We are in the final ten days of the Geek Out Challenge! I have been absent the past few days so I’m looking forward to catching up so I’m going to just jump into this. Our Day 21 challenge question is about how fandoms have influenced my life. There’s many ways that my interests and hobbies have affected my life, but I have condensed it down to a few examples.
How did fandoms influence you and your life?
Safe Haven – The biggest way that my fandoms have influenced my life is probably one of the most common amongst everyone in our geeky community, the haven that something like video games or Star Wars can provide from the stress of life. I don’t want to make it seem like I had much happen in the way of traumatic experiences as a child or adult, but just the simple comfort of having something to retreat to on those days as a kid when you feel like there’s something wrong with you because you’re not exactly the same way as every other kid out there. I was the kid that routinely heard “you’ll never amount to anything just sitting around playing video games” from teachers and family members(I showed them, huh?). It wasn’t until I was a bit older that I became a little more familiar with the traits and tendencies of introverts that stuff started to click; there’s nothing wrong with preferring to stay at home to read or play some video games over “going out” like I felt like I was expected to do. There’s plenty I could write about misconceptions of being introverted or the false perception of gamers simply being “anti-social” types. In short, my interests like gaming, Star Wars, or Batman have provided what I have always considered a “fortress of solitude” where I can simply be myself.
Bonding – Another positive way that video games and my general “nerd culture” interests have affected my life is in how one can bond with others and not be something one exclusively keeps to themselves; just about anyone who loves Doctor Who or Harry Potter will tell you one of the most thrilling aspects of fandoms are finding someone else who shares your passion. This has been one of the most wonderful aspects of my relationship with my wife, we have just about the same tastes and interests in most things. It was actually my wife that introduced me to Doctor Who. I have mentioned in the past that I worked at an Amazon customer service center, and during that time it seemed like just about everyone was a Doctor Who fan and had everything from Dalek figurines to sonic screwdrivers at their desks. I knew of the show but had never actually watched it and wasn’t until my wife started watching the show that I finally started watching and was hooked shortly thereafter. I remember my wife trying to explain to me how sad it was to was David Tennant leave as he regenerated into someone else and not knowing exactly what she was talking about I asked “so…he died?”. I soon began watching through all the Christopher Eccleston episodes before catching up with all the Matt Smith episodes(and being horribly confused). We have since watched all of the Peter Capaldi seasons and have kept up with the 13th Doctor – Jodie Whittaker who we love as well. We still routinely will make some reference to a Doctor Who episode and within a matter of seconds will usually say “I love that episode! Let’s watch it again!”.
Outlet – The last example I have of fandoms affecting me is what I’m currently doing now. I’ve only had a WordPress blog site for 6 months now, but it has been an incredible experience that has to a degree pushed me outside my comfort zone and challenged me to put my thoughts into words, whether they are coherent or not is debatable. I have loved video games my entire life and have been one of my biggest sources of happiness in my life and have been able to use my blog as an outlet to express that.
That’s it for now! How have your fandoms affected your life? Maybe bringing you somewhere you wouldn’t have imagined previously? Let me know in the comments below. See you tomorrow…