Not quite sure where to start with all of this. This past March I attended the ELGX 2018 gaming convention in Toronto. Conventions are absolutely fascinating. They give you a place to enjoy all the different aspects of the thing the convention is about. Or at least a lot of those aspects (nothing can ever do everything). ELGX had a retro game spot, plenty of indie game developers, a handful of big name developers, a whole troop (actually technically two troops) of YouTube gamers, and a variety of panels for developers, streamers, and fans alike. And, of course, some cosplay thrown in there to keep things fresh.
I loved it.
I was there all three days of that convention and I checked out everything from the artist alley – and bought a few things too – to the Hearthstone Tournament with actual announcers and everything. And yes, I even cosplayed a bit as well. Like super lowkey not at all fancy cosplay but I got involved (and got a free t-shirt for it too).
It was a whirl-wind of a weekend and when I got home I slept for a good twelve hours straight; a sleep like the dead. Then when I woke up I got thinking. Which, if I’m honest, is not always the safest thing for me to be doing. Not that I can turn it off. But, I’m off on a tangent (again). Needless to say I thought many thoughts anyway.
Conventions are fun but they are also niche. If you go to a gaming convention you are there for the games and the culture surrounding games. You’re not there for Harry Potter. It’s not there or, if it is, it is just tangentially there. Same with things like anime, books, sci-fi, and practically anything else that isn’t video games. That’s because conventions have to be niche – in order to include a variety of interesting activities, guests, and artists you need to limit what the convention is actually about. Thus, if you want a convention about Harry Potter you go to LeakyCon. Anime has spots like Anime North. And, of course Sci-fi has got its Comic-Con. You’ll see it a lot with online communities as well, especially in the space of Youtube. If you’re a book fan you watch the Booktubers and if you like gaming you watch the Youtube gamers. Sure, you might watch a couple different groups but you’re not expecting the booktubers to talk about movies (unless they were books before) and you don’t expect the anime youtubers to suddenly start gushing about Harry Potter. They make their money off of the niche they picked from the beginning; it’s how they trust people will keep coming back for me, because they know what to expect. You’re going to have to chop up what you enjoy in order to enjoy it to its fullest.
Except people aren’t like that. Not really. It’s very rare for someone to purely like one thing so much that they completely exclude everything else from their life. No one lives like that – there’s always going to be something else. Sure, it might not going to be a traditionally ‘nerdy’ thing but maybe it’s working out, maybe its friends and family, maybe its religious practice. Any way about it, it’s a thing that’s important to a person, that they get excited about and enjoy participating in. Those can be considered nerdy things and they make people complex beings because they aren’t always connected to the other things we like. We can like Harry Potter without really liking the movies. And we can like the Marvel movies without that affecting our enjoyment of the Harry Potter books or soccer (football for those outside North America). We are complex nerdy people with complex nerdy enjoyments and it’s not always possible to chop our enjoyment of those things up.
Why am I starting off my first blog post with a discussion about the tendency to chop up our nerdy discussions and limiting ourselves to talking about all of them separately in their own places? Because it’s not going to happen. I am literally starting this blog because I want to be able to talk about the video games I like, the books I like, the philosophies I like, and more here without being labeled as a liker of one particular thing. My nerdy is more complex then that, all of our nerdy is more complex then that. So, instead, I’m pooling all of my nerdiness into this one blog with some connections to my Youtube channel, my Instagram account (which is mainly taken up by my cat) and all the other parts of me that I haven’t allowed to exist in the same place. I am a complex nerdy and I will proudly use this space to show off my Nerdy Complexity. I hope you’ll join me, get into celebrating our varied nerdy interests and stop splitting yourself up just to be able to talk about important pieces of yourself.