It is something every geek must go though when they meet another geek. Unfortunately this happens a lot more with female geeks than male geeks. It doesn’t help that geek has become chic. People often use geek as a fashion statement nowadays and do not realize that it is an actual way of life.
The Proving is different for every part of geek culture. A gamer might be asked how long they have been gaming, or a subtler version of that, such as what was your favorite game when you were younger? Any answer that is deemed too recent or any answer of a game widely known to be crap, will cause doubt among fellow gamers. The Proving will then continue, but the assumption that you are not truly a gamer will have already set in.
The Proving for a comic book geek is a series of trivia questions that usually begins with the question, “What do you like to read?” Upon answering you will be drilled will questions based off of the hero or universe you have named. Comic book geeks a usually pretty harsh when it comes to details. A lack of knowledge on the minute will earn you instant distrust. Answering based off movie facts will definitely get you a veto. Comic book geeks have some of the highest standards of all geeks, and not knowing some of the smallest details, such as where The Punisher first appeared or how Aquaman lost his hand will earn you disfavor. However, stating your honest lack of knowledge rather than professing great knowledge where you have none is more accepted.
The Proving for fandoms is much like The Proving for comic book geeks. You must first find the fandom you are trying to gain favor with and once you have professed your love of said fandom you will be presented with hidden trivia questions. Your reactions will be gauged and your worth measured. Hidden trivia questions consist of making excited statements about random moments throughout the book/show/movie and watching the reaction the other gives. If there is any hint of lack of knowledge or any facts they gush over are incorrect the fandom will not be pleased. In fandoms, however, there are layers of fans, sort of like a hierarchy. Those who know all the smallest details of the fandom are often looked to for confirmation during discussions. Those who know less are not necessarily looked down upon except by elitist which occur in every aspect of life. Fandoms are probably the easiest group to find favor with, though you should always expect in fighting.
Now, on to a slightly touchy subject. The Proving for females geeks, unfortunately, is different from male geeks. Usually a male geek is happy to find in another male geek similar likes. As such, and despite how hard I make it seem to be accepted by other geeks, there is a mindset of innocent until proven guilty. This means, if you say you like Naruto I will assume you like Naruto until you prove to me you are a bandwagoner and not a true fan. This is the true reason for all Provings, just so you all know. It is much like loving a sports team who is on the bottom for years and suddenly they get good and a bunch of people who never cared pretend like they do, you become defensive of that thing you loved before they were good or cool. This is why geeks invoke The Proving.
However, and this is truly unfortunate, that same idea stops for a lot of male geeks when they meet female geeks. If I say I like comic books, instead of looks of interest I get looks of instant doubt. The questions become more about who got me into them and if the answer is anything other than a parent they assume I only did it to be liked. Same goes for gaming. Do you know how tiresome it is to hear, “I bet you’re boyfriend got you into this.”? But the sad fact is, it’s other females who cause this trouble for us. It’s the girls in skin-tight R2D2 dresses talking about how awesome the prequels were, or the girls dressing up like sexy Link and thinking she’s dressed up like sexy Zelda, and it’s the girl who takes pouty lipped pictured while holding “her games” and getting finger prints all over them and making me want to scream…sorry, I raged a little.
Now, I need you all to understand, I’m not saying that dressing up like sexy Link or in a skin-tight R2D2 dress is the problem. I’m saying that when you do those things and don’t actually know what you’re talking about, it gives us actual geek girls a harder time. So, don’t claim the geek title just because it became cool, because at the end of the day The Proving is just us trying to find people like us.