National Website Gets It Wrong When It Comes To Shreveport Geeks
Ever since I moved to the area, I have been saying that Shreveport-Bossier is pound-for-pound that geekiest metro area in the country. What I mean by that is our community provides more geeky entertainment, geeky shopping, and geeky activities per person than a community this size should. Basically we have better geeky offerings on a per-capita basis when compared to bigger cities.
Looking around the SBC, there are roughly a dozen stores that directly service geeks. From your standard GameStops, to regional chains like Game X Change, and stores like 2nd & Charles to your locally owned stores like Excalibur Comics, The Gamers XP, Steelfox Games, and even a Warhammer Community store. Shreveport and Bossier City have a ton of options for a metro area this size.
Not to mention the fact that the area has hosted tons of geeky events over the last few years. From festivals to conventions, the city has had plenty of way for geeks to celebrate their fandoms in person too. Just look right now, the Shreveport Regional Arts Council has a Batman comic book cover exhibit at Artspace right now. The exhibit is cultivated by graphic design legend Chip Kidd, who even came to town to launch the event.
Plus Geek'd Con, which is Shreveport's version of a comic con. The event has been around since 2015, and has now grown into the largest regularly running comic con style event in the whole state of Louisiana. That's right, the biggest in the state is in Shreveport.
We haven't even dipped our toes into the cosplay community locally. Where we've had cosplayers get national recognition and make a splash at the state-level too.
So why does our area get totally disrespected in this new national ranking?
The company LawnLove hired a bunch of experts to rank out the Geekiest Cities in America. They claimed to look at the number of stores that offered "collectibles access" and "costume access" in addition to "community rank" and "events rank" to come up with their list. But obviously they screwed something up along the way.
They ranked Shreveport #143 out of the 200 largest cities in the country. Which is an absolute joke. They're either lying about doing the work, or did the work so poorly, they botched the results. Here are a couple examples to prove how wrong this is:
- Baton Rouge ranked ahead of Shreveport (BR was #93) and they really don't even have a comic con style event the scale of Geek'd Con
- Dallas is home to some of the biggest geek events in the nation on an annual basis, and they ranked #21 overall
- Nearly all of the Top 30 on their list are major cities, meaning they didn't weight the counts of stores and events by population
- The metric they weighted the most was "Number of Geek Meetup Groups", which honestly sounds impossible for a national rank to count
Lets look at those. First, there is NO WAY Baton Rouge offers more for geeky residents that Shreveport on a per capita basis. Look at this list of Louisiana-based comic con events, you won't find Baton Rouge listed. You can even jump back to 2019 (pre-pandemic) and you won't find one for BR. Sure, there might be more GameStops in Baton Rouge, but break it down by population, and see if the totals make sense.
How about the fact that they're ranking all of these major cities so high. Sure Atlanta has more comic shops, comic con style events, and costume shops than Shreveport. But they have way more people. What if we broke it down per person? Would Atlanta still have more? Possibly, but it would make way more sense to rank it on a level playing field instead of raw counts.
Then focusing on "Number of Geek Meetup Groups" seems like a flat out excuse to deflect any challenges to their results. How did they manage to track this? Were they able to find every single geeky event listed on Facebook Events for each city? I highly doubt it. For them to have such an empty metric as the one they focused on the most is insane. Unless of course it was their excuse lever.
Sure, ultimately this list doesn't mean anything. We all know how geeky our community is. We will just have to keep proving it every single year. By supporting our local shops, rocking the best cosplay community in the state, and building Geek'd Con to be bigger and bigger.