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Subject: 'Geek' - is this still a necessary tag ? rss

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Jamie Pollock
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Just to add something from the perspective of a casual visitor who's tried to get others interested in gaming and thus also this site -

Why the constant association with 'Geek'?

The way I understand it, it's a kind of self-deprecating, lighthearted jest at ourselves, right? Well, in reality to the vast majority, 'Geek' is more of a derogatory term typified by several stereotypes:

1. a peculiar or otherwise dislikable person, esp. one who is perceived to be overly intellectual.
2. a computer expert or enthusiast (a term of pride as self-reference, but often considered offensive when used by outsiders.)
3. a carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acts, as biting off the head of a live chicken.


I guess what I'm saying is why not use the proposed website upgrade as an opportunity to try to appeal to the masses more? Why not try to dissociate boardgaming and rpg'ing from the term 'Geek' and instead try to broaden appeal, like for instance, to the more casual browsers that might be interested, but are then perhaps put off by the (unnecessary) tag. I definitely notice it when I say to people who've just enjoyed one of the many boardgames that I now own, and have shown interest and enthusiasm in the hobby themselves, "Yeah there's this really cool site where I got all my information for purchasing these - it's called boardgamegeek.com..." then immediately watch their enthusiasm wane. As good as boardgames etc are, I believe the 'Geek' term is just not doing them and the hobby any justice...

Just my 2 cents.

Best,
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James Watson
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Hmmm... I'll have to go with "Exactly what it says on the tin."
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Apparently no one has told this guy about Geekdo yet, huh. They're not getting rid of Geek, they're focusing on it
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David G. Cox Esq.
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A few years ago I would have agreed with you, but the meaning of words change over time.

I believe that to call someone a "geek" now is not derogatory but is actually an acknowledgment on your part that the person in question possesses more knowledge than you do on a particular subject.
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Sven
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Whatever the implications of the name - you don't completely change the name of an established product.
That said I am not too wild about Geek-do either.
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RE:
I agree. Drop the "geek". Board games, beyond "classics", should be an accepted diversion for everyone. This website has become the foremost resource on board games, and therefore has a fiduciary responsibility to be non-exclusionary.

The word "geek" turns away people like me. I like board games. I only play with my friends and family, no meet-ups, no tournaments, no conventions.

"Geek" can also imply a certain set of interests: Comics, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, etc. As someone who has no interest in these, the inclusion of the word geek in the website title gives pause. My initial reaction being, that this is for a subset of board game enthusiasts. Imagine if the website was called Board Game Jock. It gives the impression that the site is geared toward only those who have an interest in both board games and sports.

I understand that "geek" is meant to be a synonym for the word "enthusiast", but it's not. You can be a hiking enthusiast, but probably not a hiking geek. Car enthusiast makes sense. Car geek? Not so much. Surfing geek? Hunting geek?

The fact is geek is a different word that implies a certain kind of person. Board games should have a broader audience than geeks. Sorry Board Game Geek, you've outgrown your moniker, and it's time to change.

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Yes it is necessary. For the one thousandth time. Move along.
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David G. Cox Esq.
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vandemonium wrote:
Yes it is necessary. For the one thousandth time. Move along.


But always beware of geeks bearing gifts!

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Paul DeStefano
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Jambo wrote:
Well, in reality to the vast majority, 'Geek' is more of a derogatory term


You're hanging with the wrong majority.
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Paul DeStefano
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elementary wrote:
I understand that "geek" is meant to be a synonym for the word "enthusiast", but it's not. You can be a hiking enthusiast, but probably not a hiking geek. Car enthusiast makes sense. Car geek? Not so much. Surfing geek? Hunting geek?


Again, maybe where you come from.

Where I come from, Car Geek is VERY prominent phrasing.
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Justin Morgan
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What's with the Johny-come-lately(s) wanting to change things now that they are in the house?

yuk

You should thank the Geeks that came before you for all the games you get to play now.
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John Cobb
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Jambo wrote:
I definitely notice it when I say to people who've just enjoyed one of the many boardgames that I now own, and have shown interest and enthusiasm in the hobby themselves, "Yeah there's this really cool site where I got all my information for purchasing these - it's called boardgamegeek.com..." then immediately watch their enthusiasm wane.


So people turn away from an activity they just enjoyed simply because an informational website has the word "geek" in it. Seems to me these people have some peer acceptance issues.
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Jamie Pollock
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That's just it - why should it be exclusive and more importantly, why on earth would us gamers want it to be exclusive!?! Playing boardgames is a hobby or pasttime that more than most needs groups of people. So being exclusive is really the antithesis of what a site that supports boardgames should be aiming for...no? The more that reach into and feel comfortable, the more players we have to play our boardgames with...

Aldie is talking about upgrading and modernising the website, so wouldn't getting rid of this 'boardgamers are geeks' stigma naturally follow suit in this modern age?

'Geekdo' is even worse in my humble opinion.
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Steve Vondra
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I fly my geek flag high and proud!
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Jamie Pollock
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jacob4408 wrote:
So people turn away from an activity they just enjoyed simply because an informational website has the word "geek" in it. Seems to me these people have some peer acceptance issues.


Perhaps, perhaps not. Either way, it's kind of irrelevant if that's what it does.

Think about it. For a site that advocates and encourages boardgaming of all degrees and to all ages, why have anything that might jeopardise that? Granted, for us oldies (myself included) and for the younger kids, it's not likely to be an issue whatever it's called. There are plenty in the teenage years for whom peer acceptance can be a big deal. Why make it harder?
 
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Jambo wrote:
Just to add something from the perspective of a casual visitor who's tried to get others interested in gaming and thus also this site -

Why the constant association with 'Geek'?

3. a carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acts, as biting off the head of a live chicken. [/b]




Have you looked in Chit Chat lately?

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Paul DeStefano
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Jambo wrote:
wouldn't getting rid of this 'boardgamers are geeks' stigma naturally follow suit in this modern age?


Wow. I don't know what to say. "Geek" is FAR from a stigma in my society. Its an indicator of enthusiastic expertise.

"The computer's broken - anyone here a tech geek?"
"How do I know what to order. Any wine geeks at the table?"
"I had no clue what the hell was wrong until this engine geek showed me the manifold adjustment."
And the popular "Where's a geek when you need one?"
Hell, at the gym, we even get "Freeweight Geeks" who stay away from the machines. These guys can benchpress cars and certainly no one would insult them, but its a badge of pride.

Maybe it simply hasn't travelled to Scotland. But here in the US, GEEK is a compliment. Its almost the contraction of genius. I'm guessing you don't have Best Buy, where the higher ups get to drive the black and orange cars with the Geek Squad label on the side.

If you believe its a stigma, I have a few points to offer:
1) Why is peer acceptance so meaningful to you?
2) Lexicons change.
3) You do know this site is in the top 10,000 websites in existance, right? My company is the top web search in our field (pool cover) and our ranking is 3,400,000 and we are extremely happy with that rank. Why change?
4) There's a huge brand history here. And its growing.
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AMERIGAMER!
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"Geek" simply means we're better than everyone else!
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Michael Aldridge
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Jambo wrote:
I guess what I'm saying is why not use the proposed website upgrade as an opportunity to try to appeal to the masses more? Why not try to dissociate boardgaming and rpg'ing from the term 'Geek' and instead try to broaden appeal, like for instance, to the more casual browsers that might be interested, but are then perhaps put off by the (unnecessary) tag.


You know what broadens appeal of boardgames to the masses? Inviting the masses to play boardgames. When they have fun playing boardgames, they'll be attracted to more boardgames. Has nothing to do whether this site is called BoardGameGeek or BoardGameDude or BoardGameKing.

Besides, being a Geek is a badge of honor to those who truly understand the term. Now, if this conversation were about BoardGameDork, then you'd have a fair point for argument, because very few people associate the term "dork" with an endearing term.

Jambo wrote:
I definitely notice it when I say to people who've just enjoyed one of the many boardgames that I now own, and have shown interest and enthusiasm in the hobby themselves, "Yeah there's this really cool site where I got all my information for purchasing these - it's called boardgamegeek.com..." then immediately watch their enthusiasm wane.


If the name of THIS SITE causes the people you associate with to be turned off by boardgames, then you're probably hanging out with people who prefer form over function and name over substance. I've witnessed exactly the opposite. Then again, I'm in IT, and most of my friends, both gamer and non-gamer, are computer-literate... where the term "Geek" is an endearment.

If they don't like boardgames for the boardgames... what does it matter what this site is called?
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Geosphere wrote:
Jambo wrote:
wouldn't getting rid of this 'boardgamers are geeks' stigma naturally follow suit in this modern age?


Wow. I don't know what to say. "Geek" is FAR from a stigma in my society. Its an indicator of enthusiastic expertise.


Yes it does imply enthusiastic expertise. It also implies that that enthusiastic expertise comes at the expense of functionality in other areas. The term "geek" pigeonholes the people who are labeled as such as one trick ponies.

I'm not arguing that it can't be used in a positive way, but surely you can't argue that "geek" has no negative connotation. It just hasn't reached the turning point that a term like "yankee" has.
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Jamie Pollock
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I don't disagree with anything you say BosonMichael.
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Jamie Pollock
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Geosphere wrote:
Wow. I don't know what to say. "Geek" is FAR from a stigma in my society. Its an indicator of enthusiastic expertise.


You have a TV show that's broadcast over here which is called 'Beauty and the Geek'. Basically it pits beauty queens and male models with dowdy intellectuals from the opposite end of the spectrum and sees how they get along... go figure.
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Paul DeStefano
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Jambo wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
Wow. I don't know what to say. "Geek" is FAR from a stigma in my society. Its an indicator of enthusiastic expertise.


You have a TV show that's broadcast over here which is called 'Beauty and the Geek'. Basically it pits beauty queens and male models with dowdy intellectuals from the opposite end of the spectrum and sees how they get along... go figure.


We also have Queer Eye For The Straight Guy.

Remember when Queer was an insult?

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yes.
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