I have a confession – I am obsessed with figuring out how stuff works. Ok so maybe that’s not much of a confession for anyone who knows me, and perhaps even those people who have had brief associations with me, but for those who didn’t know, surprise!
When I look back on my life I was always going to be an engineer, and I can attribute that to parental influences, grandparental influences, and being given the encouragement to keep doing what I love. When most kids were given books about Blinky Bill, I was given books on the Fabulous Facts About Transport. I was fascinated by how stuff worked, and I would become fixated on something until I figured out how it worked and could reproduce the result myself. Most people called me Nerd, but I always thought of myself as a Geek.
Recently, one of my good friends put me onto an article about how Geek culture is becoming cool. Huzzah, not that I was looking for a particular breed of acceptance but the constant negativity towards Geekdom has always been a bit of a downer. Then I kept reading the article and discovered the crux of the argument, that it is cool to look like a Geek and embrace Geek culture, but nobody wants to actually be a real geek. Specifically, the article targets the faux Geek and tells them they are not welcome.
This article is a tad elitist. Actually a lot elitist. It proposes criteria for being a Geek, and that if you dont meet the criteria then you dont deserve to be called a Geek. Wow, I didn’t realise we were running such an exclusive club where you had to earn the right to sit back on an Iron Throne, drinking our Princess Peach Schnapps while discussing in lofty tones what we loved about the latest episode of The Guild. For me, Geeks have always embraced the love of anything and everything, and that should definitely be inclusive of the “faux Geek”.
There is no need to throw up walls, there is no need to fear the loss of identity. Being a Geek is something you define personally, something that nobody can take away from you, something you can and should be proud of. I am thankful to have found so many like minded people to share my interests with, and hopefully with “Geek culture” becoming “cool”, I can find a bunch more like minded people.