Unashamed Geek, Unashamed Christian

I am an unashamed geek. I’ve got no problem publicly displaying little tributes to the video games I love. I wear t-shirts and jewelry that reflect my interests, and I line my cubicle walls with favorite fan art. I once thought my geek life had no influence or intersect with my faith life, but I’ve begun to see it’s been strengthening me in an unexpected way.
Here’s a brief story to preface the idea: I have an artist’s rendition of Shovel Knight on a badge I bought at a local comic-con this year. I attached it to my work key card, so whenever I open staff doors or log onto staff computers, the warrior of shovelry leads the way.
One of my work friends noticed him and asked who the character was. When I told her, I got the typical groan and general noises of long-suffering she directs toward my interests. It was then I made a solemn vow…to torment her by constantly displaying my little trowel hero in her presence at any given opportunity.
(It’s fine; she retaliates by bemusing me with obscure movie quotes, so it evens out in the end.)
My friend’s groans are among the tamest responses I’ve received when talking about my hobbies, and she’s never meant any harm. In the cruelest interactions people have mocked, ridiculed, ostracized, and deemed me childish for loving what I do. I’ve grown used to it, and am fairly surprised when I come across someone who’s actually open and interested to hear me geek out.
I’ve since learned there are a minor few who really want to hear me share everything I love about certain games. But I’ve also come to realize it’s not a topic I should be embarrassed about in front of others who may not care as much. If they ask about it, I talk about it. Even if groans are incoming.
Maybe there are other geeks who have experienced similar situations. Even with more mainstream fandoms like Harry Potter or Star Wars, you inevitably run into people who are more than willing to bash what makes you happy. But take heart, geeks. Because through these experiences we have the opportunity to be better witnesses for Christ.
If I’m being honest, I’m not as courageous as I’d like to be in sharing God’s love with others. I’m not the greatest verbal communicator anyway, and I worry the stumbling way I might convey my faith will invite mockery.
But I’ve recently realized I already have a history of weathering mockery for my interests, so how could I be afraid of an unbelieving friend’s reaction to the Gospel? If I can face ridicule for wearing a Shovel Knight badge, I can surely face ridicule for my Savior. There’s far more to gain from displaying the badge of the Cross.
And just like I don’t grab people by the collar, shake them, and say, “YOU MUST BE A GEEK WHO LOVES VIDEO GAMES OR ELSE DIIIEEE,” I don’t believe in antagonizing people with my faith, either. I am not ashamed, but I’m also not a tool. I want my witness to be genuine and built on love and truth.
(Tormenting my work friend is something totally different, though. I mean, she knows quotes from, like, movies from the 50’s you can’t even find anywhere. I’ve gotta have SOME sort of ammo to fight back.)
So next time you receive criticism for your interests, thank God for the opportunity to stand strong. It’s practice for the times when you’ll need to share something more important. We are bearers of the life-giving Word, and news this powerful in the hands of a passionate geek is nothing to scoff at.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.” Romans 1:16

Amanda Bizeau-Nicol

Amanda’s love for video games started way back when she used to watch her brother play the NES; one day, she decided to pick up the controller herself, and the rest is history! She's currently working to upload her longtime fanfic work - The Fluffy Tadpole - to Archive of Our Own. In her spare time, she writes fiction, cross-stitches, whips her husband at puzzle games, and creates Myers-Briggs profiles for fictional characters. (Shh… It’s all perfectly normal…)

5 Comments

  1. Zero Tolerance on November 4, 2016 at 2:00 am

    Well said. The problem I have is that it is far easier for me to find those I share interests with and discuss that than the gospel…even among Christians.

    • Amanda Bizeau on November 4, 2016 at 4:27 am

      It’s true. Religion is a far…touchier subject than common interests, just because it’s so much more personal. I haven’t nearly perfected the amount of integrity and grace needed to speak in both love and truth.For me personally, it’s been a start just realizing that I’m not going to make everyone happy with where I stand, but I can be confident that God’s value of me remains unchanged.

  2. Sharon Gilman on October 4, 2016 at 12:18 am

    I have often thought with shame that I was more okay with broadcasting my love of geek stuff than my love of Jesus, but I never thought about that willingness being used as a tool to strengthen my willingness to share the Gospel.

    • Amanda Bizeau on October 4, 2016 at 12:42 am

      I struggle with that shame, too, but you might call this my manifesto to change all that. I don’t have to be some extroverted preacher who stands on sidewalk corners shouting “The end is near”, but I do want to be ready when offered an opportunity to share what Jesus means to me.

    • Amanda Bizeau on October 4, 2016 at 1:56 am

      I struggle with that shame, too, but you might call this my manifesto to change all that. I don’t have to be some extroverted preacher who stands on sidewalk corners shouting “The end is near”, but I do want to be ready when offered an opportunity to share what Jesus means to me.

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