Digital Changeling

July 2, 2011

Qualifying a Geek

Filed under: Angry,Games — Eva @ 11:35 am

Recently a friend directed me to this article titled Girl Geek Week: Top 20 Signs You Might Be a Prima Geek-a. Being my normal angry self I read this once and immediately spewed all sorts of complaints at him on twitter, which he rightly pointed out did not belong on twitter. So instead here’s a blog post.

Here’s a line by line of why this made me go rage twitch stabby.

20. Just because I know how to pronounce/spell the names of the elder gods (and care) doesn’t mean I have to be a mythos-nazi.


16. Claiming that video games aren’t games doesn’t make you a geek it makes you an asshole.

13. Liking cute things and loving mythos are in no way exclusive. This point is either silly or pushing some sort of gender stereotype about cute as feminine and mythos as masculine that I don’t want to think about.

10. WTF? There are many more notable RPGs than this. How about about Ghostbusters, Pendragon, Dallas, Bunnies and Burrows (the original not the Gurps version), White Box D&D, First Edition HKAT, Amber, or an early version of Traveler.

8. You can simultaneously love reboots and originals. Having a stick up your ass doesn’t make you a geek it makes you a jerk.

5. Er… did you mean Underworld? Since that was the movie White Wolf sued over? They had a decent case that Underworld was infringing on a specific story they’d published, but it got thrown out, basically because of this, and rightly so.

I get how geek cred works. We all get wrapped up in our own hobbies and we value different things over other things based on what we love and geek out about. That doesn’t mean putting down other things to make you feel like a ‘better geek’ is the way to go. It’s still callous and cruel and reeks of elitism.

I doubt the author intended to hurt anyone when she wrote the original post, she probably was just listing things she liked. It angers me that geekdom becomes an exclusionary thing though and I find it hard not to say something. I may not value Street Fighter the RPG but if you love it more power to you, just don’t try to use it to measure how good of a geek I am. There’s a lot of aspects of geekdom neither you nor I can possibly know all of them.


  1. Actually, I suspect that, since my behavior is one of the models she used to assemble her list, Monica was trying to be humorous. Also, this is a totally geeky response to her list. :)

    Comment by Bill Bodden — July 2, 2011 @ 12:02 pm

  2. Re: #16 That snobbery also pertains to LARPs or any experimental RPG that’s more about storytelling than hack-n-slash (e.g. Amber). I agree that it’s not a laudable hallmark of geekdom to put down other people’s preferences. :-/

    Comment by Kathleen — July 2, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

  3. Quite frankly, the list was meant to be a joke and was inspired by things I’ve heard other geeks say. I am an author and a game designer who is deeply immersed in the geek culture; I work in the industry (it even says so on my website’s sidebar) and I travel to several conventions a year. All I was trying to do, was take a different tone for a single post, to lead up to my commentary about why this sort of thing is bad form.

    If you read my blog, you’ll notice I talk about tribalism and why things like edition wars hurts everyone. The fact that you were offended by the very things I often hear proves that point.

    In the end, I wish you would have contacted me directly to talk to me about this post and my intent instead of ranting about it.

    Have a nice day.



    Comment by Monica — July 2, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

  4. First, learn to recognize a funny, completely not serious post by a girl geek who is celebrating girl geeks all week long on her blog.

    Second, you win the Prima Geeka Prize because you literally had to go in a nitpick a fucking humor post about some geeky behavior a fellow geek is poking fun at for a laugh.

    Third, if anyone needs an example of over-sensitive and annoying geek behavior, your post should be exhibit #1.

    Now for my own little nitpick:

    Blade the movie obviously lifted several elements from Masquerade, 13 Houses (Clans), Familiars (Ghouls), Book of Ermius (Book of Nod). White Wolf did sue Sony over Underworld and the case was not thrown out, it was settle out of court for a huge sum in WW’s favor.

    Comment by Matt — July 2, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

  5. Bill, Monica, and Matt, I’m sorry your comments didn’t show up for so long. This wasn’t intentional. I had some issues with my automatic spam filter and didn’t realize that anyone had legitimately commented on the post.

    Monica, I appreciated that your post was humor. I’ve seen many posts like this before and generally they don’t bother me. Frankly I probably wouldn’t have said anything about it at all if Bill hadn’t posted it to twitter and then asked me to explain why it annoyed me when I said it did (in a private tweet). I saw my options for expressing myself as posting comments on your blog or posting on my own blog. I generally think if I’m expressing opinions that would be classified as criticism, they belong in my own web space.

    Some of how I’m expressing myself in this post is slight hyperbole for the sake of dramatic phrasing, and I apologize if that came off too strong or felt like a personal attack, that was not my intention. I read through the last few entries of your blog before writing the original post, but I didn’t trawl your archives for more than an hour, as I’d never been directed there before.

    I stand by my basic complaints about the items on the list. I don’t think “it was a joke” is a reason why I can’t be annoyed or complain about something.

    If you’d like to have further public dialog in comments that’s cool and if you prefer a private dialog please feel free to email me.

    Matt, who is or is not a geek girl has no bearing on how I critique anything nor anything that I said in this post. If you want to be mad at me for having opinions that’s cool, but could you keep the swearing down, please?

    Comment by Eva — August 30, 2011 @ 12:12 am

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