Geekfest 2015

Deep in the urban jungle of South Africa, a discovery was made. A mosquito that had just taken a blood meal before being squished between the final pages of “Genetic engineering for Dummies”, is found. The last victim of this mosquito was a Geek. Long thought to have been extinct, this chance discovery means one thing: a chance to revive the species!

So here there I was, safe and content in my office. I received a mysterious message via Facebook: an invitation to Geekfest. I had never heard of this event before so it piqued my interests and I accepted the invitation. On the 4th of July, I set off on an adventure to Geekfest to see what this was all about. I boarded the “special train” that would take me to the gathering of the Geeks. I had only heard of Geeks through myths and legends. I thought they had been wiped out, but it seems, I was mistaken. As a Professor of Paleontology, I had only come across their fossils and had never encountered live ones before. Fossils like those of the Comic book collecting geek and the legendary Cosplayers.

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Fossil of Geekus comicbookarensis.


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Fossil of Geekus Cosplayerpethicus.

I disembarked from the train and I was whisked away to the secret location. Along the way, I was told about the entire event and how it came to be. The idea behind Geekfest was conceived years ago after the discovery that blood inside the mosquito held viable geek DNA. Scientists began splicing various geek DNA’s together with the genes of other creatures to create the diversity of geeks that we have on display today. I arrived at the venue and my eyes couldn’t believe what they were seeing: I saw a large poster which with the word “Geekfest” written on it.

Welcome to Geekfest”

I was quickly welcomed into the main venue by the staff and there they were, the geeks of legend. The first things which caught my eyes after walking through the entrance were a Dalek, KITT from Knight Rider, and the Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters. I guess they were all assembled there by some other worldly force. Further on was the area that had been reserved for the geeks who’s DNA had been spliced with that of various other creatures to create what are referred to as Cosplayers.

A Coslplayer poses for a photograph during the 2015 Geekfest in Huddle Park, Edenvale, Johannesburg. 4 July 2015. PHOTO: Jacques Nelles

Photo by Jacques Nelles.

A stage had been set up so that they could battle to the death….I mean so that they could compete with each other. They are then judged according to who is genetically superior in terms of their ability to copy the appearances of whatever manner of creature they see on their T.V and are thus able to imitate its mannerisms and powers. I noticed that there were horses and dogs there as well. Some of the dogs belonged to the cosplayers and were painted and dressed up by their owners. I wonder if they know what their owners truly are.

Moving along, I observed a watering hole which was full of an alcoholic beverage that the geeks liked to consume in large quantities. The variety of stalls which catered to all the needs of the geeks included ones for comic books. A fair number of those were present and they were offering a variety of books and figurines. The only gripe was that there weren’t any exclusively anime themed stalls there which would have catered to the otakus out there. Although anime merchandise was sold by the comic book shops, I think an anime shop could have maybe made the difference a bit.

There was a huge air cushion of sorts where the brave could throw themselves off from a platform at varying heights depending on how brave they were. This was located next to the Archery range, which was next to the Crime scene clean-up crew. I wonder why those two were so close together. Anyway, halfway through the event, the zombie run started which was quite interesting. My hypothesis is the following: There is a virus that infects geeks and causes them to run for their lives and in so doing they encounter uninfected geeks along the way and turn them into zombie geeks as well. The symptoms only manifest at the next mass gathering which is why zombie runs don’t attract more participants like other marathons around the world. If they did, an outbreak would occur and the virus would soon be out of hosts.

Zombie clowns at the 2015 Geekfest in Huddle Park, Edenvale, Johannesburg. 4 July 2015. PHOTO: Jacques Nelles

Evil clowns! Photograph by Jacques Nelles.

All in all it was an eye opening experience. The geek gathering and their resurgence was a great success. I will return again this time with other researchers to better document the other behavioural aspects that I, as a lone observer, may have missed.

Credits: Geekfest organisers for allowing me to document the behaviour of geeks in their natural environment.

The Graphiq alqemyst for the renderings of the Geek fossils.

Credit to Wookiee and Jacque Nelle for the photographs.

After credits scene: The Dalek’s lights turn on and it utters the following words….EXTERMINATE!!!!!

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