Getting Past a Fear of Girls

A short film, Fear of Girls — about two stereotypical uber gamers — is circulating around the geek community.

The ten-minute film tells the tale of two “advanced” gamers who are a cut about your normal geeks, which means they do stuff that would freak out regular gamers, like role-playing sex or dressing up in druidic robes in the real world (you know, the stuff that normals think we all do).

It’s amusing, and while I’m glad that we can laugh at ourselves like this, the joke’s getting old. Yes, there are those geeks who are socially inept, who spend too much time in their basement and are dumbstruck by girls. Hah hah. Very funny. But while we’ve all met people like this, and undoubtedly joked about them a thousand times since high school, isn’t it time that we upgrade the stereotype?

We’ve moved out of our basements (though we may still return there for a Saturday of gaming). We’ve gone on dates. We’ve gotten married. We’ve had kids. The stereotypical gamers of Fear of Girls still exist … but they do so along side gamer parents struggling to balance the hobby they enjoy with the family they love.

Instead of awkward gamers trying to ask out the pizza girl, how about games that are interrupted for diaper changes?

There’s a whole new generation of jokes out there:

  • where games are interrupted for diaper changes
  • where real life and family (yes, family, since geeks do get married) keeps you from the gaming table for months on end
  • where you see the midnight showing of Return of the King not because you wanted to … but it was because it was the only time you could see it
  • where you have to choose between spending $100 on a new RPG or paying your mortgage … and you actually choose paying your mortgage?

Some of this is showing up as plot lines in Knights of the Dinner Table and Dork Tower), but I’d love to see more of it.

The gaming (and geek) community is growing and maturing … isn’t it time our jokes grew along with it?

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