My favourite part of starting out into all the Gothness was starting to learn about past literature and history.
I was fifteen/sixteen back then, and the people who introduced me to the larger scene were a few years older. So it was easy for me to the quickly get books and novels from them. And so I started reading old poetry, old novels and started focusing my already unhealthy obsession with history towards a few specific eras: The Late Medieval and early Renaissance. Edwardian and Victorian Britain. And the dissolution of the Roman Empire.
The context of Christianity as a cultural, societal and military rise, influence and dominator over Europe.
Its iconography, its history, its internal divisions and its internal changes.
This might have had a bit to do with the fact that my proper first initiation was very closely tied to a Vampire: The Dark Ages chronicle I was invited to, as well as its accompanying LARP near me.
Back then, it was not enough for me to just /play/. I had to /know/. To /understand/.
I’ve tried to keep this trait alive as much as I could over the following 18 years. I don’t have summer vacations spanning several weeks nowadays, so I can’t read as much as I’d like to.
But modern technology did help me out here a lot: I’ve started to acquire more and more history books as ebooks now, and can squeeze in more reading during my daily commute.
So, yes. Becoming Goth and a roleplayer (both were very tightly intertwined, to be honest) were both positive influences for me, as they both pushed me to read more and more about history, art, culture and sociology. As well as pushing me towards taking English seriously and not let it wither.
But, yeah. Goth and Goth-aligned RPGs really formed me in my formative years. For the better.
Because of this, medieval goth will always retain a few places in my collection of favourites. Even though it seems to have mostly died off, with bands either dissolving or abandoning the concept.
But, well, as I said yesterday…
C’est la vie.