Back in October, I posted the following to Facebook:
Me: Yeah, I have some nerd and geek tendencies, but I don't let it rule my life. Friend: Don't you write fantasy for a living? Me: Yeah, but ... Friend: And don't you go to longsword classes? Me: True, but ... Friend: And you play D&D at least twice a week, right? Me: Oh, shut up. (and this was while at a Renaissance fest)
Okay, now that you’ve read that, I have a confession to make: I don’t think of myself as a Nerd. Yes, all of the things written above are true, and yes, I’m here writing this on the Nerdarchy site, but I still don’t think of myself as a Nerd.
Now don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying I think I’m some ultra-hip cool guy, nor do I think of Nerds or Geeks or what-have-you in a derogatory manner. I’ve just never thought of myself as a Nerd.
I guess it’s because I don’t consider myself a fan boy of anything. Really. Yes, I’m a Star Wars fan and a Star Trek fan and a D&D fan, etc., but I’m not a fan boy There are no movies or books or games that I have put up on some pedestal as being absolutely perfect, as being beyond any criticism. There is no genre or franchise that gets my blood boiling when I see someone criticizing it.
I like what I like, but if you don’t like it, that’s cool. That’s life. People have different opinions, and despite the ever-arguing, overly critical culture of the Internet, I’m fine with that. I don’t lose any sleep because someone online told me their favorite video game is different from my own.
To me, this is a sign of maturity, not getting worked up when others disagree with you, especially concerning something as unimportant as what is ultimately pop culture.
So, for that reason, I’ve never considered myself a Nerd. I suppose I equate nerdiness with fan boy-ism. I’m not saying I’m right, just that that’s how my mind works.
All that being said, my girlfriend has informed me on more than one occasion that despite my thought process, I am in truth a Nerd. I had my doubts, so I offered to let her present her case here publicly to all at Nerdarchy.
Maybe she’s right. You be the judge.
By the way, her name is Rebecca. Be nice to her. The below text is her own.
Nerd, geek, whatever your preferred nomenclature, my boyfriend falls squarely into this group. Unfortunately he is in denial about his nerdiness. Since his denial is being published, I thought I needed to make the argument that not only is he a nerd, but that that’s not a bad thing! After you read the case I’ve made, make sure in the comments to let him know you accept him into our tribe because, after all, being a nerd is pretty awesome!
“Being a geek is all about being honest about what you enjoy and not being afraid to demonstrate that affection. It means never having to play it cool about how much you like something. It’s basically a license to proudly emote on a somewhat childish level rather than behave like a supposed adult. Being a geek is extremely liberating.”
― Simon Pegg
Exhibit 1: I should start by mentioning that my boyfriend is a writer by trade. Not just any type of writer, but a fantasy novelist as well as contributor to Nerdarchy! His fantasy stories are full of swordplay and epic quest (I recommend checking out his Darkbow Collection). While he may argue that it is simply his job, and that it does not define him, I would argue that to do your job well, you should have some love for it. You can tell in the words he writes that Kron Darkbow is more than just a “professional interest.” Ty has made Kron grow and progress throughout the series so Kron is no longer the impulsive young hero of the first book. I think his love for fantasy makes him an excellent writer and I can’t wait to see what will be next for Kron.
Exhibit 2: One of the reasons Ty doesn’t think he is a nerd is that he doesn’t obsess over one specific series or show. Here is where he is a true Renaissance man. He is right that he doesn’t have one specific fandom he geeks out about, but wrong that he thinks this doesn’t mean he is a nerd as a result. He may not want to pick Star Wars or Star Trek, but that’s because he loves them both. There are plenty more; Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, and Batman just to name a few. Sure, you say, plenty of people watch nerdy TV shows. In fact, The Big Bang Theory has made being geeky cool, and it is on prime time TV. I would suggest that if it was one or two shows or movies in the genre that would be one thing, but the majority of Ty’s entertainment is in the “nerd” realm.
Exhibit 3: Okay, you can discount the job, or even the entertainment, but then comes the hobbies. My sweetie loves his D&D. He typically plays once or twice per week, and that number is down since I have taken over one of his gaming nights. In fact, he runs online games quite frequently as Dungeon Master. He is also a member of a longsword martial arts club. While he may not be too into modern video games, he has a soft spot for old school games. In fact, a recent date included a trip to the arcade and several hours gaming together. For our first date, we went to a Renaissance festival. Then I learned that he has been going for years, sometimes in full costume.
I remember that Geek and Nerd used to be terms that were negative, often used to tease the smart kids in school. That said, there has been a huge change in the way we look at geeks and nerds. They are now looked at as leaders in their fields and interesting people. Perhaps the best change is the rise of the Sapiosexual, the person that finds intelligence attractive. While my boyfriend may fall into the Nerd category, I fall into the Sapiosexual category, so it’s a perfect match. I love having someone I can have fun with, and who can hold a decent conversation. So yes, my boyfriend is a nerd, and I couldn’t be happier about it!
Gag! Yuck! Blagh!
Okay, no more comments from me other than to point out Rebecca has made her case. It’s now up to you to decide. So, am I a Nerd or not? Let me know in the Comments section.