I never thought I’d say this but, it seems that geek culture is becoming mainstream. Elements of geek culture are popping up in many areas of pop culture with such frequency that it appears that nerds and geeks the world over are coming out of the shadows and being embraced by the populace at large. From movies such as Scott Pilgrim vs The World to Kick Ass and the Wii bringing gaming to the masses, the world seems to be going geek.
In an age of Guitar Hero, Call of Duty and Wii Sports, videogames have become not only socially acceptable but even “cool”. When the hell did this happen? Not too long ago, talking about how you finally found that rare item you’ve been searching for in an old-school dungeon crawler or how your Wartortle finally evolved into a Blastoise meant you were shunned, shoved into a corner of the lunchroom with the other pimply-faced nerds, an area the “popular kids” wouldn’t dare be caught dead. Now, it’s socially acceptable. People talk about their exploits in videogames in all parts of the lunchroom. Talk of the latest videogaming accomplishments isn’t just reserved for the nerds. Now, it seems, everyone plays videogames.
Just look at vampires. Once considered little more than conversational taboo, they are now the subjects of wildly popular, trashy tweener novels and slightly less trashy films based around said novels. Sure, there were shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer that were accepted by the mainstream but by and large, no one talked about vampires aside from the fantasy nerds. Times have certainly changed.
I imagine this is a side effect of the coming of age of Generation “who cares”. This is a generation of apathy and thus, people seem not to care about other people’s geekier pastimes, be it videogames, fantasy novels or sci-fi television shows and movies. Perhaps this means that this generation is more mature than generations past and more accepting. Perhaps things have just come full circle and the time will come again when typical aspects of geek culture will once again be frowned upon and geeks will once again be subjugated back into the margins of popular culture.
Maybe, though, we’ve finally matured beyond the typical jock and geek mentality and realized to that to “geek” is to love. Maybe people are finally realizing that geekdom is merely an outlet for the things people are passionate about and have begun to appreciate the geeky hobbies people have purely because we realize that this is a labor of love.
I’m a geek and I’m proud of it. Sure, I don’t cosplay or walk around in graphic tees adorned with the logos of the games I play or the movies and TV shows I enjoy but I don’t hide my geekdom from the world in the same way as I did in High School. Quite frankly, I’m an adult now with a love of videogames and geeky sci-fi TV shows and movies and I don’t really care if someone looks down their nose at my hobbies. But, then again, odds are these days that you’ll share similar interests and would rather talk about your own geek love than turn your nose up at mine. This is a brave new world, folks, and one I’m certainly glad to be a part of.