For example, someone who attends a sub-cultural event (like a hardcore gaming festival or a cosplay event) with an ironic/humorous approach, versus genuine enthusiasm or interest.

The word I'm looking for isn't a voyeur—as a voyeur is someone who gains pleasure out of this third-party experience.

I keep thinking of exhibitionist, which I know is the opposite of what I'm thinking of. The word exhibit captures the essence, though—the distance/lack of empathy is critical.

  • 1
    Isn't this why the word 'hipster' was invented?
    – Spagirl
    Sep 26 '16 at 18:24
  • "outside observer" is an option, but without humorous/ironic connotation.
    – Graffito
    Sep 26 '16 at 18:47
  • Interloper sort of hits it. I'm not sure I know of a word that encompasses quite all of what you're getting at. But I think there deserves to be a good word for this =) Sep 26 '16 at 20:07
  • Kibbitzer comes to mind. It comes from Yiddish, and more or less means someone who comments (often derisively) on the play of a game, but doesn't actually participate in it. Kibbitzers can be quite annoying. Sep 26 '16 at 20:58
  • "Asshole" pops to my mind, though an archaic term would be "scoffer" or "mocker". "Rubbernecker" or "snoop" could apply, in some cases.
    – The Nate
    Sep 27 '16 at 5:45

Facetious is a good place to start - but a synonym might fit better like flippant or tongue-in-cheek.

"He attended the games festival but his attitude to the rules was flippant to the point of disrespectful."

"He made so many facetious remarks that he was ejected from the games festival."

"While some enjoyed his tongue-in-cheek game play, others doubted his enthusiasm and took it as mocking."


A tourist, perhaps - An individual who takes part in certain activities or attends particular meetings because they are trendy or popular, usually without regard to whether or not such activities or the subject matter of such meetings interest or pertain to them at all.



Kibbitzer (often spelled with one b) seems reasonable. From Yiddish, it means someone who comments on the play of a game (originally card games, but also chess), often derisively, without participation. Merriam-Webster gives one who looks on and often offers unwanted advice or comments, which agrees with what I've observed of kibbitzers.


From your description, perhaps poseur captures the attitude you're looking for -- those who attend (Burning Man, Comic-Con, etc.) to mock rather than participate, and if they manage to attract attention to themselves while doing so, so much the better.


How about interloper?

interloper: a person who becomes involved in a place or situation where they are not wanted or are considered not to belong

This would seem to describe a person "who attends a sub-cultural event (like a hardcore gaming festival or a cosplay event) with an ironic/humorous approach, versus genuine enthusiasm or interest." He or she is not really wanted there or considered to belong because, fundamentally, they don't want to be there. They are an outsider amongst insiders. They don't care. They don't empathize with those who do care.

Note: I just noticed that @JaredSmith mentioned interloper in a comment on the question.

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