Geeky Origin Stories

KiriKiri Member
edited September 2013 in Kiri Callaghan
So this week I got to talk to some of the community (the Toronto-based community, anyway) about their geeky origin stories. And while it was amazing to meet so many fantastic people--one of the reasons I really wanted to focus on this this week was because I feel we should always be sharing our favorite fandoms and passions because it makes us stronger as a community. And when looking back at horrible events in history--whether national, international or personal--strengthening our communities is what helps us get it through it.

So tell your story--what got you into your geekery and how has that been important? For me, as I mentioned, it was about bonding with my family--we've always been a very busy bunch (if you wonder where I get it)--so time spent around a console was precious. 

I also really want to bring attention to a project one of our community members, MrGrokNRoll (The man behind the Weekly Geekend Hangouts--if you haven't seen them, hop over to youtube!) mentioned to me that I not only think is really worth the shout out--but also was relevant to the general theme of the week. As I've talked about before, we as geeks are passionate and more often than not, we channel that passion into creating something. 

I'll let him explain it here ( I'll be doing a video myself about my creator story (you will be able to catch it on my personal channel) and help contribute in anyway I can. 

So my fellow geeks, nerds and creators (or all of the above)--how did you get started? What started the awesome that you are now?


  • I think I've always been geeky since I was a kid.  More of a gamer than anything but I also like sci-fi and anime.

    My father was a fan of science fiction and kind of pushed me into it, he would take us to go see Star Wars releases and the family would all watch Star Trek: TNG whenever it came on.  I was a fan of both series growing up.  I would watch Star Wars for the fantasy aspect and I liked Star Trek because it had exploration and a military structure.

    Those were just small interests to me though.  I fell in love with gaming.  My first video game was Donkey Kong Country that my dad had got us one year for Christmas.  The reason I liked games so much was that I used to live in Nebraska.  I lived in the middle of nowhere, I wasn't good at sports and I didn't know anything about farming so video games were my outlet.  I remember summers playing Final Fantasy 9 and Legend of Legaia with my sister.  I would later get all the playstation consoles.  Now I'm more of pc
    gamer but I have a N64 and PS2 for when I want to bust out some retro
    games. But I think those rpgs are what cemented me in gaming, it also started my sister down the road of anime.

    So I guess my father introduced us to an "alternative" lifestyle and we just found our own interests.
  • Well, being 17, my origin story is still ongoing, But in the past year or so, I've come to realize that I'm quite the geek.
    It probably started Watching cartoon network religiously as a kid, back when it had mostly good 'toons on it. a bit later on I watched a lot of Doctor who, and other such sci- fi shows. After a while, I gave most of it up, thinking it all a bit childish.
    I also played a small number of games on the PC as a kid, mostly the Sims, which I played the shit out of. It wasn't until I Begged my Mum to get me an Xbox 360 for Christmas at 14 that I really started to play  video games.

    I didn't really feel like a geek until about a year and a half ago, because by this stage I had my own laptop and Internet. I then re-discovered all the now geeky things from my childhood that I missed, and that there was other that liked that stuff too. I also discovered loads of new geeky things too.
    Now I'm a big Gamer too, I play loads on PC and on the 360, can't get enough, even if my family hates it.

    I'm staring college literally next week, Moving to a bigger place, where there will actually be other geeks, as well as the odd convention to go to, so that is the next chapter of my story, hopefully.

  •  My dad always got a Sunday paper and would read the funnies to me. I loved Garfield, Zits, and Calvin and Hobbes growing up.As I got older I branched out to Spiderman, X-Men, and the like. 

     The beginning of high school my friend started going to the comic book shop to play this card game called Magic the Gathering. I had never gone before and went with him one weekend to look at comic books and ended up learning how to play Magic the Gathering while I was there. From there it continued on to playing in Friday Night Magic games, dungeons and dragons ( I DM now), PC games like Neverwinter Nights and World of Warcraft. 

    I'm older now (currently 29 but will be 30 on the 25..feel so old lol) and still doing the same things. I'm currently DM'ing for a group of my friends once a week and trying to finish a book I've been working on for the better part of a year. 
  • Thanks again for including me in your video, Kiri! ^^ (I'm the forehead-eye-person at about 2:25.)

    Like I said in the video, I've been pretty geeky for most of my life. I always liked Sailor Moon, Pokemon, Digimon and the like - but as I grew up, I realized more and more of my "friends" suddenly stopped being interested in those things. One of my greatest memories of this was starting grade 5 after summer vacation and asking my friend if he wanted to play Pokemon with me. He immediately responded with disgust, as if to say "that's just for kids, it's really dumb now". I just did not understand! How could something that made us so happy and was so much fun suddenly be bad or dumb or not worth our time?

    Needless to say, I kept liking Pokemon and other nerdy things as I grew up. I became a bit of a social outcast and didn't have many friends at school, but at home I was always happy learning about new things, reading different books, and of course playing every Pokemon game I could get my hands on. Life was pretty rough until high school, when I met a great group of creative, passionate people who, if a little bit strange, were really supportive and genuine about their interests. I learned not to be ashamed of the things I liked and I tried to support others no matter what their interests were.

    As I moved on to university I tried to find a balance between my geeky side and my more social side - I wanted to feel and be seen as not just a stereotypical "nerd" but as someone with a great passion for my various interests, which I expressed in a socially appropriate manner. I'm still working on this balance, but I'm proud to say I've never sacrificed who I am to make other people accept me.

    What I've learned from all of this is to always be open minded with others, no matter what they're interested in (as long as they're not hurting anyone!). I've found out about amazing things that I never knew existed just because someone was so enthusiastic about it (I'm looking at you, Tigermonkey), and in turn they really inspired me to tell others about the things I like (in a socially appropriate manner).

    tl;dr: Be yourself, but also be aware of others! Don't let your enthusiasm for something be dampened by others, but make sure you're always presenting yourself and your interests in the best way possible. That's how you can really get others interested too, rather than scaring them away (which tends to happen often when someone amazingly passionate explains their hobby/craft/interest). And most of all be true to yourself, because that's the first step to being happy! If I hadn't tried out cosplay I would never have met Sachie and Kiri, and I'd have never been part of an amazing community that really supports its members!
  • Anime_z3Anime_z3 Member
    edited September 2013 PM
    Honestly I think I was just born this way. I can't even really pin point a time although I never really saw any of these things I'm into as "geeky"(not until I was in 11th grade). I really liked reading about animals and the human body when I was really young then when I was six Pokemon happened and forever stole my mind. I got into video games & other anime because of the Pokemon anime it was my gateway. My parents wouldn't buy me anything expensive so I had to save up to get a Game Boy Color when I was 8 and that I did. The GBA had already come out but I didn't care cause I was infactuated with the GBC(I later upgraded a year later). I was exteremely obessed with GB games specifically and later Pokemon Stadium for the N64 because my friend had it(I disreguarded his SNES) he had Mario 64 as well but we never played it, it was all about Pokemon Stadium. Then I finally got cable in 2002 and Toonami was added on to my list of obessions! Anime took over my thoughts completely I mean after seeing a line up like Tenchi Muyo: Tenchi in Tokyo, Hamtoro, Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z and G Gundam!! How could I not become obessed. I drew alot when I was younger but anime made me want to tell better stories. I love anime so much partly because unlike most cartoons like Pixar movies it didn't treat you like a dumb kid it gave you really intelligent story lines (Gundam Wing for instance). Then I found out Adult Swim showed anime and started to sneak to the living room just to watch it. So yeah those were my early years lol thats what got me into the cool stuff I like. 
  • I grew up all over Southern California (aka Geek Holy Land) with a dad who was a HUGE geek & nerd. He took me and my brother to see Star Wars when it was rereleased and we had just about every video game system from the NES forward and PC to game on. Once a month we'd each get a day where just us and our dad would spend the day together. My dad and i would go to the local mall and spend the day there going through comic book stores, model shops, and wizard of the coast stores. After having lunch we would go to see a movie which helped me develop my love of cinema. The three of us would play video games, watch shows, and play table top or card games together every weekend. As time went on my brother has "grown out' of his geeky interest but mine has stayed firmly implanted. Video games were how i actually first learned how to read. my dad would play text based games on the PC and i'd sit on his lap and try to sound everything out along with him. Unfortunately my dad isnt a part of my life anymore but i will always treasure those younger years of geekdom we all shared.
    "At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want" - Lao Tzu
  • edited September 2013 PM
    At first I thought it was video games.  I mean I actually watched pong being played in the 70's (yup that old), was an intellivision guru at 4, and also had pretty much every console save the same dreamcast and the turbo graphics 16. 

    But then there is that Star Wars thing.

    Stage 1 - The Seed
    I loved Star Wars from the moment I remember seeing it.  Apparently the first movie I ever saw in the theatre was Episode IV.  Now I was 2 and the loud noises apparently were a bit much for me and I don't remember a thing (much to my dismay) but by the time The Empire Strikes Back came out, I was the most knowledgable Star Wars kid in the neighbourhood.   We never had much money but everything I asked for was Star Wars related, and though I never had any of the uber cool toys, I got along just fine :)

    Step 2 - Know They Self
    Once the toys were a thing of the past, I realized that the original trilogy was what centered me.  When ever I was down or needed cheering up, I marathoned those bad boys and my world was right again.  When I was young EVERY boy in the neighbourhood I knew loved Star Wars, but as I grew older it waned on those around me.  I felt like I was holding onto something I wasn't supposed to, so my open love for something became a private thing that I stopped talking about.

    Stage 3 - The Rebirth
    Then I was introduced to Magic:The Gathering.  The timing of this could not have been better, as I stated in @cyanide 's book it brought me joy in the darkest time of my life.  Eventually my friends stopped playing this and I was kinda at a loss as I quote enjoyed the game, but with no one to play...

    Step 4 - The Leap of Faith
    Then Star Wars : Customizable Card Game came out.  My buddy worked at a toy store and on the release date we split a box of the cards and though our pulls sucked, we were hooked.  We bought more and more cards, and eventually played in the first tournament in Toronto.  THIS is where it I stopped caring about what people thought of it.  I dove head first into this, becoming an OK player, soon a tournament director and finally a Squadron Member (offical local rep for the card company).  I did this for the full arc of the game, but near the end the player base had deterioated and volunteering my time and money to run the tournaments became not worth it...then there was another gap.

    Step 5 - Acceptance
    The discovery of MMO's.  I started with a FPS (Medal of Honor : Allied Assault), then Neverwinter Nights, a couple others in there but I hit my MMO stride in WoW.  And once you are into WoW you more or less accept what you are.

    Step 6 - Pride
    This one I owe to Felicia and Wil.  While playing WoW a forum member posted a link to The Guild and well that is how I found Felicia.  This got me onto Twitter, which is where I found Wil (whom I loved in a variety of projects growing up).  These two almost singlehandedly showed me that since I had accepted my geekness, that I should be proud of it.  Advertise it.  Wear it like a badge of honour.  And to them I could never thank them enough.

    Step 7 - Contribute
    This is where I currently am.  I want to give back to this community that has given me so much.  The people I have met via G&S specifically, those whom I have come to admire continue to show me how awesome they are and I want to help keep this incredible machine rolling.

    Sorry I missed you when you visited Kiri, but glad to hear you enjoyed a couple of the local attractions.  Hope to see you next year.  Keep up the awesome videos my multi-talented friend.
  • As a kid my brother and I loved video games. It started with NES and then we shifted to the Sega. My parents were the coolest. We even had the Sega Channel through our cable company, which was the coolest thing ever for a kid! Our parents would game with us at first, but over time the consoles became less family oriented and more individually claimed. For me it wasn't just the games but I wanted to know about the tech behind them. Then I needed to know how things were made and I found myself delving deeper and deeper into the unknown.

    This started shifting from games to movies when I was 12 or so. If I was excited about something I would find out all the information I could about it and just had to share it with everyone. I quickly realized not everyone expressed their love of something this way. One moment, I will never forget, changed how I viewed myself. I was watching "The Phantom" (the one with Billy Zane) with my family and I was spewing fact over fact about the filming locations and the breed of horses used and how the costumes were made and the way some of the action scenes were filmed. I was so excited I just felt that my family should know all of this stuff about the movie. My brother promptly asked me if I could "stop ruining the movie for him with all of this useless information." I was shocked into silence. It was in that moment I realized that the way I enjoyed things that I was really geeked about wasn't necessarily the norm.

    That moment made me uncomfortable and made me question my passions, but not for long. I decided that I didn't care if they knew all of this stuff, I still wanted to know. So as I grew up I continued to celebrate the awesomeness of the geeky things I loved and found people along the way that I could celebrate with. In middle school my friends and I would ask The All Important Monday Morning Question which was "what did you think of X-Files this week?'' We met in the library before school to ponder this question and many others. It was then that I found my friends that I made for life. We understood that we weren't weird, but that we were interested in things that other kids weren't and we didn't care. We let our geek flags fly high and were proud! To this day I live the same way.


    That's what I love about our community. We are proud of who we are and make no apologies. We just love something sooo much that we have to express it in countless ways. I'm just super stoked that so many people that once thought they were alone now get to see the power of the Geeks!

  • @Kiri Thanks for mentioning my little campaign.
    I'll be telling my own story soon - after I got a bit of sleep.
  • My geek origin. What I found interesting about this concept is that I really never heard word the geek while growing up. Or at least I have no memories of hearing the word geek until I was in the later years of high school. I did hear the word nerd while growing up, but it wasn’t being used in flattery format. It was being used more of kind of insult when I was growing up, which always confused. I was seeing nerds as these brilliantly smart people and did not understand why people were seeing this as a bad thing. So I didn’t actually start calling myself geek until the later years of high school or just after graduating high school.

    Looking back I think would be fair to say I became a little geeky when I was a little kid. My first geekdom I think would have been video games and computer games. My family eventually got our very first computer, and there were a few kid games we had and played. But at the same time I also liked siting behind my parents and watching them play their games. There was also this grocery store that had I think two video arcade machines, and I would enjoy just watching the demos play on the machines. Some I would pretend to be playing them. Then one day the grocery store got arcade machine and I was pretending to play I released I was actually moving the character on screen. I couldn’t use any of the special weapons but I was controlling the character. This machine basically had a playable demo version were all you could do was move the character and use the one and only attack. You need to put in quarter to use the other stuff, and you would not be able to put your name on the high score playing this demo, but for me and that point in my life this was like the coolest experience ever! I just now looked up the game so I can you tell guys the title. It was called Ikari Warriors.

    This next part might be a little odd. At this particular point and time we didn’t own a console. I never asked my parents for a console. I think I just understood that we could not afford one or something to that effected. But despite the fact of not owning a console, and not trying to get my parent to buy one I would still watch these video games shows. I don’t think they were video game reviews. I think they were more about giving people tips, hints, and strategy in videos games. Again, did not own a console. Did not try to get my parents to buy a console. But I would still watch these shows just to see the game play footage. I admit that was probably a little odd. But it shows a little of how I was drawn to video games despite my lack of video game resources at the time.

    My second geekdom would have been superheroes. Not comic books. Superheroes. We didn’t really have good access to comic books and also could not afford to buy comic books on any regular bases. So my main exposer to superheroes were t.v. shows and movies. While growing up I would find channels that were rerunning these live action superhero shows. There were live action shows of Superboy, The Flash, Wonder Woman, and Batman. (Yes, I am referring to the Batman show from the 60’s that stared Adam West. Yes, I am aware this may not be your ideal version of Batman. But I watched it when I was a kid and I liked. No, I was not alive when this show originally aired.) And then later I find superhero cartoons of Spider-Man, X-Men, and The Justice League (or The Super Friends as they were called in some the older cartoon reruns.) I found superheroes freaking awesome. I can’t really give a reason as towards why they just were. If I found out something had a superhero, I was probably interested in learning more about it. I have opinions about superheroes. I have some of my own likes and dislikes about superheroes. I do not know much about the comic book history of the superheroes. But I can join a conversation about the basic concepts of superheroes.

    There are other geekdoms and geeky related stories you can find from my life. But those two kind of stood out to me as being from the early part of my life and could probably be classified as being my geeky origins. Plus I don’t want to talk about myself for too long. This actually turned out to be longer than I expected.
  • RobRobertsonRobRobertson Member
    edited September 2013 PM
    Well. my geeky origin story probably started when I was really young. I had the original NES which I played a lot. I had mario, zelda, duck hunt, and teenage mutant ninja turtles. I also had the black and white gameboy with a bunch of games. I became a full-time geek probably when the Pokemon craze hit the US. I went crazy and bought decks, games, memorabilia, etc. I also got a N64 so that was fun. I grew up playing video games. However, my parents weren't gamers. Luckily when my sister got older, I got her into playing video games and turned her into a nerd. 

    I've always been a gamer. I owned a NES, N64, game boy, game boy color, ninteno ds, xbox, PS1 with a small tv screen that screwed in to the playstation so I didnt need a tv (it came in handy on the long 20 hour road trips to Florida)xbox360, 

    I also watched a lot of Saturday morning cartoons like the Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Xmen, Schoolhouse rock, etc. 

    Growing up, I moved from geeky thing to geeky thing. Recently, I finished Sherlock, rewatched the Harry Potter series, and Lord of the Rings. I'm in the middle of reading the complete works of Poe, watching Merlin, Battlestar Galactica, and Dr. Who. I also started a nerdy vlog on youtube which is a lot of fun, but takes a lot of time. 

    My biggest fandoms are probably the Lord of the Rings, anything Joss Whedon related, and anything comic book related (especially Marvel). Also, I'm highly addicted to Geek and Sundry. It all started with watching the guild on Netflix.....
  • A lot of my interests as a kid (mainly Power Rangers and Digimon but also a lot of no-longer-as-known anime) carry over to the geek I am now when I went down memory lane to re-explore the things I loved growing up. So I guess technically my geekiness started early on, but it didn't come into realization until high school when I started reading more manga and later to dive into Japan's superhero/Power Ranger series. XD

    Really, during my senior year of high school into college was when I really started to dive into my interests. I spent a lot of time watching Japanese superhero/tokusatsu shows and learning more about the history and parts of the culture from it, and I played more Magic: The Gathering than I did in high school. Now I'm into papercraft which has been a way for me to own something of my interests while feeling a high sense of accomplishment without having to spend a lot of money. XD
  • @blairbeveridge I love the epic format used to tell your geeky origin.
  • Thanks @kiri :)  Like most of us, it's a been a journey.  To me those who had unwaivering pride in whatever it was they geeked out about from day 1 are the ones who are truly epic.  I never conformed much to social pressures, but this is one that I did, and I wish I hadn't.  I would have discovered Cons a lot soon than I did.
  • Being 38, my geeky origin is varied.

    a. grew up with Saturday morning cartoons such as Transformers, He-Man, TMNT, etc.

    b. Watched alot of Sci-Fi TV shows such as Quantum Leap, all of the Star Trek series, ALF, The X-Files, and Knight Rider.

    c. movies galore! I tried to see every Sci-Fi movie that came out during the 80's to early 90's that my parents would let me see. The movie that made the biggest impression on me was Batman with Michael Keaton. I was so excited to finally see Batman on the big screen. I was in San Antonio when it premiered and my family and I were down there visiting some relatives and was lucky enough to see it and grabbed alot of radio station swag that was sponsoring the premiere.

    d. Technology such as the Atari 2600 and Commodore 64. Getting a floppy drive then a modem for the Commodore was mind blowing. You mean I can call a Bulletin Board System and chat with other people, send messages, send files, play games and this is all free? WOW!

    e. Pop culture nerdiness really didn't hit for me until within the last 5-6 years when it became so much easier to gather information about such things as upcoming movies, TV shows, and internet stuff. It has really helped me become more knowledgeable about things that I discuss with friends, family, and co-workers.

    All of these subjects have been my reasons that I want to go to San Diego Comic Con. I think I'd feel really at home there being about to talk about subjects that I have a passion about.
  • What about geekery for things that aren't f/sf, or gaming, or comics, or cosplay?  Where do we fit into the picture?  For example, I'm a geek about steam locomotives and WWII military airplanes. My wife's a needlecrafts geek.  The discussion I see so far feels rather limiting.
  • OakspoorOakspoor Member, Moderator
    Geeky is as Geeky does. Its been discussed in THIS thread that geekdom is mostly about having a passion that is not necessarily mainstream and embracing it. Feel free to add your two cents and bump that thread if you want.
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  • In my case it was my cousins fault.
    It begann when we were in the age around eight. She gets a gameboy with pokemon yellow, I absolutely must had have a gameboy and a pokemon game, too.
    Same thing when she get's a Zelda: Oracle of Time. For my next birthday i wished 'Oracle of Seasons'. I can remember that we were in my grandmothers house, every sunday. And always when someone of us couldn't progress in his game, we exchanged our games, and most times the other was able to find a solution.

    Also very important for me was, that the friendship of me and my best friend started with our shared interest of Yu-Gi-Oh!. In the begining of our friendship we played discussed Yu-Gi-Oh! for hours.
    Later we also shared a ossesion for Stargate and gaming, and being geeks is still a strong base.

    So for my to be a geek makes a large part of my life.
  • Don_DiegoDon_Diego Member, Moderator
    @ChaosRules That's an awesome story! Especially the Yu-Gi-Oh thing. Have you seen Yu-Gi-Oh The Abridged Series?
    "Go forth and screw up!" -New Vlogger Army


  • @Don_Diego Thanks. And no, I didn't know it yet. But I just googled it, and the first minutes I just watched made me smile. Thank you for the hint.
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