We shared an article on our Facebook page from Cracked.com last week where writer John Cheese said that 2013 marked the death of the "nerd". Throughout the article he says things that make nerds sound like they haven't evolved past the stereotypical thick-glasses wearing, basement dwelling, socially inept mouth-breathers that is the old-school way that people looked at us and the way mass media depicted us for many years. He still makes a distinction between "normal" fans and nerds and that line is very blurry anymore. Our own admin Andrew has said that he wants the Drakkarium to be geek of all trades. For example, he geeks out about football, I couldn't give a shit less about it. I am a huge fan of The Walking Dead, and he couldn't give a shit less about it. The term "nerd" or "geek" can be used in many contexts and it is not limited to what is conventionally nerdy.
I'm sick of the stereotype that nerds can't be attractive or get laid. I've seen beautiful women working at GameStop. I've seen gorgeous women who are actually into gaming cosplay at many events. The pickings aren't slim for the ladies either. I, myself normally just wear jeans and a novelty t-shirt, but I clean up pretty damn well.
That is also one of the biggest stereotypes involving nerds as well is that we can't get laid. Andrew and myself have proof that we have had sex at least once and two of the three Dapper Sharks have had sex at least once. One of them has proof twice! (Sorry John.)
The same thing has happened before with other movements like he mentions in the article.
"...if there's one thing I've picked up over the years, it's that the second a movement becomes fashion, it's dead. It happened with hippies when tie-dye T-shirts started appearing in department stores. With punk when clothes were sold pre-torn. With grunge when flannel shirts skyrocketed to $80 each and models were wearing them down runways."
He then goes on to complain about the commercialization of being a nerd. It's not like we haven't been easy to sell things to before the present day. Tie-in merchandise and supplemental material have always been around in gaming culture and more closely to present day entire universes have been built around a game. Look at Halo, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, The Walking Dead, Hawken, the list goes on. Many of these things we as nerds collect. People who just play the games will probably never be aware of their existence.
To cap it off, he says that he isn't bashing people who claim the title of nerd. To quote James of Dapper Shark Studios:
"This article made "nerds" into hipsters. And almost quite literally in the last paragraph saying 'we were nerds before it was cool'."
In discussing this article with another friend, he mentioned that we "want our pain/struggle to mean something. Jocks now like He-Man 'ironically'. Bitch, I liked He-Man when it would still get your ass kicked on the playground."
Believe me when I say that I understand that. I was picked on when I was younger but this ultimately helped mold me into the person I am today. I was a nerd "before it was cool" and didn't care so much back in the day. Flash-forward to present day and I give even less of a shit about what other people think of my hobbies and interests. These interests haven't changed and, as mentioned above, I now have a beautiful wife and daughter and am a well-adjusted adult.
If you're still hanging on to the title of a sub-culture you identified with in high school, you don't need to protect that title at all costs. You need psychological help because there are some deep-seeded emotional scars that you need help to deal with.
I'll part with a well written tweet I received from Simon Miller of Videogamer.com when discussing our love of professional wrestling:
@MerlotWilliams Hell yeah, dude. Embrace your passions and don't worry about anyone else. If they don't get it, they're not worth your time
— Simon Miller (@SimonMiller316) December 6, 2013
Stop worrying so much about what other people are doing, and just do you. Be an individual, not a title.