Rachel Riga in Bmag says once upon a time you might have found them moving slowly through a comic shop or second-hand book store amidst the musky dust-covers. Or you might have discovered them solitary in their parents’ basements. Or indeed you might have seen them avoiding eye-contact in certain school hallways attempting to escape the taunts of the local bully.
Back then it took a lot of effort to engross yourself in geek. You were teased for being a Trekkie or loving Dungeons and Dragons. In the days before eBay the comics were hard to come by and the books where tomes.
With the rise and rise of superhero movies, comic book conventions and big-budget fantasy TV show it is now hip to be a geek. Many famous blockbuster movies have been based on comics, from the obvious Batman, Superman, and X-men to the gritty Aliens vs Predator. The fantasy movie series such as Harry Potter is simply huge. And of course, Lord of the Rings a book within itself inspired the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons is one of the most successful movie series of all time.
Then there are the TV shows: The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones have inspired a generation to embrace fantasy and zombies.
Rachel Riga reports that Louise Bolland, an 18-year-old university student, and full-time fangirl says the concept of “geek” has changed because it has become more socially accepted norm.
“It appeals so much to people because it’s an escape from normal mundane life,” she says. “I go to Supanova because it’s a place where I can find people who share my interested and hand out with friends as well as see the cool things people make in relation to fandom stuff.”
Pop culture has found a special forum in conventions and expos which celebrate all things fantasy and sci-fi with cosplay and geek culture. According to Bmag the geek movement is responsible for turning introverts into extroverts and helping shy wallflowers express themselves and overcome social anxieties through cosplay.
For those in the know, cosplay is a portmanteau of the words costume and play. It is where participants wear costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea from manga, anime, comic books, video games, or movies.
One famous cosplayer, who has also played our brand of laser tag is Raychul Moore. Pictured here is Raycul as Princess Leia.
Ace Comics store manager, Pol Rua says the appeal of costumed role-play is transforming into another identity. “You know there’s this idea that with characters in masks if you’re wearing a mask you can be anybody,” he says.
Battlefield Sports co-Founder, Nicole Lander says “There is an appeal to becoming a hero for a day.”
Laser Tag when it first started 30 years ago was geeky. Today’s game is a lot different from the first commercial laser tag arena "Photon" which started in Texas in 1984.
“When playing Battlefield LIVE or cosplaying gamers can drop the nerd mantle and don the identity of a superhero,” she said.
“The appeal of fantasy is that the superhero is always the alter ego of the nerd. I think that’s got a bit of appeal and it gives things live ComicCon and Supanova the chance to give like-minded people an opportunity to get together and celebrate their own identity and nerd,” said QUT media and communications lecturer Dr. Sternberg.
Battlefield LIVE has entertained gamers in many pop culture conventions from Supanova, the Zombie Walk and GenCon.
As the actor, Wil Wheaton (famous for his role in Star Trek) said in a video that went viral, "Being a nerd is awesome. Being a nerd or being a geek... it's not about what you love, it's about how you love it."
Track down your local Battlefield LIVE outfit at the next pop culture con near you to embrace your inner geek.