Geek Studies is the professional blog of Jason Tocci. I research and write about digital media and visual communication, with particular attention to electronic games and visual and interactive design. In addition to Geek Studies, I am also a contributing writer to Shouting Loudly, a media policy and criticism blog maintained by my colleagues from the Annenberg School for Communication at Penn, Bill Herman and Lokman Tsui.

Geek Studies was originally founded to present observations and commentary about traditionally/stereotypically geeky media and culture, with periodic updates on the progress of my dissertation project, Geek Cultures: Media and Identity in the Digital Age. Several of my interviewees expressed interest in being kept up to date on my project, and a couple specifically suggested setting up a web site so that people could follow along and offer feedback. Thanks to such feedback, I found that “ethnographic blogging” has useful implications for multi-site, multi-method ethnography all its own, and so Geek Studies helped provide a more integrated view of geek cultures. Now that the dissertation is complete, I continue to blog here about my research interests—not necessarily about geeks, but, given my proclivities, probably including some pretty nerdy stuff all the same.

As for the blog’s title, most of my interviewees preferred to call themselves “geeks” over “nerds” or “dorks,” so I went with “Geek Studies.” The same words mean different things for different people, however, so this could have just as easily been called “Nerd Studies” or any of a number of other things. I use these terms interchangeably as a way of recognizing that they have no fixed meaning, but tend to be used similarly. (Also, it gets boring using the same word over and over again when writing a dissertation for a few hundred pages.) The tone here will be respectful to anyone regardless of labels, self-declared or otherwise. All visitors are invited to comment under whatever names they choose, and email addresses are not required to comment.

Relevant Articles & Papers

Tocci, J. (2010). Hunting for mysteries. The Escapist Magazine, (284).

Tocci, J. (2010). Ethnographic blogging: Reflections on a methodological experiment. Cultural Science, 3(2).

Tocci, J. (2010). Arcadian rhythms: Gaming and interaction in social space. Reconstruction, 10(2).

Tocci, J. (2008). “You are dead. Continue?”: Conflicts and complements in game rules and fiction. Eludamos, 2(2), 187–201.

Tocci, J. (2008). Seeking truth in video game ratings: Content considerations for media regulation. International Journal of Communication, 2, 561–86.

Tocci, J. (2007). The well-dressed geek: Media appropriation and subcultural style. Presented at Media in Transition 5, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, April 2007.

Contact & Credits

This blog runs on WordPress and is built on a modified version of Azeem Azeez’s White as Milk theme.

Hosting through Dreamhost, graciously provided by Kai.

Many (perhaps even most) of the links on this blog come from a few particularly industrious friends and informants. Special thanks to ChurchHatesTucker, Matt S. at free-geek, and Z. at Hipster, Please!

For press inquiries, or if you have any questions or suggestions that you’d rather send directly than post to comments, feel free to email me at jason@geekstudies.org.

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