'I am a geek.'

That confession is made in the same spirit as when Anthony Edwards' character said it at the end of "Revenge of the Nerds," as a proud declaration of my comfort with being outside the mainstream.

When Edwards spoke those words (he actually said "nerd," but whatever), it was portrayed as shockingly brave. He was voluntarily marking himself as a social pariah.

That was 1984. Today, being a geek has become so acceptable that most people probably shrug and think, "So what? Me, too."

Such was not always the case.

Geekiness certainly wasn't the norm when I was devouring secondhand fantasy and sci-fi novels as a kid and tearing pages out of video game magazines to store in three-ring binders with as much care as my friends did their baseball cards.

As an adult, I spend a significant portion of my income buying new game systems, but throughout my childhood my first and only console was the Nintendo Entertainment System.