Tuesday, November 09, 2004

On Being a Member of Little Understood Subcultures

My handle refers to two very different yet sometimes maligned subcultures of which I am a part: evangelical Christianity and gaming. Liberal ire at us "god***n Christian evangelicals", to use Oxblog's tongue-in-cheek phrase, is sadly rather prevelent right now -- I'm still pulling together thoughts on the whole matter.

Gaming, on the other hand, is getting a positive, is somewhat amused, look in certain corners of the blogosphere. Neal at Literal-Minded links this article of gamer jargon after his discovery that his son's use of the word "boss" was actually contextually correct. Mark Byron, meanwhile, wonders just how much exposure to gaming is now required to be pop-culturally literate.

I was not at all surprised to find out that many outside of evangelical Christianity have little to no understanding of it. I was surprised that someone wouldn't have known the meaning of the word "boss" in the video game context -- the idea that the term wouldn't be someone's knowledge base never would have occurred to me.

And the thing that intrigues me most about that reaction is that it is somewhat counter-intuitive. Evangelicals are about 1/3 of the country, depending on definitions; gamers are probably 1/10 of the adult population at best, although that's just a wild guess. So why on earth am I surprised that someone wouldn't know about the smaller subculture when I am not surprised about ignorance about the larger one?

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