“Memories! You’re talking about memories!”
Some of you may recognize that the quote above is from the 1982 Sci-Fi classic Blade Runner. Ridley Scott’s epic neo-noir film about a special operative known as a Blade Runner (played by Harrison Ford) as he reluctantly does his job, hunting down a quartet of replicants (synthetic humanoids that are visually identical to a normal adult human) that have come to Earth (something of a crime for their class).
The film is considered by many to be one of the best sci-fi films ever made.
And I’ve never seen it.
Please, hold your collective gasps…which for some reason sound in my mind a whole lot like the noise my girlfriend made when she discovered I haven’t seen Blade Runner in casual conversation.
For some reason, despite knowing of the film and its purported greatness for almost 30 years, I’ve just never managed to sit down even once to watch it. I plan to soon, if nothing else just to scratch it off the list but it did get me thinking, what else have I missed?
Until last December I had never seen any of the Harry Potter films, something else that led to that gasp of shock I mentioned earlier. But that was rectified when I was gifted the entire set at Christmas.
Between you and I…I still have never read the books.
Two years ago it occurred to me that I’d never watched more than a half dozen episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, despite being something of a Whedon addict. The magic of Netflix and a whole lot of dateless nights let me tear through the series pretty quickly.
Those few examples aside, what other supposedly “nerd-cred” items have I missed or failed to acquire?
Well my friend don’t waste another moment pondering that question because here is a short, meant-to-be-taken-as-light-hearted list of my nerdy shame.
- I can count on one hand the number of D&D (or any pen and paper RPG) games I’ve played in my lifetime (with many, many fingers left over). In spite of an extreme love for everything the games represent I’ve never been bitten by the D20 bug. I think there are a number of factors involved (distance, etc) but despite having two people who are very close to me play D&D religiously and a woman in my life who is as intrigued as I am, I have just never gotten into it. Until recently the same could be said of deck building games (specifically Magic) but the aforementioned geeky goddess in my life has slowly warmed me up to them, to the point that I’ve even started playing a version of Magic available on my Xbox when I’m lacking the desire to play anything more time consuming.
- Speaking of games, I’ve never been big on MMORPGs. Believe me I like the concept, I love video games, fantasy settings and often bemoan when great single player games lack a multiplayer cooperative function (I’m looking at you Skyrim and Fallout). Yet due to a few factors (which I’ll discuss shortly) I’ve never been able to get into the MMORPG craze. I’ve sat back and watched a number of people thoroughly enjoy and borderline get addicted to World of Warcraft, Guild Wars and others and have always felt this desire to feel and experience the games they so love. The idea of trekking across a fantasy world with a posse of internet friends and partners seems tailor made for me. Oddly though the one time I did get to take WoW for a spin I found myself instantly bored with the interface and game-play and not once did I experience any sort of social interaction. Jump forward to this year and one of the two games I picked up upon getting an Xbox One was Elder Scrolls Online, a game I’d been dying to play. Finally I was going to get that multiplayer Skyrim experience I had wanted for so long, or so I thought. Over the last 3 months I’ve gone back to it a number of times and just haven’t enjoyed it as much as I wanted. My character is still in the single digits and I often find myself bored stiff with the quests and annoyed by the gameplay. Oh and again despite seeing tons of other players milling about I still find myself devoid of any social interaction as if my real life social ineptitude and shyness have been gifted to my fantasy self.
- One of the primary reasons for my lack of exposure to the MMORPG early on is the fact that my real world economic class has resulted in my inability to join the higher nerd world class known as the “PC Master Race”. Semi-interesting factoid for you younger nerds, computers weren’t all that common in my youth. In fact I was 19 and about to move out into the world before my family ever had a computer in our home. Now jump forward to today when a top of the line gaming rig can still cost you big money and I live in a financial state where picking up a supposedly “inferior” console still took a couple of years and you have the perfect cocktail of nerdy shame.
- I know this is blasphemy to some but I just never got into anime. I have friends who are constantly suggesting I watch this series or that movie and a girlfriend who loves anime but I still have yet to truly enjoy them. Much to my geeky goddess’s chagrin I can’t enjoy them with their native voice acting and English subtitles, not because I dislike reading (I subtitle English shows all the time) but rather because if I am not fully engrossed in the show I might find my attention split and without dialog spoken in English I will miss out. I also think it has something to do with the very first anime I ever watched being Akira. I watched Akira when I was around 12 or 13 and absolutely fell in love with it. Ever since then when I watch an anime I have to feel that same attachment and joy nearly immediately or I am instantly dismissive of the program. Which makes me a little sad because I hear so many good things about these movies and shows and then when I sit down to watch them immediately feel disappointed.
- Lastly, there are a few video game franchises that are much adored by nerd and non-nerd alike. There are too many franchises to list but the ones I’ve been exposed to (and largely love) are classic ones like Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Castlevania and newer ones like Bioshock, Deus Ex and later generation Final Fantasy games. It pains me to admit it but with the exceptions of Super Mario Bros 2, New Super Mario Bros Wii and Bioshock Infinite I have never finished a game in the series listed. You read that right, as much as I love the Zelda franchise I have never finished a single game in the series. As many hours as I poured into Playstation era greats like Final Fantasy VII, VIII or XII, not once did I see the endgame. Sure I’ve beaten plenty of games in my life time, more than not, but for some reason the proverbial stars have just never aligned when it comes to certain beloved franchises. I’ve poured hundreds of hours into some of these games and much less into others and regardless of time and energy invested they have always gone unfinished.
Given time I’m sure I could have written a more comprehensive list but as I sat here in the predawn hours unable to sleep I had to get some of those of my chest.
I also could have listed “not a college graduate” but that feels a little too serious for what is meant to be a lighthearted looked at my “shameful” lack of nerd credibility.
Also, if I may do a little shameless self-promotion, it is Wednesday and that does mean I’ll be streaming tonight at 9 eastern. If all goes according to plan I’ll be showcasing one of my all time favorite games, one that wasn’t mentioned by name but has held a place with the games I mentioned in #5 since the NES days.