The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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o.pwuaioc
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Re: Is the modern nerd different from the nerds of old?

by o.pwuaioc Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:17 pm

J T wrote:
o.pwuaioc wrote:The younger generation is always worse than it actually is.
The older generation was always better than it actually was.


This is often true, which is why I brought up the topic. I can never tell if it's just changing personal perception, or I'm actually seeing a cultural shift.

Definitely seeing a cultural shift. Nerds now are different than nerds 20 years ago, who are different than nerds 40 years, etc... Therein lies the problem - people are always changing, always, and yet somehow, we're still something like human. :P
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Re: Is the modern nerd different from the nerds of old?

by Key-Glyph Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:57 pm

J T, I highly recommend you read the book American Nerd: The Story of my People by Benjamin Nugent. His research is done in the name of exploring the very question you posed -- and it's fantastically done, in my opinion. Nugent ranges from Pride and Prejudice to Anime Los Angeles, ham radios to Halo, and it's perfectly readable.

Here's a taste, regarding the phenomenon of nerdy aesthetic becoming hipster cool:

...nerds are a group by definition incapable of riding trends the ways that people in the creative professions need to ride trends. Nerds are the outsiders that hipsters gesture toward as a way of signaling an awareness and rejection of those forces that shape their lives (121-2).

Along these lines, I think one of the biggest changes in nerdiness is that the concept is being used in a plethora of different ways, instead of just a handy way to label individuals for ostracism. Retro nerdiness is becoming synonymous with general nostalgia for my generation, for one thing. Even people who had little interest in geeky stuff will crack a smile over somebody's Super Mario Bros. ringtone or go see the latest comic book movie blockbuster. It's an accepted symbol of our shared past, even for those who didn't partake. It's also, as others have noted, becoming a marker of coolness (for people who aren't otherwise overtly nerdy). If you're a "regular guy," for lack of a better term, donning nerdy wear is like an in-joke, a nod to your courage and/or silliness in recognizing something absurd that you might have liked in a bygone age. The worse the item is, the funnier -- and cooler -- the effect.

You can also be a legitimately cool nerd nowadays, which I don't think was possible before. The two concepts used to be mutually exclusive.
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Gamerforlife
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Re: Is the modern nerd different from the nerds of old?

by Gamerforlife Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:04 pm

Key-Glyph wrote:
You can also be a legitimately cool nerd nowadays, which I don't think was possible before. The two concepts used to be mutually exclusive.


This is the best thing about that post. I think more people who view themselves as nerds need to be aware of this. You don't have to be like a Chris Hardwick or a Patton Oswalt, to whom the idea of a cool nerd probably seems ludicrous

and for the record, I love those guys, but they represent a certain group of people who hold on to this notion that nerds are not cool, or at least they shouldn't be(in fact, I think Patton has gone on record about not liking how cool certain things he views as nerdy have become in our current culture)
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Re: Is the modern nerd different from the nerds of old?

by CFFJR Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:59 pm

Gamerforlife wrote:and for the record, I love those guys, but they represent a certain group of people who hold on to this notion that nerds are not cool, or at least they shouldn't be(in fact, I think Patton has gone on record about not liking how cool certain things he views as nerdy have become in our current culture)


Its almost a desire to segregate isn't it?

Some people seem to want you to be stuck within a particular stereotype so that everyone can be neatly categorized.

Too bad for them, it just isn't that simple.
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J T
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Re: Is the modern nerd different from the nerds of old?

by J T Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:33 pm

With the popularization of "geek chic" fashion, I think it has become increasingly hard to tell who is a pure nerd and who isn't.

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Re: Is the modern nerd different from the nerds of old?

by foxhound1022 Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:11 am

I very much believe there is a difference. Not so much as to the attributes of what constitutes being a nerd, but how society percieves them. I think that barrier has been broken down somewhat by the progression of people's ability to understand and accept, or tolerate things that are uncool or foreign to them. Therefore, maybe that is why it seems there are more people than ever who would fall into the ranks of “geekdom”.

I also believe there are more individuals who claim to be in this culture, simply because it is considered a clique, and is no longer as avant-garde as belonging to this group would have been say, 20 to 30 years ago. I agree with the statement that now there are even more jaded, embittered bastards that are evident in nerd culture, but I also think that these same people were prevalent before, but since there was a stronger social backlash to openly claim yourself as such; to them the idea was reprehensible. Now since being a geek/nerd is acceptable or even cool, they fold themselves into the ranks, making those who do have a geniune compassion for others simply look bad. It's very difficult for me to not include myself as one of the self-loathing, truculent naysayers, because I too was made to look foolish by the social status quo for various reasons: but I know that fear of things one does not understand can breed very irrational and sometimes tumultous outcomes. I do not claim to be a nice person, but I try my best to discern the difference between ignorance and malice.
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Re: Is the modern nerd different from the nerds of old?

by Menegrothx Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:47 pm

I guess I could be classified as a modern age nerd, but I personally dont feel like I am a nerd since I have no intrest in computers or programming and I dont care about science that much anymore. Or well I am intrested in science and computer programming, but my attention span is too short and I am too lazy to study. Its more convenient to play video games and watch cartoons all day long. Quite many so called nerds of my age group have that problem. Its more fun to play World of Warcraft all day long than to learn C++.

The difference between old school nerds and new school nerds is that people who grew up with Commodores and such actually learned computer programming and other useful skills, while the more younger generation nerds that fall in between the tech savvy/intelligent old school nerds and the people who started using internet when it became socially acceptable are slackers. Just compare old computers with modern computers, old RPGs with modern RPGs etc and you will see the difference. When you grow up with things like high speed internet connection and graphical user interface, its no wonder that people these days have shorter attention spans. Nowadays computers and video games are designed to be very user/casual friendly.



I some times wish I were able to do something like this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SdGkkp1aq8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63_nw-z2inQ
Last edited by Menegrothx on Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is the modern nerd different from the nerds of old?

by Valkyrie-Favor Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:05 pm

What's a nerd?
Tsun tsun dere tsun dere tsun tsun~ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . UPDATED trade list
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Re: Is the modern nerd different from the nerds of old?

by cookie monster Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:12 pm

Valkyrie-Favor wrote:What's a nerd?

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A nerd is them candies made by wille wonka :lol:
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Re: Is the modern nerd different from the nerds of old?

by god Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:04 am

Menegrothx wrote:my attention spam is too short
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