Why? Well, my playing style can best be described as "bipolar". In the Real World, I'm a polite, responsible adult (mostly). Online, I'm an irresponsible idiot running around annoying people. I can't help this change, it's like I turn into a brain-damaged werewolf each and every time I log into a MMORPG (or any online game, for that matter, like Yahoo! Graffiti).
I must be suffering from some sort of new & horrible psychological disorder that strips moral values (and, at times, a good amount of IQ points) from me whenever I get past the login screen of any multiplayer game on the `Net. Maybe a good name for my disorder would be "Multiplayer Online Game Schizophrenic Retardation Syndrome" (MOG-SRS for short).
Any psychologist hearing of my (ahem) "adventures" in online games would have valid cause for deep concern about my sanity. For example: the first graphical MMORPG I "cut my teeth on" was Ultima Online back in the old millennium. You could (and still can) do a lot of stuff in UO: fight monsters, search for treasure, design and own a house. What did I do for massively multiplayer fun in Ultima Online? Three things, and three things only:
(1) With my character, "Jester Nyuckles", I would follow other people in the game while spamming NYUCK NYUCK NYUCK over and over again. While wearing nothing but a jester hat, of course. A stupid, pointless act that got me jailed many, many times. Why did I do it? I don't know and I couldn't stop.
(2) In UO various animals can be trained to do your bidding if you have the appropriate skill. I'd domesticate packs of noble walrus (walrii?) and order the barking creatures to follow newbies logging into the game for the very first time. Since they had no way to escape their new fat semi-aquatic buddy, a sizeable percentage of gamers new to Ultima Online were stalked by virtual animals that made belching sound effects through their computer speakers. For absolutely no reason at all but that of satisfying the twitching mass of reptilian brain cells deep in my head that have gone horribly, horribly wrong.
(3) I would open magical gates for gamers to allow them to travel to (what they thought) was a safe city zone, but their final (or shall we say, terminal) destination was Wyvern Isle: a fun wacky place full of hungry, annoyed giant lizard creatures whose favorite food was very surprised gamers.
It's apparent I have a lot of potential energy to expend in any massively multiplayer online game, but such energy is not directed properly to anybody's benefit. And when you get right down to it... I'm a nice guy, honest! I sincerely don't want to annoy, confuse, and mildly traumatize people... but in MMORPG's I just can't seem to stop myself from forcing other players into surreal (I like to think unique) online game experiences.
Getting back to Star Trek Online, I would like to think my MOG-SRS disorder could be directed into a very potential force by the smart, witty, and handsome developers at Perpetual Entertainment, Inc. Think about it: what Star Trek character LOVES to roam the universe annoying starship captains WHILE making such Federation officer's lives so much more interesting? Who, I ask you?
Why... "Q", of course. And if there's one character I was born to virtually be to 100% perfection, it's the Q-Man, baby.
So this article is my personal application for the role of "Q", and I'll be sending it to the Great Birds of the Galaxy behind Star Trek Online. It's a handy list of the ten biggest reasons why I'll be banned from STO if I'm forced to be a humble member of the Federation. Career move or desperate cry for help, it's the Developers' call now:
(1) Captain's Orders + Me = Ha! Ha! Ha! No.
I will never follow orders from my Captain in Star Trek Online (or anyone else, come to think of it... unless I'm "Q" and a GM asks me to return the Captain's toupee). I mean, it's an online game, right? What's the worst that could happen if I told a virtual starship Captain to "go probe a Romulan"? Sure, the Captain would send me to "The Brig"... but it would be a virtual game prison I'd probably complain my way out of by sending whiny petitions saying "I'll be a good Horta from now on" to the GM's (assuming the Horta race is available to players, which I hope it is, `cause I've always wanted to roleplay a rock-eating security-guard-corroding fur-bearing footstool.)
Look, any possibility of real martial punishment is right out, because we're talking about Virtual Reality heah. While playing the MMORPG America's Army, for example, I shot the training sergeant in the face. Bang! Heh. Anyways, the worst thing that happened was I ended up in the game's prison for awhile. Whoop-de-doodly-doo. America's Army has a much more comfortable jail cell than Ultima Online has: there's running water and a cot.
If it had been Real Life and I had removed the Sarge's surprised facial expression with a tracer round or five hundred, I would've gotten The Brig for many, many, many years or even the death sentence (in fact, if I had killed my sergeant in Real Life Texas, I would've probably been shot on the spot).
So as a gesture of goodwill, I am now offering an apology in advance to each and every player who will experience the grim horror show of me under their command in Star Trek Online if I don't get the job as "Q". If that happens, all I can say to you future Federation officers is: "Warning! Game experience may change during online play".
To illustrate the futility in trying to order me around, let's say during intense space combat you, my Captain, order me to Engineering to shut down the damaged warp coil before the ship blows up. I can assure you with a 100% probability that ten seconds before the lethal explosion you'd find me hitting on a cute blonde Ensign in Ten-Forward:
Me: Hi, I haven't seen you here before.
Cute Blonde Ensign: Oh, hi. (giggles). That's because I transferred to this ship at Starbase Seven.
Me: That's very interesting. We should continue this discussion in my quarters.
(2) Lock up the Phasers or there's Gonna be a Laser Light Show Tonight.
Here's the fun new phrase the Developers of Star Trek Online will create after seeing me in full glorious action: "Random Unnecessary Phasering".
Yup, I'll be the Federation-sponsored maniac running around starship hallways evaporating people with my cool virtual phaser that looks like an electric shaving razor. Why? Well, besides annoying the hell out of other gamers, phasers make all your problems go away in a big beautiful burst of light. Captain trying to order you around? Phaser! Got ripped off by a Ferengi? Phaser! Tribble infestation? You got it... Phaser! Phaser Phaser Phaser! (Fortunately for all those condominium timesharing salespeople who phone me at 4:00 AM, phasers only exist in Virtual Reality... but I'm still looking on eBay).
My Big Fun Plan for the first day of Star Trek Online is to phaser-disintegrate everyone on the starship to which I'm assigned, then the ship itself, and just as the cold vacuum of space begins to creep into my body, I'll phaser myself into non-existence. And then I'll create a new character, sign onto a new ship, and repeat the process. Right after game launch, the Developers will be treated to the sight of countless proud Federation ships suddenly bursting into pretty rainbow colors along with thousands of enraged screams over Ventrilo and Teamspeak. And the petitions, they'll be a-floodin' in... all with my name in the subject line. Awesome sauce.
And if the Developers take away my phaser, well, all I have to say is: "Random Unnecessary Vulcan Nerve Pinching." Let's see how many players we can creep up behind and drop in the Enterprise hallways like a Ninja Spock, shall we?
(3) Banned for: Cycling Wesley Crusher Out the Airlock.
Oh God, yes. Aside from traumatizing gamers around the world I don't personally know, getting my hands on that little bastard Wesley is another big reason why I'm planning to play Star Trek Online. (Well, that and the chance to score with a dancing green-skinned sex-slave chick, of course).
Player or NPC, doesn't matter: Wesley's going out the airlock. Maybe it's only Virtual Reality, but this premeditated act of obscene violence would give me (and many others, natch) great satisfaction. Hell, if it was a daily option for everyone playing Star Trek Online to flush Wesley out into the cold murderous depths of space, subscriber fees would go through the roof. The Developers should make it a mission in the storyline.
And if Wil Wheaton is reading this article, you better start practicing your screaming for the game's sound effects, because the Developers are probably agreeing with me.
(4) Beaming into Women's Crew Quarters.
Yes, I know we're talking virtual here... but still. C'mon. If you had the power to suddenly appear in a cute woman's spaceship quarters, be it an online game ability or not, you'd still do it. Of course, I'm talking for gamers who prefer women, especially if said women are naked and screaming at you while underneath a sonic shower.
So it's probably best all around for everybody in the game if I'm made "Q" so I can be totally invisible while watching the blonde Ensign hotties undress. Assuming I can peer over the crowd of invisible GM's, of course.
(5) Playing Chicken with Oncoming Klingon Starships.
Pretty well self-explanatory. Visualize a bridge full of screaming Federation officers with me at the helm, the Captain and First Officer trying to pry me off the controls. Cool.
God help the game if they let me pilot a ship. I tried flying spaceships in the MMORPG Eve Online, but I kept getting them stuck (at full engine thrust, natch) in the rafters of space stations. The station manager would mouth the words, "TRY GOING IN REVERSE" through the plexi-steel observation windows at me to little effect.
(6) Carving Obscene Phrases into Asteroids with the Ship's Lasers.
Like I mentioned, back in the years with "B.C." after the numbers, I was an avid player of Ultima Online. There was a trick where you could make empty water barrels unmovable by filling them with water from a water pitcher; well, unmovable until some other slob with a pitcher came along to empty them, but anyways...
I enjoyed spelling out phrases like "GM BOB IS A NOB" on Britain's main bridge with filled water barrels, blocking everyone from leaving the city for a few moments (and ensuring GM Bob's visit to the city in a puff of annoyed virtual smoke).
Once I get my hands on the ship's phasers in Star Trek Online, I'm going to unleash my full artistic potential on anything carve-able by lasers that have the misfortune of appearing on the helm's crosshairs. Passing asteroids, Borg cubes, even the sides of unarmed passenger ships filled with horrified settlers... all will be fair game to the phrase, "ENSIGN SLACKER IS SPACE-L33T". Or if GM Bob is now working for Perpetual Entertainment, Inc.: "GM BOB IS A SPACE NOB". I'm sure he'll appreciate the nostalgic memories.
(7) "Security to Transporter Room Three..." ... "More Security to Transporter Room Three" ... "All Remaining Security Personnel to Transporter Room Three..."
If I ever achieve the rank of Captain (ha!) in Star Trek Online, I will be responsible for the deaths of many, many red-shirted security goons. I'll just keep beaming them down onto hostile planets no matter how many die horribly while screaming for their mothers. Picture in your mind a starving alligator, and I'm throwing gazelle-flavored potato chips at it a few at a time. Crunch, crunch, crunch. That's the sound effect of me beaming any online player who's not me into terminal danger. In space, no one can hear you scream, and even as your Captain, I wouldn't care if you did.
How many "Red Shirts" did Captain Kirk go through, anyways? And was he ever reprimanded for killing off all those security guards? I'm no Trekkie, but I think I remember an episode where Kirk was put on trial for flushing a guy out of one of the "Jefferies Tubes" or "Huxley Shafts" or "Jim-Bob's Colon" or whatever the hell it was called... but Kirk didn't actually do it, he was set up, so that doesn't count.
Well, I know Captain Kirk went through a lot of Red Shirts, so that's what I'd do: send innocent, trusting gamers to their certain virtual deaths, just because I could.
Horrible? Yes. But... be honest: I don't think you, the Reader, could resist the temptation to virtually slaughter "just a few" space-newb gamers in Star Trek Online. You'd get them all onto the teleporter pad and beam them into the depths of space just to see their virtual heads pop, wouldn't you? At least once? Sure you would. Don't lie to me.
(8) /msg Captain Raistlen, You want me to ROLE-PLAY?!?!111 BAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Indeed, the only role for me is "Q"; if I'm forced to be a Federation officer in STO I promise you I will dance around the Captain's chair screaming, "LET'S OWNZER THESE ROMULANS" each and every time there's a random blip on the sensors. And then the Captain will probably smack me around, an act for which various Admirals will give him shiny space medals made out of pressed latinum.
(9) Shuttle Joyriding & Subsequent Shuttle Embedding into the Ship's Hull; Stuffing Tribbles into the Food Processors; Looking Out the Observation Window in Ten-Forward & Screaming, "OH GOD A PLANET SWERVE SWERVE SWERVE!"
I probably don't need to explain any of the above.
(10) The Neverending Constant Demands on my part to BE "Q".
Petition after petition, e-mail after e-mail, even stalking the Developers in Real Life... I will do anything to be one with the Q Continuum in Star Trek Online. In fact, I think that's the only way I could ever properly fit in the game, having full permission to annoy the living hell out of Starship captains.
It sure wouldn't be difficult for me to role-play "Q". Just put me in God Mode and watch me go to town... or any passing starship, that is. Oh sure, I'd promise (as "Q") not to do any permanent damage to the game or online players... but I'd do my best to make starship Captains have nervous breakdowns, or at least start weeping over the microphone.
In fact, if the Developers of Star Trek Online are reading this article right now (HA!), you should really hire me, The Internet Slacker, to play "Q" in the game. I don't think there'd be any cooler job than professionally annoying online gamers. Now there's a business card title, eh? "Professional Idiot, "Q", Star Trek Online, Perpetual Entertainment, Inc.". That'll get me the chicks in boatloads.
DEVELOPERS, YOU HAVE TO MAKE ME "Q". PLEASE! Otherwise I WILL BE BANNED from Star Trek Online! And I don't want to be, because from what I'm reading from the Developer's notes, the game is shaping up to be on the cutting edge of MMORPG design and, well, extremely exciting! And, believe me, as "Q", I'll take the excitement to a whole new level.
As a player, I'd be gone (or turned into a pile of carbon by my Captain) in under a day. Do you think the ten reasons above are the only examples why I'll be banned? As infinite as Space is, there are countless stupid acts I'll commit as a Federation officer:
Constantly Asking the Captain, "Where's Yoda?"
Screaming, "Stardate: Fun!" just to annoy people (see the beginning of this article).
Never-ending petitions to the GM's asking them when work will start on "Star Trek The Animated Series Online".
Creating a character called, "Kames T. Jirk"
Harassing female players because "I'm experiencing Ponn Farr"
Spamming in broadcast channel for help with the "Find Kirk's Rug" Mission
Spamming in broadcast channel for people who want to touch my "Deep Space Nine"
Spamming in broadcast channel my opinion of Scott Bakula ("dreamy") and very inappropriate dirty limericks using the words "Jonathan", "Archer", and anything rhyming with "Venus".
You see what I'm getting at here? Once I get a Star Trek Online account with my buddy Scott's "borrowed" credit card, God and all of His Angels Have Mercy on the Souls of the GMs and Developers. Unless they direct my manic medication-tinged energy with the Captain-traumatizing job as "Q", I'm going to log on each and every day and phaser the warp coils just to see what happens. Probably nothing good. I fully expect to be struck down by GMs wielding Klingon pain sticks that both burn and ban me when I go through all the star ships in the game.
So take my advice and play Star Trek Online when it goes live and see if my mild extortion-like threats in this article get me the job as "Q". I'm sending this article to the Developers at Perpetual Entertainment, Inc., and if they don't send the authorities to surround my home address, guns drawn and bullhorns blaring, maybe I have a chance.
Who knows? Maybe one day you'll be a starship Captain and I'll appear on your bridge and give you a virtual wedgie with my eerie omniscient Q-powers. That's if I'm not busy shoving a certain young Ensign into the nearest airlock, that is.