Science Fiction has a massive influence on today’s pop culture.
Within the past decade I think we have all noticed the steady increase in popularity of ‘Fanboy’ or ‘Geek’ culture. I think most would agree that a prominent example of Fanboy culture’s rise in contemporary Pop Culture began with the release of CBS The Big Bang Theory back in 2007. The Big Bang Theory explores many aspects of geek culture: Graphic Novels, Gaming, Cult Television and Comic Conventions.
The high profile promotion of the ‘geek’ world has definitely transformed public opinion on interests that were previously isolated and in some ways alienated. For example, before geek culture became popular and an individual had an interest in Comic Books, they instantly became associated with the stereotype of an introvert who preferred the company of fictional characters. However, through the development of social media, those who were isolated have been able to share interests such as Gaming or Cosplay and gradually those interests have become, in my opinion, a main part of today’s Pop Culture.
…encapsulate every mode of the Sci-Fi genre…
There are countless events throughout London every year which encapsulate every mode of the Sci-Fi genre. Firstly, there are the Comic Conventions: Kapow, London Film and Comic Convention, MCM Expo and London Super Comic Con. These conventions not only allow comic book fans to deify their favourite artists and writers, they have also more recently made a habit of adding ‘A-list’ celebrities to their guest lists. Gaming conventions are another example of the rise of ‘cult’ interest for example the London Gaming Con held annually in London.
Conventions are not the only way in which interests such as gaming and comics have been promoted, these interests are also presented through film and television. The Super Heroes of Marvel and DCs graphic novels have soared to fame with the release of several blockbuster films including: The Avengers, Batman Begins (plus Dark Knight and rises), Thor and The Amazing Spiderman. Film and television adaptations of the fictional Comic Book world have previously been depicted, an example being The Incredible Hulk (1978) television series and also the original Batman (1989) movie franchise.
…oversimplified and regurgitated to cater for a wider audience…
Even though this ‘geek’ culture has previously been presented by different forms of media, the impact has not been on the same scale. Everywhere I go I seem to encounter at least several ‘I heart Geeks’ t-shirts and different forms of ‘fanboy’ merchandise, and it seems as though this sub-culture has not only become socially acceptable but also the prevalent mode of hobbies and interests. There are those who believe that the world of Sci-fi and ‘geeks’ has been oversimplified and regurgitated to cater for a wider audience, I would agree to a certain extent however it’s not necessarily a negative change. The growth in popularity of the comics, games and movies of Science Fiction has made an intricate genre more accessible.