The stereotypical 80s version of the nerd consists of pocket protector, pale skin, glasses, access and knowledge in regards to technology that baffles the minds of friends, family and probably government establishments alike. They were rumored to live in the deep depths of their parents basement or holed up in their light deprived bedrooms where they spend most of their days and nights avoiding social interaction to play obscure games, chat on via underground clients or hacking their way into the hearts of their cohorts by making their way into the backend of their school’s operating system to muck up a few grades here and there.
I was never that nerd.
Hell, to be honest I don’t think I’m that nerd now. But I digress.
As kids, my brother and I definitely played the hell out of video games. We got our first Nintendo for Christmas when I was 8 and we were definitely hooked. I mean, we had it bad. Like to the point to where our parents would literally take every cord, controller and game and lock them in separate areas of their bedroom so that they controlled when we played. But that never stopped us because all of our neighbors had the same cords, controllers and games that we did and you bet your sweet ass we’d bribe them with Now-and-Laters and Otter Pops to use theirs for the week or until we found out where ours were. And when that didn’t work, we went to our friend’s houses and stayed there until the street lights came on playing and laughing until dinner was finished or we had to be ran off to a track or basketball practice or some school social event.
That went on for years until we got our first computer which was quite literally our neighborhood’s first computer. If I remember correctly, it was a Windows 3.0 based something-or-other that had a 33.k dialup modem, that of course my parents had no idea to use. So naturally, my brother and I delved into tinkering with it and played Minescape and learned to dial-up and wait for what seemed like days to load up AOL chats, zMuds and mIRC clients. We trolled and chatted and lol’d and killed our way into getting a padlock slapped on the side of the computer’s hutch. ”For school work only,” read the piece of paper my Mom slapped on the front of the hut with a huge red arrow pointing to the lock. And we lol’d at that damn lock too and picked the living hell out of it when both of my parents were at work.
Then something changed. Both my brother and I got involved pretty heavily in sports and we were sort of pulled away from our world. We played on occasion, but not with that desperate vigor that we did before. I went away to college and slowly began to re-discover the zMuds and began to reconnect with IRC here and there but all in all I was too busy to really enjoy it as I did before. I’d still join new irc channels to download new albums and talk to my friends, waste time browsing livejournal and play the occasional game of Diablo and Oblivion, but not like before.
And then it happened.
About 5 years ago, some stupid boy broke my heart into a million little pieces, which is another story of
trauma self-awareness and victory that I won’t really get into. I had always heard of this game World of Warcraft and read the many stories of how it makes you a drooling nerdball and you become totally socially inept and irresponsible. But I’d never really played it and never had any interest in playing it because I’m pretty damn cool. Ex-college athletes and especially perfectly socially conditioned people muchless GIRLS don’t play Warcraft! But I saw a copy of this on my friend, Jin’s, desk and of course I made fun of him and called him a nerd and sniggered and watched him play over his shoulder to all hours of the night. I became fascinated with the game from afar, but never had the courage to play it myself because that’d be just silly.
And then my head exploded.
And I did it. I made him let me play. I rolled a Blood Elf hunter (steeeeeeereotype) around the summer of 2008 because that’s what noobs do and named her Uhlissuh, a variant of my name. I didn’t tell not one soul that I was playing WoW and every day after work I’d go over to his house and play WoW until my eyes were heavy with sleep. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed throwing a Hunters Mark on a creature in Stranglethorn and mentally imagining it was the guy that dumped me and ripping it to pixelated shreds. And then skinning it! I had little to no idea what I was doing but it was fun! I joined a small guild on the Greymane server and just enjoyed levelling…al l of that old nerd came bubbling to the top.
The sad part? Other than the folks I play WoW with in game and Jin, no one knows that I play. Well and the occasional person that notices my key-chain authenticator and scoffs at WARCRAFT emblazoned on it. And you wonder why I don’t share this with people? Something I’m kinda sorta passionate and enjoy doing as much as I did playing college basketball and any other “normal” hobbies that I do?
So I guess what this post is for me is just as the blog is titled, confessions of my closet nerdiness. And for the first time in a long time, I’m comfortable with the fact that I play Warcraft because most of my friends can attest that I’m a semi-normal person. Well, other than being 6-foot-3 and female, but I’m okay with that too.