This word is power, this word is identity, this is our word!
(If you don’t feel like watching the whole video, just know that, basically, a very rich and powerful head of a video games company got kids standing up on their chairs shouting “O captain my captain” in tribute to various aspects of geek culture.)
So now we’re reading and hearing the word “geek” used in new and different places, along with alternate assurances and accusations that it’s either saving the world or killing our children.
When Skyfall was released late last year with its new actor playing a younger version of Q – I’m fairly sure it’s Pingu from Nathan Barley but I could be mistaken – an article in The Guardian bravely stood up for these apparently hitherto unwashed losers, to mightily cast aside all negative aspersions of geekdom.
“It’s a good time to be a geek,” says the article, and I’m inclined to agree; not in the sense of “oh wow, finally someone’s cracked the code” – more in the sense of “well…duh.” I say this not even as a member of the geek community; just someone who can fathom that any other attitude would be exclusionary and mean.
“Given the mainstream is learning to stop worrying and love the geek, it’s a shame parts of geekdom remain less accepting than they could be.”
Of course geekdom has its snobby side – I once joined the WACCOE football forum and was jeered off it before I’d even managed a second post. But if I’m gonna go so far as to check out a dedicated website to opinions, facts and stats around one topic, it’s obviously gonna be full of know-it-alls – that’s just the nature of their passion, if somewhat misguided. If someone belittles you for what you like, then that’s just them being a dickhead; don’t judge the whole culture on the few dickheads you’ve encountered within it. That’s just unfounded wholesale discrimination; geekism if you will.
If I meet someone new at work or in the pub, I’m gonna ask them what they’re into, what they like. It’s a quick, easy way to make some conversation. If they like watching Hollyoaks and listening to One Direction, then obviously we’re not gonna be soul-mates; what I won’t do though is raise my hand into their face and say “please stop talking, your interests are below me.” (Even if I did, they shouldn’t then make the assumption that ANYONE who reads comics and listens to indie is a complete tosser – just me, based on my actual physical actions.)
Basically, don’t pre-judge someone based on their geek credentials. If they’re fully understanding of the word and what it means, and still wanna designate themselves as a geek, then they ARE a geek. Who are we to judge otherwise?