MWR in Star Trek

Ok, sooooo had a long day today. Just got back from my younger daughters soccer game (good game hard fought win, but the drive home went WAY sideways). Now, I’m setting with an old fashion and watching ST Enterprise, the one with the rogue planet and hunters .

That got me thinking. In Star Trek, what are the actual things for MWR. I know Jupiter station and poker are mentioned, water polo exists, there are pleasure planets, and beach worlds shown (I think DS9). However. I’ve always hated the idea of utopia locations and sanitized sports (or unrealistic sports with football players doing gymnastic flips over the defensive line) - ok that is from the bad version of Star Ship Troopers but you get the idea.

Outside of stapling on a funky sci fi name onto real MWR type things, what are good things that are MWR or sports for the characters to partake in in their down time (which can lead to adventure opportunities hooks etc)

I’m sorry, I must be an idiot, but . . . what is MWR?

Blink, … sorry … tooooo many years in the military, so I’m used to everyone speaking military.

M - Moral
W - Wellness
R - Recreation

The moments of fun and sanity in long boring stress filled insanity or how to decompress after long training or a deployment.

I mean, we hear about all kinds of recreation in Star Trek. I mean, that’s kinda what the Holodecks are all about. O’Brian and Bashir do old-timey battle recreations (Battle of the Channel of England, the Alimo)

But if you are talking about sports/athletic activities:
O’Brian is famous for Kaiaking
Warf does the 24th century version of ■■■■■ Shooting (with Phasers) and combat practice
Bashir does some kind of Handball game. I think it is Bajoran and called . . . I wanna say springball?
Sisko and Jake do Baseball, as does Cassidy Yates’ brother on a distant Colony.
Kirk evidently liked FreeClimbing, and Johnathan Archer liked Hiking/climbing.

I know having a whole planet devoted to recreation is an amusing futuristic concept, I mean, some highly advanced race built the Shore Leave planet, but really, every single habitable world; the core worlds, their colonies, etc., is going to have a pristine beach or a rushing stream for fishing, rafting, and such.
Anyone visiting us for example could hit Cancun, Tahiti, the Alps, Vegas, etcetera. Every other home world out there will have their own attractions. I never understood why anyone would go to a “Rigley’s Pleasure Planet”.

I mean…watch the shows. Dr. Crusher dances and does yoga with Deanna. Riker plays Parisses Squares, Bashir and Kira and O’Brien play springball, O’Brien kayaks, O’Brien and Bashir have a huge suite of holoprograms, Reg Barclay over-uses the holodeck, many characters play musical instruments, perform in plays, do some form of art or hobby activity, lots of characters play gambling games or poker or chess, or dabo or domjot any number of other games. Chunks of episodes or character building moments on screen are devoted to characters doing things not directly related to their Starfleet duties for relaxation and/or personal development.

I’d have to imagine it’s a rare Starfleet officer who’d be or get bored.

i’d imagine it depends some on where you are and what you have access to. the Enterprise-D is basically a flying city or cruise liner, with support for a little bit of everything. if you are on a Miranda class though you’d better hope you have a holodeck, or you might be much more restricted in your options.

i’d imagine that most ships have a Gym of one sort of another, with scheduled physical activity events as well as workout equipment. many seem to have some form of indoor garden area as well.

many of the TOS and TMP novels have more cerebral entertainments on offer… musical instruments, video games using holographic display tanks, various forms of Chess and other strategy games, etc. some of those novels have a sort of proto-holodeck which can recreate environments for people to enjoy. one even had crewmembers running around inside a hedge maze simulated by said room, using low powered phasers to play ‘tag’.

The refit version of the original Enterprise has a 2-deck recreation room, although it seems to be a glorified messhall/clubhouse, along with an arboretum, and most vessels will have something like Ten Forward.

You could have some unofficial options (the numerous card games), and in one game I ran on a Miranda, there was a small corridor near engineering that wasn’t covered by internal sensors. Some crew members gathered there for less legal recreations (gambling, smoking, etc), and it featured in an AI takes over the ship plot (so the Captain knows about it now). It was referred to as “behind the bike sheds” if you get the reference.

Also seen in Discovery!

Thinking as a GM, these can also be potential sites for plot hooks. I came up with the idea a while back of having a new crew guide to a vessel that might mention urban myths and traditions associated with the ship: one idea was that the basketball court might be haunted… I have no idea where I would have gone with that plotwise though!

In the Diane Duane novels, they re-created an old British series in holographic form that had a guy with an “impossibly long scarf and a floppy hat” that came out of a blue call box. Most, if not all, forms of recrearion that have existed probably still do, in one form or another, I imagine. I have a Catain that disdains the holodeck, (she sees it in kind of a Westworld-light) but spends some of her off hour listening to Classic and Hard Rock (dispite having a rather non-Earth cultural background) and using the open spaces in the cargo bay to practice with her blade. She also started a fight at a Betazoid wedding once (she has yet to tell anyone why) and picks dive bars on fringe worlds for shore leave. So there are plenty of options, I’d just ask myself, “What does this person like to do, and what do they tend to do?” And there is always a chance for adventure hooks and consequences. Said Captain has a cyberbnetic left arm and a good friend in the Klingon Empire because of one fringe shore leave.

All Thanks for the replies

I guess I made a shot gun question when I should have been more precise

It goes without saying, that on ships with holodecks that is the main form of MWR, and an effective form. However, I also look at holodecks as the future version of me on so many deployments setting at sun set or sun rise (depending on how long I was awake) drinking chi and relaxing for a few seconds. A good degas rest button. But not quite as good as real MWR.

Vamp. See that is one of my weaknesses. I don’t have a huge knowledge of half of TNG and even less on any of the other shows, so I don’t know all the little useful tid bits like his kayaking

Lightjammer, rgr on each planet having some form of fishing hiking mountain etc. It’s obvious, but I didn’t think that deep into it. Also I agree on anyone going to ‘Reigley’s pleasure planet’ .

Astro Rgr on the ‘unofficial’ MWR. Also, Good idea on the area with limited sensor access. I’d never have thought of that.

Azra good info on the character. Rgr on dive bar v holodeck, & seeing it as a westworld. Also great on a Captain with a cyber arm and a Klingon friend . Now that is what MWR is all about !

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Well, I’ve never been in the military, so I don’t know what ‘real’ WMR is, but here’s what we have so far:

In the TOS episode ‘Shore Leave’ the crew finds a planet that is designed to be a ‘shore leave’ planet. Anything you want is created for you. Just don’t let your mind . . . wander. Also, in the TAS episode ‘the practical Joker’ we find out that the Enterprise has a sort of ‘proto-holodeck’ that can make different environments for you to walk around in, like a nice forest or sunny beach, or cold mountain. Course, the canonical-ness of TAS is . . . questionable.

In TNG and DS9 (and ENT come to think of it) We hear of (or see) Risa, a pleasure planet, where it is . . . heavily implied that casual, consensual sex is not only available there, but encouraged. It’s also got beautiful views and great beaches, sunny skies . . . etc. Many officers take their shore leave there.

Earth is said to be almost a paradise with no wars, no poverty, and good food, and many take their shore leave there (including Sisko.)

As for sports, Captain Archer enjoys Water Polo and hiking/ . . . psuedo climbing. He likes . . . I guess scaling small mountains is the right word. It’s not free climbing like Kirk, but it is physical activity. T’Pol practiced a form of Vulcan Martail Arts (I forget the name.) We see the crew of the ENT playing Basketball at one point in a Cargo Bay, with Phlox being the star player due to his superior hand-eye-coordination. Also the MAKOs introduce a target practice game in season three that several people like.

Michael Burnham is shown to jog laps around discovery to get a Runner’s High (taking Tilly with her sometimes) and to keep in shape.

Sulu and Pickard do fencing, Kirk does free climbing if Star Trek V is to be believed.

Worf teaches Mok’Bara (essentially Klingon Tai-Chi) to Dianna Troy and Dr. Crusher. Like I said O’Brian does kayaking, Worf and Guinan do target practice with phasers, and as someone pointed out, Riker plays some sport called ‘Paricies Squares’ which . . . I don’t think we ever see on screen.

Like I said earlier Sisko and his son enjoy Baseball (along with Cassidy’s brother, there are, I think she says six baseball teams on the colony he’s on?) And then Kira, O’Brian, and Bashir all participate in a Bajoran sport called ‘springball’ which is . . . basically Tennis except you knock the ball against a wall and rebound it to your opponent’s area instead of over a net.

We don’t see much sports on Voyager . . . which is no big surprise because they are trying to get home and don’t have much time for shore leave. They mainly use the Holodeck, but at some point Tuvok mentions that he does Archery and even taught it as an elective in Starfleet academy for a while.

That’s all I can think of.

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@VampByDay Great List!

In addition; Picard does also ride; he even has a physical saddle in his quarters that he takes onto the holodeck or the occasional shore leave off the Enterprise. He also is a hobby archeologist and reads Shakespeare.

Riker plays the Trombone.

Dr. Crusher directs plays and encourages several crewmembers, including Riker, Data and Barclay, to act on stage.

Data paints, writes poems and plays the violine.

Janeway and Seven do the target practice game Worf and Guinan play (or a similar game).

Voyager’s crew is seen enjoying watching mixed martial arts (Tsunkatse), they also go on occasional shore leaves to beautiful planets.

The Doctor sings operas.

@MisterX If we are including non-sports hobbies, Pickard reads Shaksespere, Harry Kim plays the Clarinet, Paris fixes up old 20th century Muscle cars, Crusher used to tap dance (and teach dancing, though she doesn’t anymore). Janeway also likes futzing around with replicators/cooking appliances.

In US military terms, MWR facilities are provided by the Department of Defense specifically and exclusively for the recreation of servicemembers, their dependents and guests, and certain other persons. They also are self-supporting, not funded with tax money.

They include the bowling alleys on post, the transient lodging, post movie theaters, auto shop facilities, etc. So, simply playing your own violin isn’t MWR but if your post has a musical instrument loaning activity, that would be.

However the US military also has recreation facilities intended for use by more than just the local troops. There are 5 large military resorts around the world intended as vacation destinations: Garmisch, Austria; the Hale Koa on Oahu’s Waikiki Beach; Dragon Hill Lodge in Seoul, Korea; Shades of Green in Orlando, Florida and Seward Military Resort in Seward, Alaska. So, Seoul, Disney World and Seward aren’t MWR facilities themselves, but facilities were built to allow servicemembers to take advantage of the existing recreational opportunities in the area. The New Sanno in Tokyo isn’t officially an AFRC but is an extreme example of what a local post’s facilities might be… most aren’t that extravagant.

Similarly, Starfleet provides recreational and educational opportunities aboard ship… but do they have a Starfleet resort on Risa? Is there a Starfleet hotel on member worlds for members passing thru or visiting on leave?

These are some links to the sort of thing that exist for the US military, but similar facilities might exist for Starfleet:

@tanksoldier That’s interesting - I never suspected something like that would exist - is security part of the reason? I suspect there are probably Starfleet facilities like that anywhere there’s enough interest to make it worthwhile. I’d imagine at most homeworlds, large colonies and Starbases?

@VampByDay running the main corridor has been seen several times - certainly in Voyager and (I think) one other. It’s common enough that some deckplan designers will design a near circular corridor into the smallest ship (eg. the official plans for the Archer-class and it’s mentioned in one of the books).

I had no idea. There’s nothing comparable at that scale in my country’s armed forces and, like @Astronut I never suspected something like that would exist. Amazing! :slight_smile:


Ahem, no. Defi-net-ly not. :slight_smile:

But on that note: In my country’s armed forces, the officers’ mess is usually run by (self-sufficient but non-profit) clubs consisting of the officers. When we still had compulsory military service, there were two separate messes for enlisted personnel. In short: One for the upper and one for the lower ranks (our rank structure is a bit insane and hard to translate; just leave it there. :wink: ). Nowadays, there’s often only one mess for enlisted and one for officers, while the one for enlisted personnel is often run by private contractors and not by clubs. Most of the time, senior enlisteds have access to the officers’ mess, now. That is to say: All in addition to the forces run canteen.

I have no idea on how it works exactly on seagoing vessels, but there are almost marketender-shops aboard that are self-organised by the crew.

So, what about some kind of 10-forward that is run by Starfleet personnel in their free time? :slight_smile:

Ah, I see. So let’s see. Like others have said in TNG 10-Forward sets up concerts and plays (and if you want to count Lower Decks, their 10-forward hosts a talent night with a concerts and one-Man plays, dunno if that counts.) On ENT they had a movie night where they set up a projector and watched old movies on a screen. Voyager also occasionally turned their mess hall into an area for concerts or parties (such as celebrating first contact with the Vulcans).

I’m not sure if Risa has a dedicated Starfleet facility, but I suspect it doesn’t matter. Remember, there is no money in the Star Trek so. . . I mean, what would a dedicated facility do for Starfleet members other than separate them from the rest of the planet?

I suspect Starfleet Academy has a bunch of recreational facilities such as tennis courts and basketball courts.

The thing is, I guess we don’t see those facilities all that much. Voyager is stranded away from home so there are no WMR facilities except what they have on board. DS9 is an abandoned ore-processing facility that was not built with WMR in mind, and Bajor is not a federation world so I doubt there are sprawling rec facilities exclusively for Starfleet Officers there.

In a TNG episode mentioned earlier, the Enterprise puts in for repairs and the senior staff attends a party and there are horseback-riding facilities near there or on site, so that might count.

The UK forces used to have the NAAFI, not sure how it works now, but it’s probably contracted out. I know from friends who were in the Territorial Arny that their tea was notorious (brewed in a vat with milk & 2 sugars - whether you liked it or not - known as “having it NATO”).

It’s mostly accessibility. The AFRC doesn’t have to collect certain taxes and so on, so costs to the servicemember are lower. The costs for using the facility are based on paygrade, so a Private pays much less than a Major.

At the Hale Koa I can get a semi-ocean view room for about $130/ night while the Hilton Hawaiian Village next door is about $450/ night for the same room.

Starfleet may not have those issues, depending on how you view the Federation economy, but having a comfortable environment to come back into after visiting a strange place is nice… and organizations like Starfleet or the US Army are subcultures of their own.

Sisko pays Quark in GPL, so some cultures in Trek use money… and Starfleet gets the GPL from somewhere.

Even in a post-scarcity economy, some people’s contributions are more valuable than others.