Fact: Nerds come in all colorful shapes and sizes. Working in a comic shop allows me to see them in all their horrifying glory. So today I’m going to put my skills to the test and box them into harsh generalizations.
*Note: The goal of this wasn’t to polarize and judge nerds (that happens with or without a “type checklist”). I love my community and just wanted to share how I see it.
1. The Scenester
There are people who think our interests are cool. These are the small groups of twenty-something kids that periodically show up at your LCS/convention center/friday night magic/etc in Ray-bans and moccasins. They may be fans of 1-3 comics titles or recognize just a few of those console games(probably Xbox), but nerds they are and should be respected as such.
Nerd culture is becoming mainstream and people want to be apart of it. The Scenesters boldly explore our lairs with an unapologetic approach that can be off-putting to other nerds.
Those of us with slightly better communications skills will have a hard time with this group. Especially if you’re at a lame party and assume that the kid in the Batman shirt knows that the Joker existed before Heath Ledger.
They’re the ones to thank for those Loki leggings but too busy being more interested in building a solid vinyl collection.
2. The Casual
I think this group really gets a bad rap. Yeah, yeah, Gamers- I know they fuck up your console sales stats, and it’s a little harder for you to fight that 14 year old on your forum but let’s put away the pitch forks for a second.
Casuals are essential to the nerdiverse. Without the casual, we would never be socially acceptable human beings. Casuals aren’t limited by little things, like talking, the way the rest of us are. They are our bridge to the rest of the world. Without them, do you think any of the Terminator movies would have happened? Sure, they’re not as obsessive and yeah, their opinions are a little dated but that doesn’t mean they aren’t any less passionate.
Casuals have lives and are often confused with Scenesters. We shouldn’t fault them for it. Instead we should be welcoming and supportive. Our treatment of the Casual is a reflection of us. All of us were Casuals at some point in the game.
3. The Closet Case
I really feel bad for these guys. They’re so afraid of how the world will see them that it’s kind of pathetic. The unfortunate truth is that it all comes down to sex for this group. They don’t believe that nerds can get tail. So they box up their comics/collectables/magic cards/ and store them in the coldest depths of their (literal) closets as if the ladies would grow talons if they were found out. Anyway, who would even want to date somebody who thinks Akira or Thor is lame? It’s probably the same type of person who believes that watching porn is a form of cheating.
This group doesn’t really deserve our wrath either. I know it’s difficult to accept. After all, it wasn’t the Casual that kicked your ass in middle school, it was the Closet Case.
4. The Elitist
Elitism has become a bit of a dirty word. We want our doctors to be elite. We want our scientists to be elite. Granted, nerd culture may not be as essential to society as medicine, but I want my recommendations from a professional- not just anybody. The Elitists can tell you, exactly who, what, where, when, and why as if the Internet never existed. They bask when their insights are put to the test. That makes them natural givers. Without them, our arguments would have way more invalidity and our existence would be obsolete.
Sadly, many nerd retailers hold this entitlement. That being said, not all Elitists are humanitarians; many are self serving and often hold the characteristics of a social disorder. They’ve invested a lot of time in their hobbies and need to feel a little bit more recognition than most. So they often create imaginary standards and boundaries then apply them to the rest of us. But they keep us in check. So a little hug once in a while ought to keep them grounded.
5. The Basement Dweller
It is all their fault! They’re the reason why we have that constant B.O. shame cloud hovering over us.
They look like shit, smell like shit, and have ruined everything for the rest of us. NO ONE LIKES THEM. Even the nerds that hang out with them only do so out of pity. They are horrible people with horrible views on themselves and the world.
Don’t feel bad for them! They’ve learned manipulation, it’s how they’ve been able to maintain their lifestyle (if you could call it that). It’s like they took their cue from Jabba in order to get slave Leia- even if it means dying from asphyxiation. Don’t believe me? Look at how they treat themselves; do you honestly think they are capable of treating others better? No! I’ve seen it way too many times, trust me! As a lady, these guys are quick to display their true colors.
They have no respect for themselves and even less for anyone else. They’re dirty, spoiled, and gluttonous, and they know it. They thrive on people feeling sorry for them so they take advantage and use people to get what they want. They live in their own creepy little worlds where they feel entitled to things that they don’t deserve. If you tell them so, then watch out, they have a lot of time on their hands to plot their vengeance because that’s how screwed up these guys are. It’s disturbing.
6. The Limitless
Larpers, Fan-Fic writers, Light Saber stage combatants, I had to give these guys their own section. They’re the ones who take that additional step into the place the rest of us regularly try to ignore. I’ll admit, learning to fight with a light saber is pretty cool and one of my first drawings was Sailor Moon fan art, but god damn it, you guys! WTF!? I am a giant loser but 10 seconds with one of these guys and I feel compelled to start taking lunch money.
That being said, not all of the Limitless take a stroll down the road of catastrophe. In fact, some of them even utilize that absent part of their brain (the one that tells them to stop) and harness their skills to create wonderful works of nerd art. They can even create fabulous business ventures and make a living off of the nerdy little things they love.
We laugh because we understand how they got there.
7. The Anime Kid
Yeah, they’re the new goth kid. Talk about polarizing, it’s like crack to these guys. Lolita, dark mori, dolly kei, ganguro, etc: they love to replicate their favorite Japanese fashion subculture and enforce it in their daily lives… and on anyone who might take an interest.
Personally I’m a fan of cosplay. I’m a fan of fun and anime kids love to have it. Unfortunately they’re a lot younger and more socially inept so there’s a lot of tears and miscommunication in their ranks. They idealize the shiny innocence and simplicity of the anime world so they fall easily into the trap where dreams are destined to be crushed.
With a little guidance, anime kids make great acquaintances and are always down for a good time.
8. The Gamer
Some like table-top, some like MMO, some like neck beards, all love competition. Their “fuck-you, broseph” attitudes often over-shadow their more charming qualities. They are highly intelligent, resourceful, and overall fun to be around. They are also the kings of cock-blocking so, if you’re dating one, then you better pick up a controller because this crew has serious tunnel vision. If only they could channel that determination and ambition into the real world, they would easily become our overlords.
9. The Collector
The common misconception about this group is that it’s all about the money. Profit plays a role, but at the heart of every good collector is nostalgia. If they weren’t so OCD then they would be on and episode of Hoarders and not this list.
Their investments are what make Nerdom so appealing. Do you think a Hello Kitty vibrator would even exist without the Collectors? So their homes look like a store, and it’s difficult to bring potential partners to the pad. Their time and meticulous effort should be respected. .
10. The Cool Kid Table
Just a small group of diverse nerds that are happy to be pals with anyone and look great while doing so. It is with these few, that we have to thank for fueling jealousy within the nerd community. They aren’t at all responsible for the negativity that festers there because they’re cool. That’s how they got to be at the cool kid table. They’re relaxed, confident, fun, and everything that enrages the socially inept. Your local Cool Kid Table may vary: there could be an elitist, a couple of gamers, some anime fan girls, even a casual collector (yeah, they exist). The point is that these nerds just want to enjoy their nerdom and don’t give two shits about the details.
They are often confused with Scenesters or Elitists that created their own table because they were too derpy to actually be cool. Identification is simple: The Cool Kid Table just wants to have a good time. Friendships will not end over missing yaoi volumes. They don’t like it when nerds try to oppress other nerds. They won’t hesitate to bully a bully. They will not make you feel like an idiot for not seeing Madoka Magica.
The last thing you want to do with this bunch is try to impress them. They can smell insecurity and don’t want any part in your drama. If you see a Cool Kid Table then just relax and be cool.
11. The Elder Wand
This batch is my favorite, and rightfully so. They’re probably the reason you even became a nerd. He could have been an uncle, a teacher, or that sweet old guy that helped you start that vinyl collection. The Elder Wand is a lone wolf and always makes this shit look good. He’s what everyone at the Cool Kid Table strives to be one day. He’ll introduce you to your new obsession and give you that magical nugget of wisdom that your pitiful life desperately needs.
I have been fortunate to have several of these guys grace my life and can testify to their power. They definitely walk to the beat of their own drum; just count your blessings if they choose to bestow their awesomeness on you.
12. The Unicorn
They’re beautiful, uber nerdy, genuinely good people and they exist! You’ve seen them too! It may have been that girl you mistook for a booth babe. It could have been that boy you thought was just a girl cosplaying as a boy. It even could have been one of those super ripped Spartans. The point is unicorns are few and far in between and we keep scaring them away! They’re very attractive and very naive.
You’ll most likely come across one at the Cool Kid Table, but they’re on constant surveillance like the fellowship for the one true ring. The Cool Kids recognize a Unicorns rarity and will do anything to protect them. Sometimes a basement dweller will snag one and go all Smeagol on them which always turns very ugly.
Just remember, they are human and prone to the same uncommunicative awkwardness as the rest of us. They are hyper self aware and not good with confrontation so their innocence is in constant danger. If you see one, keep a safe distance, let them approach you. If you see one getting snared by a Basement Dweller, for the love of god just do something right for once in your life, grow a pair and save them!
Now, there are tons of cross-sectioning on this list. For example, just like you can have a Casual Gamer, you could also have more complex mixing like an Elitist Anime kid that also happens to be a Closeted fan-fic writer and/or artists. Shit happens.
I, for one, wish that I was a Unicorn but I’m just a Casual paid to be at the Cool Kid Table. I may be evolving into an Elitist but I’m honestly way too lazy for that shit. I didn’t make specific sections for Sci-fi, fantasy, comic nerds, and bronies because they’re pretty much interwoven in all of the above (did I mention the lazy bit?).
So that’s that. If you think I’ve missed anything then please drop it in the comments.