Slouched on a bean-bag chair at 2AM listening to his favorite video game reviewer while playing the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Eduardo Perez Rubio is living the college experience. But what’s special about this young man is his commitment to faith. How do you love Jesus and love video games? How do you wear Avenger’s pajama pants and a cross? As the Senior Director for the Defenders of Faith, having joined the organization as it took off in October 2016, Eduardo explains how to be a self-proclaimed “nerd” and a Catholic at the same time.
Interviewer: So, Eduardo. You’re a nerd, right?
Interviewer: You’re aware that people don’t usually associate “nerds” with the Church, right?
Interviewer: What’s it like knowing that fact?
Eduardo: I feel the same way and understand why people would think that.
Interviewer: Well, some people think that nerd culture and Catholic culture don’t overlap. What do you say to that?
Eduardo: They actually can, but you have to try for it. Nerd culture can have some stuff that is inappropriate, especially sexually. You just have to be responsible.
Eduardo: (shouts in rage as he dies in the video game, before starting another YouTube video on his phone)
Interviewer: So how do you recommend that Catholics go about approaching nerd culture, if interested, while staying safe?
Eduardo: Honestly, just talk with groups of friends and see if you like it. Honestly, I recommend starting with stuff like Lord of the Rings, because of Tolkien. You can always find ways to get into the culture and let it expand your faith in order to give glory to God.
Interviewer: So how has nerd culture expanded your faith?
Eduardo: Well definitely it helps me to be more relatable to people. Definitely, I can be more thoughtful and relate the material I consume to the faith. It helps me to enjoy life more.
Interviewer: Any specific instances that come to mind?
Eduardo: One Punch Man [anime] has inspired me to become more humble. The main character is really powerful but also very humble. You kinda have to watch the series to get what I’m talking about. I also like the quote from Barry Allen, from The Flash, “There’s life and where there’s still life, there’s still hope.”
Interviewer: Who’s your favorite character?
Eduardo: That’s like picking a favorite kid. Quote me on that.
Interviewer: Well is there at least a favorite super hero or series?
Eduardo: Oh. Honestly, my favorite series is Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye. Because, honestly, what they do with the characters, is they make them relatable like real people. When sad stuff happens it makes you wanna cry. When good stuff happens, you wanna feel happy with them.
Interviewer: So you enjoy exploring emotion with fiction?
Interviewer: And you’d say that relating with characters is another way to understand people better? Sounds like something Jesus would want, right?
Eduardo: Yes. There’s always something more than meets the eye. In Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye, there are two characters. One looks like a hero but turns out to be a self-righteous bad guy. And there’s another person who looks like a torn up scumbag who ends up being a heroic really awesome guy. I’d also recommend Nightcrawler. The main character is Catholic and he’s part of the X-Men.
Interviewer: What would you say to parents who claim that it’s impossible to be Catholic and nerdy at the same time?
Eduardo: I’ll say, stop worrying so much. And you can be both, don’t worry. Just try and let them be responsible. Trust em.
Interviewer: Sometimes, nerds feel judged by the Church for being “weird.” What would you say to that?
Eduardo: Normal is overrated.
Interviewer: Any advice you’d give to nerdy Catholics out there?
Eduardo: Keep being you. And don’t watch Sword Art Online [anime]!!!
Interviewer: Lastly, who would win in a match, Batman or Super…
Eduardo: Both. It could go either way. -_-
Eduardo Perez Rubio is the Senior Director for The Defenders of Faith.