It's taken me nearly 24 years to develop a personality. And over the past four or five years, I've started to build actual opinions, as opposed to feeding off of others'.
AND I AM A GEEK.
So what? Wanna fight about it?
A few nights ago, a friend of mine (who shall remain nameless) was hesitant about admitting he liked playing Magic: The Gathering. What the heck! How long have I known him now? 6 years? And I'm JUST learning this?
Another friend apparently told her OTHER friends about us gaming-people. Said Other Friends asked if we wore costumes and would show up to our friend's sporting event dressed in such. WTF.
I really cannot stand the stereotypes that come with enjoying nerdy activities. Yes, I play D&D, and I enjoy playing Pokemon, and I play World of Warcraft, and I know how to play Magic, and I like to read comic books. But that doesn't mean I don't like to read novels, or appreciate good music, or go on dates, or hang out with my friends (87% of my hobbies REQUIRE the company of others), or go outside. And I'd like to think I'm pretty far from socially awkward, unless being shy suddenly makes me inept.
I've also met some amazing people from my geekdom, including my best friend. So what's with this business that we're all fat, annoying, and awkward virgins? I'm calling shenanigans on this one. I mean, I understand that a good percentage of people who are geeks may tend to meet the requirements to be stereotyped. But it took the shamed admittance of a friend's secret love for me to realize that there are probably a lot of other closet-cases out there. Shit son, for the longest time I used to be embarassed to admit my love.
"But Mel, why do you like doing it so much?"
Making a D&D character is ridiculously fun. It's my favorite part. And as an artist, coming up with my own character designs makes it even better. And then drawing my friends' characters? Man oh man. Sometimes my designs are better than most of my other material. Plus, the playing itself is never a bad time. If you're with the right people, your day will be filled with laughter.
And I initially started playing Pokemon to keep Julie company/amused on Saturdays when I was at Weekend Anime. Now I play mostly because it's sooo much fun. The world sees it as a "kid's game", and I see it as entertainment. And it beats T.V. because it requires thought and sometimes strategy. How is that any different than playing chess?
And then there's WoW. I love MMOs. I started with FFXI, which I found out after almost two years of playing it that it was balls. And by balls, I mean, it's terribad. I also tried Ragnarok Online until my character and server got wiped and I lost all my play time into the abyss that is the interwebs.
But oh, World of Warcraft. I played it for a long ass time, then I took a long break, then was roped into playing it again. I know I could probably afford to play it a little less and spend more time being productive, but laundry can always wait until tomorrow. (It works the same way Dessert does, and how there's always room for it.)
I must say that the person who came up with PvP was God's gift to the Gaming World. And being rewarded for PvPing with sweet gear/items makes it even harder to stop. I will say though, after taking the long break that I did (a year and a half or so?), I'm much more aware of my play time and am much better at playing in moderation. Because WoW will eat your soul. Like I said, being rewarded in-game for playing makes it all the more addicting.
BUT OH SO FUN.
Magic: The Gathering is the paper version of chess. I know how to play, but the only other players I really know are a bit too Serious Business for me to learn how to be good at it while simultaneously having a lot of fun. I do watch a lot of games, and so much memory is involved, it's almost as if the card text doesn't exist. Someone like me has to take 5-minute turns because I have to re-read every card in play, and even then I still make huge play mistakes.
I remember vividly watching Mick play a game with someone this summer and thinking the entire process was so quick and graceful, I couldn't tell who was winning or whose turn it was. Thinking a step ahead was never something I was good at. Nate once prepped to scoop(which means to pick up your cards before you actually "die" or lose) playing against Dean during one of his turns and said, "Come on, Dean, you're good at this game", implying that Nate knew the exact thing Dean had to do to lock the game win, and Dean would have been an idiot not to do it. It kind of reminds me of Bobby Fisher, and how he offered to shake his opponents hand like, 10 moves away from checkmating him. Shit's impressive.
And then there are comic books. I am a very visual person, and working at a comic shop has really brought out my enthusiasm for novels with pictures. WORDS WITH PICTURESSS. It's so easy to lose myself in a comic or graphic novel, to the point where I'll look up and realize I had almost forgotten where I was. Or what time it is. Or who I am. (Well okay, it's not THAT extreme, but you see my point.) The only problem with comics I've had in the past and why I don't own many is the damage it can do to my bank. Which brings me to my next point.
Money. Geeks have to have just as much money as the next person to afford their hobbies. There is a huge assumption that lots of us live in our Mommy's basement, but the only friends I have that still do are still in High School (cough). So we pay for living expenses, as well as MMO monthly fees, card tournaments, $30+ textbook-sized role-playing books, and reading material.
In conclusion, I ask: How is it fair for anyone to really judge or poke fun at geeks? Atleast we're having fun, and I, personally, love my life for being one.
So if you want to act like you're better than me because of it, you can bite my flat half-asian bum.