Errata: You Like Games? What’s Wrong with You?
This question doesn’t come from an e-mail (sorry guys, I’ll get back to you next week!), but instead was posted on boardgamegeek. I gave a very brief response in that thread, but it has been in the back of my mind all week so I thought I’d address it here. Essentially, an acquaintance arrived at the questioner’s house, noticed the collection of geeky objects, and decided to interject.
BGG user OxfordRow asked: “[After viewing the collection.] This person turns to me and says, ‘I thought you didn’t have kids.’ ‘We don’t,’ I say. Then I get hit with, ‘What’s wrong with you, then? You’re north of forty and you live like kids. Don’t you think it’s time to leave some of this behind?’ … Do any of you ever get this ‘What’s wrong with you?’ attitude from people who don’t ‘get’ your interest in games, or other ‘childish’ interests? What do you do? Do you think you’re childish, or stuck in your childhood somehow?”
No. I don’t feel childish, nor should anyone who enjoys geeky pursuits. One I’ve my very firm beliefs is that everyone is a geek. Sure, it may not be traditionally geeky pursuits such as comics or games, but everyone has an interest. Some people are math/science geeks. Some people love cars and know everything about them. Some people memorize baseball stats. My father-in-law could fairly be described as a sailing geek.
But, for one reason or another, some interests are considered unsuitable for adults. Putting aside games or comics or such just because someone decided that adults aren’t supposed to like them is ridiculous. It’s conformity for conformity’s sake and that’s stupid, ignorant, sheepish, and a willing deprivation of a person’s own free will and pursuits (as an aside, I detest rebellion for rebellion’s sake just as much).
I think the mere fact that this person had already fully adopted that restriction says more about her self-imposed limitations than it has anything to do with the “childishness” of OxfordRow. She couldn’t see past her own prejudices to see that such items might be enjoyable. What’s more, rather than accept and learn more about someone who had different interests, this person immediately sought to impose her views on OxfordRow.
Of course, in my own experience many folks don’t know what to make of it when I tell them that I love to play boardgames. While I rarely receive criticism as bluntly stated as that described here, I can tell it’s present. At this point, though, it’s easy for me to laugh off any derision. I’m used to saying why I like board games and talking about modern games for adults as opposed to games geared for children. So, even though the questioner’s question was offensive, I wouldn’t have taken offense because it’s not an unfamiliar sentiment.
Got questions about strategy, specific games, or the hobby in general? Post them in the comments here, email me at geekinsight at gfbrobot dot com, or send them to @GeekInsight on Twitter and check back next week for answers!