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The Hunting of the Geek

| 7 Oct 2010 16:30
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Risking life and limb, a brave solitary researcher has ventured into the lair of the fabled geek.

Can anyone truly say that they understand the mysterious creatures known as geeks? Their shy demeanor and strange practices make them one of the most difficult groups to study. That has not stopped some entrepid researchers from trying however, and in Issue 274 of The Escapist, Amanda Yesilbas shares her insight at the end of a fifteen year study charting the growth of a single tribe from adolescence all the way through to maturity.

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Yesilbas found that as geeks aged, their camouflage abilities become incredibly sophisticated, until they were all but indistinguishable to anyone but a trained observer. You can read more about it in her article, "Geeks in the Mist."

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