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    Why Do You Geek The Way You Do?

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    Paeter
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    Why Do You Geek The Way You Do?

    Post  Paeter on June 11th 2015, 9:11 am

    Could almost put this topic in the Fan Zone as well, but opted for here. Your answer may probe deeply into your psyche or be very simple and straightforward. No right or wrong.

    I'm just curious why you geek out the way you do. Why do you watch that show, read that book or play that game? Beyond it just being "fun", what specifically does it do for you? How does it make you feel?

    In my case I'll start broad and try to go "deep":

    I usually play video games at the end of my day. I love having my mind occupied by something completely removed from my work day (or at least the tasks looming over my head). And video games that require my focus help to turn off the lingering thoughts spinning in cycles in my brain.

    More specifically, I like RPGs. I like to explore and I am usually not hindered in my exploration by my poor reflexes while playing RPGs.

    I also love the feeling of accomplishment, advancement in capability and power. I spend plenty of time feeling like I accomplish little and am pretty incapable, so reversing that in my imagination is fun!

    Any guesses at why you geek the way you do?


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    Re: Why Do You Geek The Way You Do?

    Post  mikel.withers on June 11th 2015, 10:08 am

    I know it has negative connotations, but power-fantasy is certainly a part of why I like gaming. I really like strategy games (Total War series in particular) and building a nation and watching it grow...watching my chosen color slowly envelop the map, is a terrific feeling, especially when life outside of the game feels like spinning wheels.
    Empathy is important as well. If I can relate to a character in a game, movie, book, etc., I will feel like I am a part of that world, and (here is my second no-no word) escape into the other realm. That is why most first-person shooters don't entertain me.

    I am a Christian podcast geek, as well...a fan of the genre, if you will, and I think that has to do, in large part, with getting to know someone without all the scary personal interaction of "real life". Don't get me wrong, I've interacted through dialog, forums (duh), and social media with the vast majority of the podcasts I listen to, but it is the "me" of written form, of deleted paragraphs, of edited content, of inferred intonation and pacing that allows me to sound like a semi-intelligent person (albeit one who rambles) rather than the guy who suffers from chronic foot-in-mouth disease aggravated by congenital Murphy's Law.

    Lastly, armor, I love armor, a Renn Faire is the place to take me if you want to see someone go a little more than a little crazy.

    Paeter
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    Re: Why Do You Geek The Way You Do?

    Post  Paeter on June 16th 2015, 6:15 pm

    I think "power trips" in gaming are awesome! Provided they are not something that takes the place of conflict resolution or exercised out of a desire to dominate others, I think enjoying being powerful in fantasy is both evidence of what we were made for and a foretaste of life in our resurrected bodies! (1 Corinthians 15:42-43)


    Oh, and I want pictures next time you "armor-up"!


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    Re: Why Do You Geek The Way You Do?

    Post  mikel.withers on June 17th 2015, 8:56 am

    I'm definitely not a fan of "dominating" others. In a game I play, World of Tanks, I've been known to drive in front of an enemy tank, that is a hard grind, and simply turn around so they can shoot me and get some points. "I've played that tank...good luck"
    As far as Total War series...well, domination is kind of the point, really... but I still need a "to what end?" even then. For instance, I love the different troop selections from the various factions in the games, but I simply cannot stomach building an ashram or mosque where a church used to be. Even in Shogun II, I convert as soon as possible, even though that means I don't get warrior monks and such. As strange as it seems (even to me) I feel a responsibility to the virtual populace to rule them as well as possible.

    As far as armor goes, I fear that those days are behind me. The buddy I used to build with is too far away for me to work with and still have anything like a family life. I'm still happy to talk armor, but making and wearing it are not in my forseeable future.

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    Re: Why Do You Geek The Way You Do?

    Post  Paeter on June 17th 2015, 7:33 pm

    mikel.withers wrote:
    As far as Total War series...well, domination is kind of the point, really...

    Sorry, I should clarify. I only meant that playing a game in order to scratch an itch within yourself to socially dominate others and "rule" over them strikes me as un-Christlike. But of course the game-context and goal of domination is not inherently sinful. I avoid competition, but don't want to give the impression that I think its sinful. Sorry if I gave even a hint of that impression.


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    Re: Why Do You Geek The Way You Do?

    Post  mindspike on June 18th 2015, 3:09 pm

    Why do I geek the way I do? First I have to stop the grammar Nazi within me from beating his head against the wall. (Repeat after me, pop culture, "geek" is not a verb......)

    If I were to rephrase the question so I could get a better handle on it, "Why do I choose some entertainments or activities for dedicated, immersive consumption and others for passive consumption?"

    1. I do it for education and accomplishment.

    I don't consider myself a "fitness geek", but I've made a concerted effort this year to learn about a healthy, active lifestyle and begin to adopt it. To the point where the wife and I are participating in 2-3 5K events a month for the rest of the year at least. I'm enthusiastic about our goals and our training.

    I do consider myself a "game geek". I approach most games as dynamic, interactive puzzles. By solving them, I demonstrate accomplishment and further my education in mathematics and game theory. Cooperative games also let me accomplish things as part of a community, adding value through shared experiences.

    2. I do it for escapism and philosophical exercise.

    GK Chesterton wrote:We know the meaning of all the myths. We know the last secret revealed to the perfect initiate. And it is not the voice of a priest or a prophet saying 'These things are.' It is the voice of a dreamer and an idealist crying, 'Why cannot these things be?'

    from "The Everlasting Man"

    Or as Kirby Krackle so eloquently sings, "I wanna live in a world full of heroes." When I was young, I read the Narnia books repeatedly and searched every wardrobe and woods for a passage to Narnia or Terabithia. I actively looked for clues that would lead me to the kinds of mysteries the Hardy Boys routinely solved. I once spent a whole afternoon trying to move things with my mind, just like "The Girl with the Silver Eyes." I carefully eyed strangers to see if they were shape-shifting Skrulls or Dire Wraiths. The world just seemed like it was so much bigger than the small part of it I could see.

    Now that my daughter has officially decided that I am old, my perspective has shifted. It now seems as if the world is much smaller than it ought to be. Or as Captain Jack Sparrow said, "The world is the same size. There's just less in it." I still want to be a part of a world that is big and grandiose, where extraordinary adventures happen to ordinary people and there are mysteries still to be solved. Something within me cries insistently that this is an end whose pursuit is vital.

    Why is that?

    John Rockefeller, the richest man in the world, replied to the question of how much money was enough with the famous line, "Just one more dollar." Even if I could fly, it wouldn't be enough.

    It is very common to use immersion as a way to fulfill by proxy those desires we cannot satiate and exercise abilities we do no possess. We "geek out" because we want to be identified with these things, because we want their purpose to be reflected in our lives. It is one element of a fundamental quest for purpose that has been glorified in our culture as the key element of a happy, fulfilling life - whether that purpose is to be a warrior, a healer, or to find one's soul-mate.

    A wholly non-Christian perspective begins with a world of possibilities. The young chase these possibilities in order to find within them a purpose which they cannot find within themselves. At some point that perspective will shift to a world of possibilities now lost; the old reflect upon the past to identify where their quest for purpose went wrong. This inevitably results in the conclusion that something is wrong with the world and that something is still to be attained - that a warrior still needs honor, that a healer has patients yet to attend, that one's partner is not actually their soul-mate. It is a cycle of despair caused by the recognition of the self's inadequacy that can only be broken through the apprehension of the elected salvation provided through Christ Jesus.

    This desire to understand the unfathomable and pursue the imaginative comes directly from our creator, as does the desire to find one's own created purpose. "God has placed eternity in the hearts of man," (Eccl. 3:11) and to chase that desire is to glorify God in the complexity of His creation. We can do so as pure escapism and wish-fulfillment to our own harm, or we can do so in recognition of God's ultimate purpose to conform us to the image of His son (Rom 8:29) to our own benefit and the glory of God.

    Why do I geek the way I do? Because I know that this world, this life, this short, cruel joke without cause or purpose, cannot be the whole of reality.


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    mikel.withers

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    Re: Why Do You Geek The Way You Do?

    Post  mikel.withers on June 18th 2015, 7:23 pm

    Mindspike-well, yeah, that is what I meant to say... Wink

    Paeter-nah, I was just picking on your use of the term. There is a big difference between throwing one's weight around with people and winning a game.

    David N. Alderman

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    Re: Why Do You Geek The Way You Do?

    Post  David N. Alderman on June 22nd 2015, 10:52 am

    Paeter, I game at night for the same reason you put. Video games are - in a positive sense of the word - a distraction to slow the wheels of my mind and help me to wind down. I especially like RPGs because I have the freedom to do what I want when i want. I usually don't care for linearity in a game because I don't like being told where to go or what to do unless the game has a very strong story to make me want to follow it on its rails.

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    Re: Why Do You Geek The Way You Do?

    Post  Rickster on June 22nd 2015, 8:31 pm

    I would consider myself a fitness geek. I get books and listen to podcast on the subject I just started a fitness journal so I can keep track of my progress. In Sept 2013 I ran my first half marathon, a month later I did my first mud run and last year I did 5 virtual races 5 obstacle races/mud runs a 5k a 10k and a half. This year I've done a 10k and a virtual race and currently registered for 2 challenges (a 10k on Saturday and a half on Sunday) and 5k. I'm also looking into becoming a certified personal trainer. All of this amuses me because back in high school I was one of the most in active persons alive.
    I'm also a Disney geek (that I got from my mom) I go to Disneyland whenever I can and actually wrote a feature length screenplay called Disneyland the happiest case on earth.
    I enjoy big action movies (guy flicks) and a lot of those fall under Sci-Fi fantasy but my favorite genre of movies is comedies I love laughing and have a wacky sense of humor.
    Money is tight right now so I don't get to play as many video games as I would like to so I usually buy them used and I also have a lot of the HD remixes of ps2 games which have multiple games in one set. Another thing I like to do on games is try to get all of the trophies on the games. I like that for two reasons 1. I love challenges and 2 since some games require multiple play through to get all the trophies it is another way to get my monies worth out of them.

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    Re: Why Do You Geek The Way You Do?

    Post  David N. Alderman on June 22nd 2015, 8:59 pm

    Rickster wrote:Another thing I like to do on games is try to get all of the trophies on the games. I like that for two reasons 1. I love challenges and 2 since some games require multiple play through to get all the trophies it is another way to get my monies worth out of them.

    Rickster, I love the Xbox achievement system and the Steam achievements system for exactly that same reason. I feel like I'm getting more than my money's worth on a game when I have a reason to play it through multiple times to grab all of the medals/trophies/badges.

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