Geek Culture’s Rise in Mainstream Media

Geek Culture in Today’s Pop Culture

Geek culture has become a mainstay in today’s pop culture. Once the domain of basement-dwelling social outcasts, comic book characters and other cornerstones of geek culture now find themselves at the heart of blockbuster movies like the MCU, tv shows like the Arrowverse, and even video games such as Roblox that allow players to create their own worlds.

What is Geek Culture?

Geek culture is a subculture of fandom centered on specific areas of media. These interests may include larger-than-life fantasy worlds and characters, elements from history or foreign cultures, and science fiction and fantasy themes. Participation in geek culture is often seen as a form of escapism and entertainment.

While previous research has primarily focused on the relationships between personality factors and geek engagement, studies using the Geek Identity Scale have also shown that a variety of demographic variables are related to geek involvement as well. Geek engagement is predicted by openness to experience, creativity, and need for stimulation. A negative relationship with crystallized intelligence is also observed, but this finding requires further exploration using a more in-depth IQ measure.

Belongingness, a construct from Self-Determination Theory, is also positively related to geek engagement and the belief that others will accept participants for their participation in geek activities. However, further investigation is needed to test whether neuroticism and depression are reduced as a result of geek engagement and belongingness motives.

Geek Culture in the Movies

Geek culture has grown from fringe interests to mainstream, reflected in the growing number of conventions like Comic-Con and the popularity of sci-fi and fantasy themes across video games, movies, TV shows, and even merchandise. Moreover, geek identification has become more prominent among men and women – witness the popularity of the superhero costumes at Comic-Con.

Once relegated to back alleys, geek obsessions have now exploded into our cultural conversation, with TV shows like The Big Bang Theory and movies such as Avengers: Endgame becoming the highest-grossing films of all time. In this new paradigm, geekiness is a badge of pride and a source of self-esteem. According to anthropological research, geeks seek belongingness by rallying around their common interests. These shared passions may include specialized knowledge, niche obsessions, and collections of pop-culture artifacts.

Geek Culture in Gaming

When it comes to gaming, geek culture is an ever-growing presence. Although nerds and geeks once huddled in tight-knit groups and kept their gaming secrets to themselves, now the culture has become mainstream. Many gamers are even competing in professional gaming tournaments, known as esports.

Geek culture has also spread into other media, with movies and television shows based on obscure media becoming multi-billion dollar enterprises. In addition, video games have grown more immersive, with players interacting as characters in an imaginary world.

However, more research is needed to understand what makes a particular media interest a geeky one. In a series of regressions that controlled for demographic variables, grandiose and vulnerable narcissism did not predict Japanese or Hobbies engagement, and comic books and skepticism loaded on multiple factors.

Geek Culture in Anime

Geek culture has become mainstream, and media franchises that were once ridiculed as the domain of downtrodden geeks are today’s biggest blockbuster hits. The Big Bang Theory, Star Trek, and Marvel movies all have their roots in fandom culture.

Individuals that identify as geeks have been shown to be more active consumers of media than others. They are known to engage in activities such as role-playing and creating fan fiction, and they may treat fictional universes as though they were real.

Theories such as Self-Determination Theory and Social Identity Theory suggest that engaging in geek culture may help individuals feel like they belong. Geek culture may also be a way to escape reality and experience excitement. These elements could be what draws fans to popular media such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe and anime.

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