Like an outcast, the common geek has been a persecuted individual over the years.
Tormented by the cool guys with their sculpted good looks and sporting prowess,
picked on by the big kids and laughed at by the good looking girls, the geeks
existence was tough, stressful and lonely but now the geek is fighting back, aided by the super cool digital age of gadgets, games and dare I say fashion, the geek has become chic.
The evolution of the geek is inextricably linked with TV, film and gaming. The
modern day geek was forged out of the fires of sci-fi TV and film. Captivated by a world beyond theirs, perhaps trying to find a form of escapism from the unfriendly surroundings of Earth, dreaming of exploring uninhabited worlds and rescuing the hot princess from the clutches of the evil lord, the geek spent most of its life in a fantasy world, a fantasy world that could only be created on TV and film or by spending a few fleeting hours dressed as Captain Kirk or Luke Skywalker at a convention. But now the geek has a world to fully immerse itself in, a world that is familiar, a world where to be good at being a geek is to be cool, maybe even a God, and perhaps most importantly a world that is shared by millions of others.
The computer game evolution is in direct correlation with the uprising of the geek. The once cool kids that used to pick on the geek now hail to the likes of the games designers that create the world they themselves now thrive in. The FiFA franchise, the GTA series, and the Call of Duty games amongst hundreds of others have enticed them into the geek’s world. A world that has evolved from the lone gamer sat in his bedroom munching on crisps, chips and guzzling coke, to a social event where people gather together for gaming nights and share in a few beers. At these occasions it is the best that get the plaudits and the best are often the geeks.
Without realising it the majority of the world has become a geek. Look at the frenzy
surrounding any release by Apple, look at the almost panic like buying that accompanies the release of the latest must have gadget. Don’t tell me you don’t get a little jealous when your friend gets the latest iPhone and you’re still on the previous version. That’s the geek in you coming out and it’s there in us all.
Five of the top ten grossing film of all time could arguably be described as geek films. Avatar, Harry Potter, Transformers, Lord of the Rings, and the Dark Knight all have “geek” stamped across them. Star Wars, the cornerstone of any geek worth his salt continually comes in the top few of greatest films of all times list.
The games industry alone is predicted to hit around $48.9 billion in 2011. A staggering
figure that could never have been imagined when your mum and dad were playing
pong in the 70’s. A sum that was unimaginable even in the days of the much loved Spectrum and Commodore 64 era in the 80’s.
Today’s geek walks amongst you without you even realising. That mate of yours that loves football, drinking and womanising likes nothing more than to get in from work
and stick on console for a few hours of shooting aliens. The uniform that once
exposed the geek to the outside world has now been devoured and mass produced
by the fashion world. Retro t-shirts, thick rimmed glasses and themed sneakers can all be seen on a regular basis, just walk down any high street in any town.
The geek has become big business, a money making machine for those that wish to exploit it and some of us are only too willing to oblige. For years the geek was tormented, a social pariah. Now it is the driving force behind a massive global economy, celebrated in films such as Napolean Dynamite and Juno and pandered to by games makers and clothing designers.
The kids with sculpted good looks and sporting prowess no longer ask us to do their
homework. Instead they ask us how to get past that big boss half way through the game, or what sequence of buttons to push to make Wayne Rooney do that flick and overhead kick. The big kids no longer pick on us because we now roam in numbers rather than alone. What of the good looking girls? Well, they still laugh at us, but now they do it whilst dressed in tight spandex and draped over the latest in gaming
innovation at Eurogamer for our pleasure.
The Oxford English dictionary defines a geek as “an unfashionable or socially inept
person” and even goes on to describe “Geek out” as to “engage in or discuss
computer-related tasks obsessively or with great attention to technical detail”
This definition seems to be wildly outdated. Surely today’s geek is the exact opposite; Fashionable and socially celebrated even revered in some circles.
Don’t think you’re a geek? If you own a themed belt buckle, if you’ve ever looked forward to a film release such as Transformers or Batman, if you’ve ever waved your
hand at automatic doors pretending to use the force to open them, if you have ever had friends round with the sole intention of playing games all evening, then you I’m happy to say, are a geek. Welcome my friend, come on in, here’s our handbook, here’s a blu-ray copy of Star Wars 4,5 and 6 (1,2 and 3 don’t exist! They DON’T exist) take a seat and grab a pad, in this world anybody can be king.