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Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: an Epic Quest for Reality among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms

by Ethan Gilsdorf

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2227117,223 (3.13)10
In an enthralling blend of travelogue, pop-culture analysis, and memoir, former role-player Gilsdorf asks gaming and fantasy geeks how they balance their escapist urges with the kingdom of adulthood.

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Not much in the book I wasn't aware of but it was an easy read. A large section focused on MMOs for which I have really no interest and the LotR worship is a flashback to the pop-culture of the early aughts but kind of dates the book. LotR for me is already an over-tread subject so I didn't find that much interest within. If someone wasn't too familiar with the previously mentioned I might recommend the book to them. ( )
  Ranjr | Jul 13, 2023 |
Not enough fun was had in the writing of this book. ( )
  nkmunn | Nov 17, 2018 |
So this was pretty good but it always seems like the authors who write books about growing up gamers feel like it's a bad thing that they probably should hide or not be proud of. It's like the "normal" people finally got to them (or maybe they always felt embarrassed) and they feel like they have a disease. It always feels apologetic like and self denigrating like, "I used to play with toys, what a loser I was, now I'm an author."

Mr. Gilsdorf, in this book seems to fluctuate between saying, "Okay I give up I'm a geek." and "I refuse to let myself enjoy my childhood pastimes because I'm an adult now and people might think it's weird."

On the other hand, I've been a geek all my life and I never knew there were Harry Potter tribute bands. I also didn't know about a couple other things he covers in the book. So thanks for that EG.

Just one more note. The first chapter or two of this book deal with the author's mother and her health problems. It seemed a strange way to start the book, it was very dark and sad but it becomes more obvious later why it was included. So don't get scared off by that. The rest is a quest around the world examining everything geek (though it's more focused on fantasy than sci-fi). ( )
  ragwaine | Jun 19, 2013 |
This book explored the concept of escapism and chronicled the prevalence of that phenomenon in modern society. RPG gamers, online games, board games, and LARP-like activities are all covered in addition to more in depth examples of escapism. ( )
  chsbellboy | Jul 9, 2012 |
Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks sets out to explore and perhaps even understand Tolkien enthusiasts, video gamers, table top gamers, LARPers, re-enactors, SCAdians, and other “geeky” “fringe” people. Gilsdorf looks at his childhood hobby from the point of view of a grownup who has never forgotten the thrill of sharing something exciting with like-minded people. He still struggles with the bad rep that role-playing games, fantasy, and science fiction have among the general public. Some of the author’s comments contain clear nostalgia; at other times there’s a yearning of acceptance for his “strange” hobby, maybe even a hint of shame. Grown out of his wish to reconcile the respectable status of an adult with the heart of a fantasy fan, the book nonetheless allows readers to weigh the evidence for themselves.
EJ 10/2010
  PeskyLibrary | Oct 3, 2010 |
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In an enthralling blend of travelogue, pop-culture analysis, and memoir, former role-player Gilsdorf asks gaming and fantasy geeks how they balance their escapist urges with the kingdom of adulthood.

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