Last Words: A New Birth of Fandom Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

I'd like to take a moment in this space to talk about our community.

Let me be perfectly honest: two weeks ago, for the first time in nineteen years of Wing Commander, I had a crisis of faith. Why am I doing this? Do we need the CIC anymore? I write the occasional news update, I post to the Chat Zone, sometimes half heartedly, and that's it. I've seen so many friends go on, never to be heard from again--others seem to be fading away slowly into the damning responsibilities of adulthood. When I am with my friends--friends I met because of this community--I rarely ever talk Wing Commander anymore. And then there's one final classified and bitter truth: I had been consulted by Electronic Arts on no less than five failed attempts to relaunch Wing Commander in the past two years.

So it struck me: it is time to fish or cut bait. Either give up Wing Commander and move on to an ordinary life or rededicate myself to the community we have built. Over the course of several days I did a few things. I talked to some of the staff--could we throw ourselves into the job again? Do we want to? It was clear, there, that even when my friends are unable to contribute that they have a deep passion for Wing Commander and for our group. What's more, we are friends in the first place because of Wing Commander. The series is a common bond, the site we have built is a true achievement.

Then I looked at the community. It is, perhaps, common repetition that our fan projects are less active and less impressive than they were five and ten years ago, that the forum conversation is less interesting, that all efforts are subdued in some inexplicable sense. Bullshit! Have you tried Standoff? It's brilliant, it's magnificent. Play it. Show your friends. Show your kids. It should be the most popular game in the world instead of some fan mod; it has more love in it than a dozen Assassin's Creeds and more talent than a dozen Bioshocks. Look at how much dedication goes into everything from paper models to the community replay to the WCPedia.

Finally, I loaded the original Wing Commander. In five minutes it was just as thrilling, just as engrossing and just as much a work of art as it was the first time, so many years ago. Quit the Wing Commander community? I had to be crazy - we're the greatest fans of the greatest game in the world. Think about this: five failed projects in two years? That doesn't mean Wing Commander is necessarily doomed -- it means a lot of people are trying to bring it back, however quietly. Even if it doesn't, even if it takes a hundred years... it's ours. How could I give up on it?

I encourage you all to go through the same process. Take some time to sit back and recognize how great this community is, how important your efforts have been to building it and then how further dedication can only move it to even greater heights. Thank you all for your work - you have mine, zeal renewed, for another... oh, let's say eleven years. I'll see you for the big twelve next August--and tomorrow, in the news.


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