Fine, nobody wants to be a geek, except those of us who are already geeks and need a way to feel proud about that (God bless you, Internet, for giving us that way!). But maybe you want to hang out with geeks? Understand what's going on at Comic Con? Date a geek?
Stop laughing. It happens.
Consider this an unofficial, non-exhaustive primer on the things you should know to understand the geek world...or at least to be able to visit our world without falling asleep or cringing all the time.
Please understand that the term "geek" is very broad (and yet completely distinct from "nerd"--we'll have that conversation later). The following list will help you with the most common breed: the sci-fi/fantasy geek. Although geek types frequently overlap, this list will not be as helpful with computer geeks, techno-geeks, math geeks, physics-and-other-hard-science geeks, history geeks, or any other form of "useful" geekery.
1. Watch the original Star Wars trilogy. Original theater edition is preferable, if you can find it.
a) Although you are not required to have an opinion on the matter, know what it means that Han shot first.
2. Familiarize yourself with some form of Star Trek. Preferably TOS (the Original Series) or TNG (the Next Generation).
a) You are not required to watch more than one episode or movie, but you should be able to recognize (by name or face) at least 3 crew members.
b) Watching the new Star Trek movie is acceptable (because it's awesome), but assume that conversations about Kirk, Spock, etc. are speaking of the original series, unless otherwise specified. If you, for example, say, "Spock and Uhura are so hot together" without specifying the context, you will be known for a fraud.
c) Actually, just avoid stating opinions in general.
3. Know your comic book superheroes:
a) The origin stories of Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man.
b) The identifying powers/features of the aforementioned superheroes, as well as: Wolverine, Cyclops, the Incredible Hulk, Punisher, each of the Fantastic Four.
c) Although you should see Nolan's new Batman movies (again: awesome), do not assume the original Batman ever trained as a ninja. Though he should have.
4. Watch or read the entirety of LORD OF THE RINGS. Reading is preferable but, dude, it's 1,000+ pages. We understand.
5. Watch every episode of Firefly. (NOTE: This may no longer be relevant in 5-10 years, but for today's geek it is a necessity).
6. Know what anime is.
a) Know the difference between "anime" (Japanese animation, which includes many different styles) and "anime-style" (non-Japanese animation that looks like it).
b) Know the difference between dubbed and subbed.
c) Never, under any circumstances, assume or imply that because something is animated, it is for children.
7. Watch one or more of the following, preferably subbed:
a) Neon Genesis: Evangelion
b) Vision of Escaflowne
c) Cowboy Bebop
d) Naruto (one season is acceptable)
e) Dragonball Z (the cartoon, not the live action movie; one season is acceptable)
f) Any film by Hayao Miyazaki (e.g. Laputa, Nausicaa, Porco Rosso, My Neighbor Totoro, etc.)
g) Avatar: the Last Airbender (this is not anime, but I think it counts)
8. Play one of the following RPGs for at least one hour:
a) Dungeons & Dragons
b) World of Warcraft
c) Any Final Fantasy game
9. Know the following terms:
a) Saving throw
b) Red shirt (from Star Trek)
f) Mech or Mecha
10. Memorize some obscure piece of trivia related to any of previous items. Example: "Did you know Neil Gaiman wrote the English dialog for Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke?" (true story).
I know that seems like a lot of work, but nobody said being a geek (even an honorary one) was easy.
Also understand there are many, MANY things that could adequately replace items on this list. If my fellow geeks were to make similar lists, they would all be different and would include things even I'm not familiar with.
So to you: Do you know everything on this list? What would you add/replace for someone who wanted to understand the geek world?