Alternative Opinion: "What Does It Mean To Be A Geek?"

Alternative Opinion is a feature where Alt:Mag writers and readers are given a question or topic, and submit their thoughts and opinions. At the end of last month, the world lost an icon of geekdom, Leonard Nimoy, best known for his role as Spock in Star Trek (and the voice of the narrator in the Dreamcast game Seaman). This edition of Alternative Opinion is in tribute to him. We brought together a group of Alt:Mag writers and readers to answer the question:

'What Does It Mean To Be A Geek?'

Alt:Mag writers said:

Josh Grahame: 'I know and believe I am a Geek. I've learnt to say it proudly after beginning to realise how much I know about the things I love far too much. If to be proud of knowing so much about Pokémon, Kingdom Hearts, Clannad, Star Wars, Doctor Who as well as a number of other things makes me a geek, then call me a Geek. It's funny how Simon Pegg is a Geek and he says it proudly, how's that for an inspiration! I may not be popular or familiar with mainstream stuff or have much knowledge on girls, lifestyles or partying, but I am happy with what I know and my undying thirst for seeking out more knowledge on anything that attracts my attention. I believe we are all Geeks and we should feel awesome to know so much about our favourite interests, and be proud to share and experience them with out best friends and have no fear in chatting about them at all.'

You can check out Josh's blog here.

Aaron Mills: 'To me, though I don't necessarily identify myself as a "geek" due to generally not being particularly invested in many of the things that tend to be described as geek culture, I would say you can be a geek about anything you're passionate about, be it the stereotypical things like games and movies, or sports, and even food. I might not necessarily know much beyond layman's terms about computers, but I'm certainly a geek when it comes to The Beatles, or Dragon Ball, and I know more about coffee than anyone should ever want to. When it comes to the things I love, I want to learn every thing about it I possibly can, which I would say makes me a geek of those things, and I wouldn't have it any other way.'

Erin Burns: 'When you are young, the word 'Geek' can be used as a cruel and mocking word, by others out who are out to belittle you. It is one to be avoided at all costs for fear of being labelled as odd or peculiar, but no longer is that true. You can embrace your inner 'geek' in so many ways and develop deep and lasting relationships with a multitude of people all over the world, just because you share a common love, may it be; Harry Potter, Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Sailor Moon, Star Trek or Star Wars. But I wear the title of 'Geek' as a badge of honour, embracing it because it is a part of me I am proud of! So don your wizarding robes and Star Trek Enterprise uniform (maybe not at the same time) and be true to yourself! Geek is the New Black!'

You can check out Erin's blog here.

Harrison Fleming: 'For me, it means having an interest (or more than one) that stands out for all the right reasons. Whether it's a film, a game or book, it doesn't matter - as long as it's something to be proud of! '

Sam Leeves: 'I guess I first realised I was a geek when Final Fantasy took over my life. Everything about it fascinated me; the music, the story, the raw emotion of the characters. It's not surprising that it went further out from there. Geekdom was a safety, a place where my friends and I could be who we are and enjoy the things we loved. That's what geekdom is for me; safety - a place where all can come to escape from the prying eyes of the high school bullies and the alpha-males, a place to get away from the jeers and snipes for liking something unconventional. But it doesn't need to just be escapism! Now these mediums are being recognised as art, and isn't it exciting? Films based on comic books are some of the biggest grossing movies of our generation. Video games are becoming a more and more accepted medium in terms of accessibility and worth. Anime and Manga as styles of art are recognisable worldwide. Geekdom has gone global. Come join us; there's room for all. 

You can check out Sam's blog here, and purchase his novels here.

Lewis Cox: 'I own a copy of a Sega Dreamcast game called 'Kanon', which is a visual novel that got adapted into one of my favourite anime series of all time (Kanon 2006). The game is text-based and it's in Japanese so I can't read it, meaning I can't play the game. But I still own it, and own it proudly because it is a combination of two things of which I am the most passionate about; Kanon and the Sega Dreamcast. The fact that something as simple as this can bring me such joy is why I was meant to be a geek, and in turn, why I was meant to come together with all of these fantastic writers and create Alt:Mag!'

You can check out my Hip-Hop/Rap music here.

Alt:Mag readers said:

Tommy Pope: 'For me personally, to be a "geek" is to derive a deep, personal joy or excitement from what you love. A passion that a genuine "geek" has no shame or inhibition to share with others publicly. This behaviour is nothing to be ashamed of as it is so often frowned upon by those that refuse to understand. The ability to enjoy anything to such a level is a wonderful thing. Geeks and geek culture bring people together. It's a wonderful thing to see people that are deemed "socially inept shut-ins" or labelled with other such harsh terms, have the confidence to dress completely as their favorite fictional character, use public transportation through a major city and congregate in mass numbers to share a genuine passion without shame. And of course, why should there be?'

You can check out Tommy's YouTube channel, Lucky Hit here.

Kyle Worrall: 'I don’t think the word ‘Geek’ can be defined by a single definition, as it comes in many shapes and sizes, much like the people who embody the lifestyle. When it comes to me, however, being labelled a ‘Geek’ is apt when considering my involvement in the following anecdotes:

  1. Going out for lunch with a fellow ‘Geek’ and discussing “hacktivism”, conspiracy theories, our favourite video games and the cultural differences in cartoons from different parts of the world, all in the middle of a crowded restaurant and not caring. 
  2. Waiting patiently and expectantly for over ten years for a sequel to one of your favourite games, by your favourite game company, while still obsessing over the original. 
  3. Wiping yet another tear from your eye as you watch another episode of an anime you have been following for most of your adolescent life. 
  4. Being more interested in listening to a video game soundtrack, than your favourite artist’s brand new album. 

But most importantly, being a Geek is about accepting the fact you’re an outlier, whose tastes might be a little odd or unconventional, who might even behave or dress differently in public but not really caring. All because at the end of the day, even though people might laugh at you or harass you, it’s completely irrelevant.
You enjoy what you enjoy and don’t obsess over being a “Grown Up” or part of the coolest “cliques” because you’re happy just the way you are, with teddies, posters, cartoons and toys all included and there’s nothing more important than being happy.'

You can check out Kyle's website here.

Hugo Aranzaes: 'I understand the term Geek as referring to someone who finds media intensely rewarding and/or meaningful. Someone who re-visits the content he or she really liked. Who tries to find out why it worked so well by analysing both the product and the creator. Someone who, eventually, also ends up creating something.'

You can check out Hugo's blog here.

A very big thanks to all of our writers and readers for taking part and sharing their opinions and their passions! So what do you think? What does it mean to you to be a geek? Let us know in the comments section below or by our Facebook or Twitter page. Live long and prosper my fellow Alt:Mag'ers, and may Mr. Nimoy rest in peace.

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