So, am I a Brony?
I'm the father of two six year old girls.
Being a dad means you have to have a general knowledge of what your kids are into. There will be a time later that they will keep their interests from me, and that's part of being a teenager. For now, if they show an interest in something, I have to have an interest too. I'm not one of those sit-com dads who are utterly clueless as to everything going on in their kids existence. I do work a lot and am not the best dad in the world, but I do try to keep up.
Also, much of the programming aimed at kids is utterly horrible. ADVENTURE TIME? Are you kidding me? McDonalds is giving out ADVENTURE TIME toys in Happy Meals! That show should never be viewed by a little kid. That show shouldn't be viewed by anyone, its terrible and falls right in with all the horrible crap coming down the pipe which acts like its supposed to be for kids but is really for teenagers and young adults. So when I hear about this MY LITTLE PONY cartoon and people whose opinions I trust say its very good I watch it with my kids and see what they think and I, with the Missus, determine if its appropriate for them.
As a parent and a person who has enjoyed cartoons for his entire life, I can say that it is a high quality cartoon. The animation is very done and very consistant. The voice acting is high quality. The stories are well written. Every episode has a good message for the kids. I can watch it without wanting to flee the room. This show is of such a good quality that I am not surprised in the least that it has branched out from its initial target demographic. Of all the things out there competing for my kids attention I'm glad that this and PHINEAS AND FERB have won out.
And I do know that there's a little fandom that's on the verge of sub-culture status going on. I've made my jokes about it. I've posted up little MLP images online because its ironic that a gnarly old Karate guy like me would do such things and hitting folks with unexpected things like that amuses me. But, you won't catch me making the trip to Bronycon any time soon.
This past Christmas I has discovered that there's a My Little Pony collectible card game. I asked about it and whether it would be suitable for my daughters. Its mainly for kids ten and older, but there's nothing objectionable in there and younger kids had been picking it up. I got the kids some starter decks. They liked it. I found out there were going to be tournaments at Comic Kings. I took them up there. They were easily the youngest kids there. The majority of people there were guys in their late teens and early twenties. Full on Bronies.
Was it creepy?
At first I was a bit skeptical, but these young men took the girls under their wings. Taught them about the game. They were perfect gentlemen to my daughters. One guy gave the girls at least 50 cards that he wasn't using to help them round out their decks. They have a vested interest in new players, obviously, but they were genuinely very gracious and very helpful.
There is one guy who worries me a bit, not because he is creepy or inappropriate, but that I think he's taken his fandom into fan-dumb. He's asked me if I have a Brony name, and he told me his which is how he wants to be referred to. He's easily in his late teens. I understand having a nickname. Still, I get the feeling that he's just a little too into the scene and probably needs to get himself laid good and proper.
Still, I've been going down to the shop every weekend with the girls. They likeplaying in the tournaments. They asked me to play in it too, which I obliged them because I like a good card game and the game is pretty fun. I did look up that whole Brony Name thing and it seems there charts and name generaters online. I won't be adopting any of that.
I'm glad that there's a quality show like this around for my kids and its OK if folks who aren't little girls like it too. But seriously, walking around with an MLP t-shirt is fine, but talking to people in serious "ponyspeak" is something you just shouldn't do.
You can be a Brony without being that guy.