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Wednesday, 07 August 2013

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Ahistoricality

A better analogy to geek culture might be sports/fitness culture, in which people get attached to a team, or a gym, or a regimen, to the point that it can define their community and identity.

Professional sports isn't part of that culture, though its fandom overlaps and there are connections, any more than hollywood is part of geek culture.

Jacob H.

This is well-trodden ground, but I am still amazed by how mainstream geek culture--fantasy in particular-- has become since my youth. I was embarrassed to admit my love of Lord of the Rings when I was a kid, and my attempts to get my friends to play D&D were always doomed. Now, *normal people* openly admit to watching Game of Thrones. Partially, this is a cultural shift driven by technology, I feel like-- the CGI in the Peter Jackson movies and the Harry Potter series meant that people who weren't natural readers enter into an imaginary world more easily, which then meant the books became more accessible, and a broader group of people could participate in dialogue about them, in a virtuous or vicious circle depending on your preconceptions.

The other side is that geek culture seems to become less geeky as it becomes more mainstream, with fewer passionate adherents to AD&D 2nd Edition or whatever and more just low-key appreciation. When the imaginary world you love exists only in your head and in the heads of a few other people, perhaps it can become the object of fanaticism more easily than when it is a glitteringly obvious cultural phenomenon accessible to all.

Will C.

I wanted so bad for the Jacobin article to be good, but it was pretty dull and unthoughtful. The bad analogies go all the way down--comparing television characters to corporate mascots, for instance. It felt pretty vulgar Marxist, honestly, as much of Jacobin does. Associate x with corporatism, dismiss x, article is finished. The article on geekdom and ethnicity which it links is better, thankfully.

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