Geeks are fascinating creatures.
Believe me, I should know. I’ve spent a lot of time among geeks, observing their behaviors and gathering data. In fact, in the interests of full disclosure and journalistic integrity… I must confess that I myself am totally a geek.
Yes, I can imagine the disbelieving astonishment in your expression. Who could have imagined that Adam Stück, of all solemn and serious people, has been a geek all along? I’ll give you a moment to get over your shock.
As I said, geeks are strange and marvelous creatures. Geeks, and the cultures they create, are worth studying.
What is a geek? The simplest definition for a geek is a person with a strong interest in something. A geek is not a nerd, though a person can be both. A nerd is intelligent, generally introverted or asocial, and sometimes (but not always) socially inept. Although geeks are often stereotyped as nerds, anyone can be a geek. Sports fans, college professors, or motorcycle enthusiasts can be geeky about their respective interests.
Geeks are usually ordinary people with a passion for something trivial—a book, sport, hobby, video game, television series, or something else. Besides having a strong attachment to their objects of interest, geeks usually know a lot about them. Once you get geeks talking, it can be really hard to shut them up. Geeks can have more than one object of interest, of course. I have many!
The thing that fascinates me most about geeks is the instant solidarity and understanding that often springs up between them. A common interest, no matter how trivial, can unite people of all cultures, races, nations, languages, beliefs, and opinions. A shared love of soccer, Star Wars, or world history brings together the most unlikely people. Geeks frequently set aside personal differences; the wolf lives with the lamb; the calf and the lion and the yearling quit arguing about religion or politics and go out for coffee.
I’ve done a little informal research into geek culture, and I’d like to do more. Brief studies of geek culture shall join About Storytelling posts, TMTF Reviews, and Why [Insert Author Name] Is Awesome posts as an occasional feature on this blog.
Anthropology isn’t exactly my field, true, yet I have what Liam Neeson would call “a particular set of skills.” My skills, unlike Liam Neeson’s, mostly involve geeky things like winning Mario Kart races and rambling about J.R.R. Tolkien. I consider myself highly qualified to discuss geek culture. In fact, some time ago, I went so far as to create a geek studies tag for TMTF and add it to a bunch of old posts… which, I suppose, makes me guilty of retconning my own blog.
What’s that? You’re wondering what retconning means? Don’t worry about it. Retconning is a geek thing.