If you’ve known me for five minutes you probably know that I am a geek. Not only that, I am proud of it. I am practically an apostle of all things geek culture: books, movies, games, series, you name it. I grew up watching Jean-Luc Picard explore the galaxy and learning to write in Tengwar. In my undergrad I won two Hogwarts House Cups for Slytherin (yes, that’s right, Slytherins rule. Literally. Deal with it.), went to midnight showings for ROTK (Return of the King) in costume, was a gold badge Red vs Blue fan, learned a lot of Japanese via anime, and became a more than decent Halo player.
By the time I left my undergrad my identity felt pretty hardened as “that girl who can write you a stellar essay on the literary quality of post-victorian literature and how it relates to family constructions in Harry Potter, while beating your @$$ at Halo and cursing at you in Japanese the whole time.” I was not just a gamer girl, but an educated and capable one if I do say so myself.
So naturally Emerald City Comicon (ECC) is a little bit of heaven. But there’s one catch. After graduating from my undergrad degree, something happened. First I got a job. A really nice job but it took up a lot of my free time. Then my boyfriend (as big a geek as I am) proposed to me, and so I had to plan a wedding too. By the end of that summer, I was no longer downloading the latest chapter of Bleach every week, or on top of the new season of RvB.
Six years later I don’t even own copies of the last two Halo games and completely missed out on Forward Unto Dawn; have never played Mass Effect, Metal Gear Solid, BioShock, FFXIII, Skyward Sword or any of those fabulous games; haven’t seen any of RvB past season 5 or any Stargate other than SG-1; and we’re still on PS2s and a GameCube. Meanwhile one of my good friends (also with a full time job and married) was almost the first woman to ever win the PAX Omegathon in 2012 (she came in second by seven seconds in the final showdown)!
A lot has happened in these years—a lot of very good things! Among them learning to do tabletop RPGs (Shadowrun is just about the best thing ever), discovering Firefly, finishing the Wheel of Time, and learning that I have a deep seated love of superhero movies (my husband was very impressed when I told him that the Avengers was almost out, and we hadn’t seen Thor yet and this was unacceptable). Oh and losing two jobs and moving in with the parents, then helping them move out of state, planning my sister’s wedding, and then there’s this little thing called “grad school” some of you may have heard of. On top of all that, budgets have been really inflexible of late (compare an elastic hair tie to an I-beam; that’s how not flexible our budget is). But despite the plethora of logical arguments, underneath it all I have felt that I was losing a part of myself; that part that survived off the shrapnel of Covenant Scarabs*, machinima references, and manga fan art.
So naturally, ECC makes me super giddy and excited and unable to think straight. Games! More Games! Comics! Costumes! When I was asked if I wanted to go I almost didn’t understand the question (um, duh?! You have to ask?!). When I found out I was going I jumped in circles clapping like a seal, repeatedly.
There’s a lot going on at ECC. A lot of fabulous, amazing geeky things, most of which will only make the barest of sense to me since I’ve been tangential to the geek world and not really in it for almost six years. It’s going to be a whirlwind weekend of Felicia Day, Patrick Stewart, Natalia Tena, and Michael Shanks, with an overload of information about publishing and art and creative business models.
And hopefully, somewhere in all of that, I will find my geek again.
*BTW, for anyone who cares, I’ve always thought shooting the Scarabs legs to get it to squat down was a dumb waste of time and ammo. My preferred method is to launch a Brute Chopper or a Ghost off a roof top, fly over the Scarab, jump out to land on it and just blow the d**n thing up. So much more efficient!