Join us for another in a series of interviews with winners of Special awards from our recent 2021 Awards Ceremony. Our goal is to give you insight into how our fleet’s best simmers write and imagine their characters.
This month we’re interviewing the writer behind Lieutenant JG Zhanyt Lafizatar playing a Female Mathenite Science Officer assigned to the USS Veritas. She won The Community Champion Award which is “for members who participate in – or help facilitate – simming community events, representing the best of UFOP: SB118 to other organizations by hosting events, acting as contest judges, or otherwise contributing their expertise in a way that benefits the wider community.”
DeVeau: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from, how did you get into Star Trek, and anything else you’d like to share?
Lafizatar: I got into Trek by my dad watching TNG when I was growing up. Occasionally, TOS reruns, but TNG is my first Trek. I currently live near Spokane, in the Pacific Northwest. I love Deep Space Nine, and I found myself emphasizing the most with both O’ Brien’s seemingly endless struggle and Sisko’s exasperation.
How did you find out about Starbase 118?
Google, actually. I think I was looking for Star Trek roleplays at the time. I stuck around after reading the front page and wiki. I figured it was worth a choice.
You not only participate in Starbase 118, but you are also an active member of the Roleplaying community abroad. What are some ways you engage with players outside of our SB118 community?
In some cases, I participate in roleplays outside of 118 and try to attend various conferences. I’ve been doing it off and on for the last 5 years, depending on if I have the weekend free.
Could you tell us a bit about your roles in the various events in which you’ve participated in the roleplaying world?
Generally, I submit panels. I’ve not yet had a chance to help organize one, but I think I’d enjoy that too. The last panels I’ve done have been talking about the use of canon, and I’m working on one about creating custom races or just expanding scraps into a playable race. I like to talk about expanding your options and providing hooks for plots.
Of all the things you’ve done in these various events, which was your favourite, and why?
I enjoy attending and learning more about how other roleplays do things. I’ve changed my own simming a bit based on a few, and I think if I was forced to pick just one, it’s the ones that discuss making more interesting characters.
If someone wanted to get involved in the RP community beyond SB118, where would you suggest they begin?
Personally, I would start reading sims of Star Trek fleets to see if it’s something they liked, or move to other PBEM types like fantasy. I think that expanding your horizons teaches you new tricks you can use to make it more fun to write and more fun characters.
Thanks for your time, Lieutenant Lafizatar!
You can read more about Lieutenant JG Zhanyt Lafizatar on the wiki.