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 Lieutenant JG Dave ‘Raven’ Young, playing a Human male science officer assigned to the USS Constitution.
TRAENOR: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?
YOUNG: I’m from a little corner of Scotland where I live with my two kids. I’m steadily weaning them into Star Trek like a parenting boss.
I’m a small business owner, namely I have my own Ice Cream Van where I tour around the local city selling ice cream cones to happy people. (More or less). It’s my own little bright yellow shuttlecraft.
Is this your first simming experience, or have you done other forms of role-playing before?
This would be my first actually. Well, my first role play with other people. I like many others dreamed of being a Captain when I was a kid and may or may not have acted it out at my local play park 20 odd years ago. Picture the one kid sitting at the top of a slide, barking out orders to imaginary crewmen. Yeah…
SB118 trumps that by far though as now I have like minded people all over the world who actually want to respond to my Sci-Fi geekiness.
What duty post are you playing, and how’d you choose it?
I’m playing as LT JG Raven Young, the Assistant Chief of the Science department on the USS Constitution-B.
I, like Raven thrive on exploring and learning new things so naturally he had to be a Stellar Cartographer. One of the best parts about being a Science Officer is going online and researching things. I’d be a pretty crummy Science Officer if I didn’t know a thing about anything. I’ve found myself googling interstellar nurseries, Gamma Radiation emission sources and more.
Are there elements of real life that you especially enjoy incorporating into your simming?
Yes actually. In many of my sims, I try to have Raven add a little bit of humour or light heartedness into the scene. I’d hope that when others read my character, they feel a little uplifted. That can only be a good thing, right?
On the other hand however, I recently brought Raven’s father aboard the Conny as my first PNPC. Whilst Raven is a rather laid back and generally easy going guy much like I am in real life, his dad Jacob Young is the opposite. A tightly strung, cynical guy that tends to rub everyone the wrong way. I enjoy writing for a character like that, particularly if I’m in a bad mood. It’s quite cathartic in a way. Like venting into him.
Do you take any inspiration from films, television, or books when writing your character?
Although my greatest Sci-Fi love will always be Star Trek, I’m also a big fan of the Stargate series, particularly the earlier seasons of SG-1. I’d like to think I’ve taken a few character traits from Colonel Jack O’Neill when I designed Raven. The easy going attitude and humour being right up there.
Another inspiration for my character is actually Mr Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Whenever I watch a video with Mr Tyson in it, I instantly feel inspired. I wanted Raven to have an inspired quality to him too that gives him a reason to be out there in deep space.
Looking back on your experience so far, what would be one piece of advice you’d give to anyone who’s just joined?
The biggest piece of advice I could give is do NOT be afraid to jump in. For my first couple of months here, I simmed quietly and in the background, reacting to the situations presented to me rather than coming up with new ideas and scenarios myself. When I gained enough confidence to start telling Raven’s story as more than just a background character, I feel like everything just clicked. I knew who the character was. His motivations were clear almost all the time. I have had more fun in the past several months simming as Raven than I have had in years and I am incredibly thankful to everyone who takes part.
Thanks for your time, Lieutenant Young!
You can read more about Lieutenant JG Dave Young on the wiki.