The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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Erik_Twice
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Why are there so many social outcasts in geek culture?

by Erik_Twice Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:30 am

I don't think it's controversial to claim that there's a completely disproportionate number of "social outcasts" in geek culture and particularly gaming. There are far more sexual minorities than in any other field, far more people suffering from depression or autism and far, far more people with massive social issues. This cannot be a coincidence.

The question is...why? These social outcasts are a very heterogenous group and some of the explanations I've heard are pretty insatisfactory or incomplete and probably a combination of factors is to blame. For example, here's some stuff I've heard.

VALIDATION:
- Gaming gives an illusion of control over your own life. You can be a hero and win and feel powerful.
- Geek stuff provides validation even if you are a "loser". You can derive validation even if you don't have a job or friends as long as you are "in the know", write good code or post a lot.
- Geek culture rewards knowledge and trivia of small, petty subjects. This attracts people with unhealthy priorities.

DEMOGRAPHICS
- Geek stuff is out of the norm and hence attracts people from outside of it.
- Social outcasts are more likely to get into gaming/geek stuff at a young age.
- Geek stuff panders to social outcasts. (Eg. Otakus)

EFFECT
- Geek culture promotes asocial behaviour.
- Geek culture does not promote asocial behaviour but internet culture does.
- Geek culture is unprepared to deal with asocial beheaviour.

We haven't a serious conversation in a while and I think this could be an interesting discussion. What do you think?
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Jmustang1968
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Re: Why are there so many social outcasts in geek culture?

by Jmustang1968 Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:35 am

I think escapism would apply to some as well.
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benderx
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Re: Why are there so many social outcasts in geek culture?

by benderx Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:18 am

Some are seeking attention cause they don't know what else to do with their life. Some are taking advantage of others.

I just found out major league gaming/ tournaments while they were taking riddlin or adderall just beat the other team, which is abnormal to see with/out knowing it.

My little pony fans. I have never watched the show. Some are fans cause of the battlestar galatica series. Guys or gals who got lonely and wanted to bandwagon with others just to find friends or relationship. Some found it as a way to free themselves from depression. Same goes for power rangers.

Ask yourself would you roleplay as man or woman, no one stopping you? Or would you play that virtual character just for fun temporarily. People have many types of fetish and will hide it from public. There were small groups before the internet boom. We all slowly spread the info from friends, TV, bbs, irc, magazines. Now we meet these people at conventions from comics books to video gaming.

I have met geeks/nerds at anime expo and you had a 80-90% of fun friendly environment that you couldn't get elsewhere. I rather be a nerd at heart than a geek, cause it can be little weird. Like Homestuck a bunch of laughing trolls. Revenge of the nerds ftw. Collectors (sellers in general) that whore the gaming nostalgia. I stay away from card gamers to mmo rpg games. Mmo rpg have no ending, that is why I don't play league of legends or world Warcraft. Some People lose themselves. Its not really for me. Sorry for the rants.

Go play Card Against Humanity a fun game to play with friends.
Last edited by benderx on Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:22 am, edited 9 times in total.
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Jmustang1968
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Re: Why are there so many social outcasts in geek culture?

by Jmustang1968 Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:11 am

WTF did I just read above??
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TSTR
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Re: Why are there so many social outcasts in geek culture?

by TSTR Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:34 am

brainvomit
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Gunstar Green
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Re: Why are there so many social outcasts in geek culture?

by Gunstar Green Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:09 pm

I agree with escapism and people's search for identity (in an online world where it's increasingly harder to be "unique") and validation. That last bit may also explain why many people get so angry when their opinions are not validated by others and the Internet's anonymous ways of expressing oneself probably helps to promote asocial behavior in that case.

But we're at a point now where geek culture is mainstream culture and outcasts tend to filter down into more specific subcultures.

I really do think the Internet is not the best indicator of things. Go to a convention or a community meet-up of some sort and you'll often find the human beings on the other side of the keyboard aren't the same messes they are in their Internet lives. The people who are truly troubled are a loud minority that the Internet likes to gawk at to paint groups with a broad brush.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Why are there so many social outcasts in geek culture?

by Exhuminator Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:47 pm

I think the amount of mellow sane individuals who enjoy geeky things far outweighs the vocal minority eccentrics. It just doesn't seem that way, because the mellow sane individuals don't feel the need to extrapolate their beliefs via a hobby conduit.

I don't think video games or anime hold monopolies on social outcasts, it just seems that way because those are the mediums who's demographics you dabble in and are exposed to. I bet other hobbies like model trains, baseball cards, fantasy football, antique cookware collecting, and extreme croquet all have their vocal minority weirdo groups as well, for example.
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Nemoide
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Re: Why are there so many social outcasts in geek culture?

by Nemoide Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:20 pm

What does geek culture even mean? You mean popular culture? The most popular forms of entertainment out there?

When I was in high school, I definitely thought of "geek" and "nerd" as pejoratives and didn't want to be a geek. Geek culture used to be Loser Club so the fact that "social outcasts" identify with the label and get swept up in a subculture that welcomes them is pretty understandable IMO?
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Why are there so many social outcasts in geek culture?

by PartridgeSenpai Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:48 pm

Nemoide wrote:What does geek culture even mean? You mean popular culture? The most popular forms of entertainment out there?

When I was in high school, I definitely thought of "geek" and "nerd" as pejoratives and didn't want to be a geek. Geek culture used to be Loser Club so the fact that "social outcasts" identify with the label and get swept up in a subculture that welcomes them is pretty understandable IMO?


That was what I was thinking. A "geek" is by defenition a social outcast to begin with, so I'm not really sure what you mean by "geek culture."
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emwearz
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Re: Why are there so many social outcasts in geek culture?

by emwearz Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:03 pm

Because you can play by yourself? Am I right fellas? :wink:

Seriously though, any activity that can be undertaken by yourself if perfect for "social outcasts". Reading, skating, gaming, etc, can all be undertaken by yourself, so if you are a social outcast, obviously you are going to gravitate towards a hobby that does not require you to be social.
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