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Subject: Wanting to hide his fun rss

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Hammock Backpacker
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Last week, I had the opportunity to teach three coworkers a new game. None of them had ever been exposed to anything beyond "big box" store games (e.g. Monopoly, Chess, Clue, etc.) and they'd not played a board game in years. They were, however, very interesting in learning more about what I'd been evangelizing. I'd recently returned from a 4 day convention and they all found it fascinating.

So, last week I taught them Ticket to Ride. I thought that was a good start for something that is easy to learn but might given them an inkling into something different than what they may have expected.

They loved it. In fact, the following day, two of them wanted me to schedule another "session" for this week and they wanted me to bring something "harder".

So I brought in a few games this morning and tonight we'll see how it goes. But, this morning I learned that the lone male of the group didn't tell his wife and he's not told any of his friends and was surprised that anybody else did. He had a great time and is itching to play tonight but he feels he can't tell anyone for fear of being labeled a nerd, geek, etc.

I found that shocking and sad. Has anybody else run up against that kind of reaction?



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Hammock Backpacker
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Rockhopper01 wrote:
I give that marriage a year.


As far as I know, he's been married for several years. soblue
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Jacovis
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I embraced my geekdom so far back that I am unable to comprehend this sort of behavior. I have not run into this problem, however, whilst discussing board games with countless people in many jobs, classes, etc. I've been called a geek because I own "a lot" of games, but this is by people who are visiting and playing games with me, so it's okay

Edit: You could perhaps point out that Ticket to Ride, etc. is as much a mainstream game as Monopoly now, due to its being available at stores such as Target. I don't think anyone has placed the negativity of geekdom upon Monopoly et. al.
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CHAPEL
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I've been married to a muggle for several years now. Then again, the contract she signed in blood stated that I may on occasion quote Monty Python in public. Always get a prenup.
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Hammock Backpacker
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Agreed. I call myself out in situations when I talk about my hobby in the "wild" (cocktail/dinner parties) although I don't tend to offer it up as an initial topic of conversation. I know it's an unique hobby but I make fun of it while talking but still try to get across why I think it's fun in ways that others can relate.

And yes, Monty Python and Raising Arizona quotes are encouraged.

A few years ago I introduced a different coworker to gaming and he's gone crazy just like I did and owns hundreds of games, etc. A full-fledged, card-carrying, board game geek. On one occasion I was talking to his wife and taking me aside, she thanked me. She's not a gamer but she said that his interest in board gaming brought them closer together as a couple because they made time for each other several nights a week to get the kids in bed, open a bottle of wine, and just enjoy each other's company over a game.

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Kelly Bass
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My wife baked Star Wars cookies for our wedding reception!

And sewed a Star Trek Christmas stocking for the munchkin!

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Mark L
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Ah, Geek Fear.

Yes, I've come across this sort of thing before. Apparently, Real Men like football, tasteless beer and misogyny, and women love Real Men and hate geeks. So if you are really a geek to any extent, you must hide it and pretend to be a Real Man.

shake

I used to roleplay in our university's student union on Saturday afternoons, and after the game we'd all go to the bar. One of the guys didn't want us to talk about the game if there were attractive women at a nearby table who might overhear our talk of orcs and wizards and look down upon us...

laugh

I didn't care, even then. And now, years later, basically all my friends are geeks, even my wife (though she'a a lot less geeky than I am)! Tell your colleague to embrace his inner geek, and stop living a lie.

devil
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Billy the Hut
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Years ago when my son was in junior high & beginning to think about dating, I told him; if there’s a girl you like just corner her in the hall at school and go into a long explanation of who your favourite characters are on the various Star Trek shows. If she runs, she’s not worth your time, if she’s interested she’s a keeper. After he & my wife stopped laughing at me, I pointed out that although it was tongue in cheek advice it was still good advice. You don’t want to waste your time pretending to be someone you’re not. Life's too short.
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David B
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What's even worse is that there are many intelligent males who fail classes simply becuae they do not want to be seen carrying a book.
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Jordan Fraser
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Sadly, I would say that's an extremely common reaction. In my relatively short time of being a gamer, I've come across it many, many times to varying degrees. Some will simply avoid talking about it in public, others will almost want to sneak in the back door on games nights. I say respect his right to keep it a secret. He'll either grow to no longer be ashamed of it, or he won't. Either way, he's enjoying the hobby and that's what matters most.
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Johan Haglert
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Don't he know?

Nerd/geek is the new cool.

Hollywood has made it so the last 10 years or so. Or the Internet. Or the use of "fuck" in the science groups on Facebook.

I don't know which really.

But it's cool now.

Guess the IT bubble helped to. Being rich is cool!

And we're kinda in Bubble 2.0 territory, at least if you look at the IPOs and the valuation of Apple, Google and Microsoft (the difference is that those companies make money, at least for now.)
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Johan Haglert
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Rockhopper01 wrote:
I give that marriage a year.
True. Considering he's a nerd and all. Just wait until she figures out! ..

...
 
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Steve Evans
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pfctsqr wrote:
What's even worse is that there are many intelligent males who fail classes simply becuae they do not want to be seen carrying a book.


So I take it you used to carry a book to hide your fun David? blush
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Moe45673
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meh, I never cared. Some people don't get games and play and that's cool; lots of folks look down on boardgaming because their idea of what one is is faulty. Assuming I know these people, I quickly talk about economic stockholding games where people buy shares in others' companies, hostile takeovers, etc etc, and they start to see that games aren't so geeky after all. Or for those more geekily inclined, I'll speak about games and say that it's pretty much Civ 4 in a 3 hour boardgame. Or if they wouldn't be into that, a game where you're all members of a resistance only some of you are spies for the evil government, and the resistance members have to figure out who the spies are and the spies know who each other are and have to fool the resistance and it plays in 30 minutes and there's a lot of yelling.

Usually, one of those three work and those are pretty much the words I say. I'm quite proud of my passion for gaming. Better than football.
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Reis
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aliquis wrote:
Rockhopper01 wrote:
I give that marriage a year.
True. Considering he's a nerd and all. Just wait until she figures out! ..

...

Yeah, I'll put money up that Rockhopper's comment was 100% about this guy's inability to be honest about something completely innocent and benign with his wife and not at all about him being a nerd...
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Sithrak - The god who hates you unconditionally
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If he were my friend I'd tell him to grow a pair.

But then, if he were my friend he'd know that I'd completely respect his decision to be a pussy about it, regardless of what I might call him for the next couple of weeks or of what kind of pink dress I might order off Amazon (finances permitting) and give him as a show of my support for sufferers of transparently insufficient testes syndrome.

But then again, if he'd really feel the need to keep something as harmless as playing a boardgame a secret (as opposed to simply not talking about it because it never came up, no need to beat people over the head with your interests if they don't care to hear about them, something I keep telling people trying to tell me things), he'd probably not rise above the rank of acquaintance in the first place.

An acquaintance I would probably stare at expressionless until he went away, maybe whip out my phone and start reading a book.


However, I'm widely regarded as the most bafflingly socially inept boor in all the lands, so you probably don't want to take this as a suggestion.
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Makes me wonder what school was like and his folks like when he was growing up.

That's pretty sad if you can't talk about something that is fun with someone you supposedly love.

Since he seems to be suffering form an excess of manli-man-ness, I don't think humiliating him for not being manliman enough is the solution.

Maybe start a Men's Drum Circle and start crying...

Or maybe he was a bully in his youth who made nerd life hell. In which case, he can suffer for a while.
 
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Denise Van Peursem
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The more I'm hearing, the more I'm thinking that he doesn't really want to tell his wife that he was spending time playing games with 2 other women!

If he's really ashamed of telling anyone because he's afraid of being deemed a "nerd", then I feel sorry for him.
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I'm a geek/nerd and don't mind the label at all. However, I've been told my appearance camouflages it quite well.

In either case, I'm not ashamed of my geekiness. It's who I am.
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matthew.marquand wrote:
Last week, I had the opportunity to teach three coworkers a new game. None of them had ever been exposed to anything beyond "big box" store games (e.g. Monopoly, Chess, Clue, etc.) and they'd not played a board game in years. They were, however, very interesting in learning more about what I'd been evangelizing. I'd recently returned from a 4 day convention and they all found it fascinating.

So, last week I taught them Ticket to Ride. I thought that was a good start for something that is easy to learn but might given them an inkling into something different than what they may have expected.

They loved it. In fact, the following day, two of them wanted me to schedule another "session" for this week and they wanted me to bring something "harder".

So I brought in a few games this morning and tonight we'll see how it goes. But, this morning I learned that the lone male of the group didn't tell his wife and he's not told any of his friends and was surprised that anybody else did. He had a great time and is itching to play tonight but he feels he can't tell anyone for fear of being labeled a nerd, geek, etc.

I found that shocking and sad. Has anybody else run up against that kind of reaction?





See I can sort of understand not wanting to shout from the rooftops you play board games or other 'childish' things (I paint little toy soldiers and read comic books - at 42! I also talk about it to anyone who asks) but to hide it from you wife? Err, no. Not cool. Even if my wife wasn't as big a gaming nerd as me I would *never* think of hiding my activities from her. That is a sure fire way to build suspicion and mistrust ("He wouldn't tell me about playing some board game last Tuesday night - what *else* is he hiding???!!").
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Jacob Nushmut
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aliquis wrote:
Don't he know?

Nerd/geek is the new cool.

Hollywood has made it so the last 10 years or so. Or the Internet. Or the use of "fuck" in the science groups on Facebook.

I don't know which really.

But it's cool now.

Guess the IT bubble helped to. Being rich is cool!

And we're kinda in Bubble 2.0 territory, at least if you look at the IPOs and the valuation of Apple, Google and Microsoft (the difference is that those companies make money, at least for now.)


This is what I was gonna say. Nerd *is* the new cool. As I understand it, in the 80s and 90s you really might've gotten ostracized horribly if you were into nerd things, especially if you were an adult.

But this is the twenty-first century, man. Everyone saw The Avengers. Everyone will see The Hobbit. Everyone thinks your Dr. Who tee-shirt is awesome. All the people who grew up in the NES and SNES era are old enough to be upper level execs now. Dude's gotta get with the times.

I predict that in three years time experienced BGGers will be worshiped by certain primal sectors of American society as gods.*

*May be lies
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Jacovis wrote:
I don't think anyone has placed the negativity of geekdom upon Monopoly et. al.


I think this is a very important observation. No one gets labeled a geek for playing board games per se.
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HenningK
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Very sad indeed, and not a good sign for that relationship. Reading through all the answers here, I'm still amazed how stigmatized boardgaming seems to be in the US. When I say that I love playing boardgames, I never got a different reaction as if I said I love watching movies, but I think it is entirely possible that boardgaming is socially more accepted here in Germany.
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T. S. Higgins
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I'm not sure why he wouldn't tell his wife, though I get not letting the world know. Depending on your workplace, it can be important to at least remain neutral from nerd activity. It can negatively impact your ability to get work done, just like being a liberal in a conservative dominated workplace. My Prius draws enough attention, having board games in the trunk might just tip the scale for raised eyebrows.
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Trantor42 wrote:
Very sad indeed, and not a good sign for that relationship. Reading through all the answers here, I'm still amazed how stigmatized boardgaming seems to be in the US. When I say that I love playing boardgames, I never got a different reaction as if I said I love watching movies, but I think it is entirely possible that boardgaming is socially more accepted here in Germany.


There are no doubt cultural differences at play here. I get the distinct impression that the tolerance for unconventional hobbies is lower in the USA than in Europe.

With the risk of starting a veritable shit storm, I think that board game categories also come into play here. Average Joe and average Jane are probably more inclined to regard so-called Ameritrash games and miniature games as more infantile, and thus more "geeky", and Eurogames and abstracts as more adult, and thus less "geeky".
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