08 December 2007

a guide to geeks

From Sydney Morning Herald


With the advent of online games in which players share massive virtual worlds, gamers can fend off accusations of antisocial behaviour by pointing to the incredibly gregarious avatar they've designed for Second Life.

Like a walking copy of Wired magazine, gearheads show off their latest tech acquisition before you've even heard of it. And they're willing to explain - at length - why it's already obsolete.

In Japan, "otaku" denotes someone with an obsession so fanatical - with videogames, for example - that they seldom leave their bedroom. In the West, however, it's more often a positive self-description for hardcore fans of Japanese anime and manga.

Combining enthusiasm for high-tech gadgets with a rough and dirty punk aesthetic, cyberpunk fans envision a future where we are all cyborgs - internet-enabled, prosthetically enhanced, and ready to rumble.

Cardy Rockers
From the retro-geek rock of '90s-era Weezer through to today's Brunettes, Concretes, and Shins, the easy-listening sounds of neatly dressed, baby-faced bands have become the soundtrack to a new generation of dress-alike fans.

For some, books aren't just collections of words - they're faithful companions, though each comes with its own needs and wants. If a friend fobs off your drinking plans in favour of a secret rendezvous with a new novel, you might be dealing with a librarian.

Plenty of people are smart, but only some wear their brain on their sleeve. Usually possessing prodigious knowledge on obscure and, sometimes, completely useless topics, a boffin should never - ever - be corrected on a point of fact.

Hogwarts Alumni
For a generation who've grown up with the series, the adventures of Harry, Hermione and Ron are today's answer to Luke, Leia and Han. Expect similar lifelong dedication.

Film Tragics
Some buffs take the study of favourite films, directors and movements to new levels of obsession. And like a friend with a new partner, they'll find ways to relate any conversation back to their true love - even if it's Italian slasher movies of the late '70s.

The only geeky question I have is - when did comic books become 'graphic novels'? I have no problem confessing to still reading comics.

I didn't do much today. It was one of those days.

This evening, Mary, Margaret, Jim, Leslie and I had dinner at a fish restaurant called Cape Cod. The food was great. Unfortunately, the ambiance was ruined by the presence of another diner, who is a highly ranked federal bureaucrat and a nasty piece of work.

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