Over my rather small time being a part of the gaming community, I have observed different people from different walks of life talk about their titles. What does a title of Geek or Gamer or Hacker, actually entitle the person? Is it supposed to provoke some respect from the surrounding community? Or is it simply to elevate oneself into a group that he/she perceives is higher in social status? This entry will focus on the mysterious world of self-titling.
Geek is the title that I would love to start this discussion with. The broad definition of this word relates to the person that has made "higher" technology as essential part of life. To me, such a definition would mean that the person is constantly carrying a laptop or whatnot around and trying to find some internet when not home; if ever. I would also think that a Geek, when asked some technological questions would know the answer or at the very least would know a place where to look. It seems that the term is referred to very loosely and is perhaps the number one self-title of all time. In gaming community, I have noticed that a vast majority of "Geeks" are self-proclaimed. The attempt to elevate oneself to a point of respect with other members is very obvious. Majority boasts about being such Geeks and in turn start saying that they are not accepted anywhere else besides the gaming community. This in particular seems to be very popular with the female part of the community as of late. Multitude of such females proclaim themselves as Geeks and then go and say stupid things while using their new status as a crutch to make people think that they may know something. Obviously such occurrences are not limited to females; however, it is exhibited by them the most. I have been called a Geek before, yet I never let that catch on and start boasting to all about my new title. Perhaps others should learn by example.
Gamer is a very broad style of title. This particular title is seemingly the most dominant one out there. Everyone seems to be a part of this group and yet they rarely actualy self-proclaim to that point. The broad definition of this word relates to the person who constantly or from some point in time plays video games. Indeed its video games because nobody refers to football players as gamers. Whether hardcore or casual, the suffix word that follows the two is usually gamer. To me, the title bears another meaning. I think of gamer as a person that understands the games, gets the feel, lives the story, and in the end excels in it. There are some people that actually boast about being a gamer especially to the non-gaming community. They state that they play games as if they are smarter and more gifted than the normal person that comes home and watches TV after work. Again, many have called me a Gamer because I have a passion for games, not because I simply play them.
Hacker is a technical title. This particular title is the rarest self-title I have come across; nevertheless, it is an existing one. The broad definition of a Hacker relates to a person that is constantly attempting to get past some measure of security. The security may be a firewall or another security client. Such a person may spend several weeks trying to accomplish a rather small goal that will pay-off large to them either in experience or in something more tangible. The rare times that I have witnessed this title being self-proclaimed is by the people that generally do not know much about the computers to start off with, yet after some time develop little knowledge that they think is very advanced. An actual, real life hacker would not go into any blogs or posts or anywhere else and start boasting about hacking through some security measures of a company or domain. People that have never worked with code seem to call themselves hackers after starting on Visual Basic, even though such coding has nothing to do with hacking or even brute forcing. I had one instance of an extremely bad self-titled hacker. When I asked him to demonstrate his skills in hacking, he changed his user priviledges in Windows to a Power User and then re-logged as such. I was in a silent shock as he told me "Yeah, I hacked the system and now I am a Power User. I got a lot of power!" If the above described example was not understood by the reader that means that you are not a hacker and by no means a Geek either.
Self-titling makes my blood boil. I cannot express the rage that I feel when someone starts calling themselves something that they are not. There are obviously more titles than the three that I have listed, those are simply the ones I wanted to discuss. Finally, demonstrate the skills, show competence, explain reasoning and let the others decide what to call you.