Note: This article was written by Kuro, over at Kansatsu. It’s always good to get a second opinion on things, so here goes:
For the most part, geeks have been looked at as differently by society and as R042 discussed in an article earlier (focusing on gamers), they have been looked down at because of they have different pastimes than the rest of society. Be their hobbies might be gaming (because it may cause violence in children) or anime (because it is only for young kids and adults should have outgrown them), society always have a reason to look down on geeks.
But there are people who proudly flaunt their geekiness as a badge of honor. They are proud of their geeky pursuits and aren’t afraid to show it. These people have this certain thing called geek pride. In the midst of a society that looks down on people having different interests and pastimes, there are these geeks who are very proud of their geeky pursuits and aren’t afraid to show it.
Just as geek shame is fueled by an ignorant and misguided popular media, there are also reasons that fuel geek pride and I’m going to discuss them.
The first reason for geek pride is because there are geeks who are simply proud to be different. In a society where “mainstream” pastimes like television, sport and pop music are the norm, there are geeks who maybe are fed up with going along the flow of the mainstream folk and/or just want to be different, and they go about it by proudly showing off their geek colors. This is not about challenging the mainstream pastimes/people but rather a declaration of uniqueness. I can say this for certain because I’m part of this.
The second reason that fuels geek pride which is kinda closely related to the first reason is because geeks keep their hobby comparatively niche in the way that self-identified geeks want it to be. There are some geeks who are so proud of their geekiness that they tend to look at the mainstream people with disgust because in their eyes, the mainstream society will never be able to understand their passion for their geeky pursuits be it anime, gaming or something else and they keep their geeky pursuits to themselves and fellow geeks, resulting in an “elite geek community” for themselves. This results into the geek society being viewed as some sort of magical world in the mainstream person’s eyes. I find it very ironic that the reason geeks keep to themselves is the same reason that the mainstream society will never understand geek culture.
To conclude this, as long as the media present geek culture as something different from the popular mainstream, it will continue to become niche as it always have been and there will always be geek pride, and as long as there are people who look down on geeks for being different or having different pastimes from the popular ones such as television and pop music, there will always be some who would be proud of their geeky pursuits. Geek pride in my opinion won’t die out anytime soon.
Note: The second point in this article is really interesting; the idea that one of the main reasons for opposing attempts to break down niches and labels is because people enjoy the sense of belonging that is associated with them. Taking the idea of being an outsider and enjoying things not part of the mainstream and using it as a means of self-definition is interesting because it is a real justification for rejecting any kind of concession to accessibility – once the niche is no longer niche, even if it has not compromised in quality, the sense of identity that comes with it goes.