Apparently there is a raging debate across the world wide web about what it means to really be a geek. (If you’s like to fill in the gaps for yourself I started here and worked my way back to the beginnings of the quickly escalating discussion.) It seems that there is some question as to what it means to be a “fangirl.” On some level it seems our feminine wiles have thrown a serious wrench in the interworking of the geek universe.
The funny thing about the diatribes written on both sides, besides the fact that a good chunk are written by men, is that somehow being a geek, male or female, has become an effort to be geek chic. It’s almost cool to be geeky. Alongside this new found popularity it appears there is some kind of rite of passage that takes you from being an introverted fan of science fiction to a supreme geek targeted by marketing strategies and glittery cosplay. There are levels of coolness infiltrating the geeky realm.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love looking at the photodumps of con attendees, cosplay and celebrity panels. I even made a foray into cosplay with my proton pack for my (in my opinion) seriously awesome ghostbuster Halloween costume. But when did the shift come that required credibility to be a geek at all?
Am I a geek because I grew up watching Star Trek:TNG with my dad and continued to enjoy it as an adult? Is it because I have a giant map of Middle Earth on my wall? (A lot of people think that I simply tolerate it for Jon’s sake; those who know me know the truth.) Maybe it’s because I would just as well spend every evening with my nose in a book as anywhere else in the world?
Does this mean that I’m naturally predisposed to have a geek gene? Shhould we start an debate about geekery as a nature versus nurture scenario? Am I more of a geek because some of my earliest memories involve Lego, The Incredible Hulk and a Kermit the frog guitar? Or is someone who does serious cosplay at all the major cons more of a geek because they invest more time, money and energy in the geek empire?
Let me just sum up my somewhat scattered thought process with this: if being a geek is something you have to work for, maintain a resume on or justify to the world around me, consider this my resignation. I don’t feel the need to manipulate my interests in science fiction, stretegy board games and superheros into something cool. It’s not for me to make my lunch room table the “cool kids” table. I would much rather sit at the least exclusive table. Lunch time will be more fun if I do. I vote we all continue in our quiet geeky goodness and enjoy what we enjoy for no other reason than that.