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Embarrassed by Xwing?

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I think when I was about 19 i stopped caring what other people might think of me and started trying nerdy things I thought looked fun. Turns out no one cared. 

Now in my life I tell people, and people just say cool and move on if they have no interest or ask more questions if they do. Same with my season tickets for a football team.

People who have no interest in x-wing still ask me how I did if there was a big tournament just like they would politly ask about any other hobby or passion. 

If people are jerks based on what you do for fun then they would have been jerks for some other reason aswell because they find value in themselves by putting others down. If you work in a place with people like that, well that sucks. If you date a person like that well then you made your choice and personality was low on your list.

My wife had no interest in x-wing or any miniatures, and she did not when we were dating but she is and always was very supportive because she knows I enjoy it.  I can only assume the people in the podcast discussing when to tell your girlfriend were 14 as any reasonable adult would not hide a hobby or passion from someone they are bringing into their lives. It probably came up with my wife in the first week of dating in the form of "I can't go Saturday I promised to play a miniature war game with my friend" (was no x-wing then and can't remember what I was playing)

Long story short man/woman up and realize people will either be excited with you it just not care. Either way no reason to hide something.

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I think in short what you feel is age related. I am much the same as yourself, I don't talk about my nerdom outside my group of friends/family. The reason being, and it stems from when I was growing up I believe, is that people who played these sort of games were weirdo's. I am 42, and growing up there wasn't all the CCG's, computer games etc like Pokemon, Yu Gi Oh and all that other stuff that normalised this sort of game play from a young age,  I wasn't going to broadcast my hobbies, but I certainly wasn't going to give it away because it was seen as uncool.  It is hard to throw off the shackles that people like you and myself have laboured ourselves with,  I don't think we need to hide our dirty secret anymore, but we will always have the what if? going on in the back of our minds. 

To give you an example, I am an Australian and myself and 4 mates were doing the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea. One of my friends was openly talking about his nerd hobby with the other trekkers, he is an avid 40K player, and I remember thinking please shut up! People are just going to take the piss!!! I have no idea if they did, I had severe gastro for 5 of the 8 days we were on the track and had many periods of delirium and cannot remember everything that happened. Just an example of where my brain states at when it comes to these kind of games, which is sad because I do love them and I shouldn't feel like I need to hide it away from the outside world. 

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Some people will find it stupid, but some people may find jogging, having a pet, watching TV show X, etc stupid.

I mean it really kinda depends on what kind of relationship you have with your co-workers. If you are just co-workers and you rarely talk to them about your personal life and then all of a sudden come out super excited and go into intense details about playing x-wing they will probably think you are kinda a freak, but that is because you are acting like a freak. If you regularly talk about your life, then it becomes just that another part of it. It isn't so much what you do but how you present it to people that will determine their overall feelings towards you. Same for presenting it to someone you date. If you awkwardly scream "I LIKE SPACESHIPS!", yeah they are gonna think you are a psycho. But present it as just another thing you do then that is what it is another part of your personality. Maybe that becomes the straw that broke the camel's back but it isn't the only thing.

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I used to keep it on the DL, but I don't hide it anymore. I even post my repaints on my facebook page now. It has actually helped draw a few of my non-table top friends into the game on a casual level. Whatever, it's part of my life, I'm old enough I don't give a crud what others think about this element of my life now, and I'm happier for it. NO ONE knew I played Battletech back in highschool aside from the local community. And no one from work didn't know a **** thing about me playing Mechwarrior. X-Wing, who cares. lets go push ships around!

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Sharing with coworkers can help expand the game too.  I've gotten one person at work into playing (never played minis games before) and recently discovered another colleague has a WFB past (so perhaps an easy convert). 

Some folks might think you are wierd, but you may find more gameiness in folks around than you anticipate. Minis gaming is not a niche as it was 25 years ago.  If someone mocks you, just contrast the hobby with model railroading - everyone knows those guys are FREAKS! ?

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I can relate to the embarrassment. Even with friends that I've had for 10+ years I had doubts about bringing X-wing up. But they teased me about my Star Wars fandom in general. Now however, they have kids and their kids are into Star Wars, so now they understand better. But the doubts are just assumptions I'm making. Case in point: I told my long-time friend and best-man about X-wing during a break while I helped him move into his new house. "I didn't know you did that, that's really cool!" And here I thought I was going to get that "you're a weirdo" look from him.

Part of it was my excitement for the game and another part of it is like many have noted, is my age. At 41, I don't have time for things or people that don't elevate me. I avoid watching the news, slasher movies, etc., things that would just bum me out. So I don't go out of my way to announce my X-wing hobby, but now I don't feel bad about myself if asked about it.

Unlike the OP, I came in DEAD LAST at a store championship, 34 out of 34. Oddly, I'm not embarrassed about talking about that one.

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I do not talk about games, and am usually slightly embarrassed by it as well.

I think its because of the stigma about people who play games.  Either they are just for kids and adults who won't grow up, or are played in mothers' basements.  That stigma is still alive and well.  When someone with that idea sees people playing games they will focus in on the few people who confirm their thoughts, not the 30 or 40 other successful people with jobs, wives, husbands, or children.  It comes down to how much do you care what strangers think, or how people close to you will judge it.

Also, I will say know your audience at work.  If it's something that people would be judgmental about, I wouldn't bring it up.  It could affect work relationships, and more importantly, how your next boss sees you.  If your next boss has a negative feeling about games, or if a large portion of the office sees it negatively,  then it's best to keep it to ones' self in my opinion. 

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9 minutes ago, cptmusket said:

Either they are just for kids and adults who won't grow up

Maybe that's true though. One of my coworkers keeps asking me if I never want to grow up.

I didn't invent the answer I like best to that question, but it's my favorite: "I've tried that, it was boring."

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35 years old and remain deeply embarrassed about my choice of hobby. I'd get more respect hanging out at the pub being racist and disrespecting women like a real man.

I have come to accept that this is life, and I must wait for my children to be old enough to engage in my awful, awful life choices. Until then, you chumps are my only company. Ugh....

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I totally get it. I have a really shiny title, 325 people who work for me, am an executive at my company, on a couple of boards for other companies, and depending on who you ask, am reasonably well known within my industry (I get asked to speak at conferences and events and contribute written pieces to journals) which unfortunately means that I have to be careful about what I say in public, what I post on Facebook or Twitter, and what I tell people.

I love this game, I love my little group of X=Wing pals but sadly, don't feel that I can admit to it publicly (and have even asked my wife not to mention it to people that know me).  Kind of sucks.

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Wonderful post, can totally identify with the OP on this.

It took me a long time to get over my apprehension when it comes to talking to people about my hobby. I've been wargaming since I was in school and let me tell you it was the single most UNCOOL hobby back then!

My family totally accept it. One of my sons plays X Wing as well, and my wife is super supportive.

Work colleagues' reactions vary greatly. Some are interested to the point of asking how the game is played, some regard it as grown men playing with toy spaceships and some really don't know what to think. For those reasons I generally don't mention it until asked and even then give a bare minimum of information. When I was younger this was because I was embarrassed by the comments that might be made, nowadays I'm less bothered by that and I would be more inclined to defend my hobby vehemently to anyone who wanted to knock me for it and THAT would get ugly so I keep it to myself. I like to think I am getting wiser in my old age but in reality I think I just getting more belligerent!

 

 

 

Edited by irishthump

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2 hours ago, Zazaa said:

Geek is new black! Has been for long time now, it used to be "shameful".

This.  I remember when Dungeons and Dragons was "demon worship".  Now, it is pop culture and even has a cartoon series and really bad movie.

There is a ren faire near me.  As a teen, i used to be one of tne 10% dressed in costume.   Now, only 10% are not!  Heck, it is even its own hobby now...cosplay anyone?

OTOH, during my Magic days I would go out every Monday night to play.  My girlfriend at the time would tell people i was playing cards.  True enough, but when they assumed poker, she didn't correct them.

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2 hours ago, Archangelspiv said:

I think in short what you feel is age related. I am much the same as yourself, I don't talk about my nerdom outside my group of friends/family. The reason being, and it stems from when I was growing up I believe, is that people who played these sort of games were weirdo's. I am 42, and growing up there wasn't all the CCG's, computer games etc like Pokemon, Yu Gi Oh and all that other stuff that normalised this sort of game play from a young age,  I wasn't going to broadcast my hobbies, but I certainly wasn't going to give it away because it was seen as uncool.  It is hard to throw off the shackles that people like you and myself have laboured ourselves with,  I don't think we need to hide our dirty secret anymore, but we will always have the what if? going on in the back of our minds...

 

41 minutes ago, Darth Meanie said:

This.  I remember when Dungeons and Dragons was "demon worship".  Now, it is pop culture and even has a cartoon series and really bad movie...

I'm in my fifties. I grew up in the "Bible belt" USA. where, in the late 1970s, playing Dungeons and Dragons was considered "devil worship" and nerds were bullied in school. I'm old enough now to not worry as much about what others think but I still keep my hobbies private most of the time mostly out of habit. Now days "nerd culture" is so well accepted it's actually cool. My daughter's friends think I'm a cool dad since I'm DM'ing a 5th edition D&D game for them.

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2 hours ago, Bojanglez said:

I totally get it. I have a really shiny title, 325 people who work for me, am an executive at my company, on a couple of boards for other companies, and depending on who you ask, am reasonably well known within my industry (I get asked to speak at conferences and events and contribute written pieces to journals) which unfortunately means that I have to be careful about what I say in public, what I post on Facebook or Twitter, and what I tell people.

I love this game, I love my little group of X=Wing pals but sadly, don't feel that I can admit to it publicly (and have even asked my wife not to mention it to people that know me).  Kind of sucks.

I am owner and president of my own company with extreamly conservative clients. They don't care about my hobbies as long as my company produces a good product for them. Had I clients estimator come in and get excited about the x-wing on my shelf because he is an avid attack wing player. No one cares about x-wing it's hobby everyone has hobbies. 

I think you would be suprized, if you tell them it's what you do to releive stress they will understand. If people in your industry cares at all with what you do on your spare time instead of what you do professionally then they are probably pretty bad at their jobs. 

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X-Wing, I prob wouldn't feel embarrassed about playing, mainly because of how well designed most of the miniatures are by FFG, and the fact that it's Starwars. Now me telling people I play Heroclix on top of it, well, that a different story. There is acceptable nerd. and then there is Super Nerd. Wear your nerd flag at full mast, keep your super nerd form contained until you need the extra power.

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X-Wing is probably the game I find it easiest to talk about - unlike my other wargaming hobbies (Malifaux, Infinity, etc.) it's an IP that pretty much anyone is going to recognise; even if you're not a nerd, you probably know what an x-wing and a TIE Fighter are. It also has a relatively simple set of rules to explain. That said, I'm pretty open about my wargaming and roleplaying anyway.

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There was a point when dating (my now wife) that she asked about all the magic cards perfectly filed in my closet.  I told her at the time she may not want to know, but I knew she was a keeper when she asked again.  She eventually learned to play, though she doesn't play now.  After having so many SO's that gave me crap for my hobbies it was nice to find one that at least took the time to understand them.  That was before I started playing x-wing but the conversation would have gone exactly the same.  

I balance my weird hobbies with the "normal" ones, like ripping through paved canyons on a 2 wheeled 120 horsepower machine at breakneck speeds.  I like x-wing as much as I like that motorcycle, and they both serve the same purpose (major stress relief), but for some reason people really relate to the bike thing.  Either way, simple explanations of x-wing and just saying "its a board game" work best.

Edited by jonnyd

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3 hours ago, Bullox said:

I'm in my fifties. I grew up in the "Bible belt" USA. where, in the late 1970s, playing Dungeons and Dragons was considered "devil worship" and nerds were bullied in school. I'm old enough now to not worry as much about what others think but I still keep my hobbies private most of the time mostly out of habit. Now days "nerd culture" is so well accepted it's actually cool. My daughter's friends think I'm a cool dad since I'm DM'ing a 5th edition D&D game for them.

Yeah, there might be a reason The Big Bang Theory is a popular as Friends was these days. . .

The thing of it is, everyone is a geek in some way.  I mean, why is it more "acceptable" to spend hundreds on a team jersey, hundreds more on tickets, paint your face and wear a foam whatever-the-heck on your head?  Sports fan = geek.  Seriously, if you play Fantasy Football, you are a totally a geek; it's not even a real thing!!  But thousands of corporate cubicle inhabitants, soccer moms, and other "mainstream" people think nothing of the guy who knows who played 3rd base for the Yankees in 1957.  He's a raging geek. . .in sports.

And while I use sports as an example, "gearheads" are geeks too.  They just have a different field of specialization.

I work next to a woman who is seriously into the Cubs and sports in general.  She makes fun of me because I didn't know Michael Jordan's number was 23.  I make fun of her because she thinks our favorite bad guy is Dark Vader.  We are all weirdos.  And it's awesome.

Edited by Darth Meanie

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I'm in graduate school right now, and we have a single place that you can buy food on campus.  Every Thursday during lunch a couple friends of mine play X-Wing right on the one huge table in the middle of the room. We always get some spectators that vary from the "intensely interested" to "I should assign you more homework" from some of our professors. It always makes for a good time.

 

You do you man, you do you.

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