10 May 2009

Geek Think

Listening to: A Fine Frenzy, "Almost Lover."

Last night, after watching Star Trek and going over the merits of the film along with a few of its flaws with Chris and Ameer, I looked over at George's face while we talked and she was bewildered. Black holes, red matter, time travel, "set phasers to stun," she was lost somewhere short of the final frontier.

I immediately assigned her a geek cred level of three, while saying that I'd probably qualify as a seven based on my geek-o-meter. I hadn't actually created a geek-o-meter as of yesterday but I've rectified that and created one now. It's hastily assembled but I think useful for general assessment of the geekery that surrounds you. It's out of ten and you get a point for each category you qualify for. Note, this is for general purpose geeks and not super geeks, which is an entirely different thing.


  • Blog/Tweet - Bonus points for knowing how to alter/build your page.
  • Computers - Not just using, but actually caring about what you use. PC, Mac, Linux, RAM, ROM, etc. If you don't know how to reset the router or use at least three keyboard shortcuts, you don't get a point.
  • Gadgets - This category includes anything from phones to cameras to thingamabobs that you buy for no reason other than it's cool and it'll probably be useless in three months. You lust for the latest and greatest in consumer devices, even if you can't afford it.
  • Video Games - Exempt are nearly all Wii-centric games, rhythm games (unless you're really good), and "Oh I like Super Mario and Tetris" people. Bonus consideration if you play games on the PC. Or first person shooters.
  • Board Games - We're not talking Candyland or Cranium here. Stratego, Risk, Axis & Allies, Settlers, or the ultimate, Diplomacy.
  • Star Wars / Star Trek - The true fans can separate the wheat from the chaff pretty quickly on these. Bonus if you answer to "Hey Trekkie!"
  • Comics - You collected, you drooled, you dreamed, and then you cried when your mom threw them all away. "Oh I didn't know you wanted to save those!" $#@!*
  • Science fiction / fantasy books - There's a big range here. Asimov, Tolkien, Herbert, Clarke, Anthony, Eddings, swords, sorcery, faeries, creatures, aliens, and unicorns.
  • RPGs - We'll throw anything else involving (pewter or plastic) figurines, collectible trading cards, or many sided dice.
  • Misc. - Add something you got made fun of for in middle school. Besides your clothes. Congrats, one point.
So then we got to talking about which of our friends had the lowest geek rating. A lot of my guy friends have no geek cred, like at all. I don't understand how they escaped childhood without being into some of these things but they probably had friends or a social life or something.

Actually, many of my guy friends were geeks by the official definition, meaning they were enthusiasts or experts in a particular field or activity. But when you're into cars, sports, or music, you're not really a geek. You're like cool. So the geekiness lies in the activity, not the intensity.

But now those lines are blurring because everything geek is being made cool. I have mixed feelings about this but I do love that I can sit around after the Wolverine movie and talk expansively about his comic book origins without being shunned or told to shut up. I like the way the twenty first century is going, don't you?