I spent this past weekend at an informal video game convention. That’s right, video games. Anyone who knows me knows that I couldn’t possibly have any less interest in the world of gaming, and yet I drove roughly 975 miles, round trip, to participate (sort of) in a three day-long event devoted to them. In truth, I went as a tag-along with my husband, who collects vintage games, and left still largely uninterested in everything having to do with video games. But I did meet several friendly, interesting people who welcomed me into their crowd despite the fact that I shared none of their passion for gaming or collecting. And I quickly realized these folks felt for video games what I feel for the written word: a deep, undying love that rivals even my most intimate relationships. And this realization cemented something I’ve long suspected: that any person who holds the flame of passion for something, anything, is light years ahead of those dull bastards who can do nothing more than like stuff.
I once saw an interview with Sigourney Weaver during which she said that fans of science fiction are the best fans because they greatly appreciate minute details that others don’t even notice. And this is the difference between a person who likes something, and one who vehemently adores it. Those of us who feel an intense, burning love for something pay attention to, and appreciate, even the most obscure of details. For me, it’s that perfect adjective or the well-paced development of character. For those with whom I spent the weekend, it’s the vibration of the controller at the right moment or the discovery of that rare Golden Zelda at a random garage sale. I don’t think it matters what you love, just that you love something enough to put time and energy and care into it. To craft it. To take it beyond a hobby and turn it into an art.