Friday, May 29, 2015

Consumerism, the Nerd, and Myself


Thanks for the chuckle, Fanboys Online!

I'm the sorta guy whose money comes flowing from his wallet lest it catch fire. Don't let me walk into a comic book shop, cause I'll empty that sucker if left to my own devices. "I only need $50 to eat this month, right?" Give me an income and watch what most of it goes to, just go ahead, watch! Now, I never really payed this much attention, even with my parents warning me that this was all a bad idea. I mean, what did they know? Their finances weren't mine! I do what I want!

Boy, did I get a rude wake-up call in marriage.

Enter my wife, Maria, who has a tighter wallet than Scrooge MacDuck (Love you honey! Don't kill me when you read this!). She was always somewhat amused by my spending habits, until my money became our money. It's not even that she hates it when I get stuff, but apparently you need a hell of a lot more than 50 bucks to eat in a month. And then there's other things... like baby clothes. And diapers. Y'know, small stuff. So my budget's shrunk a little bit.

The funny thing is that being on a more limited budget's forced me to sit out on the vast majority of releases. And it sorta occurred to me: how many of those games did I actually need? It's not like I have the time, especially now that we've got a son. Furthermore, why the heck do I need new games? A classic game, like any other classic, can be returned to, over and over again, and something new is added to your experience, because you're different and bring something new. I mean, how many times have I played Warrior Within? And loved it each and every time, flaws and all? Or Twilight Princess? Let's face it, great games are rare (and usually bear the mark Nintendo on them, but that's just me) but well worth it. And that usually means your library's pretty small to begin with.

The same can definitely be said of my table-top collection. I got what I really want: Burning Wheel and it's children games, 13th Age, and Fantasy Flight's Star Wars. Each scratches a distinctive itch that I've always had. Could I collect more? Yeah, and I will. Collecting's fun. But with those games I mentioned I have enough ideas that I like to keep me going for decades. I could probably play just those TTRPGs for the rest of my life and never run out of things to do with them. So why buy more?

Why indeed?

I mean, I could blame the culture. This ridiculous schizophrenic culture that can be so offensive and so endearing at the same time. It's really easy to do, most of my fellow Christians have done so. The problem is this: I am a part of the culture. The world. The universe. I am the problem. So what am I going to do about it? At the ripe young age of 27 I'm not sure. I'm still young and there's still much time before I face judgment for my aiding, fighting, or healing this madness we call "modern society".

At the moment the only real answer I have is that if something truly moves me I'll try and support the people who moved me so by buying it. And to make sure I really know the difference between shock and awe and an actual reaction.