About a month ago, there was a lot of discussion about audience engagement within a particular culture: geeks and the debate that circulates every so often about who can call themselves a geek. At the end of June, Miss California, Alyssa Campanella, was crowned Miss USA. She set off a small storm within the geek community as she mentioned she is a fan of Star Wars and a history geek.
Those who follow me on Twitter know I was slightly fascinated by the whole debate, particularly the issues of who has enough cred & whether new fans can become geeks. If you’re not aware of the issues discussed and want to know more, I recommend two posts by Jessica Mills (GeekyJessica):
As someone who grew up watching Star Trek TNG and Doctor Who but didn’t know much of the geek world beyond that, this post is a simple thank you.
Thank you to the many geeks who welcomed me over the years, assuming because I was at a convention or in a particular conversation, that I belonged there.
Thank you for introducing me to new things, for explaining references when needed (and also for letting me figure things out for myself).
Thank you for questioning me about my geekiness, not to question my cred but to figure out what I was truly interested in.
And thank you to those who allowed me to insist they try watching Doctor Who.
(Back to audience engagement – in a way, this is all about how people within a culture welcome others to that culture, right? Both welcoming their new audiences, but also the different audiences within the culture (comic books/games/certain shows/etc.)).
**Post edited slightly on 7/24/2011 for clarification.