Ladies vs. Gentlemen: Being a nerd

Two Highlander writers reflect on the components of "nerd-ship" and the fulfillment this identity brings to their individual lives

We all know that guys and girls, men and women, have distinct physical traits such as gender-specific variations of the hips and shoulders, and both sexes have their own unique, evolutionarily molded tendencies of behavior such as those in mating and self-perception. But how do their feelings differ in more subjective roles, such as being a nerd? A profile has been created of nerdy guys being avid, socially awkward video game players and nerdy girls to be avid book addicts, but is there more to the title of “nerd” than what is conventionally portrayed in modern media? Does being a “nerd” in fact mean something different to everyone and is, despite what is commonly believed, an identity of pride for some people? We talked to two Highlander writers to see what their perspective on being a nerd means to them.

Erika Rico, CW Quinn Minten, SSW
1. In six words, define what it means to be a “nerd.” Having fun and loving things passionately. Fanatic obsession, regardless of public opinion.
2. Would you consider yourself to be a nerd? I do. I’m a fangirl and have my fandoms. I geek out over books, TV shows and recently gotten into playing more video games. Yes. Very much so. In particular, I am a gamer: Video games, board games, card games (and trading card games) — I play them all.
3. How often do you get called one? Usually by who? Quite a bit, usually by myself! Though my family has dubbed me as a nerd for years now. I actually don’t get called a nerd all that often. I just consider myself to be and tend to hang out with people I consider nerds.
4. What is one thing you are currently obsessed with? I started to really play WoW, or World of Warcraft with my boyfriend. I’m also always into different video game lore, like Overwatch. Well, there’s an Overwatch event going on right now, and it’s really, really, really, really, really bothering me to be writing this right now instead of playing it.
5. Favorite TV show? I have too many! I’ve been watching “MasterChef Junior” and just finished “Parks and Recreation.” Well it’s not easy to pick just one. If I had to, I guess I’d go with “The Big Bang Theory.”
6. Do you find other nerds attractive? My boyfriend is a gamer nerd, so, of course. Knowing I’m with someone who is just as nerdy as me makes him 100x more attractive. Well, considering that you (usually) can’t just look at someone and say, “They’re a nerd,” I’m not sure how to answer. But I do find the idea of being a nerd attractive.
7. Greatest nerd character of all time? I love Charlie from “Supernatural.” She’s super amazing in the few episodes we have her and she’s the first female nerdy person I’ve seen on television and loved. Well, since I already mentioned “The Big Bang Theory,” I’m sure you can anticipate my answer: Sheldon Cooper. Bazinga!
8. Would you rather be called a “geek” or a “nerd”? Why? Nerd because Dr. Seuss created the word! I prefer ”nerd;” the term “geek” used to refer to circus people who bite the heads off chickens. I’d like to not be associated with that.
9. Make fun of Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace. I wasn’t a fan of the first film. Jar Jar, after watching it for another time, annoyed me. How can someone like him get to become General? Ugh. Everything in this movie can be ignored and you won’t miss anything in the rest of the series. Attack of the Clones is not much better (in some ways it’s worse), but at least the events of that movie matter in the larger picture.
10. Describe your greatest nerd break-down of all time. My entire journey watching my boyfriend play “The Last of Us.” The story had me intrigued and I might have cried a few times. I was extremely thoroughly disgusted when Pokemon Go came out. As someone who has played games from five of the seven generations of Pokemon games, I will put this simply — Pokemon Go is not a Pokemon game. It is a waste of time.
11. How do you call out to and identity other fellow nerds? Usually with specific clothing or items they have. If it’s an Overwatch button or Pikachu wallet. It makes me smile every time I spot something. It’s all about symbols. Harry Potter fans have their Deathly Hallows symbol. Star Wars fans have the Imperial (or Rebel) insignia. It’s always a dead giveaway if you see someone wearing or displaying symbols like these.
12. Where does a Cyberman leave his spaceship? If this is from “Doctor Who,” I wouldn’t know. Not much of a watcher. Space! Space space! Space! OK, I actually have no idea.
13. Favorite music album? I always gravitate to say “Danger Days” by My Chemical Romance. It gets me in a great mood every time I play it.   Well, I generally listen to singles rather than albums, so I had to look this one up: “A Night at the Opera” by Queen, because it has my all-time favorite song, “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
14. Best video game made within the last two years? Movie? Overwatch is pretty fun. I’m a sucker for great lore. I also liked “Until Dawn” with all the different outcomes.

I recently saw Logan and I cried so much.

The best video game from the last two years is probably “Overwatch,” since it turned me into a PC gamer. As for best movie, I think I’ll go with “The Lego Batman Movie,” since the original Lego movie is older than two years.
15. Ultimately, how do you feel about being a nerd? I love it. With different communities and fandoms, you get to meet so many people who share the same love for something. I like having little quirks that I love being a part of my life. It makes it more fun. I’d be pretty bored if I didn’t have any of the nerdy things I enjoy to keep me entertained. I can’t imagine what I’d do without TV, movies, books, all manner of games, etc. I guess I’d just sit and stare at a wall.

 

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