I'm not a poster anymore, it's safe to say that much. I sometimes come in and have a look, even attempted to return to the board a few times but I don't know, I just can't get a firm grasp over it any longer. And I don't mean that in the sense that I'm not fond of this place or the people here anymore, that's absolutely not the case. I'm still a Sonic fan as well. I just lack the drive to actually post. Maybe I should make a new years resolution concerning this, or something.
But I still have a great, big love towards this place despite my infrequent visits here these days, like a person who rarely has the time to properly visit his parents but still loves his old home. Because that's what SSMB was for me for a very, very long time - a home in the internet. The rebirth of my love for Sonic coincided with my first steps towards the wacky world of internet and I soon found myself registering to a fair few Sonic forums to frolic with my fellow fans. A day felt incomplete without a SSMB visit. A lot of people I hold dear today I met here. I could listen to SSR for ages while browsing all the forums refreshing them time and time again. In these past few days I've read a few topics here and there and made a couple of my own after noticing people were having some sort of celebration; despite the fact that I hardly know anyone anymore and feel somewhat outside to the current social circles among the forum, I still felt like this was a home.
Memories? I remember a lot of things. I remember browsing every page and corner of the old TSS site, watching videos and downloading songs over and over again back before we had such things as YouTube or concept of mp3 hosting being dodgy. I remember the first promise of Sonic Smash Cards. I remember the first big ass post I saw from Roarey who would later on become a rather important person in my life. I remember becoming a mod and feeling really proud of myself and my post; I remember my reputation as the mod who'd resolve things before the report things even hit my inbox. I remember omega13a. I remember a certain someone infamously breaking the server temporarily. I remember the rings system. I remember how you could buy a midi to play in your profile with the rings, and how at the time we actually thought of that as a good idea. I remember the Shadow People topic and the immense pwnage LSnK unleashed upon it with my help. I remember Jake's sarcastic period and his snow leopard character, back before he was the friendly and cuddly little guy we know today. I remember a lot of people's past characters, traits and names. I remember the fluff board. I remember the never-ending arguments whether the fluff board was a blight or a fountain of joy, and the resulting countless attempts to stop people nesting there and not posting anywhere else. I remember the sprite teams; I remember TAEM FROLLIC, the greatest sprite team ever composed. I remember the Battle Card Craze; I still actually have the majority of the ones that I-think-it-was-Jake made at the time when it was still new and trendy. I remember Joshu's iconic top-hat-and-moustache avatar. I remember the topic where someone genuinely speculated whether there's a deeper meaning behind the recurrent checkered squares in the games. I remember [you]. I remember teh and borken. I remember the Christmas Calendar we staffers organised one year, including the clusterfuck-esque rendition of the Chipmunks christmas song we all collaborated in. I remember the difficulty of trying to come up with April Fools gags that would somehow reach the levels of past ones which grew more ambitious each year: my favourites were the year where we released a metric ton of news on April 1 of which some were genuine and some fake, and the year where we decided to take it easy and simply mess around with the word filter, to the confusion of many chilidog fans. And that's not even the tip of the memory iceberg.
And most of all I remember a lot of people. Too many to count. A lot of amazing people that richened my life during those early years, a lot of people who I interact regularly these days outside the forum and who have become important friends, and a couple of people who were quite frankly utter dolts and idiots but who were still a part of the overall experience.
It's a fine place. Thank you staffers - founders, past and current - for the everlasting dedication to keep the place up and the spark to have it here as a beacon for any new Sonic fans and as a meeting point for them to get together, and thank you everyone who's ever been here for keeping it alive. Have a good birthday SSMB. I may not post anymore but god I love the place.