Over at the Flames Rising website, Monica Valentinelli has sent out the call: fight nerd rage by embracing your inner geek. It’s time to “Speak Out with your Geek Out”.
Speak Out now has a blog site with which you can share and revel in your geeky passions without fear of incrimination, stigmatization, and ostracism.
Take a stance against baiting nerd rage and stereotypes of geeks.
Post about how much you love your geeky hobbies or vocation from Monday, September 12th, 2011 to Friday, September 16th on your blog, website, social media account or in a forum somewhere. Then come here and tell us about it. We’ll have a kick-off post where you can stand and be counted.
Let’s show the world why we’re awesome and why there is nothing wrong with being a geek.
A laudable goal, to be sure. For I, my friends, am a big ol’ geek. In case you haven’t figured this out yet. My blog’s new tagline is “Fiction, Reviews, Geekery”. My Twitter handle is Pencilneckgeek. I have not exactly been hiding my geek light under a bushel.
The project calls on us to highlight something geeky that we love and want to share with others. It is very hard for me to narrow this down to just one thing, so I’m going to hit my top three geek-outs.
Geek Out the First: Costuming
Both my wife and I love put together costumes. We don’t get to do it as often as we like but really enjoy it. Anime cons, sci-fi cons, Renaissance Faires–any excuse to wear a different skin. We even got married in costume (see left).
Part of the appeal is that of old fashioned make-believe. We don’t really “cosplay” per se–we don’t develop roles and play them and such. We just love the dressing up part.
The really cool thing about this is getting to interact with others with the same passion. When we get stopped at events to get our picture taken, or stop others to take theirs, we get to admire the effort and skill that goes into some really great pieces. It’s gratifying when our efforts are acknowledged but magical when we see what other people have been able to accomplish. All out of a simple love of the hobby.
Geek Out the Second: Roleplaying Games
First of all, despite my first geek-out above, I do not do live action roleplaying (LARP). At least, not yet anyway. I’m still too much of an introvert to delve that deeply in social interaction. What I’m talking about is good old fashioned, table-top RPGs.
I really started playing RPGs when I was in high school. I had dabbled a bit with the original red box Dungeons and Dragons, running scenarios for my siblings, but really got hooked when I moved to a new town and played regularly with my new friends. Our game of choice was Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (1st Edition represent, yo!). Then we moved on to Second Edition and eventually even some home-brewed games. I started off as a player but then started running games myself. Not only AD&D but our home-brews and later Vampire: The Masquerade, Star Frontiers, and little DC Heroes action. Now I’m a running a Serenity RPG campaign (rather intermittently with my group’s schedules and such).
Table-top RPGs have been a huge part of my social life since I was teenager. I’ve played with the same group of friends now for over ten years (a couple of these guys for closer to twenty). By running various games, I’ve learned how to be a better manager of both time and people. I’ve learned to be a fair judge and make better decisions. I’ve learned to think critically. I’ve also learned when to remember that this is all a game and the point is to have fun: stop sweating the petty stuff (or petting the sweaty stuff).
I was also roleplaying during the big “D&D is going to cause to you worship Satan and commit suicide” scare during the 80s through early 90s. During my junior year in high school, I wrote a research paper about how ridiculous this phenomenon was. I had been playing D&D pretty regularly for a few years by then and had zero suicidal or satanic tendencies…well, at least not any more than your average 14-16 year old. I was also given, with the best of intentions, a copy of Pat Pulling’s “The Devil’s Web“. So I learned, through my exposure to roleplaying games, how to think for myself. To look beyond what was so-called “normal” and to trust my own instincts and my rationality.
Geek Out the Third: Kung-Fu Flicks
I do love me some cheezy kung-fu flicks. As long as there is plenty of martial arts action, bring on the cinema frommage! This is an addiction my wife does not understand. But I feel that anything gets instantly cooler if it has flying ninjas or samurai swords. How can it not?
While I do love the artful side of Asian cinema (Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Sanjuro) and the quality marital arts films of Bruce Lee, Sonny Chiba, and Jackie Chan, I also dig the decidedly cheezy. Revenge of the Ninja, for example. Or even American Ninja. But the ultimate of these guilty pleasures is definitely Chinese Super Ninjas! (aka Five Element Ninja). In fact, this one lives in infamy amongst my circle of friends due to its uncanny ability to incite fake-violence. The first time my friend and I watched it, fake ninja action resulted in my breaking his ceiling fan. For my ninja skills are l33t and formidable.
What do I get out of cheezy kung-fu flicks? Nothing but glorious fun. Maybe a little macho male wish fulfillment fantasy. But really nothing more than just joyous, goofy, no-holds-barred fun. And there’s nothing really wrong with having a bit of that in your life from time to time.