Geek humor also known as nerd humor, is a form of comedy that is written from the perspective of, or makes references to, geek culture. The subjects or narrators of geek humor may be portrayed as having interests outside the mainstream, such as intellectual pursuits or academic subjects, frequently technology. This focus may also be portrayed as adversely affecting their smooth operation within society.

Geek is a reclaimed word. The rise in popularity of the phrase "geek" is concurrent with increased acceptance of the stereotypical personality type's place in mainstream culture, and a rise in the popularity of geek humor. The acceptance took the form of reappropriation of the word, and as a such is an example of opposition to culture

Non-fiction areas of interest that geek humor may focus on include Wikipedia:physics, Wikipedia:mathematics, Wikipedia:engineering, Wikipedia:sci-fi, Wikipedia:computers, Wikipedia:history, Wikipedia:sports, Wikipedia:philosophy, Wikipedia:literature, and Wikipedia:historical reenactment. Geek humor of this type may be marked by jargon. Geek humor about movies and films (cinephiles), music, comic books, theater, art, video games and roleplaying may contain jargon, or it may also, or alternatively, be marked by multiplicity and depth of in-universe detail.

Geek Humor can be considered one of the most diverse and rich fields, with regards to comical pursuits. This is in great part due to how one defines geek humor, and the geek in general. The Wikipedia article, Wikipedia:geek, does a superb job of classifying the title. In general, it is suffice to say that a Wikipedia:geek can be considered one who is preoccupied with a detailed or obscure area of knowledge (i.e.: Wikipedia:technology, the Wikipedia:universe, Wikipedia:Starfleet's ranking schema, et cetera).

Definition Edit

With this in mind, it follows that geek humor preoccupies itself with whatever knowledge domain a particular geek or geeks have interested themselves in. All forms of Wikipedia:humor, be it the classic pun, the observational variant, and so on, are not beyond the reach of the geek. Indeed, one of the defining characteristics of a geek (when speaking purely in general terms), and perhaps his saving grace, is an advanced intellect. However, the debate still rages as to whether or not mental prowess is the sole defining factor between the Wikipedia:nerd, and the Wikipedia:geek, with the former being the intelligent and the latter simply being eccentric.

Practical examples Edit

It is sufficient to understand that those topics, which the geek find enticing, are generally not subjects embraced by the masses. The only way to effectively demonstrate this is by example. A typical geek may be interested in Wikipedia:computers, Wikipedia:Star Trek, Wikipedia:comic books, Wikipedia:Star Wars, Wikipedia:Magic: The Gathering cards, and et cetera. Although these pursuits find mass appeal, they are not the stomping grounds of the masses. Thus, humor generated from within a geek circle becomes just as obscure as the geeks themselves. Indeed, the very need to isolate and identify geek humor as a separate branch of the comical lexicon is due in large part to the fact that a good number of people simply do not understand it.

For example, a particularly devoted faction of the Star Trek (i.e. Wikipedia:Trekkie) geeks quietly chuckle when they hear the uninitiated speaking of the first-officer of the Wikipedia:Star Ship Enterprise, Wikipedia:Spock. This is due to Spock's real, lineal Vulcan name being unpronounceable within the average human's vocal capacity. The humor in this may seem difficult to pinpoint. Nonetheless, this example illustrates the narrowly focused nature of geek humor, either when citing particular examples or viewing the nature of geek humor as a whole. It also demonstrates geek sub classifications (based upon area of interest), which help to define a particular brand of geek humor. However, it is no simple task to bottle humor and organize these variants upon a geek shelf.

Complex nature of geek humor Edit

Taking Star Trek again as a basis, the reader can find two geek subcultures coming together to form a third, perhaps transient, category in the following example, which has cropped up again and again on geek-frequented forums. In episode 24, of season one of Star Trek, the original series, Spock is led to planet Omicron Ceti III by a former co-worker. However, she has hedonistic intents. The planet is home to a Wikipedia:hallucinogenic species of fungi, which, when aroused, covers its victims in spores. When Spock is exposed, he quickly begins to succumb to the intoxicating effects of the creature’s discharge. Soon his inhibitions escape him and he finds himself in passionate embrace with his accompaniment. Much humor is derived from this episode, none of which can be exactly and neatly organized into any category. The Wikipedia:Trekkies would most certainly find it amusing that Spock, the living symbol of rationalism and restraint, would be intoxicated on a paradise planet, loving a woman physically (see Wikipedia:Intercourse), no less. Then, of course, there is the geek variant known to some as "Wikipedia:pot head" or "Wikipedia:druggie" who might happen upon Star Trek one day while consuming illegals (see Wikipedia:illegal drugs )and find Spock's liberal use of hallucinogens humorous. Then, there is the "middle-aged virgin" subheading, whom generally laugh at, albeit anxiously, anything remotely sexual.

Legitimacy and further complexitiesEdit

At this point, some may doubt the legitimacy of geek humor in general, but this is why it must be addressed. Emphasis must be placed on the notion that, because there is a need to pull geek humor from the humor of the mainstream and label it as an independent entity, confirmation is provided for the fact that the majority, or a strong minority, does not understand or recognize geek humor. In truth, most geeks do not understand humor from other geek circles, unless they are "over lappers," who are geeks that migrate between, or have multiple, geek areas of interest. Examples include, but are certainly not limited to, potheads who play Magic: The Gathering, Trekies who also happen to be middle-aged virgins, Fast and the Furious geeks who also watch Japanese Anime cartoons, and et cetera.

A philosophy of geek humor? Edit

A written discussion of geek humor could very well contribute to deforestation, or overload all the Windows servers dotting the Western world (light literary, followed by anti-Windows/Mac geek humor examples incorporated in-action for broader understanding of geek humor as a whole). Really, any topic could be pursued to the utmost depth, but to no avail. Asking to understand all the intricacies of geek humor is not entirely unlike asking why man was placed on earth. You can certainly probe for an answer, and perhaps come up with a highly developed personal conception, but it would be far from any overarching truth, if, indeed, one exists. For all those who do not consider themselves geeks, and yet explore this realm searching for an answer, it is advisable to simply observe the geek circles in question. It is not impossible to consider the possibility of an individual scoffing one day, and then joining in on the laughter the next.

See also Edit

Further readingEdit

This article contains content from Wikipedia. Current versions of the GNU FDL article
Geek humor
on WP may contain information useful to the improvement of this article

Citations Edit