In keeping with my intent to illustrate the inner workings of the Geek social order (so you’ll all know what Asperger’s/high functioning autistic/similar looks like all grown up) I’ve been checking out the news from this year’s Dragon*con. Dragon*con is a huge convention for fantasy fiction/science fiction/anime/manga/video game/steampunk/etc enthusiasts. Yup – it’s a geekfest. It’s like Comic-con that’s held in San Diego, but I caution you to not bring that comparison up for discussion if you’re talking to convention goers – because all true geeks have a favorite con and they will defend that con to the death and that’s just someplace you don’t want to go with folks who’ve got a foot on the OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) boat.
Since all things Geek are really popular right now, there is no shortage of articles about Dragon*con. I’ve picked out a few that I think really do a good job of describing Geek culture. In order to get the full effect of the articles, READ THE COMMENTS! That way you get to see real live Geeks in their own environment, interacting with each other. Things to look for:
- Attempts to establish a pecking order – Geeks can be very competitive
- The love/demand of precise definition of terms and categories
- Obsessive personalities
- Self-identification and self-value derived from their skills, knowledge and wit
- “We reject society because society rejected us”
- There are girl Geeks as well as boy Geeks – they get married and have Geek kids
- Geeks have friends
The first article is a field guide to help you identify the various subtypes of Geeks. The comments are particularly enlightening.
The following is a great discussion about hipsters co-opting the nerd subculture to prove their individuality (and how that really pisses of Geeks who’ve earned their Geek status by surviving social alienation in their school years.)
And this is a short film shown at Dragon*con to promote social skills. Really. (The first part of the film is references to commonly used phrases in science fiction/horror movies.) They should have added references to poor hygiene as that’s honestly one of the biggest complaints from folks who attend geek cons.