Geek culture is dead; long live geek culture

Brad programming in 1985I just finished reading Of Dice and Men, a memoir-ish book that explores the history of Dungeons & Dragons. It’s a quick, beach-like read that does an excellent job of exploring the people who created the game.

One aspect that bothered me was the author’s insistence on telling the readers just how much geek cred he had. Barely a chapter went by without some brief divergence devoted to reminding us that he’s a geek, and geeks play this game.

Of course, he meant that lovingly. I assume he, like I, grew up in a time when D&D was used as shorthand for geek (in the pejorative sense).

Still his insistence felt anachronistic. Thanks to my Google Alerts, every week I read hundreds of stories about Dungeons & Dragons, role-playing games, and computer games. For all the talk about how geeky these hobbies are, there’s a ton of writing devoted to the various aspects of the culture.

It’s almost like these aren’t geeky pastimes anymore.

On Communities

Since we’ve all decided that these games have gone mainstream, let’s go ahead and declare that we’ll no longer offer disclaimers about these games. Geek culture is dead; long live geek culture.

The people who play them come from all backgrounds and walks of life. They are people who, like everyone else, are just looking to find a group of friends with whom they can play.