The Life and Times of the Socially Awkward #3: Speak Out With Your Geek Out
I know, the official week isn’t until next week, but if anyone’s got something to say about this it’s me. Speak Out With Your Geek Out is a week set aside by those morally outraged by an article written by a certain Gizmodo writer, who’s since been, reportedly, fired, about her date with a Magic The Gathering World Champion. He seemingly made no effort to make it the only topic of conversation, though she went out of her way to make it the quintessential deal breaker. It was a display which falls beneath even the most scandalous of high school publications.
Speak Out with Your Geek Out is a week set aside to stand up and talk about something you’re passionate about and to be proud and to share that with others. It’s about being positive about something and taking pride in what you do. Having started my own effort to unite us as a subculture and community with Spread the Nerd, I can’t help but latch onto this and appreciate the @#!*% out of it.
I’ve spent my entire life like this. As long as I can remember I’ve been a geek. And I’ve suffered the hardships that came with the territory, especially when I was in school. Saying this makes me feel old, but when I was in school we didn’t have the general acceptance of geekery that exists now. Eventually I owned it, wore it like a gleaming red and yellow S, or G rather, on my chest. And in doing that I solidified myself for life.
There’s a misconception about the community that I really hope to one day see wiped out, and it’s that we’re nothing more than a myopic group of hate mongers. Granted, every group has a handful that are less desirable to deal with than others. There’s nothing wrong with wanting the best for the things we put so much of ourselves and our lives into. Call it nerd rage if you must, but until you’ve invested yourself into something like we invest ourselves, you may not really understand why we “rage” like we do.
Being a geek, for me, is more than having seen Star Wars more than once, it’s more than playing a card game once or twice, it’s more than watching a particular show. Being a geek for me is being passionate about something, about all things. And I don’t want to reserve those things exclusively for myself, no, I want to share my passion for all things geek with everyone. My hobby isn’t any one geeky thing in particular, it’s all of the things!
My girlfriend and I have developed a ritual. Every Saturday we get up a little bit earlier than we’d really like to, and drive about an hour to sit in our favorite comic shop and play board and card games with each other. Anyone who comes into the store is more than welcome to join us, and we’ve even had people step up and sit in and inquire. And everyone has left us having had a great time. I’ve done everything I could want to do, spent time with my girlfriend, made new friends, and introduced them to new and exciting games they may not have given a second glance to if they’d not been invited to play. Through this charge I get from spreading the culture of geek, I’ve developed a movement of my own.
Not unlike Speak Out with Your Geek Out my effort encourages the geek community to unite and to spread our culture by any means necessary. And by any means necessary, I of course mean sending and giving comic books to random strangers. Telling your sons, daughters, nieces, and nephews superhero origin stories before bed, introducing someone to the pop culture phenomenon that is Doctor Who. I mean, really ANY means necessary and available to each and every person. With it I hope to track the travels of a single package of comics, which is being sent to South Florida this week to begin it’s mission.
There’s nothing that I love more than being a geek right now. And to pick one hobby to be passionate about is unfair to every hobby that came before and will come after it. I’ve been a geek my entire life, and I never felt more fulfilled by it then when I began sharing it with other people.
For more views, reviews, and opinions from the geek realms, check out Ryan’s blog over at http://mylifeasag33k.wordpress.com, follow him on twitter @mynameisg33k, and don’t forget to join the Spread the Nerd effort on Facebook