AJ Chegwidden is a retired simmer. During his career, he served in numerous capacities, including Commandant of the Defenders of the Federation Simming Academy, Chief Justice of the Dynamic Simulation Federation Supreme Court, Senator to the Simming League for the New Worlds RPG, and President of the Simming League. He was also a long time member of the Federation Sim Fleet.
AJ Chegwidden began simming in March 2000. The first group to recruit Chegwidden was United Star Fleet (USF), which had various clans that spanned across several online video games. The group had just started an RPG division and looked for individuals familiar with the genre. Chegwidden assisted with recruiting from GameSpy and various online forums, but retired after a year.
Chegwidden, nevertheless, maintained a presence in the simming community, and was eventually convinced to return full time by the group the Defenders of the Federation (DOF). While participating in the DOF, Chegwidden was put in charge of the group’s academy where he helped new recruits get accustomed to simming. Part of his duties would be to make random visits to the different online games to see that new members were integrated appropriately. After another year, Chegwidden retired due to personal reasons in real life that had to take precedence.
United Galactic Federation
While being retired, Chegwidden enjoyed participating in the holodeck chat on Startrek.com. This allowed him to sim occasionally but also stay active in the community. It was here that he was approached by Kevin Pyne to join his “established” group, the United Galactic Federation (UGF). Chegwidden was given a “commission” as an ensign, only to be promoted to vice admiral two days later. This promotion was due to Pyne’s misrepresentation of the group as being established. In reality, the only active member was an individual by the name of Josh Hrach who was developing a new sim called the USS Providence. Chegwidden was given the position of Judge Advocate General within the UGF, and enlisted on the Providence as the Chief of Security.
As Judge Advocate General, Chegwidden helped Hrach, and later Nick Sloat, develop UGF into an active and rapidly growing organization. Within 6 months the group grew from three people to a group that had four sims which contained at least 15 members each. The USS Providence was by far the most successful in the group, mainly due to the hard work of Josh Hrach. As Chief of Security on the Providence, Chegwidden turned that into a role of his own. He established a rough character with a long history who loved not only his family, but the crew, and his collection of weapons.
Dynamic Simulation Federation
In April of 2003, the UGF entered into discussions with Justin Ashton (of USF) and Seth Transon (of OS) to merge the three fleets together. This was finalized in July of 2003 and the Dynamic Simulation Federation (DSF) was formed.
The group was, at first, a much more stable and efficient organization, and was based on the mutual trust of all those involved. By the autumn, however, various conflicts began to develop in the leadership ranks. Initially, Chegwidden was not given any position within the group, at the demands of Justin Ashton, due to Chegwidden’s initial objections over the merger. Yet by August, Chegwidden had cemented himself as the head of the group’s Supreme Court as Chief Justice. Although he did not have a vote in the group’s senate, he was able to argue for or against measures. When the conflicts began to arise within the leadership ranks, Chegwidden had begun drafting the official constitution of the group. In December, Rob Bennett called the question of the constitution, and the leadership of the group including Chegwidden, Seth Transon, Rob Bennett, and Josh Hrach all ratified the constitution. Justin Ashton was not present at the ratification due to conflicts in his personal schedule. Although he was still allowed to ratify the Constitution, Ashton instead claimed that his hand was being forced. This caused a crisis within the group and the executive leadership voted to remove Ashton from his position within the leadership ranks.
At this point, Ashton left DSF with his Star Trek simulation and a Harry Potter simulation. Ashton petitioned the Simming League to recognize his claim as the “legal” DSF and attempted to have the “Bennett DSF” expelled from the League. After a week of argument, the “Bennett DSF” was accepted by the League as the official DSF and the “Ashton DSF” was seated as a new group. By early 2004, though, both groups had merged into the Federation Sim Fleet, ending the conflict between Ashton and Bennett.
Chegwidden first came into contact with the Simming League when the UGF joined the League in April of 2003.
In 2004, Star Wars Unleashed (SWU), a Star Wars simming club established by Josh Hrach, joined the League as a non-voting observer. Chegwidden was appointed as SWU's Ambassador to the League Senate.
In September 2004, Lex Kempo was elected President of the League for a six month term. Chegwidden was named Vice President, but was forced to step down due to ineligibility - only Senators, not Ambassadors, could serve as the Vice President. The New Worlds RPG club quickly appointed Chegwidden to serve as their Senator. However, Lex chose to keep the Vice Presidency vacant.
In January 2005, Lex disappeared, and after a one-month absence, was declared removed from the Presidency. Derek Graham, the longest serving Senator, ascended to the Presidency. Derek, though, became ineligible to serve as the President when Starfleet On-Line recalled him as their Senator to the League. Now standing as the longest serving Senator, Chegwidden ascended to the Presidency on March 1, 2005.
While Chegwidden only served for three weeks, until the expiration of Lex Kempo's original term, Chegwidden was able to push forward the reform process. He supported the effort of former League Presidents to study and streamline the League's political system, which resulted in a new Charter, ratified soon after his term ended. Chegwidden was able to increase activity among Senators, a critical component to the success of the League. Chegwidden also oversaw the League elections of March 2005, ensuring that a spirited debate took place concerning the future of the League, and that a peaceful transfer of power occurred.
After he left the Presidency, Chegwidden remained active in the League. While disagreements over the direction of the League ultimately prompted the New Worlds RPG to leave the League, forcing Chegwidden to once again step down as a Senator, Chegwidden remained as an observer in the Senate, offering his point of view when he saw fit.
Many people disagreed with Chegwidden's style of “telling it like it is,” but it would prove helpful in numerous situations. Following his Presidency, Chegwidden became a public critic of the Starfleet Legacy Alliance (SLA), it's founder, Seth Cotis, and it's Senator, Azanialix Ja'arda, who was elected President in March 2005. Chegwidden was especially critical of attempts by Ja'arda to ban Ken Gillis from the League. Chegwidden argued before the Court of Sim Justice and the Magistrates of the League that attempts to ban Ken were illegal. However, Chegwidden would eventually remove himself form the case do to disagreements with his client, Ken Gillis, and in protest over the efforts of the administration to shut down the case.
Federation Sim Fleet
Chegwidden first encountered the Federation Sim Fleet (FSF) while serving as a member of the UGF. He decided to join the FSF, in addition to serving in the UGF, and was posted to the USS Intrada. This helped Chegwidden network among more successful sectors of the simming community. While in the FSF, Chegwidden had the opportunity to get to know various individuals including Jonathan Shuni, Seth Cotis, Ken Gillis, and Jay Truce.
Following the merger of the DSF into the FSF, Chegwidden was left without a senior position within a club, but he enjoyed the freedom, and used his newfound time to focus on the Simming League.
By the autumn of 2006, Chegwidden had formally retired from the FSF. Nevertheless, he remained active for some time after, making guest appearances at sims within the FSF, and serving as a moderator in various sections of the FSF forum, including the "Neutral Zone," and the Battlestar Galactica forum. He was also a frequent contributor to the FSF's "Debate Forum."