Guest post by GeekGirlCon Manager of Gaming Alyssa Jones
My journey to Geekdom is perhaps slightly different than my fellow GeekGirlCon cronies. My story is about a shy girl looking in from the outside of the Geekverse.
Although I didn’t think so at the time, my family was actually incredibly geeky throughout my adolescence. We’d watch Next Generation every Sunday, played hours of Golden Eye, and fought over who got to be Storm when we were pretending to be X-Men (I won, by the way).
But my life at home did not reflect my time at school. In kindergarten (at the not-so-far-from-infancy age of 5), my classmate informed me that Power Rangers were for babies. I was Shy Level: Hinata (extremely shy), so finding new friends didn’t really seem like an option at the time.
As I changed schools, I adjusted by finding other, more relatable interests. But I always had my eye on that table in the back of the library where the boys were playing Magic: The Gathering, discussing their D&D characters, or going on about how to get flame arrows in Ocarina of Time (which I already knew), but I was still too shy to join in.
Eventually, I felt so disconnected from Geekdom, that I started to feel unworthy of donning the title. I didn’t (and still don’t) know how to build a great Magic deck, I watched Dragon Ball Z, but not GT, and I could never remember how many sides my attack die had. Since video games were the only medium I felt I was decent at, I turned in my Nerd Badge for a Gaming License, and was known to all as a Gamer.
In my freshman year of college, I hit level 60 with my priest in World of Warcraft. At the time, I played WoW a lot (as in, “I only know the day of the week because of the raiding schedule,” a lot). My dorm R.A. actually held a mini intervention one day when I neglected to walk to the cafeteria with the rest of the dorm. Naturally, I was excited to be level cap, but I didn’t expect any of my real life friends to care.
However, the next day, I walked into the common room after class to find that my friends had planned a party to congratulate me on getting to 60. There was even a cake (not a lie)! I was shocked that they cared about that part of my life. When I asked why they had decided to throw a party, they explained that since my birthday was in the summer, this was the closest way they could celebrate the passing on to another year/level.
And then they said it: “You’re a geek, Lyss. This is probably better than your birthday for you anyway.” This was the first time anyone had ever labeled me as Geek. I was surprised that the people whom I had excluded from my geeky side were well aware of it. Turns out, I couldn’t contain all the geek.
They say admittance is the first step to acceptance and in my case it was true. Since that day, I’ve let myself be more open about what I love. I don’t let the fear of being a total noob ruin my chance to learn something new. Now that I’m a staff member at GeekGirlCon, I love that I get to help others find and release their inner Geek.