I was born into the age of the geek.
I know many other nerds of my generation will happily tell how they grew up oppressed and marginalized, bullied at school, isolated with few friends. I have some stories like that, too. How I didn’t have many friends in my year and wound up playing Magic: The Gathering and Warcraft with my little brother’s friends. How I ate lunch in teacher’s rooms, or the school library, just to avoid exposure to other students in the cafeteria…
Those experiences may have helped shape my personality, but no one can call us marginalized now. And, even though science fiction and nerdy games have both been around much longer than I have, arguably the turning point between “science fiction is this weird, niche thing for people who read pulps and see b-movies” to “this is now a huge portion of the common cultural currency” is the release of Star Wars in May of 1977. One day after I was born.
Now I am so spoiled for choice of scifi and fantasy television, movies and books, that I can be truly selective about what I take in.
I mean, I am not selective, by and large. I still like me some b-movie cheese, for sure. But gone are the days of reading everything in the science fiction section of the library just because they only had so many choices (whyyyy did I read all those Xanth books?). Gone are the days where everyone has the same science fiction knowledge as each other. And gone are the days where knowledge about specific things (Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, They Might Be Giants, Gary Gygax) were the cultural shibboleths we used to determine who was in our exclusive club.
I’d like to think that gone are the days when these things are considered exclusive at all. As my youth has passed away (#pretentiousold), I have become less and less interested in shaming people for what they’re into or for what they haven’t been exposed to for whatever reason, and more interested in sharing things that bring me joy and listening to other folks about what brings them joy.
My housemate and I like to joke that all media safewords are repsected in our house. Everybody has corners they don’t want to poke into and that is fine with me. God knows, I have plenty of my own. And I don’t appreciate it when people try to push on my boundaries or mock me for what they are.
So no mocking, here. No expectations. If this is the age of the geek, then I believe there are rooms for all kinds of geeks in it. I just want to share some of the things that I’m enthusiastic about. And I hope you enjoy.