Part of appreciating what you have is about taking stock of how far you've come. It's a way of honoring the steps you've taken to get where you are and the ones who've helped you get there.
So without a hint of doubt, I can say this: there hasn't been a greater time to be a geek.
I mean that in all seriousness. Right now, in the 21st century, is the thriving time of the geek.
Now, I was born in the late 80's. Which means that by the time I had arrived, a lot of well geeky foundations such as comics, video games, television and film were already pretty well established. A lot of phenomenal contributions had already been made, but I would argue that being a geek hadn't quite hit its stride.
Liking Star Trek, reading comics or playing video games was still somewhat looked upon as juvenile interests or, at worst, the strange hobbies of the geek outcast.
But I would argue that that sentimentality really started to change in the 90's with the rising advancement of technology, more specifically in the refinement of computers and the enormous connecting power of the internet. Suddenly, everything was different.
With better and better computers, mediums across the board were growing in quality.
Video games went from this:
Witnessing this from nearly the start, this was huge. I remember playing through Zelda or StarFox on the Nintendo 64 and being amazed at the graphic world I was presented. At the time, it was the most advanced, immersive worlds I could conceive. But if you had shown me the things that were to come, I would have been blown away at your wizardry.
And I was not alone in this excitement. Millions of other people joined me in this wondrous process, following along each step of quality progression. This staggering amount of people did not go unnoticed, which is primarily how the video game industry has continued to grow.
As more and people paid attention to video games, seeing them no longer as childrens' fancies, so did the production companies, who in turn started producing better quality games for the masses.
But video games were not alone in this. Films and television, too, were growing.
The introduction of CGI(Computer-Generated Imagery) in the 90s brought a whole new world of world creation that brought deeper immersion to audiences.
The Lion King, considered a masterpiece in animation and visuals, was the direct result of computer animation. It became so popular, it still holds the record for third-most grossing animated film.
Another major contributor to the geek film culture was the introduction of superhero movies.
Now, Superman had already come out in the late 70's, followed by Tim Burton's Batman movies in the late 80's. And while these were necessary predecessors to superhero movies, I would go as far to argue that they never really hit their widespread popularity until the 2000 movie, “X-Men.”
In its opening week, X-men grossed $54,471,475, convincing Marvel Studios to begin making adaptations of their other products. Eventually, this would lead them to begin their expansive Marvel Cinematic Universe, starting with Iron Man and culminating in The Avengers(where they brought in all the characters/actors from the previous movies and grossed $1,518,594,910 by itself worldwide).
In response to Marvel's success, DC launched their own modern film series with the 2005 movie “Batman Begins,” Christopher Nolan's take on the Batman legend. His triology(“Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises”), is widely considered one of the best film adaptations of Batman with an average rating 0f 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and grossing nearly 2.5 billion dollars.
These two titans of superhero films, Marvel and DC, would create a culture of popularity in geek films, spawning other adaptations from other mediums, such as “Hellboy,” “Scott Pilgrim” and many more.
Suddenly, not only was it popular to be a geek but it was profitable for the industry as well. And while they gained off exploiting our interests, it also led to more numerous, better quality productions.
All by the dawn of the 21st century and the rise of technology.
All of this growing technology, while it may not have seemed like it at the time, was all cultivating the culture of the geek. Everything that we as passionate fans hold dear started in these early beginnings at the start of the century. The growing availability of computers and the staggering connecting power of the internet brought us closer together as a species, bringing our unified interests to light.
This brought a whole new level of acceptance to geek culture as we found kindred spirits in our respective interests all over the world. Online gaming, geek sites and more united us together, creating a global culture of gamers, comic enthusiasts, crafters, writers and everything else under the sun.
What was once considered obscure interests is now commonly accepted, even celebrated for its uniqueness.
Comic-cons are more popular than ever.
Fans are able to tweet their favorite creators.
Films and television are streamed online.
Digital comics are on the rise.
And Joss Whedon rules us all.
The geek is at his most thriving time. It's truly a great time to be alive.
The future only holds greater promise and I cannot wait to see what it yields.