Hold up, put down the pitch forks and give a minute before you fly off the damn handle.
I didn’t come to this conclusion lightly. I was a dorky Nintendo kid growing up. I was the Star Wars nerd on the bus that people laughed at for liking Star Wars. I was the pale, helpless, virgin video gaming dork that made things worse by taking his obsession to cringe levels. What do I mean by that? Well, did you ever record video game music onto a cassette so that you can listen to them on the go or where ever? Did you ever draw out video game characters? Have you ever drafted out entire levels with enemies, powerups, and what have you in full detail?
When I was a kid, embracing “nerd culture” earned you a stigma that could result in an ass kicking. I’m not advocating that time period to come back, not at all. I like that the kids these days can enjoy video games, anime, and whatever without that negative stigma, but something else is happening. Nerd culture has become popular and heavily commercialized. It’s no longer uncool to be a star wars kid, or a gamer, or an otaku. It’s no longer uncool to be a comic book fan. In fact, it’s heavily encouraged to where to not like Star Wars, Marvel, and Mario Bros is weird.
I sound resentful and just need to chill out, right? I know these words, these sentences have a cynical flair to them, and I’m well aware that it comes from a place of resentment. Yes, I am a tad resentful that while I had to hide in the shadows with my hobby others can now walk around and enjoy their nerdy stuff out in the light. Why wouldn’t I be a little resentful? While more and more people get immersed with “nerd culture” I wonder how many of them actually like what they claim that like. In other words, how many of those that say they like Minecraft actually play it, actually play it extensively? How many people that claim to like Star Wars know about the lore? Are some claiming to like something because others like it, because it’s cool to like it.
My knee-jerk reaction is to cringe and say fuck that. To like something just because others like it? It’s one thing to try something out, give something a fair shake because of a recommendation, but to just be a fanboy of something one knows nothing about just to be “cool” is jarring to me.
Let me make a parallel with music. If you said you like a band, but didn’t know a song, generally one would consider you a poser. You’re pretending to like something and don’t know jack shit about it, but think that liking it would earn you some sort of brownie points. Who likes that? Who doesn’t find anything disingenuous about that?
I can’t be the only one that thinks this way. I can’t be the only one that finds that the more “nerd culture” is accepted and commercialized the less appealing it actually becomes.