My Simming Memoirs


Admiral Chas Hammer

Even after all these years, I'm still fascinated by simming and the fundamental question, why do we sim? What possesses us to sit in front of a computer for hours on end and construct an imaginary world? For me, it was fun. But there was more to it.

When I ran Trek Online, I was entering the adult world. Life doesn't provide young, intelligent, and ambitious people finishing school and beginning a career with too many outlets, so I simmed. I used my pent up creativity and energy to create a club that brought entertainment to hundreds of people.

But it almost didn't happen.

When I discovered simming in December of 1994, I didn't like it. Too many rules and stuck up people. I was unlucky, I suppose, for having come across a club that didn't suit me during a time when simming focused on rules and hierarchy instead of creativity. Fortunately, months later, I came across a free spirited band of simmers. My creativity was let loose and I was hooked.

I was able to galavant across the galaxy and play a dashing hero, but what I enjoyed the most was the out of character aspects of simming - the unsung behind the scenes grunt work and management. There I was able to play boss, politician, and diplomat, and I learned about my talents and limitations. I soon realized I could do a better job than my simulated bosses, and after the club I was a Vice President in collapsed, I started up my own club - Trek Online.

Given the unfettered nature of simming, everyone's imaginations go overboard. Clubs like Trek Online became republics, disputes become wars, and epic leaders engage in great power politics. I'm guilty of this, but I, and I think others, do it because it's a harmless way to explore our desires and sort out what to do with our real life.

Most people who write about simming tone down these aspects to seem less crazy, but I've embraced it. If nothing else, it makes the reading more interesting. My memoirs are a celebration and exploration of our imaginations, online world, and the tremendous amount of hard work that sustains it. But above all else, I wrote these memoirs for myself. By writing, I've remembered much that I forgot and have forced myself to evaluate my strengths and weaknesses. It has helped to improve my real life work and self.

As a simmer, I hope you embrace the craziness and borderline delusions of our world. Those who don't usually won't last very long. But at the same time, please don't get carried away. I've seen too many good people have their ego become dependent on simming. I was lucky because I loved to partake in the craziness, but I wasn't swept away (most of the time). Because of that, I and my little band of self described revolutionaries and exiles were able to build one of the greatest sim clubs of our day.

Trek Online became renowned for our quality, professionalism, and wacky spirit. Many lasting friendships were born in that club, and even a marriage or two. We pushed the boundaries of simming by experimenting with new simming styles and focusing attention on the importance of management, communication, and community. We were at the forefront of the revolution that broke down the old hierarchy of rigid miltaryesque sim clubs and replaced them with open, dynamic, member ran communities. We worked tirelessly to bring clubs together in the Simming League and eliminate ego trips, wars, and nasty power struggles from simming.

Today, every club that elects its leader, has a constitution of some kind, focuses on good management, encourages communication and feedback. allows its simmers to move freely from sim to sim, or enjoys a common community with wacky inside jokes and traditions is, in part, derived from Trek Online.

I hope that you'll read parts of these memoirs (I doubt anyone will read everything... but if you do, please let me know and you may win a prize), gain a new appreciation for simming, learn a thing or two, and above all else, enjoy my ramblings! We've created a fascinating imaginary world for ourselves!


Admiral Chas Hammer

President, Trek Online

President, The Simming League

Commanding Officer, USS Orion, USS Vindicator, Viper Flight, New Horizons


Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers, and I linger on the shore,

And the individual withers, and the world is more and more.

Alfred Lord Tennyson