While Chase begged off on a book review in yesterday’s post, that’s exactly what you’re getting today. Because after reading Stephen H. Segal’s Geek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture , you’ll want to tell everyone about it too.
After my very Zen discourse on how we all must follow our inner nerd on the path to geeky enlightenment, I found myself nodding along on almost every page of this book. The author, along with multiple contributors, has essentially compiled an encyclopedia of those pop culture icons you would expect to find enshrined in the Nerd Pantheon: Monty Python, Star Wars, Star Trek, Planet of the Apes, online RPGs… everything but Dungeons & Dragons, in fact; it’s absence was conspicuous enough that the reviewer at the above link had to ask about it. (Mr. Segal attributes the omission of D&D to a lack of quotable material.)
I found this answer in particular quite intriguing however:
“When I was a little kid, the two biggest books on my shelf were The Children’s Bible and D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths. I remember reading each of them, sprawled out across my bedroom floor amid the Legos, and being utterly transported by the stories and the illustrations. In retrospect, I realize how fundamental it was to the person I became that I experienced these two books alongside one another — because it never would have occurred to me that they were in any way different, that one was truer or realer than the other. I fell in love with all their stories together, with the idea of fragile yet fiery humans struggling to contend with forces larger than themselves. So when it came time to ponder the light and dark sides of the Force, and subsequently the scientific concepts of energy and entropy, these things ALL made sense, because they all seemed to be describing the same universe, just in different imagery.”
As a group of friends and a gaming collective, there are a number of philosophies & religions represented by the fellas that are a part (actively or passively) of Intwsicha. What’s always struck me, however, is that we all tend to have a very similar view of friends, family, and faith, even while we subscribe to our individual ideologies. Likewise, our games together are uniquely influenced by our own experiences and interests; each member of the group is capable of creating a different and interesting game than the member before them. Yet we share enough common interests: D&D , Star Wars, Monty Python, etc., that our collective geek wisdom is drawn from the same well.
Another interesting link-from-a-link: The gentleman who reviewed Mr. Segal’s book in the above post authored a book called Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms that I just ordered online, and may or may not give to all my Intwischa colleagues for Christmas. Or Yule. Or whatever holiday they celebrate at this time of year that means presents.
Look for that review in the coming year!
Do you have a similar collection of books on your shelf? Do you take great pains to keep your religious chocolate out of your fantasy peanut butter? Do you want to send out appropriate holiday greetings specific to your faith? Tell us here in the Comments!