Geek, Dork, Nerd

Geek, Dork, Nerd
Geeks in the Mist

Amanda Yesilbas | 5 Oct 2010 12:35
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Abstract

Though Geeks are an easily identifiable species, very little observational data on these often misunderstood and sometimes reviled creatures has been collected in its natural habitat. This 15 year study follows a bachelor tribe of Geeks from adolescence to maturity, charting the adaptive behaviors of the group as its members move from the sheltered nursery of the university habitat to the wilder ecosystems of the world.

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History of Project

Initial observation of subjects began 15 years ago with the following goals:

  1. Locate Geeks in the university habitat. The university campus habitat supports a wide variety of unique ecosystems within its protective halls; ecosystems that have difficulty flourishing in the wider climate. Adverse conditions such as work, familial responsibilities, and fiscal demands quickly modify the behavior and evolution of creatures that stray from the sheltered climes of the university.
  2. Gain acceptance into the group. - It would be impossible to monitor the activities and social interactions of the Geeks without their acceptance. Early reports indicate shyness toward females. Geek activities have always been clandestine, taking place in private spaces, like basements, away from public scrutiny. To collect authentic observational data a bond of trust would need to be formed.
  3. Collect data from the Geek's adolescent phase and compare to data collected during the mature phase - this is a long-term project to track the behavior of Geeks. While Geeks are prevalent in the university ecosystem, their numbers dwindle rapidly after graduation. What is happening to the Geek populations? How does it transition to new, harsher environments? This study hopes to answer these mysteries surrounding the Geek species.
  4. Identify subspecies - The few adult Geeks this researcher has observed in the wild seemed to have developed into unique subsets and groupings such as the board gamer, otaku, and comic book fan. This survey hopes to track the development of a group into maturity and track their development into a subspecies.

Time and resources were limited for this first phase of observation. With a three year time limit and a dining plan, I entered a state university with a mission.

Part I Failures:

Initial scouting expeditions to the union arcade proved unfruitful. Here isolated males were absorbed in repetitive rituals. Attempts to participate in the environment were met with posturing and aggression by Geek males. Anecdotal experience suggests researcher's gender may be inhibiting factor.

Attendance of fencing lesson also met with failure. Researcher repeatedly met with comment, "There can be only one," and threats of decapitation. This was a strange threat as a foil is an inadequate tool for the task.

Conclusion: While Geeks easily were found participating in activities, suggestion of competition and violence were not conducive to finding community and trust.

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