Mon—Tuesday Musings: Obsession and Nerd Culture/Fandoms

Whoops I have been gone for over a week.  Noooooo … sorry.

Today I am going to talk a little bit about something I have been thinking about lately.  I watched a video the other week from Lauren Fairweather wherein she discussed what “real” fans are in her fandom of choice.  It got me thinking about some comments and reactions from people that I recieve when I say I’m a nerd and they consider themselves nerds as well.

First I would like to say that personally I follow John Green’s definition of nerd; a person who is “unironically enthusiastic about stuff”.  That is an extremely wide and vague definition on purpose.  Being a nerd has become fairly main stream, or perhaps just within the existing nerd culture their is a subculture of mainstream nerdom.  I have always been someone who has unabashedly promoted and stood behind the things I enjoy doing, watching, listening to, and reading.

I consider myself a nerd because I spend two nights a week with friends playing Dungeons and Dragons or some other iteration of role playing game (personally I would recommend Grimm if you are looking for a new system).  I also play video games.  I used to read comics though I haven’t kept up with the current iteration and would fall under the category of people who read the originals, however mostly the iterations from the 80s and 90s (this is because I got my comics from flea markets and tag sales rather than the one comic shop which is 45 minutes away from my home).  I used to actively belong to a Harry Potter role playing site.  I listen to KPop and read books upon books upon books from young adult cheesy romance to literary fiction.  All of these things allows me to say, with a great deal of pride, that I am a nerd.

However as of late I have noticed that people in nerd culture feel a need to categorize themselves.  You need to belong to certain fandoms to fit in with the group.  If you don’t do x or you don’t follow y you aren’t a real nerd.  Then even if you do watch and like those things if you don’t know every detail about the actor’s lives and haven’t read every fanfiction ever written with you OTP then you aren’t a true fan.  What is this?

I thought these pastimes were meant to bring people together.  We should be able to sit down and discuss the things we like about it.  Instead I am get a door slammed in my face because I don’t watch supernatural and am not a fan of Dr. Who.  I can admit that from the episodes I have seen there really great episodes in both series but the series as a whole didn’t capture me.  Wait, why are you … oh I see I’m not nerdy enough.  I have broken a rule.  Well then.

I wish people would stop competing for superiority.  We are equals.  I am a human being with like and dislikes.  Some of the things I like might not be what you like and the same could be said for you, however my adamantly refusing to watch Star Wars does not make me less of a person, less of a nerd, or worse off than you are.

Have you all noticed this trend as well.  It seems like there is an entrance exam to nerd culture and from what I can tell it is turning people away from the things we love.  If you love something shouldn’t you be trying to spread it around to get more people to see how great it is?  I try to do that.  How about you?

That’s it for today, I am going to try and write up a book review for Wednesday and then I have class to go to.  I hope you guys haven’t missed me too much.  If you have read this far why not leave me a comment below, let me know the things you love or tell me about an experience you have had trying to love something.  I will talk to you again soon, make sure the Pied Piper is always calling you!


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