We have all been assimilated into the Nerd Collective

May 3 • Bruce Uncorked, Feature StoryNo Comments on We have all been assimilated into the Nerd Collective



What is the definition of a “nerd” these days? I think things have gotten so hazy that most everyone actually qualifies as one.

And that’s a good thing. It’s one less stereotype and one less target for bullies.

When I went to high school in the early 1980s, I believe the notion of who qualified as a nerd were the members of the audio/video club, the people on the Reach for the Top team, the non-jocks, really.

Because I had a heart condition, the last time I played tackle football was when I still lived in Quebec. I really shouldn’t have played then, but the opportunity to suit up was too much to ignore. I played tight end and defensive lineman. We were a rather small English school in a very French part of the province, after all.

Ditto for basketball, floor hockey, etc., etc.

When I arrived in North Bay, I became a fan rather than a player.

I still loved sports, and played road hockey almost daily during the school year, but took interests elsewhere, and essentially became more nerdly.

I worked on lighting for school plays. Nerd.

I competed in Reach for the Top. Sure, I wore football shirts and had long hair, but … nerd.

I was a member of a strategy gaming club at school. Nerd.

No pocket protector, however. And my attire – jean jackets, jean vests and rock concert T-shirts – hard rock, I must add – wasn’t exactly nerdly.

Fast forward to today. Cliques in school still exist, but everyone is nerdly. Playing video games on smartphones is the first giveaway in that regard. Console video gaming, another nerd indicator. I don’t care if you play three sports in school, or more; if you’re playing Madden football, for example, you are a nerd.

Taking advantage of the technology at our fingertips today throws everyone into the nerd zone.

And it’s a fine place to be when you think about it.

Our daughter is an incredibly graceful dancer (she didn’t inherit my two left feet), but her life revolves around her iPhone. From playing games on it to Face Time, to searching YouTube, she makes full use of it and her laptop.

One of her best buddies in school plays pretty much every sport she can. But when these two get together, chances are you’ll eventually find them playing Minecraft. Nerdy.

And both are arguably two of the smartest kids in their grades.

I guess there are degrees of nerdliness. Think TV’s Big Bang Theory. Those guys are nerd royalty. Yes, they are fictional characters, but there are such folks out there.

I’m talking about adults who still read comic books (I haven’t in many years, but I do enjoy a slew of movies that have spawned from Marvel and DC Comics over the years). Or the folks who attend such things as this past weekend’s CK Expo, our own Cosplay/Comic Con-like event right here in Chatham. People dress up in movie- and comic-inspired costumes and attend such events.

Embrace who you are, and what you like. Technology draws us all closer together in many ways, really.

All hail the nerds, I say.

Because we have all been assimilated to some degree.



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