The Evolution of the Geek

ROFL 20-08-2013

As you can probably tell, we’re big on geeks here. If you’re not sure if you are a geek, well, there’s an easy way to find out Are You A Geek Or A Nerd? Find Out For Sure Can you call yourself a "geek" or a "nerd" just because you feel like it? If you're wondering if geeks and nerds are the same, they're not. Geeks may be loosely defined as enthusiasts, obsessed... Read More . Passed the test? Here’s another one to gauge how much of a geek you are 50 Things Every Geek Should Know If you're a geek, then you should know how to hide stuff in a JPEG image, why people should "try turning it off and on again" before they call the IT department, know the One... Read More . Once you’ve discovered you are in fact a geek, find out exactly which type of geek you are Which Type of Geek Are You, Exactly? Alright, from the response we received to an infograph about the things every geek should know, we've established that the term 'geek' isn't generic, and thus, can't be applied to every person who is geeky... Read More . Make sure you’re not a hipster How To Design Your Own Hipster Logo In 6 Easy Steps Whether you're opening your very own hipster coffee joint or launching a hippy organic produce store, you'll need to brand your company well. What better way to define both you and your patrons than to... Read More , we’re really strict about entry requirements.

Welcome to the club! Are you curious how the term geek came into be? Were your geek predecessors just like you? Did geeks exist before Star Wars and the Internet? Thanks to an infograph by Flowtown, it’s pretty easy to study the evolution (and origin) of the geek.

Click to enlarge.

The Evolution of the Geek geek evolution small

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  1. Opsimath
    August 22, 2013 at 3:22 am

    Guys (and I use that word advisedly!), are you still not getting that women exist in all the same geeky tech head worlds as you? I've mostly enjoyed reading MUO for a while now, but much more of this kind of exclusion and this particular female! 67-yr-old!! reader is going to remove you from her RSS feed.

    • Jackson Chung
      August 22, 2013 at 7:08 am

      Hi Opsimath, please understand that we didn't design the image. If you have any issues, please take it up with the original creator i.e. Flowtown.

  2. db
    August 21, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    You forgot to include the original meaning of the word, before anyone had computers or needed a 'geek' to fix them. This was the guy who would bite the head off of a living thing, such as a chicken, at a carnival of side show. There wasn't anything particularly sexy about it if I remember correctly. The word "geek" meant "weird", but magnified.

    The way it evolved was probably like this: you go to the carnival and see a guy bite the head off a chicken, and you turn to your friend and say "what a geek!" And then, when you see the AV Club guy get the 16mm projector running, you turn to your friend and say "what a geek!" Then that guy grows up and changes the world and becomes a billionaire and then you say "geeks are sexy".

    Too bad you used to make fun of this guy when he was inventing computers, landing men on the moon, and video games, and software, and all that "geeky" stuff. It only became sexy when you could get some money out of it.

  3. Bonnie
    August 20, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    no girl geeks? really?

    • Adam
      August 20, 2013 at 10:07 pm

      while I would love to consider myself a geek about girls - i don't think that is very socially acceptable, and no man in his right mind can claim to know or understand - Women are complex, deep, emotional and sensitive - they are proof of the "anything you can do i can do better" song, in that my wife works, cooks, cleans, cares for me and the kids - she does it with grace and style - i could screw up boiling water! let's leave that there. Second, Any one of those categories contains women - MANY women. Although, a few of the characters could have been drawn as women; this much is true. alternatively,Some could have had their female peers next to them - that would be an even nicer touch.

      • Bonnie
        August 20, 2013 at 10:17 pm

        I meant .. girls are geeks too .. you only have men stick figures ...

        • dragonmouth
          August 20, 2013 at 10:42 pm

          Political Correctness rears its ugly head again. Why does every social group under the sun have to get equal time??? We are all part of one social group - the human race.

        • k
          August 21, 2013 at 4:17 am

          yeah, easy for you to say if you have been represented all the time.

        • Lisa O
          August 24, 2013 at 4:45 pm

          I'm a girl and I don't mind. It doesn't mean there are no girl geeks, we all know that. The word human covers both man and woman, right? Sure, men are represented very frequently in English, but that doesn't mean girls are not around. Too much people insist on Political Correctness. Just let go of that minor detail. You'll be happier.

      • Jackson Chung
        August 21, 2013 at 1:02 pm

        The D&D geek looks like a girl...