My interest was piqued earlier this week when my editor plopped a box down on my desk — his most recent "find" at Newton's Et Cetera Shop. What he placed in front of me — Star Wars Pictopia Trivia — was his latest submission for a growing multitude of options to be included in our semi-regular newsroom game night.
Immediately, my eyes darted to the sample question on the front of the box. "Which of these three ships have hyperdrive capability?" Pictured on the trivia card were the images of a Tie Fighter, X-Wing, Imperial Shuttle and the Millennium Falcon.
"What do you think?" he asked.
As he posed the question, trying to gauge the game's worthiness of making it into our regular rotation, my mind was fixating on the sample question. The answer was a no-brainer for me, as Tie Fighters are short-range attack vessels that are almost exclusively seen transported to and from battle on board Imperial Star Destroyers (meaning they are the only ships without hyperdrive capability — or the ability to jump to light speed).
Now, I did not divulge ALL of that information as I let my approval of this latest investment be known, but suffice it to say I am pumped to try Pictopia out at our next game night.
You see, I'm a bit of a geek. I try to temper such outbursts in public, but I can't always fight it. When I was younger, I tried to do just that. For what reason, I don't know, but I have more openly embraced my geekdom with each passing year.
During my college years I began to come out of my shell, but even so I was still tentative to give in and partake of what I viewed to be some of my more extreme geekier proclivities.
It wasn't until after I graduated from college that I set foot in a comic shop. How it took me that long is still a mystery because I was right at home once I strolled through the doors for the first time— picking up issues of Batman, Spider Man and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, all heroes I grew up with (through their respective shows) during my childhood.
Trips to the comic shop are less frequent now, but I always try to stop in at least once a year on Free Comic Book Day — which was this past Saturday —and am always pleased to see large crowds supporting what was once thought to be an extremely niche market.
On top of expanding my horizons into the world of comics, I had my first experience playing Dungeons and Dragons just a few years ago. Always something I thought I might enjoy, due to both the role-playing elements and the improvisational aspects to the game, I just didn't know anyone who was interested in D&D. Luckily, a former coworker was an experienced dungeon master who invited me to play with a local group.
While our group has since disbanded, I think back fondly to the adventures we went on — from being cursed almost immediately (causing our bard to drag around a dead body) to becoming festival champions in which my character — Krieg, a dragonborn — grossed everybody out with his ability to swallow a chicken whole.
Looking back, I'm sure I missed opportunities to explore some even more unique interests while I was younger, but no more. This geeky light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine, so I was happy to oblige when a group of buddies got together for a Star Wars trivia night recently.
Braving the brief but intense thunderstorm last Thursday was made all the more worth it as we claimed the title of Star Wars trivia champions — displaying our knowledge of planets and obscure characters (like Nien Nunb, Lando Calrissian's co-pilot in "Return of the Jedi") from the Star Wars Universe.
As Master Yoda said, "Do or do not. There is no try." So if you have any quirky interests, at least from my experience, I can say it's pretty fun giving in to the "geek" side — and you're welcome to do just that at our next newsroom game night at 6 p.m. May 17 over at Gurty's.
-Kelly Breckunitch is a general assignment/county reporter for The Kansan. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.