RPD hat sein Buch über Penspinning verfasst, aber das Kapitel über die deutsche Community war doch etwas dünn gesäht. Jetzt soll es aktualisiert werden, weshalb wir uns mal hingesetzt und recherchiert haben, was zum F!ck in den letzten 16 Jahren eigentlich passiert ist. Mit etwas Abstand zum Geschehen ist das natürlich etwas einfacher. Leider hab ich den Text nur auf Englisch geschrieben. Naja, gönnt euch mal.
2005 and 2006
The GPC was created in November 2005 by Robert and his friend bobbycartuner. There had been no German PS website before they created Penskills.de.vu and eventually followed up with the penspinning.de forum to track their progress and connect with other pen spinners. By February 2006 the GPC had its 1000th post and in April of the same year its 100th user.
The first GPC Collaboration was released in July 2006 with animations done by Le0n:
In November 2006 the European EuRaPen-Board went online with Robert and Le0n as German representatives as mods. It did not stay very active for too long though and eventually shut down in 2007 because of this inactivity.
There was a bit of a stir in late 2006/beginning of 2007 because of a planned collaboration with the Swedish pen spinners. Robert and the Swedish organizer had some disagreements on how to organize the joint project. In the end the GPC pulled out of it...in a way. This decision resulted in a collab with an interesting presentation:
Robert showed off Penspinning in a big German advertisement in February 2007 by E-plus (see the link at the bottom). He was also invited to TV Total in January 2008.
The UCPSB team tournament in 2007 had at least one German Team ‘PWNERADE’ with neXus, Movie-Raid, Maniok, Sh1ma, nike t, and spin as members. More German participants were Kirua, nomeD, McDudelsaeck, but I can’t find out which other teams participated for GPC
(Interesting details from the GPC discussion thread).
Le0n won the the Bundesvision Penspinning Contest that was organized from June to August 2007 and had participants from each federal state.
One notable reason for the early popularity of pen spinning in Germany was the TV-feature about the first “De-Gather” in 2008 which was broadcast on Galileo, a popular early evening program. The TV crew was present during the whole meeting and the live tournament was a main story line with Minwoo as the “protagonist” who also eventually won the tournament vs. Eriror in the finals.This led to an influx of new interested people in the forum.
The 04/2008 published GPC 2nd Collab raised the stakes for expectations in regards to official collabs and has a whopping 230k views on youtube!
A notable european event of that time was the BIC Europe Live tournament held in Paris in 2008. Le0n announced it on the board and was planning to be a judge though had to cancel beforehands. In the end Judges were Eriror, Skatox, Scelus and Alucard.
Finalists: Pudels Kern, Cookieslover, Gold angel, Twim and Badzdu. Pudels Kern won the tournament with a 10 day long trip to Japan as first price.
1. Promotional video
2. Pudels Kern summary of the evening
3. Finals video
Various GPC members created multiple longer lived Penspinning teams like Vengeance, Fusion and Pencia. Vengeance had a stacked lineup with TheK0ok, Neophine, Steffen, Jopi, Kazeem, Minwoo, Samuirai, Stuhl. Unfortunately the Vengeance teaser trailer was deleted together with Minwoos youtube account (Announcement thread, Vengeance corporate identity thread).
Vengeance teaser from De-Gather 2009:
2009 / 2010
A GPC penspinning liga was organized during May 2009 with 7 teams participating: Starfoxes, Momentum, Evolution Spin, Galaxy, We’llpwnu, iSpin and Spinnermania. Gromek even created an external forum to organize everything.
Sadly the subboard on forum.penspinning.de for the Liga is not accessible anymore, so I can’t say how long it continued.
1. Organizational Thread 1
2. organizational thread 2
They gave it another try in 2010 but they only completed one round.
Team vengeance partook in the 2009 UPSB team tournament but I don’t know how far they came or how the competition ended.
Minwoo reached second place in Wt09 and on a tournament level became the best and one of the most wildly known German spinner [Ja, da könnt ihr jetzt erstmal drüber diskutieren, wa]. He also released his Minovate collabs in these years.
It has to be noted that he and Robert were the two most prominent pen spinners featured in various pieces of media: advertisements, news and magazine articles and TV shows (more on that at the end).
During these times community projects were started but failed or met startling backlash. P@sc@l organized a GPC Tournament in 2010 which failed spectacularly because judges Taichi, Sherni, Vstrike published a troll video that detailed how they had rolled dice to determine the outcome of each of the battles in the tourney. Even though the video was supposed to be a joke, it was taken as an actual fact in the community and subsequently the tournament was cancelled and the judges banned from the board for some time [I for one didn’t know that they hadn’t actually rolled dice for all the results until taichi told me this year. Hab übrigens die Verwarnungsthreads im Modbereich gefunden, darunter auch die zu dieser Sache. Sehr witzig. ].
An important influx of opinions (and drama!) came from the PSWS-blog (‘Penspinners with sunglasses’) written by taichi, Product/3A5 and Might that led to the creation of the LPSA in 2010 (Liechtenstein Penspinning Association. No, there were no members from Liechtenstein as far as I know but Taichi/Vstrike/Might can probably say more about the whole thing). To summarise as far as I remember: The PSWS crew decided at a Hannover Gather during summer 2010 that it might be fun to create a “fake” board. From this schnappsidee, LPSA was created. LPSA 1st was released on 10.10.10. out of nowhere to ‘announce’ the LPSA. (GPC thread).
A source of never-ending debate and drama on the board was the “style vs power” discussions as they were coined in the community. Vehement defenders of both sides clashed regularly and attacked each other and their spinning style online. Over the years this argument/struggle devolved into GPC vs LPSA duality any time a thread touched on these issues. The formation of the LPSA also unleashed a wave of ‘bandwagon’ communities who were striving to imitate LPSA with their closed board mentality and coolness factor. Most, if not all of them went down in a crash and burn kind of style that saw the respective threads on the GPC board bustling with activity when the drama happened. Examples were Green Pen Spinners Association (GPSA, Drama Thread) and chocolate spinners. Only ASCPB withstood the test of time.
The GPC team reached 3rd place during world cup 2010.
2011 February 2011 saw the long awaited release of the GPC 3rd collab, which was then promptly deleted because of the community backlash for its editing and mediocre quality (at least compared to GPC 2nd).
Minwoo and Samuirai also started and cancelled their Penspinning: Online project in 2011 (awesome trailer and thread). They had designed a sort of social network specifically for pen spinning that eventually closed down again.
In WT11 most German spinners failed to achieve a deep run in the tournament, though Sponge reached top 8 and lost against Supawit at that stage. As a fairly new and unknown spinner, he really was the dark horse of the tournament. The GPC community had heard of his amazing spinning before from The Däne who didn't grow tired to praise his snappy style. Clay’s appointment as a participant on the other hand was met with controversy and some members questioned the selection process.
P@sc@l organized another GPC tournament in 2012, the only official tournament ever that reached completion with Sponge as the winner (runner up: Wai, third place: Impulse). Taichi also joined as a participant with his fake account 2-41Yamato and reached 4th place.
[I am still amazed that P@sc@l decided to organize another tourney after he was trolled so hard the first time. The second time must not have been a lot of fun for him either, because people constantly bashed him in the tournament thread. I am impressed by his perseverance]. GPCT 2012 Promo Video:
The German line-up for the world cup 2012 was strong. The community was fairly excited because Minwoo became more active again and wanted to participate. The GPC team consisted of the following spinners: Kirua, Josh_Pr, Sponge, Minwoo, Deathfish, Swob and had a good top 4 run until the tournament was overshadowed by Minwoos cheating in Round 5. He had recorded his right hand spinning, mirrored it to use it for his left hand and edited that into the combo as a 2p2h entry (GPC thread where it was eventually revealed).
After the failure of the 3rd GPC collab, the organisation of a new project was met with some doubts by the community. Eventually the project was completed though and Gefyl released the collab GPC 3.5 on January 1st 2013 with spinners from GPC and LPSA:
The slow death of GPC started with the creation of LPSA [Nashi: in a way? This might be a controversal take, so IMO IMO IMO]. A select amount of outstanding spinners “migrated” to the new board and some LPSAler used the GPC less as a platform to talk about pen spinning and more as an opportunity to troll (um mal die Worte von Product/3A5 und seinen unzähligen Fakeaccounts zu benutzen). Unsurprisingly that behaviour kind of ruined the forum experience for everyone else who was neither part of their own special little board or in on the joke. The heated opposition and counter trolling by GPC members didn’t help the toxic nature either. It reached the point where it wasn’t just one group of people but most accounts on the board behaving toxic. From 2013 onwards the decline was really noticeable with a lot less activity that mostly consisted of trolling and flaming. People flamed each other, no one really helped new pen spinners (one of the most used sentences on the board was after all “Benutz die SuFu” or “use the search function”). Most responses were one-liners that bashed or dissed certain collabs or pen spinners if they didn’t fit a certain mold (*cough*japanese *cough*). I still remember the thread where I posted Belgian spinner Blue’s solo video but most of the responses were along the lines of one word comments like ‘crap’.
So many members had fake accounts which they used to troll more. Often times you couldn’t be sure if a newbie was an actual person or yet another fake account, designed to bait stupid responses.
Ironically in the end their argument for this continued trolling, when everything else had slowly died down was that no one else was active anyways, so we should be thankful to at least see this kind of activity [yeah, right...]. A lack of stringent moderation which might have mitigated some of the more negative elements of this trend added to the problem, though it is difficult to say if it could have worked. As the German saying goes: ‘Hätte, hätte Fahrradkette’. The median age on the board was so young and many members naturally more immature. Bans were handed out at times for violations of rules but I wonder... Maybe it was simply the natural course that the community was bound to take. Maybe it became too big to sustain itself.
Well back to the topic at hand:
DerDäne, Zuppa, Swob and Nimuhra participated for the GPC in the WT13 but didn’t come far in the tournament. LPSA was granted a community slot and had their own line-up. This decision led to arguments not only in GPC but also on UPSB: What defines a board worthy to participate in the world tournament? Can it only be boards based on countries? Can anyone just create their own board to secure themselves their own tourney participation?) In the end LPSA chose Migi, Fascyo, Baaron and Impulse.
Yaemgo and Nashi also organized a European Tournament at the end of 2013.
2014 and onwards
Deathfish, DerDäne and Swob from GPC participated in the World Cup 2014 together with the Belgian spinners Ivabra and Blue and Spanish Spinner RPD as G/S/B and reaches top 4. LPSA had their own team with Fascyo, Baaron, Impulse, Sponge, Migi, Lekunga. GPC 4th with friends from LPSA was released in November 2014:
2015 saw a combined GPCxLPSA line-up again with Wai, Impulse, Däne, Zuppa and Nashi and mediocre results. Afterwards activity died down, at least in the public forum. Robert did ask for donations to keep the servers running and various members, many of whom were not even active anymore donated to keep the forum online because they still cherished the time they had spent there during their active years. There were various whatsapp groups scattered about and in the years to come Juzzle organized his (‘unofficial’, meaning that it didn’t have Roberts ‘approval’ but well, Robert is not active but Juzzle is!) Juzzle GPC collabs for which he managed to relentlessly motivate old and new German spinners alike to submit combos.
One of the notable official collabs during those years was GPC Spinfest 2016.
Juzzle alone participated in WT17 for GPC and reached the second round. The GPC discord was founded in January 2017. At first it was only 4 to 5 active people who were responsible for 90% for the traffic.
Another Spinfest Collab was released in 2019. After some restructuring and a change in the administration during that time, activity increased noticeably in 2020. Who knows, the Covid pandemic might have been one reason why more oldies and new spinners became active.
The GPC submitted a collab for the World Cup 2020 and also participated in Penspinning Olympics with Noishi for aestheticism and hiato in the category 'counter'.
Funky World Cup 2020 entry:
Furthermore a joint collab with MYPSC was published in 2020.
And in 2021 the community saw a strong entry for Spinfest:
The WT21 had the GPC join with four strong entries: Eriror, m1ch1, Juzzle and Joi. While Juzzle and Joi didn't survive R1, Eriror and m1ch1 still remain in the tournament and submitted a combo for R2, awaiting results at the moment.
For the first time since 2013 there was even a small De-Gather organized again in September 2021.
Interesting Links and Information:
Notable Spinners that have shaped PenSpinning in GPC:
Sponge (popularized modern counter links, spread-spiderspin stuff)
Kima: pencil wc
Kirua: with his infamous critique on german penspinning styles and oddities (tippes sonics!).
Notable People behind the scenes:
Robert (founder of GPC)
Juzzle (kept the community alive from 15-19 with CVs etc., and then some more)
DontKnow who was the most famous German tutorial guy.
taichi1082 as one of the outstanding editors from the German community and also judge (*if* he takes the job serious [ nur ein witz, bitte keine Haue, taichi]).
Notable German Penspinning Store:
Peak popularity of pen spinning and the GPC was in the years 2009 - 2011. That is also noticeable in the number of attendees at the German Gathering.
German Gather attendance throughout the years: Euro-Gather 2006: 15 attendees.
July 2006 saw the European Gathering in Neuss, Germany because Eriror, Michael and Patte wanted to visit Le0n and Robert. In the end 15 people came with Yoah, Kebaan and Zar from Denmark as well.
De-Gather 2008: 51 attendees.
o Winner of the tournament: Minwoo, Runner up: Eriror
2009: 53 attendees, live tournament winner: Neophine, runner up: Eriror
o International Guest: Eriror.
o Team Vengeance Gather Relay
2010: 64 attendees.
o International guests: Zombo, Pari, Eriror.
o Live tournament winner: BBR. Kaiju/Minwoo had a Breakdance Battle for 3rd.
Mindcore 2nd was filmed here:
2011: 75 attendees.
o International Guests: Lanfear, Rastaman, Eriror.
The tournament was tough competition but the final consisted of BBR, Wai and Migi doing a styler TA and walking out of the room:
Mindcore 3rd was filmed here:
2012: 42 attendees.
o International Guests: Vikroal, Yorch, Fang, Leftfinger, Yaemgo, Lanfear, Eriror.
Mindcore 4th was filmed here:
2013: 23 attendees.
o International Guests: Yaemgo, Lanfear, Eriror
2021: 19 attendees. Couldn’t be a De-Gather without Eriror.
Throughout the years there were also various small and big gatherings in a lot of the federal states. Big meetings happened in Stuttgart (Baden-Württemberg), Nürnberg (Bavaria) or Hannover (Lower Saxony) and other cities with around 20-30 people attending during times of peak popularity.
Noteworthy other community projects were the 4 PS-press “magazines” published by members from the GPC from 2008-2011
They can be downloaded here: http://pspress.mnjopp.de/ (Mnjopp the madlad still has them all on a website, how cool is that?!)
A revamp for the PS-Press with a new team happened in april 2011.
PS-Press Edition 3 (Mai 2011) with coordinator RisingPen, Vento, Kevn, Nashi and DontKnow
PS-Press Edition 4 (March 2012) with RisingPen (Artikel, Organisation), Nashi (Article), Migi (Article), Syrti (Article), Kevn (cover), Layard (layout).\
Hey, Juzzle asked for a list of PR stuff we did .. I cannot remember everything and it was a lot more that we did, but this is what I have at least some documented information about and where I somehow was involved either by doing the job or finding the people for it:
2007_01_21, TV, E-Plus (Commercial)
2007_10_xx, Magazin, Deutsche Bahn (DB mobil)
2007_xx_xx, Competition organized by Radio Energy + Youtube (yes, the founder of Youtube congratulated Le0n in person on stage in Berlin together with famous Sarah Kuttner ;-))
2007_06_02, Magazin, Nightline
2007_07_xx, Magazin, Neon (Youth magazin (by Stern, one of the biggest magazins in Germany))
2007_10_16, TV, Sat 1
2007_10_08, TV, RTL2 News (Three broadcasts on that day)
2007_11_13, TV, Guiness World Record (not too sure about the date, as far as I remember, I was about to do it but got sick and Le0n then did it, but it might have changed the date?)
2008_01_14, TV, RTL
2008_01_16, TV, TV Total (biggest effect for GPC ever since it is a tv show that was very popular among young people and was broadcasts at prime time)
2008_01_20, TV, Kabel 1 Geschicklichkeismutanten
2008_02_09, Magazin, n/a
2008_02_xx, TV, Deutsche Welle (DW-TV)
2008_06_xx, TV, Duplo (Commercial)
2008_08_04, TV, Galileo
2008_09_28, TV, Wrigleys (Commercial)
2009_03_27, TV, Pokito
2010_04_24, TV, Fujitsu (Commercial)
2010_08_27, TV, Faber Castell (Commercial)
2010_10_01, Fair, Staedler (Commercial)
2011_01_18, dpa, Aachener Nachrichten
2011_01_28, dpa, badische Zeitung (there was at least 5 other dpa articles during this time which basically means that most local news papers across Germany printed one of these)
2011_01_28, Magazin, ikksplens
2011_01_xx, dpa, NOZ
2011_01_24, TV, Galileo Fake Check Fujitsu
2011_04_27, dpa, Thüringer Allgemeine
2011_05_26, TV, WDR Lokalzeit
2011_08_xx, Magazin, GEOlino
2012_02_08, TV, Kabel 1, Abenteuer Leben
2012_06_08, Fair, YOU
2012_09_xx, TV, KiKa
2012_07_17, Magazin, Die Zeit
2013_10_15, TV, 5 gegen Jauch
As I told Juzzle, from a traffic statistics point of view the Galileo broadcast in 2008 was not specifically special, but I think it was a great spot since it showed more of the community behind it while most other things were focused on the penspinning itself. Regarding traffic the first commercial (E-Plus) and TV-Total were the game changers.
Overall I think we were successful, because everybody in the GPC was speaking about it and we had a great energy in the early days. That went much more problematic when we were "too many" people and could not keep up with organizing it as we all were doing it in our spare time. Things also changed a lot when other formats than BB boards came up that were better suited for the newer PS generations.