Friday, May 27, 2022

UCI Fandoms

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Campus Village’s first ever Geek Out Day on April 12 was a small-scale but surprisingly effective event meant to help people explore their common interest in pop culture.

Festivities kicked off at 11 a.m. with a Batmobile and “Back to the Future” DeLorean parked next to the CV basketball courts. Photo ops were fun and easy to set up, as most of the other people circling the cars kept a good distance and made sure to stay out of each other’s field of views. Even though I’ve seen both of these cars at least a thousand times before at San Diego Comic-Con and other events, it was still a blast to take pictures and geek out about the Sports Almanac in the DeLorean’s passenger seat.

The  novelty of seeing the cars was exciting, but they were only a vehicle (pun intended) to bring people out of their homes and over to the row of clubs waiting to engage with people about pop culture. Anteaters Against the Galaxy, the Antreaders and other clubs showed up to dork out about books, sci-fi, movies, and everything in between. It was refreshing to talk to someone about the anime I’ve been watching and was a welcome change of pace from the usual strange looks and disparaging comments I receive when talking about it.

According to organizer Kate Hsieh, 85 people signed up for the clubs’ mailing lists. “Our purpose today was to find connections and passions in our residents’ lives,” Hsieh said.

Judging by the amount of people who came out, the goal was more than met.

Later in the day came a talk by Rajendra Thakurathi, a former Buzzfeed video producer who now produces movies as a freelancer. Discussing the progression of his career and his mantras to keep him going forward, the room bonded over a love of movies over an inspiring hour-long session.

He went over the differences of comedy and drama production and his drive to push himself further with every project he works on. Thakurathi’s encouragement to follow your passions and remain tenacious resonated with the room, who made sure to give him a round of applause after the hour was up.

Geek Out Day was only a small recreation of the Geek Weeks that other schools are able to fund. Although it did not have the schoolwide support that these other schools may receive, it was a nice way to connect with people who share similar passions and spend a while reminiscing over the best bits of a show.

It can be difficult to find people who consume the same forms of media that you do, but CV’s Geek Out Day was a pleasantly great way of doing just that.