Wednesday, May 08, 2013

What It Means To Be a Geek

I realize that lately I have been bringing up sexism and feminism in gaming, how gamers treat each other, and all of that. I won’t dump a million links on you because you could easily scroll one post down and oh look! There’s one right there. Okay maybe you’ll get one link.

As I continue travelling across the country, speaking to others in geeky fandoms in person and online, I’ve seen all aspects of geek-hood. It’s amazing to me how much we have evolved over the decades and yet, so much of who we are is still the same. Tracing back to the first Star Trek conventions, that comradery, the need to connect with other fans, it still beats the heart of geek.

So for those of you who need to prompt people to prove their geek credibility, who ostracize others because they don’t like “your” fandom, whom troll and make fun of everyone and anyone that isn’t just like you in gender, ethnicity, or religion, this is your Personal insight warning. You’re not going to like the rest of this post.

Here is how I see today’s geek-dom. The bold and true will agree, what it means to be a geek:

  • Never apologizing for loving something silly.
  • Respecting your series rivals even if you don’t like their movie, tv show, game. (See anything with Star in the title.)
  • Being able to quote a line from your favorite movie, tv show, game, and, as if by magic, someone will jump in and help you finish the scene.
    • Read that as: Any Monty Python movie or Dr. Horrible.
  • Having healthy debates about superheroes at any given moment. And if the argument can’t be resolved, DnD to the death!
  • Accepting all fans for who they are, old and new. A fan is a fan is a fan.
  • Contemplating a future where you buy a stable of horses and name them all after Final Fantasy Limit Breaks. Inbreeding not required to obtain a golden horse.
  • Embracing the label.
  • Allowing yourself to not be normal and not giving a crap about what others think.
  • You don’t have to be into science fiction, anime, manga, video games, or table top to be a geek. Anything and everything can be geeky. (See Kniffting Geek, Origami Geek, Excel Geek.)
  • Not removing yourself from the group because you don’t want to be classified as “a geek” or “nerd.”
  • Admitting openly that you are a dork because you play with toys.
  • Admitting openly that you are a dork because you play with really expensive toys (double bladed lightsaber anyone?).
  • Inclusivity. You don’t shun away anyone who is interested in your brand of geek-dom and/or fandom.
  • Understanding that not everyone is like us, so we know not to freak them out in the real world.
  • Never belittling those who don’t know the fandom or are new.
  • Not being blind to hypocrisy.
  • Offering a helping hand to any geek because they are who they are.
  • Not feeling superior to anyone else. Unless you’re the Dungeon Master. That comes with the territory.
  • Knowing that having a Power Glove will make you a million times cooler amongst geeks. But nothing beats a good ol’ Emulator.

Another perspective of what it is to be a geek, check out The Mary Sue’s article (2012) 


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