Losing, Winning and all that Jazz...

"it's not that I lost, I just didn't win yet..."

I cannot impose this philosophy to anyone here or anywhere, but people NEED TO LEARN HOW TO BE A GOOD SPORT in all manners of competitions. 

We can wow a million people in our Gunpla communities with our fantabulous, mod-peppered and ultra-unique scheme builds, but when it comes to the actual competition, our fates lie upon those who are judging the entries, not the millions of people we wowed.  What's more, among the four judges, I believe the Japanese judge's score weigh more than the other three, and mostly has the final say in the decision.  It's a frakkin' contest.  It's as simple as that for me at least.

So, in the 2012 GBWC (to which I was not able to join, the Hellraiser was still stuck on the nth lvl, and the Haribon just couldn't take off), it saddened me to hear people immediately exclaim at the top of their voices that there was cheating involved.  I was there.  I saw the lot of the entries (there weren't much to begin with, it was the first ever GBWC that required the receipt aside from the boxes).  I even pointed the winning entry to Krescenhaze moments before the final three in the Open Category was announced and said "that's it man."  Knowing that, was I in on the cheating?

Sure, we can always feel our entries are better than those that won top prizes, most everyone feels that.  But you know what?

"it's not that I lost, I just didn't win yet..."

The previous year, I had a lot of good feedback with the Ronin.  A lot of people liked how intricate the scale armor layering was, and I believe no one really thought to do it until they saw me do it.  They liked how I bend plastic into submission, as I like to say, "like putty in my hands," and never really thought it was possible to sculpt plastic they way I do.  I do the things I do because no one else is doing it, and the challenge for everyone else IS to do it.

After that competition, a few approached me and said "The Ronin should have been first."  My one and only reply to that has always been and always will be "It's the judges' call."  Maybe the judges saw something, a flaw no one else knew about but myself, and gave me a lower score for it.  Third is a good progress for me, since I didn't even win consolation prize the year before with the Angelus and Chimera.

This year's GBWC's entry turnout, as expected, was low because of the new rule.  Whereas some have complained about it mostly because they didn't have money to spare to get the same kit they've used for their entry, most of us complained mainly because of the timing.  I've talked to Rey of Bankee and Ingrid of Toys R' Us about it at the end of the awarding ceremonies and they've acknowledged the happenstance.  I've expressed that some of us start planning our entries as early as December after the competition, and two months worth of build time is simply not enough.

Do you know who the Turtle won against?

I, in particular, had a little over a month overall to finish the Haribon.  It was enough time, or I tried to make it enough, if not for bumps on the road called work.  I basically lost 3 days on my last week of build, 3 days 3 weeks before that, to my classes, not to mention my regular design projects.  I was certain that was a lot of time lost.  I didn't post any WIP updates in the last couple of weeks, those took me about the same amount of time to write as do my mods.  Despite that, I ferried on until the last few hours detailing the wings and devising a smart way of mounting it onto the backmount, till my body shut itself down, and my mind couldn't do a thing about it but relent.   If only I had one more day, or two.  As I wrote this, I had FB friends asking me if I was able to join. 

The good thing about that rule is that it got out some people out of the woodwork (as I acknowledge Richie Ramos from beating me to to it and telling me beforehand after the announcement of the OC winners).  There were new and unexpected faces in the winners' pool.  It made me realize that the Gunpla community is far larger than I previously thought, yet, we're so splintered because of all the different personalities with different philosophies.  Despite that, there were plenty of good entries, all of which do deserve to win (including the one who whined), but again, why whine about it if you didn't?

I believe I've written about this previously.  We are not the best judges of our own work.  We can never be objective about our own work.  Sure, we can gauge our own personal improvements, I for example, have improved my build speed quite significantly (in my own terms), mainly because I've stopped over-thinking and started simplifying my mods.  Having heard feedback, I still do know my weaknesses, and my strengths.  The latter do not guarantee a win. In fact, nothing can guarantee a win.

Other people might not agree with what we think is the best for our taste.  Those who like what we do simply acknowledge and mirror our own preferences, but nothing more.

In closing, as a final note, be a good sportA competition is not only where you try to best others, but also YOURSELF.  You can't beat others if you keep losing to yourself, and if you complain about being cheated, then you have only truly lost against your own pride.

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