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Fandoms I Just Can’t Get Into: Video Games


Most people either love video games or hate video games. This one is actually not the typical reason why I can’t get into this fandom.

Growing up EVERYONE who wanted one (and even those who didn’t) had either a Nintendo or Sega system in their house. Most people were playing it hard core all the time while others just had it because it was the popular thing to have at the time. People who even HATE video games had something. We did not own a single gaming console in our household. It was not because we didn’t want one. It wasn’t because we only girls. It was because my parents did not see video games as a good use of free time. Why play Nintendo when you can read books or study and do more homework? Video games also meant spending money. Why waste money when you can save money for college? Therefore other than the very brief times at friends’ houses, I did not grow up playing any sort of video game.

It’s interesting how I see a lot of significant others and their views on gaming if they DON’T play. They find it to be a waste of time or immature. They will either put up with it or want to ban it all together. Maybe sometimes they’ll play if they find a game they like but most of the time it is usually a very guy thing and they don’t want to have anything to do with it and don’t want to try to understand it. It’s basically seen as a time suck that takes away the person from doing other things. But if you do it right, you accept that it’s an outlet for the other person, to relax and do their own thing because it is what they are interested in as long as you’re not letting it take over your life. Then again, this should probably be something you guys need to talk about BEFORE getting into a long term serious relationship but I digress.

As someone who physically cannot play about 95% of video games, I get super jealous of people who get to. Like I’ve said before, I would play if I could but when you feel nauseous or literally throw up almost every time you start playing or even just watching, it’s really hard to become a participant. And unfortunately, it doesn’t do me much good to study up on how to play because well, if I’m not actually able to put it in to practice, it’s not fun at all.

You can talk about what you play with me and I will genuinely be interested. I think people who work in this industry are some of the most creative folks out there. I wish that I could be a girl gamer (though I am rather relieved I don’t have to put up with all the misogyny, abuse, and ignorance that exists from the extreme male gamers) because there needs to be more of them out there. Plus frankly the whole subculture AGAINST women playing is frankly appalling.

You just can’t really show it to me because it’ll just make me sick. This actually kind of sucks because when you think about it, what you like makes me want to vomit.

But take heart, because actually I’m super jealous of you.

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Fandoms I just can’t get into: The Podcast version

I think I’m the last person in the world who knows what Serial is but hasn’t listened to it yet.

I don’t listen to podcasts.

I feel like everyone listens to podcasts. And everyone has their favorite podcasts. And everyone wants to find a new podcast.

Me? I just don’t have interest in listening to them. And it makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong for not listening to them.

I think the main reason why I don’t listen to podcasts is because I do not have anything to listen to them on. I don’t have an IPod or a portable music player (wait do those even exist anymore?). And anytime I get a phone, I seem to get one with the worst battery life ever so to listen to anything on it (downloaded or streaming) will drain the battery faster than it takes The Flash to travel across a room.

I’m also not sure exactly where people are listening to podcasts. Is it at home? Is it while they drive? Is it while they work out? Is it while they are just out and about? Do they listen to it on their computer or their phone?

I know I’m sounding completely ignorant right now.

When I work out, I listen to music because it’s there as a distraction to keep me going and my mind is a beat zoned out. I can handle the beat of the music and not necessarily the words. When I’m driving, it’s the same thing but I also enjoy listening to audiobooks because I get involved in the story. Weirdly enough I also enjoy multi voice dramatic audiobooks because it’s like a movie in my head with the different voices and the sound effects.

But I don’t like talk radio. It bores me to hear people just sit there and talk. I don’t mind READING what they say but when people have discussions, I feel the urge to tune them out. Because isn’t that what podcasts are? People just sitting there talking?

I know I’m weird. Maybe you can help.

Tell me what podcasts you think I would like. Think of my interests and my personality and the style of how I like things. Also what exactly do you listen to them on? What’s the best device? How do you not have your phone’s battery drain?

Depending on how many/if I get any recommendations, I may do a follow-up posts to this with my reactions to what I listen to.

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Fandoms I just can’t get into: The Anime Version

This is a typical conversation that seems to come up fairly often in my life.

Person: What kind of anime do you like?

Me: I don’t watch anime.

Person: But….you’re ASIAN!!!! How do you not watch anime?

Me: #notallAsians

It’s true. I’m not into anime.

It’s weird because I do enjoy animated movies and TV shows. Some of my very favorite movies are animated.

Yet for some reason, I just cannot get into anything Japanese animation.

I feel though that I have given it a try.

I have seen episodes of Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon, Sailor Moon, and Cowboy Bepop, as well as other shows/movies that I do not know the name of . They did nothing for me. I wasn’t bored or disgusted. I was just very apathetic towards them. I have seen other titles that I don’t recall the names for but again I just didn’t really like them.

It’s not that I go into watching these things with a negative view set in place. I really do try to have an open mind and hope that maybe I can still somehow become a fan. I actually did go pay to see My Friend Totoro in theaters and I did enjoy it. I did have many questions about why certain things were drawn in the way they were. I think that seems to be frowned on and I should just accept it.

But overall I just can’t get into it. I don’t know exactly what it is. I’ve watched both dubbed versions in English as well as in the Japanese version with subtitles. I know it’s the style and this will sound odd but I can’t stand how the motions of the mouth don’t fit with what the person is saying no matter what they say. I’m also not a fan with the style of drawing used. It is just not aesthetically pleasing to me. I realize that it is the norm for this genre but it does nothing for me.

Overall it’s just not pleasing to me at all. And I feel like it should be.

I have huge respect for the artists and they do a fine work. It’s just not for me.

I have many friends who are HUGE fans of anime. Their DVD collection is filled with many TV series and movies. They are always trying to get me to watch some. I feel bad that I can’t get into it and I feel like I should be a fan. I feel left out when I hear others talk about it and I can’t join in.

I’m not going to ask for recommendations for what you think I should watch. It’s not that I don’t think you’d give me a good one. I’ve just come to accept this fact about that this is a world that I will never be a part of. And that’s ok.

Credit for image: http://loldwell.com/?comic=japanned-by-critics

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Jumping on the Bandwagon

We already know I’m a late bloomer for everything. One of those things is that I get into late after the game is fandoms where everyone there has been fans for years.

It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s geek stuff, music, or sports. When it comes to those categories, I never seemed to be around right from the beginning. The one exception is maybe books but even then sometimes I’m late to the game too.

I came across this article on Cracked the other day: 3 Fan Communities That Hate Their Own Members. And it’s something that I’ve noticed whenever I (or anyone new) starts liking things well after the fact of it being established: how much people hate on other fans who all like the same thing.

I just started watching Community this past week. When it first premiered, I was at a stage in life when it didn’t appeal to me. As the years have gone by, I’ve been recommended by several people insisting I would like it. I’ve been meaning to watch it for a while but I never had access to the DVDs and it’s not streaming online. I don’t do the whole torrent thing so basically I was at a disadvantage to watching.

But once I started watching it, I loved it. I was mad at myself for not discovering it earlier. Sure I was late to the game but I could share my love about it others who did because then we’d all be fans together, right? WRONG. While I did get some positive reaction and happiness that I too now was a fan, a lot of reaction was “Late to game!” “Duh, we told you about this for years.” “Fair weather fan”. And I’m like seriously? You’re not happy for new fans?

It wasn’t as if I watched one episode, or read one comic, halfheartedly watched a game, listened to the ONE hit song a band had. When I start liking a fandom, I do my research and I go full force into it. I want to prove to myself that I can be there and so I study up. So to be told that I wasn’t really a fan because I started super late ticked me off. It also made me feel like I had to hide the fact of my excitement of discovering new things that I really enjoyed.

I remember when I went to go see New Found Glory in 2002. I had been a fan of them for about a year and a half at that point. There had been fans who liked them before I did. I’m not sure how they found out about them (find the one CD in their local record store? saw them on stage when they first started) but I know that I got into them because of other people’s enthusiasm. At that last concert, there were several young teens that only new their latest album. They didn’t know any of the old songs at all. Did it peeve me a little? Yes. Especially since they didn’t know “Hit or Miss”. But was I going to get all angry at them and tell they to get out because only true fans deserved to be there? No. Because I wouldn’t have fit that definition anyways.

I guess I’m just trying to figure out this kind of behavior. Whenever someone starts liking something that I’ve liked for years and they genuinely like it (not liking for dubious reasons), I’m excited for them. If anything I want them to like it as much as I do, though I know that overloading them too early can be fatal. I would never mock someone for being a new fan nor would I try to discourage them. Even if they ended up changing their minds and not liking it, I know they that gave it a try and I could respect that.

What makes you better than someone because you discovered it first? Does it mean you’re a better fan? Does it mean you’re a better person? Are you annoyed that you’re not the only one anymore? Is it an identity issue? Do you just hate new fans jumping on the bandwagon? What makes a true fan and why are you one and not someone else?

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GEEK BATTLE

During lunch this past Sunday, a group of my friends and I had a rowdy discussion on why one should read the Harry Potter books and why they shouldn’t. Members of the group ranged from “reading every single book and watching all the movies” to being “the casual fan with a book and movie or two” to “I don’t even want to touch this thing”. There were discussions ranging from what makes a book a classic (Lord of the Rings is a classic, Harry Potter is not) to how the Fast and Furious series is better than Harry Potter. It was a rather heated battle (I can get very passionate talking about something I love) but I didn’t walk away wanting to “Avada Kedavra” anyone though I was tempted to use “Levicorpus”.   

Now while I am apparently a Pureblood with Deatheater tendencies (actually more towards Squibs and Dursleys), the conversation made me realize something about me. While I would have defended Harry and his world to the death, I fully respect someone else’s choice to not like or want to join the wizarding world. I’m not going to force anyone to try something unless they are willing to. You’re not going to appreciate or like something unless you want to.

Not everyone has to like the same fandoms that I do. I’m mainly a Marvel fan and I know that there are DC only people. I prefer watching Star Wars and I have friends that are die-hard Trekkies. Even within a fandom there will be dissent between purists and those that allow revisions (ie. the entire Star Wars saga).

So while it would probably be awesome for a few days (possibly weeks) of being around people who liked the exact same interests as you so you could gush as long as you wanted, after a while it would probably get old. I like learning new things so if someone were to only talk about the same thing all the time, I’d eventually get really bored.

I think the balance to having differences in interests is that while you may disagree and slightly banter about which is better, the trick to have respect. Don’t think you’re superior because you like a certain thing or even worse, because you DON’T like a certain thing and you think people who do are below you.

For example, I have no interest in anime. None whatsoever. I’ve been told multiple times that I should like anime (“You’re Asian!”) and have been given numerous movies and TV shows to watch. Well, I tried. I watched Dragon Ball Z and Cowboy Bebop. And I just can’t do it. It’s  not interesting to me at all and I can’t get into it. But that’s just me. For all my friends that do like it, that’s great! I don’t diss or make fun of the fact that you do like it. I do wish that I could get into it so that I could join in the conversation and not feel left out. But since I already tried and know that I didn’t like it, I can’t force myself to do something that isn’t going to make me happy. On the other hand, after initially dismissing it because to me it looked Transformers meets Battleship, I ended up LOVING Pacific Rim after much convincing (the sword!!!). So you never know until you try.

It’s perfectly fine to be an expert in a certain niche of your interests. I learned this when we went to the ThinkGeek trivia challenge. Our eight person team had all of us being really good in certain areas which made us very well-rounded and able to do well throughout the competition. Had we all only been DC Comics fans, read only Neil Gaiman, and stayed only faithful to the Nintendo game system, we would have failed tremendously. It’s great to find a connection with another fellow superfan but it’s also good to be with those who aren’t.

All this to say: to name just a few, yes, I adore Harry Potter, I love Star Wars (yes ALL of them), I love Marvel Comics, I devoured The Hunger Games, I actually do like ALL the Hobbit movies, I don’t watch anime, I am not really into video games (though there’s a specific reason why), and while I enjoy some high fantasy books, I can’t stand paranormal no matter how hard I try. If you agree or disagree with any of my interests that’s fine! If you like different things that I do, that’s fine! As long as we can talk about them without wanting to make the other person BEND TO OUR WAYS, having geek differences and tastes will always be awesome.

Now excuse me while I go get my Hufflepuff scarf, drink some butterbeer, and study up on some arithmancy.