Back Seat Nerd: My Ten Years of Professional Nerd Girlfriending

By Cast and Crew. Posted on December 10, 2013 at 10:13 pm.
Category: Cast Blog

Growing up, my dad lived in Queensland. When I was eleven, he moved back to Tasmania, and thus began my education. It started with the basics of D’n’D and rummaging through his Illuminati cards; with dungeon keeper II (Your dungeon is full of yoghurt) and Civilisation II (You can’t airlift a ship, silly); with Star Wars and with Terry Pratchett. I enjoyed my forays, but it wasn’t until I was about fourteen that I started to realise my true calling was as a spectator to the gameplay of others. Simultaneously, being fourteen, I also started to think that maybe I wanted to start seeing what all this Romance business was about. So, in an effort to kill both of these birds with one stone I started dating nerds and gamers. By the age of seventeen I was support-nerding not only in my relationship, but also at home. I’d moved out of my parents’ house and was living with a games tester and D’n’D GM for whose D’n’D afternoons and LANs I catered with cocktails, biscuits, and the occasional curry. After the days I wasn’t around to feed them, I’d be cleaning DEB instant mashed potato out of the shagpile carpet for a week. My girl friends, in an effort to Spend More Time With The Boys, all took up playing D’n’D: at this stage the only reason I didn’t participate was because someone has to be non-conforming. I was also playing a helluva lot of couples Diablo II at the time, which – if you aren’t familiar with it – looks pretty much like this, but slightly more vintage:1

Though I didn’t leave Diablo II behind, I did leave Hobart, and moved to Sydney to study acting (Oooop! Segue into something relevant to the GM, a bit!). I started playing Hero Quest, got my first console – xbox 360 – and watched my housemates and partner play through Mass Effect 1, 2 and 3, Bioshock 1 and 2, Assassins’ Creed 1 and 2, The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, Fable 1 and 2 and countless others. I’ve probably spent more time watching xbox games than I have spent time on the phone to centrelink, and that’s saying something.

Meanwhile, at uni, I was developing a knack and a taste for hair and makeup in theatre and film (See how I am gradually making this relevant?). I perfected an edible, non-staining blood recipe. I could whip up a beehive on a bald man and, for my crowning achievement, covered my own head with a very convincing bald cap, and my body with lovely latex syphilitic sores to play an insane Spanish grandmother. With all this apt experience behind me, and my partner in crime (at the time) in the cast, I was incredibly keen on working on the GM. I contributed to the pozible campaign – for which I was awesomely rewarded – and my time working on the shoot was always entertaining. As well as doing hair and makeup I flitted around on set as clapper, boom operator, grip, and (my favourite) spent two hours flickering a reflector out of shot to create firelight.

What made this project so special for me was that I got to practice two of my favourite activities – general back-seat-nerding as well as hair and makeup – with some of the sweetest and bestest nerds I have ever had the pleasure to know. What makes it special for an audience is that anyone can enjoy it: if you play, if you watch, if you have no clue at all, The GM is awesomely accessible, and so much fun on so many levels.

P.S. – Set gossip: the Rogue may look well hard, but he cried like a baby whenever I tore his latex ears off. Heheh. I maybe got a kick out of it.

- Maeve (Makeup Mistress)

About the Author: Cast and Crew

Author Website: http://www.thegamesmaestro.com

2 Responses to “Back Seat Nerd: My Ten Years of Professional Nerd Girlfriending”

  1. RoenTree Says:

    Mart will be so pleased that someone described him as looking hard.

  2. Dan Says:

    A few years ago, after a decade’s absence, I returned to participating in role-playing games. The ability to socially engage with others in a shared imaginary world is still something that feeds my brain in a way that no other activity quite matches. Great to see you supporting others to do so.

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