You never want to be “that guy”. I know I have been “that guy”. I narrowly avoided being “that guy” a couple of days ago.
My family went out to see Guardians of the Galaxy over the weekend. Super fun movie, by the way, but that’s not really what I’m writing about… but yeah, go see it, like really, go see it. Anyway, we went out, saw the movie, everyone had fun. As we were leaving the theater there were two guys talking excitedly just ahead of us. They had obviously enjoyed what they had just watched and were eager to go over the finer points of Marvel movies, Infinity Guantletry in particular. How do I describe these guys? Here, I’ll attempt to paint you a word picture. Let me just say here that these guys looked as though they had probably seen the inside of a comic shop on more than one occasion. I would suspect deck building games occupied a fair bit of their time. I gathered from their appearance and, unfortunately odor, that they had darkened the door of a Games Workshop or two. They were geeks okay. They were the kind of guys that you would expect to be fascinated by the minutia of genre films and comic lore.
They were talking happily and excitedly. They were talking about movies and comics, and the reconstruction of a story told many years ago. They were bringing up obscure artifacts from modern day myths. Stories of warring gods and titans. Primal forces from the before the universe began. And they were wrong. They said that there were 5 infinity gems (there are 6). They had mixed up the space and reality gems and called the Aether… I don’t know what, but something wrong. And finally, they forgot the mind gem, everyone seems to forget about the mind gem. But do you know what they real kicker is, do you want to know what they really got wrong. Nothing. They did absolutely nothing wrong.
These guys were just a couple of buddies who went out to enjoy a film together. After the movie was over, they were excited and wanted the fun to keep going, so they got to talking about all the fun things from the movie that they thought were fun when they read them in comics, that were also fun. And here comes me, being “that guy” to tell them that they are enjoying their fun wrong. Well that’s some B.S. Why should I tell someone that their enjoyment of these fictional stories isn’t on par with how a real fan enjoys them. Who am I to decree if they are having fun in the correct way.
It’s not just that I’m a butt munch either. This feeling that people need to enjoy things in some sort of codified way is pervasive through all the geeky pursuits. Sci fi, fantasy, horror, board games, video games, card games, all of them have their self appointed defenders ready to piss down from on high all over anyone not as deeply invested as themselves. It keeps people out. It makes something fun, uninviting to newcomers, and can even drive away people with a passing interest.
I didn’t want to be “that guy”, so I didn’t say anything. I smiled, because we had all just had a fun time watching a movie together. After a few minutes, I felt sort of gross that I had thought reading about a fictional universe years ago made me somehow better, geekier, than other people who clearly enjoy the same things as I do. I love when I discover a shared interest with another person. I should revel in that. The more people that go out and fill entire theaters to watch the types of stories that I have loved for years, the more of these movies will get made. Being “that guy” is completely counter to that goal. I really, deep down, just want everyone to love what I love. I don’t think it matters why or how they love it.
But seriously everyone. The mind gem was right there in Loki’s staff the whole time. Come on.