How I view geek culture

I am an unapologetic nerd and geek. I love video games, movies, comics, anime, and computers. However, I never really quite felt nearly at home with, well the way sometimes gamers and geeks sometimes talked to one another. Honestly, the anti feminist community has a lot of gamers and nerds. For me, as someone who acknowledges my lack of social skills and my loser status, I always felt baffled at how people treated each other. I always thought that the experiences of being social outcasts and being in tight knit groups of self-understood losers, would make one more empathetic. But I was wrong. Honestly, anyone has the ability to develop asshole behaviors and unapologetic narcissism. The gaming culture created its own version of jock culture. It is remarkable if it wasn’t so bad. Let me be clear, merit amongst different groups changes, but the idea of treating people differently based on that qualifier doesn’t change. For example, if you are a sports person, perhaps you judge people on their knowledge of professional players or on your own skills as a player. You are judged on your physical fitness and your success with the opposite sex as well. Judgemental people exist regardless of the community. For geeks and gamers though, it is pop culture knowledge, video game skill, and maybe scholarly knowledge in science and other subjects. This becomes a yardstick similarly. However, it isn’t like both groups don’t have similar wants and desires. The difference, I think, is that one of these subcultures has been often overlooked because it wasn’t mainstream. Most of society agreed on that group being pariahs and judged them harshly if they were nerds and gamers. This created a sort of cohesiveness in that community. The need for connection was strong and because of the lack of numbers, it was sort of like having a second family. However, the mainstream soon brought it forward because of the impersonal forces of the capitalist markets. Once mainstreamed, the competitive nature became more okay and once it was okay to be a nerd, it became more diverse. This however, wasn’t necessarily a positive thing for some people. It became an identity crisis for many people. The internalized ideas of who you were, as a gamer were being challenged. The mainstreaming process might be positive, but it did have side effects. To change who you are and your own self-perception is no small feat. The insular nature of these communities is only more visible now because of the percieved acceptability of these genres now. The insular nature was a reaction to how the world treated people who enjoyed these things. However, not everyone took their interests as closely to heart, in terms of their identity, as others. For me, my interests give me great joy but they are not necessary for my values. In fact, I think my values actually add to my enjoyment of the things I do. They complement each other well. However, I think that the conflict amongst these groups are between these two types of nerds. It doesn’t help that people still expect their interests to be treated with derision still. I admit even I, am hesitant to talk to other people about my more obscure interests. It doesn’t cross my mind to discuss them openly still and this is because at some level I still feel that a lot of things I love are not things I should talk about with normal folks. This perception, of being different or an outcast, is the prime reason it is difficult to accept mainstreaming. If being a loser, is important to you, how can you accept the ideas that maybe, that isn’t the case anymore. It may seem irrational, but understand that many people still treat nerd culture as something fresh and exotic. It isn’t all that new to everyone who loves it though. It might even be percieved as condescending. Even if you are only trying to show genuine interest, keep in mind that perhaps, the person isn’t used to that. I would argue that nerds/geeks/gamers are always happy to talk about these things. They assume you aren’t interested unless you actually take the time to convince them of it. I take my past as a reason for me to do better and to be empathetic. I think being a loser has made me a better person overall. It taught me that the importance of feeling included and of having good friends. It taught me how important it is to listen to treat others with respect and kindness. But cultural shifts are hard and we all should remember that and be less judgemental.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s