Poll of the week

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Taskforce in Focus: Poll of the Week

Since its inception in 2014 (That’s 2391 to us) the Poll of the Week has been a source of intriguing inquiries, pondersome proposals and thought-provoking examinations. Today we meet with the Poll of the Week Facilitators Lt Commander Jocelyn Marshall and Lt Commander Genkos Adea so we can learn more about this important part of our community!

Taybrim: Thank you for joining us. Can you please start by giving us a short overview on the Poll of the Week and how it supports our StarBase 118 community?

Marshall: Sure thing. The PotW is a forum-based poll we run on Star Trek and group related topics every week. It’s a community activity, so we encourage everyone to get involved in commenting and finding out how people think, what their favourites are, what we all have in common — that kind of thing. It’s an excellent method of attracting participants into a deeper discussion, drawing people onto the forums, and sometimes we have a chuckle along the way.

Adea: We definitely have a chuckle; some might even say a guffaw. But yes, it’s also nice to have the wide difference of questions. Sometimes we do a nice contentious “favourite TNG character” poll, but other times we have a great debate over a “choose your own way” style poll or the more hypothetical “what if’s” of the universe. I think it’s that versatility that gives PotW its longevity. We can be serious, or we can be flippant. Most of us try to pitch it somewhere between the two.

What is your favorite thing about working on this taskforce?

Adea: Getting answers that are completely out of left field. We always put a “tell us in the comments” option in every poll, and people do! A good example is that I recently ran a New Year’s Resolutions poll, and I wrote it with a slant of “What do you want from SB118 this year?” and many people replied telling us all sorts of things about their personal lives and hobbies. Which is just nice; it helps to build our community when we discover things we have in common apart from Trek.

Marshall: New discoveries and re-discoveries about Trek for me. I’ll come up with an idea for a poll from something I’ve read in the week, watched on streaming, or listened to, and have to come up with a selection of choices. The process can send you into the wild chasms of lore. But that’s my favourite bit — taking that dive into the canon and the trivia to find the episodes you’ve forgotten about, or small instances of something happen that affect everything else.

Who can join the Poll of the Week?

Marshall: Any member can join at any rank. We work on rotation with four members at the moment, so once a week, a member will run a poll. Everyone takes turns and we pool ideas in the interim, so if anyone gets stuck for a poll idea, there’s a bank to choose from. The time commitment isn’t much, either.

Adea: I’m fairly certain anyone can join, but I don’t recommend it. What Jo doesn’t want people to know is that we’re forced to write thousands of these polls each day, and she picks the best. Please, get the word out! Tell my family I love them. But in all seriousness, anyone can join, and it’s really not that much of a commitment, so it’s really perfect for a fresh-faced ensign who wants to dip their toes in the task force lake, or a seasoned Commander with too much time on their hands.

How would a new task force member join the Poll of the Week?

Adea: Head to the forums and reply to our recruitment thread, or if you’re on Discord, we have our own channel that you can join through the roles channel.

Marshall: We’ve also got a submission form, in case someone has a fantastic idea for a poll, but isn’t down for the commitment. They can submit what they like here, and we’ll expand on it.

What is the most fun thing about working on the Poll of the Week?

Marshall: Getting responses from everyone in the ‘Fleet. When we get an excellent discussion rolling on the forum poll, or a poll that really gets people talking, it can generate a lot of fun. The difference in opinions of people here is wild.

Adea: Letting your imagination flow with suggestions for answers; I often find the most obvious answers don’t get the most votes. So closing your eyes and taking a few minutes to come up with a few more eccentric or out there answers, often results in more engagement.

Thank You so much for your insights on the Poll of the Week!

You can read more about the Poll of the Week on the wiki.

Poll of the Week: Temporal Prime Headache

Your ship has discovered a deserted starbase. It’s old, it appears to have been abandoned for centuries, and yet the technology is very advanced, so you set out to explore it. Before you send your away teams there, however, a shuttle appears out of nowhere. It is of Starfleet design, but it’s not one you can recognize. It hails you, and the sole crew member identifies herself as a traveller from the 27th century.

She tells you to avoid that starbase altogether. Apparently you will activate the station defenses, and afterwards leave a message for Starfleet to avoid that region of space in the future. A message that her fiancé, an archaeologist, will find, and it will draw him towards the station. This chain of events will end with his premature death, along with those of his team.

She assures you nothing else will change by your action, since the changes will be confined to the station. However you find that hard to believe, knowing enough about temporal mechanics and chaos theory to know that even a minor alternation can have huge repercussions in the long run.

You know that, even if you did, you would not be violating the Temporal Prime Directive since you will be changing your future, not your past. But she is openly violating it. Would you help her? Come and tell us!

This is a new edition of our category Morals of Trek, where you are in the shoes of a Starfleet Captain facing a dilemma any of our favourite characters could have faced in Star Trek. If your crew has faced any such dilemmas and you want to see it featured in a Poll of the Week, let us know!

Most Awesome Space Battles: DS9

This week, we head back to our General Trek category and our ongoing “Most Awesome Battle” series.

Deep Space Nine featured many depictions of space battles due to the Dominion War story arc. They often showed us the darker side of life on the frontiers of space giving us a bit of a deeper tone than many other trek series. DS9 also introduced the Maquis, and included a short-lived conflict between the Federation and Klingon Empire. Were the epic battles of the Dominion War those you most enjoyed? Was it getting to see Starfleet versus the Klingons again, just like in the days of Kirk? Or was another battle your favorite?

Tell us in the Forums as this week we ask: What was the most awesome battle of DS9?

Poll of the Week: Relevance of the starship

Although all Star Trek series had a group of main characters, all of them had a protagonist who was not a crew member. Not a civilian, or even an officer that was not technically part of the crew. Not even a live being — it was the ship itself. The different incarnations of the Enterprise, Voyager, even Deep Space 9 (or, if you want, the Defiant) were also protagonists of their own series, and they also helped shape the stories that were told in them. A similar phenomenon happens in our simming. The stories we write are about our characters’ experiences, but our starships play an important role in those tales. Our characters learn to love their ships, or their stations, and we make them part of the story.

The fleet offers a great variety of starships, each of them different. Right now, the crew of the Darwin is embarked in launching a new expedition, and you can even help name the new medical ship that is joining it!

So it is natural to ask, how relevant is the starship in our story? And with that I mean, how does the choice of starship affect how our simming develops, what stories we play, what we do aboard? What does our choice of starship say about our simming?

This is a new post in our category Simming Questions. Here we will be asking questions about our community, our characters and our writing, and how you interact with it all.

Poll of the Week: What Trek technology do you WANT?

Would you like to travel through vast distances of space in relatively short time? How about get from one spot on the planet to another in blink of an eye? How about some other impossible in the here and now or the soon to be Technology you have seen on Star Trek that would vastly improve your life or the lives of all humans?

Trek has shown us a lot of amazing technology. Which one do you want to experience the most?

Head to the forums and let us know your favorite Trek tech – be sure to comment if your favorite isn’t on the list!

This question comes from our category Trek Technology & Science, where we ask questions on the science and technology of the shows and movies we all enjoy. In this category we will often ask questions that relate to real world science and technology and how it compares or contrasts to the universe of Star Trek.

How Would They React?

Almost every week, our group receives an influx of new recruits onto our team of SIMmers. New SIMmers become new characters for which to interact with on various ships. These new characters that are developed from these new recruits, often have an idea what their character will look like. These portrayals often take the form of an actress, actor or model we all recognize. As such, many times, our writers request images of all sorts for their choices of actors, actresses and models to be placed into a StarFleet uniform through those who are savy with image manipulation at the image collective and their band of wonderful volunteers.

Seeing as a lot of the characters portrayed in our group are those who fall under the actress, actor or model type, and have been a long standing tradition in order to portray those characters, this weeks Poll of the Week deals with this aspect.

If you have chosen an actress, actor or model to portray your character, how do you think that model, actor or actress would react should they learn they were portrayed in such a way? Do you think they would be angry or upset? Happy or flattered? Has anyone ever received feedback from someone who has been chosen to portray your character? Seeing as there are no wrong answers to this question, head on to the forums and let us know what you think.

A Time of Myth and A Land of Magic

This week, due to the pagan ritual where little children take over the streets and demand goodies from strangers  while dressed as ghosts, goblins and superheroes, we will be thinking about dress-up!

Last year, while serving on the USS Tiger-A, we had the opportunity to SIM on the holodeck the King Arthur lore. As such, my character was handed the role of Morgause, whom I endeavored to portray in the way the character was meant to be, by being taken over by an alien being who thought that what was happening in the holodeck to be real. As such, my character ultimately became Morgause and used the magics at her disposal and was conniving and underhanded.

To me, I found this to be a lot of fun to write as I was able to portray my character in a unique way. And so, with the new ship in the fleet, the USS Excaliber, my thoughts have once again turned towards the “time of myth and a land of magic”. The Kingdom of Camelot is the focal-point for this halloween’s Poll of the Week. What character do you think your character(s) may best portray in this scenario?

Would your character(s) be best suited to play King Arthur or one of the knights? What about King Arthur’s wife Guinevere? How about his father or mother Uther and Igraine? Merlin or the sorceresses who made appearances such as Morgana, Morgause and Nimue? Also, why? Why do you think this character would be best suited for your character(s) to play?  Inquiring minds want to know. So head on down to the forums let us know, for the future of a Kingdom may very well rest upon your shoulders.

Time Well Spent!

Well I’m back! Back from the crazy last few months which had kept me from SIMming regularly. Crossing my fingers, I am hoping things are much more settled and that I can continue in this fashion for the foreseeable future.

With more free time on my hands, I have updated and fixed up my character page on the wiki, which is still a work in progress, and have a few other plans I am working on. With this in mind, I have allotted a few hours a week to basically catch up.

So, as so many episodes of Star Trek have dealt with, this weeks Poll of the Week deals with time. Time spent on Star Trek related activity in general, and not just in this group. Do you just dabble in Star Trek, or does it consume most of your free time? Do you think about Star Trek all the time or are they just passing thoughts? How much time do you spend watching, reading and writing Trek on average per week? Want to let us know? Then head on down to the forums and make it so!

A Matter of Faith

As I have watched the episodes of Star Trek through the years, as with almost all Sci Fi shows, books and movies, there is a deeply ingrained secular, humanistic approach to them. Never having the chance to meet the man, I would probably assume Gene Roddenberry himself shared this same philosophy.

Nevertheless, throughout the series’ runs there was always that underlying sense of almost pity towards those who followed any type of religion. In fact, at times it went so far where conspicuous religious symbols were ordered to be removed from officers, so long as they did not conform to StarFleet’s uniform code. (TNG – Ensign Ro) And this despite the fact Worf stood on the bridge wearing a Klingon sash. So, in Star Trek, is there a difference between religious symbols in Ro Laren’s case, and value symbols, as in Worf’s case?

Where I am living, this concept of core values and a strong push towards secularism has become a focal-point of our local media and a heated topic of debate. Otherwise known as the Charter of Quebec Values, this Charter would inevitably deny the right to work those who choose to wear any conspicuous religious symbol in public arenas, such as hospitals, daycare centers, schools, and any other public institutions. However, religious symbols deemed part of the Quebec value system would remain untouched, such as the cross in our National Assembly and the large lit cross on top of Mount Royal in Montreal.

Now, personally I’ve never been religious, but have participated in quite a few religious ceremonies from different religions. By participating, my core values were never changed, but I did learn something from each one that I attended. With many religions having been around for millenia, I find it difficult to believe that 400 years fom now all religion would be wiped out on earth. Changed, perhaps. Wiped out, no.

So this week’s question deals with religion in Star Trek and on earth in particular. Is religion being suppressed in the Star Trek universe or are those who are religious just not allowed to hold high positions in public institutions, such as the military (StarFleet)? Has the secular way of life in Star Trek just so overpowering that those who still practice religion are shunned and perhaps forced to practice underground? Or do you believe that religion is still very strong in the Star Trek universe, but we just don’t see it on screen? Or is there something else going on in the Star Trek universe that we are just not aware of? So head on down to the forums. We’d love to hear from you!

An Unwinnable Scenario

One thing that remains constant in both the original Star Trek as well as the JJ universe of Star Trek is the use of the Kobyashi Maru test. Last year, I wrote a SIM how my character dealt with that test in a flashback. In the Abramsverse, it is shown that James Kirk cheated his way through, while in the Wrath of Khan, Kirk found a “unique solution”, according the Spock. A solution we are not sure of.

The Kobyashi Maru test, in case you are unaware, is a test that deals with an unwinnable scenario. And therefore, this weeks poll deals with this scenario. Whether your character did take the test or not, how do you think your character(s) would have dealt with such a scenario? Would they have cheated? If so how? Or would they have actually tried to beat the scenario without cheating? And again, if so, how? Or, would your character have not bothered trying as he or she knew it was unwinnable, so therefore, why bother.

So head on down to the forums and cast your vote. Like Starfleet, if they think its important to know how individuals deal with this scenario, then so do we.

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