Geek Culture Is Taking Over

I read an interesting statement in Entertainment Geekly, the weekly online column on EW.com's PopWatch blog: "the intersection of geek culture and pop culture — and the sneaking suspicion that there isn’t really a difference anymore." Geeks like me have long been stereotyped as nerds who love computers, tech gadgets, science fiction, comic books, cartoons, etc. We were part of a subculture that enjoyed high-brow Stanley Kubrick movies and low-brow Godzilla movies, which always were part of the mainstream, but more on the fringe, and we also championed those niche topics that many people probably never thought twice about -- Star Blazers, Bladerunner, Gattaca. We embraced shows that others viewed as only guilty pleasures or cult oddities, such as Star Trek (before it reached the big screen and eternal spin-offs), Farscape, and Firefly.

To call Geek Culture a small underground movement is rather misleading.  There were millions of fans of The Twilight Zone, the novels of Isaac Asimov, superhero comics (both DC and Marvel), the Planet of the Apes movies, and James Bond. My entire generation was arguably shaped by the phenomenon known as Star Wars

It's true, then, to say that the lines have blurred between Geekdom and mainstream popular culture.  Almost everyone, whether identified as a geek or not, has probably seen or at least heard of Batman, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, Spider-man, and The Walking Dead. Being a geek, once a monicker used in derision, is now a badge of pride for many. 

There is still a stereotypical cliche of what an actual geek looks like, what she or he sounds like, and what we like and dislike.  The truth of the matter is that everyone, to some degree, is a geek, whether they're obsessed with fantasy football or role-playing games. One only has to read any debate on any online geek forum to discover evidence that geeks are an opinionated lot with a divergent set of tastes and a complex pantheon of agreed-upon classics (and even those have their vociferous detractors somewhere, no doubt).

I'm happy to see the topics I love become more and more accepted by the masses, even if it means that in doing so there is the inevitable sameness or, worse, dumbing down of the imaginative content we hold so dear.

I will continue to celebrate these topics, and in the next few days and weeks point out some of the many podcasts, websites, blogs, etc., that also shine the spotlight on this ever-growing culture of geekness.

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