When Paul and Storm and Adam Savage and I had our first conversations about what would become w00tstock, we knew that we wanted to put on an entertaining show for our fellow nerds that would be successful enough to warrant more than the three shows we originally planned.
Sunday and Monday, we're coming to Chicago and Minneapolis for our sixth and seventh shows in less than a year (Minneapolis is sold out, but there are about 100 tickets left for our Chicago show), and that just blows my mind. I mean, I thought we'd do maybe two or three cities in a whole year, and by Monday, we'll have done six in six months.
Storm wrote a nifty thing at the w00tstock website to let people know what w00stock is, and why we think you'll dig it, but you don't have to take our word for it! Here's a blog entry from a wootstock attendee in Portland who wasn't sure she was going to enjoy the show:
I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to relate to a lot of things.
And then we got there.
For what is possibly the first time in my entire life, I was surrounded by people who GET IT. They understand blogging. They got my cultural references. They tweet. We joked about being “I play a bunch of 3 letter words on Words with Friends because I don’t care about strategy, I just want to make words” players. We lamented people who throw sheep at each other and ask for help growing their livestock on Facebook. We compared our various levels of geek for different things. I could use the word “Dooce” in a sentence with someone I had never met before and it wasn’t followed by “Whuh….? Is that an internet thing?” I told people that I write content for websites and didn’t have to explain that it is too a real job. Will talked with people who appreciated his “Gamer” shirt and compared gaming stories. I admitted to one person that I know jack crap about science and was told “but you blog! That’s so cool!”
There were fans and geeks of every stripe there and it was just fun. Nobody was trying to “out-geek” anybody else. Nobody was trying to explain how their form of geekiness was better than someone else’s because of x, y, z. Instead of “really? You don’t like that?” it was “Have you ever tried [this]? I didn’t like that either but then I [insert suggestion here] and was amazed that I liked it after all!”
For the first time since we’ve met, my husband and I had the exact same level of fun at something we chose to do together.
In a lot of ways, for me, W00tstock felt like finally finding a home base. I was in a space with a few hundred other people who just…understand. It didn’t matter what particular brand of geekiness you subscribe to or if, like me, you don’t really subscribe to any particular subset. We were there to have fun. We were there to learn about cool stuff and hear awesome songs and listen to awesome stories and be introduced to new cool people to follow on Twitter and online. We were there to get our respective geek on. We were there to take part in the kind of thing we had always wanted to take part in but hadn’t because we’d had a bunch of people telling us that it wasn’t cool/serious/arty/enough. It was amazing.
The best part about being a nerd right now, at this moment in time, is how easy it is to find other people like us, so we don't feel so goddamn alone and weird. My favorite part of being at certain conventions, like PAX, is that feeling of being surrounded by people who "get" me; it's that feeling of being home. I don't think any of us thought that we'd be able to recreate that sensation at w00tstock, but I keep hearing from people who come to the shows that that is exactly what happens. I don't want to overthink it or anything, but I'm overjoyed to learn that.
I don't know how long w00tstock will last, or if enough people will remain interested in it to do a full-on tour sometime in the near future, but no matter what that future brings, these shows we've done so far have been incredibly special to me, and I'm so grateful that I've been able to be part of making them happen.