Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Foundations of Geek: A Blog Challenge

I have a blog challenge I'd like to issue.

I am a geek because geekdom has been with me as far back as I can remember. Here are some formative experiences:

At the age of 3 years old, I saw Star Wars in the theater.  That was 1977. I have never, ever forgotten that and have very much been informed by that experience. Star Wars has been with me as long as I can remember, and that's why I'm such a rabid fan of it now. Star Wars was probably the single biggest, most important influence on my geekdom.

At the age of 5, I played in my first AD&D game, sitting in my grandma's basement with my uncle's group who wherein high school at the time. That was 1979 and was the second biggest geek influence on my life. Our DM, Alan, would create dungeons with the random generator at the back of the DMG. At the time I mostly rolled dice when I was told to, as I barely understood the idea behind the game (though I could totally get behind pretending to be a half-elf fighter). I've since gone on to professionally design tabletop RPGs, so that tells you how important that experience was. Ironically, my uncle stopped playing D&D by the time he graduated high school. I never did.

1980 (or so) through, well, ongoing: Star Trek. My aunt Darla (who was my godmother, may she rest in peace) was a rabid fan, so I became a big fan, too.

Also 1980 (or so): got the chance to play Gamma World (again, with my uncle's group). I made a mutant wolf that shot lasers from his eyes.

Also 1980 or thereabouts (1980 was a banner year): Got our first Atari 2600. Grandpap Vey worked at Sears, who carried the licensed clone of the Atari, and as such we had every single game that came out for that thing for years.

1981, 1983: Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi. Around 1981 I got to meet Darth Vader at a department store (I think it was Kaufmanns) downtown for a promotional event for Empire. Now I dress up as a Jedi with the Rebel Legion and watch other little kids' faces light up at charity events when they get to hold my lightsaber and take a picture with me.

1983-1985: V (the original miniseries, the Final Battle, The Series). Still one of my all-time favorites. I even enjoyed the revival, which ironically ended in just as big a cliffhanger after being canceled as the original series did. Back in 85 that was probably my first encounter with geek rage.

1984: At ten, I discovered Conan the Barbarian through the movie Conan the Destroyer, and the Ace Paperbacks, as my dad had the entire series and was a big fan. That led to other fantasy novels--the Hobbit, for example, and later, the Dragonlance Chronicles, the Dark Elf series, and other D&D-related fantasy books. And of course, it turned me on to Robert E. Howard, who to this day is one of my favorite authors.

An aside, here: my mother and father were very big on encouraging us to read. I can remember many times as a kid, screwing up and being in trouble of the "Go to your room" variety, and while we were at those times forbidden TV, phone calls, or to leave the room, the one thing we were never forbidden to do was read.

Also 1984 or so: My best friend at the time, Adam, and I got really into our TRS-80 CoCo Model 2's. Hunt the Wumpus and King's Quest FTW. Several years later that led to our 286's and 1200-baud modems that connected us to BBS's all over the world (and got us in lots of trouble for exorbitant phone bills).

Yet ALSO 84 or so: G.I. Joe, Transformers, and He-Man. 

At the age of 12 or 13 ('86, '87) I discovered comics through friends at school, particularly the original black and white TMNT from Mirage Studios, and the X-Men. I became a big fan of Wolverine, as did many comics-reading boys that age in that time. Around the same time, I discovered the TMNT RPG from Palladium. Became a big fan. Ran my first game around that time, and moved into AD&D second edition, various Palladium games, Star Wars, Twilight 2000, Marvel Superheroes, and a few others. Also, around then I got my first Iron Maiden albums (Somewhere in Time and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son).



Around 1989 I decided I wanted to learn to play bass guitar and for my 15th birthday I got my first bass. By the time I hit high school, I was pretty much enmeshed in geekdom, and I never looked back.


Now here's the challenge: I'd like other sci-fi, fantasy, and gaming blogs to post this same thing: The Foundations of Geek. Tell us YOUR formative experiences, and what brought you to the wonderful world of Geek culture! How far can this spread? Let's see.

7 comments:

  1. Cool.

    I will get something up tomorrow.

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  2. http://crossplanes.blogspot.com/2013/02/foundations-of-geek-blog-challenge.html

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  3. I have one up at Vargold:

    http://vargold.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-foundations-of-geek-vargold-style.html

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  4. I just posted mine over at Halls of the Nephilim:

    http://punverse.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-foundations-of-geek-blog-challenge.html

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  5. Thanks Grey Elf, you got me blogging again:

    http://classicrpgrealms.blogspot.com

    Chris aka Sizzaxe

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  6. I actually wrote something that fits in with this a little over a month ago. Hope this fits in: http://asageamonghisbooks.blogspot.com/2013/01/my-life-with-rpgs-few-thoughts.html.

    Thanks for the intersting post and challenge.

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