It’s interesting to think how far geeks have come in the last 25 years. We went from being the social outcasts to the cool kids. I didn’t start knowingly watching Star Trek until people made fun of me for watching it and playing D&D (which I still don’t do, though I’ve been trying to start VTR), but now I get props for my Superman and Batman shirts. It’s truly bizarre, and this has been demonstrated via Spike TV.
I remember coming home from school and seeing my mom watching reruns of “Highlander” followed by TNG reruns on Spike. Later on, watching CSI: reruns followed by episodes of “The Ultimate Fighter”. Friday nights would be occupied by “MANswers” and “GameTrailers TV”, and every year they would do the Scream Awards and Video Game Awards (VGA’s). This last one, recently hosted by Samuel L. Jackson and featuring musical appearances by Linkin Park and Tenacious D. The Scream Awards were never as popular as the VGA’s, mainly because the topics covered in the Scream Awards were never as popular as video games. Let me rephrase- comic books, horror, and sci-fi are less popular than video games. Take a moment. Let that sink in. How in the hell did that happen?!
This is evidence to a subspecies of geek that I have only recently discovered- the geekus urbanum, or everyday geek. The everyday geek is much more casual than the geekus originum, or original geek, and thus is much more socially acceptable. They may watch Star Wars on occasion, or know Wells like the back of their hand, but more commonly they may only watch Star Wars a couple times and play Call of Duty for the online multi-player. They may watch Highlander once, but never again, and then wonder why it is so popular. They walk among us. They serve our coffee, pump our gas, stock our stores, even work on our television shows. There are only so many ways to tell them apart, but even they prove useless when applied. They rarely wear geek shirts, they don’t decorate their cars with geek references, and are dumbstruck when quizzed on the most essential science fiction and comic books. Terrifying as this sounds, there are as many of them as there are of us. Hell, some of them are probably reading this very article.
I don’t discriminate. Originum or Urbanum, I don’t care. We geeks were the social outcasts for decades, still are in many cases, and will always be the minority. We can’t judge or allow our membership to deem some “not geeky enough”, or even “too geeky”. The word itself is used as a badge of honor. The term itself started as a derogatory, referring to sideshow freaks. It was used in reference to schoolchildren in the 1950’s, and got rather stuck. Since then, it has gone to refer to any of us whose hobbies revolve around tv, movies, video games, tabletops, classics and comics. Be they writers, cosplayers, or just appreciators, geeks they are. The casual geek is merely a geek by definition, but they remain a geek. We should not forget the anguish of our forefathers, and the misfitting of many today, but embrace them! Educate them, aid in their evolution. I’m certain that we all had a mentor, someone who helped educate us.
We all know them, and we should help them. If they don’t want to, it’s okay. Nobody likes to have something shoved down their throats. Well, some do, but that’s just weird.