It's 2017 and there's never been a better time to be a geek. Fantasy and science fiction is practically mainstream, what with the plethora of movies, TV series, books, comics, toys, and games presented for your delectation. And if you're after a community of like-minded fans to share your passion with, finding a group on the Internet is just a social media click away.
Ironically for me, this is also the year that I turned in my geek card. I suppose it's been a long time in coming, but only recently did I finally and consciously admit, I'm really not a geek anymore, or at least, not a geek of the current stripe.
Take Game of Thrones, for instance, the hallmark of geekdom today. Each upcoming episode is eagerly awaited, then afterwards dissected and analyzed. Poor me, all I can manage is that the hero is a dwarf and there's an ice blonde chick that gets it on with dragons. Oh, right, and all that death and incest, for whatever they're worth. Like Jon Snow, I know nothing.
I shouldn't judge too harshly because in the past I too have had my dalliances with fandoms. Perhaps it's the quality of the young mind, to be so impressionable and to seek richer realities in the imagination when the stimuli of the real world cannot suffice. But I don't think my friends and I ever reached the level of obsessiveness you find today. Case in point: how many children do you think have been named "Daenerys" or "Khaleesi"?
There was a joy to be had in being a geek way back when. Fandoms were far from the mainstream and therefore obscure. Without the information firehose of the Internet, every bit of canon and lore was hard-won treasure. Old fandom was a joy because it was your little secret, your refuge from the world. And what a thrill if you chanced -- chanced! -- upon other members of your fellowship.
Nowadays, though, geekdom feels too much like work. There's just so much to keep up with. At the end of the day, these are really just so much entertainment products churned out by media machinery, calculated for viewership and engagement. Geekdom has been hijacked, and it's just not fun anymore.