How far we have come.
I think of the past, and around decades ago I remember characters a bit naive, artists of anonymity, wandering unseen in the folds of the society of appearing. You could recognize them by their unkempt appearance, sometimes by their thick glasses and T-shirts with symbols that only they knew the meaning. A sort of secret cult, a sketch of a collective mind devoted to absolute knowledge of the most varied topics. Behind shields of shyness and few words, they barely knew how to give you an answer about football, fashion or politics. But the steel dam of this apparent asociality disintegrated as soon as they heard the words Videogame, Magic, Star Wars or … board game! I was in that group too, INDEED!
And like every minority with a reputation, those who once were called “nerds” are … even called same way today, but the magic lies in the radical change that the meaning of this word has undergone over the years.
Compulsive intelligence, knowledge of any “difficult” or “niche” subject, maths and computer science have become, nowadays, powerful weapons, when in the past they were seen as useless waste of time. Now we can no longer live without them, like in the past intrepid pioneers thought we could not already live without. It was just a matter of time.
Foresight well placed and well rewarded by what, over time, the now digital and even a little playful world has been able to offer. Today we can say that we proudly carry the flag of the geek in a world that is now struggling to keep up with it. From the nowdays elderly father who asks us to install the printer, to the workmate who begs us on his knees to automate part of his work (hehe), to the influencer who would pay gold to understand how it works “that professional program you use to take beautiful pictures”; we are almost indispensable. A great success.
But let’s never forget where we come from: from logic, rules, and rational creativity. And the board game is its most brilliant synthesis. If in the past this niche of the niche was explored by the most courageous nerds, who made their way through the impervious ways of mechanics and of finding someone to share few hours of adventure with, today the explosion of this market has brought all the public to discover this lifestyle. More and more people “not of our world” are venturing between dice rolls, meeple placement and explanations of that damn rule that I never remember.
Our greatest value is sharing. Internet and gaming are nothing more than expressions of the enormous desire to share knowledge, experiences and interpretation of reality in which the nerd lives. And so, gladly, we leave the keys to these fantastic worlds to ordinary people, confident that together, under our supervision, the game will only get better.
Hey, don’t ruin our precious miniatures. And put everything back in place and IN ORDER. And don’t ruin our precious organizers if you don’t want to be smited by the wrath of Cthulhu.