I was having a conversation with one particular guy, who shall remain nameless.
Somehow or rather, I ended up talking about the diverse characters that you find in the competitive fighting game scene. (Boy, I never learn my lesson.)
“I dunno,” said my friend.
“That day at the tournament,” (He had inexplicably shown up to BAM with a few of my other friends).
“I was looking around,” he continued. “And to me…they all just seem like typical…NERDS!”
Inside, I was offended. But I chose not to show it, and didn’t say anything. (After all, I’m pretty sure all my other friends agreed with him.)
What makes us “nerds” to the every day man?
Take this guy for example.
He’s a typical asian dude. (There I go using the “T” word.) He plays basketball on weekends, and goes to the gym a lot. He watches Naruto quite a bit, and he also plays games like DOTA, Football Manager and Warcraft.
By his own standards, he’s a normal dude.
But the guys that I find in tournament, who may be lawyers, lecturers, professionals whose only digital vice is being a stick jockey are all…nerds?
Hey man. You play video games too. You watch anime. You do various things that we nerds do.
What gives you the right to denigrate us, and by extension, separate yourself from the pack?
Is it simply because we choose to celebrate our nerd-dom/fandom?
Is it because while you sit at home by yourself, playing DOTA online against strangers or watching Naruto in your room, we actually gather in halls, talk about the games we love so much, and have human contact?
You might only play games casually, hence guaranteeing your “too cool for school” status, but we who strategise, watch competitions, put in hours of practice and compete…we’re just obsessed geeks?
You know what, I understand. Not speaking for anyone else, but I’m a nerd.
A complete and utter nerd.
I read books, I read Brady guides. I lurk in forums for technical information, I run combo damage numbers on my notebook during work meetings. I have a Xbox Live gold account.
But I love it. If passion for the things I love, and consequently wanting to learn more and delve into the in-depth side of them makes me a nerd, then I’m a nerd through and through.
In my eyes, I’m a guitar nerd, I’m a Nabokov nerd, I’m a sports nerd, and I’m a Street Fighter nerd. I’m all of those things. From my point of view, there’s no difference in any of those activities when you simply love it, want to put time into it and to get better.
If I can have a passionate conversation with my Street Fighter buddies about mental confidence and uppercutting, whilst at the same time enjoying obscure game references such as the transgender tendencies of M. Bison, why should I feel ashamed about it?
We’re speaking our own language, we’re the chimpanzees on the Planet of Capcom.
Do our conversations have less significant meaning simply because our common thread is 2 characters on a 2-D plane?
Maybe you’re right.
Maybe ultimately all this is worthless.
Eventually, everyone stops playing these games. And what happens then?
Even if I play these games for ten more years, will all these friends who call me Muttons still be willing to hang out when it’s all said and done?
Would they be willing to shoot the breeze, reminisce?
About the happy times we warred as nerds.