You have the right to be unique!

2008 November 5
by Dante

I have recently arrived in my new office environment here in Colorado, and there have been more than a few introductions and “getting to know you” type of moments. I am constantly amazed at the number of people that charactarize themselves as being “kind’ve a nerd” in a given hobby or interest, and the associated sheepishness or shame that comes along with having interests.

You have the right to be unique!

This statement can apply to so many different areas… but you have the right to be unique in your roleplaying or gaming interests, in your choice of characters, even in the systems you play or the modifications you made to said systems. That is one of the lures that makes the roleplaying game space so interesting to me… it is almost always up for interpretation and modification.

Why do nerds always feel ashamed?

It is your right and duty to engage in your roleplaying games, video games, systems, friendships, and interests in whatever way you desire, and it has constantly puzzled me why gamer nerds have this near universal shame that goes along with their interests. I’ve even seen it spill over into professional areas like computer programming and graphic communications. People seem to want to distance themselves from their passions and skills and I have never understood why.

Me? I’m a nerd and I’m proud of it. I like roleplaying, computer programming, and Heroes. I think it is time that we collectively stand up and embrace our nerdly leanings!

Who’s with me?

10 Responses leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    November 5, 2008

    Dante, clearly you are married and/or otherwise out of the dating game.


  2. Tony Law permalink
    November 5, 2008

    I’m right there with you. In fact, I’ve had people (non-geeks) tell me they think it’s awesome that I’m not ashamed of my “geekitude” and am willing to flaunt it daily. However, I think it’s human nature to try to fit in and being a geek is someone who clearly may or may not fit into a person’s social or professional life.

  3. Asmor permalink
    November 5, 2008

    Why do nerds always feel ashamed?

    Why do bloggers always make generalizations? 😛

    Some nerds do feel nerd shame. Some do not.

  4. Dead Orcs permalink
    November 5, 2008

    Well, you really gotta let your freak flag fly. However, at my company, most blogging sites and gaming sites are blocked, so I don’t really get a good opportunity to show that side off at work (nose to the grindstone and all that).

    Just as well, I suppose. While I don’t feel shame about my hobby (I’ve been at it for over 25 years), I do tire of having to explain it, lol.

  5. njharman permalink
    November 5, 2008

    I thought we already did this in the the late 90’s. That is “unite” and take back the word “geek”/”nerd”.

    When being a geek meant shaping the the internet and making buttloads of money in dotcom boom.

    Nerd/Geek has been cool for awhile now.

    What have you been doing all this time? Reading books, ha dork!

  6. Todd Bradley permalink
    November 5, 2008

    Shut up, Beavis.

  7. TMan permalink
    November 6, 2008


  8. Perrin Rynning permalink
    November 6, 2008

    Part of the “geek shame” stems from the good ol’ days in compulsory education. It’s a rare geek who, lacking a built-in social structure (or, in more basic terms, has at least one person who “got their back”), will come out of high school unashamed of their intelligence and creativity. Those who do not have I.Q.s that equal or exceed the record high temperature on the planet are frequently ostracized or bullied by those whose I.Q. is closer to “average” or below; regrettable but fundamental parts of human nature dictates attacking or avoiding that which we do not understand. Toss in the documented truth that the “social awareness” center of the human brain is tied directly in to the “pain” center of the brain, and the effectiveness of social ostracism as a form of behavior modification becomes quite clear.

    Oh, and anonymous: go check out Nerds INVENTED online social networking; it was only a matter of time before they set up their own online dating site.

  9. Marty Lund permalink
    November 6, 2008

    Humility is a virtue. If nothing else, it helps make introductions between people of vastly different interests and lifestyles seem a lot less confrontational. Still, humility is one of those things that just doesn’t translate into modern popular culture that way. It often gets replaced with shame or override by bravado.

  10. John permalink
    November 7, 2008

    Welcome to Colorado!

    Get a snow shovel, unless you already have one.

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