Fake A Gamer

I’ve gone on before about my feelings on the supposed plague of faux geek girls before, but occassionally something comes along that requires that I revisit the topic. And occasionally I turn out to be wrong.

But not in the way that you would think.

Y’see, the idea of “fake geek girls” as exemplified by the profoundly stupid “fake geek girl” meme out  is that there are women out there pandering to nerds for “attention”… because there’s nothing women love more than attention from people they would (supposedly) not spit on if they were on fire. The usual suspects – the Frag Dolls, adult actress April O’Neil, Adrienne Munn – get trotted out repeatedly to prove that fake geek girls exist because… evidently they failed some geek shibboleth somewhere along the way or something. I dunno.

Getting fussed over hot women who may or may not be “true geeks” – for whatever arbitrary definition of “geek” you might want to use – not only misses the point, but ends up distracting people from the people who really are pandering to nerds by pandering to them and insulting them at the same time.

After all, everyone knows that geeks, nerds and gamers are desperate virgins who would stab their grandmothers for a chance at banging out. That’s like, the first thing that comes to mind when you think about geeks; they’re sexless slabs of greasy manflesh coated in acne and Cheeto dust who would bust a nut if a woman would deign to talk to them at all.

There are plenty of people who are perfectly willing to trade off of those stereotypes to their advantage. They think you’re idiots who only think with their genitals. They think you’re so desperate to get laid that you’ll try anything that promises to hook you up with a hot willing chick, especially a Geek Girl. And they want your money.

 Single Nerd Seeks Same

One of the pet-peeves I have when it comes to my nerdy brethren are the ones who buy into the idea that being a nerd is somehow a bad thing. Despite the fact that nerds have won the culture wars, many of my nerd brothers and sisters still buy into stereotypes that being a geeks and nerd magically makes sex disappear. Being into comics or video games is the anti-sex equation and the only way you could ever possibly find anything that bears even the whiff of a relationship means you need to stick to your own kind. Geek shall only shag Geek. That is Geek Law.

Now to be fair: there’s nothing wrong with seeking out a partner who shares your nerdy interests. Despite what generations of pop-culture have told us, opposites don’t really attract.

Yeah, take THAT Paula Abdul!

In point of fact, you’re better off to have interests in common (or at least ones that you can tolerate) with your partner.

The problem comes from the self-limiting belief that geeks are restricted in their dating options by virtue of being geeks. It’s one thing to want to connect with a fellow otaku; it’s another to think that you can only find happiness within a narrow stretch of humanity. Buying into that idea – that being a geek is a negative on the dating scene – can mean that you will feel as though you have limited options and create an artificial scarcity. In our eagerness to find someone who fills a particular niche, we can get a little careless… and there are folks out there who are eager to take advantage of it by playing our stereotypes against us.

Here There Be Dragons

One of the joys of online dating is that no matter what your niche or fetish is, there is likely to be dating site out there that will help you fill it. From the basic “find me someone kinky” sites like Fetlife or Adult Friend Finder to finding single religious friends like Christian Singles or JDate to interracial dating to more specific (or esoetric) need like singles looking for sexy amputees or even serio-positive partners… there’s almost literally something for everyone out there when it comes to finding love online.

So, it’s no real surprise that when geeks want to meet other geeks that there are plenty of sites that are ready, willing and able to make that happen. The problem, however, is what happens if you happen to do a Google search for “video game dating” or “geek dating”.

There are a multitude of sites out there that promise to connect geeky singles to the video-game playing, polyhedron-dice rolling, comic collecting nerd of their dreams… for a price. As soon as you fork over your credit card number however… well, good luck finding those geek girls you were promised.

In fact, good luck with the whole process.

Bait And Switch

One “family” of supposed geek dating sites has managed to stand out from the crowd as of late by doubling down on it’s web presence. Date-A-Gamer1, a UK based “geek” dating site promises to be the #1 dating website for single gamers in the UK,  decided to open a second site: Shag-A-Gamer, for those of geeks who’d really rather just skip that whole “dating” thing and get straight to bangin’.

Claiming over 150,000 profiles and a state-of-the-art website so as to help make sure that you connect with the gamer of your lusty dreams because gamers and also more gamers. And so: gamers. In fact, it seems like the word “gamer” makes up more than a quarter of the copy on the landing page enticing you to “sign up for free!”

The more cynical among us would think that this was just Google-bait, attempting to use dodgy SEO tactics in order to up their rankings in searching for “gamer”, “gamer girl” and “dating gamers”. But surely this means that there are hordes of gamer-girls waiting on the other side, right? Hell, it’s state-of-the-art, so you a Commander Shepard could find his very own Subject Zero for a sweaty night of Renegade command prompts right with no problem, right?

Nope.

In fact… that’s pretty much the last time you’ll actually see the word “game” appear on the site.

Here are all of your search parameters after you’ve forked over your information for Date-A-Gamer:

Ever feel that you’ve been had, darling?

Those two interests that have been pre-chosen for you? “Computers” and “Internet”.  Games never once come up anywhere on the site. In fact, in a quick perusal of the various profiles on offer (the average age of which was 46, by the by), I didn’t see anyone mention games once.

Switch over to Shag A Gamer and the only differences are that “Interests” are now fetishes (not even going to make the obvious role-playing joke), religion has become “Favorite Position” and education has become “Shaved”.

Once again, the average age range seems to be between 45 and 61. Oh, and all of the profiles seem to feature 64×64 pixel shots of breasts and vulva with the occasional anus for variety.

So where’d all the “gamers” go? Well, they never existed in the first place. Here’s what Date A Gamer and Shag A Gamer don’t tell you, they’re a pre-packaged dating platform with a “gamer” skin stretched on top of it. The 150,000 profiles Date-A-Gamer promises? They’re ported in from a pre-existing network that other dating sites share, similar to the old Spring Street Personals. Everyone who signs up gets thrown into the pool of available profiles and spread across their entire network. The “gamer” girls you think you’re messaging may well have no idea that they’re even on a “gamer” dating site; as far as they knew, they signed up for a Gingers Only dating website.

Oh and hey, if you’re gay or bi, you’re shit out of luck. Hetero folks only.

But maybe you’ve found a love (or lust) match and you want to try to get in contact with ‘em… all smooth sailing, right?

“Oh hey, did we fail to mention this part? Oops.”

Oh, and good luck canceling your account if you do give them your credit card information. As PCGamersN found out, there’s no automated cancellation; you have to call their live tech-support, explain to a woman on the other end of the line that you signed up for a sleazy hookup site and then hope you’re within the very narrow cancellation window each month.

 Now With Added Insult To Injury

What makes Shag A Gamer unique is the way they’ve decided to bring attention to their site: by starting “Shag A Gamer TV”, a DailyMotion channel devoted to… well, I’ll just quote from their press release.

VIRGIN GAMERS OFFERED DATING HELP IN NEW WEB SERIES

Date a Gamer encourages its users to get it on with the help of sexy web series

According to a recent poll, over one third of the gaming community are virgins. Now, thanks to founders of popular dating sites Date a Gamer and its naughtier sister site Shag a Gamer, geeks who may be experiencing difficulty getting laid will have their prayers answered when a series of online video tutorials are launched showing them exactly what they need to do to hook up with the opposite sex.

Now, we’ll ignore the fact (for the moment) that they’re trying to horn in on my territory, thankyouverymuch. Let’s just look at what Shag A Gamer is saying about you: you’re a virgin and that’s just horrible. Not only are you a virgin though, but you’re also completely shit with women because why else would you be signing up for a “gamer” dating website? If you were any good with women, you’d be out getting tail at a bar like a real man.

“My life is a pathetic sham! Save me, Shag A Gamer!”

Nothing like a little virgin-shaming and insulting your core market in one go, is there? But even if we were to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that their hearts are in the right place, the actual videos belie their stated intentions.

The videos themselves are  embarrassingly amateur, featuring a poorly lit, scantily clad model giving banal advice in a bored monotone peppered with incredibly awkward attempts at gamer lingo, all the whilewhile spanking herself, grabbing her boobs or pretending to play with an iPad or a PS3 controller. And, as they’re quick to remind you, if it wasn’t for women’s good graces, you wouldn’t be anywhere… whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean.

Their “advice”?

  • Buy her stuff.
  • Bring flowers to dinner.
  • Dress nice.
  • Remember dates.
  • Don’t be late.

Seriously. The video advising nerds how to “impress a woman into bed on a first date” gives sage advice such as “give her your real name”, “don’t have any pre-conceptions” “give compliments” and “ask questions”. Wow. Varsity level instruction in the art of seduction indeed. Strangely, the video seems to skip over the whole “actually getting her in bed” aspect of the tutorial leaving you with questions like “What was that all about?” and “Where the fuck are your eyebrows?”

No, seriously. I’m not going to mock someone for their looks but I could NOT stop staring in disbelief.

This goes beyond cynical marketing and into outright contempt. They’re straight-up telling you that they think you’re so naive and undersexed that a couple of women dressed in rebranded Hooters uniforms mouthing all the right words while pointing their tits at the camera is all it takes to get you to give them your money even as they insult you to your face.

 Where Geek Meets Geek

I’m all in favor of geeks dating geeks and gamers finding love-matches with other gamers, but Date A Gamer and Shag A Gamer are nothing but blatant attempts to prey upon geek insecurities for profit. You don’t need a specialized dating website, much less one that actively looks down on you, to find your fellow geeks; most online dating sites are going to be rife with geeks and gamers by virtue of the fact that they’re online dating sites. Hell, you don’t even need to cough up a subscription fee; OKCupid and PlentyOfFish are both full of nerds looking for love. Save your money and your dignity. Do a search on OKCupid for “video games” and let Scam A Gamer fall into obscurity where it belongs.

 

  1. and no, I won’t be linking to them, thank you. I don’t feel like giving them the traffic. []

Comments

  1. "Hell, it’s state-of-the-art, so you a Commander Shepard could find his very own Subject Zero for a sweaty night of Renegade command prompts right with no problem, right?"

    So much win

  2. OldBrownSquirrel says:

    FWIW, I seem to recall hearing about a very well-known comic book nerd with a closet full of stereotypical black clothing marrying a similarly well-known woman whose eyebrows are drawn in pencil. One wonders whether this site was playing to that stereotype.

    • Nah, the eyebrow thing is coincidental; lots of girls here in the UK look like that. Also, from the Doc's description, I'd be surprised if they'd ever even heard of Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer.

  3. This is going to be unpopular but I consider virgin shaming to be a practically an inevitable result of the Sexual Revolution. Before the mid-1960s, Western society generally operated under the assumption of no sex before marriage. The actually related was very complicated and different but that was the assumption. The other assumption was that virginity was generally a good thing, especially in women.

    The Sexual Revolution was the commulmination of many decades of work to change attitudes towards sex. Sex was now to be celebrated and enjoyed the ultimate pleasure. Sex before marriage became expected, the new norm. Theoretically this shouldn't have resulted in virgin shaming because people are ready and have the opportunity for sex at different times. However, no revolution really ever turns out completely as planned. Many people, especially the not so rigorous, tend towards dualistic thinking. If virginity is good than those who have a lot of sex are bad. If having sex is good than virginity is bad. Male virginity is seen as worse than female virginity because of lingering attitudes from before the Sexual Revolution, when men could have sex before marriage without too much harm to their reputation.

    • Male virginity, past a certain age, has always been considered undesirable.

      On the other hand, I was a virgin until I was 27, and other than incredulity and a certain amount of fascination from guys who saw it as a challenge, most of the reactions I got were a sort of intrigued respect. The only responses I got that were negative were several cases of harassment and an incident of sexual assault (examples of guys who "like a challenge" taking it too far). But I certainly didn't get any contempt or pity. I got a lot of "But you're pretty!" and had to explain to a lot of people that physical attractiveness indicates other people's probable level of desire for you, not yours for them.

      Even from people who should have been more objective (my therapist, some of my mentors), they would tell me they admired my self-respect or my ethics, when in truth it wasn't an ethical issue for me: I didn't have sex until I met a guy I wanted to have sex with. I had other things in my life I was more interested in. It was that simple.

      There is a sharp and unfortunate double standard on this one, and men are on the losing end (virginity in women = admirable, and virginity in men = pathetic). Assuming there's no statutory rape involved — assuming that everything is truly consensual — it's no one's business but yours at what age you started having sex (or, for that matter, with how many people you've had sex, what sort of sex you've had, etc.).

  4. I also disagree with Dr. Nerdlove's position on one of the joys of on-line dating. One of the problem with on-line dating, from my thinking others might disagree, is that by presenting so many options to users that it creates a paradox of choice. The more choices that are available, the more reluctant people are to choose. There is always hesitancy, a belief that this person seems alright but maybe I could do better.

    Yes, I am aware that this is not a popular view of online dating and generally the benefits of online dating outweigh its flaws. I find the number of choices theoretically made available by it and the extreme specificity are flaws though.

    • That sounds like a personal problem…

    • And here we go again with the judging of other people's choices…

      • I'm sorry but when I message somebody on OKCupid and that person checks out my file repeatedly over weeks or months but never responds, I find it very frustrating. This has been a somewhat frequent experience of online dating for me. Its impossible to determine whether somebody is a good match or not from a message and profile read. Some risk taking is necessary. I understand that there is an element of great potential danger for women that men do not have. However, there will always be this element of risk. People should be more flexible in dating.

        • "Its impossible to determine whether somebody is a good match or not from a message and profile read."

          Hmm … what exactly does one specify on one's OKCupid profile?

          • You could check my profile out if you are really interested. Its under LeeEsq.

          • Ok so out of curiosity I checked out your profile and I think it's pretty decent. But I'm kind of confused as to whether you're complaining here about that whole thing you were talking about before in regards to people not choosing to have a second date or whether you're complaining about not getting any initial response/contact. Coz I think the latter is more of an initiative thing than a flexibility thing.

          • My frustration is with both. Women respond to my initial message in the sense that they look at my profile. Sometimes they look at my profile repeatedly over days, weeks, and months and don't respond. The times that I have gotten a response and date, its been only one date.

            Bluntly, I feel that I'm just always being knocked back to the beggining and getting nowhere in my love life when other people my age are being married. What makes it worse, and this will require a bit of blind faith since you don't know me personally, is that people in the real world find it surprising that I'm single. I'm often asked questions about a non-existent wife or kids or met with disbelief when people learn I'm single. Others give me non-helpful stock comfort like someday your day will come or ask me when I'm going to get married. The entire experience is nerve-wrecking.

          • Or the ubiquitous "just be yourself!" advice.

          • Actually, I never received this advice from anybody. Nobody ever told me "just be yourself" and I'm very happy that nobody gave me this piece of everyday "wisdom".

    • Do some soul searching to find out what you really want. Also, I have a hard time pitying people who have too many options. To me it sounds like:

      "Woe is me; there are too many options on this desert menu!"

      • It's great for the chooser, not so much for the choosee.

      • No, I send messages frequently on OkCupid. Its not just generic messages either, I put a lot of effort into my messages. Especially the crucial first one. My messages are intriguing enough to get people to check out my profile but the number of responses I get is low. My opinion is that people are to risk averse even in online dating and should respond more. Again, my call is for people to be more flexible with whom the date and yes I apply this to myself.

        • I think people who are having a harder time getting dates will naturally become more flexible in who they're willing to give a chance to, both women and men. I'm sure there are plenty of women who agree with you and are trying to be more flexible. (I certainly tried to give lots of guys a chance and not dismiss them too quickly when I was online dating.) You specifically getting few responses isn't proof that women aren't.

          Why? Well, if you're messaging women who look at least somewhat attractive to you, changes are they look attractive to a fair number of other guys too. And since there tend to be more men than women on those sites, they're probably getting a *lot* of messages. Maybe some of them are already hearing from quite a few guys who do meet all their current criteria–in which case, it wouldn't benefit them at all to spend time they may not have also trying to get to know a bunch of other guys who don't seem to fit what they want very well. (Yes, it might make some of those other guys feel better, but the women aren't on the site to make guys happy–they're on the site to make themselves happy, by finding a compatible dating partner.)

          And maybe some of those women are already being pretty flexible, responding to some guys who they only share a few interests with, or whose profile isn't super interesting but not turning them off either. That still doesn't guarantee that they'll respond to you, because even if they get 50 messages a week and they have time to respond to 25 of them, you could still appear to be less compatible with what they want than half of those other guys who messaged them.

          All you know is that the particular women you're messaging aren't giving *you* a chance, not that they aren't giving a reasonable number of guys in general a chance. And regardless of whether some of them are actually being over-selective, assuming they're all being too picky and rallying against that isn't going to help you, right? You'll be more likely to increase your success if you focus on how you can change the things you *can* control–like the content of your profile, the photos you share, and which women you contact (and which you don't).

          • I know this all in theory, its harder to accept in practice because I usually feel that I'm on the losing end of the equation. At this point I feel something like a real life version of the Romantic Runner Up trope from Tv Tropes. The women I've dated never found anything particular wrong with me but as far as I could tell usually always thought maybe they could do better. At least thats my feeling from my dates.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            Yeah, but the Romantic Runner Up usually ends up in a Pair the Spares situation.(I really have nothing to add, I just like sending the unwary to TVTropes.)

          • You're a bad, bad man, Doctor. I lost two and a half hours the first time I went to TVTropes.

          • Only two and a half hours? You got off easy. :)

          • I love that site, its really one of the funniest and wittiest sites on the internet and one of the most fun. After this one of course.

          • I get that, and feeling that way totally sucks. But I strongly believe that if you let yourself start thinking of it as a problem with the women, you're just going to make more problems for yourself, because that bitterness will come out in your interactions with other women.

            The thing is, if the women you've dated felt that way about you… then that's the way they felt, right? You can't argue feelings, and a person can't make themselves feel more attracted to or excited about you than they are. Would you really rather those women had pretended they were perfectly happy with you when actually they wanted something more but were sticking around until that "more" presented itself?

            I'd look at it as, the fact that they didn't want to keep dating to you (or the fact that certain women didn't respond at all, or whatever) is proof that *they* were the wrong women for *you*. They helpfully eliminated themselves from your dating pool for you! The right women for you are going to think that you're awesome. I know that doesn't make a lot of difference if you haven't run into one of those right women yet, but I found it was a lot easier to deal with rejection (and I got plenty of it!) and keep a positive attitude on later dates when I thought that way.

          • I understand this abstractly. In practical terms, dealing with a lot of rejection either online or in real life is a very emotional draining. The feeling of always being back at the beggining is not fun. Especially, when going into and out of relationships seems a lot easier for other people around you. And like you said, its rather hard to maintain a positive attiude without a positive experience. None of my experiences were negative in the sense of horrible but I haven't had a real positive experience yet.

          • As a woman who recently joined OKcupid, I feel bad when I choose not to respond to a guy, but responding to everyone would not only take WAY too much of my time, but it would be awkward.
            I don't want to tell someone "It is great that you are going back to school at 30, but I am looking for someone who already has their degree and is in the working world" or the even more awkward "Your profile makes you look like an intellectual prat". I would love to give every guy a clear no, but to be honest, I would rather spend that time writing an message back to someone I think I could hit it off with then basically insulting someone and attempting to nicely telling them "You don't meet my standards"

        • No one is obligated to respond to you. No one *owes* you anything on a dating site. If your message didn't catch their interest enough to prompt a response, it didn't catch their interest. Move on.

        • I don't think you get to decide who should be what in the grand dating scheme. That is energy wasted because you don't have control over that. Maybe online dating is tough. Maybe you're not picking girls that would be into you. I don't know, but you can't tell them what to do.

    • Hey, while we're one the subject of online dating frustrations, here's mine. I don't actually have much trouble getting responses on OKC; what I have trouble with is getting conversations. Like, I'll get a response, then I'll respond, then I'll get a response, then I'll respond, then… nothing. And I don't want to be that guy who sends 100 "why won't you respond to meee" messages, so I let it go, but still, this happens a lot. And it's super frustrating.

      On top of that, I don't live in a very populated area, so the overall pool of women is really small, and I'm starting to get the feeling that I've messaged every single lady who I might be even sort of interested in.

      End frustrations rant.

      • I had that happen to me frequently with guys (who usually had initiated the conversation!). I think some people end up starting a lot of conversations just to feel things out and then drop all but the most promising ones. It's frustrating, but it seems to be standard dating site behavior on both sides.

  5. I am aware of this but my basic point still stands and male virginity was less openly mocked in popular culture. Although this might be because the Hayes Code and its non-American equivalents made open mocking an impossibility. Plus the thinkers of the Sexual Revolution like all previous ideologues never thought how their ideas would be mutated by other people.

    A lot of the ideologues of the Free Love/Sexual Revolution movement never really seemed to think that there would be people who were virgins well into adulthood after success was achieved and made no contingency plans. The assumption seemed to have been that most people would loose their virginity sometime in late adolesence and everybody would have a good sex life. There was no need to make society safe for adult virgins because such things were not supposed to exist after the Sexual Revolution. This wasn't thought out well.

    • I feel like virgin-shaming even extends to people who are virgins by choice. I guess the idea is that if you CAN be having sex, you SHOULD be having sex; there's no reason not to (except maybe for super-religious reasons, which can also be looked down upon). Maybe it's not the blatant, "You're a virgin by choice? How lame!" But if, for instance, a girl who chooses to be a virgin is meeting guys who want sex, they're either just not going to date her or constantly try to get her to lose her virginity to them. Either way, this puts a lot of pressure on the person who chooses to be a virgin.

      • Commonly known as X says:

        Well, I wouldn't date a man who chooses to be a virgin, and I don't think I'm virgin-shaming him. He can be a friend, but if he's ruled out sex completely he's not going to be at all suitable for me as a romantic partner. That probably goes for most adults – which sure, puts pressure on people who choose not to have sex – but its not due to shaming or judgement. Sex is just quite important for most adults.

  6. OldBrownSquirrel says:

    Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer. After a bit more research, I found that she paints her eyebrows on with liquid eyeliner.

    • Dr_NerdLove says:

      I can honestly say I have never considered Ms. (Mrs? What's the proper form of address for a married woman who kept her last name…) Palmer's eyebrows.

      • Ms. for all women. What's different about a women who is married and kept her last name and married who didn't? One's the husband's possession and one's not?

      • OldBrownSquirrel says:

        Believe me, if you'd seen them, you'd consider them. They're arguably the most overtly artistic eyebrows I've ever seen.

  7. I don't know what bothers me more; that companies are so willing to exploit the so-called "desperate nerds" (see also: booth babes, every video game ad ever), or that it seems to work so well.

  8. Ugh, the term "fake geek girl" makes me see red. Who the **** is any guy to decide whether anyone else, male or female, "qualifies" as a geek? You're a geek if you believe you're a geek.

    Honestly, if you separate the world into geeks and non-geeks and date only within some sort of geek-approved circle instead of just meeting people and seeing if you like them, you deserve to be taken in by scams like these.

    • First paragraph, totally agree with you.

      Second paragraph … well, it looks like you're saying "you can't decide to date only geeks", which I sincerely hope is not the message you were trying to convey. I don't doubt for a second that there are people out there who find geeks especially attractive and non-geeks especially unattractive, so it makes sense for those people to only date geeks. Whatever criteria someone uses to determine whether or not to date someone else should be their choice alone as long as all those involved in the dating are not harmed in any way.

      And if the message you were trying to convey in that second paragraph wasn't "you can't decide to date only geeks", then once I've breathed my sigh of relief, could you perhaps clarify what you were trying to say?

      • Sure — my point was that if you meet someone you really like, and aren't open to dating them because you think they're not "geeky" enough, you're doing it wrong. There shouldn't be some geek shibboleth that makes someone okay to date versus not okay. If someone's otherwise awesome, and open-minded, you're doing yourself a disservice by writing them off because they don't pass your geek test. I've picked up a lot of new interests from my partner, and vice versa.

      • I should clarify further that this is under the heading of "you don't get to decide whether I'm a geek or not." I started reading scifi novels when I was 4, I am a professional game designer and a loyal Browncoat, and I defy anyone to beat me in Babylon 5 or Tolkien trivia. But Star Wars is not on my top 10 list of favorite movies. I think it's a fine movie. I think it's a fun movie. I think the world-building is excellent. But it's not one of my favorite movies of all time. If I got stuck on a desert island with no TV, it's not one of the movies I would miss. I will tell you this if asked my opinion, but I am perfectly happy for people who love it. Some of my best friends used to run the official fan club, and we get along fine.

        I've been told, without a trace of humor, that this disqualifies me as a geek and actually lost friends over it.

        And that, to me, is absurd. We overlap in our opinions over 90% of geekdom, but their shibboleth is Star Wars. I assume, if I were single, that they would refuse to date me because of it. I can be friends with Republicans, and my partner is a Cowboys fan, and we have a good relationship despite not sharing a few opinions/interests.

        • Honestly, I'd draw the line at Star Wars, too. But I 'm not really interested in any of the other things you listed (Firefly: okay the one time I watched it! Tolkien: I liked the movies! Babylon 5: still get it confused with Battlestar Galactica!)

          I guess what I'm saying is, we're both "nerds/geeks" even though we don't really like any of the same things. The words "nerd" and "geek"don't really mean anything anymore, and I don't get why people (girls especially) are so eager to be included among their ranks. Just like the things you like.

          If I had to define it, I'd say being a "nerd/geek" is more about how you act, and not really about the things you enjoy.

        • With the "you can't decide to only date geeks" thing, I think you're describing a different situation to the one I was imagining and implying. In your scenario, one person is attracted to another person but shuns the idea of dating them because they are not geeky enough. In that scenario, the first person is being an idiot, and that person being an idiot is (almost) independent of their reason for not dating someone they are attracted to.

          Whereas I was thinking about someone who, for whatever reason you can come up with for feelings, simply found geeks attractive and non-geeks unattractive. For someone like that, it makes sense for them to only date geeks, assuming (as I do) that it does not make sense to date someone you're not attracted to. So I suppose "you can't decide to only date geeks" is a partial truth that could use an addendum along the lines of "only your feelings of attraction can decide who you should and should not date".

          The thing is, I agree that deciding whether or not someone else is a geek is just plain wrong, especially when it comes down to literally one example of geekdom being the deciding factor. I know that people can get along with others as friends or partners or in any other kind of relationship without having a 100% perfect match of interests going both ways (in fact, I'm not even sure that it's possible to have a 100% perfect match of interests going both ways). I also do not see a problem with the geeks who "disqualified" you choosing not to date you if you not being a super mega ultra Star Wars fan makes you unattractive in their eyes. For better or for worse, attraction is not strictly logical.

          • Yeah, hence the use of the term "shibboleth." :-) I've known people who have a weird "I'll only date inside the tribe!" mentality, to which I'm like, "Intermarriage *expands* the tribe, silly."

            If my not liking Star Wars is the thing that makes me unattractive to you, and therefore you decide not to date me, no harm no foul. But if you really like me and find me attractive, but feel that you can't date me because I don't like Star Wars, that seems silly to me. My problem is the people who are like, "I met this person and s/he's awesome, but s/he doesn't pass this one interest qualification, so I guess I should find someone else." That's absurd to me.

            If you're attracted to someone, not sharing one particular interest shouldn't be a deal-breaker. If the person hasn't ever tried/read/seen the thing, you get to share it with them. If they have but didn't care for it, maybe you can share your passion for it with them and change their mind.

            And maybe not. Maybe they'll never like it. But as long as they don't have a problem with you liking it, as long as they don't denigrate you for liking it, don't object to you spending time on it, and are occasionally willing to indulge you in it, I don't see such a problem that I wouldn't give it a try.

            Case in point: my boyfriend isn't huge on theater. I am. So I have other friends I go to the theater with, and sometimes, when there's a play that's accessible or about something in which he has an interest, I offer to treat him to a ticket. Sometimes he takes me up on it; sometimes he doesn't. Sometimes he really likes the play; sometimes he's like, "Eh, that one wasn't for me." He's willing to come with me sometimes, and I don't insist or pressure him when he doesn't want to. And that's turned out to work fine for me. We share a lot of other interests.

            If I'd ruled him out in the beginning just because he doesn't share one of my passions, I would have not have connected with one of the people I love most in the world, who's now as close to me as my family.

            There are some things that are deal-breakers: if you spend time with someone and just don't enjoy being around them, that's a good reason not to see them again. If your life goal is to have kids, and they are adamant that they don't like and don't want children, that's a good reason to look elsewhere for a long-term relationship.

            But the fact that you don't share an interest seems like a weird reason to preemptively dismiss the possibility of a relationship if you otherwise really like them. If their not liking it means that you don't enjoy spending time with them, you'll figure it out quickly enough. But I feel that if you find them attractive, you should give it a try.

          • I get this funny feeling we've been making the same points as each other, just in different ways and with different initial approaches.

          • Probably. :-) I'm just not in favor of arbitrary reasons to rule out someone whom you otherwise like.

  9. The “Fake Geek Girl problem” seems to me to be pretty much exactly the same as the “voter fraud” issues being pushed by the GOP. They both involve a privileged group creating a boogy man out of some new demographic change in the world (In the GOPs case its minorities, in the “geek cultures” case its women). They are both equally infantile and formless.

    Also, just on a tangent, I really don’t “get” geek culture, in that I don’t understand why everything can’t be a geeky thing. Hell, when I hang out with some of my other geek friends, I’m kind of the odd man out. I don’t like Doctor Who or video games, I find fantasy tiresome and I don’t feel any rage whenever George Lucas changes Star Wars. Instead, my geekery comes out when I can talk to somebody in-depth about something like Law and Order (original flavor only), The Three Colours Trilogy, the music of Leonard Cohen or Pink Floyd, or the 8 hour Hungarian film Satantango. So am I a geek or am I something else? What subjects are definitely NOT geeky?

  10. Just FYI Doc, but the Facebook button on Firefox appears in random places when posting a new comment.

    • Dr_NerdLove says:

      I'll poke at it, but it's a question of whether it's a glitch with Firefox or with the plug-in. And I am decidedly NOT web-code savvy.

  11. The whole "Fake Geek Girl" meme strikes me as wholely unhealthy…

    The internet has brought previously mocked niche interests into the public consciousness. And there are people who feel embittered about that? People who are offended by the idea of girls showing an interest in their hobbies? What the hell is wrong with them?

  12. So OKCupid and POF are full of geeky and nerdy women that share my interests? Really? That may be the case if you live in the US but here in the UK I'm lucky if I can find ONE genuine woman who proudly states being into Star Trek or indeed sci-fi in general. I'd LOVE to meet a woman that shared even one of my interests (And they're generically geeky interests so it's not like I'm looking for anything obscure here) but they're simply not anywhere near where I live. All I find are the same tired clone profiles that say "what am I good at? Procrastinating!" and going on about how they've visited a dozen countries, blah blah blah.

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