True! (Image from jkstalent.com)
A lot has changed! The previous sentence is a statement that can be applied to almost anything. It is very general and often over used. However, I find it to be very true in a particular area, a lot has changed when it comes to being a geek.
As I look at the geek nation as a whole, I see not only how the general acceptance and understanding of geeks has changed but also the difference in my very own experiences. It is mind boggling to me, when I reminisce about my geek life.
10 years ago, when I was just a wee lad, I didn’t understand what a geek was. I was a kid and in my mind a geek was pretty much the same as a nerd. The unfortunate thing was being a nerd was a negative, something to avoid at all costs. This terrible stereotype was without a doubt attributed to the pop-culture we were exposed to as children.
But over the last 10 years things have drastically changed.
In order to illustrate this change, let me tell you about my geek past. When I was young I found extreme enjoyment in games. Not necessarily video games, but just games in general. I liked to make them and I liked to play them. I didn’t publicize my love for games, but at the same time it didn’t make any difference what I did. We were just kids and there wasn’t a lot of social controversy.
As I entered my 5th year of elementary, I transferred schools. At this new school, game culture was very different. The schools cool teacher, hosted a game club every Wednesday, tons of kids got together after school to play board, card, role-playing and table top miniature games. This opened up a new door for me and it was heaven.
At this point I was neck deep in games. I played a lot of RPGs like Rogue Trader, Iron Kingdoms, and Dungeons and Dragons. I also was obsessed with table top miniature such as Warmachine and Warhammer 40K. To say the least, I was becoming a true geek.
Still, if you question my geekdentity, put your rests aside. As the years continued I felt that the school game club wasn’t enough. Even more, there was no school during summer which meant no game club. I took it upon myself to start my own game club. By the end of middle school I had turned my game club into a small business complete with a website, blog and ebay store. I don’t run it anymore but you can checkout my website which lives as a digital ruin on the internet. Spelling errors aside, I was pretty proud of it. As the years have pass though, my pride for My Miniature Game Connection has subsided.
All was hot and dandy when I departed for the big leagues of high school. However, I decided that I wanted to change my identity. I wanted to be a cool kid. I wanted to be like the kids on Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. Thanks Disney!
It was one massive mirage that had me fooled for a whole year. Overall, my attempt at being one of the “cool kids” by my middle school standards did not work out. But in order to give it my best shot, I hid a lot of my geekyness. I didn’t want to be a geek. I never told anyone what I really liked to do.
Thankfully by sophomore year I got a clue and realized that it was more important to be myself than pretend to be someone else. I know that sounds like the most cliche, Disney Channel thing on the planet, but it is true those where the exact thoughts going through my mind and I continue to live by those words in everything I do. Through the rest of high school I embraced my geekdentity.
Now I am firmly rooted in my geekness, if it wasn’t obvious already. Like come on I am writing for a blog called The Geekwave.
I love these! (Image from teehunter.com)
As I look at the world I inhabit now at the University of Utah. I realize how far things have come. Most often I encounter people who love games or think making them is really interesting. I don’t receive weird glances or uncomfortable chuckles. Not to mention I have no fear of telling people what I really do.
Even looking at the big picture, games continue to become more and more popular in society. Everyone is a gamer, from your grandma who plays Bridge all the way to you younger brother who has discovered Pokemon for the first time. Not to mention there was a Halo 5 Tournament at the X-Games this last weekend.
And it isn’t even all about games, look at the culture coming up behind Super Heroes. Almost everyone these days loves super hero movies! There is also so much geek force behind TV shows like Dr Who and Sherlock. Cosplay too has become a massive force! It is just another good reason to dress up as your favorite characters aside from Halloween.
If trends continue, soon the entire world will be uniting! (Image taken from www.starwarsunderworld.com)
If you are hiding your geekeness, I encourage you to let it show, because there is a community out there who loves it just as much as you do. In this world it is about being yourself as an individual and not just trying to fit in with the masses. Besides, before you know it the masses may be more and more geeky.
Overall, it is a remarkable world for a geek. And I am most certainly proud to say that things have changed.
So tell us what your geeky pleasure is?
Or if you are just a full blown geek tell us your story about you geekdentity?
I shared my, now I want to hear yours!
-Ollie, A Geek (Lets out a deep sigh as he admires the Geekdom)
Featured image from she-says.com