I’m a nerd.
And I’ll continue to post blog entries with this first sentences for quite a long time because I enjoy being a nerd so much. 😀
I play Pen & Paper and video games situated in the classic and not so classic fantasy settings, I collect all sorts of mythical, fantasy and historical stuff, there are dozens and dozens of fantasy books, artworks, statues, comics and what not sitting all around me and I even worked for a company who invented a great fantasy setting, namely Blizzard Entertainment. I breathe this stuff. Fantasy was what defined my childhood in the form of TV-Shows, toys and fairy tales and it just amazingly fits into my life and love of nature. The music I listen to is more often than not inspired by mythology and what people perceive to be elfish, celtic or viking.
While I grew up there were still some people left who were skeptical about letting your mind wander and the perception of indulging in fantasy literature or pen & paper games was a bit more negative, making assumptions about kids getting into demon summoning and being influenced to join cults. Words like “Dungeon Master” made grown-ups uncomfortable, especially when they located dungeons in the BDSM field which was way more of a taboo than nowadays in 2018. I was at the age of 14 when the first LARP (Live Action Role Playing) was held in close proximity to my home and I considered going there. My parents found this idea rather odd and I ended up not going until a few years later, but the idea of going to some sort of camping with (new) friends, being creative and playing a bit of a role was really appealing to me and never ceased to be.
For the lack of permission and enough money to go on a LARP I started getting into table top games – which was Warhammer 40k at that time. (And yeah, I know that’s more on the Sci-Fi side. Later me bought the Games Workshop LotR-Stuff, k? K.) Lucky me just sniped a Tyranid codex off of ebay which hadn’t been released in germany yet and I started to paint some figures and we played around with them a bit. People got really creative, making little landscapes and one guy’s dad was a glazier so some really awesome icebergs were created with scrap materials. At that point my parents had accepted that their daughter had a weird taste in leisure activities and that her choice of toys was a bit … off.
But they were quite content with the fact that I was more of a homebody and less of a typical girl hitting puberty and wanting to go to clubs or hang out with all the wrong boys. Don’t get me wrong. Almost all my friends were male. But the interaction never went the way parents would condemn and that was awesome 😀 Nobody was interested in any romantic ensnarements and we just could play games, hang around and talk about whatever unfunny and gory nonsense we wanted. Ah, the good old times 😀
Later, my interest in computer and video games grew bigger and epic stuff like Final Fantasy, Diablo, Warcraft, Dune and many many others found their ways into my life. There were Nightmare Creatures, there was Street Fighter and Tekken, an abundance of newly born franchises and one hit wonders. Some, like Parasite Eve and Silent Hill, were quite scary. Some, like Final Fantasy, were plain exciting.
And because all that wasn’t enough I started to take inspiration from all these games and began to work on a fantasy world of my own, writing like there was no tomorrow, drawing pictures, designing a language, landscapes, origin stories of characters and much more (which is probably lost in time by now. But I saved some small pieces, luckily).
There was no way for me to agree with these grown-ups who always claimed that playing too many video games and watching too much TV would simply destroy your own capability to be creative. Au contraire, it only kindled the fire!
It wasn’t so much about escaping a reality you don’t like. It was shaping your reality with things you enjoy. Although my childhood wasn’t that enjoyable at times I never felt the need to retreat into a fantasy world. But I did feel the need to fill this world with fantasy.
[… to be continued!]