Ok. The title to this one is a little off. I think I’ve always been a bit a geek in one way or another. My favorite toys when I was a kid were bowling pins, and a deck of cards. I used to make my own games with the cards, or would do things like make card game versions of my favorite game shows on TV (easy to do when my favorite game show was Card Sharks).
However, there ended out being a point where I distanced myself from my geeky nature. I can almost pinpoint it. When I was in High School, I was playing Magic the Gathering, and watching more than my fair share of professional wrestling. When I got to college, while I still had a video game system with me, I didn’t bring any MtG with me, and I had a few wrestling videos with me, but I kept them out of sight of anyone else that knew me, because I wanted to be more accepted.
So, I tucked it away for a while. Sure, I flirted with gaming while I was in college. There was one point where most of my friends fell into a Euchre phase where most of the spare time was spent playing cards. Not a bad time at all.
It wasn’t until after college when I really got back into gaming. I was working at this one place where I was allowed to listen to headphones while working, because I was doing some pretty mindless data-entry work. That’s when I first discovered Podcasts. In my searching for decent podcasts, I came across Geek Speak (as it was named at the time) from Boardgamegeek.com. I hadn’t even known what the website was, other than it was a podcast about games. The thing though? I had never heard of ANY of the games they were talking about. Tichu? Carcassonne? Ticket to Ride? Settlers of Catan? These have to be tiny niche games…
I found Carcassonne at my local Toys R Us in Wheaton, IL. From the outside of the box, it didn’t scream “this is going to be fun!”, but I picked it up anyway. Now I know what I fish feels like when it eats a worm, not knowing there’s a hook in it. Gaming pulled up hard on the reel, and I was caught. I haven’t looked back since. I’ve owned somewhere between two and three hundred games since I’ve started gaming again. I try to cycle some out from time and time again, and usually try to keep the collection to about 100. That means if I only play one a week, I’m still playing only 1/2 the collection in a year.
What made me write this today? I’ve recently re-found my enthusiasm for video games. I used to try and get my wife to play some board games, but it’s really not her bag. So, I could either start playing some solo board games (which I’ve tried, but the appeal for me has always been the social interaction), or I could pick out a video game I’ve played, and actually play it through.
I’m about 25 hours into Grand Theft Auto 4 now. I’m enjoying it! I’ve found that it’s a great stress relief for the tough days at work. My favorite moment? When my wife and I were trying to figure out what to do for dinner. I didn’t feel like choosing, so I told her I was going to start shooting random people in Grand Theft Auto (which I was playing at the time) at point blank range until she figured out where to go for dinner, and that their virtual blood was on her hands.
No, you’re fucked up 🙂