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Remember in high school when everyone picked on the geeks and the nerds? Well now it is the real world and those nerds are probably in software development making six figures only three years removed from their bachelor’s degree. And in the real world, it’s cool to be nerdy. We owe much of our pop culture to those nerds.
Our generation grew up on some of the nerdiest shit out there. The top selling book series was about an orphaned wizard. Harry Potter was the only 300+ page book any kid would have read voluntarily. Furthermore, the biggest fad of elementary school was a trading card game about creatures that you battled, trained, and evolved. If you didn’t trade Pokemon cards under the slides during recess, you were a loser. I spent every cent of my allowance from ages 7-10 at the 7-Eleven down the road on booster packs hunting for that elusive first edition Charizard. I’ve played through Pokemon Blue no less than a dozen times.
I know I am not alone when I admit to having spent hours in front of the TV during college, spanking my fraternity brothers at Halo or GoldenEye 007 or having played a friendly 18 holes of Tiger Woods PGA Tour (RIP) in a buddy’s dorm room after class on a Wednesday afternoon.
Even today, we young adults flock to things like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. Millions of people tune in to Sunday night primetime television to watch zombies. And in the off season, throngs of people consume their lives with delving into the intricacies of shows like GoT and The Walking Dead. We’re talking about stories of medieval wars, dead men walking, magic, and dragons.
Here on PGP, there is an entire podcast devoted to GoT. The nerdiness leaks over onto the big screen too. Some of the most successful movies released each year follow the heroes of Marvel and DC comics (#TeamMarvel). Don’t even get me started on Star Wars. My first sight of Princess Leia in that famous outfit and chains is when I realized I liked girls.
In the office, if I want a break from ripping through emails, phone calls, and editing spreadsheets and reports, I whip out the phone and log on to Clash of Clans to get a raid in. Or I fling brightly-colored birds at pig heads. I can’t even type that sentence without thinking to myself, “Cush, you’re a simple-minded fool.” But both games have over 100 million downloads, so there is obviously a following.
A couple of years ago, Amazon acquired a game-streaming service called Twitch to the tune of $1 billion. Hundreds of thousands of people at any given time log on to that website just to watch other people play video games. That is next level nerd. Who would have thought that something like that had such a following, let alone be worth such a fortune?
It’s something about the alternate reality that captures our attention. All of these fake worlds help us escape our everyday lives for a short amount of time which is a welcomed relief. Between balancing work, finances, keeping house, and relationships, it is nice to break away once in a while and do something that doesn’t matter. Maybe most of us aren’t dressing up with props and heading off to Comic-Con, but I think it is safe to say there is a small streak of nerdiness in all of us. Let’s embrace it and be nerdy together.
Unless you’re a noob. Nobody likes a noob..