Geeks are not modest. Shy maybe, awkward probably, but definitely not modest. Sure there are some who can be, but most geeks believe that we’re the best at something. That we do something better than anyone else or we know more about a fandom than everyone else. We’re the biggest and truest fans, and how dare you think you know more obscure backstory than I do. There’s also something else though, we don’t fit in with the popular crowd. We stand apart. That’s really nothing new, most movies from the 80s will tell you that. However, recently we’ve begun to take it further and separate ourselves into smaller groups. Within ‘GEEK’ there’s comic book geeks, anime geeks, manga geeks, movie geeks, cosplay geeks, board game geeks, and the list goes on endlessly sprawling based on minutia. We begin to create boundaries and push away our own peers, push us away from each other. This doesn’t happen solely due to differences in interests, but I’ve come to see it occur out of a growing culture of paranoia. You are safe within the walls of your established geekdom, with your established geek hierarchy. That’s all because geeks can’t accept other geeks. When someone tries to cross those boundaries, it’s like your first day at the shittiest high school ever, and you are forced to prove yourself as a fan. I know I’m not the only one who’s seen someone get a geek beat down. It happens like this: you add a comment into a conversation and you’re immediately confronted with, “you don’t really know this comic/artist/writer/video game/franchise.”

Rocky IV

“In Soviet Russia, comic knows you”

 

It’s an easy trap to fall into, it’s almost a natural state; but it was avoiding that mentality that brought me here. The Grand Geek Gathering was pitched to me as a celebration of geek culture, and that’s what hooked me. I’m a geek, I like geeky stuff, and I like geeking out with other geeks.

The Emperor's New Groove

“Geeky, uh, geek, geeker, geeken”

 

We don’t want to exclude people, call them bandwagon fans, or require them to prove their geek cred.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

“Only by answering these 42 questions about the Silmarillion, can you truly call yourself a Tolkien fan.”

 

We are here to celebrate the stories and immerse ourselves in fantastic worlds that are being shared with us. It’s an unfortunate truth that in 2016 people seem more willing than ever to deride someone or to say things that are truly hurtful only because someone offered a different opinion. The Grand Geek Gathering is different. We may chide each other, often vocally and vehemently, but that’s part of the love. We fight, we troll, we laugh, and come back next time. We never fight with the intention of breaking people down and hurting them. We fight as a sense of comradery.

The 13th Warrior

“In the halls of Comic Con, where the Geeks may live forever…”

 

That’s us. We know each other. What I’m really getting at is the fact that many geeky places are not welcoming to geeks. Anyone who has ever been in a forum, or commented on youtube, can attest to the fact that on average, the people there tend to be angry at best and hostile at worst. It’s easy to insult a comment box, it doesn’t have a face, and it doesn’t show emotion. In denigrating other people, even if they’re just screennames, it gives them a high. As if they were an evil parasite sucking the very happiness out of others.

from CNN.com

“For my first act, I’m going to replace ‘Baseball’ with ‘Trolling n00bs on the Internet’ as the national sport”

 

You can say that those people need to accept it, and grow a thicker skin. They’re just words. Well, when they’re words you begin to use all the time, they slip into your daily vocabulary. You become used to saying things without regard for who they might hurt. Suddenly a new stereotype is born. Geeks become the bullies. Geeks start putting people down that only want to share their passions with them. Geeks start harassing people. Geeks start hating geeks. What. The. Fuck.

Stop it. Knock it off. Grow up. Be the geek that you want to meet. Be the person you want to see at Friday Night Magic. Be the guy you want to go on a raid with. You don’t have to love every movie, every comic, or watch every show. You’re still allowed to criticize movies and comment on how they’re different from the comic or video game. You are not allowed to make someone feel like they’re less than you. You aren’t allowed to assume superiority to someone.

It’s actually really fucking simple: if at all possible, don’t be a dick.