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General: The Rise of the Nerd

SBFordSBFord Former Associate EditorMember LegendaryPosts: 33,126

MMORPG.com has a "new" columnist in the form of the ever-popular Mr. Bill Murphy. Bill begins his weekly column series with a look at how he has gone from ordinary human to Nerd and back again. Yet the pendulum swings and yesterday's nerd is today's MMO aficionado. Check out Bill's new column and then weigh in with thoughts on The Rise of the Nerd.

Do you remember the movie Revenge of the Nerds? Who am I kidding? We all probably lived it. Poindexter, Booger, even Ogre, are basically stereotypes of our culture. There’s no sense in trying to hide it. We’re geeks. We’re nerds. We love Babylon 5; we call Cylons “toasters” and say “frack” when cursing. We believe that New Zealand is Middle-earth and that Frodo and Sam may or may not have had a Brokeback Mt. Doom thing going on the side. There was a time when we had to be careful of this knowledge we all share. It was safe to use around our friends, and sometimes our families, but the general public? Pshaw! Only if you felt like being ridiculed or stared at with a cocked-head and furrowed brow as if you were some strange subspecies.

Read more of Bill Murphy's column, The Rise of the Nerd.


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Comments

  • TanemundTanemund Member UncommonPosts: 150

    Why has Geek become Chic?  Simple.  WE GREW UP AND MADE A LOT OF MONEY!  Thus our tastes drive the market because we have money to spend and we spend it in areas we like.  The Prophecy has come true!  We're running companies and those who tormented us in High School are mowing our lawns and oogling our beautiful wives.  The smart money gets on the train and rides, while the rest wonder why no one cares that they were the quarterback of their high school football team. 

     

    George McFly kicks Biff's arse again!

     

    Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.

  • ColdrenColdren Member UncommonPosts: 489

    Originally posted by Tanemund



    Why has Geek become Chic?  Simple.  WE GREW UP AND MADE A LOT OF MONEY!  Thus our tastes drive the market because we have money to spend and we spend it in areas we like.  The Prophecy has come true!  We're running companies and those who tormented us in High School are mowing our lawns and oogling our beautiful wives.  The smart money gets on the train and rides, while the rest wonder why no one cares that they were the quarterback of their high school football team. 


     

     

    ... This is a pretty good summary.

  • maskedweaselmaskedweasel Member EpicPosts: 10,241

    Originally posted by Coldren

    Originally posted by Tanemund



    Why has Geek become Chic?  Simple.  WE GREW UP AND MADE A LOT OF MONEY!  Thus our tastes drive the market because we have money to spend and we spend it in areas we like.  The Prophecy has come true!  We're running companies and those who tormented us in High School are mowing our lawns and oogling our beautiful wives.  The smart money gets on the train and rides, while the rest wonder why no one cares that they were the quarterback of their high school football team. 


     

     

    ... This is a pretty good summary.

    I wouldn't say so,  I know a number of those I would consider as being "geeks" in High School to not be doing as well now.  

     

    I've always been very neutral.  I was never considered a "geek" per se,  I played sports, had girlfriends, did all that junk and never had any trouble at all in high school.  It wasn't until after high school, in my professional life, that I became a "geek".

     

    Its caught on so quickly,  for the first few years as a consultant, when I would come on site, suddenly the IT "geek" was here.  They said this like it was a complement to me, while all this time I considered myself a professional.  It was actually kind of insulting to me as I never had anything like that through any of my school years.

     

    I always considered it to be derogatory,  and it wasn't something I ever considered being classified as.  Now people think its just cool to have/be/ or know a "geek" like its some kind of inside club where we have our little secrets that we only share with our "kind".   

     

    Then again maybe its just me....  but even now while working in a management position over an entire department, when our sales team introduces me, I'm still the IT Geek....



  • tman5tman5 Member Posts: 604

    Tanemund summed up very nicely one major reason why geek/nerd is chic now.  Another is because, now, it is easy to be a nerd (I personally prefer "nerd" over "geek," subtleties of definitions aside.)  Anyone can do it.

    Before the interwebs, being a nerd took effort.  There were books and magazines and fanzines and newsletters to stay on top of; local comic shop denizens to interact with; prepping for the next D&D session, which required face-to-face with other people; research required into the little-known aspects of films and TV shows.  Nowadays, a simple Google search turns up what used to take weeks and months to discover. 

    The stereotype of the nerd with his nose in a book or magazine and no time for a social life was very real.  It took discipline and dedication.  Today's nerds can be both "Geek-boy" and BMOC.

  • SebaliSebali Member UncommonPosts: 395

    I was never the starting QB, ouor school didnt have football, lol

    but I played high school and college baseball and still play today at 35.

     

    I consider myself an "everyday kinda guy"

     

    I hate to break it to you hardcore, self proclaimed "geeks", but geek isnt the new chic. if anything chic is the new geek.

     

    as someone who works for the city of new york in manhattan I see every type of person there is. you really cannot comprehend what I mean until you've spent a few weeks roaming the streets here. maybe one of you NYU "geeks" can back me up on this.

     

    I see these people walking around the city with their huge "jersey shore" type sunglasses, super tight jeans(on the men), grey fedora, with a pink untucked shirt and  a lossely knotted grey tie.

    thats basically the chic look of now. thats the geek of the 80's.

    orthe "ditbag/grunge chic look. someone who looks like the guy who just married katy perry. dirty scraggly hair. unkept beard. filthy jeans

     

    if chic/geek means looking like that, you can keep it all to yourselves

     

    IT LOOKS HORRID!!!

     

    I cannot begin the explain the snickers and comments towards poeple who dress like this. not just by someone like myself. by just about everyone who doesnt look like this.

    why?

     

    IT LOOKS HORRID!!

     

    it looked horrid then, it looks even worse now.

     

    and I hate to tell you, but you dont have the hot wives.

    you have the plastically enhanced gold diggers waiting for you to screw up  by banging the cute intern,( who, by the way, is only sleeping with you hoping to make more money/get the full time job) so she can take half your hard earned cash and live it up.

     

    ig chic/geek means having to deal with an ordeal such as that, you can keep that too.

     

    I'll live my happy content life making 100K a year in the suburbs with my white fence, my dog, my home cooked meals, my self cleaned house and no socalled chic/geeks.

     

    you cannot honestly tell me you think people who look/dress like say lindsay lohan or paris hilton are attractive?

    they're nothing more than fools. they're just sheep following along because the person next to them is doing it and they cannot think for themselves.

    one person says geek and the sheep yel;l geek and you all think thatsn a good thing?

    I would be embarrassed if I was a geek to have these people emulating me

  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441

    Originally posted by Tanemund

    Why has Geek become Chic?  Simple.  WE GREW UP AND MADE A LOT OF MONEY!  Thus our tastes drive the market because we have money to spend and we spend it in areas we like.  The Prophecy has come true!  We're running companies and those who tormented us in High School are mowing our lawns and oogling our beautiful wives.  The smart money gets on the train and rides, while the rest wonder why no one cares that they were the quarterback of their high school football team. 

    George McFly kicks Biff's arse again!

    That is just partly true, looks is still more important than brains. If you don't believe me take a look on any politician.

    So, yeah. Jocks who didn't  made millions in their 20s usually turns out to be losers but it is people who looks good that has the real power.

    To quote Dogbert: "Intelligence is less useful in real life than you would imagine".

    And BTW, the guy with the highest measured IQ ever worked as a security guard his whole life and died without accomplish anything.

  • PalebanePalebane Member RarePosts: 3,719

    Originally posted by Tanemund

    Why has Geek become Chic?  Simple.  WE GREW UP AND MADE A LOT OF MONEY!  Thus our tastes drive the market because we have money to spend and we spend it in areas we like.  The Prophecy has come true!  We're running companies and those who tormented us in High School are mowing our lawns and oogling our beautiful wives.  The smart money gets on the train and rides, while the rest wonder why no one cares that they were the quarterback of their high school football team. 

    So, we have, in effect, become those arrogant assholes we loathed so much back in high school? I'm not sure what's so great about lowering ourselves to their level.

    Vault-Tec analysts have concluded that the odds of worldwide nuclear armaggeddon this decade are 17,143,762... to 1.

  • KithcaKithca Member Posts: 118

    One of my long ago former employers, an ISP, told their employees in training, "Take the dumbest person you know and realize that two thirds of the population is dumber than them."  During several years of phone tech support, I have spoken to people who didn't know what a mouse was, people who bought a computer JUST because they got an AOL disk in the mail, people who called up threatening to sue because they stuck a CD into a 5 1/2 drive and couldn't get it out.

    I don't want gaming to be mainstream, it's been dumbed down enough as is.  When things move into the mainstream, they get simplified for the masses who don't have a good working knowledge of computers. It's already happening to gaming, it's going to just get worse until games can be played with 5 keys: Up, Down, Left, Right, and shoot...

  • ElikalElikal Member UncommonPosts: 7,912

    Originally posted by Loke666

    Originally posted by Tanemund

    Why has Geek become Chic?  Simple.  WE GREW UP AND MADE A LOT OF MONEY!  Thus our tastes drive the market because we have money to spend and we spend it in areas we like.  The Prophecy has come true!  We're running companies and those who tormented us in High School are mowing our lawns and oogling our beautiful wives.  The smart money gets on the train and rides, while the rest wonder why no one cares that they were the quarterback of their high school football team. 

    George McFly kicks Biff's arse again!

    That is just partly true, looks is still more important than brains. If you don't believe me take a look on any politician.

    So, yeah. Jocks who didn't  made millions in their 20s usually turns out to be losers but it is people who looks good that has the real power.

    To quote Dogbert: "Intelligence is less useful in real life than you would imagine".

    And BTW, the guy with the highest measured IQ ever worked as a security guard his whole life and died without accomplish anything.

    Haha, yeah there is so much to learn from Dogbert quotes. XD

    But whatever. I never felt I fit into that nerd vs jocks idea. And actually I think very few real people do.

    People don't ask questions to get answers - they ask questions to show how smart they are. - Dogbert

  • brostynbrostyn Member Posts: 3,092

    There is a difference between nerd/geek and loser.

    Losers lay around doing nothing, making nothing of themselves. Geeks/nerds are attracted to the more complex, less mainstream activities, and do make something of themselves. Both may play MMOs.

  • HekketHekket Member Posts: 905

    I'm not a geek...I just like the stereotypical geek things. 

  • Xondar123Xondar123 Member CommonPosts: 2,543

    For anyone not in their late 20s or later Revwenge of the Nerds was a comedy movie series we watched back in the days.

  • MorcotulconMorcotulcon Member UncommonPosts: 262

    Since highschool I was both kinds of person, a geek one and a "sports and handsome" guy too. Maybe that's why I hadn't had that many girls, because most of them would tell me i'm better as a friend... (-.-)'  (I had some gf's though, even a model xD).......... Anyway, at least I was one of those guys that would do everything and didnt care what the others thougth of me, which led to a teenager life where I was popular but anyone wouldn't talk that much about me, so I only had bad reputation for quite a few people (which I wouldn't care when I knew about that). I was always played a lot when I felt like it, and would have fun with friends irl when I felt like it, and do sports because it was fun and helped me stay in shape. Doing everything gave me a big number of friends (real-life ones and some online ones), gave me knowledge of belonging to both sides and comprehending their ways of thinking and actions.

     

    With this said in mind, I don't think Geeks/Nerds are more succesfull than the Jocks (is this what they are called? English is not my main language so this is new for me lol). Well, I know a lot of jocks that started doing their lives better when gone to university and now are starting to get some success. They are intelligent too you know? the difference is that they only used their intelligence for other areas like sports tactics and techniques, body functioning and performance, management, leadership, social-interaction and much more. And believe me, later you will probably see them as some kind of doctor, great coach, great manager of compannies/banks/clubs, good reporters or journalists, etc. Sometimes having a different life means nothing to how much intelligence a person has. If the person follows their interests and works to get better knowledge in their preferred areas, they are successfull.

     

    I like the quote of brostyn about the difference between a geek/nerd and a looser. The same applies to all kinds of people (even those that were completely s**theads tormenting other people in highschool).

  • Garvon3Garvon3 Member CommonPosts: 2,898

    WoW isn't mainstream? It certainly is. It's so mainstream that WoW is synonymous with MMORPG (which is a horrible thing) and it being mainstream, and targeted at housewives and part time gamers is exactly why the MMORPG genre has been stuck in a ditch since 2004. 

  • ShdwcasterShdwcaster Member Posts: 15

    I don't think that pop-culture has so much accepted nerds/geeks, as it has simply expanded to partially contain them.  I see pop-culture as far more fragmented now than it was 20-30 years ago.  We have TVs with hundreds of niche channels, a vast universe of games, and the unlimited expanse of the internet to cater to our particular interests.  The nerd/geek sub-culture has gone semi-mainstream simply because we found each other, and it turns out we're pretty smart, and a decent number of us work well together.  It's not that the jocks and cheerleaders accepted us, or that they're now working for us, it's that they're busy playing fantasy football and posting stock tips, while we're over here at our tables talking about MMOs and making plans for PAX 2011.

    Is there some crossover?  Sure.  The accepted "college guy" image now includes playing Halo or Madden with your bros in the dorm, that's progress, I guess.  But if you're a 30-something guy, married with kids, who'd rather play WoW or Fallout than watch NCIS, guess what, you're still a freak by most people's standards.  (Said the freak.)

    It's not necessarily a bad thing either.  Trends come and go, fashions change, fads disappear.  Anyone remember POGS?  That's what I thought.  When geek/nerd culture stops being faddishly cool, the trend followers will move on to whatever is cool.  The real geeks and nerds will still be playing MMOs, D&D, and whatever else we think is awesome, regardless of whether or not it's currently "in."  See you there.

    -----------------------------
    When I go, I want to leave a crater, not lie in one.

    Former Matrix: Online dev. Been there, done that.

  • GutlardGutlard Member RarePosts: 865

    I'm just glad I stayed friends with all those 'nerdy/geeky' girls back in elementary school, because not only are they still gamers, but a lot of them are hot gamers....d'oh....

     

    Gutlard Out!

    What, me worry?

  • HokieHokie Member UncommonPosts: 1,063

    I do kind of envy the younger generation growing up.

    I still keep my MMO playing, and gaming hobby a secret from (most) of my co-workers. There is still a stigma attached to it. Not that I feel the need to share it. Its just that I dont think I should have to hide it because I risk being ostracized, or at the very least not being taken seriously. And that, not being taken seriously, can be the difference between making 30k a year and 45k a year (or more).

    Even though I love gaming, earning a living wage is more important, it shouldnt matter, but it does.

    "I understand that if I hear any more words come pouring out of your **** mouth, Ill have to eat every fucking chicken in this room."

  • WreckoniingWreckoniing Member UncommonPosts: 279

    everyone has that "inner geek" only these days you can express it without getting ridiculed.

  • SenadinaSenadina Member UncommonPosts: 896

    Originally posted by Loke666

    Originally posted by Tanemund

    Why has Geek become Chic?  Simple.  WE GREW UP AND MADE A LOT OF MONEY!  Thus our tastes drive the market because we have money to spend and we spend it in areas we like.  The Prophecy has come true!  We're running companies and those who tormented us in High School are mowing our lawns and oogling our beautiful wives.  The smart money gets on the train and rides, while the rest wonder why no one cares that they were the quarterback of their high school football team. 

    George McFly kicks Biff's arse again!

    That is just partly true, looks is still more important than brains. If you don't believe me take a look on any politician.

    So, yeah. Jocks who didn't  made millions in their 20s usually turns out to be losers but it is people who looks good that has the real power.

    To quote Dogbert: "Intelligence is less useful in real life than you would imagine".

    And BTW, the guy with the highest measured IQ ever worked as a security guard his whole life and died without accomplish anything.


     

     Probably because he realized the system is rigged, we are all rats in a maze, you can't take it with you and as long as he had all his needs met and enjoyed his life, why SHOULD he accomplish anything? The smarter you are the less you are willing to buy into the bullshit because ignorance truly is bliss.

     

    P.S. If I think of any more cliches I can cram in here, I'll get back to ya.

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  • BeansnBreadBeansnBread Member EpicPosts: 6,937

    Originally posted by Senadina

    Originally posted by Loke666


    Originally posted by Tanemund

    Why has Geek become Chic?  Simple.  WE GREW UP AND MADE A LOT OF MONEY!  Thus our tastes drive the market because we have money to spend and we spend it in areas we like.  The Prophecy has come true!  We're running companies and those who tormented us in High School are mowing our lawns and oogling our beautiful wives.  The smart money gets on the train and rides, while the rest wonder why no one cares that they were the quarterback of their high school football team. 

    George McFly kicks Biff's arse again!

    That is just partly true, looks is still more important than brains. If you don't believe me take a look on any politician.

    So, yeah. Jocks who didn't  made millions in their 20s usually turns out to be losers but it is people who looks good that has the real power.

    To quote Dogbert: "Intelligence is less useful in real life than you would imagine".

    And BTW, the guy with the highest measured IQ ever worked as a security guard his whole life and died without accomplish anything.


     

     Probably because he realized the system is rigged, we are all rats in a maze, you can't take it with you and as long as he had all his needs met and enjoyed his life, why SHOULD he accomplish anything? The smarter you are the less you are willing to buy into the bullshit because ignorance truly is bliss.

     

    P.S. If I think of any more cliches I can cram in here, I'll get back to ya.

    He was smart enough to realize that first you live and then you die. What happens between those two points, in the grand scheme of things, is completely and utterly pointless.

     

    You can't take your sh*t with you. Why collect a bunch of stuff or earn a lot of status in the world if you can't take it with you.

     

    There's a couple more. 

     

  • ToxiliumToxilium Member UncommonPosts: 905

    I'm a nerd first and a geek  second. They're different things, and I really dislike when people confuse the two. Geeks tend to like a certain genre or subset of a genre a lot, or a series relating to such. For example, you're a geek if you're deeply into World of Warcraft, which is just an MMO, a subset of role playing ames. Nerds on the other hands are generally individuals who excel at academics. I know the two are often heavily linked, but they are different things. I have a friend going to U of Waterloo for nanotechnology, and he straight out doesn't take part in video games, geeky movies, or anything, often being cynical towards geek culture. He's a nerd who likes mainstream media, that's it.

    I went to Comic Con and it was a prime example why geeks are still not main stream. The New Yorkers would walk by giving strange glances to even someone wearing a Star Wars t-shirt. People would line up for hours  to get Katee Sackhoff's autograph. Really? She was only in a TV show (and such one that heavily used the deus ex machina; debate that with me in another thread). I know movies like Star Wars, Spiderman and The Dark Knight look mainstream. Sometimes they truly are. But those are just the movies; easily accessible, cheap and fun. How many people do you think actually read into the comics or other basis of lore behind the movies? Hell, half the time the screenwriters make things up for the sake of Hollywood.

    Still don't believe me geeks aren't mainstream? Try this. Walk up to anyone who you consider a "normal" person, and simply ask them what their favorite sci-fi series, anime series, comic hero, anything, is. I guarentee you most of the time you'll recieve either a dumbfounded look or an answer along the lines of "Batman I think, like that guy who was in Dark Knight?"

    I hardly ever talk about my life on the Net outside my smaller group of geeks (most of whom are nerds and we end up talking about automobiles or architecture anyways, nothing geeky at all), most of the time having a feeling of shame when I talk about it with "non-geeky normal" people. Don't tell me that's a lie, I bet most of you get this too.

    We may have more movies being made for us, and more shows being shown to us, but the core reason is this: Hollywood has realized we have loads of cash. We are not mainstream, not yet anyways. We just have a more noticable market share now, which companies like Disney and Warner Bros are exploited in the fullest sense of the word (Transformers 2, anyone?).

    And once again: nerd =/= geek.

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  • BeansnBreadBeansnBread Member EpicPosts: 6,937

    Heh. If you want to get all technical, here's a venn diagram for you. :P

     

    http://laughingsquid.com/nerd-venn-diagram-geek-dork-or-dweeb/

  • mhay71mhay71 Member UncommonPosts: 33

    I don't think we are quite mainstream yet either. Back in the day I had friends in every crowd. I was an avid AD&Der amongst other games as well. Fantasy is my favorite genere for any form of media. So I definitely fit the geek category. I also played baseball and football, so I fit the jock mold as well. I got along with everyone.

    I am now a manager/ leader for a distribution center. I lead about 60 people. I don't have WoW posters hanging in my office, action figures on my desk, and my wall paper on my monitor set up with the latest screen shots from GW2 (I do at home.) If I did, there would be an embarassing conversation with my boss telling me how unprofessional it is while looking at me with pitty and genuine concern. 

    When I first meet new hires and am getting to know them, I ask them about their hobbies. If they admit to playing games, I have to dig for it. If they admit to playing MMOs, it's almost always with a look of embarassment, shame, or guilt. Now once I tell them my favoret thing to do in my spare time is main tanking raids, they warm up and we have a good time during our discussion.

    Though we have definitely made progress, we are not mainstream yet. But I do have faith.....

    I mean come on, how many of us back in the day thought a world series pitcher would start a game company with the talent pool 38 Studios has. Curt Schilling, I salute you!

    Ing the Conqueror

  • drake_hounddrake_hound Member Posts: 773

    Interesting article and funny enough true in a way , just dont dress up your kids like GEEKS please .

    Dont torture them that way  XD

    So please mum dads aunts and other people who think  dressing up there small kids as geeks !!

    Dont do it :P

    Cause really its still is the looks that matters , even now looks is still almost everything .7

    And no first comes confidence .

  • YamotaYamota Member UncommonPosts: 6,593

    "that Frodo and Sam may or may not have had a Brokeback Mt. Doom thing going on the side."

    Say what? Why would a nerd think that? You are confusing us with liberal PC people.

    Frodo and Sam screwing each other?? BLASHPEMY!

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