I remember the first time that I faced prejudice against geeks. I was in high school, in computer class, and I used to type up magic armor and weapons and NPCs after I was done with my class work (that’s an important lesson, kids). My teacher found out that I was doing RPGs and actually said I couldn’t work on it in class anymore. When I asked why, she told me that she believed it was involved with Satanism. After blinking without words for a bit, I talked it over with my group and we ended up having an intervention with her, educating her on what it is and that there wasn’t anything wrong with roleplaying. We were playing RIFTS, too, which didn’t even carry the stigma of D&D.
If anyone has seen my bumper stickers, they say it all. I have my “Car of Driving +5”, “Born Again Voodooist” and “Limozeen” stickers right next to my “Autism Awareness” sticker. Someone said to me “Man, I knew exactly which car was yours. The one with the geek flag on it.” And that made me smile.
Being a geek is a huge deal to me and I don’t only play tabletop RPGs. I play videos games, chat games, CCGs, board games and everything under the sun. It is a passion of mine that has molded my life into what it is right now. It’s funny because I was just having a conversation about why I love RPGs just last week with a friend of mine. If it wasn’t for roleplaying, I wouldn’t have started Third Eye Games, I wouldn’t have freelanced with other companies, I wouldn’t have made all the online friends I have, I wouldn’t have made a lot of the “real life” friends and I wouldn’t be me.
Not only is being a geek fun, though, but also roleplaying in particular can teach:
- Critical thinking skills
- Math! Math! Math!
- Acting! (Said in the voice of John Lovitz)
- Social skills
As a parent, it’s even more important to make my kids geeks too, so that they can learn these skills as well. My kids have already become collecting freaks like me and we love playing games together as a family, which feeds into many of the things that I listed above.
I know this isn’t a long post, but I couldn’t let the Speak Out With Your Geek Out event go by without saying something and being a part of this positive movement.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank all the fans out there for letting me use my passion for geekery to pay a few bills. Never be ashamed of your geekitude; wave your geek flag proudly.
Until next time.