Why Does “Geek Culture” Exist?

iconSo every day, you’re bombarded with ads for Star Trek, Star Wars, or the latest geek thing of the week or you see those videos of science fiction themed dens that make man caves look tame. You don’t quite get it because it’s like geeks, nerds, whatever you want to call them just aren’t satisfied with the real world. They can take escapism to the level where that boring old knife block just isn’t cutting it anymore and now they want the X-Wing knife block pictured to the left. What’s up with that, right?

The truth is, the real world is just plain boring. People who denigrate geeks are probably jealous on some level because they also want to be able to escape their boring apartments, jobs, and lives just like geeks do. Geeks just aren’t ashamed to admit it because, hey, at least they can hit area science fiction conventions every year and hang out with like-minded friends on a weekend. There’s simply nothing wrong with discussing the latest episodes of their favorite series over a fast-paced Trading Card Game. Geeks like to unwind in a way that they don’t really have to think about real life, just like everybody else.

Geeks aren’t really being unsocial when they cut you off before you can go on a diatribe about sports or fashion. It’s just a classic disconnect — you aren’t interested in Marvel Comics and they aren’t interested in the latest style of hat. Anyway, they’re more likely to be thinking about why their Bitcoin holdings have slid in value lately and when they can slip away to rendezvous with their friends at the local comic book shop. And yes, geeks do have friends. Just not your friends.

Look at it this way, these are the people who fix your laptop and your iPad when they aren’t working quite right. If you hear one of them make a joke about a “PEBCAK error,” it means they’ve gotten a little ticked with you. The next time you’re tempted to be nasty to a geek or indulge in habits that are going to set his teeth on edge, keep in mind that these are people who have some rather clever and inventive ways to mess up your technology. So he wants to make his kitchen, you know, not utterly boring. This is not something that’s going to make much of a difference in your life if you can be polite and pay him well for his time and talent when you bring that virus-riddled laptop into the shop. Besides, admit it, that’s the coolest knife block you’ve seen in a while.

Anyway, the escapism part of it is harmless. These are people who seem to have their eyes firmly set on the future if their love for futuristic entertainment franchises like Star Trek is any indication. Some of them might even wonder why we don’t have permanent manned bases on the Moon and Mars by now. They do it for the same reason you have regular Friday night get-togethers with friends and seriously consider going to Hawaii on your next vacation. It’s a way to escape from the pressures of the real world for a little while.

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