Geek Parenting

23-10-14-geek-families-titleHow geek parents are reinventing family time

In 2013, Gen Y helped grow sales of licensed merchandise to $51 billion in the US and Canada. Determined to raise their children in their own geeky image, Gen Y parents are introducing them to their pop-culture interests at a young age. How are these geeks reinventing family time?

Is geekiness inherited? Today’s young, pop-culture obsessed parents certainly hope so. Determined to raise their children in their own nerdy image, Gen Y parents are introducing their kids to their favourite pop-culture interests at a young age – and they’re using these fun and creative activities to reinvent family time. Pastimes that were once reserved exclusively for children, like video games, playing with toys, arts and crafts and costume play, are now widely celebrated as the glue that binds modern families together.

They’re happy to spend money on family entertainment as well. More than a third (36%) of Gen Y parents are spending more on family entertainment than ever before, compared to just 17% of non-Gen Y parents. Whether it’s a family-held love for Star Wars, Disney, Nintendo or LEGO, geek families and their steadfast brand loyalties have become a major and highly influential consumer force that’s reshaping the way brands and customers create lifelong relationships.

Rise of the geek family
While much has been said about Gen Y’s hipster leanings, their greatest cultural impact may very well be their role in mainstreaming geek culture. This Tumblr-centric generation also has a massive appetite for a diverse range of digital entertainment – 80% of Gen Yers play video games with their friends (48% of which are female), 61% feverishly binge-watch television shows online, and 43% read e-books and digital fiction. Gen Y’s exposure to a varied range of pop-culture interests has transformed the “geek” label into a proudly-worn badge of honour. This change in status, says the New York Times, may be due in part to our changing perceptions of adulthood. While previous generations may have left their comic books, video games and action figures behind in adolescence, today’s young adults have chosen to remain dedicated and life-long fans of their favourite childhood pastimes. Whether the continuation of these hobbies are born from an emotional response to uncertain times, the changing nature of adulthood responsibilities, or the omnipresence of pop-culture in our modern lives, Gen Y has been keen to bridge these interests into their personal lives and dating profiles.


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