Geek's Guide #3: The Geek Diseases
Geeks Guide to Comedy Film
Geeks Guide To Sci-Fi

Have you ever thought that collecting film memorabilia is cool? Attended a convention? Alphabetized your DVD collection? Then you could be a geek

And if you are a geek, you may be suffering from one of the diseases covered in this article. Welcome to the Geek’s Guide: Geek Week Edition.

Our topic today: Geeky diseases.

Let’s dive straight in, shall we?

SOCIAL AWKWARDNESS

SYMPTOMS: Being around people is hard work. It’s not that you hate other humans and can’t hang out with groups of them; it’s that you don’t want to. Going to parties becomes a chore, because, let’s be quite honest, acting normal isn’t easy. You like your own company and prefer it that way. Oh, and Social Awkwardness is a transient thing, geeking it up with your mates over XBOX Live doesn’t mean that you’re free of the disease, it just means that online parties don’t frighten you. And nor should they. They’re fricking awesome!

CAUSES: We’ve found that a major cause of SA is from spending inordinate amounts of time playing video games. Relating to fictional characters through use of conversation wheels has skewed your ability to conduct real time social interactions. Sadly, there is no IRL pause button, no way to give you time to weigh up your conversational options before speaking. Additionally, having any one of other illnesses listed in this article (Social Quotation Syndrome or Fictional Universe Projection for example) will, undoubtedly, compound SA.

TREATMENT: It would be irresponsible of us to suggest drinking copious amounts of alcohol but loosening up may help. That or you start hanging out with people who don’t mind awkward silences. So other geeks, basically.

COSPLAY COMPULSION

SYMPTOMS: Dressing up isn’t just for kids! Cloud Strife and Sailor Moon costumes are staple outfits and are brought out more than once every Halloween. Conventions are a must because here you are in your element; there are plenty of other geeks to revel in the awesomeness of your costume and you in theirs! So what if it’s the social highlight of your calendar? And who cares if you occasionally put your Star Trek uniform on and parade around the house? You’ve gotta get in some practice before the big events, right?

CAUSES: You’ve always wanted to be a superhero. When it comes to career choices, you never wanted to be a fireman or a ballerina. Donning a swishy cape and mask was the first stage of Cosplay Compulsion and gradually got worse as you got older.

TREATMENT : Tone that wardrobe down with some nice, drab plaid and you’ll soon be back to normal. But what’s normal?

INAPPROPRIATE SOCIAL QUOTATION SYNDROME

SYMPTOMS: You’re at work and your boss asks you to do something for her. But you can’t. You just can’t. Well, not without exclaiming out loud that you cannae do it Cap’n! Whatever comes out of your mouth, it’s an epic line that makes you laugh...but no one else, it seems. And it isn’t just at work you find yourself throwing quotes around like confetti: it’s at parties; out shopping... a quote’ll just sneak up on you like a ninja and POW! - before you know it you’re badly explaining the reference to your baffled audience.

CAUSES: Your brain just isn’t wired properly. Whilst most people memorize their phone numbers or their national insurance number, you can’t help but absorb all the cool quotes from The Holy Grail. I mean, it’s a classic, right? When is ‘it’s just a flesh wound’ not an appropriate retort? (Ed: Out-geeked by Benzil!)

TREATMENT : Whenever you feel the compulsion to quote, substitute it for an astute observation about the weather. It’s quintessentially British and probably more in keeping with the tone of conversation.

LEARNING DISPOSITION

SYMPTOMS: Learning is fun, but only you seem to get that. You see nothing wrong with reading text books from other Uni courses other than your own or buying books on quantum physics from Amazon. I mean, it’s cool to spend your time studying...even when you don’t have to.

CAUSES: What others might label a skewed sense of fun. That and President Bartlett from The West Wing made it look cool to know odd little facts about everything. Except, somehow, he could carry it off. Maybe it’s because he was the leader of the free world. And fictional.

TREATMENT : Put the book down and step away from the library card! Whenever you feel the compulsion to check out the New Scientist or read the BBC’s technology page, quickly flip to the Entertainment section and read up on the latest gossip. We tried to type ‘goss’ but we...canna...do it...Cap’n!

FIREFLY WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS

SYMPTOMS: It’s. Not. Fair. It’s just not fair! What were Fox thinking? And what about Veronica Mars? Arrested Development? Farscape?! It’s like US TV networks know the shows you like and cancel them just to irritate you! If you’re still mourning the loss of your favourite TV programme then you definitely have this problem. It’s not just enough to buy the entire series on DVD: you also frequent fan forums; write fan fiction; buy the entire series again on Blu-Ray...there’s no end to your love. Evil TV bosses might have put a stop to new episodes, but in your heart the series will always stay alive.

CAUSES: Being a super-fan of a TV show will have this effect. It had to end sooner or later; you just aren’t ready to let it go. Call it separation anxiety.

TREATMENT : Mourning periods can last for an indefinite amount of time, but the trick is to try to move on. Try checking out the newest stuff from the makers of your cancelled show, perhaps? Unless it’s made by Joss Whedon. That’s like having your heart broken over and over again.

FICTIONAL UNIVERSE PROJECTION

SYMPTOMS: As those suffering from Cosplay Compulsion might argue, it’s more fun to pretend you’re someone else than be yourself. But those suffering from Fictional Universe Projection like to take this a step farther and truly believe they’re inhabiting a made-up world. When wandering down the street, do you find yourself coming up with zombie escape routes? Or when sitting in a coffee shop, do you wonder to yourself just how many of its patrons are Cylons? FUP is an easy thing to develop and a hard habit to kick.

CAUSES: An unfortunate offshoot of having an overactive imagination. And watching too much TV. And spending too much time by yourself. We could go on.

TREATMENT : Remembering that reality is often boring and predictable will help you snap out of these daydreams. Then again...28 Days Later looked super realistic...maybe it’s not quite time to stop planning for the worst, huh? (Ed: It's time to start planning..?!)

What we’ve covered here are only a few of the many afflictions geeks suffer from. But, on reflection, we here at the Geek’s Guide have realised that this isn’t a litany of problems, its a review of what makes us geeks great. It’s okay that we don’t quite fit in with normal society, especially when we can do awesome things like say hello in fifteen different languages, recite the entire closing soliloquy from The Shawshank Redemption and dress up as Ash Ketchum without feeling embarrassed! We say celebrate what makes us different! Geeks FTW!