Here’s some serious nerd food for you:
I didn’t actually go to the school in question, but I went to a school near there during my elementary years. We went on a field trip to their school to play this Star Trek simulator and there was actually plenty more going on other than just that one spaceship. There was a whole wing of the school dedicated to this program.
There were multiple rooms, corridors, balconies, computers, Star Trek set decorations. I think we even got shirts with the trademark badge. Although it was obvious that the computer teacher who made the program possible was simply just a huge Trekkie, there was this whole “team work, every person matters” lesson incorporated into it.
This game for the mid-90s was extremely sophisticated. There was about thirty of us kids and we were all assigned jobs. There was the captain, pilots, maintenance — checking that the hull and air pressure were secure, security — checking for enemy ships, and the lists goes on.
We all had our own computers and headsets. There was something like a fifteen minute recording for each job to run you through what your tasks were, and there was a lot of number-crunching and talking to your team and giving them info to calculate. And it all had a very important purpose I came to find out ;).
I can’t see the whole system being solely programmed by some lonesome software programmer or the computer teacher. Also, there must have been something licensed officially, because there was actual simulated footage and actors and so on. Think Back to the Future ride at Universal Studios, where characters talk to you and you’re flying and there’s obstacles and what not.
Think Fable or other choice-driven games. There were times where something like a Romulan Commander would begin communicating with the captain and out of us kids, we had to decide whether to agree to this treaty or attack or something to that effect and that would have its separate consequences and outcomes.
Anyway, being the little rebel that I was, never liking to conform, not being a team player (that’s why I’m a freelancer), I was always a “doing what I wasn’t suppose to” kid (thank goodness for that). As soon as the game started I got up and left my station (didn’t like my job anyway) and started exploring and playing my own game in my own little world.
I definitely wanted to checkout the cockpit (I thought I should have been captain of course). Some of the other kids didn’t like what I was doing and told me to sit back down (people always had a problem with me, but it never seemed to phase me). I was a little prankster, so I started making things up to tell to the other kids trying to down our ship and screw everything up. I thought it was pretty funny, but wasn’t successful, at least not that way…
However, when we eventually did lose, the teacher printed out all the stats to pinpoint what went wrong, he started speaking:
“For the most part everyone did very well…”
Some kids starting speaking out:
“Then why did we lose!?”
He began again:
“…I’m getting to that. It appears that just one person really didn’t do their job at all… where’s Bryan? Bryan Hadaway?”
At that time everyone gave me this stare of death, including the other kids, our teachers that chaperoned, and the teachers of this other school as I was smirking like the little brat I was trying to contain my laughter.
Checkout the Space Center project’s official website here.