Wednesday, 18 June 2008

On Types Of Geekdom

After my previous "times change" rant, I have an announcement to make, ladies and gentlemen: I don't play games. PC games, that is. No. Not the way I used to.

Far from that - I only installed Yahtzee's Trilby recently, and I haven't even finished it. And I do play the occasional wii game with my brother (I must say, I trashed his friend Hector in wii sports' bowling the other day), or with whoever has a wii around me lately, or the occasional Spider Solitaire on my PC when I'm dead bored (which happens pretty rarely lately), and I do plan to play Fallout 3 when it comes out (although I know it'll be like a post-apocalyptic Oblivion, but who's to say that's all bad?)...

This is just to make an 'official announcement' somewhere. That, plus I was talking to my friend Nick (or Apophis, call him what you will), and we decided - once he told me all enthusiastic, for the third time, that he now has a second monitor, which he can watch series' episodes on while he plays games (after which Christine and I told him off for not having watched Arrested Development. Again.) - and, alkthough we are all happy for him, like, we are also weirded out by the fact that he's now "the gaming type" so much more than he is "the watching type".

It's true that today's geeks, the type that has a pretty fast DSL connection (or cable, or what-have-you) as a norm, and downloads stuff from "the uncle in the States" ever so often, tend to go one way in spite of all others. Once, there were just "geeks". "Us geeks", we used to say, and feel a certain solidarity. We knew where we stood, and all that.

But now, oh, now. Now we've had to decide, with the limiting reagent where our 'real' interests are concerned being time - and, as I recently realized, "that feeling of absolute boredom" being something I haven't felt for a while - making us have to decide what we love the most out of all our interests, what the real "geek subject" which we belong to is. Even if that feels like the "who do you love more, mommy or daddy? question.

For some, the answer to this has been games. For others, it's been news, or reading stuff online, here and there, on websites and the works, or graphics, creating them and sharing them, or music, in all its forms. Or even - gods forbid - analogue stuff, that slow, boring "real life" some still rant about. Well, for me, it's watching stuff. Movies, or series, or web-based shows, or just your basic YouTube vid. Even just a song's video clip. Moving pictures, if you will.

And what I realized, having once been a kid that spent hours upon end reading at least one book each day, is that what I really love, what I actually crave and chase, is stories. Even the games I've loved back-in-the-day, I've loved them because of their story, because of the 'other world' they took me to, and what happened there. From Monkey Island, say, to Pinball, they all make sense to me somehow, they all 'tell me something' and 'take me somewhere'.

And that's why I really don't mind, as my brother recently discovered while playing Splinter Cell (yes, the wii is old-school in what it can provide graphics-wise, but it has awesomazing new ways to interact, which rule - I must say, I'm the one who awoke my brother to the way to 'jump' in the game, since there's no button there that does that - and I'd obviously missed the game the first time around - that is, when it came out for the PC), if I'm not the one actually playing, and I merely watch as someone else does, as, with games, the tedious part, for me, is actually interacting, in that 'interactive storytelling' do.

And, oh yes, I'm with the "video geek" crowd. Thassme. Not everyone chooses, really, but some of us have to, especially from a certain point onwards. And I did. And, although I may, for old times' sake or for sheer curiosity, touch upon other "geek realms", I know that this is my one. Mine, mine, mine. And here I'll stay. Unless something else shines temptingly on the other side, of course.

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