There is no doubt that we live in an increasingly digitalized world. The Internet has changed our way of life, and we are witnessing colossal changes in technology. Therefore, it is not surprising that the geek community has more followers every day. Are you one of them?
● The Otaku
Japanese cartoons contributed to a new community, which can be called otaku, in reference to the Japanese term that refers to fans of manga.
Science-fiction plays a fundamental role in the recognition and broadcasting of Japanese cartoons since they are the only ones to address this theme to young people, which is a serious and profound way, not to say philosophical and even metaphysical.
Since then, the success of Pokémon or Yu-Gi-Oh! in the 2000s participated in the massification of otaku culture in forms of representation and very specific practices: including the Japan Expo and its cosplay championships (for costume playing) and hentai hoodies collectibles as well (If you are one of these geeks, visit justcoolsweaters.com).
Gamers’ passion encourages them to participate in extraordinary adventures through play, the central dimension of geek philosophy. Extensively, this term could refer to fans of board games, especially wargames, whose strategy development can last several hours or even days.
In a restricted way, however, we could define the role-player as playing the role-playing game (as its name implies), that is to say, a form of game mixing theatrical improvisation with the rules of the board game.
The worlds of predilection are historically the heroic fantasy with Dungeons & Dragons created by Gary Gygax, the pioneer of the genre, the dark fantasy with Warhammer, the cosmic horror with The Call of Cthulhu, then the science fiction with Star Wars and Warhammer 40 000.
With computers’ arrival and especially their distribution in the 90s, players began to play RPGs, from role-playing to the electronic role-playing game, or even the Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) like World of Warcraft. Which is the archetypal example.
In a way, the roleplayer, with his slang very developed, is a pure form of the geek, since if all the geeks do not play role-playing, all the “gamers”, the 80s to the present day, are geeks.
● The science fiction fan
Generally interested in four main objects: SF literature (for Science Fiction) and comics, cinema and SF series, SF video game, astrophysics, and computer science.
This generation usually knows by heart references to Star Wars or Star Trek, loves Alien and Blade Runner, and has read Dune or the Asimov Foundation saga.
● The fantasy fan
Fantasy fans read comics and fantasy novels, watch The Lord of the Rings in the marathon (i.e., the three films in a row at a party), and know by heart all Game of Thrones characters.
Also, the fantasy fan is generally in fantastic literature as well. They are in love with the work of Edgar Allan Poe, Lovecraft, or Baudelaire or the engravings of Gustave Doré. Since the 90s and the advent of video games, they are also into playing games that are adaptations of their favorite books, usually RPG (Role-Playing Game).
These two types of fans that go back to the first communities formed around magazines and fanzines from the 30s in the United States, with a very strong participative dimension and a high degree of scholarship, turned rather, towards scientific progress for the first (in particular NASA’s essays) and for myths and legends for the latter.
We could call them “first-generation geeks”, or generation (Time) X, who was able to grow with the first computers but remain mostly turned towards traditional media (literature, cinema).