Tuesday, March 1, 2011
What it means to be "nerdcore."
Being nerdcore is more than keeping up with the latest trends in gaming, maintainging the latest technology, or being conversant in obscure knowledge. It is about both being a geek, and having social skills, with at least a modest amount of badass thrown in. What i am talking about is being an "Alpha" geek, one that not only can intelligently manage conversations about router performance, manage to be accepted into varied social circles, but can also field strip an M-4 without breaking a sweat.
This type of person used to be called a "renaissance man," but today's sociaty has become more geek friendly, or, to borrow G-4's tagline, "It's a nerd's world."
This having been said, I think there is more to it. I think that the "Alpha" geeks have something that stereotypical geeks lack: They are not only proud (in a positive way) of their geekdom, but they are able to act as if they were normal, and in some cases, bring people to appreciate what it means to be a geek.
If my circle of friends is anything to go by, it is because we follow a few rules ( in no particular order):
1) No L33t speak or other slang that makes us look less intelligent.
This isn't to mean that we avoid using swearing, slang, or other non-academic language, we avoid the type of language/writing that hinders our ability to effectively communicate with others.
2) My bitz box is your bitz box.
This is to say that we don't keep track of who owes who, and often will bounce back and forth the same amount of money between members of our group, without concern for being repaid.
3) Having fun IS the most important thing.
Regardless of whether you are a hard core tournament player, if you become too concerned with winning, one player isn't going to have fun. This attitude applies to social interactions, say someone tells an awesome story, you don't need to tell a more awesome story.
4) Just because you think it is awesome, doesn't mean that everyone does.
Be it a new model, the time your rogue looted the temple of elemental evil, the new code you cranked out, non-geeks are less interested than you.
I cannot stress this point enough: Moderate your geek talk around non-geeks. pay attention to a few symptoms of geek overload: Eyes becoming glassy, head lolling back, excessive drooling, and in severe cases, blood coming from eyes, nose mouth and ears. if they show any or all of these symptoms then quickly change the subject to something they will find interesting, and apologise for monopolising the conversation.
5) people less experienced than you are NOT noobs, newbs or even FNG's, they are inexperienced and need your experience to grow.
We are a small community us gaming geeks, and being over competitive keeps us small. it also hinders those younger geeks from desiring to A) develop their social skills and B) improve their gaming habits.
6) I can kill you with my bare hands.
just like it sounds, to a man, we are either trained to kill, or have associated with enough people that have been trained long enough to pick up the skills themselves. This doesn't mean that, in order to be an "Alpha" geek you have to be Chuck Norris, being Charlie Bronson will do... In all seriousness, this last rule is more of the Mr. miyagi philosophy: A true badass doesn't have to prove that they are a badass ( and that being able to kill with your hands isn't as impressive as it sounds, army cooks can do it too) The confidence of knowing that you are, in fact, dangerous means that you can utilise the most important social skill there is: restraint. You won't feel the need to beat an opponent's face in to validate yourself, you won't feel the need to escalate arguments to violence, and you won't need to do the retarded "first" Bull.
Seriously, I hate the "first" crap, especially the "hidden" firsts.
There is a special place in hell for firsters, one reserved for serial killers and people that talk in movies.