I’ve never actively tried to hide who I am. I’ve always embraced my quirks and my a bit ‘out there’ interests. But as I’ve come to uni, where no one knows me from Eve, and those who do know me, know me with my tattoos, dyed hair, nose ring, makeup and slightly stylish fashion sense. So every so often we’ll be in mid conversation and I’ll realise that I need to let my new friends in on a secret.
I am giant nerd.
I say it in a whisper, looking around the room as though someone might laugh at me. People usually– but it’s lighthearted, and they’re amused that I think it’s a big deal. Sometimes they’ll say “I know” but in the back of my mind, I always think that they don’t.
It’s not like there is frequent times in life when my extensive knowledge of the DC universe comes in handy. No one really needs to know if I can name all the Daedric Princes from Skyrim or that I always finish the game or tv series before I even consider making a cosplay. It’s not as though I’ve ever had to bring up the fact that I used to (and still do) roleplay online.
As I said, I’m a giant nerd.
And I’ll only get nerdier. Because I’m finally (and I do mean finally ) finding the courage to knuckle down and learn the basics, and then the complexities of Dungeons and Dragons. Unfortunately, unlike every other interest of mine, there isn’t just one wikipedia of which I can slowly work my way through and memorize. This is complex. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s also social.
Which is great. I want to meet new people and I’d love to make more friends. Except, there’s a reason I don’t play online games against other people. I proudly boast that I’ve never played CoD, but the real motivation behind that is the same reason why I don’t enter the crucible in Destiny.
I’m afraid to suck.
I, unfortunately, am very self-conscious. I don’t want to be seen as a loser who doesn’t know anything, or isn’t as good as the hardened veterans. I know technically it’s not possible to be bad at DnD, I just am a little bit mortified at the idea of not playing well.
What if I say the wrong thing? What if my character sucks? What if all the people I play with don’t like me?
But here I am, officially though incredibly nervously, saying ‘to hell with it’.
Down here in Portsmouth, we have a fun little thing called UPRAW, which is the DnD society I signed up to on Fresher’s Week and then became far too nervous to go. I still get all the emails and I’m in the Facebook Group, but I just wasn’t brave enough to put myself out there.
Luckily, this shop called “A Fistful of Dice” exists in Southsea, which sells all the manuals and I assume (and really hope) can put me in touch with people who wouldn’t mind setting up a campaign with a newbie like me. Even if they just point me right back to UPRAW (which would be great because it’s part of the university), I just wanna play the game.
So, wish me luck — and if happen to know anyone in the Portsmouth (or Kent for the Summer) area that wouldn’t mind showing me the ropes, or playing with me once I get the hang of it well… please let me know.