Ringing in the New Year: The Sonic Stadium’s 2012 Message

So, 2011 has come and gone. And what a wild ride it has been for the Sonic the Hedgehog community. Sonic Generations, Sonic Boom, Summer of Sonic, Sonic CD, 20th Anniversary… the last 12 months has certainly lacked a sense of overwhelming vitriol that has plagued the fanbase in recent times.

Maybe it’s because, for the most part, SEGA hasn’t really set a foot wrong with the Sonic franchise this year, and the usual cringe-worthy auto-haters (be they of classic or modern variety) have been silenced. Perhaps it’s simply that the online community is maturing, and we’re all getting older and wiser. I know for a fact that I have.

For my 2012 Message, I’d like to focus on that a little bit. It’s no secret that I haven’t exactly been the most attentive webmaster in the past year. Personal events, an increasing workload and a desire to professionally spread my wings as a video game journalist (as well as the challenge of juggling this with a healthy social life) meant that you likely saw more posts from T-Bird, Shadzter and Alex than myself.

Of course, I’ve been around. With AAUK of Sonic Wrecks, I presented the biggest Summer of Sonic convention we’ve ever held. I was lucky enough to be invited to LA with T-Bird to meet fans at Sonic Boom. I’ve provided the odd update on TSS here and there and worked on backend code. And I also ended up being on SEGA’s Sonic Generations unboxing video.

So a lot of stuff in the Sonic world, but perhaps less so on the place that started it all for me – the site I started back in 2000. They (whoever ‘they’ are) always say that generations of fans move on as they get real-world commitments, and are replaced with younger fans with more time. I’m probably one of the longest-standing community members around – I’ve seen all kinds of fansites and webmasters come and go, and never felt like I would get into a situation where I would fall foul to those same real-world commitments.

In 2011, that all changed. And it’s made me think about the age of some of the fans in the community that are still around – the webmasters of Retro, Sonic Wrecks, TSSZ, et al. We’re in an age where a lot more is expected from a fansite than the flashy animated gif backgrounds and half-baked, poorly researched game theories of 1999. As a result, a lot of trust is put into the older generation of Sonic fans that maintain the big websites.

And as Sonic fans in our mid-to-late 20s, writing about our favourite gaming franchise as a hobby can be hard when we have jobs, apartments, weddings, and other random stuff to take into consideration. It’s certainly much more difficult to keep up to date with things for us now than it was when we were all 15 years old, with all the time in the world.

In 2010, the thought of webmasters (especially myself) quitting our hobby sites never even crossed my mind. 2011, with my relative inability to be able to post as much as I’d liked, put the thought firmly in my head. And what would happen if the likes of AAUK, Tweaker and Scarred Sun slowly start to get too swamped with real life that they can’t keep up their respective sites? Hand the torch to someone else? Look to fresh, growing sites by younger members of the community?

For 2012, I’d like to convey a more positive thought in the face of this age trend and what it might represent for the fabled ‘generation in, generation out’ tradition. Due to the fact that the community on average is older than it was a decade ago, we have been able to create situations that we never thought possible in 2000.

An obvious example of this is the many real-life meetups that take place in the UK and possibly many other countries all over the world. Sonic’s 20th Anniversary has allowed the blue blur to transcend his role as a mere gaming character for kids and as a major cult icon for adults and people of all ages. The likes of which guarantee the success of conventions and events such as Summer of Sonic and Sonic Boom.

Because of this, perhaps it is only natural that we’re collectively getting older and still fiddling with HTML code, wrestling with PHP queries and dreaming up new podcasts and online video shows in the name of Sonic the Hedgehog. There aren’t many fansites of other major franchises that can be attributed to sprightly young teenagers. So perhaps there is no cause for concern in TSS, Wrecks, Retro and other sites.

For my part, I aim to write a lot more for the site in 2012. It’s a New Year Resolution for me, so no personal backsies. And you know what? I could have been so swamped that I could have handed the TSS baton to someone just as capable as me. And an opportunity did arise for me that would have resulted in such a situation. But I realised that I didn’t want to give this beauty up. And neither, I would imagine, would the webmasters of the biggest Sonic fansites out there today. And all the better for it.

Have a fantastic 2012, and let’s hope it’s as full of excitement, fun and friendship as the last 12 months have been!

Published by

Dreadknux

Sexy founder of The Sonic Stadium, and creator and co-organiser of the Summer of Sonic fan convention. By day, I'm a super-fantastic games journalist, el professionale. By night, I'm the mother-loving Sonical Batman. I keep the site ticking, look after the TSS Network, and get all excited about Sonic games so that you can too. May contain nuts.

33 Comments

  1. “SEGA hasn’t really set a foot wrong with the Sonic franchise this year” Until right at the end when theysaid that Sonic 4 ep 2 wsn’t coming to Wii.

    ——
    Dreadknux posts a very heartwarming message and all you can respond with is a complaint about Sonic 4: Episode 2 not coming to Wii? How sad…

    Shadzter

    1. Alright, we get it. You’re sad because a heavily watered down version of what Sonic 4.2 would be like isn’t going to be released on the only console you own whose own downloadable limitations keeps many other downloadable works exceeding 40MB at bay.

      Besides, Nintendo’s expected to release a new console next year whose own downloadable service will likely exceed that of the Wii. THEN you’ll get your Sonic 4.2.

      Now quit whining, this isn’t the place to do so.

      1. Now now, people. He just wanted to voice his opinion. Don’t bag on him. However, his comment is kinda innapropiate on this article. Still, I know how Humble must’ve felt, and why he posted that comment.

    2. Hey, you’re missing another complaint. Sonic Generations also didn’t come to Wii.
      Just like Shadzter said, that’s sad. I mean really? Reeeeeally? And it’s the first comment as well. Someone comes and reads this and gets a fuzzy feeling, then they see your comment and that fuzzy feeling is gone.

    3. Falcon PUUUUUUUUNCH!!!!!!!!!!!

      I just did that and rick rolled my eyes at you in an epic formulation.

      Now then, excellent posting. Very nice.

  2. I’m glad the fanbase is finally starting to shut up about everything they don’t like.

    Except those Nintendo fanboys who’re pissed that they can’t get half-assed, watered down versions of recent games on the Wii. But I suppose that can’t be helped.

    1. I’m NOT saying that all people who only play Wii are like that, by the way. I’m specifically talking about the ones who obsess over the Wii, hate all of Nintendo’s business rivals just because they’re not Nintendo, and whine every time they don’t get their way.

  3. The situation has arisen time and time again in my own life were logicaly i should have given up my website but to be honest the harder real life got the more annoyed and determined I became to make sure it never happened. I love my community that have grown with me over the years. I started nidcom back in 1999 on my dreamcast browser. Now I’m 30, working at SEGA and still harping on about NiGHTS. I’ve been on the streets without a penny to my name and I STILL refused to give up on my community. I’m there to the godhonest end and I’m glad I know fans like you who feel the same way about what you’ve built over the years. It’s pretty crazy when you sit back and realise that because of something tiny you created huge things have spawned from it. People have met, some became the greatest of friends, heck some even got married. Lives have been changed because of those of us old and stubborn enough to never give up what we started.

    To old stubborn sexy nerds! 😉

  4. I also think cash cash did a awesome job this year with their help on sonic music.:D Yes a few hiccups here and there(*COUGH*LIVECONCERTS*COUGH)But overall they did awesome this year! That sonic 3& knuckles boss music! lets hope next year they stay with the community and give us some more awesome songs!

  5. I kept waiting for the “But now it’s time for me to retire after all” but it never happened. You’re the best. =D Good luck with your endeavours both here and elsewhere.

  6. Nice message, Dreadknux! I hope you’ll stay on this website for a while! 😀

    By the way, I really like the new picture at the top of the page! 🙂 (To whoever changed it.)

  7. Gezz, Dreadknux, don’t scare me like that! I almost thought you were stepping down, for a second there! All the same, I wish you luck with this year’s endevours, both on and off TSS!

    I really enjoyed your message to the community; it was very enlightening, even heartwarming. I look forward to seeing what The Sonic Stadium does in the year 2012 and beyond! Here’s to another year of world’s best Sonic fansite, TSS!

  8. Huh. I posted something and it disappeared…How strange.

    Regardless, happy New Year everyone. I’d post more, but I don’t want to repeat myself. Thank you Sonic Stadium for all my up-to-date news. Sure, Generations disappointed me a little, but at least I had all the info I could ever want from this site about it ^^

    Looking forward to another year XD

  9. First off I would like to wish yall a happy new year…but as we enter into 2012 I just wanna thank you all for being here…I remember this site many years ago…my memory isn’t as good now as it was a while back…after all its Sonic’s 20th and this year was my 30th LOL. I just also want to say please always stick together cause I am really scared of what this year is already bringing with this dreadful SOPA act stuff floating about. I hope this gets fought down cause I have great fear this could be the end of all of what we enjoyed for years on end…FANS being fans…everyone enjoying stuff sharing many memories…it scares me that stuff like this could be silenced so easily. I know many alike would be devastated if we go into the night being silenced like that. I hope this is not the end but the beginning of a new generation…of fans who keep fighting for what we love!

  10. I think Miles Tails Prower was the best side kick ever created. Not only a cool name but his moves (flying, swiming) are second to none in 2d Sonic games. I wonder who in SEGA actually came up with the character Tails all those years ago.

  11. This is kind of off topic but..

    Has anyone else wondered why when they ever see a picture of Sonic at a big event, when he’s walking around, taking pictures and what not….He’s always so chubby?

    I always thought of him being a Blue Pooh Bear ^_^

  12. Hm. In addition to beating Sonic Generations in a day, I also made the top 100 in some time trials on Sonic CD on the PS3. And when I got Sonic Unleashed, I rang in the new year by defeating Perfect Dark Gaia! And I was so frustrated with Eggmanland and the Dark Gaia battle.

  13. Well the Sonic community for me have been like a second family for me and i am so happy to be a part of it so Thank you all!! I gone try and get to SOS for my 25 B-day and i so hope you all still gone be fans! Dreadknux you and the rest of the team have don a great work and i hope you all have a great 2012 and of curse the rest of the Sonic community to!

    1. “…and of curse the rest of the Sonic community…”

      And that, I shall define, is why it would probably be best to learn how to spell. Or not, seeing how hilarious it is.

  14. Happy new Year Everyone!!!

    And I promise I will be on SOS someday with you guys! (Probably on Sonic 25th since I’ll be 19 and it will be great oppurnity to go there)

  15. Being part of these communities for many years makes me even more humble. And its true, many of the fansites have changed gears because of their audiences. But I don’t believe its true for us, for the most part we’ve grown alongside this site. Even way back when, it was funny with the early iteration because it wasn’t quite the solid site it is now. But I give kudos to you Dread, and all of the other members that make this site work.

    I remember some crazy tales from other communities back when we all played PSO for awhile on the DC. Speculations about stages or in-game worlds before taking on a dragon, or some crazy mecha. Although I’m not much of an online game player lately, I hope to change that because I honestly have missed so much. This may be a year of change for a lot of us, and its something to look forward to.

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