Once upon a time, being a geek was considered an insult. It was used as a way to call people out for being different. It was a word that was used to make people ashamed for who they were. I am not sure when exactly it happened, but somewhere along the way the negative connotation of the word disappeared. In fact, I do not think being a geek is even a bad thing anymore.
The culture wars are over and the geeks won. The proof of this is everywhere. So far the biggest movies released this year are ones that feature super heroes. Some of the most popular TV shows on right now such as Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and even The Big Bang Theory are very much in the domain of geekdom.
Give how popular geeky things are, I wonder what does it mean to be a geek, does the word still have any meaning? Wil Wheaton, the actor who portrayed Wesley Crusher on Star Trek (or Sheldon’s arch nemesis on the Big Bang Theory if you prefer), answered this question very well at the Calgary Comic Expo in 2013. At a panel discussion a woman in the audience asked Will to tell her soon to be born daughter, why it is awesome to be a geek. In his answer Wil Wheaton gave a two part answer to what makes someone a geek. First he said, “I liked things a little weird, things that took a little effort to enjoy or understand.” That defines the typical geek things like science fiction, fantasy, comic books, complex board games, and more. However, it was the second part of the answer that really defines what makes people geeks: “It’s not about what you love-it’s about how you love it.” What makes people geeks is that they passionately love something. Moreover, they passionately love something that non-geeks just cannot understand why someone would love it that much. We may not like the same games or be fans of the same thing, but we understand what it means to love something passionately. I think one of the reasons why geeks have won the culture war, is because honestly we are all geeks. I geek out about things like Star Wars and board games, but the same passion and love I feel for those things are the way other people feel about a sports team or quilting. Many of us know what it is like to geek out about something, and we understand what it means to love something passionately.
This is why I think being a Christian and being a geek go together so very well. Geeks and Christians both understand what it means to love something. Jesus told his disciples that the greatest commandment is to ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:37-39)
Being a Christian is all about learning how to love God and love others. Love is the basis of the Christian faith, and love is the basis of being a geek. This is why I think there is so much room to explore the connections between my faith and geekery. Both are driven by a deep passion that can be hard to understand for the uninitiated.
Hopefully, you will find these posts encouraging and helpful to you. However, you identify yourself, I hope you find something here that connects with you.