Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Uniqueness of STO

There is a feature in Star Trek Online (STO) that is similar to, yet unlike, features in other MMOs:  they have a memorial.

"Wait!" I hear you say, "DDO has a several memorials."  And you are correct.  DDO has two memorials for the co-creators of D&D, Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, as well as at least one other memorial, which is a headstone in the first graveyard you come to in Eveningstar, reportedly for a long-time and I guess famous (at least somewhat) player.  And that's all cool.  {Being human, I sometimes stop off at the player's headstone and wonder if I would be memorialized like that.  My guess is 'no'.  I doubt I'm as 'famous' as other DDO players and/or forumites.  C'est la vie.}

But STO goes further - much further.  I truly wonder if any other MMO has done anything like it.  It's possible - my "MMO world" consists of (currently) just five, so my direct knowledge is limited.

This last Sunday (June 20), one of the stars of the new "Star Trek" re-boot movie franchise died in what is being called a freak accident.  Anton Yelchin, who played "Pavel Chekov", was pinned between a brick mailbox pillar and his own car.  As part of STO's next, regular maintenance update, Anton Yelchin's name was added to the in-game memorial.

What is amazing to me is that memorial holds every name of every known cast and crew member who worked on the "Star Trek" franchise and has since passed beyond the rim*.  Every one - including actors who played unknown bit parts without a credit listing or may have simply been known as "red shirt" (or "crewman #4" or such) as well as (I believe) set-hands, writers, directors, producers, etc.

Of course, they do have other, large memorials, like the one (well, actually there are two) for Leonard Nimoy, but, and no offense to the late, great Leonard Nimoy, memorials to popular stars are commonplace.

Every sci-fi and/or fantasy franchise has its fans.  And some of them are so blinded by their 'loyalty' that they reject all others (which is stupid**).  But there has always been something special about Star Trek fans.  I'm not sure I can put a name to it or if I'd even want to.  But it is clear to me that this memorial shows that the devs of STO are truly indeed fans of Star Trek.

And that is a good thing.

* Yes, I know I'm using "Babylon 5" jargon in a "Star Trek" related post.  I happen to like the phrase, OK?

** If you were to ask me " 'Star Trek' or 'Star Wars'?" I'd most likely answer "Yes."  Though I may take a page out of Andy Weir's book (metaphorically speaking) and say " 'Doctor Who'."  I am a sci-fi (and some fantasy) fan.  I like Star Trek, Star Wars, Babylon 5, Doctor Who, Firefly, and even lesser known, short-lived TV shows (like "Space Rangers" which lasted all of 6 episodes).  There is no reason why I "must" be only loyal to one.  That is just plain stupid - you'll miss a lot of excellent (and occasionally not so excellent, but still worthwhile) 'universes'...and the occasional 'multi-verse', too.

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