Geek, (not) a four letter word!Luc Malcorps
There was room for plenty of nostaligia on the airwaves this week, when one Brice met up with another Brice in the Nostalgie radio studios, to discuss the glory of geekiness.
Brice Depasse, talkshow host of Nostalgie’s ‘Pop Culture’ programme, invited Emakina’s CEO Brice Le Blévennec, former presenter of Cybercafé 21, to share their common passion for all things geeky, and the podcast is fun to listen to!
Not so ‘Gek’ anymore
Brice Le Blévennec, Emakina’s CEO, calls himself an über-geek, the caricature of the geek. And he’s proud of it! Yet, not so long ago, ‘geek’ was still very much a four-letter word.
Back in the 80’s, the term referred to eccentric, somewhat strange people, who lived in a shady world of imagination – verging on madness. Geek actually originates from an old-German word ‘geck’ that lives on in the Dutch word ‘gek’, meaning … crazy. But it is no longer a negative term, and geeks rule the world! They have become mainstream and the planet they dreamed of in the early days of digital innovation has become – at least partly – a global reality.
Le Blévennec explains that the true sense of the word ‘Geek’ is actually very positive. It refers to a person with a passion for the culture of imagination, who seeks out innovation and creativity.
Technology and gadgets are of course part of this, but originally it would include all forms of imagination, entering into the realm of physics, chemistry, science, and science fiction. Today various universes of imagination have become the staple diet of our society and of youth in particular. Digital natives and millenials are right at home in various worlds of fantasy, from World of Warcraft over Might and Magic to Dungeons and Dragons.
In contrast to the still negative term ‘nerd’, referring to the more isolated compulsive and obsessive person, with a focus on a few specific topics, geeks live in the vast open space of free imagination, hungry consumption of stories and gameplay, TV series and fun technology.
And geeks rule. Reality has become almost the opposite of what it was before. If you are not into Mindcraft, Game of Thrones, and the latest Big Bang Theory or Continuum, you are showing border-line isolation signs!
As Brice Le Blévennec says in the ‘Pop Culture’ radio show, geeks have their internal universe of imagination to draw from, making them more independent and a bit less in need for steady relationships etc. A smart move for geek boys to find the perfect ‘geekette’, is to fraternise with the sister of a geek! And now geekiness moves over the the next generation, Brice says, with his son exchanging midnight game action via iPads with his geeky dad!
So Geeks have come a long way. From the iconic Doctor Who, Blade Runner and Tron to the first three Star Wars movies, from game playing on Merlin, Atari, Sega and Nintendo and from the very first programming on Texas instruments, Apple II, Sinclair and Commodore to the world we live in today, where digital is embedded in our lives… the world belongs to geeks!