They’re just typical…NERDS!

I was lingering on Lygon Street one day with my friends.

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.

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9 Responses to They’re just typical…NERDS!

  1. Bugsimus says:

    That ‘Nerd’ is in denial… how sad. There are heaps of gamers that play non e-sports, go to gym and what not as well as gaming.

    The best one I like hearing people say is “How can you play games so much?”, to which I respond “How can you sit in front of the TV so much” after hearing they sit in front of the TV more hours a night then I spend on gaming???

    1 or 2 generations from now, it probably won’t be thought of that way any more?

    Interactive Entertainment > Mindless Entertainment – IMO đŸ˜€

    • muttonhead says:

      I find it quite sad that almost everyone around nodded their heads.

      But I should learn my lesson and never bring up SF to people from outside the scene.

      In the future, I hope so Bugs, I hope so.

      Maybe Mortal Kombat wouldn’t be banned.

  2. Kyle says:

    I don’t know why you’re concerned about this. Like…who cares what other people call you?

    I am a nerd? Sure. But like, so what?

    • muttonhead says:

      I’m not concerned about being called a nerd. If it was just me, there would be no problem.

      But I do get angry when someone like that is so quick to dismiss everyone in the scene on first glance as just nerds. Because a lot of these people are my good friends, and are people I respect and hold in high regard.

      So I figure such a judgement is not only a disservice to these people, but also serves to reflect the general opinion/distaste towards our community. Even from other gamers.

      • Kyle says:

        Here’s the thing, you come from inside the community. You know these people, and understand them. The cool thing about fighting games is that a lot of people who play them aren’t the typical video game crowd. In reality, the common demoniator amongst tournament fighting game players is that they are nearly all male, and are extremely competitive. That’s really it.

        In addition, I think the reason you’re angry (or, more specficially, frustrated) is that you feel as though your friends have been insulted. This isn’t really the case, you’re getting a off-the-cuff opinion from someone who doesn’t understand and doesn’t care.

        When your on the inside, and you get a misinformed or negetive opinion from the outside, its quite natural to get offended. To a certain extent, so do I. But it’s more general judgemental attitude than any real vindictiveness towards people who play fighting games.

        So, at the end of the day, you can just laugh it off. If you find that you can’t, the solution is to not bring up your hobby to people who don’t understand (which is kind of the stance I’ve taken.)

        I mean, for example, it does get a little difficult to explain to a girl why you don’t want to go to a party so you can spend 7 hours watching a video game tournament that’s happening a continent away. But, heres the thing, to people who understand, you don’t even need to express it.

        So yeah, to people who understand, no explanation is necessary, while for people who don’t, no explanation will do.

        • muttonhead says:

          Yeah, I’m probably too butthurt for my own good. And I probably shouldn’t try to explain things to people who aren’t interested.

          Why does this “general judgemental attitude” seem to be particularly harsh towards fighting games though? Do we really look that much like cavemen and mashers to people who play mouse n’ click games?

  3. Somniac says:

    I don’t particularly care what interests people have as long as they’re above board and don’t completely offend me in some way.
    The fact that you enjoy doing something, and the other people enjoy doing the same thing is enough to warrant a conversation, and you may find you have things in common other than that.

    It’s high school mentality to believe that if you are seen with a group of people that aren’t generally accepted to be cool, then you aren’t either, but at the end of the day why limit your network of friends simply on appearance? this ain’t TV, the “beautiful” people don’t just hang around each other and no one else.

    • muttonhead says:

      I agree, and I find people’s passion about anything in general to be particularly refreshing. Their faces light up when they talk, and they’re often motivated to think about things in ways they might not in their more mundane activities.

      I disagree, there are a lot of good-looking guys in the fighting game scene đŸ˜›

  4. Spidercarnage says:

    A little bit late but I feel I need to respond as this is an issue that I deal with on a daily basis with my house mates.

    First of all we are the pioneers and the trend setters for future generations not only in fighting games but for all games. Guys like Spooky are doing ground braking things in streaming and new age digital entertainment are some day going to be called legends who started all of this. We are basicly in the 1930’s of professional sports only our sport is digital and has world interest and world competition unlike in the 30’s when it was country based. The people who see our scene/community as a bunch of nerds are living in the past and live in the old mentality where games are for kids and are a waste of time but a fun waste of time. They are like parents from the 60’s who though that Rock and Roll was the devils music they cant comprehend what we see in these games because they are to far out of touch with the modern gamer and the modern video game scene.

    I have been following competitive gaming for years and people have always asked me what I see and how can I be so interested in something like this and every time I try to explain they just look at me like a dog that’s been shown a card trick. I even try to relate how gaming is basicly the same thing as professional sports but they just cant make mental hurdle that has been ingrained into them that Video games are just for fun.

    But the tide is slowly turning, gaming is now main stream, everyone plays some sort of games weather it be casually on their mobile phone or hardcore on a PC or console. The new generation of players and gamers are much more aware of the competitive side of gaming and they are the future that will embrace competitive gaming. I find it much easier to explain competitive gaming scene to a 19 year old girl then to some of my friends who have been casually gaming for years. I say if they cant embrace the changes in the gaming community they will fall behind and feel awkward and they call us nerds because they don’t understand any more what we do.

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