The topic for a recent vlog from Geek and Sundry Vlogs was coming out as a geek–but since it wasn’t really a secret with respect to either of the people talking about it, it turned more into a discussion of the progression of their likes:
Because I found this to be an interesting topic, I’m going to talk about how I came to like the things I like.
I’m pretty sure it all began with reading, in elementary school, where I mostly read historical fiction. Sometime during that, through random chance, I was flipping through channels and hit upon an episode of Xena: Warrior Princess (the fanservice went right over the head of my seven year old self). The more I saw of the episode, the more engaging I thought it was. This was probably where my love of ancient history and mythology started (not that the show was an accurate representation of either of those things, but it taught me a bunch of names, so you could say it helped).
Not too long after that, I randomly came across an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and there was no going back from that.
In middle school, I spend hours in the library, looking for a good read. I’m not sure what my first fantasy was–maybe Garth Nix’s trilogy? But by that point, I was reading historical fiction and fantasy interchangeably. And in high school, the balance shifted very heavily towards fantasy. I spent hours in the bookstore at a time, picking out the perfect fantasy novel to read next.
My introduction to X-Men came from X-Men: Evolution, and no matter how much people make fun of me for it, I loved that show as a kid. And as luck would have it, there was a comic book store right next to a produce store my family went to often. It was only a matter of time before I checked it out. The first comic I ever bought was a collected volume of a Kitty Pryde miniseries. I still have a soft spot for the X-Men, even though I don’t read nearly as much comics as I did in my high school days anymore.
As a kid, my parents bought Gameboys for my sister and me. I spent a lot of time playing Pokemon Gold and Silver, especially when we visited relatives overseas. Which probably wasn’t how we were supposed to spend our time, come to think… My sister and I also randomly got in to the Nancy Drew PC adventure games, which are
awesome games if you love to explore, though a little too ridiculously hard. We’ve played a lot of them, and I’m not supposed to admit it, but we still do. Don’t tell my sister I said that.
Sometime in high school, my sister asked for a GameCube, which just goes to show you how well versed in consoles she was. Still, we got to play a bunch of cool stuff on it, my favorite being Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem. I’m still pretty fond of that game–especially how when my sanity meter got low, my character would start hallucinating. And bonus points for the historical settings. So when Jonathan Coulton (a geeky comedy musician) wrote the ending song for Portal, it wasn’t much of a leap for me to eventually buy Portal 2. And when Felicia Day made a web series in the Dragon Age universe, it wasn’t much a leap for me to get Dragon Age: Origins.
The next Dragon Age game is next on my list, by the way, but it won’t happen until I have about a week of free time. Usually this is around the holidays. Christmas time is my annual gaming time, which probably explains why I play so few games.
And anime. Oh, anime. It’s always kind of been there, in the background. As kids, Pokemon was always on and I remember loving Cardcaptors (yes, yes, it was butchered by 4Kids to make make the female protagonist less prominent and the male protagonist more prominent–but despite this, it still had the best female protagonist of any cartoons I knew about in America at the time). Still, I didn’t know this was anime, or what anime was. At some point, I started catching airings of Naruto, still not knowing what anime was. (This is not a good thing, by the way. Seeing Naruto at it’s good points is like a trap. You get to see the potential, then you get to follow the train wreck. Don’t do it to yourself!)
Anime really only came to the forefront in college, though. One of my friends made me watch a few episodes of Ouran High School Host Club, which is one of the very few watchable shojo I’ve ever encountered. From there, I decided to try to watch anime that were more my kind of genre. I saw Death Note, Code Geass, Higurashi When They Cry, and Kino’s Journey. Once I started watching stories like that, it was over. How could I not keep watching? There was a lot of stuff I’d never want to see, sure, but there was so much variety, and I got to see very different kinds of shows. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that kind of variety on American television.
Wow, I really got into that.
Anyone want to talk about what made you like the things you like?