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The 4 Phases of Becoming a Geek

Becoming a geek is a unique process. Some come to it early on, practically born into a hobbit family that lives in a TARDIS house. Others take a longer road.
| Nov 7, 2017 | 3 comments |

Becoming a geek is a unique process. Some may come to it early on, practically born into a hobbit family that lives in a TARDIS house.

For others, like myself, the process happens later on in life.

When I say geek, I’m referring to all things science fiction and fantasy. The discovery of all things awesome and fantastical, which provide immense entertainment and compelling concepts.

What are the phases of becoming a geek? There’s not a one-size-fits-all structure, but here’s a good outline.

Becoming a Geek Phase 1: Initiation

This is when the first echoes of geekiness resonate within. The time when you read a fantasy series that utterly captivates you or watch a movie that waters those seeds of geekiness.

You realize you have a love for tales set in magical kingdoms or on distant planets.

Reservations may exist, but the pull of these stories is too strong. Like a child is drawn to the candy store or the toy section of Walmart, you can’t resist the appeal. Your first tastes of what Geekville has to offer are too delicious to turn down, and so your appetite is whetted and you step through the door of initiation.

Becoming a Geek Phase 2: Assimilation

You Will Be Assimilated Time goes on. Your fascination with exotic stories increases, fed by a desire not to escape reality, but to see it framed from a different angle, colored by dozens of perspectives and cultures. To brave the inky void of space or embark on an impossible quest.

The worlds to explore are endless, offering excitement fused with compelling story arcs and settings that dazzle and amaze.

Characters and places come alive, kindled with the flame of otherness, yet an otherness that rings out with chimes of truth.

You begin watching TV shows where they say things like, “Engage,” “Bow-ties are cool,” or “My name is Barry Allen and I’m the fastest man alive.”

Like it or not, at this stage, there’s no turning back. The tractor beam of Ship Geek has locked in on you and you’re coming for the thrilling ride. Which is exactly what you want.

Becoming a Geek Phase 3: Passion

I Understood that ReferenceAfter entering Geekville without a second thought, you become a passionate resident (possibly with a comfortable home at Number Five Bagshot Row). 😉

You re-read your favorite stories, mark the dates on your calendar when Marvel and DC are set to release a new film, and attend comic cons. You become immersed in geek culture. Finding other geeks is akin to meeting up with long-lost relatives.

Being a geek doesn’t consume you, but it’s inseparable from who you are.

  • You share your passion on social media, posting memes, quotes, and articles.
  • You have long discussions with your friends about the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (or any other favorite shows).
  • You become a quoting machine, spouting off movie and book quotes as readily as Tony builds Iron Man suits.
  • You read blog posts about movies and books, keeping up to date with the happenings in the world of sci-fi and fantasy.
  • You make quote graphics.
  • Whenever you can, you integrate your fandoms into daily life—see meme above. 😉
  • You enjoy YouTube videos like the How It Should Have Ended series and Honest Trailers.
  • You love inside jokes and clever blends of different fandoms.

"Use the Force Harry" - GandalfThis phase can be detrimental, as it includes forming the habit of binge-watching TV shows to catch up. But that’s fine, because the Force will be with you. (See what I did there? 😉 )

Becoming a Geek Phase 4: Obsession

In this phase, passion isn’t enough. Certain fandoms have your utter and undying loyalty *cough* Star Wars *cough*. Your inner geek becomes your outer geek as you hold nothing back in your obsession.

  • Watch the same Marvel movie five times in theaters? Yep.
  • Buy the extended editions of your favorite films? Naturally.
  • Get three (or seven) sets of Legos from your fav fandom? Eleven, actually.
  • Collect shirts, mugs, and posters proclaiming your favorite fandoms? Duh.
  • Stalk actors on social media? Guilty as charged.
  • Order the limited editions of books? Of course.

If you’re the type of person who enjoys dressing up, much cosplaying is involved at this stage. You have multiple costumes—because why not? It’s too much fun.

You regularly wear geeky shirts. It’s highly likely you own jewelry or replica weapons. Everything about you screams, “I’m a geek and I love it!”

Which phase are you in? How did your journey into the world of a love for all things sci-fi/fantasy begin?

*This post appeared in original form on zacharytotah.com in June 2016.
Zachary Totah writes speculative fiction stories. This allows him to roam through his imagination, where he has illegal amounts of fun creating worlds and characters to populate them. When not working on stories or wading through schoolwork, he enjoys playing sports, hanging out with his family and friends, watching movies, and reading. He lives in Colorado and doesn't drink coffee. He loves connecting with other readers and writers. Find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, Goodreads, and at his website.

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Nicholas Tieman

I think I’m in Phase 3.5: Exile. I made it to Phase 3 and admired the people who could take it to the next level, but found that any place I wanted to take up full residence was already colonized by hostile zealots.

Just this weekend, Wil Wheaton called people who would pray after a tragedy worthless sacks of excrement. There was some pushback, but that won’t stop him from remaining one of the high priests of geek-dom, nor will it undo his narration of Ready Player One, a work which seeks to unite every part of geek-dom with strident atheism and a cringe-worthy parade of anti-Christian straw men. At every turn, those who would disparage faith are put in charge, and stories that were previously enjoyed by everyone are twisted to anti-Christian political goals.

I’ve found I’m not really capable of giving up on geek-dom, but it’s hard to feel truly at home here when the powers that be are so intent on making me feel unwelcome.


Apparently the reason my parents got into ST:TNG was because the network did a really good job of introducing the characters before the show aired. I wouldn’t call them geeks, really, Mom never progressed beyond Stage 2, but it meant that Star Trek was put in the rotation of shows that us kids saw alongside them. When I watched Voyager on Netflix, it was weird to see what I remembered and what I didn’t, which was more characters than any plot whatsoever.


Stages of Yarn Crafting
1. Initiation: I made a thing! This is pretty cool
2. Assimilation: There’s more than two kinds of stitch? Thanks, stitch dictionary!
3. Passion: Yarn stash takes up a closet