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Dudes criticizing cosplayers' personal attractiveness on Kotaku makes me miss the days when nerds supported other's outsider status. - Ken Levine

Geek culture has become somewhat elitist, which is ironic and sad if you consider its origins. - Brian Sharon to Levine

These two tweets made me realize how true this is. It's sad and horrifying at the same time. I'm seeing it in me, in my friends, in conventions, all the time in the internet... Why are we doing this?

I set myself as an example. I used to be anime and manga nerd, but eventually I become bored of all clichés which repeated themselves from series to series. Then I found the delights of western comics and started to look down on anime nerds. I found anime childish, storylines and characters sexist, quite racist and morally wrong, and full of recycled characters, story archs and so on. But why should I care? Western comics have same problems, all the same problems, just in different package. The are gems in both genres. I still love many anime works. But the point is: comic and animation geeks still like the same genre, just different niches. Why did I lift myself on higher position than them? I ditch many series because they're anime/manga, because of course they include all the things and clichés I do not like. Why? They might be the best series I'll ever watch, but I miss them because it's anime/manga. I'm so stupid.

Cosplaying is one of the best examples in this. We look down on bad cosplayers, especially if they are doing the same outfit as you and not as well, or there are mistakes, or he/she is not right race/gender/height/weight/bodytype or the worst: the costume is not selfmade! Gods forbid them. Why can't we just be happy that there's someone else who loves the character or series so much that they take their time, effort and money to create the cosplay? Even if the costume is bought they are quite expensive. Why we look them from the distance judging and bitter, while we could go there and talk, or just smile or wave a hand, or take a photograph together? Acknowledge eachother and be glad.
   I've been in this situation in so many times I can't even count. But I've started to change, and I'm glad. In my recent conventions I saw a cosplayer who was doing same outfit I was going to do too. First I felt bitter, but after questioning myself why I was feeling like this I went there, talked to this person and we had amazing conversation about the character and what we thought of him/her. I had no reason to be bitter, I was just happy that I met a nice person with same thoughts and likes as I had.

Most of all I'm a gamer, but I haven't noticed so much elitism in games jet in my part, please correct me if I'm wrong though, I want to end this once and for all. But I see it all around me.  Mobile gamers < casual gamers, casual gamers < hardcore gamers, console gamers < PC gamers, girl gamers < boy gamers, (insert game genre) < (insert other), the list is endless.

I feel like great bit of this elitism come from my previous experiences. I remeber being this little anime/j-rock nerd, dressing out-of-mainstream in small school and damn I was bullied for this. I felt bad, who wouldn't? Even in high-school this happened in some extent, even though people were much more open to 'weird' things. We were all good friends, even though I was teased a bit about my likes and quirky fashion sense. Even now in university I feel slightly ashamed and cover up the fact that I collect toys and play videogames, read comics and cosplay. I don't know what the one's who know this think of me likes, but they've been always interested and open and nice about these things when I talk about them. Still I feel like a second class citizen. (My class does not include any geeks in the usual context of the word, situation might be different on otherpeople of course.)
My first conventions and meet-ups in 2005 were amazing experiences. I did not feel bitter, I was young and new (so was the whole scene), and so delighted to find so many people who shared the same interests. I was no longer that one weird and kooky girl. But years went by and my elitism grew little by little. I guess after all those bad experiences and being looked down on I just became one myself when the opportunity stroke. I wanted to have the right to look down on people, since people have always looked down on me. So while in 'normal world' people look down on us, in our 'geek world' we look down on 'lessergeeks' because we want to feel to be the better ones. For once. But we're not, we're even worse. And this has to stop.

This's why I'd like to apologise now to everyone I've looked down on for stupid reasons. I'm sorry, and I'm going to change.

  • Mood: Shame
  • Listening to: Depeche Mode
  • Reading: Fashion and It&#039;s Social Agendas by Diana Cran
  • Watching: Kuppilat Kuntoon Ruotsi, Alexander Nilson &lt;3
  • Playing: Mass Effect 2
  • Eating: Risotto
  • Drinking: Water
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Tarutar Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013
Great read!
I, too, think I had some elitism in me in middle and high school. For me it was kind of a defense mechanism against all the badmouthing, being made fun of and bullying. In recent years I've noticed that such a feeling has been fading slowly. I've understood that my interests aren't better than others, just some examples from the vast sea of hobbies. Instead of turning into an elitist, I think I've acquired a 'give up' mentality: whenever I get questioned/laughed at/etc. for my hobbies, I back down from the confrontation and creep silently into the background. Even in my current school it wasn't 'cool' to say that one likes anime etc./has made it a hobby - this got me thinking if I might ever find the place where my interests would be accepted. :P
GothMana Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013  Student Interface Designer
Thank you!

That's interesting that you thought in that period that your likes were above other's. I had it quite otherway around, I was embarassed or just did not care. There were few guys in my class in middle school who liked anime and occasionally chatted with me about the matter, since I guess I was the only one who were in the same circle.
That is also fascinating that it was not cool in your university. In my class I've been respected by most, since I've different views and likes which influence me in my studies. But the fact that I study design might change the environement to be more open to things like this. This would be amazing subject for a social study! Shame I don't study anything even close.
Tarutar Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013
Well, even if I thought that my hobbies were better than others', it didn't show in my behaviour. I was the same timid girl as always, I just tried to be 'strong' inside. Because I didn't have to courage to stand up for myself verbally, I had a weird inner battle going on (me against the others). :/
LanviL Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Very well written and contemplated :)
This sums up nicely the way people become "elitist", because being looked down upon for so long, would make anyone bitter and wanting to do it to others. Just to feel like a better person, as the people who bullied us seemed to be.
Great text once again :)
GothMana Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013  Student Interface Designer
Thank you. :)

This's the reason I think geek culture has become so elitist, almost everyone has been looked down on. The most important thing, at least in my part when writing this, is to acknowledge the facts even though they're very unpleasant and try to move on as a better and more conscious person.
Lyzel Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Now that I read this, I couldn't agree more. I have to admit, I do exactly the same. And I'm embarrased to even type this, but this goes for the art too. At times I think I'm better artist, because I've gone through Joutseno and their a bit harsh critique and I've learned a lot there. Then I compare myself to the others and I guess because I'm not 100% sure of my own abilities and ideas, I feel better when I think I'm better than them for that reason. It is painful to realize this, but it helps one to grow as a person.

I collect toys, grow my red panda plush army and play games that some other would think are childish. I wouldn't even tell these if someone would ask what do I like or what are my hobbies, so we are in the same boat.
GothMana Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013  Student Interface Designer
We all do, but we should not be embarassed. I think the best way is to acknowledge this and move on. Grow up, this is something I realised when writing this.

And all these 'childish' hobbies. I think everyone else has them too, in some form or another, we shouldn't be so ashamed as we are. But of course it's hard to change. But it's all small steps towards a bigger goal.
Atlas101 Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013
Itse olen cosplayssa huomannut "elitismin" olevan jopa hyödyksi joskus(ei tietty se nenävartta myöten katselu). Yleensä kun aloitan cosplayn tekemisen, etsin muiden tekemiä cosseja, tarkastelen heidän tekemiä ratkaisuja, vertaan lähdematskuihin ja mietin "mitä tässä voisi parantaa/mitä juuri MINÄ voisin tehdä tässä paremmin.". 

Mitä ylenkatsomiseen tulee, se on luonnollista. Niin pahalta kuin se kuulostaakin, ihmisellä on tarve osoittaa, jos ei muille, niin sitten itsellensä olevansa parempi. Kuitenkaan sitä ei tule pitää merkityksettömänä, mutta sen olemassaoloa ei kannata hävetä. Itse kunkin tulee itse päättää miten siihen suhtautuu ja mitä siitä saa irti, ja valitettavasti ikävämpiä tapauksiakin on.

Kuten eräs internet-ja TV-kuuluisuutta nauttiva kuvaaja, käsikirjoittaja ja mediapersoona sanoisi, "mutta kukas minä olen tuomitsemaan". 

5/5 teksiä, tykkään.
GothMana Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013  Student Interface Designer
Itse en ole koskaan suuremassa määrin harrastanut muiden pukujen tutkailua ennen omani rakentamista, keskityn yleensä vain lähdemateriaaliin. Tietysti poikkeuksiakin on, jos jokun rakenne on osoittautunu pulmalliseksi. Tietysti omanakin tavoitteenani on aina ollut tehdä se 'kaikkein paras ikinä' cosplay.

Elitismi ei ole aina pahasta, ja kaikkihan me ollaan elitistejä jossain asiassa. Kaikki me halutaan olle se paras/parempi. Se on vain se tapa minä se ilmenee, missä voitaisiin mennä itseemme ja miettiä että 'onkohan tämä nyt ihan hyvä juttu?' Tätä olen halunnut juuri herättää tällä tekstillä itsessäni, kuin muissakin.

Ja tuo lainaus on yksi niistä, joka kaikkien tulisi pitää mielessä.
YamiAeris Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist

Omankin pääni sisällä asuu pieni elististi jonka harvat ja valitut pääsevät näkemään, ja en sillä että olisin mistään sanomisistasi luokkaantunut, mutta on vaan ihanaa kun ihmiset vaivautuu tällaisiin syväluotauksiin. Tykkään kovasti lukea juuri tällaista pohdiskelua ^_^
GothMana Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013  Student Interface Designer

Vaikka nyt on kurja olo kun olen ollut ilkeä ihmisille, nin etten ole itse tajunnut sitä kunnolla. Anteeksi sinullekkin vielä kerran. ,_, En ole tarkoittanut mitään pahaa, miun yleensä kommentit on muutenkin kärkkäitä ja haluan niillä vaan herättää keskustelua ja kuulla vastustavia mielipiteitä, enkä teilata mitään.  Mie tykkään tosi paljon pohdiskella tälläisiä, tämä oli vaan asia mistä miusta oli tarve kirjoittaa näinkin julkisesti. Sinua paljon ajattelin kun kirjoitin tätä. ;_;
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November 19, 2013


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