We often speak about geek culture as a niche, but over the last couple of decades, it has edged its way into the mainstream. This certainly can be seen to have positive and negative results. The overwhelming opinion is that it can only be a good thing that these ideas, stories, and activities so many of us value are even more accessible to a wider audience.
This increase in accessibility means that geek culture can have a greater impact on even more lives. Whatever sphere you choose to engage in, you can see just how much it can improve the experiences of those who connect with it. Through these intellectual properties, you often discover vital aspects about yourself, and ways to improve your physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. Furthermore, geek culture is also instrumental in establishing or reigniting your social well-being as well.
Although this may seem silly, there are plenty of geek activities that provide opportunities to enhance and revive various types of personal relationships.
Cosplay and LARPing
One of the great aspects of geek culture is the sheer number of opportunities to get closer to types of characters you relate to or find intriguing in some way. Cosplay in particular has become an integral part of celebrating the properties you enjoy. To a slightly less popular extent, live-action role-playing (LARPing) can be just as good to transform yourself into a different person for a while. Both of these have places in forming and reviving relationships.
It’s certainly not unusual for long-term romantic relationships to become a little stale. You and your partner might have become comfortable with each other and that initial spark can drift away a little. Spending time cosplaying together can shake things up a little, and give you a chance to see a different side to one another.
Some couples choose to do this by attending conventions together as popular pairings — Rogue and Gambit, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, Han Solo and Chewbacca (no judgments, here). You can source your costumes or even make them together, followed by spending time embodying the personalities of your chosen characters. Throw yourselves into it, discover new parts of your personality, and have some fun together.
LARPing is less reliant on specific pop cultural characters, and more a chance to create a new persona or unleash those parts of your inner self that were dormant. As such, this can be a good option if you find that you’ve lost a little self-confidence and this is affecting your ability to maintain current relationships or discover new connections.
Spending a day or even a weekend immersed in a world as your character can be a boost to your self-image, demonstrating those parts of your personality that you might not always feel so comfortable expressing. Even non-romantically speaking, these events are great avenues to make new friends who have similar interests.
Tabletop Roleplaying Games
One of the standout activities in geek culture, particularly over the last few years, has been tabletop roleplaying games (TTRPG). While they have been a mainstay since Dungeons & Dragons debuted nearly 45 years ago, they have recently experienced a resurgence in popularity thanks to popular TV shows like Stranger Things alongside “actual play” shows like Dungeons and Daddies and Critical Role. As it happens, these are also proving to be a tool to keep relationships thriving.
These games, which see players heading out on a quest (in Dungeons and Dragons) or an investigation (in Tales from the Loop) are ideal social events since they just require a group of people, some dice, pen and paper, a rulebook, and the players’ imaginations. For groups of friends who live busy lives and can only meet every couple of weeks, TTRPG sessions are an opportunity to have some inexpensive fun that can keep you connected throughout campaigns that can last months or even years.
However, perhaps the most valuable aspect of TTRPGs in maintaining relationships is the fact that they can be played via online audio or video conferencing platforms such as Discord or Skype. This means that whether you are in a long-distance romantic relationship, or are living in a different country from your immediate family, you have another way to connect to your loved ones no matter the distance in a meaningful and fun medium.
If neither LARPing nor table-top games interest you or your loved ones, DIY is also a fun way to connect through Geek culture. Do-it-yourself (DIY) crafts have been an integral part of geek culture for some time. Sure, there is an increasing amount of official merchandise that you can buy that features your loved one’s favorite characters and stories. But through online stores and hobby shops, you have access to materials that you can use to make artistic gifts for one another.
If you’re both into The Lord of the Rings or The Legend of Zelda, it can be fun to get together and make prop replica leathercraft bags or accessories for one another over a weekend. This means that you not only share gifts, but you get to explore your inner Geek together.
Jewelry also features a lot of geek properties — Tolkien’s One Ring, Xenophilius Lovegood’s Necklace from Harry Potter. If you have some metalwork skills, a replica here can make for a meaningful gift. However, if you can’t personally create jewelry, there are plenty of skilled geeks who can.
Get some insights into the types of metals and styles that your partner likes in jewelry, and explore the creators on sites like Etsy who specialize in geek pieces. You might not have created it yourself, but it does show that you’ve put serious thought and energy into picking jewelry that will resonate with them.
Relationships — whether romantic, friendships, or family — take work to maintain. Geek culture has various elements that are well suited to reviving connections or bringing those you care about closer to you. The key is to engage fully and make sure that it is done with fun and creativity.