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It's Always Personal

Agree or disagree if you will, but regardless of your choice, it's always personal!

Author: 56KModem

Self - Titling

Posted by 56KModem Wednesday January 30 2008 at 12:45PM
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       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.

Sornin writes:

I do not see why it is such a surprise that people attempt to identify themselves in an impersonal place such as forums, nor why such attempts are sinful.

There is no time to "demonstrate the skills, show competence, explain reasoning", as this is not something like a job where you are monitored, promoted, and given a new position title. There is no time for a merit-based system here.

Human society necessarily breaks down to identification based upon titles, whether self-applied or not. One can even think of temporary states of being as titles. When someone asks you, "How are you feeling?" and you in turn reply with, "Well!", that is similar to applying a title to oneself. You are not demonstrating why you feel well in order to prove it, you are stating it in order to be identified as feeling well, which allows others to interact with you accordingly.

This is the same as calling oneself a "geek", or anything else. You are encapsulating a lot about yourself in one word, which gives others a quick way to understand a bit about whom you are without actually spending a protracted length of time getting to know you.

Anyway, you come across as being a bit of a curmudgeon to me (an earned title), though a well-spoken one, and I feel your folly lies in the belief people self-apply titles for the sake of entitlement rather than for the sake of identification. I do not believe people calling themselves "geeks", at least the majority of the time, mean it as a badge of merit that should command respect; they simply mean it to be a succinct statement about themselves.

After all, you did a commendable job listing various traits that go along with each title, and thereby went a long way to show the power a simple title can have when it comes to group identification.

Wed Jan 30 2008 1:08PM Report
56KModem writes:

Sornin,

First and foremost, I must thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my blog. I was hoping that everyone that would stumble upon this rattle of mine would at least understand what I am trying to convey.

The truth of the matter is that the self-proclaimed titles are not names or identifiers. They are not even qualified to describe the person. If they are self-imposed, then they are nothing but an attempt to classify oneself as something that was not agreed by the majority or some at the very least. Names are identifiers, while self-proclaimed titles are nothing more than what the person wants to be seen as. It may not be sinful, and I never said it was, until such person starts boasting about how great of title he/she pocesses is. That was the true meaning.

You have greatly gone out of your way, Sornin, to attempt to humiliate and discourage me. You only need to state your opinion on the matter instead of going to great detail exclaiming how I am a curmudgeon and that my ideas are folly lies and whatnot. In putting me down, you have elevated yourself higher. No doubt that the next posts will agree with you as you are the first. No worries, for your comments suggest that you know something is very true yet you want to rebel just to seem different and perhaps even cool to yourself.

There is always time to prove to other people and earn the titles instead of giving them to yourself. You have done just that with your comments. Since you want to use such proper and complex English Composition, I award you the title that you have yearned for the time being : puerile, sophomoric and rapacious jerk.

I thank you for any kind words that you have thrown in there as the buffer, but that will not deter my view that you have judged my ideas without even fully understanding them.

This quote suits you more than some:

"Be silent, or say something better than silence."
Pythagoras

Wed Jan 30 2008 3:19PM Report
Litchfield writes:

Good read, love the quote in  your coment BTW, lol @ the power user bit. At least vista did away with that.

I'll add one...not sure who said this

"silence is a true friend who never betrays."

Wed Jan 30 2008 4:40PM Report
xkey writes:

Hmm. I'll bite the unattractive trolling lure here:

Sornin's reply was an intelligent and accurate at least as far as opinions and bandying words about can be.

Self-descriptive remarks are not such grievious sins capable of irritating most individuals - at least not most rational, compassionate individuals.

I call myself a human so if i play a game and use "human knight" as an id that just makes your blood boil? oh wait perhaps i actually AM human - hmm a fact. If some individual meets the idiom or definition of a term there's no reason to get be irritated over it is there? Likewise it would be a bit irrational to be irritated by simple (non obscene) descriptive monikers used as identifiers or descriptive phrases that 'tag along' with an entities id/moniker.

If this post was meant to elicit something - hmm congrats on elicting something :) If your true philosophy and feelings are as you are posting - well, good luck with that :)

It's great how you just called him sophomoric <shakes head>. You perhaps are the one that doesnt understand; you may also be a bit pretentious and arrogant - or maybe you are playing devils' advocate and are a kind-hearted individual. From one post, an accurate assessment cannot be made - just as from viewing someones moniker/id or a few descriptive adjectives and phrases one cannot make an accurate assessment on whether or not they are fitting. Perhaps they are a factual representation or perhaps fictitous.

x

"A witty saying proves nothing." -- Voltaire

 

Wed Jan 30 2008 5:01PM Report
streea writes:

I guess I missed the memo on how in order to become a "geek," you must join some secret society, pass certain tests to prove you are, in fact, a full-time geek and not a causal geek or, heaven forbid, geek-in-training, and then go through some humiliating ritual where the title of geek is bestowed upon you.

Just as Sornin said, people label themselves with these terms in order to give a quick, general idea of who they are and/or what they're interested in. It's not a title... it's an adjective. There is no "majority" that sits around and votes on who can call themselves a geek/etc or not.

Wed Jan 30 2008 5:07PM Report
ppetty writes:

Yegor and Sornin are both right, but very much exxagerated. 

Yes Yegor, many people title themselves geeks, gamers, etc because they want to be viewed as such when such a title doesnt actually fit who they are.  The problem here is that you seem to think NO ONE who self proclaims themselves such actually is, and they are just after attention and respect.  Sornin was not "going out of his way to discourage and humiliate you."  He was balanceing your extreme left hand view with the right hand side.  The points he makes in his reply are valid.   There is more than one side to everything and not all of them are wrong.

Wed Jan 30 2008 8:31PM Report
ppetty writes:

Yegor and Sornin are both right, but very much exxagerated. 

Yes Yegor, many people title themselves geeks, gamers, etc because they want to be viewed as such when such a title doesnt actually fit who they are.  The problem here is that you seem to think NO ONE who self proclaims themselves such actually is, and they are just after attention and respect.  Sornin was not "going out of his way to discourage and humiliate you."  He was balanceing your extreme left hand view with the right hand side.  The points he makes in his reply are valid.   There is more than one side to everything and not all of them are wrong.

Wed Jan 30 2008 8:31PM Report
Norden writes:

Im a gamer, live with it, kid. oops.

Fri Feb 01 2008 5:27AM Report
Atomy writes:

Yegor is not after people to personally offend them, its more a piece of text where he is trieng to tell his look on the so called subject.

I'd say the philosophy is quite interesting, only its placed on the wrong forum. I get the feeling that some people actually feel attacked by it.

The maker of the blog should also take note on remembering what  he is actually saying. Some people might actually take it in a way that he did not intend to, as in take it personal.

So whats going on now is, reactions are un-objective. The blog poster is missunderstood. But i'd also agree that you don't exactly know what your talking about. Atleast you know one side of the coin.

You tell a story based on your own thoughts and emotions, while your also trieng to be neutral and objective. Those things simply don't go hand in hand.

Now, Sornin was reacting to something he missunderstood ( in my eyes ), then you (Yegor) should had corrected him what your exactly on about, instead of getting angered himself and react into his reaction. Even though Sornin should not react when he doesn't know whats going on. Or should not be TO much intimidating when trieng to react to the subject.

In other words stay assertive, don't act triggered when missunderstood. It happens every second, in every ordinary day.

I hope this helps in your research of analysing your subjects of interest.

 

 

Fri Feb 01 2008 10:27AM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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