Felicia Day talks GeekWeek, fandoms, and the royal court of geekery
The internet is kind of a geek dream come true — it’s a place for fandoms to find their people and connect online over the things they are so passionate about. No one understands this better than Felicia Day, actress, founder of Geek & Sundry — a website dedicated to nerd culture — and herself a superfan of many elements of geek culture. One of her first projects was a web series called The Guild, which was essentially a love letter to online gaming. Her site is hosting today’s GeekWeek on YouTube “Fan Friday” — a theme Day feels particularly embodies geekdom.
“It’s focused on fans’ contribution to things that they geek out over,” Day told EW. “Everything I’ve done has been from a very grassroots place so I felt like this was the perfect way for us to participate, to highlight communities rather than the people who make the things that people fan-out over.”
Geek & Sundry has spent the week releasing special-edition videos of their regular shows, like a supersize episode of Co-Optitude, in which Day plays Pokemon Snap with her brother. There is also a “nerd trifecta,” as Day put it, featuring Wil Wheaton and Seth Green playing a tabletop Star Wars game. There are brand-new vloggers featured on the site’s vlog channel — with everything from TV and movie reviews to impressions to makeup tips — all geared toward gaming, comics, and other geek culture. Today, tune in for Gastro Geeks, Day’s pet project.
“It’s a parody food show competition, where contestants get a mysterious bucket of ingredients to sculpt into geeky objects around a surprise theme. We have three contestants — myself, Hannah Hart (of My Drunk Kitchen) and Furious Pete (a professional eater).”
So why Fan Friday?
“Everything I do, from making The Guild in my garage to meeting fans at Comic-Con … We’re all about the grassroots and ground-level geekdom,” Day explained. “We’re more concerned with how fans consume and make what they are passionate about a part of their lives.”
Day said that she is revered by superfans from several factions of the nerd world — being from the Whedonverse and on the fan-favorite Supernatural, she has been on the receiving end of a lot of praise and affection. Gamers, she said, have a particularly passionate place in their hearts for the games they love. Day is, beyond being an icon in her own nerdy way, a huge fangirl herself.
“Well, I met [Game of Thrones mastermind] George R. R. Martin, which made me very intimidated — it made my heart race because that was the most exciting thing. I’m a huge fan, I’ve read the books since way before there was a TV show about them, and it’s one of my favorite shows, so I definitely geeked out over that. The fact that he remembered me and what I did and was actually a fan of The Guild, it blew me away and made me very stumbly.”
As for who should and can participate in Fan Friday, Day said the term “geek” encompasses pretty much everything.
“Honestly, you could be a fan about anything. I mean, big sports people — what’s the difference between a Giants fan and somebody who loves Pokemon? They’re just as passionate about what they love … They’re as motivated to share their love with other fans, and they love congregating around something that creates a commonality between other people. So to me, geek is a big umbrella for people who love what they love and love sharing that love with other people. When you meet somebody else who loves something like that, you just want to talk about it all the time … Being able to talk about things with a real fan … that’s like the best moment.”
By rights, we will all be welcomed into Nerd Kingdom — which is ruled by a magnanimous king and some excellent nobility.
“Joss has to be the king, there’s no contest there,” Day said. “Chris Hardwick and Wil Wheaton are princes, or dukes. I want to say Simon Pegg would be the jester, but that might be offensive, so … a duke jester? A Shakesperean jester?”