I feel like this little piece needs some background. I may not have been a part of the community since it's inception, but I grew up in the 90's, the heyday of nerf. My parents were fairly liberal, particularly when it came to guns. My mom was from boston, so she wanted nothing to do with them. In fact, I had no toy weapons at all growing up, until such time that I could construct them on my own out of legos. So it was a magical moment for me that, one christmas eve at a cousin's house, I discovered a chainblazer. It jammed, and only had a few darts, and was noisy and probably broken, but to me, it was awesome.
It woke something in me. I became enamored with projectiles. All through my childhood I build bows, blowguns, marble launchers, and absurd paper airplanes. It wasn't the killing aspect that intrigued me. Rather, it was the mystery, almost the magic of sending an object flying away from me in a predictable manner. Even when I was building bows and making arrows out of honeysuckle shoots, it was never with the intent to hurt anything. It was some elusive skill that I wanted to have.
As I grew older, the desire stayed with me. But the rules my parents set up for me were still in effect. They didn't have a problem with me making things, but purchasing a firearm, even a toy one as innocuous as a nerf gun, paralleled in their minds to hero-worshiping murder. It was after I could drive, and after I had already mastered a blowgun that shot 6 inch steel needles at ludicrous speeds, that I finally worked up the courage to sneak home a nerf gun. It was a maverick.
It wasn't anything special. It had the same problems all mavericks do. It jammed. It was weak. You couldn't put tagger darts in it. It was noisy. But I loved the damn thing because it was the next step for me and my understanding of projectiles. I hid that gun from my mother for months, and when she finally found out about it, she was legitimately angry with me. I couldn't explain the projectile thing to her, so I made up some story about modifying it as practice for becoming an engineer.
So, I arrived here. It was the end of 2006, I think, so right at the beginning of the n-strike line. Modifications were different then. FA_24 and Slug were both regular member, albeit talented modders. But by and large, the hobby was still mostly held together with duck tape and hot glue. My first few modifications were almost on the razor's edge of advancement; I was one of the first people to add a dtg to a longshot. I'm not here to brag. That was the only modification I was ever really proud of, and it wasn't even that good.
But I think the fact that I'm not proud of any of my modifications is worth looking at, because it speaks to something that has gone sour in this community. Somewhere along the line, we stopped being a website of people celebrating the simple and childish fun of pelting each other with silly plastic toys, and changed into some sort of mutant connoisseurs of hasbros products. We're nerf HIPSTERS now, for christ sakes. We put on our ray-ban glasses and ironic flannel vests, pour ourselves into skin tight jeans and purple all-stars and say things like "the vulcan? Sure, it's an interesting gun cosmetically, but the lack of modification potential makes it, at best, a substandard gun practicality-wise, especially when it's weight and battery power are taken into account."...
Really, guys? Really? It's a fucking toy belt fed machine gun! It holds 25 darts, and shoots them at the push of a button, pelting your little brother, your cat, your mom, your dog, and your goldfish with foam darts all without having to reload! At what point did we decide that that wasn't FUCKING AWESOME?
We've lost our souls. We're turning this hobby into a series of highly competitive battles with modification based cock-waving in between. We demand excellence and optimization in a hobby that is inherently ridiculous and haphazard! There's nothing wrong with creating a highly efficient, accurate blaster. The Doomsayer and the +bow, to name a couple, are works of art in their design and their effectiveness. But we are too quick to make those blasters the standard by which we judge other modifications.
I think it's time to be a little less elitist. So, for me, this is an all inclusive salute to all the guns that we all labeled as shitty. All the duct tape and marker guns. All the sticky black paint job guns. All the ball guns and converted super soaker guns and made-out-of-wood guns. Because before the topic for each of these guns was posted, the person behind them was proud. Lets remember where we came from. Whether your modifications are for form or function, remember that the most important is fun. Don't let anyone else's retarded concept of good mar your own.
zaphodBMember Since 03 Dec 2006
Offline Last Active Mar 01 2012 12:40 AM
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Nerf, Legos, reading, engineering, and multinational drug cartels.