The other night Rachel and Wade had the whole gang over for a night of Stitch ‘n Bitch (girls) and Heroclix (boys) so that Wade could film us for a documentary of some kind. We discussed the similarities and differences between these two pastimes, and I think an analysis is in order. In head-to-head competition on a variety of factors, whose pastime will win?
Heroclix can be handled economically, with starter packs running around $10, and booster packs for just a few bucks. But many clixers seem to be obsessed with volume, carrying enormous suitcases full of (sometimes enormous) figures around…even though they usually only use the same ten of them over and over again.
Yarn is shockingly expensive. I really wanted to make this sweater (in much prettier colors), until I went to the yarn store and discovered that it would cost close to $200. This caused me to laugh, cry, and decide to make a scarf instead.
There are certainly ways to be thrifty about yarn, but once you’ve started, you are faced with a never-ending need to buy it, since you keep using the darn stuff up. So, since Heroclix (at least theoretically) could be a finite financial commitment:
TIME COMMITMENT and LEVEL OF CONCENTRATION:
Heroclix games are epic, taking up to five hours. During a game, intense focus must be maintained in order to determine whether the Silver Surfer can see Batman through that wall and what roll you would need to be able to hit Batman in the head. Games are focused on the game, without a lot of time for frivolous small talk.
Stitch ‘n Bitch meets once a month for about four hours, but most of us work on projects between meetings. Depending on what I’m working on, I might spend 2-4 hours knitting between meetings. I can knit while I watch tv, talk on the phone, or read the New York Times Magazine on Sunday. At S&B, I can knit while bitching vociferously.
Now, I can’t say that any of this makes me a particularly good or fast knitter, and I can’t do anything very complicated. Even so, since the time commitment is moderated by the low level of concentration needed and the high level of social interaction possible:
Heroclix: guys sitting around playing with dolls.
Knitting: girls creating angora ponchos and toys for babies.
Heroclix is a game about superheroes. While I’m sure you could make arguments about fine motor control or math or creative blah blah blah, it’s a game. About superheroes.
Knitting, on the other hand, is an ancient craft that is used to create things that keep you warm and happy.
Knitting is the clear winner!
But in the end, it seems that Heroclix and knitting have more in common than you might think. They both require lots of counting. Both can be researched endlessly on the internet. They are visually and tactilely pleasing. And they both inspire a rather rapid descent into addiction.
Excuse me. I have to go felt my bag.