Since the alphabet is the building block of our language, the Powet Alphabet is the building block of what makes us geeks.
This column poses the question, “What makes us geeks?” To that, I say obscurity. As geeks we thrive in the obscure. Be it obscure objects, information or experiences involving our niche interests, we Obsess Over Obscurity.
Experiences vary from person to person. One may include finally unlocking a well-hidden and long unknown easter egg in a beloved game like Donkey Kong. Perhaps it is tracking down a certain set of musical notes tucked away in games all sharing the same musical director. It could be someone recreating the TMNT Party Van out of a Dodge Mini-Van. Or maybe its just doing something so spectacular or obscure in and of itself that a software developer awards you a rare and coveted armor for their game. These experiences remain obscure because no two instances will be the same. Everyone will experience it differently and bring something to and from the table that noone else will.
Information, more than anything, is a subjective form of obscurity. One geek’s common knowledge is the next geek’s new discovery. One needs to look no further than a fan-run wiki to realize the level to which obscure information is treated among geeks. Waste some time at Wookieepedia (Star Wars), TFWiki (Transformers), or the official Marvel Universe wiki, and you’ll realize the commodity of obscure information. Perhaps its just someone making an obscure reference to an old Tom Selleck movie with robot spiders or someone asking about a continuation to the Bucky O’Hare cartoon. Whatever it is, its out there and some geek is compiling all the information she can on it. The internet has become a lifeline to channel this obscure information into an obsession for many, while others see it as a flirtation of interest. Even we, here at PowetTV, have been known to dabble in a little obscure discovery from time to time.
As a toy collector, there is no shortage of obscurity to be found. It can be found in the form of rare Japanese cassette transformers, exclusive remakes of figures unsure to even originally exist, mail-away mummies, playsets for series less remembered, foreign interpretations of domestic products, and of course those figures that never quite made it to retail. (I could keep going, but will spare you poor souls) Certainly there are many rare items in the community, but rarity does not necessarily dictate obscurity. Just because it came out overseas and did not get much attention does not mean it was a rare item.
What makes us geeks? Obscurity. Which we then plunder and share with all our friends to the point where things are no longer so obscure. And why not? Its all geek to us!