A long time ago in an county far far away, little A.Smith sat down to watch the best film he had ever seen. As a child of the Eighties he was amazed at the wealth of awesome and downright scary films that were available at the time, though no film ever caught his imagination as much as this one. It had spaceships and lasers, heroes and villains and had guys in white armour blowing the shit out of fluffy creatures. It was awesome, it was Return of the Jedi and it pretty much shaped my hobbies and interests for life.
Which was shit as it turned out, at least for the first decade. Up until the age of about 15 or 16 I suffered years of humiliation thanks to the hobbies I loved. Star Wars led to Games Workshop. Games Workshop led to computer games. My early teens would be dominated by the indisputable fact that no girl would touch me with a barge pole thanks to my hobbies. At least that’s what it felt like (I may well have been classed as some sort of Adonis back then without even knowing it).
Computer games, to the in-crowd at least, were at best Sonic and Mario and at their worse everything else. Games Workshop looked even shitter back then but coupled with my inability to articulate the fantastic universe that was being created there was no hope at all (only war). Looking back it’s a miracle any of us geeks lived at all. We struggled onwards and banded together. Some of the older ones created companies…
… and now, in the 21st century our life is run by geeks. It started with PlayStation being placed in clubs. Then Apple started releasing cooler computers. Mobile phones were the big one but even typically hardcore computer games started to permeate societies fragile network of cool. Christ even Adam Brody in the OC helped. The Wii and DS dominated conversations at my last job as people organised parties around them. God if only they’d tried Unreal Tournament over LAN back in the day. Geekdom has shaped society.
Look at TV and Film. Doctor Who – huge. Lord of the Rings – huge. Harry Potter – huge. The Avengers, Batman whatever; you name it you’ve watched it and probably loved it. Its all Science Fiction and fantasy and you love it. You my friend are a geek, just like the rest of us. Now now don’t shake your head – Twilight is about Werewolves and Vampires. The Hunger Games is pure science fiction with its Distopian Setting. 14 of the top 20 films in this list are geeky. Robots? Wizards? Aliens? Treepeople? Come on guys.
So we are all geeks really (at least based on the one example I’ve given which is pretty much concrete by political standards). However what does that make the original geeks? The kids of the late Eighties and early Nineties who played Dune 2 and Monkey Island. Who suffered the indignity of being called losers for the hobbies and interest in genres which many love now. Could it have actually been that perhaps we geeks were ahead of the game? Did we embrace popular culture way before it happened. Were we in fact trend setters and nerdy missionaries – spreading our faith around the masses before it became popular?
Nah – what am I saying Workshop will never be cool.