It’s fair to say that the majority of us who work in cybersecurity are ‘of a certain mindset’. There’s something that comes with the culture and tradition of personal computing, coding, and data that fosters an interest in elements of geek counter culture. Happy to wear our fandoms, obsessions, and hobbies on our sleeves, we thought it’d be nice (on May 25th) to take the opportunity to let our geek flag fly a little.
Why May 25th? Some of us still vividly remember that life-changing moment of seeing Star Wars in the cinema, and Geek Pride chose today to commemorate that queue of Gen X kids waiting outside their local film theatre in May 1977. While relatively new, the idea of Geek Pride Day is to ‘promote geek culture’, introduce our friends and colleagues to our hobbies and interests, and to embrace one’s inner Whovian, LARPer, Treckie, Otaku, comic book aficionado, Citizen of Azeroth, or whatever floats our boat.
Originating in Spain in 2006, and known as ‘Día del orgullo friki’, Geek Pride Day has been spread around the world through the collective power of the Internet. Today, as if Geek Pride isn’t niche enough, is also Towel Day – where it’s customary to carry a towel to remember the writer Douglas Adams (Hitchhikers Guide, Doctor Who, Monty Python, Dirk Gently, etc.) and celebrate his work.
While geek culture has traditionally been a subculture of enthusiasts more often associated with more obscure media, in recent years that landscape has changed.
Pre-COVID, the latest London Comic Con event at Excel passed the 100,000 mark for the first time, with 101,600 attendees in total. This was an increase of 45% compared to 2019.
The Marvel Comic Universe and its associated spinoffs are now common office talking points, and series like ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘The Witcher’ have brought gaming and fantasy into our living rooms. Celebrities, from Vin Diesel and Mike Myers to Deborah Ann Woll and Joe Manganiello, proudly play Dungeons and Dragons with their friends, recording their sessions and posting them online. Groups of players who are pro-voice actors, writers, and comedians have become gaming superstars and there are tens of thousands of hours of YouTube dedicated to the hobby. There’s every likelihood you share an office with another role-playing gamer, a cosplayer or two, fellow comic readers, and fans of the latest binge-worthy Netflix steampunk or sci-fi drama. Dabbling in engineering, robotics, computer or tabletop gaming, music production, zombie crawls, creative writing, podcasting, animation or filmmaking is now the new cool.
So what does this mean for us? We’re big at Imperva in embracing our international and cross-cultural/departmental strengths. Our worldwide offices, from Vancouver to Mexico City and from San Mateo to Tel Aviv, have a rich cross-section of people from a diverse range of backgrounds. Our social teams and HR staff organize book clubs, film clubs, quizzes, and even D&D groups. Encouraging creativity and alternative thinking is important to us, and embracing all cultures, including geek culture, is part of who we are. Success isn’t just about thinking differently, it’s about embracing those differences. Sometimes doing something fanatical is what it takes to do something remarkable.
Today we say “Let your geek flag fly”. Why not strike up a conversation about the latest awesome series you saw? Why not post a notice to your intranet and get an after-work game together? Invite some teammates to connect on Xbox, Steam, or on the PS. Heading for a convention in your town, how about inviting a colleague who’s curious? The same goes for the movies (when they open again).
We are who we are and we’re the best at being us. We say embrace it, and a very Happy Geek Pride. Keep safe everyone, and May the Force…
Oh, you know the rest.
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