• Member Since 7th Jan, 2012
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Ponibius


More Blog Posts132

  • 44 weeks
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    Hello everyone, it’s been some time since I’ve posted anything. So I figured now was as good a time as any to blog about what I’m currently up to.

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  • 146 weeks
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  • 146 weeks
    Winningverse/Freeport/Rising Fire and Other AU's Explained

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  • 152 weeks
    BronyCon 2019: The End of an Era

    There is something inherently sad about something coming to an end. Something unique and wonderful is now over, and I found myself writing this at the airport and on the airplane, waiting, leaving Baltimore, perhaps for the last time. It’s as I do so that I contemplate the past, present, and future both for myself and the fandom. 

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    14 comments · 687 views
Aug
6th
2019

BronyCon 2019: The End of an Era · 3:10am Aug 6th, 2019

There is something inherently sad about something coming to an end. Something unique and wonderful is now over, and I found myself writing this at the airport and on the airplane, waiting, leaving Baltimore, perhaps for the last time. It’s as I do so that I contemplate the past, present, and future both for myself and the fandom. 

I’ve always had a great time at BronyCon, why I’ve been coming to these conventions year after year. I’ve gotten to meet friends in person that I’d previously only known online, go to some great panels, do other activities, bought some swag, even met some fans of my stories (which is pretty darn cool), and had some great times in the hotel. 

As for some of what I got up to this year:
-Shared a hotel room with Comma-Kazie, Trinary, and Chengar Qordath. 
-Went to some panels on writing and other subjects. 
-Bought some coasters while perusing the merchandise hall.
-Helped some friends get some autographs from Cathy Weseluck (Spike’s VA) by waiting in line for a few hours. Cathy being super friendly, and worked really hard to get through everyone in the line.
-Played an amazingly fun one-shot of Shadowrun were I and my fellow runners sabotaged the opening for a casino in Los Vegas. All said, we managed to put gremlins into the mainframe of the casino to cause endless headaches for customers, messed up the rooms, made the whole event terribly uncomfortable as we exploited the simmering tension between different races, erased the keynote speaker for the event from the guest list, edited the files for an investor meeting to make the casino seem like a bad investment, ruined the food and drinks, drugged three upper class customers, and provoked the entire casino staff to walk out and quit en masse. All without getting caught. Great times. 
-Played a game similar in setup to Cards Against Humanity called Pictostorm. I bought it at Stablegames on a whim and I played it with Comma-Kazie, Trinary, Bronywriter, and Chengar Qordath. The idea is that you have to pitch a movie idea while an executive offers “helpful” suggestions. Bronywriter, being the cinemophile he is, broke the game, but we all had a great time. 
-Watched a marathon of some of our favorite episodes from the show. Reminding me why I loved this show so much. Even after all these years of being a brony I can still enjoy episodes like Lesson Zero, Sonic Rainboom, To Change A Changeling, Gauntlet of Fire, Rainbow Rocks, Sounds of Silence, Sisterhooves Social, Luna Eclipsed, and many others. All through a variety of seasons and through the highs and lows of the show. 

So I had a great time. Lines were more than a bit long this year, discouraging me from going to some panels, and there were some of the usual issues you get with any convention. Like where to get food sometimes seeming like a quest, especially once you get a large party together, and I missed my initial flight to Baltimore due to a variety of issues. But overall I really enjoyed myself, and I’m going to miss BronyCon. It was something I always looked forward to going to, something to do to get away from the drudgery and worries of daily life, especially after what’s been a particularly difficult year like this one. And now it’s over.

Between this being the last BronyCon and the finale of the show only a matter of weeks away it’s hard not to see this as an end of an era. Things are changing, and they will never be the same again. We’re a long way from 2011-2012 when the fandom was an absolute juggernaut. But as is true of most things, the flame has faded with time, the crazy passion people had for the show had matured to a degree and subsided. Many fans have left, and the fandom is unlikely to ever be as big as it was before. 

But as the saying goes, the end is just the beginning, or at least another beginning, and we’re entering a new phase for the fandom. Where exactly that will lead, I can’t entirely say. The show is nearly done, EQG is effectively over, and after all of that all we have to look forward to for MLP: Friendship is Magic is the movie. But that’s hardly the end of My Little Pony. The fandom is hardly dying, despite what some might be anxious about. There’s still G5 to look forward to, as well as the comics, and potentially other products. And that’s not getting into all the fan content that has been and will be produced. FIMFiction alone is producing more words each day than anyone could possibly keep up. I know I have a big list of stories I want to read someday. New fans are joining all the time, if perhaps not the droves they once did, and many are drawn into the fan content we produce every day.

In case you are worried about the fandom dying or entirely losing its passion, let me help give you some perspective. Star Trek has managed to survive for six decades and has a thriving fandom despite there being periods where there were years and decades between shows or movies, and it was because of the passion of those fans that Star Trek has come back time and again. All without the internet and the many resources fans now enjoy to keep the flame of their fandoms alive. Tolkien’s books have held people’s hearts and minds for the better part of a century, and set the foundation for modern fantasy stories. Eventually the passion of those fans resulted in live action movies for both Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, with an upcoming show for the series in the work. Avatar: the Last Airbender still has a strong fanbase. Warhammer 40k has gone through decades of highs and lows, only to now be rising again to new records of popularity and recently even got a TV show announced. That’s not even getting into the media and toy selling juggernaut that is Star Wars. It wasn’t that long ago when Marvel was going through bankruptcy after comic sales fell through the floor, and ended up getting bought up by a little company called Disney. Now a cinematic monster that’s dominating the box office. Once fandoms reach a critical mass they do not die easily. Not to mention Hasbro is a long way from going under, and it isn’t about to let a cashcow like MLP go without love. Remember, this is the fourth incarnation of MLP, and we have a fifth on the way.

By all rights, G4 of MLP should have gently passed away after three season, as was Hasbro’s original plans. But it was thanks to the passion and love of this fanbase that we got a crazy nine seasons of this show. That is a very rare achievement for any show, especially during an age when many TV shows don’t even get to air their full first season before being canceled. You can insert the tears of Firefly fans right here. MLP has had more seasons than many beloved shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’m sure most of us have some show we wished could have been given more seasons, more time to finish up plot threads, and come to a satisfactory conclusion. 

It was thanks to the great show producers of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and the passion of this fandom that we got those nine seasons. That’s a flame that burns bright, and while it might not burn as brightly as it once did, it’s a long way from going out. And as long as there are embers to that flame, it can always reignite again. BronyCon might be gone, but there are still other pony conventions out there. I know the name Trotcon came up more than once while I was at BronyCon, this last BronyCon proved you can pull 10,000+ bronies together with sufficient emphasis, and wherever there is a void nature will naturally fill it up. We’ve left a mark on the cultural landscape, and that isn’t going to be easily erased. 

For myself, I’m not about to quit the fandom anytime soon. The flame this show about pastel colored small horses trying to discover the magic of friendship has lit a fire in my heart that isn’t going to be easily extinguished. While the show has had its high and lows, I still come back to it time and again. I’ve still got plenty of story ideas in my head I want to write. And while I might be tempted to write for other fandoms or even original stories in the future, I don’t see myself stopping writing ponies anytime soon. That’s not even getting into all the stories I badly want to read through someday. There’s also all the art, music, vidoes, and other fan content I love to see. I’m hooked, I have friends here, and sitting down to write, publishing stories, and reading all of your comments in one of my singular pleasures in life. Where I have to go to a dull and exhausting job every single week, writing gives me excitement and color in my life. It lets me exercise my mind and challenge myself, where it would just slowly wither and die at work. It’s an outlet for my creativity, and not one I’d readily give up.

So while I’m sad at the moment, for this end of an era weighs on my heart, I can look to the future with hope. As the saying goes for writing a story, leave them wanting more. After one crazy decade I can say with confidence that My Little Pony and BronyCon has left us wanting more. Which, ultimately, is a good thing. I’d rather have this era of the show and fandom end with a roar than a whimper. This might be the end, but the end is only the beginning of a new story. The stories never die as long as we hold their flame in our hearts.

Report Ponibius · 687 views · #BronyCon
Comments ( 14 )

*Mic drop*

Damn. Straight.

Thank you for putting to words a thought that has been in my head for months now. I'll be sharing this blog with others.

I'd say the best comparison for this fandom would be the G1 Transformers fandom. Obviously it won't go away. G1 Transformers nerdery has survived Beast Wars, Beast Machines, Robots in Disguise, Animated, Prime, Armada, Energon, that weird Rescue Bots thingie, and probably a bunch of others I'm not thinking of.

Fandoms are often forever.

To the end of an era and a great ride

5100437
I know the feeling. These have been ideas and thoughts I've been mulling over for months now. Certainly since the announcement that season 9 would be the last season of the show and last year when it was announced that this would be the last BronyCon. And my thoughts only really fully coalesced with BronyCon. I was hoping some of my thoughts would help others, since the end of this era has certainly given me a bit of anxiety, and made me thought on where I'm going moving forward.

Thanks for sharing my blog!

5100474
Transformers is a very good example of a fandom that has weathered time. It gained a huge following with G1, and it has far too much momentum to stop anytime soon. Not to mention it's a Hasbro product as well, and it's not unreasonable to imagine Hasbro will be giving MLP more or less the same treatment. Especially now that MLP has a cast of great characters like Transformers has always been blessed with.

Yeah, I don't see this fandom going anywhere anytime soon. I'll have to wait for some official numbers, but pretty sure there were at least as many people as 2018 at this year's Galacon, and that is with some people who normally attend Galacon attending Bronycon instead.

By the end of the convention, I already had four pony conventions (two of which new) to look forward to in 2020. As long as people keep attending, there will be conventions, and as long as there's conventions I'll attend them.

And G4 has to end at some point. Better to end it while it's still good instead of milking it out until the end of time, and even if G5 is crap, there's over 200 G4 episodes alone, plus a movie, some specials, etc. I started reading ponyfic on a daily basis in 2012 and I still haven't caught up entirely, and then we have all this other great fan content ranging from animations to art to karaoke content.

its crazy to think about e i found this fandom of of a few pmvs and a couple references in a mind series back in 2012 i came in around the end of the 2 session saw all the episodes of the first and second and came home from school every day on Mondays to watch the new episode of session 3 on demand its been 6 going on 7 years for me as a brony longer than star wars the clone wars was on and god knows i watched all of that but anyway im getting carried away i was 13 when i found the fandom all be 19 next month these past 6 years have been some of the best years of my life watching the show reading the fanfics the music and animated fanfics and videos i may not of been here since the beginning but i remember when fallout equstria wasent on fimfiction and project horizons wasin evin done BUT ANYWAY i digress thank you all of you all the fellow bronies all the writers and the readers and the singers and producers from the bottom of my heart thank you i love you guys and know matter what happens these 6 years have been some of the best of my life stay gold everybody

Good post. I appreciated reading it, you can feel the love and warmth coming off of it through the screen. :twilightsmile:

It was great getting to play Shadowrun with you! (I was the infiltrator / coordinator) I hope that we can find another great Con to get to for our fandom meetup needs now that BronyCon is over.

I had a great time with Pictostorm. So glad that all of you thought I was that funny.

...

Dammit, Frank.

Squidward cries.

5101776
I had a great time during that game. It was a pleasure to get to play with you, and you did a good job at the infiltrator/coordinator. Hopefully we'll get ot meet up again someday.

5102189
Frank, Savior and Destroyer of the World. Poor Squidward just wants off of this ride.

A chapter is ending, not the story.

It was interesting to read. Thanks for sharing.

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