The definition, or rather, perception, of being a geek has changed from when I was younger.
I remember crowds in Vulcan ears or Klingon battle armor wandering hotels during Star Trek conventions. I remember buying staple-bound fanzines, filled with unauthorized stories about my favorite characters. I remember needing to be in front of the TV on Tuesday nights to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer… And then harmonizing the entire Buffy the Musical episode with my best friend – and thinking we sounded fantastic.
Today, you don’t have to worry about missing your favorite show. You can read all the fanfic you want online. And… well, yeah, people still go to Star Trek cons but the makeup and costuming has gotten even better. I still sing off-key, too, but I have a slightly more realistic assessment of my talent.
In my 20s, I had a rather narrow view of fandom and geek culture. Star Trek, Star Wars, Quantum Leap, Babylon 5, sure. Comic books, superheroes, and anime / Manga were on the periphery of that world, but I never paid much attention to them.
I knew Dungeons & Dragons was a thing people did, but I was too busy reading and writing. I loved science fiction books and would occasionally indulge in fantasy about dragons. I played video games, but so did nearly everyone who grew up in the ‘80s. Could that even be classified as a geekish pursuit?
I’m not sure if my worldview expanded or geek culture exploded so powerfully into the mainstream that I couldn’t ignore it anymore. My son loves superheroes, and certainly D.C. and Marvel have always been part of geek culture. My daughter likes Harry Potter and My Hero Academia. My own geek interests have expanded exponentially, too.
But, to me, it’s not what I like that makes me self-identify as a geek. (And my kids are far from what anyone might perceive as the stereotypical geeks… But that’s okay, they have time!)
A common denominator amongst geeks has always been that we don’t fit in. We are the counterculture. Often shy, but sometimes too extroverted, socially awkward, or even goofy, we find comfort in strange new worlds and in sharing our passions with others who are like us.
For many of us, including those on this team, we discovered ourselves (and, in some cases, met our partners!) through our geek interests. It was through the various fandoms that we found a place where we could belong.
But what happens when the counterculture becomes the culture. Do the geeks become cool?
I don’t think I will ever see myself as one of the “cool kids” – and probably my time for being so-called cool has passed, anyway. Probably the fact that I’m using the word “cool” in this article means I am decidedly uncool.
I think today we have two factions, or levels, of geek. You have the mainstream consumers who suddenly see what geeks knew all along. They’ve realized science fiction is exciting, watching superheroes save the world can make us happy, and it’s fun to immerse ourselves in imaginary universes with characters that seem to come to life with every book, movie, or show.
And then, you have the people like us at Geek Travel Guide. We embraced our geek personas years ago, and the culture just means that much more to us. It is our escape. Our childhood memories. Our passion. In a sense, it is our identity.
Maybe you’re a geek like us, or a casual fan, or maybe you’re just here for travel tips. We’re all excited to let you into our world, so we can guide you to the best it has to offer – past, present, and future.