Trailer õ Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks PDF by õ Ethan Gilsdorf Okay, I ll admit it, I m a geek A total, Magic DD Pathfinder playing, Doctor Who Star Trek anime watching, fantasy scifi manga reading, geek I ve never been to a convention, but I go to the Renaissance Festival every year, and the bookcases in my den office are covered in dragon statues So nothing in this book was much of a surprise to me Except some woman at Dragon Con telling the author that Daleks are a Doctor Who Stargate crossover creation whaaaat And I think he believed her Honestly, for most of the book Ethan seemed just really uncomfortable He was somebody who is totally not comfortable in his own skin and just sort of stands around and gawks at people, somebody who doesn t want to do something he enjoys because of how other I wanted to like this book What could be better than a former geek returning to the fold Unfortunately, a few things quickly became apparent to me First, as a geek, I am not the target audience Second, Gilsdorf is projecting and occasionally states that he is better than any of the geeks present I don t mean better at being a geek Just better Stemming out of the second is my final revelation Gilsdorf is very negative about the geek community as a whole for 95% of the book Let s look at these individually I realized I was not the target audience for this when, in the first chapter, there was a pronunciation note for d20 How did he think I was going to say it, duh two zero That was quickly followed by an explanation of what a convention is, who Weird Al is, and that the LotR movies are based on books By chapter three, I knew this wasn t written for me But who was it written for That I An Amazing Journey Through The Thriving Worlds Of Fantasy And Gaming In This Enthralling Blend Of Travelogue, Pop Culture Analysis, And Memoir, Forty Year Old Former Dungeons Dragons Addict Ethan Gilsdorf Embarks On A Quest That Begins In His Own Geeky Teenage Past And Ends In Our Online Gaming Future He Asks, Who Are These Gamers And Fantasy Fans What Explains The Irresistible Appeal Of Such Escapist Adventures And What Could One Man Find If He Embarked On A Journey Through One Fantasy World After Another In Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks, Gilsdorf Crisscrosses America, The World, And Other Worlds From Boston To Wisconsin, France To New Zealand, And Planet Earth To Middle Earth To The Realm Of Aggramar He Asks DD Players, LARPers, Medieval Re Eanctors, World Of Warcraft Players, Harry Potter Fans And Convention Goers Old, Young, Male, Female, Able Bodied And Disabled What Attracts Them To Fantasy Worlds, And For What Reasons What He Discovers Is Funny, Poignant, And Enlightening I didn t realize when I picked up this book that it would be, like Julie and Julia or The Year of Living Biblically, one of those I gave myself a quest and wrote about it so that I could get a book published books In Gilsdorf s case, his quest is a mid life crisis fueled desire to find out if it s possible to go back to his geeky roots without being a geek Or something like that Unfortunately, although his story of growing up with a disabled mother could be very powerful if followed to its conclusion, a he never does, probably because b if he did, he would have no room in the book for its ostensible purpose, an analysis of modern geek culture.
Although the book says it s about fantasy and gaming in general, Gilsdorf s beat is the fake medieval, whether it s Dungeons and Dragons, Middle Earth, or the Society for Creative Anachro I started reading this book with all the enthusiasm of a little kid on a shopping spree in a candy store Literally I devoured the first several chapters, and it accompanied me everywhere to class, to the meeting of the Role Players Guild of which I m president , to the ER when the stomach flu hit me with all of the fury of Deathwing.
Then there was a point where it lost me, long before I actually gave up halfway through the chapter about World of Warcraft As Gilsdorf s experiences with geekdom intensify and quantify, his recollections of them become less personal, andlike a report or a magazine article There was plenty of magic in the first chapter, with him talking about his mother and how DD got him through high school but by the time I gave up on his journey, he was still A subjective history of roleplaying18 November 2009 Being a committed roleplayer when I saw this book on sale at a bankrupt Borders books I purchased it and put it near the top of my reading list I was a little disappointed though because even though it is a study of fantasy and gaming culture, it was quite subjective for my tastes and there was a lot comment about the author s life, and to be quite honest, the author seemed to be a little stuck up himself While he is correct that in the 70 s and 80 s, when roleplaying began to take off, it was a hobby played mostly by marginalised people, and that in the thirty years since it has moved into the mainstream, there are a number of suppositions that I simply do not agree with It is clear that the author is not a Christian, and seems to consider Christians to be caught up in a fantas This book is full of self loathing and a total lack of respect for or perspective on Geek culture.
If you re not a geek, you can read this and be confused by the nerd references and or laugh at geeks Har harstupid geeks with their dice and their unicorns and their celibacy.
If you ARE a geek like me Huzzah , I think you ll just feel like you re being mocked by someone who used to be a part of the tribe and now is too busy blaming Geek culture for his own lack of social graces This book made me roll my eyes so hard I gave myself a migraine I do not recommend this book To anyone.
I m beginning to think that the search for the Arkenstone of geek culture is less like a search for the One True Grail andlike panning for gold Not in one of those rich, heavily flowing streams either, but in a rather narrow, shifty little trickle of a stream, which simultaneously depresses your optimism yet makes you airpunch when a goodly sized bit of gold dust sifts out in your pan.
It s a little odd that it s taken me this long to get to Gilsdorf s book If you throw geek culture into a book search, this title comes upoften than perhaps any other It s something of an Ur text in the sub genre of geek culture studies, preceding the recent interest in nerdy navel gazing which has given us both highs and lows As such, it has the usual virtues and faults of a first book in genre it s got some overly broad statements, but bears a simple s
Where should I begin At 4 or 5, finding that little door in my bedroom that I couldn t get open, and wondering what was behind it Picturing lakes, dragons, probably characters from Rainbow Brite and He Man, all hanging around together in a world of magic and peace At 9, too impatient to write actual stories, but drawing and coloring character after character, analyzing their personal attributes and naming each, and keeping them in a big binder I had enough in there to make a comic book universe of my own, although it would be a derivative and lame universe But, hey I was 9 Or maybe at 11, when I first played a roleplaying game Or 13, when I first designed one and blackmailed friends into playing It took me y I m wondering if I came to this book with the wrong expectations my first instinct is to write a pithy snarky blurb along the lines of Watch THE GUILD, read some classic KNIGHTS OF THE DINNER TABLE and you ll getenjoyment than you would reading this book Why the negative reaction to what is, admittedly, a well written series of glimpses into some seldom seen corners of the fantasy gaming universe The author encounters some interesting people and does a good job of talking about their lives without appearing to condescend or worship their involvement or over involvement I thnk the combination of his quest loosely defined as should I claim my enjoyment of things geeky, which I have mistakenly defined as a Peter Pan ish existence of never really taking adult responsibility with these portraits of the fant