Monday, March 31, 2014

Reboot, Re-focus, Reload

I’ve decided that I want to give this whole blogging thing another go. After a few more years getting into tabletop gaming and greater exposure to gamer culture online, I feel that I have more to say and more background to speak with insight.

There are a few geeky topics of varying intensity that I would like to blather about here including tabletop and online gaming, comic books, geeky movies or TV, and opera. A common thread that continues to come up in conversations with my wife and friends, however, is the state of nerd communities and our media.
What has happened in terms of my nerdvolution in recent years? I’ve played some new table top RPGs: Pathfinder, Numenera, and a game developed by a friend of mine called Valor. I’ve played oodles of MMORPGs in a desperate quest to replace the increasingly problematic World of Warcraft. For one of these games, Star Wars: The Old Republic, I helped start and lead a guild, which turned out to be an interesting window into a whole host of issues about bullying, personal identity, and nerdly social dynamics that I would never have guessed would come up.

I have also read a great deal more of the quintessential nerd books and comics including some of the Drizzt series, Harry Potter, Star Wars novels, The X-Men’s Phoenix Saga, and the Forgotten Realm’s Avatar series… which similarly brought up a whole host of feminist and racial identity issues. Go figure.
I really enjoyed these games and this nerdy media most of which I have only consumed in the past 2 or 3 years or so. My experience with gamers has been largely great and I have met people from different background that I would have never met otherwise. Nevertheless, something about these experiences sometimes fires up my sociological eye.

Maybe nerd media and communities are no more backwards or troublesome than the general populace and mainstream media. Like the general populace and mainstream media, however, nerd demographics are thankfully diversifying more and more. As this happens the troublesome aspects of gender and racial tropes and acceptance (or lack thereof) within this diversifying group become more and more apparent and demanding of investigation and challenge.
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