Nerds, How does society view them now?

So this is a topic I have always found interesting and is a bit close to home.

For as long as i can remember growing up in my youth, It was uncool to be a “Nerd”, “geek” or whatever other name for a relatively smart and sometimes like the less “cool” subjects/hobbies.

Yet in recent years everything changed. Gaming is my prime example, It went from a general household obscurity played by young boys and teenagers and hard core veterans blasting away on their SNES trying to beat castlevania or save the princess, to becoming bigger than hollywood. What the hell happened? It feels like 5 minutes ago I was being berated by anyone who didnt appreciate or own a console for being able to beat the final boss on ff7, or get the highest score on papa rappa. Now suddenly everyone has an xbox and halo? Suddenly it’s cool to game, The wii is in every home in the world (albeit no one buys any games for the thing but still) who hasnt played wii bowling or tennis yet?

The casual market has exploded and theres no going back, Nintendo and the iphone opened the door and now developers understand they can make money out of it. If that money made from those consumers, from that bigger market give a developer and their studio more money to make titles I really love, then great, go for it. I just don’t want it to come to a stage where the next “Ico” or “shadow of the coloussus” or even “kingdom hearts 3″is shelfed because it “doesn’t appeal to the casual market”.

I may have gone off the rails here but I will come back to my original point. We have got to a stage now, where indie developers have to go different with their game to recieve commercial success and Triple A titles stick to a certain formula because they have to much money invested for it too flop!

It’s an interesting situation but also a risky situation if developers dont change, If the big developers don’t win over casual gamers into more hardcore games, and keep trying to pander to the casual market, they will lose out, gamers the people like myself who have spent thousands of pounds over the years buying the next big exclusive or that weird obscure game that became a cult hit. Will get bored, there is no doubt in my mind, in fact we will look elsewhere, wether its indie devs or making our own game. just recently gametrailers reviewed a game made by a team of 12 basic modders. Who created a fully functioning FPS pc game with online stats and leaderboards, with an excellent multiplayer component and a rather distinct and unique design. Albeit the game was not perfect for a first attempt and a cheap entry price of $20 with forthcoming dlc and patches it is well worth checking out.

My point I guess, is that everything has changed, and a lot of gamers, feel annoyed, they feel threatened that their experience will suffer because of this new market, because we dont trust the companies. This is a valid fear and arguement. But we forget, that the developers, coders, the people who make the games. They love them, even when they make a bad project someone spent a long time nursing their “baby” and want people to enjoy it. That isn’t going anywhere any time soon. So yes it means if you work in a game store your dealing with more and more clueless people, who buy a console then bring it back and called it “shit”. From personal experience all i can add to that is, every once in a while, if your patient and friendly enough, you can convince the casual gamer to try something different, open their mind to a game being art, Getting them to play Bioshock, or uncharted;Drakes Fortune. We have to move forward however much we want to hold on to this thing that was once “ours” the escape we had from all the bad times, when we escaped into a land of dragons and sorcerry or giant mechs and ridiculous weapons. The joy you had when you finally met someone who understood and loved gaming as much as you do.

We have to share and play nice, because in the long run it will do our medium good!

So back from that side note I want to talk about the change in culture towards “nerds”. Suddenly nerd is no longer quite such an offencive term, more and more people own smart phones, more and more people have a facebook. In fact if it wasnt for nerds we wouldnt HAVE any of these things, they are the scientists, programmers, developers, president-of-the-company-making-the-next-big-thing.

I think what irks me, is seeing people now trying to be nerds, I am not one for labels, I am who I am, but all my life because I have liked things that arent mainstream, Comic books, Gaming, books (of all genres) music that isnt mainstream and generally having some computing abilities, beenlabelled a “Geek”. I was defined by someone else, assigning my that term, and i can joke about being one. But seeing people go “oh look at me i just played harry potter on the wii clearly such a geek” – makes me mad. Im sorry your not, you have no depth or understanding of “geek culture” I dont think its me being a snob, but i know this person who is making their claim, they havent ever looked at a comic book or even heard an 8bit soundtrack. Why are they claiming to be something they aren’t? I will tell you why, because suddenly it’s cool to be weird and geek chique… Just like it is cool for gaga to be weird and zaney. Everyone wants to stand out and be noticed therfor it isnt so shameful to be called a geek, and after years of being taunted for just being me, It does bug the hell out of me it’s ok to be one, but your still not a cool one, because someone who has no clue just pretends to be one…and is suddenly top of the chain. That makes no sense, I was doing this before it was cool, before christopher nolan made batman cool again. I was reading the comics, Before zack snyder did watchmen justice I had read a ton of alan moore.

Be who you are, thats great if you are a huge nerd, or just getting into something a bit different, I applaud you. You are no longer following the crowd and following your own mind and heart, that is commendable and even if your not into it at least your still being yourself. No one should be dictated to be anything but themselves and never by anyone elses standards. We live in a world where we are pidgeonholed from day one of high school (if not before) and the world doesnt change much after it!

What annoys me is people being something different, or claiming something (usually through social media sites) to gain attention or look cool. It infuriates me, It reminds me of something me and a friend discussed. Anyone whos ever been on the web in the last 8 years knows the “Chuck Norris jokes”

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/chuck-norris-facts

this is OLD, and tbh, been done to death. It’s about as funny as someone doing a rick roll in 2011!

Now someone comes into my friends work (who shall remain nameless) with a chuck norris app. This is pretty much how the conversation goes.

wants to be cool person:”look what iv just found this cool new app that randomly says chuck norris jokes”

clueless one “who or what is Chuck Norris”

wants to be cool person “He was the walker texas ranger, he is pure awesome and thats what these quotes say …listen”

*group of clueless non internet capable people form a circle around*

app says “underneath chuck norris’s beard there isnt a chin, just another fist”

everyone- “thats so funny and weird, lolerskates! roflcopter!”

friend *jaw hanging open complete outrage.

The reason why both me and my flatmate felt pity and anger that this was suddenly funny again, was because this “meme” was OLD. and if we had made that joke to them when WE heard it the first time round, it wouldnt be funny, in fact we’d be laughed at for trying to tell the “cool people” something obscure from the internet.

It’s like being ahead of the curve, I already know all these memes but there not funny to the world until it becomes a pop culture reference, It just annoys me that its only funny when they get a hold of it, and the thing is no longer funny to the people who originally heard it. Im talking about 6 years on here, its not like im being a “well i heard it two days before you here” this is now a dead and unused joke. that would have you mocked off a internet forum or flamed to pieces by the other users.

I guess its just comething we have to deal with, the media has changed, now places like Comicon, Pax, E3, and any other gaming/nerd/comicbook expo you can think off is dripping with celebrity panelists, journalists, tv cameras, SEXY booth babes and big companies trying to get in good with the fans/attendees. because there is MONEY in it now, that sells space in air time, column inches, and can be beneficial to a companies growth. It is without a doubt the world is being run by “geeks” whether it’s the people protecting you from cyber attacks, or making your iphone 5 browse porn faster, or the latest lazy boy gadget and gizmo. Its cool to be a nerd, and its even cooler to be a cool person cosplaying a nerd.

peace out.

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~ by conorstrife on August 21, 2011.

2 Responses to “Nerds, How does society view them now?”

  1. ”Follow your own road, and let the people talk“
    -Alghieri Dante

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