Orne Fest’ in Alençon on May 7 and 8. They are fans of video games, manga, pop culture – who are the geeks?

For Olivier, Kevin, Thomas and Guillaume, geek culture is a positive community. ©L’Orne Hebdo

A festival dedicated to new technologies, video games, pop culture in general is preparing to Alençon (Orne), Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 May 2022.

Hosted by StarTech Normandy, the Orne Fest spotlights geeks. But who are they?

“Get out of your house! »

The image of the young man glued to his screen for hours sticks to his skin, with white skin from not seeing the sun and eyes darkened by fatigue, on the edge of antisocial and disconnected from reality. “They told me: but get out of your house! “recalls Thomas Leroy, 26, from Alençon.

For a long time, the image of the geek was negative. It’s a little better today, especially with the hype around pop culture.

Thomas LeRoy

“A Passionate”

What is it to be a geek in 2022? While StarTech Normandy, a structure specialized in digital and digital professions, is preparing to celebrate its 20th anniversary by organizing a festival dedicated to the world of video games, manga, cosplay, Thomas, Olivier, Guillaume and Kevin return to this universe that has always fascinated them.

Orne Fest’ Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th May

StarTech supports professionals in their digitization and trains students, work-study students and apprentices in digital professions (Bac+2 and bac+3) in Alençon.
To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the structure organizes, in collaboration with the Departmental Council of Orne, a festival open to all on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 May, from 10 am to 7 pm (at 31, bd de Strasbourg). Free.
to the program
Cosplay with contests and parades.
Manga, meetings with authors.
Video games, free access and contests.
Slam workshops, battle on stage.
2D and 3D workshops, creation of visuals.
Numerous exhibitors will be invited: illustrators, influencers, artisans related to cosplay…

“A geek is above all an enthusiast,” adds Guillaume Pissot, 29, a trainer at StarTech.

Most of the time for fields related to computer science, science or imagination. In the 1990s, he was mostly the young computer geek, with the development of digital technology and networks.

Guillaume Pissot

With the fashion around the unification of pop culture, the geek has gained popularity. His films are like Star Wars, Star Trek or The Lord of the Rings…

Nowadays, it has become fashionable to be a geek. But above all, it means being part of a community where everyone can find their way.

Guillaume Pissot

An American television series, released in 2007, even made them their heroes “Big Bang Theory”, which tells the adventures of a group of friends where geek culture is found in every scene.

Videos: currently on Actu

video game fanatic

And the player? “He is a pure fan of video games,” explains Olivier Palmer, 42. A StartTech apprentice and remote drone pilot, he admits to being able to spend hours in front of his screen, even admitting to playing the game for “18 hours”!

Insiders talk about Nolife, when passion prevails over the rest… Some can even become completely addicted when it becomes an obsession, the geek becomes a Nerd, a more pejorative term.

in garages

We would meet in garages to play together. Today we play online, from home.

oliver palmer

Laughter broke out immediately. Obviously, garage meetings bring back memories for everyone. Another was…

“That’s where we find friends,” sums up Kévin Fernandes, 24, a Web, marketing and digital apprentice at StarTech.


Marginalization was never far away. Neither is fear. Guillaume remembers the insults he heard during his youth. “It was just terrifying. The adults did not understand. »

Is the geek dangerous? For Olivier, “when there was a tragedy somewhere, with a shooting, we immediately made the connection to video games. »

As they insist: being a geek is simply being passionate. “It’s also a lexicon that we use, nicknames that we go by,” adds Thomas, also a trainer at StarTech and alternates designer, web, and chief digital officer. “We all have several. »

embody a character

And the cosplayer in all this? “He’s the one who likes to dress up to embody a character from a manga, a book or a movie,” sums up Olivier. This is not about talking about costumes…

It is way beyond that! The cosplayer plays a role, makes his own costume and likes to enter contests or show up at conventions.

oliver palmer

There are cosplay world championships and there are many meetings in France, in Tour, Le Mans, Angers, Annecy…

Another blunder to avoid, that of Japanese anime “which has nothing to do with cartoons reserved for children.” The craze for these anime, manga transcribed on television, has contributed to the popularity of the geek world. To cite just one, “Attack on Titan”, a series released in 2018.

In short, the geek has his universe, his codes, his language. A codified and capricious world. But above all open to all. And open to girls, who would be more and more interested in him. In addition, StarTech invited Ewenae, a famous cosplayer from Orne, to participate in this festival.

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