I’ve never felt so well-informed and so scared at the same time.
I think the geek community takes pride in being offbeat. So when someone whom geeks perceive as coming from the “mainstream” culture gets into one of our subspecialties, that community is always a little skeptical. Take the Big Bang Theory. Show about a tribe of geeks, hugely popular with a wide demographic. Lot’s of people from within the geek community have raised some critiques about the characters in the show only masquerading as geeks, pandering to an audience’s ideas of what that means. A commenter on the provided link referred to the show as “nerd blackface.” Yikes.
That’s an intense example, but it’s just like any subculture: people want you to know things about their niche if you’re going to act like you do. I’m all for a whole mess of people getting into the stuff that I’m into. The community of people who like it is half the fun. Yet, I don’t think I’m alone in saying that if someone’s interest is based on tittering over the blanket eccentricities they “know” my given subgroup has, the inclusion is with less open arms.
To spin it another way: I’m not a huge sports guy (as we’ve suggested several times), but I know I’m not learning anything about them from [insert generic sports-loving sitcom husband of choice]. I can only imagine how much these characters piss off people who actually know things about athletic contests. At the same time, especially growing up with the rabid college basketball fan that is my father, I can get into a sporting event when I’m there. I just don’t make any bold assertions where I don’t know what I’m talking about. In exchange, I expect freedom from judgement when I ask someone about why a foul was called, or why a turnover occurred. We’re all just looking for mutual respect.
And maybe for you to know that his name is Gordon Freeman, bro.