Published on April 17th, 2014 | by Elysabeth Galati
The Sphinx’s Gaze: Geek Entitlement
The Sphinx’s Gaze
Column by Elysabeth Galati
One of the things I love most about geeks in general is their passion. No matter what the sub genre (anime, hobby-gamers, cosplay, larp.. you name it) we get excited about our interests every day the same way mainstream folks get excited about football season starting. Our hot season never ends, our lust for all of the information surrounding our passions never ends either. We search the net and hit forums for the smallest amounts of data and well when we get to go to conventions… well.. as they say “It’s ON like… Donkey Kong”. Geeks going to shows are like throwing a Mentos into a coke. We can’t help it… we get super excited and we gush. With the information age being what it is too, we know EVERYTHING about a particular product, movie or celebrity. It is a matter of geek pride as well to obtain the latest picture, the hottest exclusive product and we are DETERMINED to get it. I love our passion and our pride, but this convention season remember there are real every day people who work hard to help you get your hands on the good stuff! Just because you know what someone had for breakfast via twitter doesn’t mean you are entitled to breakfast with them!
We have done literally hundreds of shows at every level of geekdom and I have seen on numerous occasions geeks overstepping their bounds and yes it happens more at pop culture shows then the mainstream events. Fans sharing too much personal information with complete strangers. Geek celebrities who can’t eat food in a public area without being hounded for attention. Booth workers bombarded with repetitive questions that all ask the same thing in different ways hoping that somehow that magic would occur to change reality. The sad truth is the majority of the time this occurs, it is because the misbehaver is simply over excited and flat out getting caught up in the moment. 99% of the time their intent is good. Girls, guys, old, young, families, single folks.. I have seen EVERYONE forget the same thing.. it’s the people at geek shows that ARE the magic.
Whether you are a a ccg gamer, an anime cosplayer, a comic artist or simply a fan of comic movies. We all agree that these worlds are “ours” and not for pretenders or ill meaning outsiders. If that’s the case then we need to regard them as such. If you are at a show and a geek celeb in now in “your world”, show them the courtesy you would as a guest in your house. Ask before you take a picture.
Even better .. offer a granola bar or a bottle of water. They have probably been on their feet for hours and talking nonstop as well. Is there a family who decided to go to a convention with three kids under the age of 10 who had no idea what they were getting into? Tell them about the booth that’s giving away free tattoos. Did you get an extra poster, flier, etc that you don’t really need? Don’t throw it away.. give it the youngest person you can find who seems to have similar interests. Be patient and grateful with a booth swarming with people. Didn’t get into an event you waited hours for? Express your concerns in a forthright, but polite way. Anyone worth their salt in the geek world wants to make it up to you. The weather has broken and convention season for all levels of pop-culture are underway. No matter where you are or what you are into, this is “our” world and it’s colorful and glorious. We don’t like understated. We don’t like subtle. We want to conquer galaxies and change fates. Do it with spontaneous acts of kindness and respect and show the best of “our world”.