A Love Letter to Nerds Everywhere



This week I had met a milestone for this blog which is exciting for me, 100,000 hits! Now I have no idea what other web pages get, and I have a feeling that many are scoffing, but I don’t care, that is pretty amazing to me, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank everyone for still reading after all of these years, especially considering the niche subject matter that I deal with here.

It never fails to amaze me, how many people (especially in this day and age) are putting their smart phones down, and gathering around a table with friends and fellow players, just to roll some dice and play a game that involves pencils and paper . . . I don’t care what edition of whatever game that you play, that is still old-school!

I owe so much to this game, that I think that it is fair to say that I wouldn’t be who I am without it. I had a hell of a time finding people to talk to. You see, I had to hide who I was for years and years; this is before the trendy people started calling themselves nerds, and even as a child I once got the crap beat out of me by a group of boys for watching Doctor Who on PBS, nobody helped. I learned to keep my mouth shut. If people wanted to talk about cars, parties, and girls then I would talk about cars, parties, and girls; things that really didn’t interest me all that much.

 Even at home, the people who I love thought that there was something wrong with me; it was tough! I am sure that even with the popularity of NERDS, this stuff is still going on. People are quick to attack what they don’t understand, and perhaps we are just easy targets. Who knows?

I didn’t find real friends until I graduated, but I was lucky. Finding people who understand you is the greatest gift that one can find! I remember not wanting to be associated with Role-Playing games, as they still had a reputation at that point, and I had enough social problems. Eventually, I did cave in and attended a game . . . I haven’t looked back since.

This game can do something that not even a therapist is capable of; it can get us out of our shells, and help us heal. I can’t tell you the delight I get when a new player shows up; last game they said that they just wanted to watch, but I’ll make up an excuse to get them at the table with a character, and at some point I look at them and ask, “What do you want to do?” and I see it! That light shining in their eye, and I can feel what they are feeling. That uncertainty and shyness is as thin as glass now and all they have to do is break it, and I get to watch it the moment that it happens. I keep them safe, when everybody is screaming at me, I’ll tell everybody to quiet down because I want to know what the new guy thinks, and everybody at the table is with me; we’ve all been there. This is an initiation. This is important! What may look like just a group of people sitting around a table playing make-believe is going to change this person’s life forever!  This person is being drawn out, and shown respect for his thoughts and ideas; not just shown respect, but actually rewarded for what he brings to the table! This game can do more in a month for us shy people than years of professional help.

We need to remember that.

That is one of the most important things that we do. Through this game we can learn social skills, we can learn how to cope with our insecurities, and we can find strong friendships that will last us through the years. We can save each other! Is that all that this game brings to the table? Hell no! This stuff is still fun and worthwhile. While a therapist tells you that you need to work, this game does all of the work for you. . . Well, most of it.

I talk a lot about stuff, and I know that I can be bossy. I don’t mean to be; I try very hard to provide a positive place for all ages. I keep my cussing down to a minimum, and while I know that most kids will be playing current additions, I still want to keep this place as an open resource available to all ages. On the other side of the token, I come from a different era of gaming. I value direct and critical thinking. I was not born a Dungeon Master, I was groomed by a group of players who knew exactly what they wanted. We nerds are never all that good at beating around the bush, it typically doesn’t work when we try because the other person just won’t get it, and simply stating your thoughts directly, to me, is a good thing.

If, at any time I come across as a “My way or the highway” kind of guy, or that I encourage this line of thinking, I don’t. I make lots of suggestions about how to go about doing things, and often they may not look to be suggestions at all, but they are. I’ve play tested these things unless I state otherwise; every table is always a work in progress. If what you do is the exact opposite of what I do, and it works for your table, then keep doing it!

I’ve also heard folks complain about us bloggers being to gamey. To that complaint I second it, however one has to understand DMing or GMing. The game master has to be aware of mechanics at all times; and then on game day, it is his job to hide them in the back ground. We are illusionists!

I guess that what I am trying to say is that your comments are welcome here. I do ask that you refrain from cursing, but all matter of critical thinking is helpful. I think that it is important to debate and add to an idea, or point out how something doesn’t work. Elitism is not helpful to anybody, and just because somebody owns a blog doesn’t imply that we know what we are talking about. This blog is here to help, and it has been helping for years now, even when I wasn’t manning it personally.

I would also like to thank you again for coming here and reading my drivel. I am out of practice with my blogging skills, but rest assured that I am working on them. If you want to help make this place better, then I welcome it. I am just a guy with a ton of books and a really old computer.

We’ll get back to work again here pretty soon, but for now; Thanks for reading :)

3 comments:

Brooser Bear said...

Congrats on 100,000, especially if it's 100,000 readers! This post is so on target and I couldn't agree with you more. It looks as if you got yourself an awesome group of friends. Re: getting bashed for Dr. Who. I had no idea things could get that bad. I am glad that you broke through and overcame it.

Ripper X said...

Much of this was inspired by a conversation at http://the-disoriented-ranger.blogspot.com/2015/12/nerd-pride-and-pop-culture-going-full.html

Zombie Punk said...

Nice work. Good ideas here. Also Congrats. 100,ooo is pretty good

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I use AD&D that has been modified over the years.


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