« on: August 27, 2014, 11:25:25 AM »
I'm really bored at an irrelevant workshop, so I'm just gonna write a long post here about everything and nothing. It's been almost 14 years now. Wow! 14 years. Of course the last 8 of them have been a bit sleepy, but that's okay. I can't believe it's a racing game. It's not representative of me at all. I don't like cars. I spent some of my waking hours advocating the closure of streets in favour of transportation by bike or by foot. But Stunts is the lasting thing. It's the bridge from my childhood through my teenage years to my adulthood. The only other thing that's lasted is the music. And even that has changed much more. When I say Stunts, of course I mean the community, not the game. Even before I met you guys, it was a social thing. After school watching each other race and cheering each other on, or at home on countless afternoons with my friend, taking turns to beat each other's records or make spectacular crashes or keeping the car in the air for as long as possible. The green and black and blocky landscape of Stunts is a picture of a sense of community. Uncomplicated community (until the arrival of Argammon, CTG and Alain anyway) in the name of racing and laughing, which would later become "Stunts and grog", in the words of Alain il professore - a great guy who I regret expending so much hate on. Of course he spewed a lot himself too, but he was also both creative and mysteriously intelligent.
When the kids grew up only the true aficionados (me!) retained their love for the game, the community moved online and went international. And, of course, everyone else weird enough to keep nurturing their love for this strange racing game also turned out to be quirky, strong personalities. You made yourself characters on the forum and the races were not races of pipsqueaks but races of icons, like a Formula 1 starting grid with only the legends. Two pipsqueaks arrived without giving much of their personality: Ayrton and Renato Biker. They were the machines of the competition. The boring Vladimir Kramniks of Stunts. It spoke in the competition's favour that it had become prestigious enough for the machines to come and spend their bytes on it.
There have been three significant losses to the community: Krys Toff, Mingva and Alain. Argammon was always on/off and might return any minute. JTK is hopefully still almost here. He would be a bigger loss still. JTK: the godfather of the Stunts community. If we make a church, he would be the first saint. Saint Oliver of Kiel. Zak McKracken is too active and present to be a saint yet. He has kids. So does Usrin, and Krys Toff of course. But I can't think of anyone else. Maybe we are eccentrics or geeks after all. We sure look geeky on the 2005 WSM photograph. A photograph now from a distant past in which the community was still at a crescendo and not this long, beautiful outro. But 'Stunts and Grog' was a reality in 2004, 2005 and 2006, not just a dream. The beer bucket on my parents' sunny porch in Aarhus was a metaphor of the free happiness of the WSMs and the Stunts community. At least that's what it's been for me. The pains of a defeat or an annoying argument fade to nothing in comparison to all the excitement, curiosity and joy of racing with you guys. The only true cost has been hours. Hours spent racing on random tracks from StuntsLOL or Francestunts. I probably could have spent those better. Zak figured that one out. All my 1st places are not worth very much compared to the hours spent racing. But it was exciting and immersive. Some of you guys are addicted to the validation of winning, which is really a strange validation.
But ever since 2002, Stunts was life and life was Stunts. It was an Endless Paradise. Zak's Endless Paradise, which I destroyed by breaking into it and making it Our Endless Paradise. The blog. The adolescent musings. My Endless admiration for Zak. It was the other side of Stunts. It was not just a game. But it was also a game. It was good. Now it's 2014 and I'm trying to revive this symbiosis by writing this posts (but I'm being perfectly honest too when I say I'm writing this to pass the time during a boring presentation).
There were times when I wanted to be closer. The agony of meeting Duplode. It was bad enough with Zak in Hungary. We proved we were willing to travel to be together in the physical world, but the distance was still too big. Then Duplode enters the scene and the spiritual stratum of Cork's Crew. He's another kindred spirit in a far away land, his avatar right in my face but his corpus forever hidden. It was just like when I fell in with the fictional character of Amalia from The Castle. But we've all grown so old now! And I've learned to accept this reality. Words carry outlooks and alien outlooks are the most important thing if you want to grow. The community is real.
I only wish the forum consisted of more posts not by CTG. The forum is becoming a part of CTG's brain. Sometimes I feel like I'm CTG's ghost. Like we're all CTG's ghosts. But you can't have a community in one brain, try as you might. CTG will be the last person in the Stunts community. Nothing could make him leave. But of course I'll casually make a post here in 2031 after it's all over and 5 years after the last of a series of 473 final forum posts all made by CTG.
The presentation is ending, so in a minute I'll pack up my stuff and go home. For the sake of the legend, let's say I'm going to go out of the door of this depressing public building and be greeted by the cheer of a thousand fans. I'll stride purposefully along the red carpet, nod to Helen Wheels, put on my helmet and sit down in my Indy, parked on the street outside. Helen and I will hit our gas pedals and go to Joe's, where we'll hang out with Bernie and Skid and Alain il professore and pArAnO and Mark Nailwood. Then in the evening light, we'll all drive our cars (with our windows open) to the Stunts track and make spectacular jumps and loops well into the night. Bernie will crash, of course, and will have to be taken home in JTK's van.
Then I'll go to sleep and dream about how to re-take the record on Default.