The Brotherhood of Nerds
I had a bit of culture shock last weekend thanks to a weekend trip with one of my best friends.
My buddy realized I hadn’t had a chance for a formal get-away since becoming editor and getting divorced so he called me up in November.
“Hey dude, want to go to PAX?”
PAX is Penny Arcade Expo, an international tabletop and video game convention which meets in several cities across the world and draws thousands to check out memorobilia (read: “cool junk to buy”), listen to panels about gaming and play upcoming games that have either just been released or haven’t been released yet.
I looked at my schedule and saw that it was the weekend following the livestock show. Knowing how hectic that week always is, I decided that was the perfect time for this cultural experience. (Videogames are a kind of culture...)
So I went from cows to computer games in a manner of days.
Cool stuff included a lending library of hundreds of board and card games to be tried for free and markers to invite other people at the convention to join your game, a wide variety of new games to try shown by the people that built them and a Friday night concert featuring a mariachi band covering classic game tunes, a punk rock band playing the music in time with someone speeding through Mega Man 3 on Nintendo and a 20-year-old synth band called Freezepop that I’ve listened to since high school.
I don’t blame you if you read any part of this and said, ‘That sounds terrible.”
However, it was a lot of fun for my friend, Danny, and me.
My friendship with Danny is nearly 25 years old now. We can go months without talking and pick up right where we left off.
We’ve known each other long enough that we know each other’s families, and as we were coming home, I realized how many had helped us have this trip to catch up and geek out. My parents played dogsitters and took in Cooper. My staff took on several assignments to make sure I could leave without stressing out.
Danny’s dad gave him some time off from their business and Karen, Danny’s wife, agreed to watch their five daughters for four days by herself... on her birthday.
When I realized that, I sent an apologetic and grateful note.
When you’re a teenager, you can just take trips like this on a whim. It's much more difficult when you add in all the complications of adulthood. I’m grateful to all of my support that allowed me to have a carefree weekend with a great friend and likeminded geeks.
Gaudette is the managing editor at the Dublin Citizen and can be reached at 445-2515 and firstname.lastname@example.org.