A field guide to the geeks of Dragon*Con
Every year, the best costumers of every genre march in Dragon*Con's legendary parade
September 2nd, 2011
09:11 AM ET

A field guide to the geeks of Dragon*Con

This Labor Day weekend marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of Atlanta, Georgia's own Dragon*Con – the largest and most well-attended multi-genre convention in North America. Or, put simply, it’s the “mother of all things geek,” as Aaron Douglas (Galen Tyrol) of "Battlestar Galactica" said. For one magical weekend, geeks of every stripe imaginable come together as shiny happy people (who just might hold hands at one of the convention’s legendary after-parties.)

When venturing out into the wooly, untamed wilds of geekdom, it can be difficult to keep all of the different fan genres and sub-genres straight. Fortunately, your friends at Geek Out! are here to help with this handy, dandy field guide to the geeks of Dragon*Con.

Name: Technobabblus Adeptus

Known as: Sci-fi geek

Is there a difference between a photon and a proton torpedo? If you’re even asking this question, you’re definitely not a member of this genus of geek. This species has a legendary propensity for retaining minutia on continuity, military and family hierarchies, and the best type of crystal to use in a lightsaber (Kaiburr, natch.) Some subspecies of this geek tend to exclusively devote their energies to sci-fi-as-allegory, but they have sadly become an endangered species now that Isaac Asimov isn’t around to release any more books.

When seen in the wild: Though traditionally thought of as being a prickly and uncooperative sort, don’t panic! You can easily break the ice with a sci-fi geek by asking for help comparing "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" to Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey. (Tell them you’re working on a study – there’s nothing they love more than being part of scientific inquiry.)

Tolkienus Reverencia

Known as: Fantasy geek

The yin to the sci-fi geek’s yang, the fantasy geek is a sucker for all things sword-and-sorcery. This species enjoyed an initial burst of mainstream integration, owing to the wide popularity of the ur-texts penned by their patron saint, J.R.R.T. Sadly, the years following were less kind, and saw them herded into reservations where they could enjoy the books of Terry Goodkind in peace. In recent years, the fantasy geek has begun to re-emerge into polite society thanks to the stellar writing acumen of their new god, G.R.R.M.

When seen in the wild: The new "Game of Thrones" TV series serves as a good point-of-entry for geeks and non-geeks alike. Simply point out what a great actor Peter Dinklage is (or how impossibly handsome Nicolaj Coster-Waldau is), and you’re in like Flynn.

Robertsmithus Resurgencia

Known as: Goth / vampire geek

Initially relegated to the darkest recesses of pop-culture and nerd-dom, this endangered species’ population has rebounded in recent years thanks to a popular series of novels about sparkling chastity-vampires. Difficult to distinguish individually from a distance, there are nonetheless some important identifying traits to consider: Color of eyeshadow, shade of their clothes’ blackness (midnight or abyss?), and propensity to quote Nietszche versus Aliester Crowley.

When seen in the wild: Approach only if you’re prepared for an academic discourse on the oh-so-subtle differences between goths and vampires. (See: "South Park" S12E14.) One surefire shortcut is to replicate their mating call by ghetto-blasting The Smiths’ "How Soon is Now" à la that one scene from "Say Anything."

Rorschachus Wannabeus

Known as: Comic geek

Dark, brooding, enigmatic: These are just a handful of the adjectives the comic geek would like you to think apply to her, thanks to a steady diet of way too many Alan Moore graphic novels. Though the decline in print media has destroyed some of the comic geek’s natural habitats, the comic-movie boom of the last decade has swelled this species’ numbers, ensuring there will be plenty of arguments for years to come over whether Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger was the better Joker. Can usually be found somewhere at the trade show all weekend, haggling over a dealer’s asking price for a set of near-mint-condition ‘Judge Dredd’ tabloids.

When seen in the wild: Namedrop Neil Gaiman. Seriously.

Warcraftia Fragmasterus

Known as: Videogame geek

This common species of American videogamer is renowned for the many creative variations of ‘pwn’ they employ in their Xbox Live usernames. (Ex: Al Capwn, My Little Pwny.) Every Labor Day weekend, they break from their ritual of fastidiously checking the "Call of Duty" leaderboards and their "World of Warcraft" auction house listings, and migrate to Dragon*Con. Here, they lock themselves in epic verbal sparring matches over what makes someone a casual or hardcore gamer, and compare notes on how to unlock that damn kill-72,000-zombies trophy in "Dead Rising 2."

When seen in the wild: shout “ZERG RUSH!” through a megaphone. True gamers will be distracted as they keep their eyes peeled for zerglings, allowing you to approach and introduce yourself by complimenting their Grandmaster Battle.net ranking.

Gaijinus Americanus

Known as: Otaku / anime geek

Though Japanese animation is nearly ubiquitous in pop-culture now, a dedicated vanguard of true-blue Otaku remains. These brave souls always torrent the latest episode of "Death Note" without fail, and are ever-present on messageboard debates about whether the subbed or dubbed version of "Cowboy Bebop" was superior. Otaku are becoming exceedingly hard to identify in the wild (thank you very much Adult Swim), so keep an eye out for telltale indicators: Pocky stains on clothing and a wild-eyed look of disbelief when you mention how you much you like ‘Dragonball Z.’

When seen in the wild: Ask if they have any fanfiction they would like to share. Hope you didn’t have any plans for the next two hours!

Mechanica Ahistoricus

Known as: Steampunk / alternate history geek

Curious and of unknown origin, this species’ numbers have exploded in recent years, though no one has been able to identify a reason for the population boom. Fewer still have settled on an accepted definition for the group: Many cite novelists H.G. Wells and Jules Verne as the progenitors of these cog-and-watch-face-hungry costumers, but others point to a terrible ‘90s western starring Will Smith as an accepted flashpoint.

When seen in the wild, approach with hands outstretched, bearing an offering of your most whimsical pair of goggles. If the steampunker accepts them, congratulations – you have been given permission to participate in her upcoming DIY stage rendition of ‘Howl’s Moving Castle.’

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  5. EMP

    I think it would be easier for us fantasy nerds to "enjoy Terry Goodkind books in peace" if they were actually enjoyable. I wanted to punch the main character in the mouth so bad that I quit reading them.

    September 13, 2011 at 12:22 am |
  6. Mr. Muffinstuffer

    That steampunk stuff is *so* Raven. I'm a Fraggalo..but we're way under the radar. Just forget I mentioned Fraggalos.

    September 7, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
  7. eragon2890

    Hey, I don't know if anyone already posted this or not, but Death Note aired years ago! How can we otaku follow a show on tv that isn't currently airing?? *rage*

    but a hilarious article!! 😀

    September 5, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  8. Abraxas

    Because wearing saggy clown pants, spewing rap lyics and pretending to be a dangerous gangbanger is for losers and pansies.

    September 4, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  9. fastball

    Hey, it's people having fun...and not hurting anybody else.
    It's a chance for sci-fi/fantasy fans to come out, role play a bit and have some laughs.
    Sorta like everyone wearing Packers jerseys and tailgating at the big game...except with lightsabers.

    September 4, 2011 at 10:15 am |
  10. Dark Fire Blade

    I started going to DragonCon when it first started in the 1980s. I always found it enjoyable, but stopped attending when founder and now minority shareholder Ed Kramer was indicted for raping two boys.

    Despite all the hoopla and denial from DC and supporters, Kramer receives a ton of money from this and has managed to be released from jail, whilst stalling his trial for more than a decade. He's also put a lot of money into whitewashing his public image and garnering sympathy for his health problems (which appear largely trumped-up). Last I read, his legal team was pushing for dismissal since he wasn't getting a speedy trial, although every time, Gwinnett Superior Court sets a date, the Kramer Legal Drean-Team comes up with some excise as to why he cannot stand trial.

    I cannot in good conscience support Kramer through Dragoncon. It's too bad CNN (based in Atl. so should know about this crap anyway) is too lazy or bought-off to ask the tough questions. But, I suppose puff-pieces like this are easy, eye-catching 'n fun and clearly trump real journalism anymore. Way to go, CNN!

    September 3, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • StLooneyofthecreambunandjam

      Yeah, so many stereotypes. And they forgot the Deiifacator asimovious – know as the Pale Skinned Asimov Worshipper. Their habitat is the computer room in any major university library. Their lives consist of declaring the Will Smith version of I Robot to be utter garbage. They think that the ideal woman is seen between the pages of Foundation – an almost entirely silent, lackluster, cardboard cutout with curves. They have never actually read any of his mystery stories or his works on history.
      When seen in the wild – Never. they can't afford to go to Dragon Con, having spent all of their last 3 paychecks to get to the American Museum of Natural History for the 2011 annual Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate.
      This species is rarely known to mate (see comment on the ideal female above), and it is feared they may be extinct within the next decade.

      September 4, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • BJ

      Kramer hasn't been associated with D*Con in years. Not since the incident you mentioned. BTW, one of those two boys he was "convicted of raping" said unequivocably in court that nothing happened. That it was all an ex-wife trying to cause trouble.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
      • BS

        What "ex-wife"? Kramer has never been married. And there has been no recanting of charges by any of the victims. If anything, it's now worse, since Kramer was arrested recently with a 14 year-old boy in a motel room in another state. He is still a minority share-holder with Dragoncon, and thereby profits from the convention.

        September 26, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  11. peter

    The author sure tried to cram as many stereotypes into this article as he could. Does he think that's humorous?

    September 3, 2011 at 1:08 am |
    • rick

      Who knows...but it definitely IS funny haha. He is right on sooo many counts.

      September 3, 2011 at 2:43 am |
  12. bandahar

    China Mieville should be given at least some credit for reigniting the steampunk genre. That guy took fantasy to a whole new realm.

    September 3, 2011 at 12:58 am |
  13. C'mon/gimmiemykeys

    The Smiths' "How Soon Is Now" is Goth!? Wow. I guess I was Goth back in 1984 and didn't even know it.

    September 3, 2011 at 12:33 am |
  14. Moe Smith

    League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is also a good example of Steampunk genre. Much better than Wild Wild West

    September 3, 2011 at 12:09 am |
  15. teh suxxorcist

    it should read "handy-dandy", not "handy, dandy".

    *pushes up glasses

    September 2, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
  16. AnthonyCAdams

    Where's the mention of Firefly? Granted only 11 of the 14 episodes were shown on television, and those were shown out of order. But Browncoats are strong in numbers and loyal to the core when it comes to Firefly and I think that they, as well as Whovians, should have been mentioned in the piece.

    September 2, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
    • peter

      firefly fits in the sci-fi category. Even though I don't agree with how the author looks down upon all these groups, you have to admit that these are the larger of the genres. I don't think steampunk should be there, though. incredibly small group. Maybe replaced by the medieval re-enactors?

      September 3, 2011 at 1:11 am |
      • AnthonyCAdams

        True, Firefly does fit into sci-fi. But but the problem is when people think sci-fi they tend to get stereotypical and think Star Wars or Star Trek, just like the author of the piece did. All sci-fi isn't lasers, aliens or the like. Firefly was the perfect example of that. They used bullets, there were no aliens, and they're ships didn't travel faster then light. Plus there was a little cattle rustlin' on the side.

        September 3, 2011 at 1:19 am |
      • Snazster

        I saw tons of Steampunk this year. HG Well and Jules Verne have been around for ages and are just background material. I think the blame for the sudden rise of steampunk goes squarely on Girl Genius, the web comic.

        September 6, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
  17. Tim

    Latest episode of Death Note? What is this, 2006?

    September 2, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
  18. Fe

    Dr Who? No Dr Who? Excuse me? Whovians everywhere are brandishing their sonic screwdrivers in ire...

    September 2, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
    • peter

      Dr Who is a show, not a genre. It fits into the Sci-Fi category.....

      September 3, 2011 at 1:12 am |
  19. Jeannie

    In northeast Ohio in the Cleveland area, we're starting a small geek convention as well, called N.E. Geek Expo. I really appreciate you guys doing so much coverage of Dragon*Con, because we're starting out exactly the same way they did– a group of fans who wanted to bring a local con to their area. As a thank you to folks taking a chance on us in the beginning, we're giving free booth space to vendors and free admission to attendees. You can check us out on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/NEGEEKEXPO , or follow us on Twitter @NEGeekExpo_Ohio.

    September 2, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
  20. Captain Biggles

    All goths around the world cry out for being put in the same category as vampires. (See South Park episode of goths vs twilight)

    September 2, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • Snerk

      How do you think those of us vampire sorts who came in with Vampire the Masquerade (which really does have goth/punk roots) feel being lumped in with the skeevy sparkle fairies with fangs?

      Could be worse. Just look at the poor Anime fans repped by the Narutard photo... 😀

      September 13, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
  21. angniks

    Hey! What about the Whovians, like myself?
    (for non-geeks, those are fans of Doctor Who)

    September 2, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • rc roeder

      we are still around.

      September 2, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
  22. Tanya

    I'd like to see this journalist pigeonhole and poke fun at motorcycle, tattoo, or exercise enthusiasts like geeks. And leave his contact information so they can hunt him down easier.

    September 2, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
  23. asgardshill

    Dressing up like Ponyo isn't bad for America, is it?

    September 2, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
  24. Fiction

    No mention of Doctor Who? Boo. I tend to straddle the Sci-Fi/Fantasy line like woah, with a healthy heaping of Gamer and one they didn't mention: Internet Geek. I grew up here, let me show you my internets.

    September 2, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
  25. NerdHerd

    Dear lord, I fit into every one of these except for the goth/vampire kids. And thats a subgroup in itself, the people that like Twilight, and the people that think they destroyed Vampires.

    September 2, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  26. Demon

    I'm definitely a Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Gamer geek (you wouldn't know it by looking at me), but I found everything about this post, and all the comments after, to be sheer epicsauce. Just saying...

    September 2, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  27. Masako

    Pfft, Death Note has been over for years and was only 39 episodes long, so I doubt "otaku" are torrenting the latest episodes without fail. Also, CNN – you forgot to mention the Yaoi fans.

    September 2, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Capercorn

      Can't we just pretend that those don't exist? I know that most of them are girls... And I have nothing against gays, but most yaoi is just... Eww....

      September 2, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • peter

      They also didn't menion furries, but I'm not too concerned about that either. Also, Yaoi is a branch of manga, so it would probably fit in with the anime genre. They're not going to specificly mention Yaoi just like they wont specifically mention tentacle rape porn.

      September 3, 2011 at 1:15 am |
  28. Zoth

    Easy easy on the word "geek" CNN, you guys sound like an ignorant bully.

    September 2, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  29. Relique

    *Cough* Anyone who went to a Goth Club between 1998 and 2005 knows steam punk is a spin off of "Cyber-Industrial" and "Neo-Victorian-Renaissance Goth."

    Therefore, the classification should be Robertsmithus-Resurgencia-Mechanica-Ahistoricus

    September 2, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  30. RLD

    Come on, everybody with any education knows that steampunk originated with Michael Moorcock. Talk about shoddy journalism...

    September 2, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • RDW

      Damn right.

      September 2, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Arkat

      Steampunk actually originated with Edgar Rice Burrough's Barsoom (John Carter) stories starting in 1912 with "A Princess of Mars."

      Michael Moorcock was born in 1939 – decades after the first Barsoom stories.

      Steampunk as a genre became popularized by the Space: 1889 roleplaying game published by Games Workshop from 1988 to 1991. From there, Japanese Anime took off with the genre with several files including the popular "Steam Boy."

      September 2, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
      • Arkat

        And by "files" I meant "films"

        September 2, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
      • rc roeder

        I beleve it even goes back to Jules Verne, Hugo Gernsbacl and HG Wells

        September 2, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
  31. Anomic Office Drone

    You know what never talks about when it comes to nerdy conventions? The terrible smell.

    September 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • AGuest9

      No, that's just Atlanta. I don't know how those people at CNN Center can stand it.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
  32. EquZephyr

    You forgot about the bronies. Otherwise known as the pony geeks. There will be some at DragonCon I bet. Even 4chan fell against the rise of the ponies.

    September 2, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • EquZephyr

      When seen in the wild: If you attempt to annoy them, their usual response will be "I'm going to love and tolerate the s**t out of you".

      September 2, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Capercorn

      /b/ fell months and months ago to the Equestrian Invas/i/on Fleet.

      September 2, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • peter

      talk about an extremely small branch. not even worth mentioning. Think about it, fans of a childrens show being considered a genre of it's own?

      September 3, 2011 at 1:17 am |
  33. GonzoG

    Graphic, painful, but TRUE.

    One, I did like. I think it was called TREASURE HUNT. Had puzzles to be solved–appealed to my Nerd-ness.

    September 2, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  34. Jake

    Otakus are incredibly annoying. All the ones I've come across are just white kids who so badly wish they were japanese.

    September 2, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • David

      there are good and bad otakus, just as there are good and bad fans of various other genres and as an otaku myself I do have self-control and shake my head at those that try to be japanese when they are not, regardless of what ethnicity they are. I have a respect of the entire japanese culture, not just pop-culture.

      September 2, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
  35. heraldofwhoa

    All your comments are belong to us!

    September 2, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • nnhead

      Where is that like button?

      September 2, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
      • RDW


        September 2, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Enlil

      How are you gentlemen?

      September 4, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
  36. DC

    Everyone likes to play dress up, just on different levels. These guys maximize their fun. This isn't much different than Harley riders w/leather, bikers/runners w/colorful shirts, sports enthusiasts w/their jerseys, church goers w/their Sunday outfits, workers w/their company shirts, and bar hoppers w/their "evening wear".

    September 2, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • GirlCrush

      Except that the leather worn by Harley riders is not merely decorative. It serves the very real purpose of protecting our hides should our front wheel find one of those invisible voids that keep popping up before us and we take a tumble.

      September 2, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
      • Who are you kidding?

        Yet you don't wear a helmet...

        September 2, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        'Who are you kidding?
        Yet you don't wear a helmet...'

        You beat me too it.

        September 2, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
      • AGuest9

        Above a certain speed, all a helmet does is make it easier to ID the rider, once they find it. Many times, your head comes off, anyway.

        September 2, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
      • seconddavid

        So you head it going to go flying off, but at least your leathers are going to keep your knee from getting skinned. Logic for the win!

        September 2, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
  37. Jim White

    " Dragon*Con – the largest and most well-attended multi-genre convention in North America."

    Not even close. San Diego Comic-Con, which at least as multi-genre/medium as D*C, is at least twice as big.

    September 2, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Gwen

      WHAT!?!?! Glee was at comic con last year. You do not get more mainstream than "Up with People" for the new generation Comic Con used to be a gathering for fans. Now it has turned into an overpriced opportunity to have a look at whatever the networks (or cable) are shoving down your throat this year. Yes, there are some good panels there but Dragon Con is more genuinely aimed at fans. Gen Con in Wisconsin is the go to for midwest gamers (historically THE convention for RPG).

      September 2, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
      • Sid

        Gen Con went downhill dramatically after TSR sold it. Indianapolis is nothing like what it was in Milwaukee. It almost feels like a local Con these days.

        September 2, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
      • AGuest9

        Let's face it, WotC is definitely no TSR.

        September 2, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
      • dbm

        And this is the multi-genre that Comic-Con is referring too.... its not all comic and games, but pop culture now. And you don't have to have television jammed down your throat, turn it off or change the channel.

        September 2, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
      • Rick

        Largest and most well attended???

        San Diego Comic Con 125,000 attendees (and thousands that are turned away)
        New York Comic Con 96,000 attendees
        Wizard World Chicago 70,000 attendees
        Dragon*Con 40,000 attendees

        You can say what you want about SDCC, but it still reigns supreme, the numbers don't lie. It's the biggest and best. Dragon*Con is now known for it's all night parties. It should actually be called Party*Con because it's ACTUAL convention space for dealers is a lot smaller compared to the rest of the Cons.

        September 2, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
    • Sid

      Comic Con isn't even close. Have you ever been to either?

      September 2, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
      • Jim White

        Yes. Comic-Con has capped tickets at 125,000, and it's unclear if that includes staff, pros, etc. If not, call it closer to 135,000. If you look up the blueprints online for the convention center and do the math, just to walk down each aisle in the dealer/exhibit floor requires a 3 mile walk. D*C is nowhere near these numbers.

        September 2, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
      • Rick

        Sid, to put it in perspective, you need more than one day to cover the main convention floor because it's that big. There are so many dealers and booths that it can actually get overwhelming if your only there for one day because you didn't get to see them all. These past two years the convention center has had to expand out to two hotels to accommodate the Anime and ever expanding panels.

        September 2, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
  38. Nico

    LOLITA????! I guess that sort of goes along with Otaku...

    September 2, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  39. SciFiChickie

    as a SciFi Geek & gamer this article is pretty insulting...

    September 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  40. Zordon from Clybinia

    I am a Level 3 Dungeon Master and the ladies love it.

    September 2, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Magus

      Level 3? Psshaw..

      September 2, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Level 3... I see why you're not in Atlanta.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  41. Gundam Wing

    I bet there are a lot of hotties running around those after parties.

    September 2, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • Sid

      The ferry girls alone are worth it. They invited me to their party last year.. Good times.. What happens at Dragon*Con.. Stays at Dragon*Con.. except for the rash!

      September 2, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
      • Sid

        Faerie rather.. damn I can't put thoughts and words together without sleep LOL

        September 2, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      For some clue, look at the costume art work for female fantasy figures over the years and understand that a lot of women like to dress up for the conventions.

      September 2, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  42. Otis Nixon

    I hate to be the nerd that point this out... but:
    "One surefire shortcut is to replicate their mating call by ghetto-blasting The Smiths’ "How Soon is Now" à la that one scene from "Say Anything.""
    So... yeah... the ghetto blaster song was "in your eyes", by Peter Gabriel. "How soon is now DID have a wicked remake featured in "The Craft"... but your editor should be fired. Oh, wait... this is a blog... you ARE the editor.

    September 2, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Ricky Bobby

      You are the one with the issue. The person was saying to use the boom box like the scene in Say Anything, but instead of using In Your Eyes (which would have no affect on the vampire/goths), you should instead use How Soon is Now. Duh!

      September 2, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Clay Cahill

      Dumbest Talkback Ever!

      September 2, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  43. get out of your mom's basement

    Wow people, get a life!

    September 2, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • your moms boyfriend

      Wow you must run around during Halloween so angry at kids having fun and enjoying what they like, this is no different. Groups of people with common interests having fun. Maybe you should get a hobby, before Chris hansen has you take a seat. Just sayin.

      September 2, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Gundam Wing

      Think about it....role play anyone?

      September 2, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • notanerd

      I roleplay haveing a life sometimes.

      September 2, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
      • BugOff~~~~

        Gee and how is that Sim life working out for you???? Leave these people alone. You will be surprised how many of these people are the same people you look for service from at businesses you use everyday. They are normal everyday people with a liking to something that is different without having to use drugs to "go where no man has gone before". F*$kin hippies!!!!

        September 2, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'get out of your mom's basement – Wow people, get a life!'
      yeah, instead paint your face, put on the team colours like everyone else and go to a football game, right?

      September 2, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • Capercorn

      Hey, cut us some slack! Differential Equations are wonderful and all, and they make me lots of money... But honestly! Math gets boring after a while!

      September 2, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
      • AGuest9

        PDEs, vector calculus, AD&D and Traveller!!!!

        September 2, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
  44. Sage

    In addition to DragonCon this weekend, ATL has a NASCAR race, the black gay pride parade, and an SEC football game.
    Now these groups all need to get together for the best parade EVER...

    September 2, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Ricky Bobby

      Shake and Bake!

      September 2, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
      • The Magic Man

        El Diablo, I though we were done with the shake n bake.

        September 3, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  45. buyandsellwwii

    looks fun. ck this out buyandsellwwii dot com i think you will like it

    September 2, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  46. Deb

    Wow CNN could you be any more condescending? What a terrible article

    September 2, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • champcantwin

      yeah.. no.. as a total nerd.. i found it surprisingly accurate and funny

      September 2, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
      • Ex-D&D gamer

        Yep ... pretty accurate.

        September 2, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • Sid

      CNN has always been a huge supporter of Dragon*Con. They usually snag a few interviews throughout the course of the weekend. Dragon*Con is a real great time. I'm sad to be missing it this year but other Cons must be had!

      September 2, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  47. Eric

    Cool breakdown, but the "Videogame Geek" category just doesn't fit. It's like "Movie Geek" or "Book Geek" or "Music Geek"...it's just a medium. Videogames can be any genre: sci-fi, fantasy, goth, vampiric, superhero, etc.

    September 2, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Sean


      September 2, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Gwen

      I would say that you don['t get many people getting worked up over their score on MarioKart. I have never seen a throw down about a great BrainAge score either. I have seen some heated discussions over Pokemon abilities but they were among 10 year olds. The age and intensity of the players of "shooters", whether first person or not, lends itself to gaathering in large groups, dressed to play.

      September 2, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • tcaud

      They mean cosplayers.

      September 2, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
      • tcaud

        After all, we have to support our men and women in uniform. What soldier doesn't dream of being Master Chief?

        September 2, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
  48. Time Bandit

    AAahhh! The days when, as a youth, I too would dress up for conventions. Alas, I have become a mundane but I truly admire those who still go, my husband is a Gamer Geek. At one time, he would refuse getting an Xbox. Since we got one 2 months ago, all he plays is Halo Online with others. Four hours + a day he's on that game, you don't want to know about weekends...lol. Of course, while he is in the Halo "zone" as I call it, I have the best advantage. Me: "Honey, I am going shopping", Hubby: "ok", Me: "How much can I spend?", Hubby: "Whatever". Me: "Really!" Hubby: "yeah". Now for the females in the same situation as me, this is the magic ticket. As for those who are going to Dragon Con....I am truly jealous! :{

    September 2, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • wonderwall

      Somehow I can't imagine that any women would be thrilled to rush to marry a gamer addict. Even if it meant more shopping trips.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
  49. Sean

    I fall a little in all of these except Anime and Steampunk, not sure if that means I'm a geek or not...

    That Steampunk girl is hot though, I might have to check that stuff out...lol

    September 2, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      Steampunk outfits and gadets are pretty cool, and for the women the costume can more often than not include leather corsets and similar.......sigh.

      September 2, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Heather

      Yes, we hybrid geeks were woefully ignored. ;D

      September 5, 2011 at 8:27 am |
    • Friend OF

      The steampunk girl is a friend of mine. I will pass the message along 🙂

      September 5, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
  50. Zeek

    What a moronic article, supposedly written for those that do not know the genres and then going out and using undefined acronyms that only those familiar with the genres would know...*fail*

    September 2, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • champcantwin

      that's the joke....... way to go you freakin loltard

      September 2, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  51. D Gannon

    what about the "Dude" ?

    September 2, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • JoLynn

      The "Dude" fans probably don't have the drive and initiative to make a stand at this convention. It would require A)Leaving the bowling alley, B)Not having a white russian for hours at a time and C)Well, I was gonna say something about The Eagles but I can't make it work. 😉

      September 2, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Sandy

      They have their own con – it's called Lebowski Fest. And yes, there is bowling.

      September 3, 2011 at 11:29 am |
  52. Jason

    Interesting that the author would group by genre instead of by game at the beginning then add video gamers as a genre instead of a gaming preference. For those of you who are not of the geeky persuasion, allow me to illuminate the diversity of gamers a bit. Within any given genre of geeky alignment there are many expressions of that genre in the form of media. Aside from the obvious Star Wars v Star Trek battle lines that everyone is aware of, you could have one Sci-Fi geek that plays tabletop miniature wargames while another Sci-Fi geek only associates with other geeks who roleplay in his favorite Sci-Fi universe. Neither of which have any time for Master Chief fans.

    Finally, there is a large group of geeks that the author missed. The 'old geeks' who long for the days of yore when geekdom was simpler and the media was much better. "Sci Fi is fantasy garbage, Asimov wrote Science Fiction, there's a difference!", "The game has a 4th Edition now?! 1st Edition is still the best!", and "Those movies we're even close to the books... have you read the Silmarillion?!" would be typical lines you hear from this crowd.

    Of course we're only dipping our toes in the geeky pond at this point. For those of us who have been here for ages the world is a completely different environment than what most people experience. If you want to experience the world as geeks see it, there is only one way in... choose a topic you enjoy and dive head first into the pond. You'd be surprised how enjoyable it is.

    September 2, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • econdragongirl

      Personally, I'm pleased that it's not sorted by game because we are not all gamers. The article may have also missed the most frightening category, the furries! ANd speaking as someone who has been to both DragonCon and ComicCon, ComicCon is not all inclusive. I'm a sci-fi/fantasy with a little steam-punk geek and was both bored and out of place at ComicCon. Everybody is family at DragonCon!

      September 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Hammerheart

      2nd Edition or 3.5 for me, sir.

      September 3, 2011 at 8:26 am |
  53. wonderwall

    Why aren't those Colonial Marines fragging that Xeno bug?

    September 2, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • ShowerGarden

      Because their mommies wouldn't let them have ammunition.

      September 2, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • GonzoG

      -er- Because, even tho' we're NERDS who are essentially PRETENDING to be Colonial Marines, WE ACTUALLY HAVE A GRIP ON REALITY and shooting the guy in the suit would P!$$ off the Atlanta police.

      Not to mention, the guy in the Alien suit has the keys the van.

      September 2, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
  54. JS

    Many of the members of these species are found solitary or paired, with an occasional pack evolving around niche sagas. However, in an interesting spate of parallel evolution, many of these species have also evolved a well-structured collective. This can be seen most evidently in the storm trooper 501st, "Cobra," and the battletech troops. With common ancestry in SCA Kingdoms and Civil War re-enacters, these groups organize in advance of convocations such as DragonCon, then march around to display their strength (and for photo ops).

    September 2, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
  55. Creatorus cosplensi

    That's just the tip of the iceberg! There's so many types of geek and nerd not covered here that are all great in their own way. Notably missed here are the specific set known as cosplayers! They come from all walks of nerd and geek, but walk the walk as much as they discuss the minutia. From the ubiquitous 501st to creators of costumes from obscure anime and manga, all cosplayers devote many hours to crafting their looks and deserve recognition for their work. Cosplayers are the face of geekdom, the ones who get all the photos because of their spectacular work.

    September 2, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • wonderwall

      Cosplay – anyone who wears a costume or act thereof?

      September 2, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
  56. Sakura2000

    Those vampires look more like zombies. Hey what about the Zombie Fans?

    September 2, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • tk

      Love it.

      September 2, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • Sid

      Zombie fans have Zombie*Con in Seattle.

      September 2, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  57. Drazulfel

    I'm really, really going to like this blog. Just need some mini wargaming love. Malifaux, or Warmachine/H pwnage ftw.

    September 2, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
  58. Barb in CT

    OMG...I'm SOOO all of these!


    Find me a mate!

    September 2, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • MODU

      hahaha . . . Barb, you shouldn't be having any problems. You're "ideal!" 🙂

      September 2, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • wonderwall

      "You cannot pass! I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the Flame of Anor. The dark fire will not avail you, Flame of Udun! Go back to the shadow. You shall not pass! "

      September 2, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
  59. Cedar Rapids

    For a minute there i thought they were going to miss out the steampunk crowd but there they are, yay. And seriously Wild Wild West was not an influence, as someone else pointed put Space 1889 was a good starting point.
    And there are some seriously gorgeous steampunk conversions out there. Try googling for steampunk laptop and take a look at that beauty.

    September 2, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • Sid

      "Steam Punk.. It's what happens when Goths discover brown!" 😛

      September 2, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        I appreciate the humour but how dare you mix steampunk and goths together sir! *splutter*

        September 2, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  60. DD

    Hey. I liked Wild Wild West. The original TV series, that is. It was brilliant.

    September 2, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • RDW

      Agreed. But that movie really did suck.

      September 2, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
      • GonzoG

        Yeah, the movies sucked, but I still watch it when it reruns on TBS. It's Better than Reality Shows.

        September 2, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
      • RDW

        @GonzoG – Poking your own eyes out with a screwdriver is better than watching reality shows.

        September 2, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  61. Sam

    You left out Red and Johnny.

    September 2, 2011 at 11:52 am |
  62. Mister G

    Some of those pictures had girls in them. Thats the closest any of those geeks will ever get to a womans private parts ever!!! LOL

    September 2, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Andrea M

      Untroof. I'm a nerd girl (breed unspecified) marrying a fellow nerd. Clearly nerds get girls.

      September 2, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
      • Barb in CT

        *LIKE* I had a geek/nerd/chip head and lost him to a Boring. YOU are a lucky lady! Congrats and I wish you a long happy married life!

        September 2, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • Sean Russell

      Not all women dream of marrying the high school jock and living off his convenience store clerk wages.

      September 2, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • Kevin

      you poor poor man... Do you have any idea how many play boy models dress up and go to these cons? Adrianne Curry? Haydn Porter? I have movie accurate Strom Trooper armor I go to these cons dressed up in. My GF has a movie acurate slave leia, and was even featured in an MTV promo. The fact that you talk the way you do convinces me that you should never speak again because the entire world because less intelligent every time that event happens. Please...let the adults talk now.

      September 2, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • GonzoG

      I married a fellow nerd (a real female of the opposite sex persuasion that doesn't require an air pump-REALLY!)

      And we BOTH have jobs that don't involve comic books, believe it or not. In FACT we both have DEGREES (She's working on her Master's)

      September 2, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        My attorney wife is a geeky gamer and steampunk fan as well. She also happens to be Geena Davis lookalike (gets comments on it all the time)

        So just to recap....my wife is a super smart attorney with a great paying job, looks like Geena Davis and is a nerdy gaming geek that likes black leather corsets. You all have my permission to be jealous whilst I walk around with a big grin on my face.

        September 2, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
      • GonzoG

        Sounds like you hit the trifecta. Beautiful, talented, and fellow-geek spouse.

        Congrats to you.

        September 2, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        Thank you.
        What she sees in me I have no clue but I hope she doesn't come to her senses anytime soon.

        September 2, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
      • Ysbail

        Pfft. I stay with CedarRapids 'cause he's got a great a$$.
        Ha! Just kidding! It's cause he cooks!

        September 2, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        Ha! and there she is, I should have known she couldn't keep away from an article about geeks.

        And what do you mean you are just kidding about the great a$$? Thats charming that is.

        September 2, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
      • Ysbail

        The ass attracts me. The ability to cook negates any need for me to cook, and keeps me.

        Now finish up and go home so we can teach the kids how to play Call of Cthulhu.

        September 2, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Katran Miller

      Women are a significant portion of fandom. Get over yourself.

      And all the gamer women I know have (a) graduate degrees and (b) tech or academic careers and are over the age of 25. Most married. So go back and check the labels on your pigeonholes; they're getting a little silly in their stereotyping.

      September 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Snerk

      Man are you behind the times. Brains are teh seks these days. And some of the girls at D*C would make anyone drool with their hotness. Google it.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
  63. Pete

    Nerds: Helping costume business owners pay their mortgage since 1977.

    September 2, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Ironsun

      Long than 1977. You forgot all the "Trekies" out there.

      September 2, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • AgentJ

      Please!! No true geek would be caught dead in the god-awful costumes that come from the shops (those are for the clueless people who think they are original by dressing for Halloween as a purple-suited Pimp.)

      REAL geeks built their costumes by hand, to exacting standards. The key phrase to use if you come across one of these is 'screen accurate'.

      September 2, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Capercorn

      I would say that high school drama departments do that job.

      September 2, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  64. Dan

    Did the author fail to mention the city where all this revelry takes place, or did I just miss it?

    September 2, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • Saint

      Atlanta, GA

      September 2, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • Jeff

      This is in Atlanta every year on Labor Day weekend.

      September 2, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Jane

      You missed it – Atlanta

      September 2, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
  65. WasabiPotPie

    Steampunk chicks are hot.

    September 2, 2011 at 11:35 am |
  66. D

    Like Ogre said in "Revenge of the Nerds": NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERDS!!

    September 2, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • GonzoG

      Smile when you say that! Boy! I can delete your payroll record, lock your e-mail account, and replace you with a PERL script.

      September 2, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  67. cpc65

    Is that Kirstin Dunst on the right in the 4th photo down?

    September 2, 2011 at 11:29 am |
  68. RDW

    Steampunk fiction has it's origins in the writings of Michael Moorcock. While Well's and Verne's writings may look steampunky today, they were pure science fiction at the time that they were written.

    September 2, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • teampunk

      Michael Moorcock.

      That's what she sai.. Too easy.

      September 2, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  69. bombastinator

    The term "steam punk" was coined for a novel called "the difference engine" which surmised the Babbage analog computer was finished and became a successful invention. This was followed by a game called Space 1889 that drew on the references referrd to above. It basically grew from there.

    September 2, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  70. cpc65

    I'm telling you, if they put guys dressed in Stormtrooper costumes in airports, subways and such there'd never be a problem. It's the psychological subconscious effect akin to how life-sized cardboard stand-ups of smiling police officers in supermarkets and department stores have cut shoplifting way more than actual security people and surveillance cameras ever did. Just don't ask them to hit what they shoot at.

    September 2, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Rich

      Agreed. I've seen folks dressed as Imperial Stormtroopers at WonderFest in Louisville, Kentucky, and it's amazing how a white suit of armor grabs your attention.

      September 2, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • mac

      I 100% endorse your comment.

      September 2, 2011 at 11:47 am |
      • PwnMastr3k

        Put someone in UNSC Mark VI armor or the scout variant would do the trick as well.

        September 2, 2011 at 11:55 am |
  71. citizenUSA

    Geecks (geek chicks- pronounced gee-cks), are the best!

    September 2, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  72. citizenUSA

    Gash ne eptu tal-mil p'ach vegal dangill vermi stooch.

    September 2, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • Katran Miller

      Gagh is always best when served live?

      September 2, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • citizenUSA

      Only if you want your throat tickled.

      September 2, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  73. TogaDad

    Well written piece – kudos. One could argue that the Star Wars cult deserves their own genus/phylum, perhaps a subset of the Warcraftia Fragmasterus: I suggest Yodalicious Sithnatious, or Billionarus GeoLucasian.

    September 2, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • PwnMastr3k

      I'm not sure about that. There really isn't enough specific differences in the Star Wars cult vs any other (ex Trekkies) to call them their own species. I would say it's more of a Subspecies or breed. Something more like Technobabblus Adeptus Yodalicious and Technobabblus Adeptus Sithnatious would be more appropriate. (depending on what side of the force they fall on)

      September 2, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • Gwen

      I disagree that Star Wars fans should have their own subgenre. At least not of Technobabblus, maybe part of the Warcraftia. Would it be a genetic variation or a true new species to count those that only play Lego Star Wars? If I write the words, do I have to pay Lucas?

      September 2, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  74. NS

    Species names are always Capitalized uncapitalized. Like Technobabblus adeptus not Technobabblus Adeptus–FYI.
    Nerdus superiorus

    September 2, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • psuedo nerd

      You, sir or madam, have won the interwebs for today.

      September 2, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • valbaca

      May the tubes bow to your magnificence.

      September 2, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • Biology Nerd

      I think the real problem is that what they're giving are at best genus names (which would be the capitalized part) but they've split them into 2 words when it should be one. As was mentioned above, there are plenty of subdivisions that could be made here, which should be species names.

      September 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Katran Miller

      Beati sunt nerdi quoniam ipsi intertextus* possidebunt.

      But the real question is, what's the Sindarin translation, and are we talking Noldorin or David Salo's Neo-Sindarin movie mashup?

      *fourth declension accusative, so don't gimme any grief over the ending.

      September 2, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • JestersEye

      NS, thanks for pointing out that obvious capitalization error! Just for clarification... In the Linnaean binomial classification system, the genus name is always capitalized while the species name is not. 🙂

      September 6, 2011 at 9:03 am |