Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fake Geek Girls

This article on fake geek girls on Forbes really caught my eye and made me think.

I for one can't stand those 'stand in' booth babes at cons who are just pretty girls given an outfit for the day who know nothing about gaming or their product and are basically there to flirt and make boys (and only the boys) feel important.

On the other hand I feel like we have a growing collection of nerd friendly women in the media who shouldn't feel scrutinized about their geek cred every time they represent a convention on TV. By these I mean the likes of Olivia Munn, Aisha Tyler and Felicia Day. Women who have shown time and again that they're gamer geeks who just happen to work on TV.

Have a read and see what you think:

'Fake Geek Girls': How Geek Gatekeeping Is Bad For Business

Batgirl as portrayed by Yvonne Craig in the 19...

Yvonne Craig as Batgirl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The presence of a “Geek Out” section on, as established and establishment a media outlet as one could ask for, suggests that, at least when it comes to page views, geek has entered the mainstream. However, a recent opinion piece by the writer and designer Joe Peacock suggests that there is still some growing up to do – and it is going to have to be in public.
Peacock’s piece – titled “Booth Babes need not apply” – trots out the familiar trope of the “ fake geek girl” – the woman who is pretending to be a geek for reasons of her own. We’ve seen this device before, many times – indeed, we saw it here on, with Tara Tiger Brown‘s “Fake Geek Girls – Go Away!“. Kirk Hamilton of Kotaku – a real geek boy, to the best of my knowledge – said in response to that article:
Imagine: You meet a girl, and you get to talking. You talk about your jobs, your neighborhoods; you talk about your interests. As it turns out, the two of you are into a lot of the same things. This is cool! Wow, she likes the same obscure slasher flicks and retro video games that you do. How lucky for you both!
Wait. Be careful. This could all be a ruse. She could be… a Fake Geek Girl.
Oh no actually, false alarm. Turns out she’s just a person who is into stuff to varying degrees. There’s no such thing as a Fake Geek Girl.
Which is probably true, but conceals another point – the idea of the “fake geek girl”, and the self-appointed geekquisitors rooting them out, are bad for business.


  1. Interesting that you used a picture of Yvonne Craig to illustrate this - when I saw her speak at Supanova I was well impressed at her overall knowledge of the Batverse, including things that happened well after she had moved on to other things.

  2. So I read the article and here are my thoughts: 1) I find that this just proves the age old Catch 22 that women in general have to put up with with about a lot of things in life - we as women quite often have to prove ourselves to be genuine twice are much as our male counterparts. 2) While reading this I could help but wonder, what about 'fake geek guys'? Are you trying to say that women are the only ones the "fake" being geeks? That there are not plenty of guys that go to these conventions for the same reason the author claims "fake geek girls" go to the conventions for? and finally 3) whys is it that people in general find the need to judge the merit of others based off of some ridiculous standards?