There’s a trope, a cliche, of a geeky but loyal partner who is super attentive to his girlfriend because he knows how lucky he is to have her. As a result, he’s 100% trustworthy.
It’s not a great trope because it leans on harmful gender roles. Why is the geek always male? Are we really saying non-geeky men are almost certain to be cheats?
Trust is better explored in other scenarios. This is one of the plots in Gears of War: Ascendance the novel that bridges the 4th and 5th computer game. Since Geek Native had a copy, care of Titan Books, to give away in a competition, we ran a poll to pick a winner.
The Gears of War: Ascendance competition didn’t have a right or wrong answer. It asked “Which is the right thing to do? Pass on an important message in its entirety or omit a harmless detail to protect a close friend?”
The poll didn’t give a situation. It could have been a Gears of War life-or-death situation? Readers were free to interpret “important” as seriously or as lightly as they wanted.
What the poll didn’t allow though was any hedging of bets. Entrants had to pick one answer or another; protect a friend or protect the message. They also had to say whether they considered themselves geeky or not.
22% of geeks would protect the message, passing on the information in its entirety even if it meant a friend getting in trouble.
25% of non-geeks would do the same thing.
That means, on average, 77% of us would protect our friend and 23% of us pass on the important message without censoring it.
Does this answer the question ‘Are geeks more trustworthy?’ It’s important to reminder this was a quick competition and not a scientific survey. The data sample is small.
However, if you want a friend to watch your back then geeks are slightly more trustworthy.
Equally, if you want an essential message to be safely delivered despite its contents, then you improve your chances by not asking a geek to be the courier.
What would you do?
Creative Commons credit: Courier Six by Misi Chan.
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