We're All Geeks About Something

By Kyle Windle on September 20, 2012

This is my “geeky” bookshelf full of “geeky” comics.

This may be self-indulgent, but bear with me, because I think you’ll probably agree with my point when I say, “We’re all geeks about something.” This whole notion started when the prevalence of ideas such as “being a geek is cool” or “nerds rule pop culture” began.

For clarity’s sake, let’s go ahead and define the terms we’re throwing around here. Looking at the definition provided by Google, a “geek” is: (1) an unfashionable or socially inept person or (2) a person with an eccentric devotion to a particular interest.

As a movie and comic book fanatic, I am sometimes labeled as a geek. In my own experience, I find most people seem to refer to themselves or others as geeks when things like video games, comic books, movies, cartoons, books, or some other form of “geek culture” entertainment is involved. That seems to be the second definition, which is the meaning I usually mean when referring to someone as a “geek.”

Why bring this up?

There seems to still be a stigma attached to having interests in the entertainment mediums I mentioned. Speaking from my own experience, admitting to reading comics garners a whole bunch of ill-informed responses and generalizations, and often times the person responds with a list of “geeky” things he or she is interested in, all of which fall into that “geek culture” I mentioned before. Again, this is specific to my personal experience, but I imagine it’s not just me who sees this. It’s interesting, because I don’t really find reading comic books to be some niche that I fill, some sort of box I fit in. I may have at one point in my life, but now it’s just something I find entertaining, something I like to spend my free time doing. I do it a lot, so I’m a “geek” in that sense, but am I really just a geek because I read book that has word balloons and sequential art? I feel like the requirements are way too relaxed.

So here’s my question: If being a geek just means you’re really, REALLY interested in certain things that other people aren’t, wouldn’t that make, I don’t know, baseball fans geeks? Aren’t history buffs geeks? What about music fans? What about reality show junkies? Political scientists? Who isn’t considered a “geek,” in those terms?

It’s interesting that the “traditional geeks” have sort of taken ownership of the term that has a history of being derogatory, saying it’s their movies and their books and their video games that are dominating pop culture today. It’s gotten this big “geek culture” label, but for some reason, it doesn’t seem accurate to me.

Anyway, this DID turn out to be self-indulgent, but it’s really just something I wanted to put out there to get you thinking, maybe challenge your expectations, and get a discussion started. Tell me what you’re a “geek” about.

By Kyle Windle

Uloop Writer
I'm an English and Psychology major at Ohio State, and I love movies, politics, comics, TV and books, among other things. My favorite Beatle is John Lennon and "The Empire Strikes Back" is the best Star Wars film.

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