If you’re interested in participating in the Geek Out Challenge, read this post here! Each day I will be posting a question for that day for the next 30 days. When I reach day 31, I will release all 30 questions in a single post with links to all of my answers. Follow along each day with your own post or feel free to wait until the entire challenge has been released and take it on when you like! Be sure to link back to the master post at the end or link back to each post for each day.
Day 21 – How did fandoms influence you and your life?
I first wrote about how fandoms made me who I am back in 2016 thanks to a 5 Fandom Friday prompt. I wanted to take inspiration from that prompt for my Geek Out Challenge for today. Maybe fandoms inspired your career path. Maybe fandoms brought you comfort during a trying time in your life. Maybe fandoms just make you happy. Whatever it is that fandoms did for you, today is the day to reflect on that and share a piece of yourself with your readers.
For the first 7 years of my life, I was an only child. I had plenty of cousins to play with during the week when I stayed with my grandmother after school. During the weekends though, I would hide away in my bedroom, playing with my stuffed animals, reading, watching TV, or playing the PlayStation. I enjoyed the alone time and found solace in solitary these activities, and my imagination soared.
While playing games used to be something I did alone, when I started elementary school, I met my best friend who brought me deeper into the gaming fold. It was through her that my love of gaming became more than what it was and we bonded fiercely through them. I found myself falling in love with RPGs and survival horror games thanks to her. Gaming also brought my brother and I closer. with 7 years between us, we often found it hard to find things in common, but gaming was something we could both agree on!
Gaming also helped my best friend at the time and I become very close, closer than I had been to anyone else in that point in my life. I truly felt like he would forever be my best friend, but growing up and apart happens. I look back and remember the all-nighters we pulled, waiting on the internet so we could look up a walk-through for a puzzle we were absolutely stuck on, crying during the sad parts, screaming and jumping during the scary parts, laughing and high-fiving when we beat a hard boss.
Gaming has brought me closer to many people, like my boyfriend and my brother, and gave me a drive unlike any other. — A Geeky Gal
My love for reading during this time also flourished. after struggling with the anxiety of learning how to read, my very first chapter book was Harry Potter, and I fell in love with the series. My mom really supported my love of reading and made sure I got the books as soon as they hit the shelves after I read all of the HP books the library had. I still love Harry Potter to this day.
Slowly, as I went up in grades, the teachers noticed how much I loved to read and how good at it I was. I’ll never forget when I got to pick up my first “chapter book.” The very first Harry Potter. It was like hitting the jackpot. Victory was even sweeter to be in third grade and reading at a sixth grade level. — A Geeky Gal
When I left elementary school and all of my friends behind to attend a new middle school, I fell back onto fandoms to help with my feelings of loneliness. It ended up leading me to some great friendships. I experienced a similar situation when I moved to a tiny, rural town and started high school where I didn’t know anyone. All it took was some fandoms in common with classmates and I felt like I had found my place again in a small group of friends. I still hid myself away in my room to read and play games, but life was a lot less lonely when I had people to share my fandoms with.
Becoming a mega-fan of InuYasha turned out to be a great thing for me. When I changed schools in seventh grade, I found myself without any friends. I was brand new, and a lot of these kids knew each other from elementary school. I felt alone. I couldn’t bring myself to talk to anyone. After a few months with no friends still, I saw a girl sporting an InuYasha t-shirt. With all the courage I had in my introverted heart, I told her I liked her shirt. I made ten friends that day, all so close and dear to me still. — A Geeky Gal
When I was fifteen years old up until I was twenty years old, I was in an abusive relationship. I’ve written about how much fandoms meant to me in that time when I felt so low and heartbroken. Doctor Who lifted my spirits and gave me something to look forward to daily. It also brought my best friend, Alec, and I closer. Eventually he asked me out, and now I finally call him my husband after three years of a long distance relationship.
My boyfriend [Alec] told me though, that I’d fall in love with Tennant. And I did. Doctor Who slowly repaired my fandom-loving heart. Falling in love with Tennant got me out of my funk and post-break-up unhappiness. I have a lot to thank Doctor Who, Eccleston, and Tennant for. They’ll never know it, as usually a fandom never knows how much they’ve helped someone out of a depression. A big thank you to my boyfriend, too, since I never would have watched it without his persistent prodding! — A Geeky Gal
I met Alec online during my high school years, and we connected over our love of video games and anime. Being long distance best friends meant we spent a lot of time online via Skype. We filled our time with discussions on our favorite fandoms and watching anime and Disney movies as well as playing video games together. We bonded over Sword Art Online, Kingdom Hearts, and Doctor Who. Even recently, I introduced my first anime to him, InuYasha, and we’ve only gotten closer through our fandoms. In fact, we spent our honeymoon in Disney World! I dare to say it was the best week ever.
When I finished high school, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to go to college for even though I focused so much on getting in as many art classes as I could. I just knew how much I loved video games and art. It all started with a commercial about an online school and before I knew it, I was enrolled in an advanced path to finish a 5 or 6 year degree in three years! I can’t believe I’m modeling and creating art for a living now. Next stop: maybe my own game?! If you want to know more about my journey into Game Art, check out this post!
Gaming gave me my career path. I took every art class I could in middle and high school so I could draw characters and environments. I wanted to make the games I enjoyed playing so much. I went to college and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Game Art, The Advanced Achievement Award, and as Salutatorian of my class. I’m currently a graphic artist creating 2D and 3D models. It’s probably my dream job at this point in my life, but one day, I want to make a game just so I can have others play it and enjoy gaming as much as I do. Maybe it’ll change someone else’s life as much as mine. — A Geeky Gal
Needless to say, if you made it this far, fandoms have drastically influenced my life: from friendships, to relationships, to my career. Fandoms brought my comfort in times of stress, and they brought me happiness in times of sadness and loneliness. Fandoms brought me closer to my friends and family, and it also brought my husband and I closer than ever. If it wasn’t for my love of gaming, I’d have a totally different career right now, too! I can’t imagine my life without these fandoms.
How did fandoms influence you and your life? Let me know in the comments below OR take on the challenge yourself and link back to this post so I can see your answer!
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