World Geek Day

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Geek Pride Day takes place on May 25, when nerds around the world unite, to celebrate new games, technology, and films. The date of Geek Day was actually chosen to coincide with the release of the Star Wars Film Episode IV: A New Hope, in 1977.

May 25 is also Towel Day, when fans of Douglas Adams (author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) walk around with a towel all day to recall the book’s memorable lines, “A towel… is about the most massively useful thing an insterstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value.

You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon…” and so on.

Many nerds also wear lilac to commemorate the struggles with Alzheimer’s faced by Discworld author, Terry Pratchett. In this book, survivors of the Glorious Revolution in Ankh-Morpork wear lilac on remembrance day (May 25). Greek Pride Day inspires us to ask the question: what maketh a geek?

You could fit the bill if you fulfil one or more of the following requirements:

You are ‘gifted’: Well, how else would you call this level of obsession with bugs, gaming, the new Lego Design programme or virtual reality? Like gifted kids, geeks tend to be extremely passionate about their areas of interest – the only problem is, the only ones who ‘get’ them are fellow geeks.

You take pride in your expertise: A true geek will happily harp on for hours about the latest game they are playing or the new piece of technology they want to buy, providing you with details such as RAM, pixels and refresh rates – yep, all the terminology that means nothing to most individuals.

You tell jokes that only you find funny: For instance: “I put my root beer in a square cup… now it’s just beer.” or “What is a physicist’s favourite food?” “Fission chips” or “They say a Freudian slip is when you say one thing, but you really mean your mother.”

You watch Game of Thrones, read Tolkien and don’t miss a single Star Wars film:
You also watch any and every science fiction film released, including the awful Transendence (2014, starring Johnny Depp) and Lucy (2014, starring Scarlett Johansson). Rom coms, on the contrary, tend to make you feel a little queasy.

You are a gamer: We don’t mean Monopoly or Cluedo. We’re talking GTA, League of Legends or Counterstrike: Global Offensive. You play for hours on end and can think of nothing worse than being forced to actually have dinner or go to bed, when you are in the midst of a fun online game with fellow geeks.

You are obsessive about grammar: Just about the worst turn-off in someone you fancy is when they deign to confuse ‘their’, ‘they’re’ and ‘there’. Or ‘of’ and ‘have’ (as part of the grammar police, could I please beg my friends to stop writing “I could of” instead of “I could have” on their Facebook posts?).

You have a ‘personal’ fashion sense: You either deck out in Heavy Metal every day (even to weddings, communions and the like), you like combining Dockers and Adidas and you also think that plaid and stripes work well together.

Female geeks can easily be identified by their chipped blue or black nail polish, striped tights and odd hair accessories (large plastic flowers are a firm fave, even when feria season is over).

You read comics, and your bookshelves are packed tight with Manga comic series.

You weren’t the first person to land a date to the dance/prom in high school.

You wear glasses.

We admit it; we’ve fallen for every single cliché in the book. Who cares, though? There are many cool things about being a geek – above all, the time and energy geeks spend on their passion. It is always important to do the things you love.

The greatest artists and scientists in history were geeks, so the next time someone calls you ‘four eyes’, think of Leonardo da Vinci and breathe a sigh of relief – it truly is hip to be square.

Words Marisa Cutillas

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