This post is a response to my blogging colleague and good friend's post: What does it mean to you?
I think part of the problem presented by the meaning of Geek is connected to what Felicia Day presents as a concern: that Geek has become over-commercialized. It's like Geeks were these rare and beautiful jewels, who were content to sparkle and be pretty and perhaps be set into the inlay on an elder blade, or curse a hapless treasure hunter. But what ended up happening is that the world of business discovered that these jewels have monetary value, and can be traded for bucks. And now they are circulating, and circulating. What once had to be stolen from a crypt in the amazon is now available for $4.99 on amazon.com.
And to make matters worse: when something that used to be precious is now a commodity, it's hard not to begin to question authenticity. I think this is where the phrase 'you're not a real...' - something or other - comes in. There is a fear of receiving the fools gold of geekdom. It's a legitimate concern, though I think some take it too far.
I feel a certain frustration when I hear people toss around 'Geek' like it's something to be proud of. It's hard to see that something that felt very costly to me as a youth claimed loudly as an adult. However, I don't really think it's appropriate to publicly question someone's authenticity as a person, either. That can be harmful. Besides, for all the rejection I felt when I was young, I had at least an equal amount of connection- I never went to a Star Trek convention alone.
Now that I'm a grown up, with an adult life and adult job, the labels Geek and Nerd don't worry me too much anymore. It's my 'adult' concerns that eat up the majority of my attention and identity. Or maybe I've just gotten really good at hiding it. I certainly understand why it is a concern for Felicia Day, who has named her channel 'Geek and Sundry.' If the term 'Geek' becomes watered down, where will that leave Felicia?
I once read an article, way back when smartphones hadn't invaded, Steam really hadn't caught on, and Futurama was still canceled. The author of this article had firm definitions of Nerd and Geek. In it, they defined the Geek as the tinkerer, the one who could figure out how things work, who knew the computer coding language, who could do the advanced math, applied or no. And the Nerd was the collector. The one who consumed vast quantities of media and knowledge, and had it all organized, but didn't necessarily have any practical use for it.
I think a dork was somewhere in between. If there was a label that I identify with on the Nerd Continuum, I think it would be dork. I just don't get it, I don't really mind that I don't get it, and I really hope you leave me alone about how I don't get it. I do like stuff though, and if you ask about it, I will totally tell you all about it. I guess it's kind of like Aspberger's Syndrome, which is on the chopping block for the DSM V. Did I just wrinkle your brain? No? Oh. okay.
I can't help but think I'm forgetting something. I thought long and hard about this subject all day. I guess I don't have to cover everything in just one try. Anyway, Geek = label given to me as a kid. Bitterness. As adult it is now a good classification... whaaa? The end.
Currently Playing: Final Fantasy II (NES)
Classify this. Or just check the page out, it makes me feel better about things.