Captain’s bLog 212020.4 : Fandom vs Covid-19

Captain’s bLog 212020.4 : Fandom vs Covid-19

James Nickerson, guest blogger for the Community bLog

The worst stereotype about nerds and geeks is that we are loners. That we sequester ourselves in homemade caves free of other people and the world’s problems. If you are reading this, then you know that simply isn’t true.

But for once, we fans actually do find ourselves isolated due to Covid-19. It has been hard on everyone here in Vegas, and especially for the local geek and nerd communities. We are all so creative and inventive, and yet we can’t get together to show off our awesome selves! So how do the Las Vegas nerds and geeks respond?

They respond by being awesome anyway. Though Covid-19 won’t let us congregate, it has not stopped the community from taking care of each other online and encouraging those stuck indoors to flaunt their fandoms in art and other creative ways. This has, and will, always be one of the strongest aspects of the Las Vegas Fandom and Cosplay community.

Where do you start if you want to explore your fandom or community during quarantine?

If you are needing to tell someone about your rantings about the best GOT season, or if you really need to discuss what exactly the techno-babble in Star Trek actually means, then the best place to begin is by finding Fandom groups online in your social media sphere. We already have one on Facebook for MFB, so that's a great place to start! I highly recommend looking up local groups like Amazing Las Vegas Cosplayers, the Neon City Garrison of the 501st Legion, Ghostbusters of Las Vegas, Critical Care Comics, Las Vegas Cause-players Alliance, and the many others out there. One of the great things about Las Vegas is that once you find a group, you’ll find a ton of others that’ll sate your other interests. For example, I found the Millennium Fandom Bar (MFB) through the Swing Dance community (highly recommend!), so get out and explore the groups. I promise you that they are the most interesting people you’ll find in our city.

But what if you need to express your fandom? Make something creative? Well, there are plenty of options for you!

The first thing to do is take stock of what you enjoy. People like a variety of things, so pick a few of those you really nerd out over and commit to exploring them in-depth. Do not worry that what you desire to make or learn will result in some amazing finished product -- creativity is overrated -- but view what you do through the lens of self-growth. Do you like manga? Then draw some manga! Have you always wanted to play in Dungeons and Dragons? Then join up with a local online game! You are not expected to be a maestro of whatever you do, but instead, a fellow fan enjoying what they love.

The Las Vegas community will have your back in this endeavor. To use a view shining examples, local artist Andi Robinson creates digital paintings of all types of fandoms, and she records her painting progress so you can watch them being created. Another Las Vegas creator specializes in the making of props, and if you want some great tips and tricks in making your own, then reach out to Emily Unglued Creations and Joe at MFB! In fact, once you start finding groups like we talked about, you’ll find experts willing to help on any project. Go post something over in the MFB group to start.

Being stuck indoors is never good, but we don’t have to allow this time to be meaningless to ourselves. There are so many friendly geeks and nerds online who want to explore fandoms with you, to see you create amazing things, and to see you tell those stories. Do not let what is happening in the world stop you from being your fandom self.

James Nickerson, guest blogger for the Community bLog