Poll: Does the classification of "Geek" mean anything any more? Bonus Question: Do you resemble a "Geek"?

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From my childhood until the late 90's to early 00's, I reclaimed geekdom.

Growing up in the family that I did in the area that I did, being a geek was extra tough. Why would I choose to read comic books when there were girls outside? Why play video game football when I could play football outside (sidebar, I never played video game sports but that's what they could process)? Why is he wearing shirts with video game characters? Does he want to be beat up?

And again, that was just my family. School wasn't fun. I was taller than most other people, so I had that advantage. But back then, that made fighting my battles worse. Because a.) since I was taller I should have postured and got them to back off. Or b.) Since I was taller, if I was CAUGHT posturing, I'd get in more trouble because obviously I was picking on them.

I wish I liked sports. I wished I didn't find comics more interesting than porn (although that actually changed when I got into college). I wish I could just quit video games. But I didn't. I couldn't. I was a geek. And I couldn't deny that.

But in college, I met people like me (Soul Calibur at my college's Arcade was life) and we hung out and I found it was good to be around people who loved the same things. I didn't care any more. In fact, I was proud of it. Talking about comic book fights, playing Bust A Groove at our dorms, inside jokes that only fans would get. Even typing about it puts a smile to my face.

And now... we're here. It's good that the younger generation doesn't have to be afraid of liking what we did in the past. I loved seeing someone put up a Freddy Fazbear halloween decoration last week.

But... Geeks are a subculture. You have to adhere to the tenets to really be apart of it. Goths, Jocks, all those old cliques; there was something you had to buy into or like to be apart of it that others didn't. Music, activities, you name it.

But our culture is now being consumed by the masses. You don't wonder if there will be a superhero movie this year, you wonder how many. The once ultra-niche hobby of video gaming is now ignoring us lifelong players to appeal to markets that haven't been tapped yet. Our in-jokes of obscure characters are now being sold in regular clothing stores as apart of the now 'in' geek market.

If we're not a subculture any more, if we were absorbed into everyone else's culture... what's left for us? Are geeks still a thing? And is it bad if we are not?

To my bonus question that actually relates to my past. I never looked like what a typical geek is supposed to. Race, height, muscle definition (I was one of those geeks who saw anime and said "Welp, gotta go learn martial arts now").

It's actually sucked. Since I could 'pass' for normal, trying to get a date was super hard. The normal girls who liked me were always turned off when I started to talk about my interests. All geek girls wanted geek guys, or thought I was pretending for easy sex. I'll post a picture later if people actually respond to this thread. It would be really weird to have my picture in a thread where there is no discussion

If you also want to post pictures of your geekiness or of your non-geek visage, I'll put mine up as well and we can see if the Escapist fit the bill or do not, as it were.

I don't think this thread will survive on track for long but for now. Personally I never really had any troubles in my childhood, I usually was just nice to everyone and no one gave me shit for it. Though admittedly I'm not a very social person, in a sense that I'd rather play than talk to people so maybe the lack of interaction helped me. I do look like the regular geek and most likely behaved like one too.

I don't think geekdom really is gone as the "main culture" sway on it is very shallow and mostly as memes and obvious references. You won't have people talking of the great Jrpg's of old but rather the currently popular Indie/AAA trash and thus there is place for us old timers.

Did it mean anything before?

I think people are kind of bullshitting of the supposed difference. When I was a kid, everyone had the console wars between Nintendo and Sega. People would talk about videogames. Half the people I knew had videogames. And this was prior any 'mainstreaming' of the internet, but in the 'glorious' days of hard printed videogame magazines, and digital distribution models and smartphones were decades away.

As a kid I also had a horse, dogs and reptiles as pets ... I had a trail bike (fairly subrural background) as well.

I played tennis and did fencing (sabre).

I went to the cinema, I went to the theatre, occasionally went to the state art museum (dad was a visual arts teacher) ...

It wasn't a normal upbringing, but it was no less an average sort of upbringing for any Australian kid in that mix of parental leeways of allowing both luxury, but cracking the occasional whip on academic and sporting pursuits, as well as household responsibilities and taking care of living creature(s) to promote a sense of discipline and restraint.

What I do attribute to 'geek' culture before it was 'mainstream' was the ugliness of certain competitive gaming rings, like the stereotypical bullshit of the old Magic: The Gathering circles and the like. One of which they finally started to cleanse out of such hobbies, because lo and behold it actually made competitions and tournaments less of a fucking chore of dealing with truly ugly people.

Basically when someone says something like 'neckbeard', I get the image of basically putting up with the "casual" racist and sexist remarks of people who were trying to throw my concentration playing board games in a tournament. MTG was particularly bad ... but I've always found the Netrunner and, now, the L5R crowds to be way less fucking creepy ... and for some mystical reason also a hell ofa lot more enjoyable to attend.

I think people are outright fabricating this somehow magical divide between 'geeks' and 'non-geeks'.

If anything, I think a lot of it has to do with introverted people making excuses for their introversion, rather than striving to find personal and meaningful contact with others who might not be like you but, you know, like adults you suck it up and find common ground because that's an inevitability of life.

And sure, once I got into high school I got picked on for being a 'fairy'. And the seniors twice your height would beat the living shit out of you in Year 7... But like half of high school problems, they are easily solved with a quick ambush one recess with a cricket bat to the back of their knees, and a swift kick to the guts when they're down.

I play a host of board games, tabletops, videogames (in that order of favourites), I like motorbikes, I like studying, I like my job, I like the people at my job, I like going to the ballet on the occasion, and none of these have somehow curtailed me making meaningful contact with people or discovering new interests with other people. And if you think it truly does then I'm guessing that's a you problem.

I also like hiking and free climbing on occasion. I also like sewing. I love living in a city, but sometimes nothing cures my desire for adventure like hanging out in a forest, getting to look at snakes and wombats, or setting myself a goal of how quickly I can cross some rugged terrain on foot.

And yeah, I'm guessing that finding a single person to be attracted to all of that is a tall ask ... but then again I don't fucking expect someone to share my interests or impulses. I can adapt, and I can even accept the fact that two people with a meaningful relationship can be different. Moreover, I might even go so far as to say for a relationship to be meaningful requires a partnership of growing experiences and finding new interests, new horizons, together.

Before the internet, there was still Star Trek. Before the internet, there was Monty Python. Before the internet, there was still Star Wars. 'Geek' was already mainstream enough, the poisonous aspects of 'geekdom' (worn as if some fucking badge of honour) was the self-infatuation of pretending these were somehow fine wines only those with a select palate could truly enjoy.

As opposed to merely treating them as the escapism that everybody else treated them as.

Star Trek is good, but it's not fucking perfect. Star Wars is good, but it's not exactly as if it were revolutionary storytelling. Monty Python was good, but honestly half of it was also incredibly shit. Fawlty Towers was far more consistently 'good' and even then ... eh? I was more of a Dad's Army fan...

All of these, however, were already mainstream. All of them. Even fucking Doctor Who was mainstream, at least in Australia. As a kid they had constant reruns of British Tv, and Old Who was on every week. As a kid growing up through the 80s and 90s ... my father and I would watch fucking Quatermass reruns they used to air fairly consistently. And my father was never really 'geek' beyond loving British sci fi.

How many sci-fi 'geeks' have seen The Quatermass Experiment?

I guarantee you any Briton who grew up during the 50s, 60s, and 70s had seen and regularly consumed Quatermass materials.

That's certainly understandable. These labels people adhere to are more for convenience it would seem. This is a fresh generation though with access to far more information. The term 'geek' is certainly dated already; like, most people I hung with in college would class as goth/geek/metalheads as it is, kind of a natural crossover. But if these ultimately vague terms help people connect more than hate in the initial stages of socialisation, then whatever works, humans!

Yeah, seemingly a big part of geekdom is pretending it's not mainstream, and trying to defend it from outsiders.

I daresay, though, a lot of the "geeks" doing that wouldn't be interested if it wasn't mainstream. It's very common for people to fit in by being rebels.

The answer is obviously to get into more obscure geek things to keep the normies out.

Everyone is playing video games now? Play Demon's Souls! (Not Dark Souls, it's too mainstream.)

Superheroes are everywhere now? Read Saga comics instead!

Personally not too fussed. I presume I'd fit most people's definition of geek or nerd (except perhaps in appearance? Eh, that's a toss-up) but I never really saw a point to making it a big identity thing.

It has shifted but it does mean something obviously. What that is tends to differ from person to person though.

Nowadays it has a more "cool outsider" aspect to it whereas in the past it was a lot more negative. It's the result of a lot of what is deemed "geek activity" having been embraced by the mainstream. One would think that this happening would just render those activities as "normal" but there still exists a segment of the population which does not think of them as such hence we get this conflict-inspired culture which pretends to be counter culture all the while being the most mainstream thing that ever mainstreamed, much to the chagrin of those opposed to it.

Then, we have actual counter or non-mainstream cultures, which get kinda bundled in with those geek cultures that the mainstream is more aware of, which causes conflict between groups.

For example, you have some guy who doesn't know of anime, doesn't play non-call of duty games, doesn't watch korean dramas, but still is willing to cosplay as Superman and go to comiccon with his girlfriend who cosplays as supergirl or something, because these are the most known to mainstream audiences heroes. Then you have other people who live and breath these other subcultures every day, and they also go to that event, and both groups are equally "geeks" in the eyes of the public.

I don't think it's elitist or in any way negative to acknowledge that the two groups differ. Nor that they may want or like different things, or like the same things for different reasons. Whether they be geeks or not is not really the point. The important thing is noting how they are not one and the same and that you can't apply your common sense regarding one group in dealing with the other.

Then, we have people who reactionarily reject those who 15 years ago shat all over their interests, who now have turned a new leaf and behave as though they actually like those interests they were shitting all over back then. I don't think it's smart to bear a grudge in this setting. Maybe they did like them back then too but were too socially afraid of being pariahs in their social groups so they were in the closet. Maybe they were idiots but saw the light. Who knows. Point is, we have to welcome in the wayward sheep and act in a mentoring sense as opposed to reject them for past offenses.

Now, there does exist a small, tiny subset of those people who never liked these subcultures, and still don't, but in realizing their cultural power choose to wear the mantle of someone who is into them as a way of lending their voice undeserved credibility. It is also not elitist to point that out when it happens and to not let people use your culture for their personal ends. Those people can kindly piss off and go do something they do enjoy instead. :P

As for the personal backstory stuff, I'm Greek so in my back of the woods in the late 90s and early 2000s everyone (EVERYONE!) loved dragonball. It was mainstream. Everyone also loved videogames. I never experienced this american style anti-intellectual bullying of smart people. Like in the 4th grade I got a silver medal for our extracurricular chess activity and everyone was acting like it was a sports medal. It was legit cool.

This did shift as people aged, with a lot of the people who I literally KNEW loved these activities, growing up to pretend they didn't because they were activities "for kids". This was the stigma in Greece, not that it was geeky but that it was childish. There wasn't bullying, nobody would get beat up cause of liking video games or anime, because almost everyone did, but there was this social atmosphere of never actually expressing this love, and I did earn some resentment for rejecting it and being honest about what I loved. I never actually felt bad for that, though, if anything I pitied everyone else who would indulge themselves alongside me when we would hang out in non-school settings but who would pretend that they didn't care at school.

I remember this one event which was absolutely hilarious. So, there was this digimon movie, it was like 3 Japanese ones but it was all cut and pasted together into one long ass film. I had obtained that and watched it with some of my literal best friends, people who'd visit me at my house multiple times a week and with whom I'd hang out for years by that point. The day after that, running into one of them at school (he was a senior in HS, a year older than me), I greeted him with "hey Theodore, so what did you think about that digimon movie last night?" and his reaction was to be absolutely mortified. He was too good of a friend and dude to lie or make fun of me, he couldn't pretend that I was making stuff up cause I was speaking in the most natural tone ever. I wasn't even trying to expose him, I just asked him without thinking cause we had both loved the hell out of the movie the night before and even his honest reactions were excitement-filled, but his reaction was like "shhhhh, don't talk about digimon!!!! there's girls here!!!!" which was both pathetic, sad and hilarious.

I always felt bad people had to lie to themselves like that and I think if culture is moving to a place where they don't need to any more, it's a wholly good thing.

It already has shifted. Up until the 1950s it meant performer who ate conventionally inedible things, raw and or live meats, fish, insects, etc.

And I don't know anyone who resembles that.

As far as the conventional definition... sure, I probably qualify. But, as someone who qualified in the days before it became mainstream and admitting you played D&D was social suicide and likely to get you a talking to from adults concerned about Satanism... guys, seriously we won. Our stuff has become acceptable and mainstream. And all that's left is to determine is if we (to use a non-geek sports analogy) spike the football or "act like we've been there before." I had an experience recently that illustrates this pretty well.

A barista came to my table with my coffee (a trendy hipster place where I was drinking fair trade coffee.) She was probably college age, pretty, and good enough at pretending to be nice that is the mark of a good worker in the service industry. Very much out of my league and back in my day the type of person you would go great lengths to disguise "geek" tendencies from. She couldn't see that I was catching up on an anime on my phone, and I had my headphones on. I took them off to thank her for bringing my drink out to me, and the end credits theme started playing... and this "popular girl" looking barista says, "ohh, are you watching Gosick?"

Times have changed. A lot.

Geek has always meant 'a hugely enthusiastic person in a certain field' to me.

As for what it meant during my school days. I definitely was a geek back then. Hung out with other gamers/geeks, talked about games, talked about our computer specs and how we modded our cases, played D&D, went to LARP events, watched tons of anime, was generally a social outcast, etc. And heck, I'm still mostly like that. But today it's clearly not as socially unacceptable any more. Gaming and anime have become a lot more mainstream. Participating in D&D and LARP, while still rare, isn't as 'shocking' any more these days.

With traditionally geek stuff becoming more mainstream, of course there will also be more 'posers'. People that maybe have 1 or 2 anime they like, or play the sims every now and then, and go "I'm such a geek!" And the more people that use such a term to describe themselves while not understanding much about 'geek culture', the less the word starts to mean. Just like any other words that are used inappropriately.

But I do think the word 'geek' still has meaning. Real geeks can still fairly easily pick out the fakes. It's just that real geeks come in a larger variety now. Either that or far less people are afraid to show that they are, in fact, geeks.

I feel as though geek culture has overstepped a boundary. Because alot of cool stuff now can't be looked upon by someone as cool unless you immediately get this kind of stereotype. No, you dingus, I'm just a dude who likes stuff. I don't have to be an otaku to like anime. I don't have to be a gamer to enjoy games. I don't have to be a geek to enjoy frigging science and technology. I'm just this guy, you know? Quit with the labels.

sanquin:
Geek has always meant 'a hugely enthusiastic person in a certain field' to me.

As for what it meant during my school days. I definitely was a geek back then. Hung out with other gamers/geeks, talked about games, talked about our computer specs and how we modded our cases, played D&D, went to LARP events, watched tons of anime, was generally a social outcast, etc. And heck, I'm still mostly like that. But today it's clearly not as socially unacceptable any more. Gaming and anime have become a lot more mainstream. Participating in D&D and LARP, while still rare, isn't as 'shocking' any more these days.

With traditionally geek stuff becoming more mainstream, of course there will also be more 'posers'. People that maybe have 1 or 2 anime they like, or play the sims every now and then, and go "I'm such a geek!" And the more people that use such a term to describe themselves while not understanding much about 'geek culture', the less the word starts to mean. Just like any other words that are used inappropriately.

But I do think the word 'geek' still has meaning. Real geeks can still fairly easily pick out the fakes. It's just that real geeks come in a larger variety now. Either that or far less people are afraid to show that they are, in fact, geeks.

I've found my level of actual geekiness had no bearing on how geeky people thought I was. In high school I very rarely played video games but somehow got lumped into the "video game nerd" category. But for some reason they accepted me without question, even though I've seen them grill multiple girls with video game trivia if they even mentioned a video game (I would have failed those tests if I were given them, though I just kept quiet.)
Fast forward to 27 year old me, I've beaten Dark Souls twice, I own a good amount of comic books and graphic novels, and I have a tattoo from an actual play D&D podcast, and one of the first things my girlfriend said to me on our first date is "I usually don't go for guys like you, I usually go for the nerdy guys"

So how about we be less stringent on what makes a "geek". If you want to call yourself a video game geek because you played the sims, fucking go for it. If you like to watch anime all the time but don't want to call yourself an Otaku, then fucking don't. Don't let other people define you, define yourself how you want to be defined. And let people call themselves geeks without giving them the Spanish Inquisition all the time

DrownedAmmet:
-snip-

I don't agree. Labels are tools for others to identify you at first glance. (though they shouldn't be used to identify someone completely as happens way too often.) Which means, to me, that you don't get to decide what labels you have. Others do. It's them that have actual use for them.

I could call myself an otaku, but I'm really not. I like watching anime a lot, but I barely know anything about them or do anything with it beside that really. So if I was to label myself an otaku, I would basically be giving people a wrong first impression.

People giving themselves labels is wishful thinking at best, and wanting to belong to something without doing the work for it at worst, to me.

sanquin:

DrownedAmmet:
-snip-

I don't agree. Labels are tools for others to identify you at first glance. (though they shouldn't be used to identify someone completely as happens way too often.) Which means, to me, that you don't get to decide what labels you have. Others do. It's them that have actual use for them.

I could call myself an otaku, but I'm really not. I like watching anime a lot, but I barely know anything about them or do anything with it beside that really. So if I was to label myself an otaku, I would basically be giving people a wrong first impression.

People giving themselves labels is wishful thinking at best, and wanting to belong to something without doing the work for it at worst, to me.

I don't think there should be "work" involved for being a geek, it's just about liking stuff. I don't see how calling yourself an Otaku would be wrong, you watch a lot of anime. If someone calls you out on it and says "where's your body pillow!?" or "you're not a real Otaku, I bet you had a prom date!" then that's their problem

People are gonna judge you and label you anyway, but you always have the choice of what you call yourself. These hobbies are about consuming media, we don't have to be so stringent

Geek to me always fell more in line with the people who were in on the technical side of things. Fixing computers, knowing what parts to buy, what all the high-tech jargon means. Stuff like that has always been on the geek side of the fence in my book.

I think of myself and my friends as nerds honestly. Don't fit in too well with the cool kids, kind of socially awkward, get way too excited about Star Wars or Sailor Moon, have posters and figures of anime and game characters everywhere.

I can sympathize somewhat. I often feel apart from the current "geek" or "nerd" culture since I have a lot of stereotypically contrasting interests. I'm 6'2 and a 215 pound weightlifter. I have a pretty vibrant social life and I'm not socially awkward. I don't give a shit about Gamergate or any internet drama that has no bearing on my life. I also really like building computers and playing Dungeons and Dragons. I have in the past had people look at me and heard them as they were walking away surprised that I wasn't "just a meat head".

Not really sure where I'm going with this. Just that I think there is some hostility within the "geek community" and it is very protective over certain interests. I would put myself firmly in the nerd/geek camp but have often felt estranged and reticent to share my other non-geek interests in certain online circles.

As already said in the thread, the audience codifies these labels. Geeky stuff in general might be "in", but fandoms are not AND if they get big enough - like bronies did - the mainstream media will be the first audience and do the codifying off a small sample. Here that has more recently happened with eSports-players, for example, with a decent-to-great outcome in my opinion. Sometimes this is done by googling "[media property] fans", and if that ends badly, well, your fandom officially sucks! Ha!

Bonus: I pretty much wish I didn't resemble one, but I do. A fucking nerd. Not a "total" nerd, but too many traits hit: smart, funny, athletic... wait. That's not right... is it? Ah yes, I'm also judgmental, sarcastic, cynical, elitist, cheap, tactless, callous and lazy. And the punchline: those traits don't actually make anyone a nerd - the geekiest and nerdiest guy I know maybe shares one of them with me. Whoop-de-doo. Anyway, it's my lack of out-goingness (yes, I just typed that) that makes the real difference. I'm not introverted (definitely when compared to my countrymen and -women), but not an extrovert either as I don't prioritize company as highly as some people. But yeah, fuck this gay earth etc.

I'll say that the geeks are those who are really-really-really into... whatever. If you've got encyclopedic knowledge of, well, anything, you're still a geek. Whether that's the history of Basketball, the Napoleonic Wars, trains, or, yes, comic books.

These days, everyone and their dog is into superhero movies and video games... and there's a big difference between watching the latest Marvel movie and doing a deep dive into their history and being able to recite anything and everything behind the history of the characters.

As for me... I don't think that I'm deep enough into anything anymore to be called a geek (maybe I used to be with anime... though I don't really care about or watch much these days), though I've still got mad nerd cred with my Computer Science degree, Aspergers (yes, officially diagnosed; the self-diagnosed BS is so lame, and makes me have to write this; though maybe that fad is over since I haven't seen it much recently), and complete lack of IRL friends.

I don't think it ever really meant anything in that it meant so many things to so many different people that no one would have a common understanding if the word was used.

gsilver:
I'll say that the geeks are those who are really-really-really into... whatever. If you've got encyclopedic knowledge of, well, anything, you're still a geek. Whether that's the history of Basketball, the Napoleonic Wars, trains, or, yes, comic books.

These days, everyone and their dog is into superhero movies and video games... and there's a big difference between watching the latest Marvel movie and doing a deep dive into their history and being able to recite anything and everything behind the history of the characters.

As for me... I don't think that I'm deep enough into anything anymore to be called a geek (maybe I used to be with anime... though I don't really care about or watch much these days), though I've still got mad nerd cred with my Computer Science degree, Aspergers (yes, officially diagnosed; the self-diagnosed BS is so lame, and makes me have to write this; though maybe that fad is over since I haven't seen it much recently), and complete lack of IRL friends.

I don't get this definition. I've met lecturers that I know are really into the history of the Australian Imperial Force during the Great War. Who have written journal articles about it, written books, can tell you two thousand names off the top of their head, where they fought, their commanding officers, their contributions, where they are buried, who their friends were, where they grew up.

It's no different than being a grad student.

Still not 'geeks', or at least my entire professional existence is merely geek-filled.

To me, 'geek' has meant a focus on something that to others is either merely escapism or not comprising an 'academic professionalism' of detachment as something that is a field of enquiry.

After all, that lecturer learnt those names like in much the same fashion I did with other groups of people during my first years of university. Microhistorical perspective. Recreating an event through looking at the lives and first hand accounts of people in thesame place at the same time (or thereabouts).

The reason they taught us stuff like this was to inculcate the necessary baseline skills for he most simplest form of historiographical critiquing. Basically being a time detective and inferring directly from the sources of individuals and their lives to make arguments as to the nature of an event or a group of people. The other thing that it was to slam home was the idea of respect. Respect for a history that may still yet be written in the lives of people still drawing breath, their children, their spouses, their parents. Remembering you have a duty of respect to the words and thoughts you commit to eternity.

It's a form of historiography that adequately portrays an event, but that doesn't rely on complex theory that they start hammering home in second year courses of a Bach. Sacrificing complexity and astuteness of comparisons and complex bridging of otherwise disparate events or personalities, but recreating an event in detail rather than scope.

But I doubt simply applying these techniques makes one a geek. It simply makes one a historian.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
Snip

I think I know what the issue here is. He speaks of obsession. There's a difference between it and dedication. namely how healthy they are. All of your graduate and professor friends probably don't focus on only their subject matter to the exclusion of other things. They have expertise, their major and tenure. But is it the thing that they think about and ignore the rest of their educational background? Hell no.

The geeks came about when being manifestly cool did, as well. It created the divide between those who obseesed over their all-important subjects and those who were more focused on their image. The problem in the extremes is that they could never see eye to eye, and the worst cases had severe disadvantages, like being dorky or being undereducated. Worse yet, they'd drag anyone who was more middleground into it, a case of peer pressure to be recognized socially VS pressure to succeed in school and the workplace.

The point is that this did happen, it has had an impact, and that divide is still there. Right now, my claim is that society has made the stereotype a little too real. My favorite media, the love of science, my decent education - These things are too-easily attributed to the perception of being geeky, but I'm a more middleground kind of guy. I'm smart and I have the whiff of cool. I'm just a dude who like a thing. This problem is real, yo.

FalloutJack:

I think I know what the issue here is. He speaks of obsession. There's a difference between it and dedication. namely how healthy they are. All of your graduate and professor friends probably don't focus on only their subject matter to the exclusion of other things. They have expertise, their major and tenure. But is it the thing that they think about and ignore the rest of their educational background? Hell no.

The geeks came about when being manifestly cool did, as well. It created the divide between those who obseesed over their all-important subjects and those who were more focused on their image. The problem in the extremes is that they could never see eye to eye, and the worst cases had severe disadvantages, like being dorky or being undereducated. Worse yet, they'd drag anyone who was more middleground into it, a case of peer pressure to be recognized socially VS pressure to succeed in school and the workplace.

The point is that this did happen, it has had an impact, and that divide is still there. Right now, my claim is that society has made the stereotype a little too real. My favorite media, the love of science, my decent education - These things are too-easily attributed to the perception of being geeky, but I'm a more middleground kind of guy. I'm smart and I have the whiff of cool. I'm just a dude who like a thing. This problem is real, yo.

But there are plenty of academic disciplines that do that. No less in history and archaeology. I much prefer historiography to history itself, because historiography is schools of history writing. The mechanics, their shortfalls, the metaphysics, the assumptions each historiographical model makes, their capacity to be understood by others. There's also people like assyriologists. There is less than 300 people who can truly be said to understand cuneiform, but what cuneiform?

And yeah, you have to dedicate your life to it. These aren't laid back people, they regularly travel the globe, inspect archaeological finds, examine tablets that to this day have lacked appropriate deciphering.

These people spend decades in the field or in archives, and decades more perfecting their understanding of written languages that date back 5,000 years.

These writing systems were so complex and with syntax so foreign to how your brain understands language on a psycholinguistic level that people thought they were just decorative carvings until only 300 years ago. This isn't stuff you can just surf the web over and learn, and the dedication to understand it is no less obsessive than any 'geekification' I've run into.

That's kind of the problem.

I love The Gamers, and I love board games, but The Hand of Fate is not only pretty insulting but even the supposed 'good guys' of that movie are the complete arseholes in tournaments I mentioned in my first post. The card game based off that movie (or the other way around as it is) is, funnily enough, a card game that exists in reality and recently got a reprint. But the thing is, no one I know who plays it wants to aspire to the same awfulness any of those people who play it in the movie.

Moreover the movie doesn't even make sense in terms of metagaming. No half decent gamer of say, Netrunner, would go into a tournament thinking a deck twice as big as another player's would beat someone. There was a reason Chaos Theory and now Smoke are popular runners, and it has a lot to do with those deck size requirements. The difference between a 40 card deck and a 45 or a 50 card deck is massive, and you want consistency over quantity.

And this is kind of the problem I find with anybody claiming 'geek cred' ... because it's not merely obsessive. I could forgive them if they were, I've met people who are truly obsessed about a topic and made it the basis of their academic career. The difference is the self-infatuation and the narcissism of believing that somehow geek cred means something.

Moreover instead of enjoying something, they more often than not want to make it utterly unfun for other players.

And even board gaming companies have realised how badly this can poison the fucking well and have tried to remove it out from the tournament scene. The only people complaining about that is the fucking arseholes in gaming. Moreover it's also responsible [for all the negative opinions about so-called 'geeky' stuff.

Because people I introduce Netrunner to don't find it geeky. Some have never played a card game in their life beyond maybe Poker or something like that. But regardless of whether that board game is fun or their particular cup of tea for them, I am certain there isa board game that is, and universally they all like it when I don't act like a fucking arsehole about it.

The Hand of Fate would have been better if the average gamer on there was basically like this;

And the thing is ... if you defend your obvious character flaws because you have weird, hyperactive love for something that by nature you must share in with others in order to find that entertainment ... maybe instead of you being a 'geek', maybe you're just an arsehole.

Putting it plainly out there ... my love for board games doesn't inform me as to the quality of my participation. It informs me that I should love having people having fun with me, which should inform the quality of my participation. And if that is beyond you, that maybe that isn't something to be defended but rather worked upon.

Each person is a magical unicorn. Something not yet discovered in all the realms of science, art and history no matter how much you spend time with them.

And the thing about that is that I don't buy into that idea of the 'geek divide' ... because even the 'geekiest' things I find in media tend to be wrong on a fundamental level as long as I'm trying to be a decent person, and the person I'm explaining a particular passion for is also a decent person.

If people want an anwer to why 'geek' things seem to be going mainstream, it's because they all have the fundamental basics or capacity to be so. Because no person out there doesn't understand passion when they see it ... they also well understand narcissism about one's passion when they see it, as well.

All the nonsense 'geek divide' stuff you can easily attribute also to the visual arts scene. Or the fashion scene. Or gaming. Or sportsball fans...

Geek cred or fake gamer bullshit is no different from me thinking you have no place somewhere because you wore purple socks ... or that shade of lipstick with your complexion!? I like fashion ... fantasy football is the most geekiest thing I have ever heard of or seen in action.

All of these scenes can be equally ugly, equally exclusive, and equally annoying ... it just depends on where you fall and how little self-awareness you have.

All of them gain infantile merit by just how exclusionary they can be. Whether it's a 'true blue' honest labourer chastising an acountant, or indeed the argument of fake gamer girls. By narrowing the eligibility of something you belong to conversely optimizes your sense of protecting yourself by believing you have carved out a niche for yourself in the wider world to prevent a sense of helplessness or existential angst.

There is a reason why Nietzsche painted escapism (and religion) in a poor light.

It makes your personal failures or your apparent suffering at the hands of others acceptable.

Have you ever wondered why people who are truly, systematically disenfranchised in a socioeconomic system seek solidarity and wider social acceptance, but those in power continue to try to refine their eligibility of owning it through making it far less participatory by others?

There's a thing in psychology we like to call 'manufactured exclusivity' ... whereby the desirability of a thing is proportional to the gatekeeper's (like bouncers at a nightclub) efforts to keep the 'undeserving' out. It's the inverse mechanically of unguided optimism and commitment due to investment of time, material, or energy into a failing enterprise... works on the same principle however.

Humans are naturally ingrained to defend themselves from the process of admitting they have lost something, or their actions or efforts have been in vain, narcissistic, or (worse) found wanting.

It's no less a thing in supposedly 'geek' circles, and it's no less the thing advertised in the OP.

The whole point of being a decent person is not being a gatekeeper. As you might tell if you frequent my WW posts, I have a comical dislike of animu.

But Spice and Wolf, the light novels, the manga, the show, is downright one of the best pieces of fiction I have routinely enjoyed. Medieval economics, with flawed characters, and fantastic 'financial mystery' plots, interplayed by the human drama and sociopolitical aspects that plays out through them.

The characters do not go out of their way on some fanciful idea of improving a broken world, there is no big bad, and in many ways are emblematic of why it's a broken and darker world to begin with, but the same could be said of anyone of us. Both Holo and Lawrence could be said to be both halves of Sartre's Mathieu in The Age of Reason. Struggling by the circumstamces of their human attachmrnt, driven by monetary means to play out a role in between his numerous 'friends' and colleagues, and otherwise feeling somewhat powerless in the face of the world and the capacity to truly alter things or escaping the gaze of humanity that informs their every decision and also form yhe principle means by which we come to understand the protagonists.

I spent two paragraphs defending why I like it despite being just as quick to (perhaps uncharitably) say 99% of anime is the same triangles attached to vaguely humanoid bodies that tumbled through an outlet store, and whatever stuck to them they wear for eternity.

I'm a skinny out of shape white dude. Glasses. When I'm home I wear baggy jogging pants and a hoodie or a t-shirt. I eat instant ramen once in a while (with fresh garlic and stuff in it). I love gaming, either playing games or making them. I'm a programmer, a credited game writer (or will be once the game releases) and I'm pretty much wired to the internet and have my 3DS with me almost at all times.

But that's not what makes me a "geek".

What makes me a geek is when someone says "what games are you playing" and I can jump straight into "I'm playing Monster Hunter 4 again, I'm looking into upgrading my switch axe, it's clearly the best weapon due to power, speed, ability to resist bouncing off tough hides, and the fact it can have a poison element to tack on free damage in any fight, to the point where I've been using the same axe since I grinded Rathalos for a week and I'm still kicking ass because it's just that good." instead of just "I'm replaying Monster hunter 4".

What makes me a geek is that while I was in my League phase I could rattle off exactly what items picks I needed at what phase of the game for Leona and Ashe as well as the reasons why.

What makes me a geek is that I don't just "main" a hero in overwatch. I look at the team composition I have and the one the enemy has to try to make the pick I feel is most optimal for the given situation.

What makes me a geek is that if someone asks me about one of the hobby games I've made, I will be hard pressed not to rattle off all the cool game design decisions I implemented, and why having a main character who can transfer status effects from themselves to an enemy, when there's equipment in the game that can make you perpetually bleed in exchange for a big stat bonus is soooo coooool you guys!

Geeks are, by definition, people who are obsessed with a particular hobby, which tends to be gaming these days.

So yeah, we'll always be around. Just because gaming is going mainstream doesn't mean that the obsessive ones will go away. In fact, games being made more accessible isn't always a bad thing. New XCOM is way better than the old one because of just how stupidly complex just the damn control scheme for the old one is, for example.

And in fact, traditionally "Geeky" hobbies being more mainstream means it'll be easier to meet people with similar interests, which is always a plus. And there will always be games that cater to us, because smaller devs who can afford to take risks (and established hardcore franchises) know that we exist as a market and will keep giving us what we want. Maybe not as much as we want, but we'll still be served.

So, the terms "geek" and "nerd" may be slowly eroding, but the core of it is still there. And honestly, that's fine by me.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
The difference is the self-infatuation and the narcissism of believing that somehow geek cred means something.

I really love you for this sentence (and further explanation too but this in particular got me) because that was something that bothered me about people a lot and I never really had a good solid thought about what it was exactly that was getting to me. Always hated status stuff that some people try to use a lot, never really made the connection to this sort of gatekeeping stuff and that, but it makes sense. Things go so much better, are more relaxed, when you don't have those people who jockey for status like that, trying to act like that stuff should even matter.

The Decapitated Centaur:

I really love you for this sentence (and further explanation too but this in particular got me) because that was something that bothered me about people a lot and I never really had a good solid thought about what it was exactly that was getting to me. Always hated status stuff that some people try to use a lot, never really made the connection to this sort of gatekeeping stuff and that, but it makes sense. Things go so much better, are more relaxed, when you don't have those people who jockey for status like that, trying to act like that stuff should even matter.

Precisely. And it happens everywhere in any scene. To put it more directly from the OP...

It's actually sucked. Since I could 'pass' for normal, trying to get a date was super hard. The normal girls who liked me were always turned off when I started to talk about my interests. All geek girls wanted geek guys, or thought I was pretending for easy sex...

For starters it's stupidly high degrees of mauvaise foi. This is one problem I have with 'geek cred'. It doesn't exist, and you're ultimately creating unrealistic expectations of being understood as well as typecasting the people you assume by definition are similar to for no fucking reason whatsoever. Believe it or not, I'd be far more willing to engage with someone if they told me their entire livelihood was specifically and only about motorcycles rather than if they called themselves a 'geek' ... because at least I like motorcycles and 'motorcyclist' doesn't leave much to the imagination.

Kind of creepy. I have significant doubts that the reason why 'geek women' wouldn't sleep with you is because they thought you were looking for 'easy sex'. As if they would happen to throw themselves at 'geek men' atthefirst possible chance they'd get.

People are looking for authenticity.

I've not thought about geekdom for at least a decade and I don't think I resemble one. Half of the tea cups I own are game merchandise (as well as a pair of coffee cups), about 2/3rds of my daily wear shirts are game inspired and out of 6 pictures hanging in my living room, 4 are from BioShock, with the final 2 being Art Deco posters. In my bookshelf, one shelf is dedicated solely to X-wing ships, another is dedicated to roleplaying games and 2 to board games, out of a dozen or so shelves. I am absolutely nerdy about my hobbies and feel no shame in enjoying them, but I do not see myself as a geek.

I think that mainly is because geeks, to me, was a distinction from high school. Back then you had your jocks, your emos, your brats, your grade chasers and your geeks. Once high school was out and I was through the army (hard to be anything special when you all wear the same clothes and do the same thing for 18 hours a day), the distinctions just seemed pointless. In adult life and college you were free to do whatever and it was more important what you studied then what you did on your spare time. So the importance of the label faded and today I simply don't feel strongly enough to care. If you want to call me a geek, call me a geek. I don't particularly care, because there are so many other labels, parent, married, RN, etc., that I think are more important and more descriptive as to who I am then geek is.

Besides, my 19 year old cousin would have been geeky as fuck back in my days and she was one of the cool gang in her high school, so whatever I put into the word geek is likely to be very outdated.

Gethsemani:

I think that mainly is because geeks, to me, was a distinction from high school. Back then you had your jocks, your emos, your brats, your grade chasers and your geeks. Once high school was out and I was through the army (hard to be anything special when you all wear the same clothes and do the same thing for 18 hours a day), the distinctions just seemed pointless. In adult life and college you were free to do whatever and it was more important what you studied then what you did on your spare time. So the importance of the label faded and today I simply don't feel strongly enough to care. If you want to call me a geek, call me a geek. I don't particularly care, because there are so many other labels, parent, married, RN, etc., that I think are more important and more descriptive as to who I am then geek is.

Out of curiosity (and utterly OT), and speaking about labels, do Scandinavian RNs smoke as much as Australian RNs? Might be a cultural thing, but I've never understood why RNs who would probably have to work around lung cancer patients all day would be particularly heavy smokers.

Last time I went to a hospital I saw one of those trach-thing patients and judging by the colour of his teeth and righthand fingers I'm guessing it was ciggy-related. So now I'm like one week into being cigarette-free, took ages to whittle myself from 4/day, to one, to zero. Now, to me ... that was enough to break my habit. But I would have thought for nurses seeing that every now and again that would kind of be a perpetual reminder.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Out of curiosity (and utterly OT), and speaking about labels, do Scandinavian RNs smoke as much as Australian RNs? Might be a cultural thing, but I've never understood why RNs who would probably have to work around lung cancer patients all day would be particularly heavy smokers.

Used to do, no doubt. RNs were over-represented among smokers for a long time. In the last few years the hospitals have been cracking down on smoking during work hours, which has led to many RNs quitting because they simply don't have the time or chance to smoke during work.

Gethsemani:

Used to do, no doubt. RNs were over-represented among smokers for a long time. In the last few years the hospitals have been cracking down on smoking during work hours, which has led to many RNs quitting because they simply don't have the time or chance to smoke during work.

Really? Geeze... I'd hope many that left were at least nearing their pension if that's the case?

I'd imagine the familiarity of death coupled with often getting the short end of the stick when dealing with more 'temperamental' patients might be what kind of nails that idea of wanting a smoko? Gah, I hate blood. I kept it a secret when I enlisted that I really hate other people's blood. Mine? Not so bad. Other people's? Gah, that's the worst. Not Doc Martin levels bad (if you've seen the show) ... I'll put up with it. Honestly you just feel like retching constantly. Worst still is knowing it's on you, but you're not sure where. So you want to shower, but even if you can at the time you still don't feel clean.

I'd make an awful nurse. I'd imagine I'd burn through a lot of cigarettes, too ... and hospitals slamming down on that would probably be like cutting off my own lifeline. I get that nurses and doctors wouldn't survive if they hated blood, but I can't imagine simply having a tolerance for blood prepares you for everything ... like bone, and crushed teeth, and in-grown hairs, muscle, fecal matter, mucus, and pus... I can't imagine one person having a tolerance to all those things.

If you call yourself a geek or a nerd, chances are you aren't one.

Well, okay, that might not be entirely true, everyone's trying to be all self aware the days but generally speaking, "geek" or "nerd" are labels given to you by others, and mostly used derisively. Either way, it's a bad thing to take pride in, it's not really something to be ashamed of either but it's not the sort of identity you should embrace if you expect people to take you very seriously.

I kinda hesitate to say that it's justified to call it an id3ntity period, I always felt that the construct of a "nerd identity" was a pretty cynical affair. What I mean is, whenever people talk about genuine nerd identity what usually comes up is fandom and when fandom comes up, what come up next is how much money you invested into it. How much merchandise you own. How expensive the computer or television is you enjoy it on. That sort of thing. Which, as a poor person, seemed like a marketing gimmick to me.

Same with gamer identity, which came up sometimes back in 2014 - 2015 when GamerGate started to forget what it's actually about. Gamer identity was very much a construct of the same sleazy marketers and corrupt gaming journalists the movement initially claimed to oppose.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
Snip

Can I get a summary to this lecture? And I don't mean that in a derogatory fashion. I mean that that is highly-verbose a deal in comparison to my statement.

FalloutJack:

Addendum_Forthcoming:
Snip

Can I get a summary to this lecture? And I don't mean that in a derogatory fashion. I mean that that is highly-verbose a deal in comparison to my statement.

That seeing oneself as a geek is not only mauvaise foi, but wearing it as a badge or judging others by it is manufactured exclusivity?

In the same way arsehole shop assistants in 'aspirational brand' stores use microaggressions to undermine self-esteem of shoppers in order to inflate both a sense of their own esteem while also creating artificial demand for the products of what they wish to market as 'desirable'?

That ultimately the same bullshit stupidity of 'geek' things being 'mainstream' is no different from fashion scenes wielding wildly fictional or temporarily popular aspects of class?

That many 'geek' things in my experience all have the capacity of being 'mainstream' when I'm not an arsehole introducing them to someone? Like board games, for instance. I've noticed less people be arseholes about them, and lo and behold it's exponentially exploding in popularity... and that is good because it gives more money to creators, to create new experiences, and for me to have new experiences with new people and that is what board games are about... not an identity but a hobby?

That to justify one's character flaws as merely being 'geek' rather than character flaws that ultimately undermine personal authenticity and striving to be a better person?

That... in the words of the OP...

It's actually sucked. Since I could 'pass' for normal, trying to get a date was super hard. The normal girls who liked me were always turned off when I started to talk about my interests. All geek girls wanted geek guys, or thought I was pretending for easy sex...

Is a really fucking creepy way to look at people, and maybe "geek women" don't just magically throw themselves at "geek men" but rather don't like people who pretend they have some transcendental connection to because of a pathopsychological construction born from narcissism?

Addendum_Forthcoming:
Snip

Then, I think we're on similar wavelengths here. The trend we're noting here is not one that we like, clearly. There is a case of trying to classify that which is entertaining (ALOT of what is entertaining, in fact) as geek, but it's not. It's some kind of disingenuous PC shift, and I don't like it because everyone tries to shove you into the hole. And I have a feeling that you are saying this is just as bad as all the people who call screeching rage-o-holics autistics, when I'm the genuine article and am eloquent enough in conversation. It just isn't right.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

gsilver:
I'll say that the geeks are those who are really-really-really into... whatever. If you've got encyclopedic knowledge of, well, anything, you're still a geek. Whether that's the history of Basketball, the Napoleonic Wars, trains, or, yes, comic books.

These days, everyone and their dog is into superhero movies and video games... and there's a big difference between watching the latest Marvel movie and doing a deep dive into their history and being able to recite anything and everything behind the history of the characters.

As for me... I don't think that I'm deep enough into anything anymore to be called a geek (maybe I used to be with anime... though I don't really care about or watch much these days), though I've still got mad nerd cred with my Computer Science degree, Aspergers (yes, officially diagnosed; the self-diagnosed BS is so lame, and makes me have to write this; though maybe that fad is over since I haven't seen it much recently), and complete lack of IRL friends.

I don't get this definition. I've met lecturers that I know are really into the history of the Australian Imperial Force during the Great War. Who have written journal articles about it, written books, can tell you two thousand names off the top of their head, where they fought, their commanding officers, their contributions, where they are buried, who their friends were, where they grew up.

It's no different than being a grad student.

Still not 'geeks', or at least my entire professional existence is merely geek-filled.

To me, 'geek' has meant a focus on something that to others is either merely escapism or not comprising an 'academic professionalism' of detachment as something that is a field of enquiry.

After all, that lecturer learnt those names like in much the same fashion I did with other groups of people during my first years of university. Microhistorical perspective. Recreating an event through looking at the lives and first hand accounts of people in thesame place at the same time (or thereabouts).

The reason they taught us stuff like this was to inculcate the necessary baseline skills for he most simplest form of historiographical critiquing. Basically being a time detective and inferring directly from the sources of individuals and their lives to make arguments as to the nature of an event or a group of people. The other thing that it was to slam home was the idea of respect. Respect for a history that may still yet be written in the lives of people still drawing breath, their children, their spouses, their parents. Remembering you have a duty of respect to the words and thoughts you commit to eternity.

It's a form of historiography that adequately portrays an event, but that doesn't rely on complex theory that they start hammering home in second year courses of a Bach. Sacrificing complexity and astuteness of comparisons and complex bridging of otherwise disparate events or personalities, but recreating an event in detail rather than scope.

But I doubt simply applying these techniques makes one a geek. It simply makes one a historian.

The distinction is entirely on whether this encyclopedic knowledge is obtained purely out of voluntary love or as a necessity.

If you learn those 2000 names as a means to an end because you wanna achieve something outside of knowing them, be it to get a diploma or to understand history or what have you, you are using them as a means to an end, as a tool. So, yeah, that's not a geek.

If some random person who isn't "getting payed" somehow through this endeavor, still learns them, out of pure unadulterated passion, for no reason other than his love for historical names or what have you, divorced from other contexts, not as a means to an end but as an end in and of itself, then that person is indeed a geek.

Geekness entails selfless love and passion for something you have encyclopedic knowledge about, not just purely having this knowledge.

FalloutJack:

Addendum_Forthcoming:
Snip

Then, I think we're on similar wavelengths here. The trend we're noting here is not one that we like, clearly. There is a case of trying to classify that which is entertaining (ALOT of what is entertaining, in fact) as geek, but it's not. It's some kind of disingenuous PC shift, and I don't like it because everyone tries to shove you into the hole. And I have a feeling that you are saying this is just as bad as all the people who call screeching rage-o-holics autistics, when I'm the genuine article and am eloquent enough in conversation. It just isn't right.

Kind of? Personally I'm just annoyed that the self-awareness is lacking. The 'geek divide' is no less tribalistic than rival FC pubs having a brawl before a gsme. It's an outlet of both belonging to nothing in particular and the capacity of diminishing personal ownership of wilful tribalistic instincts you give in to.

What is fashionable is merely class hierarchy of consumption. And how many people in this thresd who describe thrmselves as being, somehow, 'physically geek'? Or 'looking normal'... and yet a 'geek'? Or have pretended geek has some fucking transcendental 'core' ... yet, like Kant's perfect will, they can't fucking show me.

People should grow up rather than kid themselves.

The Decapitated Centaur:

Addendum_Forthcoming:
The difference is the self-infatuation and the narcissism of believing that somehow geek cred means something.

I really love you for this sentence (and further explanation too but this in particular got me) because that was something that bothered me about people a lot and I never really had a good solid thought about what it was exactly that was getting to me. Always hated status stuff that some people try to use a lot, never really made the connection to this sort of gatekeeping stuff and that, but it makes sense. Things go so much better, are more relaxed, when you don't have those people who jockey for status like that, trying to act like that stuff should even matter.

I think I can illuminate this point somewhat.

There's certain assumptions in play here, not sure if I'd call em narcissistic, but anyways;
-the object of ones fandom is worthwhile
-knowing more about an object bequeaths one with the capacity to offer higher-levels of expertise within their opinions about it
-when discussing something, it is more valuable to be more expert about it than less, because you generate more meaning that way

So, yeah. Obviously those idiots who try to claim that being really good in this or that game makes them Adonis aren't worth taking seriously, and this manifestation of "geek cred" isn't anything to write home about, but I think there's more to it.

I think at its core, you have people who think their interests are intrinsically meaningful, that they have something to offer life, and that through knowing them more you also are able to appreciate that something at a higher degree. That you're more interesting, put simply.

Having this geek cred isn't something to use to be an asshole to people but more like something you use to gauge how much weight ones' opinion ought carry on a certain subject. It's like how when you have expert testimony in a trial carrying more weight than layman testimony. This same spirit is what functions within geek cred when it's behaving optimally.

I think it is overblown how this geek cred truly matters. I don't think most people take it seriously at all. It's just one of those things that makes it interesting to share things with people cause you feel comfortable going more in-depth about topics than you would with your grandmother. It's something that indicates how interesting someone is by virtue of being well-versed in something that you deem to make people versed in it interesting, out of its inherent characteristics.

If I think that building rockets is awesome, and I know you build rockets, I'll instantly value you slightly higher and find you more interesting due to that. If I think training dogs is cool, and you have trained your poodle to perform backflips, I'll instantly think you're great and be a little more prone to take your words regarding pet training more seriously.

We don't call those things "rocket cred" or "poodle cred" but we do when it comes to geeky stuff, which is I think a way of making a big deal out of an unremarkable thing. It's not elitism, it's just passion and love.

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