Let’s face it: Geek culture is now mainstream. Thanks to the large amount of geek TV shows, books and movies, our culture is now popular, which is great, right? Well, some people think so and others not so much. As with anything, the popularity of geek and nerd culture has its pros and its cons.
We're More Popular
From video games to comic books everything geek is becoming popular. Although we might not necessarily get more popular, the things we like are getting much more so, which is a definite pro, because who doesn’t like to see these things finally get the recognition they deserve? It’s nice to see people finally recognize nerd culture not only as interesting, but cool.
We're No Longer Persecuted (As Much)
With all things geek becoming mainstream there’s one BIG upside: less bullying. I’m sure most of us that grew up as super geeky kids remember a time when EVERYONE was a geek. When we were kids, everyone was into cartoons, movies and superheroes, but at some point around middle school it becomes uncool. That’s when problems start for quite a few of us. While bullying is a problem that may continue, it’s nice to know future generations may not be bullied as much.
Plenty Of Cool New Stuff
One of the best things about geek culture being common is the amount of content we get as a result. Some argue that the quality of all of the content isn’t wonderful, (*cough* DC haters) and I agree with you. However, that doesn't change the fact that it’s exciting just to see some version of things being made. Yes, Arrow could be written better, but that doesn’t mean it’s not wonderful to see such an underrated superhero on TV.
The pros seem pretty substantial to me, and I’m sure you can think of plenty of other ones. I am definitely happy with our culture getting much more recognition and all the new content that’s out there. There are however still some cons.
One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from the nerd community: “I was a fan of this before it was big.” It’s very frustrating to see something we were truly passionate about be popular so much later after we discovered it. It’s a strange feeling because you’re happy it’s a big deal now, but you dislike that people are just now realizing how great it is when you’ve been telling them it’s great for so long.
Too Much Change
One of the big downsides of the mainstream geek movement is how much change happens to the good things. For example, Arrow — they show Oliver Queen as a vigilante with a bow and arrow, but they didn’t really capture the essence of the traditional Green Arrow. With the Batman villains and the darker tone it has adopted, it’s understandable why it’s been called a Batman show without Batman. I usually argue that there have been dark versions of Green Arrow before (such as the Outsiders War), however, I would have also liked to see the sarcastic, funny, and at times controversial Green Arrow I had come to know and love.
Dilution Of Our Culture
Quite possibly the worst downside of geek culture being so mainstream now is how diluted it’s becoming. Because of the first two reasons on the con list, geek culture and the geek community is becoming somewhat diluted, from fake nerds to people who act like they know but really only have a basic understanding of things; it’s not only diehard nerds anymore.
Let's Look At The Bright Side
It’s all a matter of perspective. If you look at all of these things in a negative light then of course they’ll be negative, but I say we should look on the bright side. Yes, some things are changing, and maybe right now they don’t seem like they’re for the best, but someday we might grow to love them. The great thing about nerd culture and the geek community is we’re pretty inclusive, and while we may not all agree on everything, there’s definitely room here for all of us. I’m just glad my children won’t grow up in a world where they’ll be treated as some of us were, even if they are named after superheroes.
In celebration of nerd culture (and cheering on the little guy) the video below pays homage to all the times that R2D2 saved the day through his heroism:
What do you think is the future of nerd culture?