Several days ago, on Monday September 16th, I waited in line twice to pick up my pre-ordered copy of GRAND THEFT AUTO V from Gamestop. First, I had to stand in line to get my group number at 6pm. Then, I had to wait in line from 11:00pm to the 12:01am Tuesday release date of the game.
I’m not complaining, bitching, or moaning; I could have (and should have) just picked up the game Tuesday morning and avoided the crowds. After all, I did preorder the game months ago; there would be a copy there waiting for me in the morning.
Though I wish to avoid all lines these days; I’ve waited in my fair share that require arrival hours in advance, whether I am waiting for a hot game system or the latest blockbuster. Each and every time I have found myself in such a line, I come across the same five geek archetypes. Without fail.
I’ve waited hours to see ‘test screenings’ of films out Cali-forni-way, months before their release, including TROPIC THUNDER (twice), KICK-ASS, GET HIM TO THE GREEK (one of the two times I met Jonah Hill… just to name-drop for ya’), SEMI-PRO, JUNO, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, DRIVE (well, there was no line there, I was invited as a ‘journalist’ for Forces of Geek), SUPER 8, MISS MARCH, and my personal favorite OBSERVE AND REPORT – in which I sat in the same row as Mr. Seth Rogen and was the only one in the focus group that knew who the director, Jody Hill (FOOT FIST WAY, EASTBOUND AND DOWN), was. But I digress…
I’ve waited hours, in the fall cold, for Gamecube, Wii, and the Nintendo DS. I showed up at 9pm to wait for SUPER SMASH BROS. BRAWL, in a line in Orange County that went for 10 blocks and didn’t get me home with my SMASH BROS. until 3am.
I waited many hours for movies from THE DARK KNIGHT on IMAX to the Los Angeles premiere of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK: THE ADAPTATION (hosted by Eli Roth… gotta name drop!). One of my college chums figured out the ‘viral’ game, receiving an invite to see the prologue to THE DARK KNIGHT a month before it appeared on I AM LEGEND. So, I waited over 2 hours just to watch five minutes of footage. That is dedication, my geeks!
I showed up nine hours early to wait in line for INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL on the biggest screen this side of the Mississippi (formally ‘The Continental’) and was still number four in line!
But again, I digress.
As I was saying (writing) earlier, I’ve come across the same types of geeks every time. Obviously, anyone willing to wait hours for a new game, video game system, or movie premiere is an automatic geek (unless you are there waiting with your kids, like the mother in front of me who was helping her elementary school age children obtain GTA V). As I wrote in my last blog, it is that very obsession that makes everyone in the line a geek.
As the title suggests, I will be drawing examples from this week’s experience of waiting for GTA V, as well as last summer’s three hour wait for THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN IMAX 3D. So without further to do, I present to thy, the many archetypes of geeks you will find in any given line.
Every line has a geek that hates on whatever he is waiting for, as though he is better than everyone else in the line waiting for the same game/movie/etc. He is there waiting, just like everyone else, for hours, and yet he still has only negative things to say about whatever he has dedicated a good portion of his day to see.
When I was in line for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN last summer, there was one loud mouth geek; geeky in every way from his weight to his mouth breathing (I don’t mean to stereotype Geeks like this, especially since I love my own classification of a geek). He spent his hours in line hating on Spider-Man. Not even the films, but the character in general and how he was so uninteresting. He championed the then upcoming DARK KNIGHT RISES, saying how much better it was going to be than AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. Which brings me to the next geek you will always find in line…
The Stubborn Fanboy
Similar to the Hater, the stubborn fanboy is very vocal. He may or may not express that he hates what he is waiting for, but if he is waiting for something he will always choose the similar item to hate. It’s easy in the game world, fans waiting for the PS4 will most likely trash talk X-BOX ONE and WiiU. And vice versa.
The best example I have are STAR WARS and STAR TREK fans. When I was in line for my favorite movie of the year thus far, STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, everyone bashed STAR WARS. Also, Marvel Vs. DC conversations like that had by the very vocal geek in the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. Both categories, ‘The Hater’ and ‘The Stubborn Fanboy’ are similar and can often overlap, as seen above. Like every noticeable type of geek, both talk too loud so that those around them will hear their opinion.
Just like a lame blogger expressing his thoughts… like here… only reading is usually less loud than listening to a geek.
‘The Last One/Book Was Better’ Geek
This type of geek is portrayed perfectly in Edgar Wright’s film SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD. Nelson Franklin plays Comeau, the character who knows everyone, including Ramona Flowers. Whenever he is not talking to Scott Pilgrim or is seen in the background, Comeau verges on ‘The Stubborn Fanboy,’ but one of his lines is more or less ‘the original one was better.’
No matter what this geek is waiting to see/get, they are sure that the original was better, whether its a reboot, book/comic adaptation, or a sequel.
These three archetypes are similar as they are too cynical and want everyone else to share that negative/empty feeling.
I personally don’t see why I can’t be excited for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. Why can’t I enjoy Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, and Mark Hamill’s portrayal of The Joker? Why can’t I like Raimi’s SPIDER-MAN and Marc Webb’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN? I like the comic and the movie! The book and the movie! STAR WARS and STAR TREK are both my joint!
And the original isn’t always better. Benedict Cumberbatch is a much better Khan than Ricardo Montalban. Daniel Craig is better as Bond than Sean Connery. I know this may be blasphemy, but that very fact and the three types of geek covered thus far beg the question:
Why must we be so divided, geeks?
This one is simple.
“I’ve been waiting for this film for 11 years” said a ubergeek not too far from me in the GTA V line.
Really? You’ve been waiting for GRAND THEFT AUTO V for 11 years? Did you even know that GTA V would be a reality 11 years ago? You weren’t looking forward to GTA3? Or Vice City? Or San Andreas? Or GTA IV? You’ve only been looking forward to GTA V for over a decade…
I once said I had waited my whole life for INDIANA JONES 4, which of course, was bullshit. I didn’t even see RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK until fourth grade and didn’t complete the trilogy for over a year. And even then, I guess I’d only been waiting for INDY 4 once it was actually becoming a reality.
The ‘I Know The Most’ Geek
This one is most usually me, if I am with a friend or a group of friends, and am not currently The Hater, The Stubborn Fanboy, ‘The Last One Was Better’ Geek, or The Exaggerator. Because I’ve been all three at some point in my many years of ‘camping out’ in a line for hours.
Like the four other types, again, this geek archetype is way too vocal, perhaps the most vocal, because he wants everyone around him to know how much he knows about the prize at the end of the line.
This was me when as I waited 9 hours to see INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL. As I said, I was fourth in line, behind my friend Grover. I had Indiana Jones hats for us both. I even brought the book “Why Did It Have To Be Snakes? From Science to the Supernatural, the Many Mysteries of Indiana Jones;” rather than reading from the book at all, the four of us spent the first few hours of the wait loudly quoting any and every scene from the original trilogy and discussing what we knew would happen in the film.
We were loud. And I was that guy. I am usually that guy. I made sure the geek that criticized THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and choose instead to be a DARK KNIGHT fanboy heard my comments to my then-girlfriend that it was stupid to choose one over the other and it was possible to like it all.
Cause I’m usually the know-it-all Geek.
The Parent of a Young Geek
As mentioned earlier, this person in line is most likely there for his or her child. Like the woman who waited in the front of the line to buy her young sons GTA V. Poor judgement aside, most geeks owe a lot to their parents. Maybe your Dad took you to STAR WARS in 1977 or any of the re-releases throughout the 80s because you begged him. My mom took me to the Special Edition in 1997. My dad drove me and my best friend to Target and supervised from the car as we waited for the Gamecube.
So, thank you parents! Without you we would not be geeks. I simply apologize for all the aforementioned geeks you had to deal with in whatever line your young geek dragged you too.
Don’t fit any of these archetypes? Good for you! Either reevaluate yourself or pat yourself on the back from being the 7th and final type of ‘Line Geek.” The quiet/reserved geek!