We normally talk about video games, but I think there's a new topic I'd like to blog about today.
I've had an interesting life. I think about who I've become, and who I'm going to be. A part of the answer to those two questions has always been the same. I'll be a stereotypical geek. It's part of who I am. I love technology, a good book, Battlestar Galactica, video games and many other parts of "geek" culture.
Four years ago, the previous two sentences would have been said with a sense of sadness, jealousy and regret. I wasn't the jock in high school. I wasn't Mr. Popular. In fact, you could say I was at the lower end of the high school food chain. I hung out with Marching Band "dorks" but wasn't even in the Marching Band. I went to High School football games to support my friends in their halftime marching more than our very successful high school football team.
Now, about to graduate college, I am a stereotypical geek and I'm proud of it. I wear Transformers t-shirt and proudly tell classmates I'm hoping to take a full-time job in the video game industry. Sometimes I get the stink eye response.
Most of the time though, I get a positive or neutral response. Now, I'm sure part of it has to do with my confidence. I've grown as a person over the years and I've become more comfortable with who I am. I no longer try to hide my dork factor like a disease. Admittedly, the geek infiltration into the mainstream has made it easier for me. The same people who made fun of people like me in high school are starting to be drawn into geekdom, whether they know it or not.
First of all, let's set up a basic definition.
Who is a Geek?
I hate to break it to you cheerleaders, house wives, athletes and frat boys. Chances are, you're a geek. While there is no agreed upon definition as a differentiation from a "nerd", many people have come to think of "geeks" as "a peculiar or otherwise odd person, especially one who is perceived to be overly obsessed with one or more things including those of intellectuality, electronics, etc." (Dictionary.com).
Can you tell me all the Horcruxes? Congratulations, you're a geek.
Can you tell me the home planet of the Wookies? Yup, you're a geek.
Do you own a Team Edward/Team Jacob shirt? Total Geek.
Do you own the Glee soundtrack volumes 1 and 2? "Gleek" is the term that has been coined for people like you.
Now there is a stereotype of geeks, and that deals more with electronics, technology, video games and other items you try your best to shy away from when you say "I'm not a geek!" However, the geek culture draws you in, everywhere you turn.
Excited for Iron Man 2? Spider Man 4? Batman 3?
Watched Transformers or Revenge of the Fallen and exclaimed "awesome bro!" the first time you saw the fight between Optimus Prime and Megatron?
Vent a little frustration by playing some Halo or Call of Duty with your fraternity guys while enjoying a case of Natural Light?
Use stumble to find hilarious YouTube videos? Yup, you laughed your ass off because of a fellow geek's digging through millions of video. Thank him by giving the thumbs up.
You can't help it. Geeks and technology are on their way up and into the mainstream. I went to Gap and bought a Megatron shirt. Read that: I bought a geek shirt at Gap. This is a good thing. I love that I can wear a Starscream shirt and not have to worry about what a girl will think (as much, still working on that).
Now I know that I need to discuss the image of the nerd. Nerds and geeks are not the same thing, but there is a lot of overlap. In my own personal definition, I see nerds as people who are extremely bright and intelligent in categories that fall under geek domain, but lack a specific set of skills. Social skills, to be exact. I would have fallen under this category years ago. Those that are nerds will eventually learn social skills out of necessity. Those that don't are few in number, and end up socializing with others like them. I think as the things nerds enjoy, like computers, Digg and video games, you will see them become more comfortable socializing and being brought into the folds of "regular" society.
So where am I going with this? To be honest, I'm not really sure. I think I just want everyone to recognize and appreciate their own geekiness. I want everyone to know that I take pride in my intelligence and my investment in "geeky" hobbies. I want others to be proud of and own their inner geek. Closet geeks, our time has come, don't be afraid anymore. Buy your computer and math joke shirts. Wear those plastic framed glasses. Don't be afraid to be social and spread the word about how Battlestar Galactica will blow your mind. Geek is chic.