September 27, 2020

spokeFeaturedImage2-300x143By SPENCER BEEBE

Geeks are taking over the world – the pop culture world, at least.

A few years ago, you would be hard-pressed to find someone with more than a passing knowledge of how Spider-Man got his powers, or who Ned Stark’s bastard is, or the names of any of Bilbo’s dwarven companions.

With the recent popularity of television shows and films such as Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, The Avengers – the list goes on – it would be difficult to find many people who couldn’t answer those questions.

Nerd culture is becoming popular culture; it’s no longer taboo to talk about comic book heroes and fantasy novels.

The same people who spend their evenings enjoying a hockey game will converse for hours about the latest Big Bang Theory episode with their friends and co-workers.

Video games used to be a niche pastime, played by the few and often shunned by the many. Now there are people who earn a six-figure living through playing video games and streaming their content on livestream websites. Competitions between skilled players of games such as League of Legends, Dota 2 and Starcraft have millions of dedicated fans and earn billions through advertisements and promotions.

It’s refreshing to see our culture shifting toward acceptance and diversity, but some of us who proudly wear the “geek” label feel a bit overwhelmed by all this attention.

The truth is – we’re all geeky about something.

“It’s the method of consumption, not what’s on the plate,” comedian Patton Oswalt said in an article for Wired magazine. “The fans of Real Housewives of Hoboken watch, discuss and absorb their show the same way a geek watched Dark Shadows or obsessed over his eighth-level half-elf ranger.”

Is this interest in geek culture just another trend? In a few years, we might see fewer fantasy movies like Lord of the Rings and more action flicks; shows like Game of Thrones might return to their niche audiences; comic-book movies may be a thing of the past. Hopefully even if this fad dies down, our culture will learn to be more accepting of people who enjoy the unusual.

After all, nerds are going to rule the world one day.

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