This week, it seems everyone is excited about Star Wars: The Last Jedi. There’s merchandise everywhere ranging from t-shirts and toys to razors and shower heads. And for the first time, it’s really struck me. Geek culture is now just pop culture.
This has been years in the making of course. The MCU in theaters. The Arrowverse taking over the CW. ThinkGeek having retail stores. ESports on ESPN. Big Bang Theory existing. The geeks truly have inherited the (pop) Earth. I can just go into a store and buy geeky stuff. I don’t have to hunt it down and order it. It’s just there. It’s awesome and weird.
This change has left me wondering what geek culture is now. I don’t think it’s “loving these things more than other people.” That’s not geek culture, that’s gatekeeping. The Maker movement feels like it could be part of a new definition, but that feels more like its own thing that happens to overlap with geeks. I’m struggling even to finish this paragraph because the term seems so irrelevant now, and yet at the same time it doesn’t.
My guess is that geek culture is something Gen Z is defining. Now that the things that made Gen X and Millennials geeks have gone mainstream. But I want to know what you think. What does geek culture mean to you?