Monday, August 30, 2010

Geek speech!

How did you become a geek? Oh, don't get offended, I mean the fact that you're reading this blog, any WoW or gaming blog, definitively marks you as a geek. Seriously, how long have you been biting heads off chickens and/or snakes?

According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, a geek is "a carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off of a live chicken or snake".

You can't deny it, you're a biter!

Ok, fine, you win, there are other definitions of a geek. The most common being: "An enthusiast or expert especially in a technological field or activity (i.e. computer geek).

I have phased in and out of geekiness throughout my life. There have been periods where I was a gamer, and there have been years that I never played much at all, and therefore dropped my geek label. Now I find myself in two worlds simultaneously, professional and geek. What I appreciate about one is also the fault of that world, and what I appreciate about the other are traits that I would like to see displayed in both. Let me clarify.

What I admire about the geek world that I live in currently, specifically the WoW geek world, is that opinions are unhindered. Whether it's on a forum, a blog, facebook, twitter, in-game chat, vent,, wait, Newspaper? Sorry, I got swallowed by the ghost of media past there for a second. My point is that we, the WoW and gaming geek community, have a seemingly endless supply of means to express ourselves, and more importantly we can express ourselves in the manner most pleasing or natural to us.

I hope that I don't need to extol further the virtues of free speech, or free thought that is granted a voice by our chosen means of communication. I can only suppose that there are very few communists reading my blog, so I'll continue with my suppositions. Anway, as I was saying, what I love is that people can and do voice their thoughts and are checked by few rules or boundries. Sure, there are forums that mediate and regulate speech when it becomes hateful, but for the most part we speak what we think.

The obvious problem with this freedom is that there are many who are either incapable of articulating their thoughts or whose base thoughts themselves are so base and hateful that it overwhelmes us sometimes. We cry out in game against those who, unprovoked, bring race, nationality, sexual preference, or gender into arguments in such an offensive manner that we're given the power to kick and ignore them so we don't have to be subject to their hate in the future. Those that are of simple mind, and incapable of intelligent thought are another beast altogether, for they don't spew hate or offensive language, they are unintentionally ignorant or perhaps uneducated, which leads them to argue things based on single-minded opinions, without capacity to consider mutiple sides of an argument.

I love the geek gaming world for their blatant honesty, and the negative side effects of such freedoms I accept because the benefits of said freedom of speech is enough to sastisfy me. In this respect, I wish the professional community could learn something from geeks. Professional business men and women are alwasy walking the line of decorum and familiarity. They want to get to know somebody quickly, to either appear to be their friend or genuinely be friendly so that they can sell their product or service. They must use proper words and phrases so as to not offend. There is much less freedom to say and do what one desires because your will, as a professional, is bound to the will of your employer. And if you're self-employed, it's bound to the will of your need to succeed (or you'll be homeless).

I wish that business professionals had more liberty to speak their thoughts, more freedom to be intelligent and stupid, for it would, in a way, help to sift through the insincere who wish to sell you something for a commission, rather than selling you something because they truly believe that it's the best or it could truly benefit you.

On the other hand, I think geeks could learn something from business professionals. There is decorum, there are manners, there is a politeness that does not exist in the geek world except by individual choice. Luckily there are many that choose it, but there are no bounds to act accordingly as there are in the business world. I certainly would not advocate that geeks become business stiffs, typing their opinion on the next game or toy in a manner that is both insincere and incomplete. But I do wish that more geeks had the temperment and sense of a business professional, as I believe it would lead to more civil discourse than "you're a @#$%@#$% noob, loser!"

Note: People get pissed in business and say nasty things, but not as an opening sales pitch, usually as a parting shot to somebody that was "supposed" to have your interest at heart.

So, since currently I find myself in geekdom, and proud of it, I might add, I am pleased to be able to express my opinions freely here on this blog. I love that I do not have to guard my opinions behind a hidden agenda, and I'm free to be as intelligent or stupid as my pain medicine allows on any given day. I love that you can comment, leave your geeky thoughts and opinions as well and lively dialogue can exist. I'm glad that anonymous idiots (not saying anonymous commenters are idiots, btw) can comment as well and that I have the power to delete their hate and prejudice if the occaision demands it.

Geek speech doesn't have to be professional, it should do all it can to avoid a mighty pendulum swing in that direction, but it can learn something from a good, smart businessman. Just as the stiff in the suit can learn from all you geeks. May the two worlds never completely merge!

1 comment:

LarĂ­sa said...

I think that you have found the sweet spot in your own blog between geekiness and a more mature/grown up approach to things. Geek speech with a touch of civilized manners. I love that!

Like you I'm trying to take a little of the best from both worlds.