Geek Wars - Are YOU One of Us?
Geek vs. Nerd
What does it take to be a Fanboy or Fangirl? Passion to put it simply. Passion for fictional worlds other than our own that are homes to characters flying through our dreams. Whether it be Superheroes, Aliens, Dragons, or Vampires - there's a type of fandom for everyone. Endless means for fulfilling our imaginative needs are available in the forms of movies, TV shows, novels and comic books.
When I hear the word "Nerd" I associate that with someone who is technically inclined such as scientist, chemists and engineers - people who can spout out technical jargon or math equations like the rest of us talk about basic pop culture. Not only CAN they, they enjoy it. They looked forward to all of those classes most people hated in high school.
Although in regards to film cameras, television production equipment and the gadgets in Batman's utility belt I consider myself fairly knowledgeable, I like to designate the title of "Geek" to myself. To me, being labeled a Geek signifies that you love Sci/Fi and Fantasy to a level that can only be described as extreme, even sometimes obsessive.
Everyone who knows me is well aware that Batman is very near and dear to my heart. Because of that, all it takes is someone asking one simple question or comment to trigger a barrage of answers that takes every bit of breath from my body until I'm blue in the face. "Who's going to play Batman next?" or "'The Dark Knight Trilogy' is overrated" are popular trigger points used by my adversaries. (Friends actually, but they get pleasure out of sending me on a Batman rant. Cruel.)
"Nick, Neil and Megan...I am your father..."
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe..."
It's All in the Family
While most parents would shield their children from movie scenes such as the moment Arnold's eyes bug out of his head on Mars in 1990s "Total Recall", my father (along with help from my older brothers) would plop me down right in front of the TV to witness the Sci/Fi glory. Some would consider this child abuse - I consider it awesome.
Don't get me wrong, I watched Disney movies and Saturday morning cartoons just like any other kid, but I would also watch as my brothers watched horror movies ("Pumpkinhead" 1988, "Poltergeist" 1982). When my father, Ben Nelson, had control of the TV there was always a classic Science Fiction movie on. The original "Star Wars" trilogy (1977-83), "Dune" (1984) and "Blade Runner" (1982 - my second favorite movie of all time) were always playing in the house along with the "Indiana Jones" (1981-89) franchise films and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" (1954).
Needless to say, we'll call my current Fangirl condition my father's fault. (Thanks, Dad!)
Early Stages of Cosplay, maybe?
Big Brothers are Bad Influences
Although the movie influence was passed down from our father, I'd like to blame my brothers for putting the icing on the cake. Nick and Neil are twins, 5 years older than me. They are my super-geek heroes. Over my lifetime they introduced me to comics, tabletop role playing games, and a healthy variety of fantastic horror films. They were also decent video game coaches, although they preferred the more complicated games while I stuck with Sonic the Hedgehog and Crash Bandicoot.
Both of them share the same, passionate Geek obsession - Star Wars.
For years, I tried to conceal how much I wanted to be involved with their fandom, mocking them to my friends and family members before heading into my bedroom to transform my three-story Barbie Dreamhouse into Wayne Manor. I accepted the fact that I loved Batman, and Gargoyles, and comic books, but everyone knows - loving Star Wars takes being a geek to a whole other level.
"Why, you stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerf herder!"
One fine spring day while at my father's house, I had a couple fellow soccer players over to hang out and practice. (Sports - the perfect Geek cover-up!) My brother's also had friends over that day to tabletop role play - friends that like them had tattoos, weird colored hair and were Fanboys.
I tried to avoid having us all in the same room together, a bit embarrassed at the dorks in the other room since these girls weren't as used to them as my closest friends. Needless to say, I failed miserably. My teammates turned white in the face when they saw the boys. I'm pretty sure they thought I lived with Marilyn Manson.
Reacting like big brothers, they both started teasing me and pulling my pigtails before gathering around the island counter in the kitchen. Determined to look tough in front of my soccer friends - I attempted to fight back...
Aim and Fire!
As my brother Neil sat back in his chair with his arms resting nonchalantly behind his head, I noticed a fresh tattoo. The circular shape seemed to be an easy and completely new target for mockery.
"Whatever, you're such a dork - you have a tattoo of the Imperial Crest!"
Victory! Though my teammates had no idea what that had meant, they laughed at my excellent dig. My boastfulness was short lived. Very short lived. Little did I know, my brother would have the ultimate comeback - one that would drag me kicking and screaming right out of my seemingly cozy geek-denial.
Calm as a cucumber, Neil simply replied: "You recognized it."
"That's no moon..."
With my eyes widen in shock from the realization, I tried to defend myself.
"Well...so? I only recognized it because it's what I look for while playing the rebels and trying to steal a base in 'Battlefront'."
Doh. He totally set me up. Not only did I recognize a symbol from "Star Wars", I now admitted I played a "Star Wars" video game. I played it all the time, to tell you the truth. There was nothing more gratifying that shooting at hordes of Gungans and tossing a grenade into a flock of Ewoks in order to hear them shriek, "Eye-Eeeeeeee!".
The Batgirl Cave
“I suggest a new strategy, R2. Let the Wookiee win.”
Since then, I have surrendered and proudly accepted my much deserved title - Geek. Working to become a fiction writer - preferably in the fantasy genre - I know that my childhood gave me all of the knowledge and references I need.
There is nothing wrong with being a Geek or Nerd. Be proud of the fictional worlds and characters that you love! We are a special people who deserve to be respected. If anything, for the simple fact that we ALL have swords, bows & arrows, lightsabers, nunchucks, batarangs, Kryptonite and other very powerful weapons readily at hand in our homes.
And we know how to use them...
Calling all Geeks!
Are you a Fanboy or Fangirl? Which genre is your absolute favorite?
More Fun "Star Wars" Information
- Wookieepedia, the Star Wars Wiki
Star Wars movies, characters, and spin-offs are catalogued in Wookieepedia, a comprehensive database that anyone can edit.