All Nerds?

Another article analyzing the “Rise of the nerds”, how it is acceptable and sometimes cool to be nerds/geeks. A lot of things already covered elsewhere; Jobs and Gates now powerful and rich, the net bubble, the wide spread use of computers making geeks useful, etc. The article is based mostly on the fact that movies with “nerd” subjects are all the rage now. Spiderman, X-Men, LoTR, The Matrix and Harry Potter are all based on comic books, fantasy and sci-fi, formerly nerd only territory. How come everyone loves them, are we all nerds now?

The answer of course, is no. Why then? Well for one thing—and they mention this—the current generation of directors and script writers were all raised on the stuff and are just living their dreams of seeing what they dreamt of on screen. They and other fans pushed for those movies to be made, not the general public. Newly developed technologies let them show exactly what they imagined as kids when they were reading those comic books and novels, playing those D&D games. Which is, I think, the explanation for that recent popularity. When they (we) were being called nerds in school it was for liking exactly what is popular today but we were the only ones seeing it, the only ones with the vivid imagination to visualize what was written down. Not anymore.

Others couldn’t understand the draw of those universes. Today it’s available in gigantic technicolor IMAXed Dolbyed splendor. No wonder everyone likes those imaginary places nowadays, it’s not because they are all nerds and geeks in the “obsessed with stuff” sense, everyone is just finally seeing what we saw all along. It’s not surprising that fighting with swords and throwing fireballs is more popular when you just have to sit in a theater as opposed to reading pages and pages of rules and rolling a few dice. Doesn’t make everyone a geek, it just means that the invisible stuff living only in nerdy heads is now a consumer product like all others.

One phrase in that article does for me bring the whole geek/nerd thing to a conclusion which will hopefully prevent me from posting again on the subject:

Emboldened, I ask Alan if he would consider himself to be a geek or a nerd? “Well, neither,” he replies. “I think words like that are a bit rude and old hat, frankly. There’s no need for them nowadays.



lightspeedchick December 15, 2003

That reminds me of my friend’s wife, who’s Hindu. She once caught herself saying “but EVERYONE in India goes to university!”. Uh, no.

Nerd/geek/whatever is a relative term. The only reason why you think there are no nerds anymore is because you there aren’t any in your world. You’re right that nowadays, it’s not enough to like LoTR to be considered a geek.

But believe, the race is alive and well. Go to Valet de Coeur on a Sunday afternoon, or to the recent comic book convention at Palais des Congrès, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Patrick December 15, 2003

Yeah I know. I ment more that the debate about nerd/geeks being cool should be over but the quote doesn’t really say that. More wishful thinking on that part.

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