Hell hath no fury like a geek scorned. If you really irritate a geek, you’d best look out, because he may unleash upon you the awesome tool of the geek boycott. Geeks are under the impression that they represent an enormous portion of the marketplace and that their combined voice carries great influence throughout the halls of power.
The boycott is the greatest weapon in the geek’s protest arsenal, because it actually requires him to do nothing in order to supposedly effect his will, so no valuable World of Warcraft time is lost.
To the outside observer, it may appear that geeks will boycott at the drop of a hat, but this is not the case. Geeks only boycott under the most dire of emergencies, such as when their childhood is being raped, fans are getting slapped in the face, or traditions are being insufficiently respected. Of course, since these sorts of things happen several times a day to the average geek, the end result is the same. As soon as these conditions are met, the geek’s blood will begin boiling and he will cry out for the need of a boycott.
However, the boycott should only be completely superficial and pointless. A geek boycott will never result in a geek not getting something he wants. If a movie has delivered a big “fuck you” to the fans, the geek will still go see it of course — and on opening night — but will only go see it once. He’ll still buy the DVD, but only if it has really good extras. If an action figure insults collectors by being a limited release that costs more, they will still buy it, but may send a strongly-worded email to the company expressing their disgust for such practices (though more likely they will simply buy it and complain about it on some forum to other folks who also bought it and are similarly outraged.) If a television network is the target of the boycott, usually for canceling a show, there’s no reason all the shows on the network should be avoided. The geek will announce that they will never watch anything in the canceled show’s time slot ever again, without mentioning whether or not the replacement was something they were interested in. They’ll call for a boycott of some mainstream movie coming out from the offending studio, but still happily go see the studio’s other geek-friendly movies. They won’t ever buy anything from that videogame company unless, of course, it’s something they really want.
Comic book geeks are especially prone to faux boycotts. Every week hundreds of comic book fans declare that, because of some perceived outrage, they will never buy anything from DC or Marvel again. And the following week they proceed to do so because otherwise their runs on titles will be incomplete and because what else are they supposed to do? They’ve been reading X-Men since they were nine and aren’t going to stop now! Within weeks of the “true fan” declaring that he’ll never buy another Marvel comic again he’ll proudly declare victory for Marvel when an issue of their current “event” comic sells a few dozen more issues than an issue of DC’s current “event” comic.
In short, the geek boycott should not, under any circumstances, inconvenience the geek in any way. After calling for the boycott he should still be able to buy, read, watch, or do whatever he wants, but the act of calling for the boycott will assure him that a message will have been sent to the “morons in charge”.
A way to take action and lead the charge against injustice that doesn’t require the geek to leave his chair or do anything but complain out loud? You bet geeks LOVE boycotts!