Author, at centre, in homemade bumblebee costume.
In these modern times chockablock full of data streams and data ports and data nuggets, it’s becoming harder and harder to determine who’s a nerd. Dude working in the cubicle next to you could be a level 79 Dwarf Priest in World of Warcraft. The cute barista’s gonna jet right home after work and fire up her Xbox 360 to kick ass in Gears of War.
Back in the day, if you let it be known that you were into computers or Nintendo, you were asking for a beatdown from the Chet and Gords of this world. But now Chet and Gord make a wicked tag-team in Team Fortress 2.
While the social climate of today is admittedly a hell of a lot more accepting of us basement-dwellers than in the past — take heart, geekazoids: there are still a few options for those of us who still crave the old stigmas. If you’re terrified that girls are actually starting to talk to you instead of just staring at your Cheeto-stained neckbeard, just become crazy-obsessed with any of the things on this list. And soon, all will be right with the Force once more…
THE NEW BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
This show has it all. Babealicious robots. Cool-ass spaceships that sometimes (often) shoot at other cool-ass spaceships. Hunkalicious dudes, if you’re a girl or into that (and in these times of upheaval for geekdom, who knows, you know?)
The show’s now in its fourth and final season, with the humans on the verge of finding the mythical planet Earth (I know, eh!?) and the cyborg Cylon race hell-bent on getting there before them… and also killing them all. However, nerds should tread carefully; the new BSG often weaves in allusions to real-world events, and a true dork doesn’t wanna get caught up in a discussion about Iraq when you could be talking about how many lightyears the Galactica can travel in a single hyperspace jump.
Now, hold up, wait a minute, you might be saying. Metal is for nerds? I thought it was strictly for big dudes who wear the same black shirt every single day and have never so much as talked to a girl, complete social reject-oh. OH. Yeah, that works.
Metal is definitely the geekiest type of music. I don’t care what ‘subgenre’ you listen to. When you listen to metal, you are a nerd. And that’s by no means a bad thing; the appeal and power of metal is in its group mentality and the sense of belonging its fans experience. I’m just sayin’, songs about hobbits and dragons and monsters, not to mention totally bitchin’ riffage? Count me in, dudes.
ALL THOSE ADULT SWIM CARTOONS
Not gonna lie, I’ve never really understood the appeal of most of these. I tried to watch The Brak Show once and I think I blacked out. Space Ghost, same deal. I watched an episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force once when I had the flu and it was kinda funny. Anyway, the point is, nerds worship these shows religiously for some reason, and they’re pretty much built around dumb catchphrases that you can regurgitate with your friends and no one else is gonna sit at your lunch table and put up with that.
‘Japanese animation.’ Energy balls and dinner-plate eyes. GLORIOUS NIPPON. Get a life you geeks. Fuck anime, seriously.
The big one. Whether it’s in video game or tabletop form, role-playing games are still wholly the domain of nerds and the nerdly-at-heart. At their core, role-playing games revolve around the idea of complete character customization: you create your ‘avatar,’ ‘level up’ to increase your ‘HP’ and gain various ‘abilities.’ If these terms are wholly unfamiliar to you, congratulations dude, you have probably banged more girls than I will ever see in my whole life.
Of course, the first major RPG to enter the public consciousness was Dungeons and Dragons in the 80’s, but the 21st century is the RPG’s second coming. World of Warcraft has somehow transcended its origins and gotten to the point where even my mom has ‘definitely heard of it.’ And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Did you ever read that book, Snow Crash? (Trick question, every nerd ever has read this book). Second Life is gonna make that shit a reality.
I guess the point is, the only real way to stay on the cutting-edge of absolute geekdom is to roll with the punches. You’ve gotta seek out the crazy crap that no one else likes and stick to it like a barnacle, and then jump ship when the squares start coming aboard. Everything changes, dudes.