SOWYGO 4: Geeknesses Wot I don’t Get

I have a very analytical approach to things. I take my time to look into them and the issues around them, the evidence and then I come to a conditional conclusion that is subject to change, on the presentation of other evidence that holds water or is sufficient and well executed enough to demonstrably contradict previous evidence. The first step though, is to ask. SOWYGO is mainly about getting positive images of various nerdery out there but I think there’s an opportunity here for some cross-nerdery understanding. So, here’s some geekdoms, some fandoms, that I don’t get and which I invite you to educate me on:

1. Furries

What I don’t get: Anthro art I get (Omaha, Usagi), werewolves, centaurs, mythical creatures I can get my head around but… obsession over cartoonish characters, dressing up in a suit – however impressive the craft – taking on a persona outside of a role-playing game, that I don’t get. I’m not going to ignore the elephant in the room here either, the whole furry sex thing just makes me blink, or gag, especially when things get… weirder. Someone explain Doug Winger to me (don’t click).


2. Sports Nerdery

What I don’t get: Any of it. Car racing is just people driving in circles and the variations are minor. Cricket takes forever to get going. The shenanigans of football players off the pitch are far more interesting than the actual games themselves and they’re hideously overpaid. It just seems to be the same thing over and over again and the statistical obsession goes far beyond the aspy behaviour of the worst Traveller players into scary, scary savant territory. What’s the appeal?

3. Historical Wargaming

What I don’t get: You already know what happens. Historical battles are often determined by overwhelming force or sheer tactical advantage so, when you recreate the battle the outcome is probably about 90% predetermined. If you step out of that what’s putting you off fantasy wargaming? (Assuming it does put you off). The rules used for historical wargaming also seem to be impenetrable compared to fantasy or SF gaming, inaccessible, difficult or with little room for chance. What’s up with that?

4. Wine/Ale

What I don’t get: Wine makes me sick anyway and I can’t stand the taste of beer, so I’ll never enjoy it, but it’s just rotten grape juice isn’t it? Studies consistently show that most people aren’t able to tell the difference and that price and label creates far more of a difference to people’s perception than the wine itself. So… huh? Ale… less of a problem, I can’t stand it but I can smell or taste the difference but what’s the appeal of all the very different kinds?

5. Cosplay

What I don’t get: Most of the characters that people dress up as are from computer games or fantasy art and those are impossibly perfect physical specimens. Sure you can do great photo-sets with photoshop and get panted at by nerd boys and girls, but that’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Most geeks, nerds, freaks etc (hell, most PEOPLE) don’t look like anime characters or computer game characters and trying to – without MAJOR disfiguring surgery – is a fool’s errand. I get the crafting side and all that, I just don’t get the whole thing when it’s all put together.

Please help me understand your geekdoms, the ones above, or others!

2 responses to “SOWYGO 4: Geeknesses Wot I don’t Get

  1. 1. Furries. Nope don’t get it either.

    2. Sports. Each to their own. You’d probably find it more interesting if you partook rather than just observe. Don’t get the obsession with statistics but it seems to be more important to media pundits than actual fans. I enjoy the odd game of footie or rugby, don’t mind watching/supporting the local cricket team. I’m never a sports geek but I can understand the obsession some have.

    3. Historical Wargames. It’s about being able to outdo the best military minds humanity have ever seen. I’ve beaten Hannibal, Alexander, Rommel, Napoleon, Patton, Tokugawa, Cetewayo and others. The rules? Well they vary and it’s not all minis either.

    4. Ah wine and beer. Time to refine your palate a little. And to add to my snobbery can we add cider, whisky and port to the list of things I’ve enjoy. The subtleties is flavour when you move away from the mass produced to the more artisan end of the spectrum is amazing.

    5. Cosplay. Never tried it and to be honest never even thought of it. Masquerades at SFcons look great fun and I’ll admit to being a little curious but that’s as far as I’ll go.

  2. Can’t help with furries, historical wargaming or cosplay. Sport? Not a fan but I do enjoy international rugby. I think it’s the violence. Especially towards the French.

    And the Italians.

    And the Welsh.

    As for wine and ale: wine can, as you suggest, be judged on price. Ale comes in a wide variety of types and flavours and is pretty much dependent on personal taste, much like a good single malt.

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