Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Rant: Respect + Nerf
There's a pretty strong likelihood that regardless of whether you're a technical modder, aesthetic modder, out of the box fan, HVZ/dart tag warrior or just a 12 yo kid; whether you like to role play, showcase in cabinets or crack things open to see how they work.. the fact that you're reading this now means you love toy blasters. It's a weird and wonderful passion that we have and we all come to it from various backgrounds. I myself came from it due to the fact as a child, I was very very poor and didn't have a whole lot of toys let alone blasters. I like the toy element (blasters are not the only toys I collect, which anyone who shows up at my place can attest to) of it all, enough so that I would dedicate so much of my spare time to managing a whole blog about toy blasters.
Everyone else in my world thinks I'm nuts.
Over the last few days, I've had quite the shipment of blasters arrive at my door, which has been awesome fun for me but has resulted in my living area looking like one massive toy gun war zone. With at least 9-10 blasters lying around, countless darts of various colours and shapes, packaging and wire ties littered all over the coffee table and an insane amount of cardboard boxes, packing tape, foam inserts, newspaper and broken polystyrene foam remains still scattered on the floor, you can understand it's not exactly the best time for people to stop by for a cuppa. Writing reviews takes time too, as does taking the photos and making videos.. so I end up just leaving everything lying around in any free space I can find.
My partner, who is normally very accommodating of my toy "thang" finally snapped and made a rather abrupt comment to me that I basically had a very short period of time to clean up the place before.. "someone's gonna get a hurt reeeeaal bad":P And that's the whole thing isn't it; this may be my hobby, but it's sure as hell not hers. And while she can accommodate and accept this, she's only going to do keep being like this if I actually take the time to show her my passion for toys is NOT going to affect her life negatively in any way. I start ignoring her? She'll hate Nerf. I start shooting her when she's trying to be serious? She'll hate Nerf. I start leaving my blasters and packaging all over the living room for her to trip over and hurt herself? Needless to say... she'll hate Nerf.
People often ask me how my partner accepts all of the toys in the house, and the answer is she's fine with it, and up until this point she has been very supportive... until I was the one who made it something..bad. I was the one who took my love of toys and made it something she could no longer respect.
One of my best friends loves the fact I love my toys, and when she comes over she's happy to pick up a Vulcan and go postal at anyone who comes anywhere near her. Her words- 'I LOVE THIS GUN'. Alas she doesn't say that any more when she's constantly at wits end with her housemate whom has a tendency of taking over the communal living area with his Nerf haul all over the couch and table tops. She doesn't like Nerf anymore. Way to go, housemate.
I actually don't have any local friends who love this stuff as much as I do with the exception of Neil from the Canberra & Southern NSW Dart Tag crew. The very fact he's been successful with his organised Nerf wars and HVZ meets shows he's just as passionate about this stuff as I am, and to the outsider looking in they'd assume we share common ground, but to be honest, we have distinctly different views on toy blasters and there's a reason why I refuse to set foot in any organised Nerf war. I honestly, well and truly, have no interest whatsoever in doing so. And despite this, I am still asked if I partake in such activities and WHY not? Because I don't want to.
That being said- Neil gets this. So over the year we've become very good friends and while we may share a common interest, we can still be friends even though our views differ. Imagine if he was always bagging me out for not being a REAL nerfer and not participating in his Nerf wars; or if I was telling him he should also get into Transformers, He Man figures and Singstar. (I know!) There would be NO friendship if that were the case.
In turn, I hate it when my other friends insist I should "grow up" and stop enjoying my toys and get into more grown up pursuits like.. drinking. Entitled to a view, not everyone has to like it, but I don't need people forcing their way as "better" onto me.
Within the Nerf community, we all have different reasons to like these mad innovative toy blasters. I have nothing but utmost respect for the technical modders out there, aesthetic modders, organised game players; even the newbies with their first maverick. That's cool. And it's cool to share your opinions and talk about how you came to love this stuff. And the likes of Jerm from Nerf Mods and Brian from Johnson Arms are fellas I think are just really GOOD people without all the "you don't mod therefore I'm better than you" crap that gets thrown around. Even though when it comes down to it, they're both leaders in their field but I've never once copped any flack from them.
Just like the example of myself, my partner and our living room area- it therefore is up to YOU to allow others around you to see and respect what it is you love, rather than making it something they hate and resent. It's a respect thing, a live and let live thing. We're copping enough flack outside of the community from the ill informed and/or the media because we're not doing ourselves any favours by voluntarily associating our love of toy blasters with nastiness and ill will to others. We're playing with toys.. we're not soldiers!
I buy blasters so I can post them on here. I do my utmost to find the new, the rare, and the upcoming so I can do my best to give you guys informed decisions on whether you will want to buy them when they come out. Everything I know about this stuff, I post, because I love it, and I wanna share with everyone how cool foam/projectile, water, and laser tag blasters are. So without getting all hippy on you all, ease down with all the hate, and if you want people to respect your opinions, try respecting theirs first.
Whether it be within the toy blaster community or outside of it, it's all supposed to be in good fun. I write a blog about toy blasters. It's not exactly life changing heroic stuff:)
Posted by Pocket. Esq. at 13:21