#1 reason I haven’t gotten into that many nerdy “fan”-type things (“geeky” shows, video games, comic books, etc.): because I would never get to talk about them with anyone without people being like BUT YOU’RE NOT A REAL FAN YOU HAVEN’T EVEN SEEN EPISODE X OR READ ISSUE Y OR GOTTEN TO LEVEL Z
Sad but true.
People probably think I just have no interest in geeky TV shows or video games or comic books, but actually, I think a lot of that stuff is really cool and fun. I just find the idea of being into it exhausting because of all the work you seem to have to do to make sure that you’re always on top of your shit. So what little I know of that stuff, I never talk about, because I don’t want to set off some dick-waving contest about who’s THE BEST FAN
And back when I was a kid, before nerdom becomes so serious and preoccupied with memorizing all of the facts about all of the things, I actually played tons of games and read tons of Star Wars novels and all this other stuff. But somewhere along the line, people grew up and the meaning of being a “fan” of something nerdy changed completely. Now you get all the “idiot nerd girl” memes and the controversies about “booth babes” and the condescension towards people who aren’t even trying to be THE BEST FAN but who just want to fucking watch a show or play a game they enjoy.
I’m probably missing out on a lot, but I also get to opt out of all that, so I guess it works out.
You know you can enjoy the things and totally avoid the fandom, right?
I think what they’re getting at is that if you do want to talk about all that awesome stuff, there’s a barrier of “you’re not enough of a fan!” or “you’re not my type of fan!”
It’s a problem in, say, X-Men, because you can’t really talk about the cosmological implications of the Phoenix if you haven’t read all eleventy-billion of Jean Grey’s deaths. And if a conversation goes that way and you admit you haven’t read all of them, suddenly you’re not considered a fan. Even if you’ve really gotten the gist of her symbolism from the ones you have read.
It takes some of the enjoyment out of things because you can’t geek out about them with people unless you are actively experiencing it alongside someone (not always an option).
^Yup, that’s exactly it. I can and do enjoy many things while avoiding the fandom, but eventually sitting on your ass watching episodes alone on your laptop gets old. For me, part of the joy of loving something is sharing and discussing that thing with others. If I can’t do that, well…eh.