Tag Archives: nerd culture

For the Nerds

You know, I never really thought I would find “for the nerds” a clever phrase. But placing it in my title I see a little wordplay for the phrase “for the birds” as in “That’s for the birds” referring to something trivial.

I think nerds are into many things trivial. We take the trivial and we expand it so that it DOES matter. Let’s start at a basic concept, Movies. We will even go genre that’s common for nerds, science fiction. Let’s pick an obvious (and my favorite) choice here, Star Wars.

Star Wars released and it was sort of capitalizing on the fun fantasy adventure driven interest of many people. It was a movie, it had revolutionary special effects, but it was more than a medium for a test, it was among other things, a spectacular marketing for merchandise.

Soon people were buying action figures, playsets, posters, costumes, and even comics. What started as a fun movie, exploded into a giant franchise. The merchandising only served to perpetuate future movies and marketing power. Then as children became young adults and later “real” adults, many of them favored moments in those movies, or playing with their toys. They reveled in things that were, even though they were simply fiction. The need for stories and other star wars memorabilia only grew, giving way to a full culture of people who were proud of their collections or analysis or imaginations of the Star Wars universe.

But for every Star Wars like boom of culture, there is thousands of movies and tv shows that become nothing but dust in the wind as only a select few people will carry any thoughts of fondness of these obscure creations.

Something like Star Wars though? It’s grown so big, that people can now divide themselves further. Me? I have to keep track of 2 universes because of how much “Legends” content was moved to non canon. dozens of books I read in a fictional universe only to be told that they no longer were correct and that there would be a series of correct or canon stories to replace them. Some of these stories do contradict each other and my favorite characters do not even have a place in the current Star Wars timeline. Then you have other people who swear only the original trilogy is worth it. Others still arguing the prequel trilogy was a better collection of stories. You have arguments about what was good and isn’t. Whether light whips were effective or just flashy. You have such a large culture that even people who would not identify as nerds know and may even like Star Wars.

That’s thanks to nerds (and great marketing) carrying that forward a few decades. I thought I would write more about this, but I’m far too distracted at the moment. Just know that while some things are just for the nerds, the power (of greyskull) is in our hands.

 

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I’m a Geek, spelled Gee double three Kay

Here’s a picture, the first in fact I’ve ever posted.
Nerdcard in Polyhedral format

There. Isn’t that neat? A good class nerd or geek definitely has their own set. In the very least they recall what they are and used them a few times in their past to transport themselves to different worlds, where no matter how powerful they were, they still never wanted to roll a 1 on any attack roll or skill check (if we’re talking D20 systems at least). You’ll see a variety of dice in that picture. The orange and yellow ones are the full polyhedral set, Toxic Chessex variety. The others are mostly D6s or D20s, I have several for both the purpose of rolling for baddies as Dungeon or Game Master and also to share with players who don’t have their own.

I have given more than a handful of sets of these dice away. If you received one, I felt you were a true nerd. And I will admit there are some friends who I would consider true nerds that have not received this gesture, for that I do apologize. My first set of polyhedrals, I remember it so fondly. Frosted lime green Chessex set, purchased as an adolescent at the Purple Cactus in San Antonio, a veritable place for the gathering of nerds. Anyway, I purchased it because I finally got friends that were playing some D&D, and it seemed a good idea to pick my own out. They looked like candy. They were the most beautiful dice I ever beheld at the time. And the texture was comforting, they weren’t slick like most dice, but not really quite rough either, it’s a smooth texture with some slight friction.

I lost them in the move. I never found them. So I bought a new set, some royal blues with gold pips and some color swirled in that I don’t remember. Again, Chessex, all I ever bought. I made a few friends in my new place and gave one of them a set to acknowledge him as a friend and fellow geek. Then I bought my now current toxic set at a local anime and gaming store. I hadn’t been able to track down those frosted green ones I longed for and gave up settling on the toxic look.

Over the years I’ve tried to get various campaigns going, Star Wars saga RPG, GURPS, Savage Worlds, Marvel RPG, strangely never did a straight up D&D attempt. But it didn’t matter, I’ve never got the lasting power beyond a session or two, someone would always not show up, then we couldn’t do it with so small a group so we played video games or some other tabletop to pass the time for the evening. My most recent attempt I still have the stories and some of the characters built, but then I moved away from my player base, it was gonna be such a great campaign too!

One of such attempts at starting a campaign was with GURPS, Generic Universal Roleplaying System. I made a new friend, a definite geek, with quirks and all and decided to buy him a set of polyhedrals. Lo and behold, the old green frosted chessex, just how I remembered them. Only the one set. I bought it for myself, saying that I would give him the toxic ones. But instead, told him a story about the greatest of escapes and fantasy and how I had entered that world, and somewhat emotionally handed him that set of green frosted ones.

I bought my ex a set as well, and my newest best friend too. You’re definitely receiving my stamp of approval if you’re ever in receipt of these. Essentially they’re just random generators to accompany a varying set of rules for a system in which a game master would create these stories amongst other things. But, to me they’re also a sort of rite of passage for geeks…

I know hardly anyone will read this, and if you’re not a geek or nerd, it’s terribly dull and void of life that you might find in my other writing. But, these dice are sort of a symbol of who I am, and I could care less if you the reader find that to mean nothing. I’m proud of being a geek, even if I had some serious suffering to endure through all of it.

Adios and tune in next week to discover the next epic entry for the nerditorial to find out what life is like as a geek!