A Geek Age Gap?

When I attend various conventions, I keep becoming aware of various odd age gaps among fans, geeks, and otaku.  Since i'm used to moving among various cultures, age groups, and fandoms, these things become apparent quickly.

I've noticed things like:

  • Older (over 30/40) science fiction and fantasy fans seem disconnected from younger fans.
  • Harry Potter and some other properties that got big during the first rush to the Internet invented their own fandoms, disconnected from other, older fandoms in some cases.
  • Almost inevitably age gaps come up in just about any community I've seen founded, almost as if they're expected.
  • Anime fandom seems to skew young, but there are subgroups divided by age and, apparently, by what series "brought them in."
  • Whenever I talk about careers, many is the time someone says how rare it is they've heard advice, even common advice, that I provide.  I felt no one was talking to them about important things.

There are others.  I'm sure there are others.  And what comes out always is Geek Age Gaps.

We geeks, fans, otaku need to be aware of these because I think the Geek Age gap is another challenge that faces geeks in developing their careers:

  • Older geeks can't advise the younger because they aren't talking to them, or relating to them.
  • Younger geeks may not know who to ask for advice – and can't provide their fresher perspective to older geeks.
  • There's less exchange of information among geek/fan/otaku subgroups that can be used for career guidance and opportunities.

I think we need to be ready to address the Geek Age Gap for the sake of our professions if nothing else.

So what do you think?

Steven Savage