An interview conducted by FSF Falk as well as presented on FSF Radio 2
JS “Hello, my name is Luke, but you may actually know me better as Jonathan Shuni, or Admiral Shuni for short. I founded the FSF back in 1993 and it’s been a wild ride for the last 20 years. You may or may not know, but I announced my retirement last month. After being the head of FSF for so long and knowing my own personal commitments, I decided to pass the reigns to the next generation of leaders.”
“So I was given a few questions to answer, so let’s get started:”
FF “What drew you into simming originally, back in ’93?”
JS “I came across role playing on BBS’s back in 1992/1993. I joined a channel and read and read and read. I didn’t participate at first, but eventually like most things I do in life… I decided to start something myself and see where it went. The rest is pretty much history, and over the years FSF has adapted to many forms of writing/role-playing & gaming. I have never shied away from a challenge or change, and adaptation and adoption of ideas has been a cornerstone for me.”
FF “Did you ever expect the FSF to become what it has today?”
JS “Yes, I expected it to become what it is today. I think with most entrepreneurs, and in a way I think you could call FSF an entrepreneurial effort, they have an idea in their heads and they work their way until their vision is a reality. Some bumps are expected along the way, people come and go, but in the end the effort and success is what ultimately satiates my drive. This group has done that for me, which is why I feel comfortable leaving it the way I am.”
FF “What are some of your fondest memories with the group?”
JS “The things that stick with me are mainly the people I’ve met and came to call my friends, and also the triumphs and accomplishments we’ve had. I’ve been lucky enough to call people like Ann, Briton, Joe, Starla, Jay, Gabe, Kent, Melissa, Chas & Seth my friends. Those people stick in my head year after year. With accomplishments, I was entirely pleased with initial successes with migrating from FIDOnet to AOL, to obtaining our first multi-bulletin board on AOL’s Non-Affiliated Gaming Forum service, to leaving AOL and really launching the AMS & forum system we have today, to notable group mergers like Alpha Federation Fleet & Spacefleet Online.”
FF “Who has been your biggest inspiration, overall, for the way you wanted to take the group?”
JS “I never really had an inspiration to guide my plan for the group. I saw the plan in my head and I knew that for me, running the group was just as exciting as actually simming. The interactions that I had day-to-day with people inside and outside the group was stimulating and challenging. I portrayed a role to the online world that in a way was a character living in a story that I helped to craft. Even now, people think back on the good-ol-days, and to me, that is just part of a story that I helped co-write.”
FF Did you have a favorite plotline that you can regale for us?
JS “I’ve always had a penchant for medical-based stories. My favorite role was on a ship in the late 90s where I played the Chief Medical Officer. To me, the thrill wasn’t sitting on the bridge in the midst of battle-actions, but in the trenches where people’s lives hung in the balance. I’m a big fan and witty repartee, you really only get that when you’re the center of the social interaction on a starship. In my opinion, that’s Sickbay. My favorite roles usually tended to be part of the Shuni family line, this character was the Admiral’s grandson. The game came and went, but I loved it while I simmed there.”
FF And, the ultimate question: Do you miss simming?
JS “I miss the people. I don’t miss the reading and writing. For some, their creativity leads to a career of writing novels and short stories. To me, it was an expression of my inner desires. I’ve gotten a lot of those things down on pen and paper, and it felt good. However, I miss the creative outlet that simming and running the group brought me, but I’ve changed and matured as I’ve gotten older. Twenty years is a long time, and FSF will always hold a special place in my heart. But all good things come to an end.”
“It’s been a pleasure, folks. Hope all is well and I’ll see you around.”