Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Geek Rant Topic 16: Revisiting the Geek Definiton

When All Else Fails, you call Mousa the 14, that one ranting geek.

Remember this old thing?

I've been doing a bit of net gallivanting and have found that I'm a bit conflicted in my definitions.

What? What is it? What's with the giggles?

Oh Right. Get your jollies out of the way first.
Done making fun of me and the laughing? Good, now on to the real discussion.

A I was saying, I have found that my definitions and the manner in which I have come upon the have been a little off.

But first, before I elaborate on the geek definition, I wan to shove the Nerd one out of the way

NERD: A socially inadequate person who is noted not only for their poor social skills or lack of caring of mainstream interests and styles, but for their intelligence, display of said intelligence, and deep knowledge of a wide variety of fields or a specified field. The big difference between a geek and a nerd is that a Nerd's brilliance is usually within academic pursuits. They are Science geeks, math geeks, computer geeks. If it is an academic field with real life applications or at least has a real field of study and you are intellectually vested in it, you are a nerd.

Was my old definition and little has changed. The social inadequacy isn't quite necessary but basically a nerd is someone who is just plain smart. He's the guy who fixes your computer and does your homework for you. Those guys that TV shows put in glasses and button down shirts and suspenders and make them spout facts, just facts, ad nothing but the facts because they're that smart.

Basically 95% of the lyrics to this song:
Are about them.

Now for the other 10% about Dungeons and Dragons and choosing between Kirk or Picard and X-Men comics and Renaissance Faires? Geek, or at least geek as how I defined it previously

The geek has always been a different monster.

GEEK: A subset of hobbyist, people who have an deep interest in traditionally non-mainstream subjects that are often considered childish in nature. Similar to the Nerd, they are usually socially inadequate and brilliant. Unlike the nerd, their brilliance tends to be dedicated to their specific hobby. Usual interests of Geeks fall under Science-Fiction and Fantasy Genres spanning all mediums.
Problem is, I was defining geek by what we like rather than how we like it which appears to be the common theme I found in my journeys.

The definition I've stumbled across, which I agree with, is the second half of my previous definition:

Another aspect of Geeks as defined by The Game Overthinker in his video on continuity found here. the short and paraphrased version is this: "Geeks glean fun from turning something that is already fun into work" such as playing video games competitively, Stop Having Fun Guys, or collecting the entirety of the Marvel universe's comics to "keep the continuity straight".

I, for some reason, always viewed it as a content thing, like we like specific things rather than liking things a certain way. The Game Overthinker basically had it as "Likes things to a degree deeper than common knowledge". He even goes further into the subject here on The Big Picture though to be fair, him using the word nerd bugged me to high heaven. Though Bobbo does bring up excellent points about how the general public enjoys content considered "Geeky", its simply the manner in which it is enjoyed. Geeks like things on a deeper level and while I think Bob's description of "Turning something in a math problem" is going too far, it's basically in that direction of turning something fun into work but still deriving fun from it.

Which means it's not just sci-fi and fantasy fans, anybody can be a geek if they're obsessive enough about their respective hobby. Sports, history, Lego, whatever, I mean this is how experts are born.

That still leaves one little problem. The content-based description. There is still a specified group of somewhat socially awkward individuals that are part of some internet-based conglomerate of anime fans, Japan officianados, Magic: The Gathering players, video gamers, Trekkies, Star Wars fans, nostalgia nuts, cartoon lovers, media junkies, comedian reviewers, overthinkers, sci-fi lovers, fantasy lovers, Webcomic readers and makers, and comic book lovers. I mean these interests are filled with geeks and the fandoms overlap greatly (Which is why I called myself the Omni-Geek, since I loved all and specialized in none.) and they are still considered primarily non-mainstream and seen as childish or unwilling to let go of things that are aimed at kids and young teens.

In short, there's a working definition, but what do you call it?

I mean, it sounds like I'm obsessing but I like seeing things properly labeled in their proper space.


Now my membership at TvTropes suddenly makes sense....

-Good Bye, Good Luck, and Imagination Is Your Greatest Power.
Mousa The 14

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