Who gets to claim the term “geek” (or “nerd”, depending on your definition)? Am I geeky enough? If I don’t watch anime or read comics/manga or do any kind of gaming or know much about computers or keep up with the latest SF/F TV shows (all true of me), am I still a geek?
Being an individual with a strong dose of self-criticism, I’ve sometimes asked myself these questions. So I was thrilled to read this piece by writer (and SFWA president) John Scalzi:
Geekdom is a nation with open borders. There are many affiliations and many doors into it. There are lit geeks, media geeks, comics geeks, anime and manga geeks. There are LARPers, cosplayers, furries, filkers, crafters, gamers and tabletoppers. There are goths and horror geeks and steampunkers and academics. There are nerd rockers and writers and artists and actors and fans. Some people love only one thing. Some people flit between fandoms. Some people are positively poly in their geek enthusiasms. Some people have been in geekdom since before they knew they were geeks. Some people are n00bs, trying out an aspect of geekdom to see if it fits. If it does, great. If it doesn’t then at least they tried it.
He’s writing in the context of criticizing another blog piece, which focuses on pretty girls coming into a con and parading around in outfits featuring characters they’re not familiar with. Or something. But the quotation above, and the rest of what he says in that vein, is the part that really resonates with me.
Go read the rest. You won’t regret it. (Unless you’re unusually sensitive to snark, and even then, bear with him, because it’s worth it. His posts where he’s arguing about something are so well constructed, they’re things of beauty.)
That’s it for this week. See you on Monday!