Wednesday, March 9, 2011

E Pluribus Geek-um

An unanticipated side effect of running the Geek Tournament is that it has called to my attention how few of the items on it my sons recognize. They are well acquainted with Lego (Hi there, have you read this blog before?), Transformers, The Star Wars films, Super Mario Brothers and even some more obscure things like Voltron. However, it became clear that my contributions to their development into fledgling geeks was lacking in that there are a few glaring omissions.

This past Monday evening, after homework was finished, I decided it was time to correct this. I had spent so much time focusing on the geeky things my sons already enjoyed that I neglected to try and add to their repertoire. The arrival at an age and level of maturity that allowed them to play with real Lego bricks without the fear of shoving them into their nostrils was met in my house with the sort of enthusiasm some cultures express over Bar Mitzvahs or cotillions. I celebrated their passage into the age of Nerf Blasters with great merrymaking and much accessory purchasing.

And so I deployed phase one of what I shall from this point forward call Operation: Exposure. We began watching The Lord of the Rings Trilogy before bedtime. There they sat on my bed with me as we watched The Fellowship of the Ring (via the Xbox 360, just to add an extra geeky twist) and I explained who Saruman was and why he decided to join Sauron. The Ring Wraiths proved a particular challenge both in explaining who they were and in trying to keep my six-year-old from running out of the room and refusing to watch any more after he heard the high-pitched screaming noise they made.

They were scared a few times, but I must say, never bored. Their eyes were either glued to the screen or buried under blankets. And though they vowed Monday night not to watch the rest of the movie, the next night they climbed eagerly onto my bed and watched more, witnessing the defeat of the cave troll and Gandalf’s valiant stand against the demon.

Overall, I would have to say it was a pretty successful start to my new geek culture education campaign. We’ll take our time with The Lord of the Rings seeing as watching just under an hour per night will result in each movie taking around four days to complete. Return of the King might take an entire week unless I play that painful half hour of slow motion reunion clips at double speed to make it more bearable.

And once those films are finished, it creates the perfect segue. Their curiosity in science fiction and fantasy will be piqued. They will be primed for the opportunity to plunge further into the throes of geekdom. It is time to lay the foundation that will solidify my sons as integral parts of the whole that is Geek.

In fact, as I write this, the ultimate weapon travels through darkness as it prepares to fulfill its destiny when it arrives on our doorstep. The Dungeons & Dragons starter set in the red box has already been shipped.

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