Daniel Radcliffe was on some chat show a few years ago, being his thoroughly charming and impressively nerdy self, and the topic of discussion came around to Quidditch players.
Not the fictional ones in the films he’s in and the books they’re based on. Actual, real, formalised, genuine, International Muggle Quidditch.
It was a bit less widespread and serious at the time, when I saw a few clips of amateur matches being played on whatever talk show it was. But it was still very definitely a Thing. And I came to a realisation.
I fucking love this shit.
I don’t mean Quidditch. Any sport close enough to rugby to give me horrifying junior school flashbacks can eat a dick. But not everyone feels that way about it. Some people liked the idea of it enough to get together on a playing field in their robes and wizard hats and whatever the hell else you need to play a sport where if you were doing it properly you’d be flying on broomsticks, and have some fun.
They don’t care that it’s a ridiculous made-up game, whose rules wouldn’t make any sense even if it wasn’t six kinds of impossible to even play. They saw an idea they felt strongly enough about to make it happen. For the sake of creativity, and deep personal fulfilment, and fun.
I love that shit.
And it’s everywhere. WorldCon is just finishing up as I type this, and if you’ve ever been to a WorldCon, or a Comic Con, or if you’re aware that there are these things called nerds, you’ll know how much time and effort people put into making costumes for occasions when thousands of them will be getting together.
Where the hell did this guy get one of those Bane masks? No idea. What the heck’s on this guy’s face? I don’t know, but he can taste it all day. Any one of these people has put more thought into each of these outfits than I have collectively spent contemplating what I’m going to wear throughout my entire life. That last guy was so taken with that time Heath Ledger dressed up as a clown dressed up as a nurse, that he said: “I want to do that. That’s what my free time is going to be for.”
The man-hours spent on all this nonsense entirely for its own sake are staggering. And they are loving this shit.
And, for the record, I think all of it is awesome.
The only ever-so-slightly crushing disappointment came when I eventually realised that, if I’m going to be consistent, I kinda have to feel similarly about more mainstream passions. Like… football. Ugh. Nerd culture’s so much more interesting.
But, oh, go on then.