Has geek gone mainstream?

Mary Jane Watson

Photographer: Sandy Smith Photography

There was a time when geek was an insult. Being a geek meant being an unemployed, overweight man who spent your time in your mother’s basement, or it meant that if you asked the mainstream. It seems to me though, that after the whole ‘geek chic’ movement, geek has moved beyond being ‘cool’, and is now just…normal. Geek is the new mainstream.

Some of this mainstreaming can be put down to what’s on our screens. With Marvel Studios churning out hit after hit, our cinema screens have more than a touch of nerd. Sitting pretty in amongst the top ten highest grossing movies of 2017 so far are Logan,  Gaurdians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and The Lego Batman Movie. Still to come this year and sure to challenge that list? Thor: Ragnarok. Wonder Woman. Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Spider-Man: Homecoming. Noticing a theme? And that’s just this year.

The trend for geek is hitting or TV screens too. Everyone and their dog seems to be hooked on Game of Thrones, a series based on a pretty classic sword and sorcery style fantasy. Netflix has hit a home run with it’s Marvel offering, with what seemed like half the planet going gaga for Daredevil and Jessica Jones. 

Games of all times are looking pretty cool now. There are currently three game themed cafes near me (that I know of) offering a side of video games, table-top games or retro arcade games to go with your coffee. Among the list of YouTube’s highest earning stars are several Let’s Play or gaming channels, like Pewdiepie. 

What about fashion? Well, have have you been into a Primark recently? The high-street fast fashion giant has a range to keep any nerd happy, with clothing, accessories and home decor themed on Marvel and DC heroes, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Pokemon…not to mention the outrageously popular Disney line. With the release of Suicide Squad, the beauty gurus took to YouTube to share tutorials on how to recreate Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn makeup. In this month’s Glamour Magazine a double page spread was dedicated to the runway collections which seemed to be influenced by the warrior women of Game of Thrones, The Force Awakens and Wonder Woman. 

Lately, my Facebook feed has been flooded with friends who probably wouldn’t define themselves as nerdy, sharing things like Harry Potter themed bar crawls, their reviews of Guardians of the Galaxy, or their excitement for the next MCU installment. Even cosplay isn;t weird anymore. Not so long ago, the first question I was always asked was what on earth cosplay was, whereas now, people come up to me in the kitchen at work, or walk over at blogging events, to tell me the character they’re harbouring a secret desire to cosplay.

Personally, I love it. The more the merrier. What do you think? Is geek still uncool, or are we at the cutting edge?