As white male geeks are keen to point out, they’re often as much the victim of “jockish” patriarchal mainstream culture as anybody else. Last year a much publicised post by Scott Aaronson, who as a professor at MIT represents a paragon of geek achievement, articulated the inner conflicts many geek men feel in their relationships to women. But Aaronson’s argument, and the perspective it represents, only highlight the incredible failing of many white geek men. If you share the experience of people who have been bullied and abused by mainstream culture, why can’t you treat others with empathy, instead of playing out a fantasy power-trip at their expense?
Fantasy is the central and shared love of geek culture. Not the capital F “Fantasy” of JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, but the human psychological capacity for fantasy explored by thinkers like Sigmund Freud. Sci-fi books, comics, RPGs, video games and pretty much everything else in geek culture is filled with fantasies of all kinds, and the creators we love most are the ones who draw us deeply into fantasy worlds.
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