Games, Elves and WoW: Channeling Your Inner Geek, Embracing Sci-Fi

I have a confession: I am a geek in nerd’s clothing. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Either way, the truth is that I love science fiction, fantasy, video games, etc. I’ve obsessively researched everything from live-action role-playing to MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) and I’ve had my fair share of debates about hobbits versus elves. (By the way, hobbits are cool. Don’t try and convince me otherwise, you ridiculous Orlando Bloom lovers who’ve never read Tolkien’s books.)

But here’s another confession: I’m not that hardcore. Put me next to the biggest “Star Trek” geek and I’ll seem like a Disney princess. I took an introduction to science fiction class last spring that was difficult because it didn’t matter if I read and watched everything; there are always more fanatic fiends on the other side of the fence.

Good for them. I’m jealous. I don’t think my aspirations ever lie with wanting to be as intensely absorbed into the world as they are, but I admire that kind of passion. You’ll occasionally find it in me for various things…

Not a problem, though. I like my closet science fiction and fantasy obsession. I like the look on people’s faces when they would find the elvish dictionary on my bookshelf or about my strange foray into the world of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” MMORPG (which, by the way, was a bizarre trap of enchantment and insanity). And yeah, that is my Harry Potter Uno deck, actually.

Maybe it’s because I was never much of the “stereotypical girl.” Sure, I like my nail polish and dresses and clackety high-heeled shoes, but throw a virtual world at me and you may never see me again. I get really excited over the strangest things. I followed around UCI’s Lightsaber Club for a quarter to write an article last year. I’ve watched all three extended versions of the “Lord of the Rings” films back-to-back — 12 hours straight (So epic). The second I saw the trailer for “Second Skin,” I couldn’t stop thinking about it until I found it online months later. Two of my favorite things: documentaries and virtual worlds. Awesome.

I’m not knowledgeable enough to be a Sci-Fi Snob though, not in the way I’m a journalism snob (sometimes… only sometimes!). I’ve faithfully stuck by “Lost” when others gave up because they thought it was stupid. I even gave those “Matrix” sequels a chance. I hover over my roommate’s shoulder when she plays “World of Warcraft” (not because I want to play, but because I’m so incredibly intrigued) even though I disapprove of people who throw their lives away for the game. I own “Lord of the Rings” Risk even though it makes me so damn frustrated to play it because it’s the longest fucking game ever.

So what’s the point? This is all leading up to this: I’m taking a break from being an academic nut and hopefully will find some time to reconnect with my inner nerd. Are you excited, readers? Whether you’re a convention-goer, a hardcore gamer or non-versed in the realm of science fiction and fantasy at all, I hope you’ll enjoy this quarter-long journey.