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.