Saturday, April 18, 2009
level four shambling krenshar
from time to time, feel like i need to have some connection to nerd culture that i don't have by nature. not because i feel i need credibility or anything of that sort, more just because it seems to fill some void created by my not doing especially nerdy all that often.
there are of course many ways to go about filling this void, but i generally prefer more concentrated or potent sources. distilled nerdiness, if you will. i'll share a few i've found as of recent.
one that i've discovered since i hopped on the blogging train is called the "WoW fail blog" (the "WoW" is short for world of warcraft, for the unenlightened). before i go further, it should be known that i don't play world of warcraft. at one point i owned warcraft II for windows 98, but i didn't even enjoy that all that much. but anyway, suffice it to say that i don't play world of warcraft and plan on never doing so.
what makes this blog useful to me is the fact that i get all the nerdiness of "WoW" condensed into jokes and stories that make me feel as if i know what's going on. therefore, even though i'll never actually be a level 68 undead mage, i can still have a laugh at an extremely nerdy joke about them on this site (even if i have to do some research to actually get it). and so, a bit of the void is filled.
it should be noted that this is animating a concept more than it is a specific thing that i love. sometimes simply talking about wizards and orcs and elves and whatever is, for whatever reason, very satisfying. i think this is why the lord of the rings films were so popular even outside of literature and warhammer types. sometimes we all like to have an excuse to talk about dwarves fighting goblins. it's simple as that.
another bit is filled with computer emulators and 8 bit music. once again, these are things that many people spend a great deal of time and effort creating and using, which is extremely nerdy. however, not being as cool or devoted as these people, i instead benefit from their labors and simply use their free programs and listen to their free music.
these activities i enjoy more than the last because i've actually toyed around with this stuff rather than simply reading about it occasionally and acting like i get it. it's really quite good. and thanks to the world of open-source software and cheap pc hardware, i too can act like i know what i'm doing and make lame digital music. that's what life's all about.
next on the list is talking about final fantasy. i've beaten two of them, vii and ix. although it did take a total of five years to do so, and that makes me less devoted than people who have beaten them twice in a few months. either way, talking about sephiroth with coworkers and peers undeniably adds weight to the nerd repertoire.
though to be fair, i'll need to beat the ones on nes before i can show my face in the presence of "devoted gamers." but this is enough for my brother to make fun of me, so it will do for now.
the last one i'll be discussing today, because we all know there are many things that could be discussed, is having a devotion to windows. i'm sure there will be at least a few mac users who read this (including my brother, who ironically knows windows much better than i do and still uses a mac), and will say that this is lame. well, fair enough. however, i still find it satisfying so i'll keep doing it.
my love for windows comes from learning it as i tried and tried to customize it. and although it was confusing at times, it was letting me do it. i enjoyed that. tinkering with settings (even if they are unimportant) makes me feel like i'm kind of like a h4xx0r, even though in reality there's no such connection at all.
i compare this to my experience with a mac. once again, i'm sure there are plenty of people who will disagree with me (and that's fine. you can even post about it if you like. go ahead. leave a scathing comment.), but i simply feel like macs assume i'm an idiot and that i'm too ignorant to be able to control anything important myself.
it should be noted that i've never actually owned a mac. however, i have used them, and i have used their software, and i've hated essentially all of it... with this being the case, the more i act like i could never so much as touch a mac, the more i feel like i have a nerd identity that defines me. and that goes a long way in filling the aforementioned void. also, it bothers me that you can only "click" and not right or left click. it's like having one pedal for both braking and accelerating.
and don't worry, my-computer-science-major friends, i'll be learning linux this summer.
and thus completes this post. chances are you disagree with the mac bit, think less of me for reading a world of warcraft blog, or are confused why i enjoy digital music as much as i do. or all of these. but either way, if you feel like a part of you is missing, maybe you'll find it in one of these locations. good luck.