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The Rife Team

The Five Stages Of Being A Geek

Source: Fotolia

Source: Fotolia

Tim Gooding is, as your Yogeek (Yogic Geek) Master, an expert in all levels of nerdery. What stage are you at?

What constitutes a geek these days?

Aside from the obvious stereotypes, being a geek means having an unashamed passion for something generally shunned by the mainstream (like if you’re really into growing your own cress). Obviously this is changing, with interests once associated with geekdom now crossing over into the mainstream. This simply means that, right or wrong, geeks have to try even harder to separate themselves.

‘Get to the LIST…’

Okay, here it is:

Stage 1:

The Pseudo-Geek a.k.a The Poser aka The Reason Marvel Studios Is Profitable

Catchphrase: ‘I Love Chris Pratt.’


You’re new to the game. You’ve seen a couple of episodes of ‘The Big Bang Theory’, and thought ‘I want in on that’ for some reason. So you’ve bought a T-shirt online with a slogan on the front that proclaims how much of a geek you are, but in a subtle way. It says ‘GEEK’. Of course you are, you can name all of the Avengers, except the one with the arrows, Hawkman? PinkEye? Ironically, you declare you’re a geek more often now than at any other stage.

…you can name all of the Avengers, except the one with the arrows, Hawkman? PinkEye?

Most of your friends would love the same stuff too, except one of them knows more than you do and has a tantrum every time you ask if ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ is any good. How should you know? You’re still catching up with your ‘Breaking Bad’ boxset, and telling all your friends how good it is, even though they’ve already seen it. You’re desperate for your friends to nickname you Sheldon, even though the only way you’re the geekiest of all your friends, is if you’re a professional footballer. Or a politician.

In your head, George RR Martin and JRR Tolkien are the same person. And that person is Peter Jackson.

You love all three Matrix movies.

You have Pi memorised to over 2 places.

You think Monty Python is a dead, obscure comedian.

Stage 2:

The Proto-Geek aka The Padawan aka The Dude

Catchphrase: ‘I Love Christopher Nolan’


Now it’s more than just superficial, you’ve started to delve further into this ill-defined subculture, realising it’s more than just tshirts and Xbox. But a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing; remember that when you’re listing ever Robin in chronological order to a bored loved one.
You’ve surrounded yourself with like-minded friends with whom you worship a Blu-Ray of ‘Inception’. You try to insert Schrödinger’s Cat into every conversation, in the hope someone will ask what it is, so you can explain. You’ve started trying to memorise the longest word in the English language for the exact same reason.

You’ve started to get into the ‘Game of Thrones’ books, so you can ruin the TV show for everyone…

You’ve started to get into the ‘Game of Thrones’ books, so you can ruin the TV show for everyone, including yourself. But you’re annoyed when the show deviates from the novels, because it invalidates all the tiresome hours you’ve wasted on those audiobooks. Consequently, you now hate George RR Martin, but at least you know who he is.

You try to watch ‘Star Wars’ as many times as you can, but you’re finding it difficult because the effects are rubbish and it’s so old.

You own a Rubik’s Cube, but have never touched it, so it looks like it’s been solved.

You’re thinking of getting a pet and giving it a pop culture name, like calling your cat Bagpuss, your dog Clifford or your mouse Mickey.

Stage 3:

Common or Garden House-Nerd aka The Fan-Boy/Girl aka The Reason Marvel Comics Is Profitable

Catchphrase: ‘I Love Alan Moore’


You’ve started to earn yourself the right to call yourself something of a geek, but you don’t need to, you’re no Stage 1. The hidden gems, cult classics and retro icons are enough to distract you from the irrelevancy of deciding why you’re so into this stuff. It’s obviously because it’s all awesome. You’ve started to appreciate geek culture for what it is, and can finally distinguish between quality and popularity, but you still reeeeally like Batman.

You can now complete your Rubik’s cube in less than two minutes.

You’ve finally made your mind up about the whole Marvel/DC, or PC/Mac, or PS4/Xbox One, or Israel/Palestine debate, and are happy to converse with others who disagree. You don’t get angry yet, just defensive. But the next time someone asks why the Fellowship didn’t just use the Eagles from the beginning, you might just snap.

You quote Douglas Adams into empty air, and your words hang there, in much the same way a brick doesn’t.

One more than one occasion, you’ve come disgustingly close to purchasing your own sonic screwdriver. Or replica Harry Potter wand.

You can now complete your Rubik’s cube in less than two minutes.

You’ve played a Pokémon game in the last six months. And you loved every second of it.

You can’t work out whether you’re allowed to like JJ Abrams’ ‘Star Trek’ reboots, but inside you adore them.

Stage 4:

Rage Against the Machinima aka The Punisher aka Fear and Loathing in Fallout: New Vegas

Catchphrase: ‘I Hate Mark Millar’


You recite the names of the ‘Doom Patrol’ members every evening before bed…

Your interests and passions have slowly morphed into a vehemence whereby you have declared yourself gatekeeper of the geek community. You’re out to expose the posers, so you spend a large amount of time on the internet, but specifically on forums about your favourite show/movie/comic book, waiting for someone to make an error so you can question their fandom by correcting them. People compare you to Hitler, a lot.

Or you’re seeking out lazy articles about geek culture, in the hope of commenting and setting the writer straight.

You recite the names of the ‘Doom Patrol’ members every evening before bed, and your Hentai addiction is not as big a deal as your internet browser history likes to make out. Your only laughter comes in the form of an ironic ‘Ha’ on YouTube comments for videos about ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ mods.

Your Rubik’s cube has been smashed to pieces. You’ve arranged the individual cubes on your bedroom floor to illustrate your hatred for Ben Affleck. They spell the word ‘GIGLI’.

You don’t know how Damon Lindelof keeps getting away with it.

Your pets have been renamed with even more obscure references. Your dog is now called Cosmo, your cat is called Bubastis and your mouse would be called Algernon, but you thought you saw it roll its eyes when you said that ‘GoldenEye’ is still the best game ever. So now it’s dead.

You have a tantrum every time someone asks if ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ is any good.

Stage 5:

Transcendental Nerditation aka Nerdvana aka Mostly Harmless

Catchphrase: ‘Hey, whatever fluxes your capacitor…’


You declare ‘The Room’ to be a work of accidental genius.

Maybe it’s all the primary colours that superheroes wear. Maybe it’s the overexposure to the basic and comforting concept of good always triumphing over evil. But for some reason, the hatred is gone, it’s almost folded in on itself. Your irony is now ironic, you’ve started hating things so much that they’ve regained their beauty. You’re well on the way to becoming just another normal person with a passion, with your entertainment recommendations now just a genuine wish to share something brilliant with someone else, instead of a challenge to see who has the most obscure and insightful tastes.

You’re a Stage 4’s most infuriating adversary, someone who’s happy to let sleeping Ewoks lie, no matter how much you’re being told they ruined ‘Jedi’.

This is the logical end point of the geek’s journey. Someone who likes what they likes, without having to prove it to others. You’re a model ambassador for the geek community, and an advocate for all they stand for.

You declare ‘The Room’ to be a work of accidental genius.

You’ve come to the conclusion that sometimes, a sequel can surpass the original.

You decide that, in their own way, ‘everyone’s a geek’.

What stage geek are you? Let us know… @rifemag or on Facebook

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