Tuesday, 30 January 2007

I wish I was a Spaceman...

With my exams coming to an end, I've got the whole next week off! This gives me time to enter the numerous contests running at the moment. Of course, nothing is more enjoyable then enjoying a cup of coffee at 10am whilst watching a works crew tear up your snow covered lawn.

Today I turn not to a single MOC, but a single MOCer. His name, well I never knew his real name, but he went by Spongey (short for Spongebob SquarePants). He was the first Curator of the BZP .Space topic, and thus I owe him a lot of gratitude for pulling me back into space. About a year or so after he started up the .Space topic on BZP however, he fell into his darkages. Never heard from him since, and that was about two years ago. He was (among others, Tom) the very first exposure I had to space building, minus the 'Cool Creations' page in the Lego Club Magazine. Does that count? Anyways, I've never forgotten the guy - he was a very likeable character and I'm sure he'd had loved CSF (or just CS, as it is now).

He was a pretty good builder, definitely carried influences of the 'famous' AFOLS of the time. I say of the time, because being a member on CS for a few years has really made me realise that there are far too many great builders out there and the field is ever expanding. At the time I also didn't know of CSF, and it probably didn't exist at the beginning, thus there was a major gap between a kiddy forum like BZP and the AFOL realm of Lugnet. To summarize: the world of AFOL space building seemed a lot more foreign to me back then. Where was I? Oh yes. He was a good builder, I look back at his various models now (stuff like: the Chimera, his Courier Ship, his Steampunk, and the White Knight) and realise that although they aren't perfect, they are really good. Especially for a member of BZP with no CS to get real reviews and criticisms. It only makes me wish more and more that maybe one day he'll be back, and begin to hone his skills once again. There really was something about his building, prehaps his versatility - I can't count the number of individual themes he built for, and seemingly mastering the feeling of their colours and motifs - at times better than the theme creators themselves.

He was, if you will, the Ideal Space Builder. He was versatile, as I've said. He also wasn't perfect. What? Everbody loves a builder that churns out perfect models, but then what's the point, if they can't really better themselves? Perhaps its more that he showed promise to be a much better builder, given time and support. He also wasn't a dick. Being a great builder doesn't simply revolve around actual building skills, Spongey was a great way for me to be introduced into Space Building because I wasn't slapped around and called a moron. He was really someone I aspired to be, in the MOCing world that is.

As I mentioned, about a year after he started the .Space topic, he left and fell into his darkages. A shame. I volunteered to continue the .Space topic, and he accepted, and I've been running the place for just over two years now. It's a lot quieter these days, it seems that a lot of the raw space talent that had been floating around the BZP gene pool has since moved on to better environments and there's no new talent coming in. My only theory on this is that many of the builders from the earlier days were around before the advent of Lego Star Wars, and thus to them there was space without a license; this fan-base is dried up now, a lot of the younger kids these days are sheltered inside a Star Wars box or are following SaberScorp in the mediocre-to-bad Halo Lego Crusade.

Anyways, this post is really dragging on. The moral? There's nothing bad about thinking back to the classics, whatever they might be. I wish I was a Spaceman, the fastest guy alive...


Time Agent said...

Well said. Spongey really was a great guy, and a great MOCer. BZP's .Space was what pulled me out of my dark ages. It completely rekindled my smouldering interest in Lego, and started me off on the path of MOCing. So I owe a lot to Spongey for creating that great atmosphere on BZP, an atmosphere that was all about fun, and totally conducive for early skills-building.

So this post got me thinking, and I decided to go to the old topic, just to find Spongey's profile, and see when he was last active. The answer surprised me: December 17th, 2006. Not all that long ago! I remember back when he left, I sent my farewell PM, and told him that CSF would be the place to go if he decides to return. Who knows? Maybe he'll be back some day, maybe sooner than we think.

Brenden said...

I never thought to check when he was last active. Good to now that he still pokes around.

He will be back, I have faith in that.

Stingray019 said...

Funny that, just yesterday I found myself thinking bout the early days of .space and the many people that helped form it.
Even by today’s standards I still think the vast majority of Spongey's Mocs are pretty damn good. And they all share a certain unique and distinctive style that marks them as his. I always had a funny friendly-rivalry with Spongey, as I was always in awe of his Mocs and was constantly trying to build bigger and better than him. And I think that competition really helped me improve my skills as a Moccer.
Another old virtual face I remember is Kapola, he still around these days?

Like you guys, I've also got Spongey to thank for bringing me into the world of space. I'd probably still be building Bionicle stuff if it wasn't for .Space. Where ever you are Spongey, come on out and I'll buy you a virtual drink somehow and sometime, cheers Mate.