Geek 101: A Brief Guide

You might have noticed that Seattle is teeming with geeks. Did you know you are 10 times more likely to be sitting right next to a geek in Seattle than in any other city?! (Note: I have no data to back this up, so don’t quote me or write in correcting me.) Don’t panic, we come in peace. But we do have some strange terms and rituals. I am here, with this first edition of The Geekly Report, to demystify these oddities for you.

Identifying a geek in Seattle can be tricky; there are so many types. We have our music geeks, our academic geeks, our gear geeks, and our tech geeks. But this column is less concerned with the nouveau geek and more with the traditional geeks from your typical Revenge of the Nerds movie—aka my people.

Before you scoff at me and “my people,” let me digress to tell you a bit about myself. I was born into this life. I had no other choice, really. My family is large and full of geeks. We collect comics, we play games, we debate sci-fi books and films, and we have had many shouting matches over a game of Magic the Gathering. We’re your average Tolkien-loving, game-playing, sci-fi reading family. And I love it. So again, my people. But who are these “people”?

The Gaming Geek can be found watching LoL (League of Legends) tournaments or playing the latest edition of MTG at the local gaming store. Often heard discussing MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games), you can bet he has a D20 (a 20-sided die) on hand, since you never know when you may need to make a saving throw. (No joke: The other day I couldn’t find a pen in my purse, but I had two D20s and one D6.) When interacting with a gaming geek, never suggest he get a Mac over a PC; you might just get smacked across the face with your iPhone. To open a conversation, ask what he’s currently playing on Steam (a gaming platform developed by Valve). To learn more, check out local gaming conventions PAX Prime and Go Play NW.

The Comic Geek can be found at the local comic shop every Wednesday (new-comic day), picking up subscriptions and probably adding a few more titles to her pull list. Often heard discussing the downfalls of the latest comic-book movie and how it did no justice to its source (although we have great hopes for The Goon), this geek can be found reading the digital version of the trade paperback (don’t want to bend the pages) and sporting a button of her favorite book on her messenger bag. Beware if a rare 9.0 CGC comic book (a grading system to mark the condition of said comic) is displayed; this geek might start foaming at the mouth. Never in her presence insult Stan Lee or Jack Kirby—these are the godfathers of comics and should be respected as demigods. Instead, ask what her favorite non-DC or Marvel comics are and watch as her face glows with enthusiasm. To learn more about this ever-expanding world, check out Emerald City ComicCon or Jet City Comic Show.

The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Geek can be found at the EMP drooling over Tolkien’s handwritten notes for The Hobbit or catching up on classic sci-fi films at Central Cinema. Often heard debating what the best Star Trek episode is, he can be found designing his next steampunk gadget and discussing which book he should read next. Oh, don’t worry, he’s already read all the GoT (Game of Thrones) books, and is just “patiently” waiting for G.R.R. Martin to release the next one. Word of warning: Do not compare LOTR to Harry Potter; instead, mention that you’ve heard Firefly was canceled unfairly, and he’ll take the conversation from there. Head to Norwescon for an insider’s look at this world.

The Anime Geek can be found wandering the aisles of Uwajimaya, or the attached bookstore, Kinokuniya, loading up on anime and manga. Often heard debating which anime movie is the BEST, she can be found downloading every purikura (Japanese photo booth) app while planning her next cosplay photoshoot. Don’t say you love anime and then proceed to only talk about Pokémon; instead, ask for a movie recommendation. Mark your calendar for Sakura-Con to see some amazing cosplay and pick up a few manga books.

And there you have it: the geeks of Seattle. Now, mind you, every genre of geek includes subgenres, and many of us actually fall into multiple categories—but for simplicity’s sake, begin with this guide. And to my people concerned that I will only skim the surface of geekdom in this weekly column, I say don’t worry. I reserve the right to geek out.

geeklyreport@seattleweekly.com

 
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