Overheard on CNN.com: Readers take issue with 'booth babes,' she-geek stereotypes
Lady Chewbacca is a vision in fur, and clearly a geek, at San Diego Comic-Con 2012.
July 25th, 2012
07:56 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Readers take issue with 'booth babes,' she-geek stereotypes

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Joe Peacock's latest opinion piece for CNN Geek Out caused quite an uproar. We saw more than 700 comments and at least hundreds of tweets about the article, which expressed a complex point of view blasting the phenomenon of beautiful "booth babes" at fan conventions including San Diego Comic-Con. At the same time, Peacock also said he supports women's increased acceptance within geek society.

Booth babes need not apply

The article spread far and wide, and got mentions on Jezebel and Bleeding Cool. Some of our readers thanked CNN for publishing the piece, while others found a few sticking points with Peacock's reasoning.

One of the most notable people to talk about the article was none other than actress and writer Felicia Day, who is mentioned in the post. She in turn got numerous replies from other Twitter users.

Peacock writes about Day, "Not only does she put her money where her interests are, she creates things that further the community."

Peacock contrasts her with "models-cum-geeks like Olivia Munn and practically every Frag Doll," whom he sees as examples of corporate attempts to hire people who "act quirky and sell this marketable geekdom" to a lucrative audience.

The Frag Dolls, for those not in the know, are a team of female gamers deployed by Ubisoft to promote and support women in gaming.

Bryan Lee O'Malley, creator of "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," had a slightly more humorous take on the piece.

Some people weren't sure what to think.

Others said they were sure they had seen something like that before.

The conversation was bustling in the comments section of the story, as well. As word got out about the post, some readers thanked CNN for understanding them.

wrenthefaceless: "Thank you for this article, you can't imagine my personal and my girlfriend's frustration with this influx of girls 'geeking' for attention."

Anna F.: "What a beautiful, beautiful blog post! I consider myself one of those 'geek girls that happen to be pretty.' I am a video game design student and I have been gaming ever since I could hold a controller. I enjoy every aspect there is in 'geek world.' It's quite hard to get along (as you explained very well), but I rejoice in people who know the difference between the two types of girls in geek community. I salute you, Sir!"

This man said he prefers "the real thing."

Bob: "I have been going to cons for years. I like my country singers to be drunks who have real world issues, I want my rappers to be gangsters and I want my geek girls to be REAL geeks. It is not that hard to ask for integrity in the things that I am into."

The conversation began to spread over social media, and one reader went so far as to quote from the growing number of reader comments in her tweet.

Here's a portion of what the commenter wrote:

jamespeach: "... #5 The problem is not these supposed culture vultures. Don't get mad at them. Get mad at the fact that you pay crap-tons of money to buy drawings of women who can't biologically exist. Get mad at the fact that you are into characters who wouldn't give you the time of day, not the women who dress like those characters. Have you READ a comic lately? I don't want my daughters even seeing that mess. The problem isn't the real women, the problem is the fictional ones that you spend billions on. YOU built that mode of operating, not the handful of Olivia Munns who are making a living from it. If you ask me, I'd rather actual women make some of the money from thirsty nerds than the middle-aged men who draw impossible boobs all day. You're paying for it already, man. It was central to the industry before you were driving."

A few readers said they didn't understand what point the piece was trying to make.

Roscoe Chait: "Somewhere in the middle of this rant, Joe lost his train of thought. Maybe the idea of a beautiful girl was just too much for him, and he became mucho distracted."

Don't hate the booth babes, opined this reader, hate the people who hire them.

Seriously?: "Wow Joe, are you just going for effect here or are you really that naive to believe that these 'fake' geek girls actually WANT to be there?! Just like at CES, these girls are in most cases models, hired by the very companies that you geeks adore, to make you drool. If you want to hate, hate on the companies that are stabbing your geekdom in the back. Meanwhile, step aside and watch how to talk to a pretty girl."

We also heard from a reader claiming to be a past booth babe. She offered her thoughts.

Nikki: "As a true geek chick (tech, gamer, comic and cosplay) and repeat 'booth babe' who wasn't a moron ... thank you! I can honestly say I always had a crowd at my booth, not because I was the hottest booth babe (far from it. ... I'm all natural, with the exception of my costume and hair ) but because when someone would ask me about things, I could respond intelligently! I knew how to talk, I knew how to lead the crowd, and people could tell I wanted to be there for the culture, not because I was getting paid! I was always happy to answer questions from anyone asking them, and yeah, we had some epic debates ... which seemed to never happen at some booths. You could always tell in the first couple of hours which 'models' were going to be asked back for additional cons."

Another commenter said she had worked as a model at other kinds of conventions. She described the experience.

malonealone: "It is widely understood that at all types of conventions, some people are paid to do jobs that do not require them to know the 'product.' I used to do some convention modeling as a side gig. One day in heels on the convention floor paid better than a week at my 'real job' that required a graduate degree in my field. Everyone at the conventions was privy to the arrangement: pretty girls done up to look like they belong are often paid to stand there. But most businesspeople at corporate trade shows (which is frankly what comic conventions are) don't call the models out for being posers (or whatever clever lingo you have for 'fakers'). What about the celebrities contractually obligated to be there whom you fawn over? Same thing. And calling these women 'failed models' is also pretty lame since they are actually working as models."

But the idea that geeks can't find love isn't quite the truth, said this reader.

Wrenn_NYC: "Hate to break it to you, Joe, but we've been around fandom for decades. I once was one of the 'pretty' girls at conventions, 20+ years ago. I've always been a gamer (just not a video one) and into sci-fi. I tend to run things at nonprofit conventions on the East Coast. And to everyone else, it's really an urban legend that geeks don't get laid. It's always been one. It was never our reality."

Could booth babes be banned?

Nope: "Convention hosts could solve this problem by simply forbidding anyone from hiring models/actors for booths/endorsements and if they keep on hiring them, then deny them space at the convention. Problem solved. Granted there would be a lot less "eye candy," but then you would have far fewer 'fake geeks' at conventions."

The topic has come up on the discussion forum for Penny Arcade Expo and made it into the headlines as well.

Dockboy: "The Penny Arcade Expo has been doing this for at least four years now. They have explicit rules that forbid 'booth babes' in the expo hall of PAX. The 'booth babes' still get in, but they are always dealt with quickly by organizers. I have attended many PAX events and I can confidently say I am happier that there are no 'booth babes' at the show. We have the games, we have the people, we have the fun. That is all we need."

Then there's the sticky issue of what constitutes an actual geek. Is there some kind of identifying mark or secret handshake?

Penny: "This piece is wrong on so many levels. Despite its good intentions it comes off as another instance of community policing ("ethical cleansing"). And since when does 'female' anywhere, geek or wherever, need to be qualified or justified by 'pretty' or 'stunning'? There is no monolithic experience of geekhood and these concerns are best handled at the relational level. So let the individual or the clique decide and speak for themselves."

baorddog: "Why is it people are so desperate to label themselves? I love Trek, R&R music, country, computers, surfing and many other things. I guess I can't be jammed into a packaged label. Whatever. ..."

What's your take? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

Posted by
Filed under: Comic-Con 2012 • Fandom
soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. Rajab

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    October 15, 2012 at 12:22 am |
  2. Used Cisco Reseller

    Generally I don't read post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very compelled me to check out and do so! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, very nice post.

    July 31, 2012 at 2:25 am |
  3. Rob

    when the cool kids segregated us, we created our own culture, something to be proud of. and now they walk onto our land, defile our traditions, and call themselves our kin? RISE MY BRETHREN! RISE UP AND DRIVE TH HERETICS FROM OUR LAND!

    July 27, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Maty

      Stupid.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
      • Nkechi

        JJ [41];right next to diner/wild by nature and great reuatsrant.The comfort food place closed. I liked it, spouse didn't. Is the Italian place any good? I haven't been in there. I think the diner is OK, but overpriced. Like the Greek and the Chinese; didn't like the sushi place. We should grab a smoke up the road some time I'll buy.How about the interior paint job on that house? Think they were running an illegal day care? That price is what ALL of the middle class, 60 year old capes in Nassau should be selling for if they were in livable condition, not just the repo'd fixers. And I think that they will be, soon enough.

        October 15, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • Muhammad

      I tried the long press function you susgegted. I guess I did not think it was doing anything because it does not feedback until you stop pressing. I tried it several times and it seems that if you hold too long and let go, it will turn on and then turn back off the setting.It is very sensitive to time and without seeing feedback that the setting has been accepted before removing press it is going to be difficult to use. I would suggest revisting this feature and providing an edge trigger effect with immediate feedback.Longpress, when the setting is activated (while still longpress), set checkbox and maybe even vibrate. Then do nothing else unless the press is inactive for a debounce time period.Great program, I look forward to the continued progress.

      October 12, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  4. exiled

    The babe in the picture is the hottest bearded lady I've ever seen, hands down!

    July 27, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  5. Patrick Lewis

    This whole thing is dumb. Be nice and respectful to people, including women be they pretty or not to your liking and don't be a jerk. End of story.

    July 27, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Sanjay

      I want to get tickets to Richard III , 2 pm maintee. It seems like that ought to be possible on July 9, 16,17, 30 & Aug. 6. But some of these dates appear to conflict with As You Like It dates. Please clarify. Thanks, FB

      October 12, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  6. FWP

    First world problems.

    July 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • blackluke8

      Correct. First world problems that should have been resolved in high school.

      July 29, 2012 at 1:26 am |
  7. dr. manFlattan

    If you ask me, the real encroacher here is hollywood, not "fake geeks." They change everything to appeal to a wider demographic to make more money. The prevalence of fake girl geeks/posers/bandwagonners has more to do with greed than anything else. Take the Tolkien movies. Arwen was barely mentioned in the books and yet they have Liv Tyler ride with Frodo to Rivendell and then figure heavily into the re-forging of Narsil, among other things. In the upcoming Hobbit movie they've created an entirely new female elf character because, and I quote, "there were too many men in the movie." Examples can be found in pretty much everything, from Transformers to the Batman movies. I don't enjoy posers but I also know how to keep the blame where it should be.

    July 26, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • dr. manFlattan

      Oh and by the way, I'm a chick.

      July 26, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • nsaidi

      @manFlattan Huh, that's an interesting point. I'm curious, do you think that the poser phenomenon is bigger among females or among males? Or about the same?

      July 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  8. Penguin Pete

    I'm taking a poll here: http://penguinpetes.com/b2evo/index.php?p=767

    Subject: Why is everybody fighting to be called "geek"?

    July 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  9. Original Geek Here

    Original geeks are offended by the new hip/fake geek. There was no choice of being a geek back in the day. Now that original geeks have transformed the world after 30 years of being an outcast. The media has presented them as heroes and people are jumping on the bandwagon. I wasn't cool enough when I was pioneering the 486 and learning how to manipulate bits into bytes, and soldiering the bread board but now that new hip/fake geeks think because they watch dragonball z you're a geek, naw I don't think so. You're not a geek because you play video games all day and think super heroes are fun to watch or role play. Geeks are technology experts. Revege of the nerds are not comic con people. Nerd is the derogatory term for geek. Bill and Steve are pioneering geeks.

    July 26, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Gel Real

      If you don't want to be around a bunch of people who are into video games, don't go to a video gaming convention. If you don't want to be around a bunch of people who are into super heroes, don't go to a comic convention.

      Get over yourself.

      July 26, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
      • Original Geek Here

        If you want to watch movies, play games and read comics. Don't call yourself a Geek. Call yourself closer to the point. Movie buff, comic critic, gamer!

        July 26, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
      • Gel Real

        If you don't bite the heads off chickens, don't call yourself a geek. Those are the real original geeks.

        July 26, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
      • Gel Real

        And don't you worry about me. I don't bother with labeling myself. And I am even less interested in how other people choose to label themselves.

        July 26, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • dr. manFlattan

      Dude. A nerd is not necessarily the same thing as a geek. You can be a geek and a nerd but you don't have to be a geek to be a nerd, or a nerd to be a geek. They aren't mutually exclusive.

      You're right though, it is offensive when posers latch onto something you've loved nearly all your life just because it suddenly becomes "cool" but alas. . .the end of the world, it is not.
      It sucks that you've apparently had it a lot harder than the rest of us who have managed to hold on to our sense of humor and are obviously schlepping around with a chip on your shoulder the size of the rock of gibraltar. You have my sympathies.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • nsaidi

      I get what you're saying, OG. And this one question keeps coming into my head. Wondering if you have any insight. What do you think are the consequences of added bandwagoneers? How does it impact your fan experience? Have you had any specific experiences where this was an issue?

      July 26, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • joeko

      This guy is categorizing himself with Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, and yet he's posting on a CNN blog. Hilarious!

      July 26, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • oldbutnotdead

      Original Geek. Nerd and Geek are NOT interchangeable! You are right in that gaming, being into science ficton and fantasy and going to con's does not make a "geek" of our era. Of course being able to build computers (which I did on most of our's until about 4 years ago) and doing simple coding also doesn't really qualify you as a real "tech geek" either. Of course if I really want to be picky, technology has nothing to do with the original usage of the term "geek", which was used for the human oddities in the sideshow and the usage of the word has simply changed with the new generations. A nerd is a socially inept person who tends toward intellectual pursuits, which covers a much broader base. A geek can also be a nerd and a nerd can also be a geek, but it's not a given that being one will automatically make you another. I'm much more a nerd than a geek, I used to be able to do quite a bit in DOS, but coding in Windows was a no go from the beginning. Math has always been hard for me, so coding always required tech savvy older brother's standing over me and correcting me (he ordered and built one of the first kit computers that you used switches to program, but I can't remember the name).

      July 26, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  10. Original Geek Here

    If you're looking for attention you aren't a geek. Introverts are Geeks. Comfort around like kinds without judgement from peers. You're getting extroverts now a day looking for the spotlight calling themselves geeks. Extroverts are judgemental and kind of bullyish, thats what creates a geek but they themselves are not geeks.

    July 26, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Laura

      If all geeks were introverts, conventions would not exist.

      July 26, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Gel Real

      Original Geek – you sound like a judgmental person yourself. Pot, meet kettle.

      July 26, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • oldbutnotdead

      Being socially inept tends to MAKE you introverted, but not all nerds are. Most of the nerd herd I know tend to be outgoing and social within the group of friends that they feel comfortable with.

      July 26, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  11. jp

    I can definitely relate to the article. The problem is that posting something like this would never go well since many of the people who are reading this aren't true geeks. So more than half of the people bashing the article don't have the capability to empathize since they truly don't understand what the editor is saying.

    It's all about familiarty. I, for one, prefer to see mostly extreme advocates that enjoy anime or rpg gaming for the specific conventions. I want to be able to walk around and being able to talk to people who truly knows what they're talking about. To see men and women walking around just to get attention due to their physical attraction is getting out of hand. I'm seeing more of those kinds of people and less of my kind.

    The point of conventions is to gather the people with the same interests with a level of knowledge of the subject. Apparently the reason for conventions are becoming more of a target for hot people looking for attention than it is for geeks to relate to one another.

    July 26, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • nsaidi

      Interesting comment. I do think it's interesting that comic and fan conventions are the kind of place where people are taking pictures of each other and posing, etc. So it creates an environment that is heavy on the visuals, and that has implications for the community that attends. Interpret as you will, just something that I find interesting.

      July 26, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  12. NOT MY CHAIR

    when did geeks become elitist? this whole article just sounds like a bunch of "geeks" who are tired of getting shot down by a bunch of girls that dont know enough about geeky things. so would it be better to get shot down buy a girl that is into geeky things?

    July 26, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Laura

      Seriously. And acting like the geek girls never parade around in skimpy costumes to get attention either...

      Just live your lives and don't worry about other people.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:21 am |
  13. Just0r

    Wow, and now this is an article about the comments we got on the article about Geeks. e_e. Just be a person, no need to be a geek, dork, nerd whatever. Just live your lives people.

    July 26, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      the kids that were made fun of in high school and hated the idea of labels that now they are fall into the trendy" group

      July 26, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • nsaidi

      Well, there was a huge response from readers, and we wanted to let everyone know that we hear you. And show you some of the views that were shared.

      July 26, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  14. 2ktech

    I read the article and he has a good point. There are a lot of girls who post pictures on my Facebook stating that they are "geeking out" by watching the big bang theory. An the pictures are always positioned so you can see their chest. The women are totally fake and its annoying. If its not that than its the fake girls who take pictures of them playing Call of Duty for attention. The same women who leave statuses proclaiming that gaming is for kids. The same women that ripped one of my friends up on Facebook because he plays Pokemon at 25. Yet they take pictures of themselves playing Call of Duty. I feel like the author of the article at CNN had a hard time explaining his feelings, but fake geek girls are out there and its really frustrating because they are such hypocrites just looking for attention

    July 26, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • nsaidi

      So "geeking out" is a new form of easy self deprecation, perhaps?

      July 26, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • PixieODeath

      You guys complain about these women doing all these things "just for the attention". But there's a really simple solution – stop paying attention to them! If the only reason these "fake geek girls" are coming to Con in costume is for the attention, then if people stopped taking photos and gawking, they'd pretty quickly get sick of it.

      Ditto with these guys complaining about the gold digging "fake geek girls" who chase male geeks for their money and then dump them. If you think the girl's a fake – and it's easy to find out, just by having a discussion about their costume and the canon it's from – THEN DON'T DATE HER.

      Sheesh.

      But then again, it's a lot easier to complain on the internet about these horrible attention-seeking she-wolves in cosplay than actually talk to them and discover whether they actually are "fake" or you're just telling yourself that.

      July 26, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  15. Bob

    I think the people speaking out against his article aren't really familiar with the type of women he's talking about. These women aren't geeks. They probably don't even like geeks. They're either paid by a company to look pretty and pretend to be geeky in order to lure in guys, or they're just doing it because they like getting guys to stare at them.

    Let's face it, most geeky guys weren't popular and will never be popular. They're easily distracted by good looking women.

    They're not the "weak geeks" like me. I'm a geeky guy, but I'm not truly geek, not to the extreme that most geeks are. I don't have that much passion. There are plenty of girls like that too. They have geeky interests, but they don't quite qualify as a full on geek. But the women he's talking about aren't even Diet Geek, they're just there to get men to look at them.

    July 26, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • Eudyptes

      hahaha... diet geek

      July 26, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • dr. manFlattan

      Well said. That is all.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  16. freedomringingnow
    July 26, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  17. Stopthemadness

    I love the fact that models are now into geeks. We the geeks shall inherit the earth! And do you know why so many people are mad these models are getting together with geeks? I do it's because the macho world hates geeks they have been the bullies and mean jocks through out history. Now that they don't have that for themselves any longer, they are mad. We the geeks have stolen the babes, stolen the economy, and now we still your pride and manhood. You jocks and bullies are about to see what a geek revolution is!

    July 26, 2012 at 9:04 am |
  18. Caleb

    All I know is that the last time I went to comicon, there was a trio of girls parading around in naught but underwear (seriously, just bras and panties), clearly enjoying the attention that was being lavished upon them. So let's not be so naive as to pretend that the phenomenon described in the article isn't real.

    July 26, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Hodo

      I understand his frustration on this subject. But some of the out right rage may not have been called for. I get tired of the fo-geek culture thats showing up. Half way decent lookin women acting like they are into something for a job or to build up some false self worth issues they have. But you get used to it when you are into the car culture. Car-babes are rampant there. Mostly asian girls who are hanging off some import car to get their start in modeling. I never thought it made any car look better. I started avoiding car shows that had them, or magazines that had them. Telling the publisher your ruining the picture of the car with that girl in the shot. Same is true in the geek culture, "Your ruining my geek out moment with some airhead in the booth."

      July 26, 2012 at 9:24 am |
      • BioHzrd420

        It's been happening in the car world for years. Find any Street Customs, Lowrider, or other magazine and you will find car models splashed across the hoods. Look at going to auto racing. As a woman who is into racing myself, I have to watch the F1 grid girls stand in front of cars before the start of every race (At least the SPRINT girls are in full fire suits). If you go to any race, booth babes are a plenty. However, what happens is that most fans have an understanding that the girls are paid to stand there and smile and only the true dopes fall for it.

        July 26, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • nsaidi

      @Caleb Were they in some kind of costume that looks like underwear, or were they literally wearing underwear? Like as a joke, maybe.

      July 26, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  19. chaos9001

    We can't exclude.....because when we exclude then geek culture becomes hipster, and when that happens everyone loses.

    July 26, 2012 at 8:28 am |
  20. Dragun

    While i do understand the original articles anger over this supposed "invasion" i agree with allot of the other posters here. Any exposure, even to those who are paid to be there is a GOOD thing!! I am a single father of a 13 year old girl who LOVES video games, reads manga, watches anime (parental controls activated of course) and absolutely LOVES that her father can fix just about anything on her computer. I was the one who introduced her to all of it. But she saw the fact that i was not ashamed to be a geek, she was the one who decided if its something you love than those who you call friends either except it, or can move on. I mean she just had a sleepover with 7 other girls and they watched "Fruits Basket" (Ugh...) for like 8 straight hours!! Then turned on my XBOX 360 and proceeded to play Halo until they all passed out. Now she is asking me if she can Cosplay at our next local comicon....lol. I think i might surprise her and take her to the big one out west next year. That would be awesome. My point is, it really doesn't matter if a person is a true geek or not, even if they aren't there for the supposed "Right" reason, or are just being totally fake about it. They are there, make the most of it, enjoy yourself first and foremost and their exposure to our culture is shore to rub off. I mean honestly, look at how far we have come in just the past 10 years!!!! Big bang theory, Sci-fy channel, Chuck...our influence is only growing. And the mainstream can no longer ignore us. I say its a great time to be a geek, i mean growing up did you ever think their would be geek-wannabees? Me either!!!

    July 26, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • nsaidi

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, it is funny to think that people would clamor to be a geek, or refer to themselves that way in their effort to be cool.

      July 26, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  21. Rosejeys

    Felicia Day is 100% fake.

    July 26, 2012 at 8:01 am |
    • chaos9001

      I knew she was a robot!!!!!!

      July 26, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      Actually, no, she's not.

      I've spent time with her at a small east coast fan run sci fi convention, so have a number of my friends. She's totally geek.

      August 9, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
  22. wiscesq

    I wonder if sports fans get offended that so many pretty girls work as cheerleaders without really caring about the game?

    July 26, 2012 at 7:58 am |
  23. theresa

    If you want to stop paid models from being there, may as well stop paid actors from being there too. After all, once their series is finished, they'd rather be promoting their current project (if any), as far as their acting goes. Cons are just another way to help them make money too. Some may enjoy it, but don't believe for a moment that they'd be there for free.

    July 26, 2012 at 7:55 am |
  24. dastreagus

    any jokers in the crowd?

    July 26, 2012 at 7:25 am |
  25. dastreagus

    any jokers in the crowd?

    July 26, 2012 at 7:25 am |
    • Michelle

      Un geek es una persona fcaniasda por la tecnologeda, sobre todo por las computadoras e Internet. Un geek es alguien que no se conforma con lo superficial de la informe1tica, sino que lee, investiga, se actualiza, escribe al respecto y tiene una opinif3n no solo sobre el aspecto te9cnico sino tambie9n sobre las tendencias y el futuro. Un geek comprende que la tecnologeda es aplicable a todos los sectores y entiende (y se preocupa) de que la tecnologeda sirva para ayudar al progreso y no al contrario.

      October 12, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
  26. darwintales

    Authentic or not. Since when do geeks mind women being around?

    July 26, 2012 at 7:21 am |
  27. BradmanOH

    Glad there is a discussion going on.

    Have any of you ever been to ANY type of convention? There is pretty much everything from "booth babes" to multi-million dollar stages that don't have anything to do with the product in question. The object is to get people to learn about/buy a product. Welcome to the advertising world. Try going to a large auto show, they spend some serious $$ on stuff.
    It's kind of like going to LasVegas, just enjoy the show and get as much SWAG that you can carry! :)
    Keep it fun and meet some interesting people.

    P.S. Try not to make fun of the kid in the Minecraft outfit – you might be working for him/her in the next ten years.

    July 26, 2012 at 7:17 am |
    • oldbutnotdead

      Brad, have you ever been to a gaming or comic convention? They are (or at least were, I must admit it's been quite awhile since I've been to one) nothing like a trade convention. Yeah there is a space exclusive to the dealers, but most of the con will be made up of games being run, new games being playtested, old friends meeting up, panels and discussions.

      July 26, 2012 at 8:11 am |
      • Bradman

        oldbutnotdead;
        I too am "older but not dead" :)
        I've been gaming for a while (at least a few decades) and the newer conventions are much more commercial than in the old days. Sure there are still some games going on and people having fun, but the big conventions have turned into big conventions with big money (Maybe not as much as an auto show but still way bigger than in the old days).
        The smaller local conventions are probably much more like you/I remember.
        All of them can be fun, just be prepared for high tech booths and crazy displays.

        Keep it fun.

        July 26, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
  28. oldbutnotdead

    Okay, my credentials. Being playing RPG's since I was 22. Of course that was back in 1978 when the Players Handbook for AD&D had just come out :). Being playing computer games since '87 (Apple IIe), starting with the Wizadry series, Might and Magic, and the D&D Gold Box series. Our computer purchases are still driven by whether or not our current ones can play the newest games. I must admit I'm not a huge Con goer. Money and distance play more into that than anything else though and I was an active RPGA member for many years. Been reading science fiction and fantasy since I can remember (Dad was into science fiction so I always snitched his books) and probably read Tolkien before the blogger was born (have you read the Simillarion?). Also did the outsider, picked on, geek thing in high school. No big deal, made me strong in ways that most never had to be.

    The Con's, the movies, the books, the games. As much as we love them and consider them "ours" (I was VERY upset at the mass turn out for Star Wars when it came out. My friends and I had been waiting for months for it since the geek underground was giving it great "got to see" vibe and we had to wait an hour to get in!), we should be jumping up and down at the opportunity to introduce new people to them. If even one of the "booth babes" that the blogger has so much trouble with (and there are some serious issues that he needs to address with a professional if that spins him up that badly) gets interested in gaming or cosplay or steampunk from the exposure she has at the con that's a WIN! If even one of the "jocks" finds out that he is just as into World of Warcraft as the geek he used to diss on, well maybe that is common ground a friendship could be built on. If you're really a "geek", then you know what it means to be excluded. While it's fantastic to be around people that have gone through the same things you have and "get" you, it's also great to bring new people in and show them all the stuff that you get excited about and introduce them to a whole new world. I have a lot less problem with the "jocks" and "booth babes" at the con's than the fan boys who think that showering and brushing their teeth every now and then is totally optional. I remember carrying a can of Right Guard to a couple of con's in defense.

    Oh and I'm a chick geek, married to a male geek I met playing AD&D :).

    July 26, 2012 at 6:41 am |
    • oldbutnotdead

      Gah, excuse the typo's just got up and haven't had my coffee yet!

      July 26, 2012 at 6:56 am |
    • nsaidi

      Thanks for the comment. Cool story! What can be done to make people feel more welcome / encourage faux-geeks to, uh, become real geeks?

      July 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  29. sean

    what is this crap? is it suddenly hip for girls to be comic book, sci-fi " geeks"? i've been into punk , metal, comic books , horror movies, blah , blah for years and years. ironically, the only girl who ever made a comment , was this girl who i was dating who was totally into metal, like the works, mastodon, eyehategod, neurosis, etc. she saw some of my comic books laying around and looked at me and said " you are such a nerd". i thought that.......that was funny.

    July 26, 2012 at 6:31 am |
  30. youareanidiot

    Must be a really slow news day when stories about peoples comments nobody cares about written.

    July 26, 2012 at 6:27 am |
  31. NooYawkah

    Geek or no geek, a babe is a babe is a babe. I'm not into this whole geek thing but I gotta give kudos to the chick in the picture, she actually looks hot even with that costume on.

    July 26, 2012 at 5:50 am |
  32. Irene Manor

    Liking comic books, sci-fi, video games and the sort doesn't make you a geek. Being annoyed by the presence of models might make you a geek, though. Saying that the things you like are elite only to certain types of people: that might make you a geek. Being uncomfortable with attractive people in your comfort zone, most certainly makes you a geek.

    These hobbies have gone mainstream. They have nothing to do with being a geek.

    When they find a way to put models in the comment sections of articles, blogs and video pages, geeks will really be backed in a corner and concern might become genuinely warranted. Until then, either find a new hobby, or wait until the next genre meets mass appeal and the crowds thin out.

    July 26, 2012 at 3:10 am |
  33. Rob

    Man, I missed this whole "geek is cool" thing by about 20 years. If it would have been like this when I was in high school I probably would have gotten laid a lot more.

    July 26, 2012 at 2:18 am |
    • NorCalMojo

      I'm still uncomfortable talking about D&D in mixed company.

      July 26, 2012 at 3:53 am |
    • Degrin

      I agree, I missed that boat by about 10-12 years.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:45 am |
  34. girlgeek

    The fake girl geeks aren't a problem at just conventions, I see them in day to day life. In the media, online, in advertisements, in college classrooms. Geek is becoming 'cool' without any need for an understanding of what is geek. Throw on a superhero t-shirt and call yourself a geek so the guys will pay attention to you. Happens in everyday life. And it IS annoying to anyone who's suffered for BEING a geek. Whether it's sci-fi, lord of the rings, video games, or magic the gathering, having not just a knowledge of these worlds and their rules but ACTIVELY participating in a hobby or lifestyle that includes them has been a reason for ostracizing and bullying for a long time.

    So I agree with the original poster. It feels dirty and insulting to have someone throw on a t-shirt and label themselves geek and prance around a con or a classroom for attention. Especially when those types were our past bullies.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:02 am |
    • Geek on Leave

      It's hard to blame people for participating in what is now main stream. I played tabletops as a kid, MtG, watched & subbed anime, read manga, attended star trek meetings in my native Holland where we would watch un-aired episodes (in NL, anyway) all weekend long, attended demo compo's and numerous other 'geek activities'. NONE of my high school or neighborhood friends had a clue what any of this was.

      Todays tweens/teens/20somethings grew up with Pokemon, Yugi'Oh, LotR, World of Warcraft, Sailor Moon, Toonami, Avatar (the cgi and the airbender) etc. etc. A lot of them are also the kids of us 70's and 80's die hard geeks that have atleast been exposed to some of it at home (I know my kids have).

      I think the real issue is that what used to be solely geek territory is now being invaded by the masses and that seems to be hurting a lot of (insecure) geek feelings. I do miss the days where, at con's and other geek gatherings, 95% of the people where fans and excited about everything related to geek culture, not just 1 game,book or movie. The flip side is that without the masses invading 'our world' we surely wouldn't have the commercial backing and abundance of geek culture we have now.

      I was pretty excited to hear my wife and kids wanted to come see LotR with me. I really enjoyed being able to share my passion for fantasy with them for the first time. The same is true for a lot of other 'used to be geek only' activities. My youngest son spent some time playing MMORPG's, my oldest boy is hooked on mw3 and my daughter loves Anime and is working on her first (G rated!) cosplay costume. If my kids where to visit any convention, the Author would probably label my sons as posers out to score freebies and pics of booth babes, and on the surface my daughter fits the image of the uninformed girl that watched a few Anime shows. All 3 of them would still just be going to enjoy themselves, NOT to upstage or laugh at those poor geeks.

      TLDR; geek culture is mainstream, find another niche to feel special if you can't feel comfortable mingling with the masses.

      July 26, 2012 at 2:32 am |
    • Florist

      You are 100% right. They were the past bullies who now see that what we were into is now considered cool, so there they are all of a sudden. It's disgusting. I loved the original essay- it was right on the money.

      July 26, 2012 at 3:15 am |
    • Laura

      You need some therapy. You are assuming what these girls' intentions are. How do you know they don't have an interest? If they are just becoming interested, they might not be an expert on anything. Also, how do you know these girls were bullies in high school or have ever mis-treated geeks? If you are stereotyping people like that, then you are no better than your past bullies.

      Also, there is no reason why someone can't become interested in something they weren't interested in before. For example, I have taken up running recently, running obstacle courses mostly, even though I never did anything remotely athletic growing up. I'm not very good, don't know too much, and I probably make a fool out of myself quite a bit. But instead of being met with people who stick up their nose at me and tell me I don't belong in their exclusive club because I am not "one of them," I have had nothing but encouragement.

      You need to stop worrying about why other people are there and worry about yourself and have some fun!

      July 26, 2012 at 9:56 am |
      • Fiddlesticks Q. Squidcabinet

        I agree with Laura. I've never been able to figure out how these people become authorities on what other people's level of interest in something is, but it seems awfully presumptuous.

        Perhaps they have a crystal ball or some kind of mind-reading device.

        July 26, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  35. Laura

    Who cares if some booth babe is there for the right reasons or not? Just go to the con and have fun. If you don't want to talk to the booth babe, then don't!

    July 26, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  36. The Truth

    Wow really I'm so tired of this one opening her mouth just to get press.

    Lets all be honest here for a moment.

    Only reason, and I do mean ONLY reason is that Felicia Day has a career is BECAUSE she IS A GIRL!

    And she knows this. She flaunts that she is a girl all the time. If she was lets say 30 lbs heavier she would not have a career. Well if you can call what she has going on a "career".

    End of story.

    July 25, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • oldbutnotdead

      Guess we have a completely different set of standards for "talent" then. Have you even watched any of her stuff? Try going over to YouTube and typing in "The Guild" or "Dragon Age: Redemtion". Or you could watch any of the innumberable shows she's been on by checking them out on HULU.

      July 26, 2012 at 6:45 am |
  37. Laughing

    I am considered really, really attractive. I am also really, really smart. So when other people are too stupid to realize that in spite of my, well, considerable assets, I have considerable brains, I laugh really, really hard. Reverse discrimination for attractive people is no joke, however, and that is what is so sad about all of this ridiculousness.

    July 25, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • Florist

      Well, you're really, really lucky, aren't you? Your enormous vocabulary means you're definitely really, really smart. I can just imagine all of the art, science, math and literature you could teach us with your really, really big brain. It must be really, really great to have you clogging up the aisles of a con since you're so brilliant.

      July 26, 2012 at 3:19 am |
    • NorCalMojo

      Life in the bubble. Must be nice.

      July 26, 2012 at 3:59 am |
    • Mary

      And you must be really, really modest.

      July 26, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Cat Designs Unlimited

      @Laughing – I "really, really" don't believe you. You sound like you're "really, really" lying.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Jentrix

      Saludos c1lvaro. Me agradf3 mucho tu definicif3n presonal de lo que realmente es un Geek. Creare9 un post en nuestro portal cite1ndote. Gracias y que vivan los Geeks, somos una especie peculiar e interesante.

      October 12, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
  38. DawnJ

    Wow, is this really what gets people upset these days?

    July 25, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Gessie

      What perfect tiinmg! I found your book through No Starch Press website (I was doing a review on the Mange guide to Statistics.) I popped over here to see more, and you're giving it away! I so want to win this I'd love to review it over at Wise Bread!Linsey Knerl

      October 13, 2012 at 2:21 am |
  39. slinky

    You people used to be called pseudo-intellectuals. Now you are called geeks. Either way you're ridiculous.

    July 25, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • Biggs

      You are confusing geek for nerd.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
  40. Hal

    I think a lot of you are missing the pain of being a geek, especially in high school. Cute girls hug you to give you an erection then laugh at you, ask you out only to send their friends to tease you that she hasn't shown up yet... We get to know the type and later in life, when we meet one of them, we avoid them at all costs. And we recognize them a mile away. Girl geeks, in contrast, at least have dates in high school. And yes, we're bitter. We know that one day when the Sun/DR-Dos case is settled, Melinda Gates will dump Bill Gates and laugh at him. That's the way it is. And it keeps our therapists employed.

    July 25, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • Mary

      Girl-geeks have dates in high school? Oh please.

      July 25, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
      • T_T

        I second this. I wasn't even asked to prom when I was in high school.. high school was embarrassing and terrible

        July 26, 2012 at 1:58 am |
      • Florist

        That's me as well. High school guys don't dig girl geeks and they never have. They'll take vacuous and pretty over witty and intelligent any day.

        July 26, 2012 at 3:20 am |
      • justaperson

        I was a girl geek in high school and hung out with other geeks. I don't see these guys talking about girls who rejected them talking about geek girls though. If anything I felt overlooked by the geek boys I liked because they were too busy obsessing over why cheerleaders didn't want to date them.

        July 26, 2012 at 7:36 am |
      • Laura

        I had a lot of dates, but granted, they were mostly with non-geeks as the geeks never seemed romantically interested in me. Also, I had been friends with many of them for years so dating many of them would have been awkward. That being said, I did start dating my geeky husband in high school, and we made bigger geeks out of each other.

        July 26, 2012 at 8:05 am |
      • Simone R

        Nailed it. Cry me a river, geek males.

        July 26, 2012 at 10:26 am |
      • Mary

        Seriously. I was already geek/nerd in high school, and I couldn't get a date to save my life. It wasn't until college when I finally started attracting men in my science/engineering classes.

        July 26, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Mohammed

      Seton Hall University is planning to rdcuee its annual tuition by $21,000 for some incoming freshmen next fall. Incoming freshmen with high SAT scores and are in the top 10 percent of their graduating high school class would be eligible for the reduction. The university will match Rutgers Universitye28099s undergraduate tuition e28094 which is currently $10,104 for in-state students e28094 if freshmen score at least 1,200 on their SAT tests, have a composite ACT score of 27 or above and graduate in the top 10 percent of their high school class. Other students will continue to pay Seton Halle28099s regular tuition rate, which is currently $31,440 annually before room, board and other costs are added

      October 15, 2012 at 1:29 am |
  41. JD

    Yawn!, can you press mute and pass the controller please the game is more interesting that the verbal slobber being passed around.

    July 25, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
  42. /lol

    people, people, you do know most of these booth girls are paid to be there right??
    there are even a ton of good looking girls in costumes that are paid to be there as well.
    i mean how easy is it to sell stuff to a bunch of geeks if you use a hot chick behind your booth?

    July 25, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
  43. Quyll

    As a non-geek woman I was not aware that going to a comic con in a Batman t-shirt to flirt with guys was the equivalent of showing up at a gay bar in a miniskirt.

    July 25, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Geek

      Most of us prefer not to date outside our species.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Bill

      You're probably a whale IRL.

      July 25, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  44. reithena

    I want to challenge a vendor to go one con without booth babes...I would be interested to see the results profits wise. As one of those geek girls, I hope to see some of you at Escapist Expo and Pax East :D

    July 25, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Florist

      Don't forget DragonCon! That's where it all happens, and it's coming up soon.

      July 26, 2012 at 3:22 am |
      • reithena

        I keep promising myself one of these years...and each year it winds up being the same weekend as something at work >.<

        July 26, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  45. Lokust

    I give "The Finn" the award for the most insightful sentence anywhere on the page. That's really what it's all about. At some point you should realize that different people like different things, and that it's okay for other people to not understand what you're into.

    July 25, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
  46. wrenthefaceless

    The poster talking about 'integrity' got it right. Be there because you want to be there and you love the medium, not because you want guy oogling you or to show your 'power' over them.

    I'll be glad attending PAX next year

    July 25, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • Metalhead Falconer

      Amen, sister! :)

      July 26, 2012 at 10:41 am |
      • wrenthefaceless

        I'm a guy, but thanks lol

        July 26, 2012 at 11:23 am |