Life in a Box: Consumable Geek

Posted: September 10, 2014 by Noccie in Life in a Box
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Is “Geek Culture” just about conspicuous consumption?

There is a weird discussion going on in the community right now about what is “Geek Culture.”  Some people out there are trying to say that if we stopped buying stuff that geek culture wouldn’t exist. Defining a culture can be a difficult matter because some people have variations. Let’s figure out some common things that Geeks share.

1. A love of something very much, sincerly. ( Edited after speaking with a friend. It’s a way better definition! Thank you!)

2. Passionate about some variety of science fiction or fantasy. This can be anything from video games, movies, tv shows, print, music, role playing games, board games, card games, war games or comics.

3. Technophiles of some sort. This can be any kind of electronic device.

Once you have these three basics, there are so many different kinds of geek I could go on for days.

As a geek what do you do? You do consume the media you derive your geekdom from. Is our whole culture about that though? Entire economies have been derived off our passions. Let’s take video games for example.

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There are major conventions in the US for gaming and gaming technology. There is Penny Arcade Expo ( PAX) and Graphics, Gagdets and Games (G3 Expo). These are argueably the largest gaming conventions in the industry. They do drive us into a frenzy about the new games but… I think most of us have Steam. I know personally, wait till games go on sale during the BIG sales before I go on a binge. Gaming companies do generate millions of dollars but not everyone that plays games are geeks. You can’t say that the gaming industry would vanish if there wasn’t a geek culture. Look Candy Crush for instance. Everyone from children to grandparents play that horrific monstrosity. They buy add ons and pump money into a game about CANDY. The industry spends millions of dollart to go to the conventions and show you the games. They give you the swag ( t-shirts, toys, stickers, inflatable meat). Then they send you back out into the world to drool for months waiting for the games.

Let’s talk about Anime for a moment. There are different types of anime geeks. There are the ones that watch anime, there are the ones that only read manga and then there are cosplayers. Within the different subcultures you have lots of gray areas. Cosplayers are often not pumping money into a company that supplies cosplay costumes. They support the fabric stores, hardware stores and craft stores in their areas, but that purchasing power doesn’t make them geeks. It’s that love of dressing up as Sakura or Eren Jaeger that make them a Geek! If they had no money, they would find a way to do it anyway with sheets and drapes, Gone With the Wind style. So many shows are on Hulu, Netflix, Youtube, torrents or at your RedBox, video store or used video store that the money doesn’t always factor into our love. For instance, I watched Black Butler, but I bought the blueray used.

Geeks meeting up and talking at a convention... you might recognize Kane and I in the middle.

Geeks meeting up and talking at a convention… you might recognize a few of us.

We definately don’t go out and buy every game, item, T-Shirt or mini that exist. Maybe some of us do but, the vast majority of us don’t do that. We tend to specialize in something and go crazy for one or two things.

I… love love love My Little Pony. Even though I am passionate about my fillies, I don’t buy every product put out. Just… a few of them. This was a gift from my husband. YES!

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Most of us are too poor to buy EVERYTHING. Even if the things weren’t there we would be sitting around talking about dragons and laser guns. We would be discussing who shot first. We would be talking about how cool it would be to own a proton pack. There would be ways to show our love for video games too… we could rent them from Gamefly or a video store and then return them. We could even return them in better condition than when we rented them. Or we could share… one person coud by the game and pass it around.

My conclusion is, before there was stuff, I still had dice and friends. It doesn’t matter that I now have a matching t-shirt and logo sticker. We would still have our imaginations and DRAGONS.

NerdWorthy

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