(Originally written March 19th, 2014)
One undeniable truth of nerd-life in the modern age is that nerdy things are expensive.
New video games consoles cost several hundred dollars (I’m not even going to get into the cost of maintaining a top of the line gaming rig for PC games), the games themselves have a starting level of $60 (a rate that leaps up exponentially if you are the type to go for the various special editions with all the extra stuff). Comic books, collected in the trades as I buy them, range from $16-$20 a pop and can run higher if you are buying larger collected events (for example Forever Evil in hardcover cost me about $25 and Batman Eternal Volume 1 ran $40). Novels run a similar pricing structure for hardcover editions. On top of that you also have: movie ticket prices (because who among wants to wait for the Blu-ray for the plethora of great nerdy movies we’ve been blessed with every year?), internet service provider bills, online membership rates for your chosen console’s internet functionality if not for the individual games (either in the form of subscription or for all extras like DLC), cable bills (at premium rates if you’re in need of HBO/Showtime), streaming services, smart phones, tablets and so much more.
It all adds up.
And if you happen to be a working stiff with a plethora of real world responsibilities and expenses that come before entertainment it is quite easy to be bad at being nerdy. After I pay my rent, my car-note, my bargain basement cell phone bill, my car insurance and keep my car fueled and groceries in my kitchen there isn’t a whole lot left for other things, especially those that aren’t necessities.
As of this writing, on 3/19/2015, due to a number of life changes that occurred at the end of the year, I have been without internet service for over four months. I have not been to the movies since Guardians of the Galaxy. I have no cable, no Netflix, no Hulu. I haven’t purchased even an old, used game since before Thanksgiving and haven’t played a video game online with my friends (what used to be a large chunk of my time) since the Xbox One and PS4 came out. Hell I haven’t even had the opportunity to buy a book at Half-Price Books.
Now I realize these “complaints” are all very “1st World” but as this is a nerdy blog I am writing this to vent about my inability to keep my thumb on the pulse of all things nerdy. Without the internet I can’t stay up on all the new things I would love to write about on a timely basis (Marvel and DC both have done some stuff in the last 4 months that I would have loved to chime in on). I would have loved to say something about Marvel’s new A Force or have been able to stay caught up on my DC readings so I could have something to say about Convergence.
Hell I don’t even know how long it will be before I get a chance to post this entry right here.
I would love to have been able to write about new video games or have something timely to say about this latest season of The Walking Dead.
In the end I guess what I am mourning most is my inability to be a good nerd. I make due with judicious use of the public library to keep myself well read (even if I die a little inside when I finish a great novel and can’t put it up on my shelf like the rest of my trophies) and I have been really enjoying replaying some of the games I’ve owned for a while (although I think we are well past the point of writing blogs about Grand Theft Auto 5, Skyrim, and the Mass Effect Trilogy).
As my girlfriend loves to remind me, this too shall pass, and I am confident that eventually I will get back on course and be able to enjoy all the nerdy things I have spent my life loving and write about topical things in the nerd-world as they happen.
Author’s Note: Since I wrote this over two months ago I have managed to do a few small things to breathe a little bit of life into my nerdy soul. I managed to scrape together the funds to see the new Avengers and about a month before that I managed to get my hands on a used copy of a video game I’d been dying to play. Small things but given the “drought” I’ve been in they meant a lot.