So I had planned to talk about Glee and its effect on geek culture, but it’s my birthday so I’m going to go a different route. We’ll talk about Glee next week, which will also give us a chance to see what’s new this season.
Today I turn the big Thee-Oh. I actually took a moment to think back on the past 25 years and was pretty surprised that I was actually able to trace my Geek Evolution. So we’re going to take a look at my life every five years and what I was most passionate about to see how I progressed in the way of the Geek.
At five years old, well I really can’t remember all that much. Hey, I was five. However, I do remember my undying dedication as a fan to He-Man. I remember the very first episode I ever watched, “The Diamond Ray of Disappearance.” It is still one of my favorite episodes. I had a massive collection of He-Man figures, which was nice since my dad was stationed in Germany and there was no English TV to speak of, or none that I can remember. I watched He-Man, Transformers, and Go-Bots through videos that we rented from the base video store. I remember a lot of playing with action figures from that time frame. That and watching Transformers at my friend Brian’s house since his older brothers had quite the collection.
Ten was a good time frame for me; we lived on a small army base in the middle of New Mexico so it was a lot like living in a small town. There was a pseudo arcade at the youth center where you could play Ghouls and Ghosts or some Dragon killer game that for the life of me I cannot remember. I was a die-hard ninja turtles fan and definitely on my way to being a full fledged gamer. I had a Super Nintendo that I got for Christmas and a subscription to Nintendo Power. While I was hard-core about Mario World the Zelda comics based on Link to the Past were my first introduction to sequential art. The live action Ninja Turtles movie came out the year before and totally blew my mind. It was the first time I can remember being so excited about a movie to come out. My expectations were very, very high because I read the novelization of the book cover to cover multiple times before the movie came out. At this time, I was also a hard-core Mega-Man fan; Mega Man 3 was the first video that I ever beat. Video games was one of the favorite past times with my friends that lived on base. I was in Fifth grade and at the end of that school year we would move to Hawaii for a three-year duty station.
Fifteen. Safe to say in terms of personal life we can leave it at that right? This was a time when I discovered a lot of my current passions. My friend Morgan introduced me to a little game called Warcraft II and to this day it is one of my favorite games. Also Final Fantasy III (VI) and Chronotrigger had taken the top spots as my all time favorite console games. I was also deep into collecting comic books, mainly the X-Men titles. I would read other books but what can I say, I really liked the look and feel of the books. I never really became a DC fan until later in life. My friend Morgan and I were also really into Magic the Gathering, I think we were on the Ice Age set. We would play at his house for hours. Morgan had played Dungeons and Dragons but we didn’t really get into the whole tabletop systems until we actually joined a Vampire the Masquerade LARP group at school. Of course, we had no idea how to actually play the game until much later, but it was fun. This was when I met the group of people who to this day I still consider my closest friends. We eventually moved into tabletop White-Wolf and D&D which lasted through the end of high school.
At twenty I was much farther from where I thought I would be. I think that sentiment goes for everyone since this birthday was ten days after the world changed. I also found myself being a single parent, far from Georgia, where I called home, and in Texas. Here I finally discovered the world of Joss Whedon. Buffy started its sixth season and I quickly got into it and Angel shortly after since it came after the new hit Smallville. I also really got into writing and started experimenting with film scripts. This was also when I became a voracious film geek. Looking back, I can tell that I got my eye for film and story design from my dad. While he was totally in the medical field, he definitely had an appreciation for a well-written story. He was never into the whole sci-fi/fantasy genre, with exceptions for movies like Excalibur, the Star Trek series, and Robin Hood. He and I would watch the latest movie of the month in the late hours. Something so simple that you never really know how much you’re going to miss it.
Twenty-five. My dad had been gone for almost a full year. The first in a stream of bittersweet birthdays. Buffy and Angel gone from the airwaves for quite sometime yet still available on my DVD collection. Instead, I retreated into role-playing games; grief will do funny things to you. I leaned back onto the World of Darkness and new games like Seventh Sea that I learned about from my new gaming group. Firefly came back as the movie Serenity. Cartoon Network was having great success with their line of cartoons based of the DC universe, which were fun to watch. Then of course there was a return to a familiar world. World of Warcraft was in its second year and pushing into its first expansion. Definitely the game to play if you want to escape from the world, which I was all to eager to avoid if I could manage it.
Thirty years old. A lot has changed, but for the better. Now, I’m married, good job, good hobbies, working on my second year of grad school. Still an avid Whedon fan and as a somewhat seasoned writer I can truly respect what a creative machine he is. I’m expanding my experiences with Geek and Gamer culture. I finally got around to watching the entire Battlestar Galactica series on Netflix, which is amazing. I’ve also been exposed to good Anime, thanks to my wife. I never really thought I would be into slice of life animation but shows like Clannad and Nana have really shown me the error of my old ways. Still incredibly addicted to the zombie genre. Still a hardcore Blizzard fan with World of Warcraft (in its third expansion), Starcraft 2, and Diablo coming up soon. It’s a great time to be a geek and a gamer. Now I’m venturing into other areas of geek culture such as the Steampunk culture, which is definitely picking up momentum to become its own cultural movement entirely. I don’t know what the next five or ten years are going to hold. I know they will definitely interesting, not easy, but interesting.
So buckle up, it’s going to be fun and let’s show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown.