When I think of the word geek, I’m never sure of what it is. I’m not sure if a geek prefers Star Wars to Star Treck, or the other way around, or if that choice is irrelevant to the fact he or she enjoys a science-fiction work. And about science-fiction, I’ve never seen it as something different from a sub-genre of fantasy: They narrate nonexistent plots, with nonexistent inventions, science or even worlds, but trying always to explain it in with existent resources.
It doesn’t matter if it might exist: in practice, it doesn’t. And as so, it’s part of a fantasy. So… What does fantasy has that attracts geeks, and what do toys have to do with it? I’ll write this from a geek’s point of view.
Fantasy is, in practice, the nonexistent.
Magic, creatures, alternative worlds, plasma guns, ghosts,… It’s a wide range of things that have been invented, letting thousands immerse themselves in a story taking place somewhere else, completely away from reality.
In some way, that’s the reason there are so many creation in the fantasy genre (including everything from literature to video-games): first there are no limits, second, people like it, geeks love it, and there are plenty of them.
I don’t know the reason of people liking fantasy, as they might be a lot of reasons… But I do know (or guess) the reason of fantasy being important to a geek. Yet geeks are most likely aware of the possibility of alternatives. The concept of “multiverse” is naturally attached to a geek. “It doesn’t exist, but it could, if…”.
That if defines the multiverse theory; any event has consequences, translated into some other events. In retrospective, the change of one event, changes some, or all of next events. The multiverse theory says, in some way, that for any possibility there’s a complete different universe, or dimension, in which things can be from slightly different, to humans never been on earth at all. So all this fantasy inventions are possibilities, to what an alternative universe could be. Immersing ourselves in other dimensions through books, movies, or simply told stories is something we like to do since the immemorial times. We like to “live” those alternatives, study them.
In the sense of observing, of course. We like to observe, ask and answer out own questions. Because any new universe is a big question. One that drives us to our philosophic side. One un-spoken question, that will only be answered with more questions, more guessing of solutions. More thoughts. And all that thrills us.
If you’ve been reading through past articles, you might understand… Geeks not only like being part of the great community that creates upon the different universes, but they like the universes per se. Being part of them becomes just as important as the universes.
So, their “toys” related to those universes, to science fiction and fantasy as a whole too, become the only real-life representation of those universes. To a historian, having an exact replica of the first painting ever made on paper is the same as to a Star Wars fan to have an exact replica of R2-D2… To a historian the replica represents the different age, and that thrills them. To a geek the replica represents the alternative time, and that thrills them. To both the origin doesn’t exist. To a historian it did, to a geek it could.
In a few words. Reading fantasy books, including science-fiction, or comics, or watching fantasy movies, or series, or virtually anything that takes you to an alternative world, makes you feel like you’re part of it, that you belong not only here, but there. You must protect that universe because you’re part of it, because you know about it. Toys only remind you of the fact that they will be always a part of you.