Geek Pride Isn’t A Thing: The Self-Altering Notion Of Being A Geek/Nerd
I’ve grown up along side cultures and communities that would be considered geeky/nerdy, and for the most part it’s been utterly fine. I was the kid who played Magic The Gathering at lunch time, between sessions of Golden Sun or trading Pokemon via link cable. While other played football, I was often sat in a corner with a few friends mulling over which enhancement to play on which card. For the most part, the culture was pretty content with being it’s own thing. The markets were mostly niche, the players often quiet and satisfied with how things were. But things have changed.
Today’s modern ‘geek culture’ has became a mass marketing tool designed to make everyone feel included. People will gladly lay down money to increase their ‘geek cred’, they’ll entertain scoring points in a goal to become a true ‘geek’. Products like Loot Crate, various shitty ETSY stores and t-shirt companies go out of their way to slap the ‘geek’ label on everything. The sad thing is, it’s working.
Social media, mostly Twitter and Tumblr, has become awash with people trying to prove just how geeky and nerdy they are. Throwing up hash tags, altering bios, all with the view to make sure you’re so fucking aware of JUST HOW GOD DAMN GEEKY/NERDY/QUIRKY THEY ARE! The before mentioned companies, especially Loot Crate, have used this to their advantage by encouraging people showcase their geeky/nerdy nature. And then there’s the concept of ‘real’ nerd and geek.
People seem far to willing to promote themselves as some kind of grand Geek, demanding some kind of validation from the amount of shitty pin badges they clock up. They can’t simply enjoy a video game, or even discuss it. ‘OMG LOOK HOW MANY HOURS I PUT INTO THIS GAME LOL #GEEK #NERD’, don’t tell us how many hours you put into it, tell us why. The pleasures of discussing video games, even comics, is becoming lost in a sea of one upmanship and self gratification.
Geek/Nerd Pride is not a thing, stop trying to make it a thing. Much like any other creative media, it’s fans and consumers are all different, and constantly growing. My younger teenage years of rejecting sports in favour of video games and cards are long gone. I still love and enjoy video games, I still play board games and cards, but now I mix that in with Muay Thai and Catch Wrestling, does that make me less of a ‘geek/nerd’? No, it just means I’m not limiting myself to fill some bullshit fabricated quota made by attention seekers.
What I’m trying to say is, liking video games and comics does not make you a special snowflake. Trying to score nerd/geek points is fruitless exercise that impresses no one bar the companies you keep throwing money at in the hope of some kind of validation. Enjoy what you love, talk about it, discuss it, explore it, grow from it.