I’ve noticed a disturbing trend lately. Nerds (a word I will use interchangeably with the word geek in this blog) – a section of society used to persecution have began to discriminate within their own ranks. Cries of “I may be a star trek nerd – but at least I’m not a dungeons and dragons nerd!” are more and more common. And this is something I dislike and don’t understand.
Hark back to a day in the not too distant past where being a geek/nerd of ANY sort was enough to get you a swirly or your lunch money stolen. Now that geeks are “cool”, they have gained the confidence to specify what KIND of geek they are? And what makes one geek cooler than the other? What makes a horror geek cooler than a gamer geek or an anime geek lamer than a star wars geek?
I consider myself a geek/nerd myself (and I don’t differentiate between the terms) and can’t understand the prejudice. Obviously most of my geekery is film related, but I recently decided to get involved in a dungeons and dragons campaign with my boyfriend David. He’s been playing since junior high, and I’m excited to try my hand at it, but when it came to finding friends that wanted to play with me, I was usually shot down with a disdainful look and a “umm..no.” This coming from friends who collect star wars toys. Friends who having been reading comic books from birth. And I don’t understand what makes one different from the other. Why is okay if I obsess over cult films but not okay if I want to participate in a role playing game?
I think nerds of the world should unite. The thing that made nerds/geeks unpopular in the past was closed mindedness. Because nerds looked different, acted different, had different interests than the main stream. But now that nerds/geeks ARE mainstream, they’re becoming closed-minded themselves. I say this must stop.
If you’re an anime geek, try watching some firefly and see what all the fuss is about. If you play world of warcraft hours a day, try picking up watchmen and giving it a read. What’s the worst that could happen? You don’t like it. But you’ve branched out and tried something new – and there is never a downside to that.
I am so happy that we live in a time period where geeks/nerds have finally gotten the recognition they deserve. It’s cool to be smart!! It’s cool to admit that you read, that you like unusual things, that you don’t look like the media’s idea of “beauty”. I just don’t want this acceptance to lead to the downfall of geekery. Accept your fellow geek as you would want them to accept you. May ewok join hands with xmen, and doctor who join forces with leatherface.