Those who know me know I refer to my field of interests as multiclassing. I enjoy sporting events as well as comic cons. I like talking about the merits of strategy in sports as much as I do strategies for Final Fantasy boss fights. I even enjoy arguing about the greatness of sports players as well as the greatness of all of the different Doctors. I think it’s good to be a well rounded sort of guy that way.
- Lots of fans traveling from all over to gather together and celebrate something that they love watching on TV
- Sometimes they dress up as their favorite characters
- A good place to make friends and have fun
- Usually you come home with lots of merchandise and souvenirs
- If you’re lucky, you might even get to meet one of the stars and get an autograph
Until, that is, I started reading the comments. I know, I know, I should have just applied the YouTube comments rule and ignored them but once I started getting into them, I had a big problem reading some of them that were dripping in what can only be described as the old-school “geek vs sports” mentality. Something struck me as odd though – opposite of traditional convention, the venom was coming from the geeks to be hurled at the sports fans on the page. Unsolicited, and with a vengeance. Dozens of people posted about how these events could not possibly be the same because “football is for losers,” or that sci fi / doctor fans are “much smarter people,” or that football doesn’t “require thought” and fans of sports are somehow dumber. The vast majority of what I’ll call “partisan” commentary was against sports fans. I only spotted a couple actually insulting sci-fi fans, and those “insults” really didn’t get much harsher than “it’s not real.”
A fandom and community that might have been used to judgment over their lifetime is now slinging the judgment at others? And I might add, in an unsolicited manner? It was rough getting through it and feeling like these folks were trying to recreate a version of high school were the stereotypical geeks had the social upper hand. Or that maybe they were slinging this venom because that’s what their fandom dictates they do. Either way, it really upset me. For those who claim that Doctor who is about acceptance and people being themselves, they sure didn’t play the part. So why are traditional geeks, one of the groups I do identify with, taking this route? Are these the same people that reveled in Simon Pegg’s recent definition of “geek” that can now be found all over the internet? Are we so “open and accepting” to shun everyone that doesn’t identify with us? It’s spooky, and I don’t like it.
Which is why I say to everyone, with love, that it’s time to grow the hell up. I understand that everyone is passionate about what they love and develop fierce loyalties. And we gravitate to people who share those passions and find a sense of community. But why does that mean that every other community is somehow inferior or less intelligent or somehow worse than yours? I just don’t get it, not these days anyway. According to these Whovian purists, has my INT stat taken a hit because I have a mind for sports as well?