Geek Culture Jobs – Finding Nirvana in Geeky Cities.


Geek Culture Jobs – The Road to Nirvana

Geek culture has become mainstream, with comic books, sci-fi and wearing thick-rimmed glasses now commonplace. But the road to geeky nirvana is not easy, and some cities are better positioned than others to provide like-minded individuals with a rich environment.

Self-Determination Theory lists belongingness as one of the core needs that drives human behavior, and geeks use their media interests to fulfill this need. However, further research is needed to examine this relationship.

1. You’re Passionate

As geek culture has become mainstream, being into sci-fi, superheroes, or video games is no longer the social stigma it once was. In fact, people are embracing this genre of entertainment as a way to express their creativity and passions.

Studies have also found that geeks engage in these media interests as a way to fulfill needs for belongingness, which is one of the basic human needs proposed by Self-Determination Theory. Interestingly, these findings are not consistent with the “fantasy migration” hypothesis that suggests that individuals who are high in fantasy proneness migrate into these immersive cultural activities at the expense of real life goals like career aspirations and raising a family.

Cities that cater to pop culture fans and “geeks” tend to have higher concentrations of like-minded individuals, more community events, and plenty of places where people can buy the gear they need. However, the exact criteria that makes a great geek city remains unclear.

2. You’re Creative

Geek culture combines the formerly solitary interests of individuals into a collective social experience, where fans can share their devotion to a particular media franchise. For example, video games, TV shows, movies, and comics all have their own communities where fans gather online to discuss and debate the latest episodes. Some even take their fandom to the next level by dressing up in costumes to emulate their favorite characters.

Research supports Woo’s “great fantasy migration” hypothesis, which states that people engage in geek culture as a way to feel belongingness in an individualistic society where traditional resources for gratification such as civic groups and nuclear families are scarce or nonexistent. Geek engagement is correlated with narcissism, fantasy proneness, and tendencies toward dissociation and schizotypy.

It’s also associated with creativity, as geek culture enthusiasts are more likely to report being engaged in creative activities such as writing fan fiction and exhibiting their collections.

3. You’re Open-Minded

Geek culture has long been viewed as a counterculture to a growing power differential in media, with fans seeking more active participation than passive reception. Studies show that geeks are more likely to create fan-fiction, role-play and even act as though fictional universes are real.

But it turns out that geeks aren’t so narcissistic after all, and have the ability to value other goals in life, like career and financial success and family. Geek engagement has also been shown to be positively related to openness to experience.

In other words, any city that offers a variety of options for pop culture fans and geeks to explore will be a great place to work. In fact, a city that hosts several different types of cons every year will especially appeal to those who enjoy nerdy pursuits.

4. You’re Flexible

When you’re a geek, you often seek ways to learn outside the classroom and work in unconventional ways. This flexibility can benefit a company that welcomes originality and resourcefulness.

The best cities for geeks are those that offer above-average access to comic book stores, gaming stores and other nerdy amenities. In addition, the top cities for geeks provide above-average incomes for people who work in a range of professions related to pop culture.

For example, Orlando, FL, is the best city for geeks thanks to its popularity as a filming location for movies such as “Stranger Things,” plus like-minded residents and a high concentration of comic cons. Meanwhile, Atlanta, GA, and San Jose, CA, are great cities for geeks looking to cash in on their passion for video games and tech.

5. You’re Innovative

Geeks are innovative, creative thinkers who are always on the lookout for new opportunities to grow and learn. They’re open to experimenting with new ways of doing things and willing to toss old approaches that don’t work.

They’re also sticklers for details and often immersed in the minutiae of various industries from video games to comics, and they have a laser-like focus that keeps them on task and enables them to develop career-viable skills. Geeks love to share their knowledge with others and enjoy collaborating on projects that will expand the universe of their favorite interests. Using social network analysis software, density and degree centrality scores were analyzed for all participants. Computer/console gaming, Internet forums, and skepticism failed to load at a significant level on any factor; therefore, they were omitted from the scale in this study and subsequent analyses.

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