Geeky commerce needs us! Go to the local movie theater… Go to your favorite games and comics shop… Find a geeky eatery if you’re lucky enough to live near one… Doing it all online is convenient; but stepping out and, yes, potentially dealing with people for the sake of sating our geeky desires and for a change of pace and scenery is really the best medicine!
Nowadays, one hears a lot of bad news for the geeky/nerdy community. Movie theaters closing, local shops for geeky goods are losing business and closing. The reason this happens is so simple:
We’re letting it get way too convenient via e-commerce; putting more effort into convenience than in stepping out the door. All for that same feeling of satisfaction we get when we see a new movie, buy a new game, find a new book, check out a new poster, or buy a new toy to hang on the wall… But done online where no-one can bother us.
We’re becoming so isolated that in our lifetime we may never have to leave home for anything! A cynic might get a kick out of saying “yeah, and that’s awesome!” Hey, the privacy of our own homes is a comfort; but what a gift it is when we potentially make new friends at these geeky commerce shops!
Remember how utterly awesome it felt to get back out to comic cons and movie theaters again after a few very long pandemic years? We still had to be safe, but we were back out where we belonged; among people and events which our geeky hearts treasure!
How awesome is it to see friends at the local games shop? We meet there to play and to chum around. How about gathering with one or more friends for a movie we’ll like or totally riff? We get so much more from the geeky commerce experience because of a desire for a sense of community, which is a totally good thing!
Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but a fundemental aspect besides our desire to be left alone (however often; however long) is to find community. Like it or not, no matter what our differences — “Han/Greedo shot first!” “I like the old/new version better!” — we are a community! We are the people who love and treasure the geeky/nerdy things of life. And it’s honestly a lot more fun sharing in all that with friends old and new. Nothing at all against being an introvert if you can’t help it; but so many of us can help it and rely too much on online convenience instead of dealing with people!
What more do we need to lose to e-commerce? Toys R Us went down thanks to online retail; and besides joining some Macy’s store locations in high population cities, it too is going online. Theaters like Regal Cinemas are suffering; due in part to lack of blockbusters, but certainly to competition with studios making movies intended for streaming only.
Simply saying “way of the future; get with the times” is a defeatist attitude! Cynics say it to justify staying home where no-one will bother them; except on post wars online.
Consider Geek News Now founder David Gremillion’s article about a mall in San Antonio; upon installing many geek-tastic wares shops, people flocked there! Friends of shop owners, people who couldn’t keep away, they all found a new refuge outside of Amazon. Stores with games (some with lounges), collectibles, anime, a station where you can paint/repair your minis, and more! Because each store or cinema location we hit offers something you just cannot get staying at home: an experience.
Memorable or fleeting, the experience brings us out for a breath of air, community, and interaction. It gives the geeky stores/theaters our shared memories of what we love within the geeky/nerdy community… Or do we ignore the smile of the geeky/nerdy shopkeeps? Online interaction, often ugly (yet also friendly), and online shopping, though convenient, must not replace visiting our favorite geeky hangouts.