Wednesday, November 06, 2013

A Double Standard

When the whole controversy about so-called fake geek/gamer girls started, I always took the position that someone shouldn't be forced to provide their credentials every time they have a social interaction with another person who shares that same fandom.

And I've been of the opinion when this subject comes up that anyone showing appreciation of any geek subject is generally a good thing, and rather than seeing it as a challenge and an affront to my own fandom, it is something which enriches the community as a whole. It is not an all-or-nothing kind of thing... fandom is a spectrum after all.

But in thinking about this, I discovered I had a mental disconnect and I've been a bit of a hypocrite.

You see, I have judged a group of people unfairly.

In general, whenever I'd see someone very young relative to me (someone in their teens and early 20's) and they were wearing something with NES or old, old arcade images on it, or see pictures of people getting tattoos of the Triforce, the Konami code or Super Mario Brothers and I would sort of get pissed off.

I would assume that they hadn't played those games, and I felt irritated that they seemed to be co-opting my childhood by wearing/getting tattooed with symbols and characters from that time in my life without having really experienced them.

It is like in my mind, it felt inauthentic to me. But given my thoughts about those that demonize women who like geeky things and video games, that is clearly the wrong position to take and I've been in the wrong for at least a few years. I never vocalized it, I never said anything to any of these people, but it was always there, and it has colored my judgment.

Because, really, who am I to judge someone else for their commitment to gaming or anything. Someone getting a tattoo or wearing a t-shirt doesn't hurt me at all and it never did. It has no negative effect on me whatsoever, and that is the position I should have always taken.

In retrospect, I really don't know why I have been getting bent out of shape such things all these years.

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