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Monday, July 14, 2008

Making Something Geeky

This past weekend my internal filter failed to kick in. Rather than saying something inappropriately sexual, however, I said something inappropriately dorky. While sitting with a group of friends in the rear car of a streetcar, one of my friends made a comment about the driver detaching our car at the next stop because it was so empty, to which I responded before adequately thinking it over, "Well, at least we would have the warp engines."

So, I happen to have watched and enjoyed some Star Trek episodes over the years. The fact that certain things are considered incredibly geeky and others are not made me start to wonder about how such classifications were made. After all, the Lord of the Rings is the basis for many of the geekiest things around, including the Dungeons and Dragons games, but when the movies came out they became a huge hit and widely popular. Riding on their success and the success of science fiction hits like the Matrix, a huge number of sword and sorcery style and science fiction movies were spawned (some good, many quite bad). Among them, comic book heroes have gone through a similar rebirth of going from epic geekdom to mainstream, widely popular and accepted film.

It cannot simply be the transformation into movie format that makes things shed their geeky nature, however, because Star Trek and Star Wars are still considered rather geeky (although, to be fair, I think Star Wars has more of a widespread popular acknowledgement as not excessively geeky), and Dungeons and Dragons failed miserably at elevating itself beyond the stigma of geek with its film a few years ago (though that might simply have been a result of the movie being supremely poor). Anyway, I should have left for work many minutes ago, so I leave this question up to my readers:

What makes something geeky?


cornucrapia said...

OK, first off, I think that's the geekiest thing I've heard in a good long while, kudos. Second, I think the prime thing that determines whether something is geeky or not relates to the number of standard fans of the thing related to the number of crazy obsessed fans. To me a geek is pretty much someone who obsesses about something to a degree far beyond societal norms. Generally you find them in either the world of technology or sci fi and fantasy. But to me, someone who's super into football, making his own "fantasy" teams and such is just as much a geek, the reason football's not geeky and star trek is has less to do with the mega fans, more to do with how many regular people also enjoy it.