|The Derek Smart Flamewar|
|Part of Internet flamewars|
|Pro-Derek Smart Faction||Anti-Derek Smart Faction|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Semi-centralised under Derek Smart using the alias "Supreme Commander"||Decentralised under no one commander|
The Derek Smart Flame Wars, or simply The Great Flame War Of 1999 as it is sometimes called, is an ongoing internet flamewar that originated in the Usenet newsgroups in 1996 and has been in constant development since. It has since spread to virtually all internet fora. The subject matter of the war was originally Derek Smart's computer game Battlecruiser 3000AD. Derek Smart himself, until 1999 under the alias Supreme Commander was an active participant in the war.
There are two principle camps involved, the pro-Derek Smart and anti-Derek Smart factions.
However, there are many reasons people have joined the flamewar. Some defend Derek Smart and his games out of personal preference for his character or the titles. Others defend Derek Smart because they object to what is perceived as an orchestrated mass character assassination campaign against a vocal and notable gaming industry figure.
Conversely, some have joined because they dislike Derek Smart's character or produced titles, while others take objection to his online mannerism. And some especially vocal anti-Derek Smart antagonists have changed sides in reported alienation by Smarts' manners. Both sides are also riddled by Internet trolls partaking just out of spite.
Causes of the flamewar
Causes according to the pro-Derek Smart faction
Derek Smart, in attempting to create almost singlehandedly the most ambitious space based strategy game up to that point, has been vilified by jealous, backstabbing slanderers. He has been the target of libel, been threatened by internet trolls, and has been followed from forum to forum by a group of flame-war follyists, led by Bill Huffman.
Causes according to the anti-Derek Smart faction
Derek Smart set-out to create an extremely ambitious - probably overambitious - space-based strategy game. What he instead delivered was an extremely buggy, and practically unplayable, alpha version. He then laid out numerous reasons for the buggy game - some, such as 'they mastered the wrong version' became famous, but he changed the story so many times, that many began to doubt his honesty. It was later found out that the then publisher, Take Two, did in fact release an Alpha version of the game without his consent. That case was later settled out of court. 
Strategic positions of the flamewar
Derek Smart himself has been the focus of several controversies, which are the principal foci of the flamewar.
The Battlecruiser series of games
The development history of Battlecruiser 3000AD
More data here
The War still rages becausse people have all the time in the world and no lives