The Proper Care and Feeding of the Modern Gaming Geek
January 22, 2013 4 Comments
It started innocently enough. Just one night a week, to get me out of the house so I wouldn’t sit around here moping. A few hours on a Tuesday night, that was all. Now? Now, I think I may have crossed a line. I might need help. Here’s how my week looks.
Sunday: Five or six hours at Sci-Fi City playing either the X-Wing miniatures game or the new Star Wars Living Card Game. Sometimes both. And I’ve willingly missed Buccaneers games to go do this. As well as playoff games. Let me say that again: I’ve skipped football to go play with little plastic spaceships. And I’m not particularly good at X-Wing. I think I’ve won maybe once. But there I am every Sunday. I’m even skipping out on most of the Super Bowl pre-game festivities to go play.
Monday: Two and a half hours sitting at a bar as a pretense for showing off how much useless information I know. This is potentially the least geeky thing I do, since there’s beer involved. But really, I’m drinking it in service to answering trivia questions, so I think any pretense towards bar fly-dom is pretty much cancelled out by that. Plus I usually finish in the top 3 more often than not, which really raises the geek quotient.
Tuesday: Board game night at Sci-Fi City. Another three hours of gaming, but usually with a pretty good crowd. Tonight we had 40 people playing; this wasn’t a bunch of weirdos in somebody’s basement somewhere. Oh, it’s still geeky as hell, but at least there’s safety in numbers, so it sort of morphs into this collective geeekiness that doesn’t seem quite as bad as tallying it up individually.
Wednesday: Alternating between a second night of bar trivia and running a Star Wars: Edge of the Empire role-playing campaign. That second one is some deep geekery, because I’m not just playing, I’m game mastering. And not just sitting there describing what’s happening. I’m doing homework. For our last session, I spent a few hours researching rules, then printing and sleeving cards for sabacc — a card game from Star Wars that doesn’t actually exist — all for the sake of fifteen or so minutes of flavor for when the group visited a casino. I had papers in college I didn’t put that much work into.
Thursday: Okay, here’s the cry for help. Sci-Fi City’s board game Meetup group is adding a second night of gaming. And I’m going to that as well. That’s roughly 11 to 12 hours a week spent in that store playing games, 14 to 16 on the weeks when I’m running Star Wars. That’s practically a part-time job. I haven’t been successful in getting them to pay me to be there, but I may have an angle on them allowing me to simply sleep in one of the backrooms during the week.
Friday and Saturday: The days I catch up on everything I didn’t get the chance to do the rest of the week. Which usually entails catching up on all the TV and movies I missed. Basically taking a break from one type of geekery by pursuing another.
And you know what? I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything. Oh I might poke fun at myself over it, but the truth of it is I’ve met tons of new people, been introduced to all kinds of interesting new games, and successfully avoided becoming a morose shut-in who stares at the walls wondering how he got to this point in his life. And if moving around cards and cardboard tokens and little wooden people is what it takes to keep me active and happy, then print up the membership card and call me a geek. I’ll be too busy having fun to worry about the label.