve also been working on the Utopia Planitia Project and have a class introduction for the Intrepid Class almost ready for publication. It will summarize why the platform was important to the fleet, what niche it filled and why captains are so in love with it.
These particular efforts appeal to me because they sort of help make the world real to a greater number of players and give people the idea they exist as part of something living and breathing.
What’s been your favorite part of being with the community so far?
I think the part I like most is how supportive and open everyone has been. From training, to my mentor officer, to the people on the forums, no one has had anything negative to say about anything I’ve offered. They’ve offered words of encouragement, words of advice on how to make things better, or general offers of assistance. It just shows that this community goes out of its way to make things better for the largest number of people.
Thanks for your time, LtJG. Oddas!!