Hey! This is Kimmy, and I’m proud to say I’m a geek! I’ve always loved “nerdy” things like anime, Pokemon, Star Trek, and an annual pilgrimage to ComicCon! I wanted to write a blog about geek culture – partly to alleviate my boredom in Winter but also to inform people that don’t quite understand it.
To some, the term “geek culture” is something of a calling card or catch-all term that’s used like a badge of honor. To others, it’s very near to a “dirty word” that’s only used to represent the appreciation of the likes of video games and comic books in the most cynical fashion possible. Regardless of where you fall, there’s no denying that it’s now more acceptable than ever to have an unabashed love for those mediums, and any other that may surround them (such as cartoons, science fiction, cosplaying, and even action figure or state collecting).
When used as an overarching identifier for any piece of entertainment media and its surrounding buzz, the “geek culture” phrase is inherently harmless. Anyone that has any sort of admiration for a property that may fall under that wide ranging scope can use the term to offer a simplified summary of their interests. In a world with an increasing focus on buzz words and the need to offer up the shortest possible snapshots of yourself in social media profile blurbs, that can actually be quite useful.
Being able to identify as someone with an interest in so-called geeky properties can also help you find other like-minded individuals. Maybe it’s more useful to focus solely on one particular “fandom” if that’s all you’re really into, but for those that are comic fans, video game enthusiasts, and movie buffs alike, the broader term is a convenient way to wrap all of that up and potentially get the ball rolling for new friendships and networking opportunities along the way.
If nothing else, the mainstream acceptance of “geek”-driven properties has at least made a whole lot more people feel comfortable with their interests than ever before. It wasn’t all that long ago that most kids were urged to abandon heroes like Spider-Man or Batman at a relatively early age, whereas now it seems perfectly normal to proudly display their logos on the likes of t-shirts or your car bumper (no matter how far into your adulthood you may be).
The main problem for those that have always been a fan of some realm of “geek culture” before it became posh is when it seems to be used in a trendy, hollow sense. The Big Bang Theory is one of the greatest examples. While it features several “geeky” characters that all routinely visit comic shops and wear the likes of Batman and Green Lantern graphic tees in full view – complete with frequent references to fandom tent-poles such as Star Trek – it’s clear to many lifelong self-appointed geeks that those elements of the characters are being used merely as prompts for jokes at their expense. It just doesn’t ring true.
While there’s something of an amusing elitism in a long-time Star Wars fan feeling that someone fawning over the latest merchandise from the current sequel trilogy is somehow inferior, there are plenty of examples of the use of the “geek culture” banner as a purely consumerist, materialistic trend without any real respect for the source material. Even the most cursory glance at the wealth of superhero movie news shows on Youtube shows that in spades. In the end however, the wider popularity of “geek” and “nerd” franchises has at least helped make sure none of them are going away any time soon. If nothing else, perhaps that’s worth being somewhat thankful for.