When Nerd Worlds Collide

In Uncategorized on March 4, 2013 at 9:47 pm

My time machine is broken.

A couple weeks ago, I came home to see that the wire frame shelves in my closet had collapsed, creating an avalanche of CDs and table-top role-playing game books that spilled out into the bedroom. After two years of use, this series of wire grids snapped together with plastic pieces finally gave way under the weight of 30 years of RPG collecting box sets and large hardbound books.

It was useless to rebuild the shelf, so I just picked up everything and stacked the pieces on top each other as sturdily as possible until I could gather the time and money to find another , more durable, set of shelves.

Buried beneath all the RPGs are all my journals from high school through college to now. As a result, the Time Travel Project is on hiatus until I can clean and organize my closet. I think we know how closet cleaning projects go. So I don’t know when I’ll get back to it, which is a shame because I thought it was an interesting project of literary merit and now it has been literally crushed by the results of my more geeky passions.

I’ve tried to keep my comic/genre/RPG nerd separate from my literary nerd when out in public. They seem to be two different creative circles that I haven’t had much experience blending together as if they are high school cliques seated on opposite ends of the lunchtime cafeteria. But the past week has blown the lid off of this idea.

At the Seattle Poetry Slam I had a conversation with a poet about a graphic novel he bought at my store, Locke & Key by Joe Hill. Other poets broke into the conversation on the subject of favorite comic series, then Doctor Who and then table-top RPGs.

“Funny you should mention RPGs. The only writing I’ve been paid for, to date, has been for a role-playing game,” I said.

“Oh, yeah. Which one?”

“Oh, you wouldn’t have heard of it.” But because the poet gave me a skeptical look I told him, “Weapons of the Gods.”

“Are you kidding me? I’m currently playtesting Legends of the Wulin.” FYI: Legends of the Wulin is the new version of the rules used in Weapons of the Gods with the Hong Kong comic book IP stripped out of it.

And then we spent the next 20 minutes deep-diving into RPG geekdom, losing all the other poets in our wake.

Another substrata of literary nerd that I’ve compartmentalized is black literary nerd. I hadn’t seen a lot of cross-over conversations about Dr. Who and old high school games of Shadowrun happening at the poetry readings at the jazz club or community center. However, Thursday night I was at a spoken word/comedy/performance event titled “Happens to be Black”. At the end of the night I won a raffle to another upcoming geek-themed night of comedy titled “Comedy Trek” and a fellow black poet I knew through the poetry slam said he wanted to go with me so we could hang as fellow geeks. This was surprising and cool.

Two days after that I attended the Emerald City Comic Con and encountered two different participants of the Seattle Poetry Slam. One was actually in costume.

I guess it’s time to not just clean up my closet but come out of it with all my various nerd inspirations. It looks like these cliques aren’t as separate as I thought.


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