This past Friday our student ministry had its annual Overnighter. The Overnighter consists of staying up all night and playing games. Unfortunately the games don’t require a controller but balls, bats and lots of running. After all that running around, three days later I’m still sore and my body is still weary. Our students enjoy pointing how that makes me old.
Here are some nerdy ways to tell that you’re getting old.
When you think about Obi-Wan Kenobi and this image pops in your mind:
instead of this one:
then you’re probably getting old. It’s amazing how children associate Star Wars more with The Clone Wars or Lego Star Wars than any of the movies. For those of us who are older Star Wars will always be about the original trilogy and, to a lesser extent, the prequels. I haven’t even seen a single episode of The Clone Wars and my only Lego Star Wars experience is the Chewbacca keychain currently in my pocket. I suppose that’s the tremendous power of Star Wars as our culture’s defining narrative of good versus evil. When I was 5 I couldn’t be anymore excited for Star Wars. Now, 25 years later, my boss’s 5-year-old son couldn’t be any more excited for Star Wars. The only difference is I was excited for Return of the Jedi and he’s excited about Lego Star Wars and characters I’ve never even heard of.
I love modern role-playing games like Skyrim and Mass Effect. They’re fun, the technology amazes me and the games create completely immersive experiences. Older nerds, though, will remember the days when role-playing games meant pen, paper and multi-sided dice. Dungeons and Dragons was the most popular role-playing game but led to demon possession 100% of the time. So, instead of D&D, my friends and I played the Star Wars role-playing game. We broke out our game guide, our pen and paper, and led adventures in a galaxy far, far away. Pen and paper role-playing games are such a different experience from today’s role-playing video games. I don’t think the experience is any better or worse. However, Knights of the Old Republic never afforded me the opportunity to play as an Ewok assassin but pen and paper did.
There hasn’t been a new Star Trek television series on the air for 7 years. That means a number of young nerds only know Star Trek from the 2009 reboot. As a lifelong Trekkie that makes me kind of sad. Star Trek’s tremendous impact comes from its constant presence in society. Over the course of 6 television series we were given a glimpse of a brighter future than we could imagine. That many episodes in a single universe afforded the opportunity to explore the deeper themes of exploration, peace and acceptance. Unfortunately those themes can’t be explored as deeply in a 2-hour movie every few years. It’s also sad that younger nerds, when thinking about Kirk, imagine Chris Pine’s chiseled jaw instead of William Shatner’s ridiculous cadence.
Even though my body hasn’t been right since Friday, getting older isn’t all bad. Those of us older nerds can appreciate 16-bit gaming, wearing out VHS copies of The Empire Strikes Back and wondering why Captain Kirk’s hair always looked a little funny in the movies. God also wants us to grow older so we can put our childish ways behind us so we can be more complete.
What are some other nerdy ways to know you’re getting old?