Sal Taybrim

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All About You: Memory Book 118!

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to learn more about the players who drive this game?  What if there was a way for you to share more information about your own life and what awesome things you’re interested in.

Wait… what’s that? There is such a thing?

There most certainly is! Our Memory Book is the place where Starbase 118 keeps a database of the person behind the character – the real you!

Anyone can join in, in fact we would like to encourage newer players to create their own pages and tell the group a bit more about yourself. Think of it like a scrapbook where you can write about your simming, link to all your characters and NPCs, talk about your real life interests and keep a record of your times in Starbase 118.


Witty Wordsmith: Writer’s Block

“Don’t just plan to write—write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.” ~P.D. James

Writer’s block is something that every writer deals with.  Sometimes it goes hand in hand with real life stress or exhaustion.  Sometimes ideas just don’t flow.  Sometimes you just sit looking at the posts, knowing you should write something but nothing comes to  mind.  But any good writing game is built on having players contribute, and the more you participate in the story the more your character can grow – and the more fun you will have!  So let’s look at tips for overcoming writer’s block and getting back in the swing of posting when your ideas run dry.

Try getting up early and writing first thing in the morning OR late at night right before bed.

Mornings can be times of great energy, free of distractions that accumulate over the course of the day.  Also you are most likely to remember and be inspired by what your dreamt last night early in the morning.  Late nights tend to be the point where most people wind down and let their minds relax.  Either one of these periods may trigger new and creative ideas.


Witty Wordsmith: Turns of Phrase…

We all love a good saying. There are many different phrases that get used over and over, from favorite movie quotes to curious cultural references. But what about those odd phrases we hear on a regular basis, but we don’t really know where they come from? Have no fears! In this session of the Witty Wordsmith we will delve into some frequently misheard or misunderstood phrases to sort of where they came from and what they really mean.

“I nipped that problem in the bud”

Nope. I didn’t spell that wrong. This has nothing to do with being bitten in your posterior region (though you will frequently see this misused as nipped in the butt or bum). This phrase has its origins in horticulture where you nip (cut) a bud off of a flowering plant to either keep it from flowering or spreading.


20 years of simming: 5 big changes in the past 20 years.

Last month, StarBase 118 celebrated its 20th simming anniversary! Simming – and Star Trek – have come a long way since 1994. Today we take a look at some of the biggest changes in simming between then and now and how those changes have formed our game today.

1: Changes in the Trek Prime canon

In 1994, Next Gen was coming to an end, Deep Space Nine was getting started and Voyager was an exciting proposal. The biggest decision a sim needed to make when starting up was whether they were going to include the Borg as an enemy or whether it would be a plain old ‘explore the galaxy/threat-of-the week’ style sim.

Since then we have watched the Dominion War devastate the quadrant, multiple major changes in politics with the Klingon, Romulan and Cardassian empires, the explosion of the Hobus Star, the development of the Delta and Gamma quadrants, the revelation of Section 31 and a myriad of new races come to life on the big and small screens. Sims today need to not only recognize the changes in canon, but pick a time in canon to play in. Sims, like SB118 that have built stories while canon was changing needed to talk about how they could incorporate the changes in Trek canon with the story lines of their own game.

All in all, the later Trek series and the Trek movies brought a newfound complexity to Star Trek, and became a point of discussion and sometimes dissension between fans. It has made our simming games more complex that they were in the past, often times including long term political plotlines and overarching story elements.


Witty Wordsmith: Frequently Misused Words

“Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assaults of thought on the unthinking.” ~John Maynard Keynes

There are plenty of words out there which get used incorrectly on a daily basis.  Sometimes the word has an archaic background or it just sounds similar to the correct word.  Sometimes media misuses the word and it catches on for viewers and readers.  This month we’re looking at another batch of frequently misused words to clear up the meaning and help polish your writing so it shines!

alacrity – Often used to mean speedy, the actual definition is a bit more complicated.  While speed plays a part, alacrity is defined as a cheerful willingness to do something, and a prompt attention to said task.  From the Latin alacritas (eager/lively) this word has more to do with the emotional state of the described rather than the speed they work at


SciWorld: An Online Convention Experience

Last weekend StarBase 118 was one of many sims participating in the online convention SciWorld.  Running from Thursday to Sunday over two Internet Relay Chat (IRC) rooms, the convention featured multiple events from online simming demonstrations, discussions on character building, to how to incorporate crossover in games.

Session topics included a workshop on website and wiki building, blogging strategies, how to build your writing skills and how to deal with problem players in a game. Other activities included open chat-based simming, a Family Feud style game based on Star Trek trivia and plenty of humorous reminiscing. I even heard that Lt. Commander James got to blow up a starship in an open sim!

Sessions were hosted by representatives from over a dozen sims, including our very own Fleet Captain Diego Herrera and Captain Grier Reinard who led sessions on character development and building character relationships. 


Witty Wordsmith: Tricky Definitions

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

~The Princess Bride

Our language is full of words that get used incorrectly more than they get used correctly. Maybe they sound similar to another word; sometimes they have an obscure meaning or grammatical pitfalls. This month we will be looking at a few words that are commonly misused both in the mass media and in our own writing. By picking them apart you can give yourselves some mnemonic hooks to use them correctly and even find ways to incorporate them into your character’s vocabulary!

decimate

Like the words decimal and decagon, the deci- at the beginning of decimate implies a power of ten. The literal definition of this word is to ‘slaughter one of every ten’ but the more accepted definition is to ‘destroy a portion of the whole.’  This is a noticeable but not overwhelming portion. If you want to say ‘every last thing was destroyed’ opt for a word like massacre or annihilation.


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