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Is it time to ‘re-own geek’?

Felicia Day is sometimes called the queen of the geeks or the queen of the internet. It’s quite a lofty title, but the truth is, when she Tweets, people act. Her activity on YouTube and Twitter made her a natural choice to host the upcoming Shorty Awards, and her YouTube channel, Geek and Sundry, has just been renewed for another year.

Today, she released a video called “State of the Sundry.” The main topic was, of course, the renewal of her channel, but she also talked a little about what it means to be a geek. It’s hard to imagine that six years ago, there was no “geek chic.” Geek Girl culture was mostly contained on forums such as Yahoo groups and Live Journal. YouTube did not feel as accessible as it does now.

Felicia Day talks geeky

Credit: Felicia Day, Geek and Sundry

Thanks to pioneers like Felicia Day, Geek culture has blossomed, but as exciting as that is, it made her think a little about what it means to be a geek.

For me, being a geek was being one of only two people in my class who watched Star Trek: The Next Generation. It was being well-versed in time travel and short-lived syndicated TV shows. It became the ability to balance my love for fantasy adventure books with my deep faith. And now, it’s my butter (I don’t make enough from writing for it to be considered bread and butter).

Felicia bemoans the idea that Hollywood and the media are exploiting Geek culture… and I have to reluctantly agree that I thrive on that. From the bright Geek Girl Project logo on my business card to the phrase “GirlGeek” in my Twitter handle, I have branded myself as part of this culture, encouraging people to follow my Geek Pinboards and watch for my Geek Tweets.

But, she goes on to say, “We are more than the hobbies that we do or the things that we like.” She lists off five things she wants Geek to represent: outsider, rebel, dreamer, creator, fighter. And there, I’m once again proud to be part of Geek Culture, because we’ve made it okay to be a dreamer or a creator; being an outsider isn’t as bad as it was.

You really should watch the video, because it’s short and I want to quote about thirty seconds of it verbatim. I’ll restrict myself to just one more thing: “Your judgement is not my problem.” That is the freeing part of being a geek. It’s okay if you don’t like video games and I do. It’s okay if I haven’t seen every episode of your favorite show or read very many comic books. You don’t have to prove you’re geeky enough to be my friend. If something has touched your life in a way you think no one else will understand, you may be a geek. And if you are, you’re in good company.

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