Posts Tagged ‘Gaming’

Life in a Box: Consumable Geek

Posted: September 10, 2014 by Noccie in Life in a Box
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Is “Geek Culture” just about conspicuous consumption?

There is a weird discussion going on in the community right now about what is “Geek Culture.”  Some people out there are trying to say that if we stopped buying stuff that geek culture wouldn’t exist. Defining a culture can be a difficult matter because some people have variations. Let’s figure out some common things that Geeks share.

1. A love of something very much, sincerly. ( Edited after speaking with a friend. It’s a way better definition! Thank you!)

2. Passionate about some variety of science fiction or fantasy. This can be anything from video games, movies, tv shows, print, music, role playing games, board games, card games, war games or comics.

3. Technophiles of some sort. This can be any kind of electronic device.

Once you have these three basics, there are so many different kinds of geek I could go on for days.

As a geek what do you do? You do consume the media you derive your geekdom from. Is our whole culture about that though? Entire economies have been derived off our passions. Let’s take video games for example.

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There are major conventions in the US for gaming and gaming technology. There is Penny Arcade Expo ( PAX) and Graphics, Gagdets and Games (G3 Expo). These are argueably the largest gaming conventions in the industry. They do drive us into a frenzy about the new games but… I think most of us have Steam. I know personally, wait till games go on sale during the BIG sales before I go on a binge. Gaming companies do generate millions of dollars but not everyone that plays games are geeks. You can’t say that the gaming industry would vanish if there wasn’t a geek culture. Look Candy Crush for instance. Everyone from children to grandparents play that horrific monstrosity. They buy add ons and pump money into a game about CANDY. The industry spends millions of dollart to go to the conventions and show you the games. They give you the swag ( t-shirts, toys, stickers, inflatable meat). Then they send you back out into the world to drool for months waiting for the games.

Let’s talk about Anime for a moment. There are different types of anime geeks. There are the ones that watch anime, there are the ones that only read manga and then there are cosplayers. Within the different subcultures you have lots of gray areas. Cosplayers are often not pumping money into a company that supplies cosplay costumes. They support the fabric stores, hardware stores and craft stores in their areas, but that purchasing power doesn’t make them geeks. It’s that love of dressing up as Sakura or Eren Jaeger that make them a Geek! If they had no money, they would find a way to do it anyway with sheets and drapes, Gone With the Wind style. So many shows are on Hulu, Netflix, Youtube, torrents or at your RedBox, video store or used video store that the money doesn’t always factor into our love. For instance, I watched Black Butler, but I bought the blueray used.

Geeks meeting up and talking at a convention... you might recognize Kane and I in the middle.

Geeks meeting up and talking at a convention… you might recognize a few of us.

We definately don’t go out and buy every game, item, T-Shirt or mini that exist. Maybe some of us do but, the vast majority of us don’t do that. We tend to specialize in something and go crazy for one or two things.

I… love love love My Little Pony. Even though I am passionate about my fillies, I don’t buy every product put out. Just… a few of them. This was a gift from my husband. YES!

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Most of us are too poor to buy EVERYTHING. Even if the things weren’t there we would be sitting around talking about dragons and laser guns. We would be discussing who shot first. We would be talking about how cool it would be to own a proton pack. There would be ways to show our love for video games too… we could rent them from Gamefly or a video store and then return them. We could even return them in better condition than when we rented them. Or we could share… one person coud by the game and pass it around.

My conclusion is, before there was stuff, I still had dice and friends. It doesn’t matter that I now have a matching t-shirt and logo sticker. We would still have our imaginations and DRAGONS.

NerdWorthy

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Not only am I a huge video game nerd, I’m also a tabletop gaming junkie! Lately, video games have won out simply due to ease of set up and lack of time to play a long, involved tabletop game. Like most geeks, this has not stopped me from acquiring other games to add to the pile. Here is a list of recent acquisitions that I am hoping to go into great detail on in the near future.

Krosmaster Arena-This is an interesting one. Chibi (super-deformed anime) characters inspired by the video games Dofus and Wakfu in a head-to-head arena combat game. Apparently, this was originally a game WITHIN the video game. The boxed set comes with a basic mix of character types with additional models available in small boosters. In Europe, they are sold in blind purchase boxes. I wouldn’t mind some of those myself, but I’ll take what I can get. The models are not so much pre-painted as color molded, giving them a very animated look of simple, bright colors that I find rather charming. It uses some 3D card terrain to mix up the battlefield . Dice use is limited, forcing real tactical thinking.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game-This one has been getting rave reviews! No Dungeon Master needed adventuring with your character and the monsters actions being controlled by decks of cards. Built for 4 players with a 5-6 player expansion already available and decks extending the campaign coming soon. Even my hard to impress friends were excited about this one!

Warmachine High Command-A recent edition to the line of deck building card games where your deck is not fully built at the beginning of the game similar to Dominion. The big difference here is that each player has a separate deck specifically themed to one of the core factions in the Warmachine setting. You further direct the deck based on your choice of Warcasters (the settings epic heroes) and their preferred minions. Each player is looking to score more victory points (by capturing locations or having certain units in play) then their opponents before the game ending card pops out of the communal scenario deck. Surprisingly quick and, unlike Magic or the like, you start with resources enough to do something from turn one. Also, its an expandable card game rather than collectible, so if you want to add more you can, but its entirely optional and you always know what you are getting from an expansion.