Hmmmm. Something about this San Diego Comic Con event press release bugged me, so I’ll print it below the jump in its entirety and hope some of the female readers respond about how they feel about this event, if anyone is thinking of attending and why. Maybe it’s a “guy thing” but, I’ve never liked being marketed to as part of a demographic and don’t like it much it when some otherwise nice, but corporate-minded folks sweep in and co-opt a “scene” that does just fine on its own (and hell, isn’t really a “scene” to begin with). Individualism and free expression, “geek” culture or not shouldn’t have prizes or “experts” attached to it, nor be swept up in a branding scheme set on nudging anyone (“geeks” or not) into malls to buy an image previously created by each person for him or herself and no one else.
But hey, we’re in the long era of marketing madness for everything possible and well, too many people fall right into the clutches of some really good PR people and their high concept ideas. I’m old enough to have been someone who had his own style (you should have seen me back in the 80′s) and didn’t care if people thought it was weird, but now, it seems that not even this sort of individuality is safe from someone trying to tap our brains and wallets to the point that we’re told what’s “cool” as if we have no clue. Hint: If you have to buy the damn Princess Toadstool T-shirt and can’t make your own… that’s NOT really cool or “geeky”.
The same thing happened to the Seattle music scene and “punk” before that, so this is nothing new. In terms of fandom and such, the bulk of this decade has been all about making “retro” gaming and otherwise cool stuff into separate gals and guys camps when they should all be the same enjoyable mess for all they were before. I don’t look at a girl gamer and see a pair of boobs with a joystick. I see a fellow traveler that I can talk shop with, drop a few historical facts on or point the way to people who know more than I to share my passion for the medium. Guys who still see girls as “strange” for playing games, listening to film music or having other interests that don’t seem “right” are the ones mixed up. So are marketeers who try to wrap up every gal with a passing interest in comics, tech or games under the now suspect “geek” label.
For me, the whole “geek culture” explosion has turned from a true DIY deal to a cash cow that’s rightfully generated income for people savvy enough to fool so-called “geeks” into parting with their dollars by the boatload. On the other hand, it’s basically taken away the right for anyone with TRUE indie spirit to call themselves anything because it’ll be marketed into oblivion thirty seconds after that person identifies him or herself as something new. Also, isn’t it a little insulting to be seen as a stereotypical “gal geek” because you enjoy gaming, sci-fi or other stuff that someone like me enjoys in a non-geeky manner? Oh, questions, questions, questions!
Still, I’d like to think some of you gals out there might show up at Comic-Con and ask some tough questions rather than roll in all dolled up for a goodie bag. OK, am I being a total jerk here, or do I have a point? Read on and feel free to speak up. I’m listening…
Oh yeah, just asking, but are transgender gals allowed to attend? Er, not that I’m interested, but it IS an interesting question, no?