When you traffic in authentic nerdery, there’s never too much risk of getting cool to the point where you play yourself out. Nevertheless, the longevity of geekbeatradio should drop some jaws in the fickle digital era. Over the course of 250-plus episodes and in developing an admired online brand, geekbeatradio is now poised to give back to the community that feeds its fire, and is hosting a charity event tomorrow at Aeronaut Brewing for Girls Make Games, an organization that gives “school-aged girls the opportunity to experience video game design using a summer camp program as a platform.” We asked Rob Carballo, the creator and manager of geekbeatradio who’s better known as boryalic on the internet, about his own operation as well as the cause he’s pushing for …
DB: How much time do you spend on geekbeatradio and these projects?
RC: I would say at this point geekbeatradio is integrated into my identity. I dedicate almost all of my free time to it. It’s a combination of passion and obsession.
DB: geekbeat has stuck it out for years, for several hundred episodes. I’ve never met a podcaster with that kind of longevity, so it’s an honor. What’s in the secret sauce?
RC: We never really thought of geekbeatradio as a “podcast,” although clearly, in some ways we are. When geekbeatradio started out in 2010, the geeks were still misunderstood and existed still on the pop culture fringe. Since then, personal dedication and the rise of geeks winning the culture wars has kept us going.
DB: What makes a song fit for geekbeat? Does it have to be geeky when it comes out? Or just retroactively? How long did it take for your team to write the bible on this stuff?
RC: From the start, geekbeatradio realized that it was more important to be seen as legitimate in the eyes of authentic nerds. Instead of pandering to cliche nerdom, (I.E. Weird Al and Star Wars not that we don’t love them both of course) we dug deeper to understand the gears that keep the culture turning.
DB: Why this fundraiser?
RC: It was obvious to us that geek culture had a gender gap in the population. We’ve seen numerous times the gender gap leaves women needing to fight for their identity. geekbeatradio has always had women as part of our team, therefore we find this unacceptable. Girls Make Games is a fantastic method to close that gender gap in future generations. It gives girls the tools they need change the male dominated industry and participate in the shaping of our culture.
DB: What’s your response to the cliche gripe that kids should be outside in the summer and not playing video games?
RC: I know plenty of nerds who spend time outside as well as inside. There are even nerd events like Boston’s Zombie March or MAGstock (an outdoor camping version of MAGfest a gaming and music fest) that get the nerds outside. Modern nerd culture seems to be fans of more than just sitting on the couch.
DB: How do you prepare a young person for the untold horrors of video game culture and of the internet that they are bound to endure sooner or later? What should you let them figure out on their own?
RC: It is a shame that this is true but there certainly is a lot of evidence to support that idea. Some people are simply just mean but this hold true for all kinds. Jocks and corporate America and of course the internet and the schoolyard all have their bullies. This is part of why we are trying to help Girls Make Games. To even the playing field and give women a stronger voice to both participate create and, if need be, defend themselves, and each other, against those toxic people trying to ruin it for the rest of us. Holding events like this we hope helps set an example to inspire strong minds to bring a positive perspective everywhere they go.