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Alliance Simulation Group

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The Alliance Simulation Group (abbreviated ASG) was a leading sim club of the late 1990s. Founded in 1995, it was one of the first groups to offer sims from multiple genres, and was specifically noted for its Babylon 5 games. Based in America Online, IRC, and CompuServe, the ASG declined as the predominance of all three services faded in the early 2000s. The ASG ceased operations in 2004. In 2007, a relaunch group was organized, but it failed shortly after holding only a single sim.

SimsEdit

The ASG fielded sims from numerous genres, including Babylon 5, Stargate, Star Trek, and X-Men.

OrganizationEdit

To manage its diverse collection of sims spread across America Online, IRC, and CompuServe, ASG developed an elaborate organization that at times bordered on the byzantine. By 1998, however, many of the original members of ASG had retired, and the CompuServe division had died. This left the AOL and IRC divisions--both of which drifted apart, and for all practical purposes, functioned as two separate clubs. Throughout the remaining years of ASG, relations between the two divisions ranged from close cooperation to open hostility.

HistoryEdit

Alliance Simulation Group was founded by Kaeori in 1995 as an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) group, although reports exist claiming that Kaeori's ASG launch sim operated as early as 1993 or 1994. In January 1996, America Online (AOL) club United Federation of Aliens (UFA) was absorbed into ASG and became its AOL branch. Shortly thereafter, Kaeori resigned and Neon assumed leadership of the ASG, leading it into its "Golden Age."

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ASG title card

The club grew rapidly, running approximately two dozen sims across America Online, IRC, and CompuServe, spanning genres including Babylon 5, Stargate, Star Trek, and X-Men. On AOL, some of its sims overflowed their chat rooms, causing COs to run the sims out of two chat rooms at once with resounding success. The AOL branch quickly became the most dynamic of the three. During this era, at least three members of ASG founded clubs of their own, further spreading ASG's influence: Science Fiction Association (SFA) by David Coit and Sknt, Allied Sim Association (ASA) by Alfa, and UFP/SF (later merged into Trek Online) by Chip Rollins.

By late 1998, the CompuServe branch had been shut down due to AOL's purchase of the service and its merger into AOL. Many of the ASG's key leaders drifted away or retired, causing the AOL and IRC branches to become more autonomous, even beginning to function as two individual clubs at times. With membership and participation declining, ASG responded by launching new and original genre sims, including a special forces sim on AOL, and an X-Men sim and a sim based on wolves, called the Wolf Pack, on IRC. In 1999, Vicky Howe became the leader of the AOL branch, giving rise to a new era of cooperation between the AOL and IRC branches.

Still unable to develop a successful web presence by 2001, both the AOL and IRC branches continued to decline. While the AOL branch's drop was drastic, the IRC's was slower and less noticeable. Unable to collectively generate interest, bitterness developed between the two branches, and no official contact occured for nearly a year.

In 2002, Vicky Howe stepped down as the leader of the AOL branch. ASGSolr was named the CinC, with Brett Dill as the DCinC. An attempt was made to reunite the AOL and IRC branches, but it ended in failure when the AOL branch accused the IRC branch of trying to poach its members. The atmosphere became so toxic that players who had simmed in both divisions--despite the official lack of contact at the top--began to choose sides. The two branches became bitter competitors, and separated completely.

Following the split, both branches entered into a death spiral, with many old timers, competent members, and dedicated hosts retiring. Attempts by Solr and Dill to reform and consolidate the AOL club proved unsuccessful as many remaining members clung to old positions and even attempted to overthrow the established leadership. Neon, the leader of ASG during its "Golden Era," returned to help save the club, but was unable to make a difference. On June 19, 2004, Admiral Nakoma officially closed the IRC branch. On July 29, 2004, webmaster Seth Mattinen officially closed the AOL branch.

In July 2007, "Popcorn" Xerx, formerly of ASG International, attempted to re-establish the club. However, this effort fizzled out shortly after the first sim.

External LinkEdit

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