Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Two Types of Geek Friendships?

A few weeks ago, a thought struck me, one which I presented to a couple of friends who told me that perhaps I was on to something. I am just spitballing this here because I

Basically, I think there are two general types of geek friendships based on the nature of the individual geekdoms.

On one hand, there are the geekdoms which are predicated on not just enjoying things yourself, but by sharing them with your friends and colleagues. And then there are geekdoms in which you have to go outside of your peer group and seek out others who have an affinity for that type of thing and thus cultivate new friendships because of that shared interest.

For example, there are a lot of aspects of my geekdom that I am very public with, and I encourage my friends to experience them too, oftentimes evangelically. Off the top of my head in terms of games, I have tried to get a lot of people into things like Beat Hazard Ultra, A.I. War: Fleet Command and God Hand unapologetically. And I am recommending Brooklyn Nine Nine to everyone I know in an admittedly hardcore way.

And then there are things like Football Manager, which I really enjoy, but it's something which had limited appeal amongst my friends, given the fact that it is a menu/spreadsheet driven game about soccer. So to find people to talk about that particular interest, I had to seek out new friends based around that game online.

Most of those people lived in Britain and were significantly younger than me, and because of that, I wonder if in their lives, Football Manager falls more in that first kind of geekdom, since even stand up comedians make jokes about playing it there, so it is likely a very different geek culture for that across the pond, like there may be regional aspects to this theory as well.

Come to think of it, I had a little bit of a similar experience with Euro Truck Simulator 2 as well. 

I am imagining one of my friends who used to play Warhammer 40K had similar kind of thing with that game, since he made friends who were already into it by competing in local tournaments rather than trying to convert me or his other friends into players of the game. The barriers for adopting the hobby are the high cost in terms of both money and time in building your model army, the relatively small community, and the nature of gameplay which wouldn't appeal to everyone. By making friends amongst the existing player base, those barriers were eliminated.

Again, this is something that occurred to me recently, and I could totally be off, but does something I am talking about here seem anecdotally true for any of you as well?

1 comment:

Kristyn said...

I think table top role playing games (think Dungeons and Dragons) falls into both of those categories. It's something people, myself included, enjoy with their immediate group of friends. It's also the type of thing that can sometimes require you go outside of your group of friends, to game stores and conventions, online, to tournaments, etc, much like Warhammer 40K.