Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Inner Geek

The other day, for one reason or another, I thought a ton about all the geeky/nerdy things I do/done and why it seems like I don't do them as much anymore. This, in turn, made me immediately begin to devise of ways I need to "bring back the geek" in my life. Here are a few things I thought about and miss about my geeky side:

1. Video Games

Ever since I was a lad I've enjoyed playing video games. Sports games, first-person shooters, action RPGs, and even the educational ones (Oregon Trail anyone?). Believe it or not I have spent over four and a half months playing World of Warcraft! No, not playing the game OVER four and a half months time, but ACTUALLY playing for over four and half months of the game alone! (probably more than that, but I can't really remember what my last game timer said) Anywho, the point is I like games.

Maureen seems to think that I will eventually grow out of them, but I disagree. People forget that video games are still in their infancy as a medium. They only began in the 70s and gained mass appeal starting in the 80s. So we are only now beginning to see that first generation of video gamers who were kids in the 80s become adults and the jury is out whether or not they will continue playing them in their old age. I for one think we will. A good game for me is like a good book. I enjoy the story line, characters, plot developement, PLUS I get to kill orcs, dragons, and zombies while I do it.

I need a suggestion for a good game out there that could take up 60 to 120 hours of time to beat. Something like a Final Fantasy game. Perhaps I should just replay FF7 for the umpteenth time.

2. CCGs

CCGs, for those who don't know, are "Collectable Card Games". I have played quite a few in the past and although they are expensive hobbies they can be quite fun.

In middle school, my friend Jeff and I used to play Star Wars CCG and spend the night at his house playing a rediculously long version of the game (that we made up) that could take hours, if not days, to play. It involved over 200 cards, Jeff's parents banquet dining table, and a hefty helping of the force. We probably only finished a few games the whole time we collected those things, but the extra knowledge we learned about Star Wars from them was priceless.

I also, at some point, got into YuGiOh with my brothers, and my then roommate Amar. YuGiOh is a card game based on an anime series by the same name that is about the card game which is based on the ..... woah, I reached an infinite loop. So basically from what I remember there are some simple set rules to the game that they explain in the show and each of the cards helps you or hinders your oppenent in some way. The game dynamics were fairly simple, but the level of complexity once all the cards were added in was so high that it made the games, which were short, really fun and challenging. I got out when it got too expensive or when I started drinking, one or the other. Either way I couldn't do both.

Might be fun to dig up some cards.

3. Anime

Always been a fan and I've kept up with some series for a while, but after this summer I just let them slip away. It would be nice if I could get Maureen interested in one or two series that I used to like, but I know that they are primarily aimed at boys/Japanese people. I say people because I knew quite a few Japanese girls who enjoyed them as much as any boy.

Rurouni Kenshin was always my favorite and might be something that I could get her to watch. It's the story of Kenshin, a wandering swordsman in Meji era Japan who has a mysterious past and a vow to never kill again. He is quickly recognized as the legendary "hitokiri battousai", which is loosely translated as "manslayer", a ruthless killer who was infamous during the Meji/Tokugawa civil wars. Throughout the series he is confronted with his past and must fight to protect his friends all while battling his inner demons and keeping his vow intact.

..sounds good right!?!

I watched Ponyo the other day and it made me miss this bit of my own past. Of course, Miyazaki is a genius that can only be rivaled today by Pixar, and that's just barely.

As I'm getting married soon, I had to ask myself if these were things that I will give up once I enter married life? Probably the CCGs won't make a reappearance (unless my nieces, nephews, or own kids get into them), but the rest I think is with me for the long haul.

I know for a fact that Maureen doesn't like video games, but she just wasn't raised on them and I don't think they are a bad thing. It's a new medium and just as film, radio, and television had their complaints, they are all an intergal part of what makes our culture now. Games are here to stay. I hope some anime of greater quality reaches the US when my kids are old enough, cause the stuff I'm seeing right now doesn't cut it.