In previous editions of Tuesday Truths, we talked about serious problems affecting the gaming community. What we discuss today isn't a serious one, but one that sits in the backburner at all times - being misconstrued, misused, and shunned. That is, of course, the "geek factor" that comes with playing role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons or Laser Ponies. Today, we discuss the geek factor: the good, the bad, and the ugly about geekdom.
Before we can discuss it, we must understand what the general population believes about gamers. Firstly, they're all virgins, living in their mother's basement, who are overweight and highly socially akward. But little do most people know - we usually don't even have a basement!
Seriously though, this sad little misconception hurts us most in the avenue of gamer recruitment - especially among the younger school-aged crowd. Individuals who want to and believe they'd have a good time gaming are afraid to because they see the geek factor as too much for them to "risk" so they're not considered "uncool." A sad social situation, but one that does exist. As the modern age advances and society as a whole learns more about gaming, this slowly subsides. However, it is sadly wrong.
<-Our typical geeks.
Using just the example of our little chapter of O.G.R.E.s, we'd actually be hard-pressed to find a virgin. The couple of us who could be considered overweight are still in shape - one even being a black belt. None of us reside with parents (excluding of course our younger, school-aged gamers - which we hope they all are living with their parents [and following all their rules under their roof - You're welcome Mrs. Jackson]). Are we socially awkward? Probably. But have you ever listened to a jock try to hold a conversation at a poetry night? Exactly. We're all socially awkward outside of our demographically-similar network of friends typically. We've got a nearly equal number of female gamers as we do male gamers, including a former and occasional model and we've even counted a midwestern porn starlet as a member (don't ask - we won't tell). So we have our share of, as you young whippersnappers would say, the hotties.
Basically, you're both right and wrong about the geek factor.
You're right in thinking we're geeks. You're wrong in accepting misconceptions such as those above, because the geek community is so much larger than most realize. You're also wrong in believing that we care, or that being a geek is a bad thing. We accept our geekdom and are honored by it and what it truly means. We just wish that younger individuals who aren't as honored by their own stereotype stop scarring off the young geeks - because remember, most likely you'll have to work for them some day. Be nice now and you'll get to leave early on fridays!
Our Tuesday Truths will continue next week with................we'll tell you next week...........until then....