Wednesday, 14 September 2011
Speak Out 2: You Got Spoked
Apparently, Speak Out With Your Geek Out is a week-long blogasm or it's taking everyone a whole damn week to get through all our geeky love and we're just getting more and more inspired as we continue reading. Fair enough, let's add to that gargantuan list, shall we?
Monday's entry into the postarama expressed my mistrust of acceptance as a geek. Mistrust may be a bit of a strong word as it implies I'm waiting for people to lure me into a basement lit by only a single lightbulb hanging from a chain and forcing me to watch hours of baseball until I turn; let's call it uncertainty. It's given me pause for thought and implies either I have extremely serious social issues (which is definitely on the table) or there's another underlying reason for this response. Being the introvert I am coupled with months of therapy, I wanted to explore this further.
Cue the meditation cloud.
As a teenager, I discovered roleplaying games as an extension of board games, particularly the classic Hero Quest board game. No sooner had we figured out how to play AD&D, we were knee deep in the mists of Ravenloft. Then the Realms, Athas, Sigil, and every other damned mythical locale we could get our hands on. Add to that my dad running a comic book store with a roleplaying section and one of my best friends doing a co-op placement at the competing comic book store with a roleplaying section and we had any TSR product at our disposal in a small town where reading was a sign of possession.
Aha! Note those last few words. Bitterness. Resentment. Clearly my mistrust comes from my environment - high school. I spent my formidable years in Brockville, Ontario, Canada attending Thousand Islands Secondary School. Bullying was developed into an art form there (if you consider flinging dog crap on a brick wall art). There was no way we were going to break out dice and a DM screen in the middle of the hall at lunch hour and save the world. That must be the cause of my malcontent attitude towards non-geeks. They called me "nerd" and "queer" in high school (despite not being gay - that's how defined the word "accurate" is). Curse them all, right?
Wrong. All that remains with me today, don't get me wrong, and Adult Me has a few scores to settle come the first high school reunion. But that doesn't sit as a solution to this perception and I'm going to get a little after-school-special for a moment.
Bullying is wrong, blah, blah, blah. It also defines who you will become as an adult. Roleplayers are those individuals who not only tried an RPG once or twice, but came back for more and kept on going into adulthood despite it's unfavourable opinion. We've addressed what that says about everyone else, now what does that say about us?
We are not meant to fit in. That's not a bad thing, that's the first and greatest step in development and independence a young person could ever hope for. I don't have kids of my own, but I would be proud of any child who goes off in their own direction rather than follow the old man's path. Or anyone else's path, for that matter. It's who we are and it's what roleplaying is about. The entire premise of roleplaying is the definition of improvisational creativity; why the hell would we want to be like everyone else? I've taken a look at the other activities out there and nothing causes my heart to skip a beat like the idea of a RPG, a legitimate fact proven by the number of times I catch sight of something from the corner of my eye and say to myself "Hey, is that a roleplaying book? Nuts, it's a cookbook."
I don't know about you, but I don't want to fit in. It's boring. And crowded. To me, it's more important to know what fireball caps off at 5d6 damage then the names of every Kardashian's boob doctor. I feel sorry for anyone who can't comprehend and feels intimidated by our games. It's their loss. Over half of my wedding party and invited guests are roleplayers and we'll be dropping dice for my bachelor party. Sound weird? Good, cause I wouldn't have it any other way.
Humanity does not evolve by staying the same. The world does not need more of the same, it needs more of everything. And someone has to be the Gamemaster.