This post is a little text-heavy, so let me begin with a video:
That video is the State of the Sundry address that the beautiful Felicia Day gave last year when the Geek & Sundry YouTube channel was renewed for another year I think.
If you don’t want to watch it, here’s a rough transcript:
Hey everybody, Felicia Day. And I’m here to announce something so super exciting. Geek & Sundry is coming back for a second season.
I have been thinking a lot about this channel and about what this network means to me. I started asking myself some questions. Like, why? Why geek and sundry?
That was pretty easy to answer cos I was like well I wanna make stuff for geeks. and then I asked myself, what is a geek? And that’s where I started having a little life crisis. I did not buy a convertible, but, that is a good idea. And do you know what I realised? That in the six years I’ve been doing this, that word has become something else. We’ve been using it so much that’s kinda lost meaning. “Geek” has become a cliche. It’s become a a label. It’s become something to monetize, to market to, to pigeonhole. To brand. To exploit. It’s become something that describes a person who is defined solely by liking comics or games or movies or TV. And it’s like we’ve become these consumer badgers that’ll eat anything you put a zombie or a superhero on and it’s just like stop! Just stop! That is not what “geek” means to me. We are more than the hobbies that we do. or the things that we like. We are not mash up t-shirts. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good mash up t-shirt, but that is just like the superficial stuff. To me, “geek” means an outsider, a rebel, a dreamer, a creator – whether it’s our own world or someone else’s. It’s a fighter, it’s a person who dares to love something that isn’t conventional. The mantra of geek to me is “your judgement is not my problem.” You think comics are dumb? Fine. You think I may not be a real gamer? Whatever, that’s your problem. I think we need to re-own geek. and that’s what I wanna do with Geek & Sundry in season two.
I made The Guild because I didn’t see a show portraying gamers the way that I saw gamers. and I wanna use Geek & Sundry to take that idea to the next level. That’s why I’m here, and that’s why we’re doing another season.
I’m writing this particular post, because there is so much in that that resonates in me.
I am a geek. I have always been a geek. I have considered myself a geek since I discovered that Star Trek wasn’t as popular as Eastenders. I grew up with Star Trek: The Next Generation, and I am now a self-professed Trekkie, complete with Klingon tattoo. I love gaming and comics and sci fi and fantasy and internet memes.
I take pride in “geek”. To me, “geek” means “passion”. And one of my favourite Wil Wheaton quotes is the same thing.
Someone at a convention asked him to explain to their unborn baby what it means to be a nerd (personally I consider the terms “nerd” and “geek” to be interchangeable, although others have differing opinions). This is what he said:
My name is Wil Wheaton. It’s 2013. And you’ve just recently joined us on planet Earth. So welcome. I’m an actor. I’m a writer. And I’m a Dad. Your mother asked me to tell you why it’s awesome to be a nerd. That’s an easy thing for me to do because I am a nerd.
I don’t know what the world is going to be like by the time you understand this. I don’t what it’s going to mean to be a nerd when you are a young women. For me, when I was growing up, being a nerd meant that I liked things that were a little weird. That took a lot of effort to appreciate and understand. It meant that I loved science, and that I loved playing board games, and reading books, and really understanding what went on in the world instead of just riding the planet through space.
When I was a little boy, people really teased us about that, and made us feel like there was something wrong with us for loving those things. Now that I’m an adult, I’m kind of a professional nerd, and the world has changed a lot. I think a lot of us have realized that being a nerd … it’s not about what you love. It’s about how you love it.
So, there’s going to be a thing in your life that you love. I don’t know what that’s going to be … and it doesn’t matter what it is. The way you love that, and the way that you find other people who love it the way you do is what makes you a nerd. The defining characteristic of [being a nerd] is that we love things. Some of us love Firefly and some of us love Game of Thrones, or Star Trek, or Star Wars, or anime, or games, or fantasy, or science fiction. Some of us love completely different things. But we all love those things SO much that we travel for thousands of miles … we come from all over the world, so that we can be around people who love the things the way that we love them.
That’s why being a nerd is awesome. And don’t let anyone tell you that that thing that you love is a thing that you can’t love. Don’t anyone ever tell you that you can’t love that, that’s for boys … you find the things that you love, and you love them the most that you can.
And listen: This is really important. I want you to be honest, honorable, kind. I want you to work hard. Because everything worth doing is hard. And I want you to be awesome, and I will do my very best to leave you a planet that you can still live on.
Wil Wheaton has some excellent quotes. Including two of my absolute favourites: