The Phases of Becoming a Geek

Becoming a geek is a unique process. Some may come to it early on, practically born into a hobbit family living in a TARDIS house.

For others, like myself, the process happens later on in life.

Of course, when I say geek, I’m referring to an avid fan of all things science fiction and fantasy. The discovery of all things awesome and fantastical, which provide immense entertainment and compelling concepts.

What are the phases of becoming a geek? There’s not a one-size-fits-all structure, but here’s my rough outline.

Phase 1: Initiation

This is when the first echoes of geekiness resonate within. The time when you read a fantasy series that utterly captivates you or watch a movie that waters those seeds of geekiness through the display of some unique aspect.

You realize you have a love for tales set in magical kingdoms or on distant planets.

Reservations may exist, but the draw of these stories is too strong. Like a child is drawn to the candy store or the toy section of Wal-Mart, you can’t resist the appeal. Your first tastes of what Geekville has to offer are too delicious to turn down.

Appetite whetted, you step through the door of initiation.

Phase 2: Assimilation

Time goes on. Your fascination with exotic stories increases, fed by a desire not to escape reality, but to see it framed from a different angle, colored by dozens of perspectives and cultures. To brave the inky void of space or embark on an impossible quest through lands occupied by queer creatures.

The worlds to explore are endless, offering excitement fused with compelling story arcs and settings that dazzle and amaze.

Characters and places come alive, kindled with the flame of otherness, yet an otherness that rings out with chimes of truth.

You begin watching TV shows where they say things like, “Engage,” “Bow-ties are cool,” or “My name is Barry Allen and I’m the fastest man alive.”

Like it or not, at this stage, there’s no turning back. The tractor beam of Ship Geek has locked in on you and you’re coming for the thrilling ride. Which is exactly what you want.

Phase 3: Passion

After entering Geekville without a second thought, you become a passionate resident (possibly with a comfortable home at Number Five Bagshot Row). 😉

I got that referenecYou re-read your favorite stories, mark the dates on your calendar when Marvel and DC are set to release a new film, and attend comic cons. You become immersed in geek culture. Finding other geeks is akin to meeting up with long-lost relatives.

Being a geek doesn’t consume you, but it’s inseparable from who you are.

  • You share your passion on social media, posting memes, quotes, and articles.
  • You have long discussions with your friends about the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (or any other favorite shows).
  • You become a quoting machine, spouting off movie and book quotes as readily as Tony builds Iron Man suits.
  • You read blog posts about movies and books, keeping up to date with the happenings in the world of sci-fi and fantasy.
  • You make quote graphics.
  • Whenever you can, you integrate your fandoms into daily life—see meme above. 😉
  • You enjoy YouTube videos like the How It Should Have Ended series and Honest Trailers. With a heavy(if not exclusive) emphasis on geeky movies.
  • You love inside jokes and clever blends of different fandoms.

"Use the Force Harry" - GandalfThis phase can be detrimental, as it includes forming the habit of binge-watching TV shows to catch up. But that’s fine, because the Force will be with you. (See what I did there? 😉 )

Phase 4: Obsession

In this phase, passion isn’t enough. Certain fandoms have your utter and undying loyalty *cough-wink* Star Wars *cough-wink*. Your inner geek becomes your outer geek as you hold nothing back in your obsession.

  • Watch the same Marvel movie five times in theaters? Yep.
  • Buy the extended editions of your favorite films? Naturally.
  • Get three (or seven) sets of Legos from your favorite fandom? Eleven, actually.
  • Shirts, mugs, and posters proclaiming your favorite fandoms? Duh.
  • Stalk actors on social media? Guilty as charged.
  • Order the limited editions of books? Of course.

If you’re the type of person who enjoys dressing up, much cosplaying is involved at this stage. You have multiple costumes—because why not? It’s too much fun.

You regularly wear geeky shirts. It’s highly likely you own jewelry or replica weapons. Everything about you screams, “I’m a geek and I love it!”

Which phase are you in? How did your journey into the world of a love for all things sci-fi/fantasy begin? I’d love to hear from you.


The Phases of Becoming a Geek — 10 Comments

  1. Hehe, well, looks like I’m solidly entrenched in Phase 4… though I don’t stalk actors, because they aren’t the character they play, so I don’t really care what Daniel Radcliff or David Tennant is up to…

    You don’t even want to know how many Star Wars Lego sets we have (well, you might, actually… I’m not even sure… I know it’s far north of 11) 😉

    I don’t actually get to go to the theater very often, so the same Marvel movie 5 times has not happened… I did go see Fellowship of the Ring 7 times in the theater, though.

    Quoting movies in my family growing up was like an Olympic Sport… and still is… so that definitely happens regularly. I sometimes talk in quotes… and people who know me well either a) get the quote immediately, or b) at least know I’m quoting something they probably haven’t seen and love me anyway.

    Honest Trailers! 🙂

    • Wow. That’s a lot of Legos. 0_0

      7 times…that’s dedication. Love the fact you use quotes all the time. I try to do it as much as possible. And when people say something I recognize, I love to say, “I got that reference.” 😉

      I find Honest Trailers highly entertaining.

  2. I’m somewhere between Phase 3 and 4, depending on the fandom. Princess Bride–solidly Phase 4. It is the single most quoted movie in our household, and I would wear, buy, display a poster of, etc. just about any Princess Bride item. Inconceivable, is it not?

    I have also considered TARDIS and Gallifreyan jewelry so… Okay, Doctor Who probably counts. (Though I need to catch up on Capaldi.)

    As for Star Wars, when we were kids, we’d all fight over who got to be Princess Leia (I grew up with 4 sisters), so we made up another princess, Princess Leah, and we just made the Chee-hoo sound for Darth Vader because nobody wanted to play him. We could usually get one of the younger girls to act as Luke or Han Solo so that one of the princesses could get married at the end of the play-pretend. I’m tellin’ ya, you’re not a true fan until you’ve played pretend in your fandom. (Cosplay counts.)

    C. S. Lewis doesn’t exactly offer a geekdom, but I do admit to writing a whole book about him (it earned a 100 for my college capstone) and I’ve chatted Lewis with another aficionado over coffee for an afternoon. I own more books by him than by any other author. We need to come up with a cool name for Lewis fans. Ideas?

    • Wow, that’s impressive Yaasha. Confession…I’ve only seen Princess Bride once. 😮 But, “inconceivable”…I understood that reference. 😉

      I agree that Doctor Who is amazing, even though I’m only familiar with Matt Smith and parts of Tennant and Capaldi. REALLY need to do catch-up.

      Haha, that’s great. Star Wars dedication at its best. 🙂 Another confession…I haven’t seen all the Star Wars movies. So, um, yeah. :-/

      Ah, Lewis. Apart from Boxen, I think I’ve read every fiction story he’s written, as well as books about him and books about his books. You wrote an entire book…that earned 100 for a Capstone project? WOW. Unfortunately, nothing comes to mind for a Lewis fandom.

  3. Yep. I’m a geek. Quotes, Legos, extended/limited editions, How It Should Have Ended, inside jokes and clever blends, a little cosplaying…yep. I think the thing I’m most geeky about (especially in way of movies) is Back to the Future, but I have lots of other fandoms. Many of which have terrible reboots. Which I rant about. A lot.
    For Lewis fans, maybe… Clive Staples (as in C. S.)? Or is that lame?

    • How It Should Have Ended is great! 😀 😀 So much geeky fun.

      Ooohhh, Back to the Future. Love that movie, and the third one, too. Don’t really care for the second. Haha, yes. We fandom fans can be a picky group. 😛

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