Archive for September, 2009

Cultural Revolution

September 4th, 2009 4 comments

This week is well known throughout the gaming/geek community: This is PAX. For three days, Seattle will be on fire. It will be lit by DSs and iPhones, and the sirens will not be the wails of fire engines, but the tweets that float through the ether, the beeps and clicks of programs and keyboards, and the great cheering of a thousand geeks, screaming in unison.

Does the rest of America know what’s going on this weekend? There’s Labor Day, sure, so people get to relax instead of getting to work immediately, but I don’t think that they realize quite yet that at this 5th PAX, the rules are changing. PAX sold out on the West Coast this year. We have complete dominion over the convention hall. If we had the Pike St. Annex, that would be ours too, as it was last year.

Google changed its logo for Comicon, which gets national attention from media sources ranging from newspapers to TV stations. Comicon deserves that attention, but what is more interesting to me is how long it will be before people pick up on what we’re doing here. Blizzard’s demoing Cataclysm, the newest WoW expansion, more than a year before its scheduled release, and its two games that are much closer are also here: Diablo III and Starcraft II are on the tweets of a lot of people.

The panels are wide ranging, from topics involving gay gamers to the law with regards to the industry and how to get involved in the community through blogging and podcasting.

A conversation last night and a panel in a few days about Nerdcore has got me wondering about the shifting landscape of music. As more people become interested in MC Frontalot and his work, and all the other Nerdcore rappers, we have to wonder if the mainstream is becoming us, or if we’re infecting them. What may be more interesting is that all the buzz about nerd rock isn’t new at all. Weird Al Yankovic was doing it back in the early 80′s, and one might make a valid argument (or at least it was suggested last night) that prog rock group Devo could be pointed at with regards to the music of geeks.

When the subculture becomes mainstream, and when the minority becoms the majority, it’s something to recognize and accept. But what if we’re not becoming the mainstream? What if we’ve been the majority for a while, and are just now realizing it?

Lots of people gave the groups participating in the Triwizard Drinking Tournament last night, but they were just as eager to be horrified at a bunch of kids dressing up as wizards as they were willing to ask us questions and get plastered with us. People wanted to feel like they belonged to a group as integrated and together as we did and do.

I think that we’re not going to be talked about as if we were outsiders for very long. I think we’re on the way to being the center.

This post is dedicated to Carie, for the original idea, and for Lark, who wants to see a revolution in her lifetime.

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