Around 391 BC, Plato postulated the first law of affinity – likes tend towards likes. Basically, things that are similar are drawn towards one another. So when you’re a nerd, that doesn’t exactly bode well for your image. Thank goodness nerd-dom is becoming cool (thank you Big Bang Theory, despite how terrible you are)…or at least maybe not as uncool as it was. Because I’m running my snowball ass down a mountain full of fresh powder, and it’s starting to become an avalanche.
It’s bad enough that I started out a nerd at an early age – I attended the enrichment education class during elementary school. In high school, I was not only on the United Nations debating team, but also “Reach for the Top”…you know…like Jeopardy for teenagers. I’m a huge fan of science fiction and fantasy stories. Not to mention that one of the jobs that put me through university was as a computer lab advisor – basically a computer nerd that helped out the non-nerds with their technical difficulties. My stint as a teaching assistant proved that one’s own enthusiasm for the subject of geography can be the equivalent of wearing those coke bottle glasses and a pocket protector. A number of years ago, Ian convinced me to try role-playing games. Yeah…like Dungeons and Dragons style role-playing games. I’ve most recently played them on the PS3 and tabletop. You’ve heard the rumours of my obsession with Dragon Age: Origins and now Dragon Age II. The thought of an alien invasion of Earth tickles me pink. And Ian and I have already prepared our zombie apocalypse defense plan – now adapted for Nunavut.
So what could possibly be left for me?
Isn’t it obvious? Being a fangirl is progressively the next logical step. And so it began. The downward spiral into the world of fanfiction.
I swear. I tried to avoid it for the longest time. I really thought it was a sad excuse for people who really didn’t have anything interesting to write about. That fanfiction authors were rabid pre-teen girls obsessed with anime hairstyles and no ability to spell or grammar check. I cringe thinking at how talentless these people must obviously be if they need to rely on other people’s characters to tell a story. And I admit, there are definitely those types of individuals lurking on the fanfiction sites out there. You can usually tell them by their inability to put more than two full words together into a sentence. Unfortunately their ability to tell a story is limited by their extensive vocabulary of txt-spk. However, the sheer number of authors out there with amazing stories to tell, and extensive character development is amazing.
So what made me turn to fanfiction, you ask? I’m not entirely too sure. I know it was related to my time playing Dragon Age: Origins – which, by the way, is a fantastic rpg full of violence, sex and an incredible story. I think I was struggling with a particularly difficult character decision…or perhaps a boss that I was having trouble defeating. I had probably done some online searching for a walkthrough or some advice from those who had already passed that point in the game, and came across a story or two. I know I read a couple of really great pieces by some authors about a year or so ago, but then lost interest.
Enter Dragon Age II. The sequel to the game that had already stolen a year of my life was released, and I wasn’t about to not play it. And so I did. And boy, oh boy…if I thought the first game was tragic…the sequel dwarfed it. There are many ways you can play the game…changing your appearance, sex, character class, which groups you side with or work for, characters you choose to keep with you or leave behind, romances you choose to involve yourself in. At its most tragic, you can lose every family member you have through the course of the game; you can fall in love with a possessed man who will commit an act of terrorism and force you to choose to spare him and make him leave, make him fight by your side…or make him a martyr. Not to mention that decision has to be made split second. What if I make the wrong choice? Yes, I know it’s a game…but this is a game that reels you in emotionally. It’s not a game that gives you a happy ending. At all. So what could I do? Where could I fill in the gaps in the story that I didn’t want to end? Where could I find my answers???
Why…I could turn to fanfiction! Of course! And turn there I did.
I read and read and read. The good…the bad…the…WTF?!? As much as I could. And it still wasn’t enough. I needed to do more. I needed to let out what was inside of me ripping at the backs of my eyeballs. I needed to write my own fanfiction. Because apparently being a nerd isn’t quite enough for me. I need to step into the realm of ubernerd. Awesome.
So there. You now have an answer for why I haven’t been keeping up with my blog. I’ve been writing my ass off…trying to justify choices I was making in a freaking video game! Dear lord…I’m addicted. It’s liberating…makes me feel less guilty for setting a terrorist free (or for killing him on a second playthrough)…yikes. But you know what the best thing about it is? I get like ten to twenty times more visits than this blog does. Amazing! And people have been enjoying my work. Validation…what can I say? Very rewarding… Yeah, so half of them are half my age…whatever. At least they don’t like Twilight…
But I partially blame Ian. A while back, he mentioned to me that he thought I should run a game…and that the Dragon Age universe would be the perfect place to do that. I sort of liked the idea…and if you’ve been keeping up with Ian’s blog, you’ll know that we are now the proud owners of the Dragon Age Desktop Role Playing Game. Yup. Nerd.
So what am I going to do about all of this? I’m thinking of starting FFA…you know…FanFictionolics Anonymous…
It’s important for me to want to help others suffering for our condition. So I’ve come up with the all important twelve steps to recovery.
- Admit that you are powerless over the allure of being a fangirl/boy. You cannot control it. It is a disease. Your life will be unmanageable. Or at the very least, your legs might get a little too warm from having the laptop on them for so many hours.
- Believe in a higher power greater than yourself that can restore your sanity. Your chosen fandom can set you free!
- Decide to turn your will and life over to the care of your beta reader.
- Make a fearless moral inventory of the stories you choose to read, write and recommend to others.
- Admit to yourself and others the nature of your addiction. ← As you can see, I’m on this step.
- Be ready to remove all defects of the characters you choose to read and write about.
- Humbly ask of your reviewers to help remove your shortcomings and spelling mistakes.
- Make a list of all the authors you have flamed, and become willing to make amends with all of them.
- Make amends to authors directly, except when said amends will probably result in further flaming.
- Continue to take personal inventory – especially when concerning smut fics – and promptly admit any errors in continuity.
- Seek through meditation and further exploration of stories, the fanfiction universe you have chosen to reside in, praying only for knowledge of canon and the power to write more than just angst.
- Have a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, and just come to the realization that there are worse addictions to have in life. This one is just fine.
On second thought…these twelve steps are just going to perpetuate my addiction. Oh well…at least the shameful secret’s out now…