What Type of Geek Are You?

As legions of cosplayers start preparing for the 2012 spring/summer convention schedules, I’m reblogging a post written by Michael Saba for CNN’s Geek Out (originally to advertise Dragon*Con 2011, original version here) about the many levels of geekdom. I got a kick out of this, and maybe you will, too.

When venturing out into the wooly, untamed wilds of geekdom, it can be difficult to keep all of the different fan genres and sub-genres straight. Fortunately, your friends at Geek Out! are here to help with this handy, dandy field guide to the geeks of Dragon*Con.

Name: Technobabblus Adeptus

Known as: Sci-fi geek

Is there a difference between a photon and a proton torpedo? If you’re even asking this question, you’re definitely not a member of this genus of geek. This species has a legendary propensity for retaining minutia on continuity, military and family hierarchies, and the best type of crystal to use in a lightsaber (Kaiburr, natch.) Some subspecies of this geek tend to exclusively devote their energies to sci-fi-as-allegory, but they have sadly become an endangered species now that Isaac Asimov isn’t around to release any more books.

When seen in the wild: Though traditionally thought of as being a prickly and uncooperative sort, don’t panic! You can easily break the ice with a sci-fi geek by asking for help comparing “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” to Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey. (Tell them you’re working on a study – there’s nothing they love more than being part of scientific inquiry.)

Tolkienus Reverencia

Known as: Fantasy geek

The yin to the sci-fi geek’s yang, the fantasy geek is a sucker for all things sword-and-sorcery. This species enjoyed an initial burst of mainstream integration, owing to the wide popularity of the ur-texts penned by their patron saint, J.R.R.T. Sadly, the years following were less kind, and saw them herded into reservations where they could enjoy the books of Terry Goodkind in peace. In recent years, the fantasy geek has begun to re-emerge into polite society thanks to the stellar writing acumen of their new god, G.R.R.M.

When seen in the wild: The new “Game of Thrones” TV series serves as a good point-of-entry for geeks and non-geeks alike. Simply point out what a great actor Peter Dinklage is (or how impossibly handsome Nicolaj Coster-Waldau is), and you’re in like Flynn.

Robertsmithus Resurgencia

Known as: Goth / vampire geek

Initially relegated to the darkest recesses of pop-culture and nerd-dom, this endangered species’ population has rebounded in recent years thanks to a popular series of novels about sparkling chastity-vampires. Difficult to distinguish individually from a distance, there are nonetheless some important identifying traits to consider: Color of eyeshadow, shade of their clothes’ blackness (midnight or abyss?), and propensity to quote Nietszche versus Aliester Crowley.

When seen in the wild: Approach only if you’re prepared for an academic discourse on the oh-so-subtle differences between goths and vampires. (See: “South Park” S12E14.) One surefire shortcut is to replicate their mating call by ghetto-blasting The Smiths’ “How Soon is Now” à la that one scene from “Say Anything.”

Rorschachus Wannabeus

Known as: Comic geek

Dark, brooding, enigmatic: These are just a handful of the adjectives the comic geek would like you to think apply to her, thanks to a steady diet of way too many Alan Moore graphic novels. Though the decline in print media has destroyed some of the comic geek’s natural habitats, the comic-movie boom of the last decade has swelled this species’ numbers, ensuring there will be plenty of arguments for years to come over whether Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger was the better Joker. Can usually be found somewhere at the trade show all weekend, haggling over a dealer’s asking price for a set of near-mint-condition ‘Judge Dredd’ tabloids.

When seen in the wild: Namedrop Neil Gaiman. Seriously.

Warcraftia Fragmasterus

Known as: Videogame geek

This common species of American videogamer is renowned for the many creative variations of ‘pwn’ they employ in their Xbox Live usernames. (Ex: Al Capwn, My Little Pwny.) Every Labor Day weekend, they break from their ritual of fastidiously checking the “Call of Duty” leaderboards and their “World of Warcraft” auction house listings, and migrate to Dragon*Con. Here, they lock themselves in epic verbal sparring matches over what makes someone a casual or hardcore gamer, and compare notes on how to unlock that damn kill-72,000-zombies trophy in “Dead Rising 2.”

When seen in the wild: shout “ZERG RUSH!” through a megaphone. True gamers will be distracted as they keep their eyes peeled for zerglings, allowing you to approach and introduce yourself by complimenting their Grandmaster Battle.net ranking.

Gaijinus Americanus

Known as: Otaku / anime geek

Though Japanese animation is nearly ubiquitous in pop-culture now, a dedicated vanguard of true-blue Otaku remains. These brave souls always torrent the latest episode of “Death Note” without fail*, and are ever-present on messageboard debates about whether the subbed or dubbed version of “Cowboy Bebop” was superior. Otaku are becoming exceedingly hard to identify in the wild (thank you very much Adult Swim), so keep an eye out for telltale indicators: Pocky stains on clothing and a wild-eyed look of disbelief when you mention how you much you like ‘Dragonball Z.’

When seen in the wild: Ask if they have any fanfiction they would like to share. Hope you didn’t have any plans for the next two hours!

Mechanica Ahistoricus

Known as: Steampunk / alternate history geek

Curious and of unknown origin, this species’ numbers have exploded in recent years, though no one has been able to identify a reason for the population boom. Fewer still have settled on an accepted definition for the group: Many cite novelists H.G. Wells and Jules Verne as the progenitors of these cog-and-watch-face-hungry costumers, but others point to a terrible ‘90s western starring Will Smith as an accepted flashpoint.

When seen in the wild, approach with hands outstretched, bearing an offering of your most whimsical pair of goggles. If the steampunker accepts them, congratulations – you have been given permission to participate in her upcoming DIY stage rendition of ‘Howl’s Moving Castle.’

I’d consider myself a Gaijinus Americanus, with maybe a bit of Technobabblus Adeptus thrown in. What would you consider your geek sublevel to be?


*This wasn’t noted in the actual post, but Death Note stopped airing in 2007. Just FYI. (And the fact that I knew that off the top of my head confirms my suspicions about being included in the stereotype. LOL.)

About Aloha

A teen writer and future world ruler. Llamas make me happy.
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14 Responses to What Type of Geek Are You?

  1. Allegra says:

    It’s impossible for me to vote which one I am–it really depends on the day! Usually I’m somewhere between Tolkienus Reverencia (even though the only Tolkien I’ve read is The Hobbit–I’m getting to the actual trilogy, don’t rush me!) and Mechanica Ahistoricus (I do own a pair of vintage welding goggles). But some days I have my Robertsmithus Resurgencia moments. Yet I hate Twilight with a fiery passion.
    Even though many of us can’t be stuffed into a single category, this is a good field guide for the beginner. Thanks for sharing it!

  2. ZNZ says:

    I’m definitely first and foremost a Tolkienus Reverencia (my favourite book is the Silmarillion. ‘Nuff said, yeah?). With a side of Mecanica Ahistoricus. I enjoy some sci-fi, but certainly not enough to be a Technobabblus Adeptus.

  3. brainrants says:

    Sci Fi Geek, specialty in Star Trek. I do not ‘do’ conventions.

  4. annanm says:

    I guess I’m a steampunk/ fantasy enthusiast, but in all honesty, I grab bits and pieces of all of them. I’m also just starting to reach into sci-fi, but not extensively. Either way, it makes a wonderful concoction of just plain dork. Or so I’ve been told.

  5. Pingback: What Type of Geek Are You? (via Embracing Insanity) « Here's To Us

  6. Kirsten says:

    I’m just a nerd. I don’t fit in any of these categories (I may be the only one on earth who has not seen Star Trek or Star Wars) per say, but I’m trying. I lean towards fantasy and history, but I also pull a little sci-fi with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Doctor Who (but that might not count). I just sort of collect random bits of trivia and knowledge about television. My realm is Television Tropes and Idioms (tvtropes.org), and I just sit in the corner, being dorky and watching musicals, the Reduced Shakespeare Company, and at least seven off-air television shows on YouTube.

  7. Tangy says:

    I voted as the Tolkein one because I like his stories and style, but I don’t think I really fit in any of them.

  8. Madeline P says:

    Was it bad that I completely recognized that Star Trek clip and instantly felt uber-sad because I remembered the context…?

  9. JesterMangoz says:

    Was it bad that I completely recognized that Star Trek clip and instantly felt uber-sad because I remembered the context…?

  10. I couldn’t decide, so went with videogames, anime and other. xD I used to be a Gaijinus Americanus in my younger days, but now, the state of being a Warcraftia Fragmasterus dominates! And other because I lean towards tendencies in most of them, just … not enough for all. xD

  11. Nerdygirl98 says:

    AHHHHH! Too many choices! Love the post!

  12. Aloha's Dad says:

    I am definitely a Technobabblus Adeptus. I most enjoy “hard” science fiction books that explore what future technology will look like and how it will affect society.

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