Every year I make a list of what I want in a man. I write it down, put it into the universe and hope that someday, this imaginary man will float into my life.
One item that has remained on my list (since I started making lists) was I wanted someone who enjoyed to play board games. Hear me out on this… my sister and I have been Scrabble addicts for quite some time. There isn’t a day when I’m not far away from a Scrabble board or Bananagrams (another fav). For me, these word games are challenging and good exercise for the brain. My sister and I have carted our games pretty much anywhere (Irish bars, cruise ships, coffee shops, and mom’s house to name a few.)
When I started dating my boyfriend, I was pleased to learn… he was an avid gamer too. Some of our first “dates” were playing Cribbage over our cellphones while chatting via Skype. Sure it was a bit dorky, but it kept us on the “phone” and he was learning I wasn’t just some dumb blonde.
Then, back in February, my boyfriend took our “gaming” dates to a new level and he dragged me to a Gaming Convention (Stategicon). Now, I know what you are thinking. That’s pretty dorky. Sure the hotel ballroom was crawling with self-professed geeks, dorks, social outcasts, weirdos in costumes, and D&D enthusiasts. I will not lie; BUT, so there were also TONS of what looked like “socially normal” men. (FYI – The ratio of men to women was about 20-1 odds…Sweet.)
As I walked through the halls of the Gaming Convention and I saw signs like “Role Players”; “Miniatures” and “RPGs” – I was acutely aware I was not in Hollywood anymore; I was in geek heaven and in my own episode of “The Big Bang Theory”.
Now, I will note: I was also on a mission. I was there to learn about this subculture and interview individuals as part of a local TV show I was producing for an upcoming segment. While I interviewed these gamers, I grew to like them even more. They didn’t care that people thought they were different; they embraced their passion.
Here’s some other tidbits I learned about gamers…Game playing: improves math skills, utilizes your imagination, helps you solve problems (and figure out mysteries better), keeps you social with like-minded players…and bottom line….it’s FUN. As a writer and all around creative type, while I hate math, I love strategy and solving mysteries. These people got me and I got them.
I learned about LARPers (Live-Action Role Players) and GURPS (Generic Universal Role Playing System)…while I wasn’t about to don a costume, these “players” knew their stuff about characters and problem solving better then some of my favorite writers. These “players” were actually writing their own games, on the spot and diving into characterization. It was like novels coming to life. I found this revelation bizarre yet fun at the same time!
Bottom line, it was an eye opening adventure. I stepped out of my comfort zone and embraced a whole new level of games and the gaming society. They taught me not to judge the differences but embrace them. Be free to play games and step into fantasy. After all, I’ve fallen in love with a gamer and that’s exactly what I always wanted.