My life really has one consistent theme. I never experience anything while it is still culturally relevant. For example:
My wonderful girlfriend, thinking it would be a nice Valentines' Day present, bought me a copy of the Les Miserables
blu-ray, knowing that I was a Theatre Major in college and a general Musical buff. I hadn't seen the movie in theaters, which if you remember, was about the time everyone stopped caring about it, but even then I managed not to watch the movie until about three months after she bought it for me. The approximate number of people I have talked to about the film? Probably about three, actually not including my girlfriend, who has still not seen it, and never really wanted to see a three hour musical starring Wolverine and Maximus playing miserable French people to begin with.
So, when everyone was off willy-nilly making fun of it, I had no real context as to what was truly going on. I mean, could I have imagined that Russell Crowe was a shitty singer? Yes. Yes I could have. Without ever having to see anything or hear the soundtrack I could have imagined that. But I was still relatively left out in the cold when people wanted talk about it. Even so, the story is pretty harmless. Love it or hate it there really aren't any cultural landmarks that have come out of it. Now nine months after it's theatrical release, the world keeps on turning as if it never really existed and this is the same for a good deal of movies. No harm, no foul.
The same cannot be said for video games.
I still haven't played about ninety percent of the blockbuster games that came out 2012 to 2013. So what you ask? Well I'll tell you, thanks for asking, you're a real pal. Navigating Geek culture is hard. I mean really freaking hard. I once heard Christianity referred to as the "Church of Me" as you can really interpret the Bible however you wish and due to this there are legitimately as many schisms in the Christian faith as there are Christians. The same is true with Geek Culture. Bear with me for a second while I explain.
Religion, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, is "A pursuit, interest, or movement, followed by great devotion". That very definition could very easily be used to describe any of the many Fandoms in existence today. There are those among us who know more about Equestria or Dr. Who than their own countries' history. After the 2012 Apocalypse fail I saw countless Facebook statuses about the Doctor having clearly saved us. But just as in the "Church of Me" each member of these Fandoms will see and react to information in a different way. Just think of how many fans of the Doctor wanted the 12th Doctor to be female, as opposed to those who didn't or didn't have an opinion on the matter.
It is this reaction to stimulus that makes the culture so hard to navigate. In a room of 10 people, who all like Doctor Who, three may have wanted the 12th Doctor to have been a woman, one may have stopped watching the show were it a woman (we call this one Smallmindedfuck, or, piece of shit for short), three who it didn't affect either way, and three who can't stop bickering about whether he's actually the 12th Doctor or not long enough to focus on the other debate. Even within the microcosm of the room the fans likely wouldn't have been able to agree on key details.
So, getting back on topic, I have discovered that arriving late to the party as it were can turn a simple conversation into a minefield. Case and point:
Five months after its release I finally got around to playing Bioshock: Infinite
. Holy hell was I missing out. Sure there are glaring plot holes and jumps in logic, but it a game like Infinite
I could almost assume they are intentional. Mostly I had focused on that ending and the ramifications of it all. The cyclical nature of it all, the multi-world theory, the fact that Elizabeth's costume is a clear allusion to the Little Sisters and that proves my pet Booker DeWitt is an alternate universe Andrew Ryan theory AND I WILL SCREAM THAT TRUTH AT EVERYONE UNTIL BURIAL AT SEA
INEVITABLY PROVES ME WRONG!
Only, for everyone else, five months had passed. Anything and everything I could have possibly theorized from that ending, somebody, somewhere, had already said. My discoveries were old news and to my shock the new game smell had worn off. To a good deal of the internet and my friends the awesome gameplay and mind fuck of an ending were lost to words like Sexism, Tropes, and Damsels. Friends that months ago recommended the game and wanted to discuss it now couldn't believe I enjoyed a clearly misogynistic piece of fiction. Infinite
had, to some, become a Pariah.
Of course, not everyone believes that and that's part of what makes being part of the Gaming, Geek, whatever adjective you want to attach to culture so great. There are so many thoughts and and opinions flying around you'll never be able to wade through them all. And somewhere, in the midst of all those thoughts, is a Utopia that we can create, I know its possible. It also just makes people who have a tendency to be out of the loop for long periods of time very nervous and uncomfortable whenever they attempt to bring up a topic.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to pop in the new Tomb Raider.
I hear it's pretty good, we can talk about it tomorrow. read