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How far can you go with geekiness?

I’m sure many, if not all of you have come across some sort of geeky thing and gone “Wow, they must be obsessed!” But I want to discuss how far is too far. I’d also like your opinions and any funny things related to geekiness that you may have come across.

But first, what is geekiness? Here, I’m not talking about computer geekiness, I’ll be talking more about the ‘fandom’ sort of geekiness, like people that like Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, that sort of thing. For me it’s being a bit more than a fan of something, it’s really loving it, talking about it, and it’s still in your life even if you’re not reading/watching it. As well as that, you also have to know a lot about it. For example if you’re a Lord of the Rings geek, you have to not just have seen the movies and read the books, but you have merchandise, and you know loads about it. And that’s only the bottom level of geekiness.

(Note, I am not using the words geekiness or geek in a negative way. Jada calls me a geek all the time, and I don’t care! People should embrace their inner geek! So I’m using it in a neutral, if not positive way)

In this post, I will be discussing a few different things that can be considered too far with geekiness, then I’ll give my opinion on them. I’d like to see what you think as well! First of all I will be talking about live-action roleplaying, or LARPing. I’m not even going to mention cosplay, because that is so tame on the scale of geekiness that it shouldn’t be too far for anyone!

As far as I understand, LARPing is where you dress up in the costume of one of the characters of your chosen world (like LOTR) and you roleplay with your other geek friends, but in real life. I bet a lot of you just recoiled, thinking that it’s really weird. But in my opinion, although it’s geeky, it could be quite fun. I don’t want to be mean to anyone, because if they enjoy themselves then that’s all that really matters! So LARPing is not crossing the line. What do you think?

The next point is related to LARPing, but it’s more for the history geek sort of people. I’m talking about re-enacting. I bet some people look at re-enacters on TV, or even in real life, and go “Those people are crazy. It’s kind of freaking me out. Why on earth do they even do that?” But for the readers that don’t know what re-enacting actually is, I’ll explain: it’s basically where you get loads of people dressed up in period costume and you re-enact a scene from history, for example the battle of Edgehill in the English Civil War. And not just that, everyone’s kitted out in PROPER costumes, with horses (if there are any in the scene) and weapons. I was actually looking through this website (for this post) and I was shocked to find that the knives they stock are SHARP and can KILL people. There’s also a section called ‘functional armour’ which made me do a double-take. Who’s going to need medieval armour for a FUNCTION? Who’s going into battle? Then I realised that some people must take re-enacting seriously and actually train for it. Or they need armour that actually protects them from harm while re-enacting. Which makes me wonder, has anyone been killed or seriously injured? I hope not, because that would definitely be taking geekiness too far. But re-enacting itself for me is not too far, because it actually, in a weird way, looks fun. That may just be because I absolutely love history. 

Now for a slightly different one. Modifications. And I’ll start quite tame. I bet people that have been into bands really wanted their hair like one of its members. My RS teacher even admitted that, when she was a teenager, she’d gone to the salon and asked for her hair like one of her favourite singers. So it’s natural for geeky people to want their hair like one of their favourite characters. Loads of female Hunger Games fans adopted Katniss’ side braid after they read the books! This is a minor modification, and it can be really awesome. Who doesn’t want to rock that Vulcan short fringe?

Next I’ll step it up a bit (a lot) and talk about tattoos. This is a permanent modification, and you’ve got to be a serious geek to get one. It’s a gamble because if you find yourself going off it, you’ll have a reminder of your geek past forever. And people can get some pretty crazy stuff done, if you look right here. Would you like to have a geeky tattoo, even if they last forever? I actually was pretty surprised at some of the tattoos, but I don’t really care what they do to themselves. As long as they’re happy with it, I don’t need to question their decisions! But what do you think? Are geek tattoos crossing the line?

This, I think, is the most extreme geek modification. You might look at it and think that it’s absolutely disgusting and those people must be mental, but some fantasy geeks REALLY love their elves, and have decided to have surgery to get elf ears. I bet now you think that they’ve crossed the line. You’re probably like, “Who would get expensive surgery to make their ears look like an elf? How crazy are they?” But then, you have to keep this in mind. Is the elf ear modification any different to getting a nose job, or silicone breast implants? I was surprised by the amount of results that came up, and the amount of people that have this modification. Personally, I think it’s quite cool and it doesn’t cross the line. Again, it’s a case of; it’s THEIR body, so I can’t interfere with what they do to it. As I heard someone say, ‘my body is a temple, and I want to decorate the walls’ But what do you think?

So are there any more geek things that you’ve heard people have done? I’ve just gone through a few things that could be considered too far when it comes to geekiness. At which one did you think “This is it, the line has been crossed.” if any? In my opinion, I don’t think any geeky thing can go too far, unless it is illegal. By that I mean recreating scenes in history or in movies/books a little too faithfully, causing injury or death. THAT is too far. But other than that, people can do anything to express their geekiness and it’s great to see all the creative ways people have done it. 

But what if your line hasn’t yet been crossed? You actually want me to throw out a few more extreme geeky things to you? I don’t even know if these are true, but let’s see if this, for you, is too far.

How about ditching the real world and living like someone in a period of history, or in the world of your favourite book/movie? Yes, that even includes your house, your food, your clothes, your language, EVERYTHING. A 24/7 re-enactment.

How about changing your name, legally? To Sherlock Holmes? Or Spock? Or Gandalf? You’d forever be known as your favourite character.

How about having a full surgery to look like your favourite character? We’ve seen people that have surgery to look like Barbies, but what about surgery to have anime eyes and anime proportions? Or even to look like a fantasy creature? Or to get Voldemort’s nose?!

How about ditching your real self and BECOMING your favourite character? This is all of the above combined. You’d look like them, dress like them, have the same name as them, act like them, live in the same house as them (or at least a house that looks the same), and completely get rid of your born self. There would be no more you, there would only be [insert character’s name here]. Full-time LARPing, full-time re-enacting, full-time cosplay.

Now is that going too far?

I hope I’ve given you something to think about, and I’d love to know your opinion. 

Your not-so geeky blogger, Jaz

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2 comments on “How far can you go with geekiness?

  1. Really interesting! I once chatted to some people from a Civil War re-enactment society at a country show and they were completely into their characters, even speaking in period language which was a bit disconcerting to start with! I didn’t think they were geeky at all… but perhaps that’s because I understood their fascination with history. Maybe we only think people are geeky if we don’t understand or get their interest/obsession? I don’t know?

  2. Change your name to Sherlock Holmes ? How about Dr Watson ?

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