If you're not knitting, the terrorists win

(My mostly on-topic ramblings about knitting. And life in general. My life in specific.)

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle aged mother of 2 grown children and wife to a man who doesn't seem to mind my almost heroin-like yarn addiction. I spend my time writing, knitting, and generally stressing out.

Monday, August 27, 2012

On Crafting And Nerding

Last week at Gencon, T and I had a discussion with each other, and then a couple of later independent discussions with some other retailers and vendors, about how mainstream nerdism is now.

Gamers have, in the past, gotten the reputation as being social misfits, borderline Asperberger's, weirdo eggheads who dress up in capes and speak with a lisp. Think about how they have been portrayed in the media in previous decades--Comic Book Guy on Simpsons or the Lambdas from Revenge of the Nerds are a couple of good examples.

Even our local news media, when covering Gencon every year, plays down the fact that 35,000 people go to this convention and instead, finds the strangest, most out-there costumes to film. That is, in fact, the first question anyone who is not a gamer asks me when they learn I will be attending Gencon: "Are you going to dress up like an elf?"

But, over the last half decade, it's become kinda cool to be nerdy. Look at the success of Big Bang Theory. Look at the success of TV shows like the CSI franchise, which focus on the more cerebral aspects of police work. More Sherlock Holmes, less Starsky and Hutch, if you will.

Hey, look at Sherlock Holmes. More popular than ever. Of course that may be because Robert Downey, Jr. is playing him, but, whatever.

So events like Gencon (and gaming in general) have become more popular and more widely accepted by the mainstream public than ever before. (This is my own opinion, based on observation and not any sort of scientific study. Don't ask me for any numbers.) And, people are learning--despite how gamers have previously been portrayed--that gaming is very social.

Gaming, I think, goes hand in hand with crafting. I mean, really, if you think about it, gaming is all about creating. You are creating characters, creating stories, creating your own entertainment. Gamers rely on their creativity. That's why, I think, so many gamers are knitters, artists, makers-of-many-things.

I had the opportunity to go to a wedding this weekend. The bride and groom, both friends of ours, nerds, and pretty creative and people to boot, hand-crafted their own wedding from the geeky hand-drawn invites, to the nerdpop reference-laden ceremony, to the D&D table decorations at the reception. How cool is that?

What they ended up with was a highly-personalized celebration that was completely unique to them. Way to go!

I wish more people did that. Not just (or not necessarily) weddings, mind you. I know my parents would never have sprung for anything but a traditional wedding. I had a cousin who was married on the beach (gasp!) in 1982 and it was absolute scandal in the family gossip circles.

But I would love to see more people give hand-crafted gifts at Christmas, for example. Wouldn't that be great? "Here is a gift that spent time and effort on. I made it just for you and there is not another one exactly like it in the whole world." Or, "Here's a hat I knitted for you because I love you and I want your head to be warm?" Or even, "Here's a picture I drew for you... or a story I wrote... or a song I recorded... because I thought you would like it."

I like that idea because, instead of gift-buying being some holiday chore you have to do, something you fight the crowds for and pay the credit card bills for, you would be giving something personal that you thought about while you were deciding what to make, and thought about the whole time you were making it.

Wouldn't that be cool?


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