Even though being a geek is kind of “cool” at this point in time, I find it hard to believe I still have to defend my geeky pastimes to a lot of people. Right now, my main hobby is playing video games. I do have a pretty healthy interest in toys, movies, sci-fi, fantasy, comics and cartoons but my fire for them has died down a bit. Even so, I try to keep up to date with what’s happening with those worlds.
If you look at most of the world now, things that were considered extremely geeks or “just for kids” have captured mainstream pop culture now. Superhero movies like The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises perform spectacularly at the box office. People love playing video games on their phones and tablets. There are a ton of people who watched the Red Wedding episode of Game of Thrones were crushed with the events that transpired.
With all of this becoming more mainstream, why do I still have to defend my hobbies?
First thing the “normal” people mention is the financial aspect: Why am I spending huge amounts of money for the things I want to get?.This is when I casually mention the things that they spend their money on. Designer clothes. Expensive athletic shoes. Going out to trendy bars to drink expensive liquor. Even smoking cigarettes! How are those things not a waste of money?
“Normal” people also mention my hobbies are a waste of time when I could be using more constructively. Really? How many people have been inspired by comic books, movies and science fiction to go on and invent great things? What about me? My love for my hobbies inspired me to start writing about the things I love. You know, writing more than 140 characters (like people that post on Twitter).
And what about the things I’ve memorized? The “trivial” stuff like what Captain America’s shield is made of (that would be vibranium) or who created Lieutenant Commander Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation (that would be Dr. Noonien Soong) isn’t important. Well, what about LeBron James field goal percentage or who won the 6th season of American Idol? Those things are important?
Here’s the thing: the reason why I spend so much time, money and effort on my hobbies is because I love doing these things. I love playing video games. So I buy and play with video games. I love reading comics. So I collect and read comics. I love learning and understanding about the backstories of the characters in cartoons. So I remember them.
Most “normal” people cannot see the similarities about a geek’s actions in investing in their hobbies because they cannot see why we love them so much. They cannot see why it’s a big part of our life. Most geeks may not also see why a lot of people invest so much time in their hobbies such as looking for fashion tips, researching on what the latest and hottest club to go and remembering sports statistics.
The world’s most brilliant (fictional) consulting detective explains it best:
We also fill our heads will all sort of stupid stuff that may not be important to everyone.
But it is important to us.
Have you had to defend your hobby? Please post them in the comments section below.