I am a nerd. Or so I was told last Saturday at the Melbourne Comic Con. I was a bit taken back when the sales guy Ned at the autograph stand told me this. I mean, I had just been having a debate with him over which Terminator movie was better, 1 or 2, and I was lining up to buy an autographed picture of my favourite movie character ever Sarah O’Connor (played by Linda Hamilton) but does this really make me a nerd? To make myself feel better I turned to my boyfriend and asked him. His reply was Yes! How did I not realise this?
Over the last few years the line between geek and nerd has blurred and the terms are now interchangeable.
Along the way the term nerd has become trendy, finding its way into popular culture and in many ways turning everything that was once stereotypically ‘geek’ into ‘cool’. Bold glasses and gaming t-shirts are a great example of this.
A few of my self-classified geek friends said this really annoyed them. They had been picked on for years for being different and now people were trying to be like them. They hate Harry Potter fans saying they are geeks just because they read the books or individuals saying they are Sci-fi fans because they watch the Dollhouse.
I find all this pretty funny but it makes sense, as when I got told I was a nerd I was picturing the stereotypical geek- A pasty white fat kid locked in a dark bedroom room playing games on the computer, with Mountain-Dew cans everywhere and a pack of magic cards on the bed- which I’m clearly not. I think it is safe to say that all the Harry Potter fans out there aren’t geeks either.
Thinking about it now, I probably am a nerd as these days it means someone who is really into a particular subject to the point that it becomes a little weird.
I’m guessing I must have weirded out the sales guy Ned. I can’t decide if I’m upset about my new label but I do know I won’t be confusing nerd and geek again. There is still a line and for me it is wearing anime costumes at conventions.
Featured image from Wikimedia.