Geek: The Socializing

So, last night I saw both Hobbit movies, and I enjoyed the moves – though I was pretty annoyed with the 45 minute wait for the second movie, because the projector in the theater they were using broke down. But I enjoyed the movies; they aren’t totally faithful to the book – much like the Lord of the Rings movies weren’t totally faithful to the books. The Desolation of Smaug introduced an elven subplot I could have done without, because I didn’t need any more of Legolas, but it was worth watching.

The part of the night that sucked, though, was this guy sitting behind me. Well, there were two women sitting right behind me, who talked about a lot of very geeky things. It was pretty cool to listen to, but I wasn’t included, and I didn’t have any real knowledge of the things they were geeking out about – Apple computers, Playstation games, Scandal (the TV series), things like that – so I didn’t intrude. but this other guy kept making every effort to break into a conversation where he clearly wasn’t wanted, and being a really ignorant ass about it.

He had a high, whiny, kind of nasal voice, which didn’t help any. But he kept trying to force his way into the conversation these women were having, and I could tell they clearly didn’t enjoy it (not least of all because they talked about how annoying he was when he took a trip to the bathroom). He just didn’t seem to get that he was not a welcome part of the conversation. And so that brings me to something about geek culture that kind of bothers me.

I enjoy being a geek. I’m proud of it, if you have to know; I won’t go trumpeting it from the rooftops, but it’s a part of who I am. I like Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, RPGs, video games, and a dozen other things that make me a geek. But I don’t like the things about geeks that make other people uncomfortable around us, or annoyed, or scared, or any of those other things. Things like trying to shove their way into conversations where they aren’t wanted, or trying desperately to tell people about their characters, or being the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons. 

These things are a psychology problem, of a sort. They’ve been identified and codified and written about at great length online. They are known as the Geek Social Fallacies. They have a lot to do with how geek culture has kind of evolved socially, and often in some not very pleasant ways. They cover ground about friendship, relationships, and social interaction in general. The link I have there is by no means the only one, just the first one I found. But if you are interested in them, check it out. 

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