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What is a "Dark Age"

TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,253
So peeps, what do consider to be a dark age? And how would you know if one was on its way?

I see the phrase from time to time on this forum and was wondering what you all think.
mafonFowlerBricks

Comments

  • KaitchKaitch N. IrelandMember Posts: 235
    I believe, on this forum, "Dark Age" normally refers to the time when you stopped being a KFOL (Kid Fan Of Lego) and became more interested in such things as exams, jobs, cars/make-up, and the opposite sex. The Dark Age ends when one sees the light, and becomes an AFOL (Adult Fan Of Lego). I may be incorrect, but I suspect the end of the Dark Age tends to coincide with getting a job and disposable income, while at the same time finding adult life isn't that much fun after all.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UKMember Posts: 3,173
    A dark age is simply the period of your life where you were not interested in Lego.
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,492
    edited July 7
    "The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, typically regarded as lasting from the 5th or 6th century to the 10th century CE,[1] marked the start of the Middle Ages of European history...  The period has been labelled the "Dark Ages", a characterization highlighting the relative scarcity of literary and cultural output from this time, especially in Northwestern Europe. "


    Too literal?


  • GeordiePaulGeordiePaul Glastonbury, CT, USAMember Posts: 411
    Literal, but also educational, which is nice.
  • The_RancorThe_Rancor Dorset, UKMember Posts: 343
    Kaitch said:
    ..."Dark Age" normally refers to the time when you stopped being a KFOL (Kid Fan Of Lego) and became more interested in such things as exams, jobs, cars/make-up, and the opposite sex.
    Based on Brickset it definitely happens a lot, but I would say it's difficult to pin down and define it quite in the same way as the above - I imagine there are plenty of LGBT AFOLs around for example. The analogy from Paperballpark of "A dark age is simply the period of your life where you were not interested in Lego." is just about the best and most simple it can get without pinning it on anything specific about the individual.

    I should admit that you can take my words around Dark Ages with a pinch of salt because I haven't reached a Dark Age (proper) yet. I'd certainly aim to keep Lego in my interests but circumstances may well change in the future so I can't make any bold claims like "I'll never have one!".

    In the situations referenced, I used Lego to keep me both calm and to exercise my brain in exam periods, as well as a point of creativity very different to my regular workplace since I started full time work. When I was a student I bought very little new Lego because I had to be tighter on cash (and I didn't feel it'd scream 'independent mature adult' to my housemates), but I never lost my interest in the hobby throughout.

    The most significant factor that may affect my love of Lego is a relationship I find myself in - the Lego Wife column in Blocks suggests there are plenty of enthusiastic/long suffering partners out there for AFOLs. But equally, what do I do if I think I've really found a connection but they think my hobby's childish and I should get rid of my Lego? There are plenty of partners out there who hate football but don't stop their other half from watching it so I might make the perhaps ignorant/optimistic hope that something similar could apply to Lego.

    Interesting thread though - I hadn't noticed one like this before.
  • Baby_YodaBaby_Yoda The world's backsideMember Posts: 471
    I've yet to experience one, but I predict this
    The_Rancor said:
    But equally, what do I do if I think I've really found a connection but they think my hobby's childish and I should get rid of my Lego?
    will be my downfall, if anything. It's not the most attractive hobby. Although I don't think I could find a connection with someone who thinks Lego is childish ;)
  • MrShinyAndNewMrShinyAndNew Member Posts: 227
    The_Rancor said:

    The most significant factor that may affect my love of Lego is a relationship I find myself in - the Lego Wife column in Blocks suggests there are plenty of enthusiastic/long suffering partners out there for AFOLs. But equally, what do I do if I think I've really found a connection but they think my hobby's childish and I should get rid of my Lego? There are plenty of partners out there who hate football but don't stop their other half from watching it so I might make the perhaps ignorant/optimistic hope that something similar could apply to Lego.
    I would mistrust a "connection" if your partner doesn't let you have your hobbies. If your hobby is out of control - your budget is blown, or your house is unlivable, or it takes all your time, or whatever - fine. Maybe you have a problem or could at least dial it back a bit. But everybody likes to have a hobby and not everybody will like their partner's hobbies. If they merely dislike your hobby it's probably workable. If they make you choose then maybe they're not right for you.
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,253
    Not sure if I am on the verge of a dark age or my priorities are altering. Recently I have found that I am not really keen on most Lego sets that are for sale and even small sets that I would lap up at 50% off I am not bothering with.

    I do still enjoy buying parts for MOCs but then never get around to using them to build with.

    I'm almost getting to the point where I cannot be bother to build sets.

    I think I need a Dr!
  • Baby_YodaBaby_Yoda The world's backsideMember Posts: 471
    Don't force yourself. Try to keep the hobby on the backburner - don't ever give your bricks away or sell them - but don't make yourself buy a set if you know you're not going to open it anytime soon. If Lego ends up becoming a chore you'll only grow to despise it. Maybe keep one of your favourite models right where you'll see it often, like on your desk or a shelf above your bed, so you'll never completely forget about it. But don't build anything unless you feel like it. I think you'll eventually get the itch again.
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,253
    Baby_Yoda said:
    Don't force yourself. Try to keep the hobby on the backburner - don't ever give your bricks away or sell them - but don't make yourself buy a set if you know you're not going to open it anytime soon. If Lego ends up becoming a chore you'll only grow to despise it. Maybe keep one of your favourite models right where you'll see it often, like on your desk or a shelf above your bed, so you'll never completely forget about it. But don't build anything unless you feel like it. I think you'll eventually get the itch again.
    Well I do have a Lego room and a fair few models on display in a cabinet. So I won't forget it! I think it is the wife about to drop a sprog that is making it feel less important to me. Perhaps I should try building the panama canal which I have brick linked to try to re-enthuse myself.
  • MrJacksonMrJackson Member Posts: 214
  • MrJacksonMrJackson Member Posts: 214
    What is a sprog?

    Can't seem to edit, and probably should have just googled it in the first place.  So, a little one on the way? First one? You had better back-burner your Lego time for the immediate future. Take it from someone who has a 14 month old and spent a lot of time working on a Lego city as a way to decompress to the point where it got in the way.  Your time will be totally monopolized and I would strongly suggest not spending time on Lego while the newbie is awake and/or needs attention at some unholy hour. This hobby should be less important all of a sudden, as should everything else. It becomes a balance after the kid and wife go to bed: do I call it a night and get decent sleep, or do I stay up for a bit doing ___________ and get some me-time? Be careful with that, too, because she will have very, very little me-time, and it can easily be perceived that you're more interested in everything else (including Lego) than the family. 

    @The_Rancor most of the people who have big collections/setups, including myself, have kind of discovered a similar phenomenon. You're in the UK so I assume you don't watch baseball, but the "Winning Pitcher" stat is one that has been devalued and deemed irrelevant with the dawn of analytics: since it's a team game and the pitcher can only control so much, the Win stat has been knocked down many notches and is no longer deemed an effective measure of a pitcher's skill. However, fascinatingly enough, once those W's start to pile up over a career, the perception of it changes, as it is indicative of success over a long span of time - there's something elusive and etherial about the 300-Win benchmark. So individual Ws don't matter, but when that number is well into the 200s and up, they somehow do again. 

    What's this have to do with Lego?  A couple sets here and there, and a couple more and a couple more, may be deemed "ridiculous" or "a childish habit", but there seems to be a tipping point where once enough shelf space is filled and enough scenes and dioramas are built that it becomes a form of artistic expression, especially with MOCs and custom scenes.  So the attitude begrudgingly morphs to realizing that not only is it a hobby, it is something we enjoy as a way to downshift from the everyday chaos. Invariably everyone that has come over since Brickadelphia has been built, or that I've shown pictures of it to, has said something on the lines of "Mark you're a nerd, but you knew that already, and this is actually pretty cool."  My argument is that it's a better hobby than videogames and binge-watching shows. At least I have something physical to show for it that I've built over time and that my son and I will be able to enjoy together down the road. 
  • HugeYellowBrickHugeYellowBrick At my PCMember Posts: 379
    ^^^^ Perhaps there is something such as a MAFOL, Mature Adult Fan of Lego, with the attributes you describe. This may be different to a SAFOL, Saturated Adult Fan of Lego, one who has simply run out of storage and display space, and has to be selective about what they buy. I would put myself in this latter group.

    Having children is going to change everything, for years. Put a lock on the Lego room, and roll with the chaos.
  • HugeYellowBrickHugeYellowBrick At my PCMember Posts: 379
    edited July 8
    But equally, what do I do if I think I've really found a connection but they think my hobby's childish and I should get rid of my Lego? 
    Remind him/her that it is a hobby that will mainly keep you at home, with heating and lights on, rather than going out drinking, gambling and womanising.

    A friend of mine started going out with a girl, and only discovered she was an AFOL when she invited him to her flat. Happy ending - he also became an AFOL, and now they are discovering that it is not a child-proof hobby.

  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,253
    @HugeYellowBrick the room already has a lock, so I am one step ahead.
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,253
    @MrJackson no worries I have already trained the wife to operate with low levels of attention from me :-)

    Yes it is the first one, and the wife is having a year off work. So suddenly there is so much less money available for Lego. Perhaps that's why my subconscious has tempered my buying.
  • Mr_CrossMr_Cross East Anglia (UK)Member Posts: 658
    I have a six year old and a four year old and I would say that only in the last year or so have I had time for my own LEGO again. My son is really quite into it, and so there is a little more LEGO time than there would be otherwise.

    I have remained interested in LEGO throughout the time my children have been small, the odd little set for an occasion, periodic Bricklink orders to make sure I had the parts I wanted if I found time (I didn't).

    Prior to this I would say I have had two dark ages.

    My first dark age was during sixth form college and University (16/17-21). Then I got myself an #8880 when I started work in '95 but that was the only thing I bought. I really got into LEGO again with the Star Wars sets in '99, but didn't do much more than build the sets and then store them. I think it was more a Star Wars thing than a LEGO thing, although part of it might have been a hoarding collecting thing.

    I had a second, much more brief, dark age when I met my Wife in 2001, possibly and regrettably  compounded by how I felt about 'Attack of the Clones'. It only lasted until we got married and she bought me #4504 for Christmas '04 (at my request). The immortal words "this isn't the start of something is it?" and my retort "No, I just want this one thing..." are occasionally joked in our house when a new or large set enters through the front door!

    My advice, is keep an eye on LEGO as much as you can, I regret so many of the sets I missed out on during each dark age or down time. Some of it was unavoidable, babies are like Black Holes for money.
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,253
    I guess my next few years will be...

    1) Baby
    2) Sorting the ten years of DIY I need to finish
    3) Lego

  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,492
    Mr_Cross said:
    The immortal words "this isn't the start of something is it?" and my retort "No, I just want this one thing..." are occasionally joked in our house when a new or large set enters through the front door!
    And, from that day on, @Mr_Cross has only used the back door to his house. ;)
  • andywilsonandywilson UKMember Posts: 38
    So, if you never had Lego as a kid 'cos your family was too poor - can you be said to have had a Dark Age?
  • The_RancorThe_Rancor Dorset, UKMember Posts: 343
    edited July 9
    But equally, what do I do if I think I've really found a connection but they think my hobby's childish and I should get rid of my Lego? 
    Remind him/her that it is a hobby that will mainly keep you at home, with heating and lights on, rather than going out drinking, gambling and womanising.

    A friend of mine started going out with a girl, and only discovered she was an AFOL when she invited him to her flat. Happy ending - he also became an AFOL, and now they are discovering that it is not a child-proof hobby.

    That is something I hadn't really considered - conversion therapy. I'm open to the idea that if I found said girl - who isn't really into Lego but equally doesn't detest it - perhaps it's something you can promote and share then see if you both like it, just like a sport or film genre only one of you liked originally. In situations like this I've already seen the benefits of the (seeming) background normalisation the Lego films and documentaries have brought in, where attitudes may have been very different only a few years ago. I think there's also a larger acceptance now for adults enjoying things they enjoyed in their youth - hence many, many 80s licensing deals, films and reboots it would seem. I'm not from the 80s but I do feel it's a positive thing too for Lego fans. 

    Speaking of Lego movies, I wonder if it could be said that either Lord Business, or Finn, or both, are experiencing dark ages in Lego Movie 2? - it seemed implied from the trailer/synopses.
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 9,734
    Baby_Yoda said:
    I've yet to experience one, but I predict this
    The_Rancor said:
    But equally, what do I do if I think I've really found a connection but they think my hobby's childish and I should get rid of my Lego?
    will be my downfall, if anything. It's not the most attractive hobby. Although I don't think I could find a connection with someone who thinks Lego is childish ;)
    One could have much worse hobbies!
  • PolyphemusPolyphemus Sydney, AustraliaMember Posts: 55
    Whilst everyone's experiences growing up will differ, I think is fairly safe to assume that most young people go through a phase in their teens or early twenties where they wish to appear more grown up than they actually are. Childhood hobbies are either forgotten or deliberately abandoned in the pursuit of 'cooler' interests. For myself this included LEGO. I can't quite remember exactly when or how it happened. I suspect it was partly out of my own desire to appear 'cool' as I entered my teens and began high school and partly due to my parents simply not buying it for me anymore in preference to clothing and the like for Christmas and birthday presents.

    Thus began a long period of interest in guitars, mountain bikes, surfing, power tools, furniture, household goods, cheese, wine, watching bands, having a drink at the pub and other mundane adult items and activities well into my twenties and thirties. It wasn’t until only a few years ago, in my late thirties, that I rediscovered how much fun it is to build things out of little plastic bricks.

    I became a teenager in 1991. My early high school years in Australia were a blur of flannelette, long hair, goatees and heavy metal. If I'd been caught playing with LEGO in the mid 90's at age sixteen I probably would have been wedgied every day of my life for the rest of the decade. That's a Dark Age to me, that period of my life where LEGO wasn't 'cool' anymore. This is unlikely to happen again. I'll be 40 by the end of this year, I haven’t been cool for most of this decade. I might eventually give it all up one day but it won't be for the same reason, therefore I won't think of it as a Dark Age. I'm guessing DA's will become less common over time. It's not the 90's anymore, pursuing childhood hobbies into adulthood doesn't appear to be looked down upon like it used to be and LEGO seems to be more mainstream than ever.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants Sofia BG/Dallas TXMember Posts: 4,852
    @Polyphemus There is nothing more mature than a good cheese!
  • PolyphemusPolyphemus Sydney, AustraliaMember Posts: 55
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 275
    edited July 9
    But equally, what do I do if I think I've really found a connection but they think my hobby's childish and I should get rid of my Lego? 
    Remind him/her that it is a hobby that will mainly keep you at home, with heating and lights on, rather than going out drinking, gambling and womanising.

    A friend of mine started going out with a girl, and only discovered she was an AFOL when she invited him to her flat. Happy ending - he also became an AFOL, and now they are discovering that it is not a child-proof hobby.

    That is something I hadn't really considered - conversion therapy. I'm open to the idea that if I found said girl - who isn't really into Lego but equally doesn't detest it - perhaps it's something you can promote and share then see if you both like it, just like a sport or film genre only one of you liked originally. In situations like this I've already seen the benefits of the (seeming) background normalisation the Lego films and documentaries have brought in, where attitudes may have been very different only a few years ago. I think there's also a larger acceptance now for adults enjoying things they enjoyed in their youth - hence many, many 80s licensing deals, films and reboots it would seem. I'm not from the 80s but I do feel it's a positive thing too for Lego fans. 

    Speaking of Lego movies, I wonder if it could be said that either Lord Business, or Finn, or both, are experiencing dark ages in Lego Movie 2? - it seemed implied from the trailer/synopses.
    The so far proven way for conversion is to buy them a giant set they would like and let them build it. It can cause immediate addiction.

    As has been shown by the December 2016 Disney Castle livestream. She went from the start of the stream being all "I've never built a Lego set" to "No, I need to finish this bag!" by the middle, and the guy was like "OMG slow down! This is why no one bought you Lego, you're a junkie!"
  • Baby_YodaBaby_Yoda The world's backsideMember Posts: 471
    ^ Licences are a good way to ignite some people's interest. I've seen sets like Doctor Who and Ghostbusters bring others out of their dark ages. I believe that a friend of mine's dark age is drawing to a close thanks to the announcement of Overwatch sets. He has also already expressed interest in collecting the full Scooby-Doo theme. I don't know how to tell him that he's very, very late to the party.
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 275
    There is no late, we have Ebay and Bricklink.
  • milambermilamber Norfolk UKMember Posts: 210
    No, the best conversion is the Winter Village sets. You can buy as many as you want under the guise of Christmas decorations. That opens the door to everything else
  • Baby_YodaBaby_Yoda The world's backsideMember Posts: 471
    ^^ True, but the smallest set appears to go for ~$60 on Ebay. And he want the whole theme. He could buy the new Bugatti Chiron for less than every set! He wouldn't trust Bricklink, either.
  • herbyderbyherbyderby CaliforniaMember Posts: 46
    The Lego Movie is what pulled me out of my dark ages, though having a kid around the same time certainly didn't hurt. I've heard from other people who were similarly affected. 
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,253
    Definitely losing my love of Lego. Built the panama canal today from parts I had accrued and found the whole experience rather bland. Ended up letting the wife finish the build and post build my instant thought was take it apart again and sell the bricks in my BrickLink store. No real joy or fun was gained from the build :-(
     
  • FowlerBricksFowlerBricks USAMember Posts: 1,320
    ^Don't sell your collection though!
  • The_RancorThe_Rancor Dorset, UKMember Posts: 343
    ^^ I hate to say it but when the fun stops, stop?
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,253
    ^Don't sell your collection though!
    No I would not sell my crown jewels. But may be.a bit more selective and thin down a little.
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,253
    ^^ I hate to say it but when the fun stops, stop?
    My buying has dried up. It is the lack of satisfaction in building that is worrying.
  • Baby_YodaBaby_Yoda The world's backsideMember Posts: 471
    To be fair, I've heard that the Panama Canal doesn't exactly offer the most action-packed building experience around.
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,253
    Baby_Yoda said:
    To be fair, I've heard that the Panama Canal doesn't exactly offer the most action-packed building experience around.
    It comes in five sections. Three of which are essentially the same.
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