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The Good, The Bad, And The Nerddom.

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Nerddom has come a long way from what it was back in the days and I’m honestly happy and disappointed with it. I’m not trying to sound like one of those cliche stories that always start with “Back in my day..” but I guess that’s the best way to start it.

Back when I was in High School, being a nerd, dork, geek, etc. was not the best thing to be unless you were surrounded by other nerds. I remember I would have long discussions with my friends regarding the latest Comic, game, and anime stuff and on lookers would just give you the weirdest looks, as if you were talking in a foreign language. Being a nerd sure as hell didn’t win you any popularity contests either, that’s for sure. It sounds like the kind of shit you would see in a high school drama but honestly, being openly nerdy was like wearing a Scarlet Letter.

And boy, have times changed and I’m really loving the fact that it has. People want to be nerdy. People love talking about the latest comic book news or discussing the social/culture influence of a character. A lot more people are getting into anime and gaming or least are more open about it. Now if you’re having a discussion regarding something nerdy, people won’t give you weird looks. People are more likely actually walk up to you and start a discussion with you. And, if they aren’t familiar with what you’re talking about, there is also a more willingness or open mindedness to hear you out and learn more about it. There are more massive conventions in regard to all kinds of fandom (from games to comics to steampunk and more). Table top gaming and video game tournaments are being televised with thousands of thousands of people watching. The best gamers and cosplayers are being treated like celebrities. There are even television shows like King of the Nerds and Heroes of Cosplay where people compete to see who’s the bigger “Nerd”. Nerd is King. I love the fact that people are embracing their inner nerddom and are celebrating others for being good at what they love.

Yet as great as this is, and the goodness that comes from it, I also see some bad stuff. I see a lot of elitism among “nerds”. I see people that look down on others for being “pretend” nerds or not being nerdy enough to know as much as themselves. I’ll admit I used to be guilty of it too. I would see someone talk about comic book related and I would scoff at them for not knowing as much as I did. Or I would be overprotective of my nerdom and see others as “fake nerds, trendsters or hipsters” that just wanted to claim someone else’s culture as their own without putting in the “hardwork”. I was being a jerk about something that doesn’t even belong to one person. This type of Elitism isn’t needed or even close to being considered friendly. Let’s stop the nerd on nerd hate or shaming. Say no to “Nerd Shaming” because even the biggest nerd, at some point in their lives weren’t that big of a nerd. People had to start somewhere right? Someone can’t be born a nerd knowing there is to know about the universe of your fandom. And even if the person is “faking” their nerdiness, why does it matter? Does it downplay your ability to name off all the Avengers (old and new)? Does it make you lose sleep? Hardcore nerds that “nerd shame”, just let it go.

If someone isn’t as big of a nerd as you are, instead of shaming them, try talking to them. Share your endless knowledge of whatever subject with them. AND do it without coming off as a pompous asshole because no one likes a know-it-all. After all, aren’t we fans because we have a big love for something awesome so shouldn’t we be spreading more love. And I know some people won’t admit that they’ve taken part in “nerd shaming” but I’m pretty sure a lot of us have taken part in it at least or twice in our lives. So as a community, let’s put our best foot forward to make it more accepting. Whether the nerds you talk to are trendsters or here to stay, let’s make this culture’s attitude one that is welcoming of all.