I know almost nothing about nerd culture.
This is not a conscious choice, I haven’t gone out of my way to eschew the world of nerds. I just haven’t been interested in video games, board games, WoW, Magic: The Gathering, LARPing, Dungeons and Dragons or pretty much any of the countless other things that make up the now-beloved nerdiverse.
In fact, given that I am currently 40 years old, the word nerd was entirely negative. Nerds were mocked, harassed and ridiculed. Nerds were about math, science, pocket-protectors and a single-minded devotion to achievement in these realms.They didn’t have fun. They didn’t go out. They didn’t get laid. Regardless of the valuable life lessons taught in the classic Revenge of the Nerds films, “normal” people did not aspire to be nerds. Period.
Then something happened. One of those cultural shifts that are only seen once a decade or so. As with Greasers in the 50s, Hippies in the 60s, Disco Queens in the 70s, Yuppies in the 80s, Grunge in the 90s, Social Media of the 00s…the 00s are all about the Nerd.
Nerds are everywhere, and being the intrepid social explorer that I am, finding out more and more is key to my understanding of this mysterious sub-culture.
The Big Bang Theory. ComicCons. Board game cafes. King of the Nerds. RPGs. And so much more.
Admittedly, I have to let go of those old prejudices. I have to remember that not all nerds wear taped-up glasses. Not all nerds use pocket protectors—hell they rarely wear shirts with pockets that need protecting. Not all nerds live in their mom’s basements.
In fact, some nerds are exciting, fun, sexy people anyone would want to hang out with. Even this bastard! I count some nerds among my closest friends, which also explains why I want to learn more about nerds and their world. I’ve got these nerd friends who talk about things, tell me about events and games and things.
And I find it fascinating.
Let’s get Nerducated.