You’re Not such a Nerd: Commodification of Nerd and Gamer Sub-culture


If you’re the kind of person who has ever said “I’m such a nerd” there’s a great chance you aren’t a nerd. Not at all. Not in the slightest. Since nerd and geek are treated like the same word the case I make for nerd will be the same as geek. In fact most people probably can’t offer an accurate definition of what they mean. so let’s look them up. Those definitions are pretty negative. So why would someone proudly announce they were a nerd in their daily status? Why would they buy a pair of thick rimmed glasses just to show off how much a “nerd” they are? Most likely because they’re ignorant of what the word means and hope to gain something by association. Nerd and geek have been mutated by pop culture and mainstream entertainment to mean something else. People who rightly are nerds or geeks have earned their titles after years of alienation, as well as by zealous devotion to whatever hobby others regarded weird or lame. So let’s try an exercise Go ahead and close your eyes so you can really focus on your thoughts. I’ll tell you when to open them. Think back to a moment in your life when you felt like an outsider. When you felt humiliated or embarrassed and it felt like everyone was judging you. Can you feel the anxiety and discomfort of that experience? Good, try to stick with it. Now for however long that experience you had was, I want you to try and imagine it went on for a day. If you can, try to imagine it went on for multiple days. Try to lengthen the experience to weeks. Constantly feeling like a pariah and your friends treating you weird. People would always be whispering and making fun of you. Try to make that experience go longer. Try to imagine it went on for a year. It’d be hard to make friends and for whatever seemingly trivial reason you were embarrassed, even your parents treat you differently now. You’d snowball into an emotional mess after a year. So now try to imagine it went on for as long as ten years. you would be so mad and frustrated that everyone treated you so poorly when deep down you just wanted to be accepted. There’s two possible ways a person would come out of all this. In the first outcome the individual would be hurt when even people they thought were close to them treated them so badly. This cruel nature of others would become a new truth to them, reinforced through painful experiences. They would develop an anxiety motivated by this cynical outlook that had plenty of time to take root. The second outcome would be the person who had been so constantly prejudiced would grow from it. They would have developed the insight that this is how other people can be, and in being an underdog they’d seek to do better. They would regard their experience and whatever title used to label them as their badge of courage and strength. They would see it all as just a moment in their life which they learn to get up from. Now if you were still able to maintain this fantasy that you were that person degraded for over a decade consider that whatever that label was, that was used put you down is now considered cool. Those same people who didn’t have the slightest idea of what you felt are now saying that they are. You know immediately that this is a lie. Not only do they not accept the people that they label, but they don’t even understand what it means. If you even tried to explain this they would then say you aren’t that label that had been forced on and that you were
something else. That you don’t get it. That you’re a hater or a troll. In short they would be saying that your suffering and making peace with it all is wrong. They would be saying that your growing from this unpleasant experiences was wrong. And despite the lack of insight others failed to have, they were right for what they did and that you are still wrong. Open your eyes now. Still with me? It was a lot to imagine and it’s never easy to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Statuses like nerd or geek are things that are earned. People who are quick to call themselves a nerd or geek try to validate it with a laughable example. “I read a book today, I’m SUCH a nerd.” “I bought the over-rated, flavor of the month video game to show off gamer cred, I’m SUCH a nerd.” This is equivalent of saying playing basketball once makes you such an athlete athlete or getting good at making eggs makes you such a chef. All these things take dedication on the individuals’ part. Just like an athlete may sacrifice time to train a real nerd or geek has also sacrificed just as much or more. Sometimes not even by choice. The technical term for this is cultural commodification. It’s when someone’s culture is dismantled and bastardized rather than being appreciated holistically so that it can be sold to people who don’t understand it. In the case of being a nerd, it’s to make someone seem like a smart and unique individual. This isn’t a new thing. It has been going on for hundreds of years
even in American history Native American were branded as warriors or pure, magical people for the purpose of selling products. Even to this day Native Americans culture is commoditized for something even more tasteless than politically incorrect butter. What we have in case of self-proclaimed nerds
there’s another form of cultural commoditization called commodification of dissent. Punk rock and Hip hop two examples of past sub-cultures that were commoditized for dissent. Where Punk Rock had anti-establishment, do it yourself, roots you can now buy the music off iTunes and pick up a studded punk belt and accessories at the mall. Hiphop’s focus was channeling the frustration and energy of those living in abject urban areas into music where now most hip hop endorses obscene wealth and even violence. This is the business of selling culture. This is what’s happened to “nerd” and “gamer” culture. It was inevitable that being a nerd and gamer would become culturally commoditized. When any sub-culture gets popular enough it gets torn apart and sold. As technology became cheaper and more utilized, computers and video games became less of a hobbyist’s tool and more of a common place thing for those who feel there’s no limit to how much they should pay for their facebook and twitter enabled smartphone. Not only could someone try to claim they were one of the labels for the purpose of trying to appear smarter or cooler but also gain the prestige of someone who’s insightful and was an early adopter. That they were in general a BETTER person. Remember how you felt during the exercise? How uncomfortable you were? How you’d liked to have just been accepted? That’s what gamers and nerds feel. Marketers and anyone else wanting to profit from this phenomenon not only realize that there was a demand general public but as a result of the alienation these nerds and gamers would also pay for the idea of being accepted. They would pay someone to exploit their hope. This sort of manipulation goes on constantly and it’s fed to the public in music, products and TV. The Big Bang Theory is a prominent example of this sort of cultural commodification. It’s not uncommon to find people that claim to be actual nerds that are offended by the characters on the Big Bang Theory. Some even go as far as to call it “nerd black face” and while it’s a strong comparison it’s not that far off. The Big Bang Theory is a extremely popular television show that perpetuates an image of what it means to be a nerd or gamer or even a scientifically adept person. While I could make a strong case by reading plot summaries and watching clips, I would always be met with the weak counter argument of “But you don’t watch it!” So being a reasonable person I am I took one evening and watched over five hours of The Big Bang Theory. Which isn’t hard to do when its in syndication on nearly every channel. Objectively the show is anti-intellectual and misandric toward young men who may find more satisfaction in their careers
and hobbies. It depicts them as clowns who are brilliant in their fields but mentally the equivalent of teenage boys unable to solve the problems they create.teenage boys, unable to solve the problems they create. Penny, their normal, attractive friend and from across the hall is more often than not their savior and the voice of reason. She is there for the viewer to relate to as she displays dominion over these geniuses and belittles their own agency. As to be expected nearly all the guys have been given girlfriends at this point, except for the token ethnic character because the writers have clumsily tried to develop his sexuality in the past. It seems they want to maintain the option of making him gay if they ever need to feign a greater tolerance for diversity. If one of the girls does not provide a resolution to whatever conflict the guys get into, it’s left to Leonard the most “normal” of the nerds to resolve it. If you can look at a story without emotional bias, you will not only learn about the writer but what ideas the writer wants their audience to accept. With a long running show like this these messages are abundant and consistent. If all that wasn’t bad enough it even get its references to science and the nerd sub-culture right half the time and are there just to bank on how little the audience knows while making them feel smart. Make no mistake The Big Bang Theory is a damaging show that destroys people’s understanding of sub-cultures they’re not a part of. It is the perfect example of misinformation that people not only accept but even like. What I’ve offered are facts about the shows plot and the conclusions formed are inherent. They aren’t out of spite from someone who thinks they’re being misrepresented. There are normal people who’s opinions aren’t only valued but held up as truth, who look down on these characters. This is bad. Anita: All of these ads are just using women’s
bodies to appeal to geeks and games Anita: People that look like this. If you want to see some shows that portray smart or nerdy characters in a less cynical way I highly suggest the British comedy The IT Crowd or classic TV series Fraiser. The nerds, intellectuals and every day people of those shows are presented as flawed but lovable characters, instead of ineffectual stereotypes that spout catch lines to be printed on shirts. I’ve repeatedly brought up the gamer subculture because this is where the topic has really been going. A video discussing the nerd sub-culture couldn’t be done properly without even recognizing the other Now that consoles have become web enabled, phones act like computers and websites track your peferences and “Likes” from other accounts the lines between media have blurred and there is much potential for the audience and the future of video games. The industry and it’s associated culture is still young and while there are those with little integrity and an abundance of influence with which to compromise the potential we need only to remain quiet and ignorant of what’s happening around us to let it be stripped of meaning like the cultures before. A real culture isn’t bought in a store and it isn’t sold to you in a thirty second advertisement it forms naturally and it’s human That’s why this channel exists. In future time I might make videos that address the nature of the video game industry For now though I hope I can give you enough to make those conclusions for yourself.

100 thoughts on “You’re Not such a Nerd: Commodification of Nerd and Gamer Sub-culture

  1. Every time they mention something "nerdy" in Big Bang the laugh track plays, as if we're supposed to laugh and go "what a NERD", talk about insulting. I don't agree that Penny is the voice of reason, but rather just as much an insulting character. She is often portrayed as stupid, sexually promiscuous, a drunk, or just used as a punch line when she stares blankly at whatever random science another character has spouted

  2. Every time they mention something "nerdy" in Big Bang the laugh track plays, as if we're supposed to laugh and go "what a NERD", talk about insulting. I don't agree that Penny is the voice of reason, but rather just as much an insulting character. She is often portrayed as stupid, sexually promiscuous, a drunk, or just used as a punch line when she stares blankly at whatever random science another character has spouted

  3. If someone who is fresh out of culinary school tried to work a 5 star kitchen and claim how much of a gourmet he is, while insulting the other chefs in the kitchen who have been on the line for 10+ years, he would get just as much grief. Don't try to set up a little straw man to villify those nerds who have lived the life described in the beginning of the video, and are annoyed by this new crop of upstarts who act like they know it all.

  4. According to the King of the Nerds…

    A Nerd is someone who takes something designed to be "Fun"; like a book, a show, a sport, a game, ect, and turns it into something that is "Not Fun" like a job or a religion.

    That's it.

  5. That was actually a quote from a film critic on the subject of what a Nerd is. He doesn't have a cable television program.

    You know what is absolutely stupid though? Trying to tell someone they aren't part of a group that is served as the suffix for any interest that is indulged to obsessive extremes. Someone who obsesses about technology is a tech-nerd. Comic Books a Comic Book-Nerd. Sports a Sports-Nerd, ect ect ect.

    Nerd Culture is exclusionary enough.

  6. No, he doesn't call himself the King of Nerds, others call him that because he has a web series that oftentimes condenses comic book storylines into 5 minute explanations. He personally calls himself MovieBob.

    But that's beside the point.

    Yeah, Nerd was once used as a singular insult. It isn't used that way anymore. So get over it.

  7. These days "Nerd" is used to describe a fixation on something that borders on the obsessive. Sometimes it's cute, sometimes it's unhealthy, sometimes it's just obnoxious.

    Therefore, to debate what makes someone a Nerd in this day and age is about as pointless as debating the Chicken-Egg question. Yes, I understand it was used as an insult Keyword: WAS. It isn't used that way anymore. So get over it and move on.

  8. The point is that Nerd is no longer an insult. And getting upset at the fact that people are calling themselves nerds all over the place is a really weird thing to be upset by. And your only basis is the fact that some people used it as an insult in the past.

    Anakin Skywalker doesn't bitch and moan this much.

    Maybe you ought to watch this /watch?v=f0mDvGN8-0A

  9. Not all nerd/geek types were picked on about it. I wasn't. In fact, I was somewhat popular. The idea that one has to essentially go through hell & earn the right to be a geek/nerd is a terrible argument. I hate the insult fake geek girl. Just because somebody does stand up to your personal standard doesn't make them less interested or involved in a hobby. I strongly disagree with everything in this video with the exception of your analysis of The Big Bang Theory. That show is highly insulting.

  10. I guess I should point out that Anita Sarkeesian is a hack. (Not because I think she's fake, just somebody who doesn't research what they're trying to prove.) I just realized my previous statement made it sound like I was on her side. I can't have that misunderstanding floating around.

  11. I don't suppose you're black by any chance? Or you're big? If you were 6'1 at 17 or also happened to be naturally good at sports then no, you weren't picked on, congratu-welldone.

    Serious about that race thing btw, I'm a lifelong unfortunate, but my four oldest friends are all black guys, and they were really into RPGs, card games and Beyblades too but when I did that shit I got picked on and called a pussy, and when they did it it became popular…

  12. God I hate BBT. I maintain that the world would be a strictly better place if Community was the biggest thing in comedy right now, and BBT would just be forgotten like the stain that it is…

  13. Thank you! I could never explain properly what's going on in the nerd/geek culture right now and as such I wasn't taken very seriously. But you nailed it perfectly, and as such has lifted a huge weight from my shoulders. You even mentioned Anita, even though that could've easily been skipped over by someone who doesn't really know what he talks about. But you didn't, and that makes you an instant hero in my book.

  14. When I say now that I am a nerd, at the age of 29, that doesn't mean that I am trying to ingratiate myself with the cool new fad. That means that I, after years of being bitter because no one else seemed to understand that all I ever wanted was acceptance on my own terms, have finally grown up enough to become more comfortable with myself. Being nerdy or geeky or smart isn't anything to be ashamed of, and not everyone who calls themselves a nerd in public is not a "real" nerd.

  15. One thing to note about Sheldon from "The Big Bang Theory," though, is that he isn't just portraying a nerd. I mean, yes, he portrays a nerd, but the thing about Sheldon is that he is a character that has Asperger's Syndrome. Some of his qualities that some people would consider making fun of nerds are actually terrible problems that people with AS suffer from. I mean, even the actor who plays him even said that he got the idea of Sheldon from "Look Me in the Eyes."

  16. Maybe it came off as a straw man, but the point remains that words will never hurt you. The only people who are upset because of a person's view of themselves is either insecure or immature.

  17. I actually never said anything directed at you directly dude, I said general claims, like anyone who is mature wouldn't cast out or call out anyone for something as dumb as "how hard a fan r u." I did say your video was defending the "jocks of today," the people who have to drill every woman that walks by like the spanish inquisition, but because I don't find them worth defending. If your one of them, I'm sorry I hurt you, but I actually said nothing at you.

  18. Nice video. Being a geek/nerd is just the flavor of the week right now, so we have all the people who lack an individual personality rushing to adopt it, and then throw themselves in front of their peers trying to showcase how trendy they are.
    Another good word for them is "poseur." The same people who claim to be geeks now probably also claimed to be skateboarders in the 90's. "Hey guys I'm playing Mario on N64 lol I'm such a nerd xD" "Going to see (insert new comic book movie) lol! #geeklife"

  19. I concur, but first of all that happens with every show out there. Barney is the stereotypical straight guy who focuses only on sex, and Family Guy itself is wrought with stereotypes. However, as a gay guy, I've noticed that usually stereotypes are the first way into getting acceptance, then full understanding comes later. For example, gay guys used to be seen as the "gay best friend" fashion accessory, but now they're emerging as more than just "that gay guy" in other shows.

  20. While I didn't felt offended by Big Bang Theory, I like some of the arguments in this video. It's good food for thought to, how something that was considered uncool and it was rare in the past, became mainstream and followed by those who would despise it in the past.

  21. Being a nerd takes no dedication I'm sorry that's fucking stupid. Of course capitalism has commodified the sub cultural aspects for profit, that's what it does. But being a nerd is just about being a disassociated obsessive 1 dimensional shit head in the end. If you make that the totality of your identity you're no worse than a football fan with no other thoughts in their heads. Anyone can be a nerd, it's not hard and you're not special for it.

  22. Commodification has happened to every popular trend on the upswing. Just look at how commodified gangster culture is, or hippies and hipsters. Nerd culture itself has commodified the Victorian era as steampunk. Trends come and go, and popular media will commodify and market whatever is trendy. Becoming all flustered and offended by this natural cycle of trends will only serve to show how thin-skinned and lacking in perspective and self-assurance you are.

  23. I just came across your chan and I sincerely am grateful that there is someone thats the voice of the truth. I fully relate to your vid, as a teen, i would often play games or watch my fav superhero cartoons to escape from reality that was highschool and collage life. I think if i was so sum up in one word how i feel about commodification of geek/nerds is Unfair. It's unfair that we had to go though life being picked on and bullied cuze of the things we love only to now watch them be exploited.

  24. ever since those "trends" have started, they haven't stopped. i grew up in a ghetto, i saw things that you wouldn't imagine. and its glorified in music, tv, and marketing? its sickening, and you have no idea what your talking about. these things are being ingrained in our youth, it will not just "come and go".

  25. I grew up with video games. I have clocked thousands of hours across various games, I support indies and I will almost certainly go into game development.
    I have the social skills of a shit-stained lemon.
    I am one of the very best mathematicians in one of England's best grammar schools (that's school for smart people, for you Americans).
    I am pretty much the definition of "nerd".
    Do I give a fuck?
    No, of course not.
    They say that "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me". I have learned through putting up with internet "trolls" to disregard the shit that spews out of people's mouths. I'm intelligent enough to avoid fights, so I won't be getting any broken bones any time soon. You can deal with this shit easily, just be resourceful. Accept that life's a bitch and do whatever the fuck you want. I don't care what other people think, I'll be laughing at them when video games become the dominant form of media.

  26. I don't understand why some women want to be called Geeks and Nerds. I see them with the words printed across their pants and shirts and it confuses me. Are they trying to associate with a particular group of people, a group who are often looked down upon as being 'creeps' by the very same group of girls?

  27. I think sometimes people use the term 'nerd' to make light of this, and to help normalise this experience. The same with 'I'm so socially awkward' – it's away to brush all those experiences to one side, and to simplify your experience to help other people to relate to that experience

  28. Finally, an intellectual basis and reasoning for why TBBT is a horrible show. I could never understand its popularity and pitied people who would refer all "nerd or geek" references from that show. Well said.

  29. Allow me to ask you a question. Don't you at least see the problem in preemptively writing off the people who claim to be nerds as posers? You need evidence to do these type of things, and all you have is your assumption that they aren't because they're into popular stuff.

    Also, I hope you realize the show that you claim oppresses "real nerds" is a fucking comedy, i.e.: something you shouldn't take seriously. Accusing a comedy of strawmanning (in this case, claiming not all nerds are like that) is an instant no-go, and you only make an ass out of yourself by doing so.

    And for the love of God, quit with all the bitching and the entitlement. People share your interest for geek culture but they aren't as "hardcore" as you are, big fucking tragedy. What I pretty much get from this video, as a whole, is that you think people can't call themselves nerds if they don't have the same amount of obscure nerd knowledge as you do. If you don't want to be seen as an elitist, I suggest being more accepting of the fact that there are people who happen to share your interest for geek culture but don't have the same tastes as you do.

  30. My inevitable reaction to accusations of fake geekdom is "holy shit, you can read minds?" Seeing as unlike a culture, a subculture is defined by your level of interest in a thing, something literally only you can judge.
    Also, "fake" geeks are inevitably girls and women. Quit pretending like they aren't, because it's kinda relevant to the issue.

  31. There are many, MANY, of the kinds of people talked about in this video in my school. This made me come up with some questions that i know by heart, but fake " Nerds or Geeks" are left in the dust with. Here they are:
    1: Hey man, have you seen the new intel i2000 processor?
    Answer: There is no processor by this name on our market today. ( Hopefully intel does not make one to ruin my question)
    2: What does HTML mean?
    Answer: HyperText Markup Language is the answer to this, but fake nerds will attempt to escape this question by calling you an idiot. Just say what it means to their face. It makes them mad.
    3: Ask them to open command prompt on ms windows or ask them to show you how to "code" something in a game.
    Answer: I found this question to be my favorite because there was this one time that I asked this question and someone typed a bunch of random numbers into ms word and told me it was a "program"!!!!! XD!
    I hope you find this advice useful in you quest to call out all the fake nerds and geeks. Being a "nerd/geek" This subject does not offend me, but rather makes me angry. I have spent hours fixing bugs in my program ( Its name is codex ) and just plane building it. It makes me mad when someone like a fake nerd can take credit for being smart but not unpopular. They think they can just have all the pros of being a nerd, but none of the cons. However, this is just my view of this subject and is only an opinion. Good day to you.

  32. Great video. I really despise the Big Bang theory for these exact reasons. Even if I get everything they say there it's not even funny, it's really just offensive.

    But let's all not forget that this is a fad. Just like in the 90's it was popular to copy black culture and that was sold by the boatload. We had all those black sitcom shows, and everyone copied black slang, so much so that black people abandoned a lot of it (fo' shizzle, dawg), copying the way they dress etc etc etc… all of that pissed black people the fuck off, understandably, and now what is in is to be a "geek" (this way you don't annoy an ethnic community, so it's safer to make fun of it and exploit it). The Big Bang Theory is riding on that same wave that black sitcom shows in the 90's rode on. It's a fad and it'll pass with the next generation. Just be glad that you don't have to hide your power levels as much as we had to in the 80's-90's.

  33. Those lovely moments when you hear what you've been trying to properly say for ages.
    Thanks, AP guy

  34. You're not describing what a nerd is, at all.  You're focusing on disparate elements of the experience as a sort of counterculture response to the trend you explore in your video.  That's what you're expressed opinion here is, a knee jerk with zero original thought in it.

    Words and meanings are constantly evolving concepts regardless, and don't function in the way you seem to imagine.  Your restrictive misunderstanding is harmful taken as a whole, and I'm against it.

    That said, good on your for trying to think for yourself and express yourself.  Keep doing it, and let's hope you get somewhere really fulfilling someday.

  35. It's not so special today to be a gamer. Why all the fuzz? Everyone plays games now. And you know when we play? When everything else fails, when procrastination comes in. Even hardcore games, you play and learn, it's all fun and crazy, everyone could do it and they are addictive, and nowadays it's not like the old times you had to setup autoexec.bat and config.sys in DOS for extended/expanded memory and all that.

    And it's fun, I do play games too. I do procrastinate badly and I love it sometimes. But as a hobby programmer I instantly appreciate people who do something creative in their computer, even if not coding, it could be making art, writting music or making game mods and stuff. And then you don't need the glasses and the geeky t-shirt. Your creative work speaks. That's how I like it.

    I would only be surprised if I'd seen "wow, a girl who writes code" (and I have found some even since the 80s, and they do exist, and today I don't make a fuzz of it because it can be overwhelming, just let it exist, be secretly happy about it and hope it evolves). Glasses or not. And if I was a girl and they told me "Hey you are a girl, you are not real, you fake nerdiness" I would say "Shut up, I am just interested about my hobby. I love games (or I love programming or computers or whatever). I don't need to prove anything.."

  36. I'd consider myself to be a nerd, but I don't want to be accepted by the "cool kids" or whatever. You're trying to speak for all nerds, but you can't with that beginning experiment. I will say, however, that I think the rest of your video is spot on.

  37. I don't care much for labels anyways- they just get in the way of our perception of how complex people really are. Some people would consider myself a nerd, and many of my friends would probably be considered nerds as well (some "real" and some "fake") but to me, we're all just people.

  38. This is by-far the most rational and straightforward explanation I've seen for something that's so hard for people to understand: People don't like it when something they care passionately about and are deeply invested in is turned into a fashion statement for the sake of even more profit.

  39. As someone who grew up lonely and depressed, bullied and outcast because of being a nerd (along with being a physical freak), and as someone who didn't need to do your stupid exercise because I already know how that feels due to years of abuse at the hands of the "cool kids", I've only got one thing to say to you. 

    GO FUCK YOURSELF!

    Seriously.  Who died and made you God King Of Everything Nerdy?  What right do you have to set yourself up as the final arbiter of who can call themselves a nerd/geek and who can't? 

    When I discovered that, yes there actually such a thing as a geek community, I was overjoyed.  I finally found a peer group!  A group of people who were clever and imaginative and eccentric, and more important than all that, they were accepting!  No matter how weird you were, no matter how much of an outcast you were, you were welcome there. 

    And then self-righteous hipster COCK HOLES like you pop up and suddenly no, not everybody is welcome any more.  "Ohh, I was into it before it was cool!" Really?  Congratulations, here, have the congressional medal of NOBODY GIVES A FUCK!

    How you try this for a thought-experiment instead? Suppose someone shows up at a con dressed up as, for the sake of argument, Amy Pond (I'm using a female example here because in my experience girls are far more likely to be a target of this nonsense than guys), but she doesn't know any doctor prior to David Tennant is.  So what?  Maybe she's only just started getting into Doctor Who but hasn't seen a whole lot of it yet?  A proto-nerd, if you will?  What would be the better thing to do, embrace her into the group as someone who is interested but not yet knowledgeable, mentor them, maybe loan them your DVDs of the Tom Baker era?  Or accuse her of being a faker, chasing her off altogether, resulting in a smaller weaker community and some lady who now thinks she can't even fit in with the geek subculture? 

    People like you don't want to make the community a better place, you just want to set up a clique and make yourselves its fucking gate-keepers.  I dread to think what it would have been like for me if I was only just discovering online chat and geek community today instead of in 1996.  I'd probably be terrified, and then I'd be alone and without friends because I can't even fit in in the one place that's supposed to be prepared to accept people like me.  I've met people through the community, boys and girls, who have been into everything from Formula One to Russian animation to agricultural science (hi Amy!) to Douglas Adams, to early electronic music and anything else you care to name. 

    Who sets the Right To Call Yourself A Geek final exam anyway?  Being a geek/nerd isn't exactly an extremely narrow field, you know.  For example judging by your accent you're an American.  Can you tell me the names of the last five Formula One world champions without looking it up/googling it?  No?  FAKER!  How dare you claim you have a right to decide who's a geek and who isn't.  You fucking well don't. 

    I know about all there is to know about Formula 1 from the 80s onwards, I can tell you, for example, that Adrian Newey designed in the span of about 20 years 10 of the cars that won the Constructor's Championship (and that most of the non-Newey cars that won it in the same timeframe were built by Ferrari), but I don't know the first thing about Magic: The Gathering, other than it's a thing.  Does that make me a faker for not knowing about Magic: The Gathering, or does it make you the faker for not knowing about Formula One?  Should someone be kicked out of The Club for not knowing why Over Nine Thousand is hysterically funny? 

    Give me a fucking break.  Gatekeepers like you really fucking piss me off.  You have no business telling other people whether or not they're welcome in the geek community.  You're no better than fraternity/sorority house douche bags who think they're so superior because they live in the same house and can chug half a keg of fucking Budweiser.  If there's any kind of people we don't need in our subculture it's people like you.

  40. Honestly what's with all the offended Hipsters? Y'know the irony is in their en masse attempt to be unique they all become homogenous, in their attempts at acceptance they become parochial and exclusive and in their co-opting of our culture they've made it the thing they hate the most… mainstream. Given time they'll move on and cling to the newest thing, in terms of the internet few of them will even get past tumblr, let alone reddit and under it all those who have been nerds for a long time will still be nerds, qualitatively different nerds perhaps but you tell me one of these "neo-nerds" who will actively seek out Atari ST discs and consoles, who will trudge through old usenet groups, and who will actually be able to fix or at least un-brick their macbooks and PCs? Worse than that is nerds are rather lucky at this stage, the gamer is being co-opted by gender identity politics seeking to enact a matriarchy. Co-opting in general sucks, but metal has remained homogenous below the surface, us nerds can too. Gaming tried to do that and their rock was overturned and they were attacked. I can only hope that identity politics never comes to the rest of "nerd-dom"

  41. I think that this image of an oppressed group, is just a tool to fool people into believing that you mean noble deeds. Like the Romans "accepting" Christianity.

  42. For me, it was growing up playing video games without any clue that my being a girl interested in that as a hobby was abnormal. I was either treated with hostility, or prized by others because of my supposed rarity. I also enjoyed watching my dad work on computers when they first became available to regular people. It fascinated me so much to watch him input commands in DOS. back then, you had to manually type in the command to launch a program, rather than clicking an icon. As I got older, I became more fascinated by computers. I started with first learning how to replace parts and putting them in on my own. All the while, I had my dad watching over me and answering my questions when I didn't understand something. Because of him, I have a love of technology and a constant, unending desire to learn the ins-and-outs of it. Same for programming!

    I never knew that my hobbies were abnormal for a girl.

    I always got called a loser, dork, nerd, etc… when I would try to find others who shared my interests. The ones that actually did, mostly would greet me with hostility because a girl wasn't supposed to have interest in that. To them, I was literally a threat and would be ostracized.

    Needless to say, the exercise reminded me of all of this. Being alone with no one but my dad to talk to about technology, and my mom about gaming since she was the original female gamer in my family. I still run into a lot of crap now too. Still treated with hostility because now you have the influx of "female gamers" and "female programmers" (I use the terms very loosely) who are making it even more difficult to be taken seriously. I keep my head down because I just want to do what I love, and am afraid of being called an attention whore if I even ADMIT to any of this. I have to play on my husband's account for Xbox if I want to play CoD or Gears because people will target me specifically if I use my own name; whether it's to send me messages demanding to see my boobs, or verbally harassing me while partnering up with others to bring me down in game and turn around and tell me how much I suck afterwards.

    It's honestly taking courage to admit this. I already know a lot of people are still going to say I'm attention whoring. That I'm not a real gamer, etc… But to be perfectly honest? I've hated being called a nerd. I knew what it meant, and to have people calling themselves that like it's such a cool thing, to me, just really kind of irks me.

    Forgive me for rambling. I've said too much.

  43. It is weird, seeing them walk around with "NERD" on their shirts and horn rimmed glasses. My sister does this. She's as far removed from being a nerd as is possible. For a start, she doesn't like Sci Fi films. She has a PS3 (only console) with 1 game (Also plays Sims 3 on her pre-built PC), which is Assassins Creed 3, which she barely plays. She belittles me with my video game collectables and laughs at me whenever I bring up anything to do with video games. She also doesn't read a lot, and when she does, it's what's currently popular. Right now she's reading "The Hunger Games". Other books she has read on her own volition are the "Twilight" books and the Harry Potter series. She also mocks those who use long words. She loves the Big Bang Theory.
    Yet she calls herself a nerd. She follows whatever is popular. She is as generic as they come.
    She was told by the media that being a nerd was cool, so she labeled herself as one and went to town. She is the average fake geek girl. Many people would chastise for calling her a fake geek girl, but that is what she is. Fake. Generic. A complete phony. And she's not the only one out there.
    This is truly "Nerd Blackface".

  44. While I wouldn't consider myself to be a nerd or geek in the standards of those folks who make programs at a young age, I really distance myself away from the mainstream "geeks" and "nerds."

    Whenever I talk about video games with my buddies, I normally talk about niche titles or games most people have never even heard off. Games like Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, Persona 3 and 4, Dark Souls, Drakengard, Catherine, Yakuza, Syphon Filter, and more of the top of my head. Most people who I talk to about video games don't even have a clue on these kinds of games and think I'm weird because of my knowledge of these games (even though they associate themselves with a word that would ironically label them as such).  

    I think that these people who falsely label themselves as geeks or nerds just want to be part of the popular crowd by going with this whole nerd and geek bandwagon. I don't mind it if these people are actually interested in our gaming culture, but if they want to be a part of it without looking like posers, then they could at least have the decency into making gaming a true part of their lifestyle or just even accepting those people they once made fun of. Labeling oneself as a geek or nerd and later attacking other people who happen to be real nerds or geeks, just comes across as being insanely hypocritical and mean-spirited. 

  45. When someone makes a stupid face in a selfie and says "Oh my god I'm so weird".
    When someone is sad about something and tells all their friends they're depressed.
    When someone sees something obviously out of place and says they have OCD.

  46. Wow. You are a preachy, elitist, entitled, douche nozzle. First off, you think just because someone hasn't been as tortured as perhaps you or someone else was, that means they can't be nerds and geeks? Oh, and the titles of geek and nerd are not something to be earned like a badge of identification you over inflated windbag. Back to your point of people who "pretend for attention" Who. The. Fuck. Cares. Guess what, those who don't care about nerd culture; the fakers just in it for attention? Have zero impact on your life and mine. Shocking right? The rest of the video complaining about nerd culture being "commoditized" and being "mainstream" isn't that a good thing? Doesn't that mean geeks and nerds won? I have no opinion about TBBT because I don't really watch it much. But is it promoting damaging misandry? Doubtful.

  47. I disagree with the premise that you have to be ridiculed to be a nerd. If someone gets really into Dungeons and Dragons, Magic the gathering and video games are they less of a nerd if no one mocks them for it? For me nerd just describes what hobbies you have and how devoted you are to them, nothing more.

  48. Can I ask an honest question here: Why should I care? Or to be more specific, what's really being lost here? I recognise that many of the earlier nerds came to form by using obscure sources of entertainment, which for a while was widely mocked. I also recognise that self-proclaimed "nerds" are annoying and obnoxious. But I don't see how that causes any meaningful effect on "genuine" nerds. Am I just missing something?

  49. i think yall need to chill out and stop over thinking so much. along with the maker of this video. do what you enjoy and fuck off m8. trollololol

  50. Also while I'm at it. Am I the only person who thinks that "nerd culture" didn't really exist? It seems just like something for trendhopping wannabe hipster twats to jump on so they claim that this "culture" that they made up is "toxic" and that they're so much better (see indie gaming). This same shit happens with other things. Just look at electronic music right now and how it's been ruined. Also never refer to Sarkeesian as a "pop culture critic." She's nothing but a con artist.

  51. I built my own pc, spend hundreds of hours playing video games, posted on 4chan (before the cuckening) and 8chan, and I'd never even think about calling myself a "nerd" or a "geek" or some other cancerous label. You're damn right.

  52. i watched it happen and can't believe it still. You can say after PS2 era, PS3 area ish, and Big Bang Theory also was realeased near that time, i think 2007. And you got the internet and facebook that got widely popular and also better accessible through mobile devices and always being "online". I'm such a nerd look at my flappy bird score.

  53. And also, i blame videogames more than anything for the casualization of the nerd culture. We need change.

  54. It's possible that I'm not a nerd so much as I am a weirdo, but not all "nerds" really judge me harshly, or at all. :]

  55. Mighty Zarquon! I thought that I was the only one. I always called it a show about Smart People written by Stupid People. Nerd-Black-Face is brilliant. I watched the Pilot – grown men get pantsed! And they just Take It. Old school Revenge of the Nerds FTW. It was stupid & stereotyping too and yet SO much more intelligent and familiar.

  56. Hatred of the bastardization of nerd culture has come from people with flawed insecure personalities who; all too aware of their own flaws and insecurities; project their hatred onto other people with flawed personalities that are too obnoxious and/or shallow to see why they are so insufferable.

    In a manner not too dissimilar to the dunning-kruger effect, many of these slightly more well adjusted yet vacuous individuals elevate their own subjective struggles to that of their "fellow nerds" without really understanding the depth or duration of the ostracism.

    Trying to reason with these people is impossible because they will never back down and realize how easy they had it because that would result in cognitive dissonance and self doubt. These sorts of people cannot step aside and let other people take the stage because they feel that they are the stars of the show.

    Of course i am not immune to this either. That's why to many nerds, talk of victim-hood and "nerd cred" is usually seen as attention grabbing and narcissistic. We mostly know how pointless it is because the thought of endless back and forth subjective progressive stack bullshit is enough to drive you insane.

    Everything else is due to fashionable re-branding to increase mainstream appeal and social media.

  57. I totally agree with this. I do however think it's wrong for people to assume what someone has been through just judging by how they look. I'm not saying that's what this video did at all, I just know it happens and it's quite ignorant. Someone may have been an outcast through out their entire school experience but in many instances it's really hard to know that just by looking at them. It also seems looked down on by some people here to label yourself a nerd.. but some people grew up always feeling like an outsider and have decided that instead of letting other people get them down to represent their interests and just own it. It's really easy to dismiss someone as "fake" but until you know their story you really can't.

  58. Ok, so I need some help with my situation. I'm not sure If I can be considered a "nerd" or not and I'll would apretiate it if someone gave me their opinion. Ok so I've been playing games, literally since I could ever remember. When I got into kindergarden I remeber not being very outgoing, so what I did for friends instead was giving someone I thought seemed populaur my allowance so they could let me hang out with them. As expected they accepted but It didn't feel genuine. so sometime later ( I dont remeber specificly when) I stoped And ended up hanging out with the social outcasts who told me about other gaming franchises. Eventually they were heavily bullied. and scared, I left them. I heavily regret that decision. Because if you ask me they were probably the only true nerds in my elementry school. I managed to survive the rest of elementry without any friends. and when I went to middle school, I joined a group of people who played yu-gi-oh at lunch out of view. Sure we were harrased but I didn't care. I found others like me. Later that year I had discovered steam and bought a bunch of indie games I adored… and thus here I am now.a guy who plays more indie and nintendo games than call of duty or skyrim or madden or whatever. My favourite game is pokemon mystery dungeon explores of sky and I pretend I don't like theese things and hide them from most people.

  59. why is the girl at 6.30 presumed to be 'claiming a label'? that cardboard gameboy thing is clearly handmade. is doing fanart or cosplay not geeky enough~~ or something :V

  60. A great channel. Hope it gains traction.
    Specifically, your semiotics video really helped me write a cultural analysis on The Big Bang Theory. It was useful for understanding context and myth.

  61. Good video! You bring up some interesting points but I just feel like the entire premise of this video is unnecessary. Is there really a need to get offended over someone calling themselves a nerd or seeing "nerd culture" sold in malls? Sure, I get annoyed when someone who only plays Candy Crush calls themselves a gamer but it is no reason to feel like they're oppressing you because of it. If anything we should be positive and welcoming to them; we should introduce them to new and exciting things that they wouldn't usually discover on their own. Just a thought 🙂

  62. I've been reluctant to accept my nerd qualities, but I cannot deny how much I enjoy computers, games, science-fiction, philosophy, or technical details such as Unicode, H.265 and sRGB. I still feel sad at times though. Not because of my interests, but because of a confused identity and being isolated in my appreciation of many things.

  63. I love my friend, but shit, every time she says "I'm such a nerd haha" I want to slap her in the face and scream "NO". She has two bold glasses and she doesn't even fucking need him. She watches The Big Bang Theory, dressed up as Harley Quinn on Halloween and she thinks she's sooooooooooo nerdy because she watched some Marvel movies. (I'm sorry if my grammar sucks, I'm from Germany and my English is still shit.)

  64. lolol 100% agree with the big bang theory comparison…. even "rick and morty" culture, while they don't portray nerds as incapable of helping thmeslves, they give the feeling to the casual viewer that they are now of the nerdy or intellectual variety. Big bang theory makes sure that the every day joe/jane can feel smart because they use pre recorded laughter to let you know when you're suppose to laugh. After you get use to the awkward punch lines, you are now a full fledged geek.

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