This is a relatively new phenomenon for me. I mentioned an inkling of it it before in this post, but this is a little different. I’m not talking about keeping up with continuity (which I continue to struggle with) but having a limited idea of what’s happening in the industries I pour my time, energy, and money. It happened when I went comic shopping with Kettner about a week ago. He was showing who was working on what project and what was good and not. I recognized a lot of the creators, but I didn’t know which writer was on which book. This is shit I used to be pretty up on. What new titles are coming out, which books are surprisingly great, which comics are disappointingly terrible, and so on. I had another shock like this when I was listening to the 1up videogame podcast ( a week late, I might add). In it, they were talking about a lot of games. I could obviously follow the conversation (I am a geek, after all) but it was amazing to hear which games had already come out while I was figuratively sleeping on the job. I mean, I was in Best Buy a while back when I saw the Wii Sports Resort with the new controller add-on had come out. I made a purchase like some kind of normal consumer at a store instead of my usual, up-on-the-news self. These are just a few examples. The time when the nice but non-geek at work asked me about new games and I stared blankly at him. The time I realized I wasn’t familiar with the Mark Millar Kick-Ass comic when I saw the trailer for the movie. So, what happened?
Well, for one, I stopped having a mindless job with a computer. When I went back to school full-time, I stopped working in the dreaded office environment. So, while I used to waste hours of my non-productive day scouring the super highway for every morsel of data that might be interesting to me, that was no longer all I had to do with my time. I had school work and the like, of course, but also better stuff to do with my free time. Besides time spent with actual human beings, I spent my time playing games, reading books, and creating stuff instead of reading blogs or rumors about games, books, or other people creating stuff. While more fulfilling, I think, it definitely increased my ignorance on the geek industries working around me.
Also, I got kind of down on the actual businesses involved in making my geek media. When I left the weekly comic grind a few years ago, I was less than inspired by the work being produced. And while I still love games, I was getting annoyed by the banality of the limited imagination of most big game producers. This is not to say I didn’t read or play anything. Just, I wasn’t all that interested in MPD numbers, the weekly DC series starring obscure characters, or why Bioware’s Dragon Age was taking so long to come out. It just didn’t interest me to know this kind of shit.
Who am I kidding? I'm dying to know everything about Dragon Age that I can squeeze from my computer.
And finally, it’s nice to be surprised every once in a while. It’s fun to forget about something entirely, then turn the corner in the store and see something you can be excited about. In this age of information, it’s becoming a rarity. I remember going to bookstores, hoping that a new whatever was out but having no convenient way of finding out.
So, of course, I’m actually pretty in-the-loop about most things. I still keep up with upcoming movies more than anyone I know, really. And, with the success of my current rpg playing, I’m back on that more than I was. As for video games, I do still listen to a weekly podcast on the subject (though a shitload less now that 1up has paired down its operation). Comics…yeah, I’m still out of it on comics but that’s easy enough to get back into when I have the inclination, time, and money. No worries there. It’s just that I feel like I used to obsess over the details of the news in my geek world. Now, I don’t.
I think that’s probably a good thing.