Since basically all the people reading this are geeks in some manner (whether you're looking at TV, comics, film, Sport [yes, the extent to which people follow sport here IS geeky, I'll remember the most recent lineup of The Wreckers and watch some cartoons, and you tell me the current Spurs squad and watch hours of football]) you'll appreciate that I am in fact what many would call a geek. So when I say to you that in October I lost faith in ever wanting be be identified with geek culture would probably come as a shock.
I had left behind all but one Transformer for my transition into adult life, I had packed with me some fairly innocuous popculture referency t-shirts, I was parted from my Xbox and I was chucked in with a group of random people who I had to work hard to not freak out due to society's general disdain for geek culture. In a world where I'm insulted by an advert for STA travel on Spotify because I am the type that plays video games (i.e. pretty much every guy there is) is the tip of the geek-hating iceberg. This is a world where the majority of the people watching Big Bang Theory believe what they're seeing are jokes, rather than the plain references to comic books, film, science and gaming that they are. It's a world where at school, some kids are looked down on by their dim-witted colleagues for working hard and being intelligent. University was a place to reinvent ones self, they always said, and having arrived at the Freshers Fair I was happy to abandon that geeky part of myself as soon as I glimpsed the sci-fi and table top gaming table. These people were unusual.
I again persevered, wandering into the free anime society screening and signing up to their mailing list. I was confronted by what looked like the same people as the sci-fi society, now with one wearing a masquerade mask inspired by an anime I will never know of.
|And I doubt he was going to be as cool as Ezio, a man pulling. it. off.|
Slowly but surely we started up CoD again and everyone got pretty hyped about Black Ops for whatever reason, despite our incessant complaints about Modern Warfare 2. I slipped back into my plastic crack habbit when new Transformers finally started coming out over here (now we're beating the Americans! What up?). I met a guy who buys those damn toys even more than I do who also manages to live a normal life. My new flatmate after Christmas turned out to be a proper computer geek, a pen and paper rpg player and a Jesus Impersonator and yet still kept it real.
|Looks like this I shit you not.|
Not everyone with a vested interest in science fiction or robots or technology was a social pariah. My concerns had abated.
Skip forward to last weekend where I was lucky enough to attend Kapow! Comic Con at the Business Design Centre in London which was actually my second convention. Unlike Star Wars Celebration however this was not simply an exercise in wringing cash from attendees, which should have been the first indicator that this was going to be something a bit more friendly. It was one of those experiences where nobody detracted from the experience; there was a sense of camaraderie and mutual respect that you don't get on the street or in the shop. It was a sense of unity I had seldom felt outside of people I knew and liked, and a feeling of unison of thought only really matched by yesterday's Jamiroquai gig. Nobody was out to step on each others' toes, except the staff but that is another matter and it actually gave us a common enemy. If the world was like that I think we would be alright.
My faith that being a geek does not proclude a normal life, nor lead to association with people like those weird Doctor Steel people we saw, has been restored. I realise I'm not embodying the dream of acceptance, but this is not a denial of their rights. Accept choice guys. Finally I will return to the beginning of this post and the idea that everyone is a geek. I know we all are, but just think how much better it would be if there was no such thing as 'geek culture' but 'culture'.
Play us off Cee Lo.