Thursday, July 22, 2004

Time for a meeting

"Hi. My name is.... "

"Hehehehe. You don't need to tell us what your name is. We scanned the RFID tag in your cell phone right after you got out of your car. Then we cross referenced your Car's ID VIN number with the DMV and found out about those speeding tickets you've got. Hehehehe."

Welcome to Geeks Anonymous.

It wasn't like I woke up one morning and realized I was a geek. I really don't believe that that is one of those things that can really sneak up on a person. For some people Dilbert and The Far Side are just a bit too funny, if you catch my drift.

Back in 2000, I went to the E3 Expo (The three E’s stand for, Entertainment, Edutainment, and Entoxication. Geeks have never been known for their spelling abilities) in Los Angeles. Anywho, for those of you that don't know what that is, E3 has become the videogame enthusiasts equivalent to a pilgrimage to Mecca. What it was then, and has continued to be, is a gigantic exposition hall filled with deafeningly loud sound, bright flashing lights, and scantily clad women posing in front of each company's "booth” in order to promote that companies games.

I've always found the idea of having beautiful women at an event dedicated to people who never leave their parents basements, except for the occasional run to the local Quickie Mart for more Stridex pads, quite comical.

Back then I was “working” for a company that had the foolish belief that they could actually make money by publishing video game reviews and previews on the Internet. One key fact, that I believe led to their eventual downfall, was the fact that they overpaid every single person that worked for them, including yours truly.

So, I wasn't really all that surprised when they decided to pay for a group of 20 or so guys to fly out to Los Angeles for the show. It just seemed like the right thing to do when you're already throwing away money on this group of "writers."

When I got out to LAX, I caught a taxi and found my way out to the house that the company was renting as their "corporate headquarters" at the time. So here is a big group of early 20-something guys that have just been flown in from all over the country, out to Los Angeles, and what do they want to do? The exact same thing that they were doing, probably up to the minute before they got on the respective planes. They wanted to play and talk about games.

Now, some of you know may have heard that I like to play an occasional game. I wont deny this to be true. In fact, I know that I play and own quite a few more games than I should, but when I'm flown all the way across the country into a city that's known to have more than a few outdoor activities, I think it would be prudent to get out of the house for a few minutes just to see what might be out there. Honestly though, a few of these guys were so pale that their skin was almost translucent. Really, it looked like some of them had saran wrap covering their soft tissues and it was quite frightening. So, we had to wait until the sun had set before we could try and convince them that they would be ok if we ventured away from their computers.

Eventually, I convinced the group of them that we should go out to a bar and stop talking about how they could "kill" off their families in The Sims. I determined then that I should try to use my sense of humor and conversational skills for the greater good and get these guys out and try to have them interact with real people. So, we got to a really nice bar on Wilshire and I sat and watched them all sit in the corner and chug Diet Coke's and discuss the strategy that you needed to employ to defeat each of the bosses in Final Fantasy VIII. I think it was at that very moment that I felt much better about the type of geek that I am.

What's the point of this story? I think it's because of the fact that I don't want to have to come up with an explanation of the 36 consecutive hour Tecmo Superbowl bender that I went on when I was a sophomore in High School. And I used to wonder why women weren't attracted to me. Now I just know why.


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