Ah, just a little reminder. Since the last time this blog was active, being a geek still meant something. What it meant is debatable, but heck, it had some criteria. Now, we see where ‘geek chic’ has swept the tweenies until every single one of them insists that they’re a geek. Which is deliberately confusing the definition of what that means. So, those of you under 21 years of age who have been brazenly boasting about your label, prepare to have your foundations leveled with the bunker buster of reality.
Wearing glasses. Uh, yeah, vision correction is very common technology now. Even grade-school kids don’t call each other ‘four-eyes’ any more.
Being a Star Wars fan. This one is especially common. Ladies and gentlemen, the entire Star Wars franchise is the third-highest-grossing film series, behind James Bond and Harry Potter. Box office totals for the six main films come to $4.41 billion USD; figure an average of $10 per ticket seat, divide total human population by that (we’ll say 6 billion) and that means about one in fourteen human beings on planet Earth have seen a Star Wars film. What else makes you a geek, wearing clothes?
Using a computer. You’re on the edge of geekdom – techie skills factor into it – but merely using a computer in and of itself is no longer the exclusive domain of the geeks, and it hasn’t been since 1984.
Getting all your geek news from Wired. Wired is the Cosmopolitan of the tech world. It is utter garbage written by idiots who would not know the first thing about geek culture if it rootkitted their gramma. Even glancing at Wired has the power to reduce your geek factor for every page browsed.
Being a fan of comic books, manga, cartoons, or anime. Sorry, we have another word for that already, it’s called “being young.” OK, granted, if you’re edging 40 and still subscribe to Spiderman, and get really into it, you’re edging geek territory. But before age 40, being into comics and animation just makes you a normal old regular person like everybody else.
Playing video games. Same goes double for this one. Sorry, nobody gets to say they’re a geek just because they play video games any more. Gramma plays video games on Facebook. Kids play them, their parents play them, their teachers play them, they are electronic amusements. Why do you think every copy of Microsoft Windows ever made has shipped with a few desktop video games?
Now all of the above attributes may be things that apply to some geeks. But that isn’t what makes them geeks. Here, if you still don’t get it, maybe this guy can explain it better.
Now the good news: You don’t have to be a geek. It’s not a badge of honor, not a special club, not an elite society. You don’t get discounts on breakfast and bonus frequent flier miles. You don’t even get laid more. “Geek” is just a label, like “animal, mineral, vegetable.” If you’re anything in the above list, why not just call it what it is? Why not just say “I’m a comix fan.” or “I wear glasses.”? People will know what you mean, and what’s more, how cool is it that you can just be matter-of-fact about some aspect of yourself without trying to make yourself sound like you’re part of some special group?
- The Seven Most Humiliating Moments of Star Wars Fandom
- A Trip Through the Vintage Computer Ads
- Top Geek Apps
- Geek Stereotypes
- Things That Piss Geeks Off