Ultimately, being a geek is about how you relate to the things you love. It’s not just that you watch sci-fi movies but how they inspire you to express how you love them. Maybe you’ll cosplay as the characters. Maybe it inspires you to write your own sci fi epic. Regardless, it’s about the interaction and pursuits of your passions, not just the act of consuming it. One of the biggest mistakes geeks and nerds make is in the way they have a tendency to make their consumption part of their identity. […]
But it’s that over-entitled sense of ownership that gets people into trouble. I mean, as long as we’re talking about Star Wars, look at how quickly we all turned on George Lucas. Yeah, the prequels are objectively bad movies and he gave us Jar Jar Binks. Those were still his toys do do with what he chose. But ask a geek and you’ll hear about how Lucas’ stewardship of his own creation was a crime on the same level as the torpedoing of the Lusitania. It’s absurd. But it’s that same misplaced sense of ownership and entitlement that will lead to some of the most insane meltdowns you will ever see.
[… W]hen your identity is based around consumption, the more people who take part in it, the less “special” you are. You need to reaffirm your specialness at all costs, either by excluding them by definition or actively driving them away. Religious wars aren’t fought as vehemently as “gamers” defending their beloved hobby against supposed invaders. Watch how many “hardcore” gamers lose their shit when someone who plays Angry Birds and Candy Crush Saga calls themselves a gamer or when “walking simulators” like Gone Home or “SJW Hugboxes” like Undertale get popular. The fact that gaming companies are no longer catering specifically to them damages their identity. It dilutes the “specialness” of their identity by opening it up to everyone, which they resent. They feel that their love and consumption of the product means the creator “owes” them, and opening up to new audiences is some form of betrayal. In reality: companies love money and recognize that accessing new markets means even more money.
Dr. NerdLove on gatekeepers.