“If you can’t get on board with video games, we’re probably not going to work out.” These were the first words The Viking said to me in our very first apartment together, and initially I thought he was joking. I even giggled at him while unpacking my myriad kitchen gadgets. Then I walked into the living room and realized: he wasn’t joking.
I stood there gaping, both in awe and slight fear, at the sight in our living room. Seven consoles plugged into our television through various HDMI cables, auxiliary cables, and a multi-in av box (which I had never seen before) were the first things he unpacked and set up. I recognized three of them. The Nintendo and Super NES were staples of my entire generation’s childhood, and I’d seen XBox360 at a friend’s house once or twice before but never played one. The rest I had never seen before; some of them I didn’t even know existed. (Sega Saturn? Seriously, what even is that?) Next to follow were his collection of
toys action figures and collectibles, followed by his wall hanging of someone called “The Major” and a framed picture of the most demented Alice and Cheshire Cat I had ever seen.
I knew he was a geek. I knew he played magic and video games, watched anime, and collected comic books and graphic novels. Before moving in together he challenged my “NORPness” on a regular basis by exposing me to science fiction writers, taking me to superhero movies, and making me read some of his graphic novels. He even brought the Super NES to a hotel once for a weekend just to so we could play Mario together.
What he didn’t know was that I was sort of a geek too. I secretly loved Batman, X-Men, and Dr. Who (which he had surprisingly not seen). I grew up watching and playing TMNT and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers with my cousins. I never missed an episode of “Batman the animated series” because I was obsessed with Harley Quinn. I would vehemently defend Buffy as THE female superhero of a generation. I even went to anime club in college for a brief time, but stopped because I came in half way through a series. I just didn’t talk about such things.
That was 18 months ago, and while I’m still learning to accept a lot of what makes me a geek, I’m having a lot more fun with life now being open about it than I ever did trying to hide it.