It’s nerd time: A legit nerd’s take on the rise of nerd culture

Tyren Rushing

Today is probably the best time ever to be a nerd. A lot of the things that were once considered “nerd stuff” have become appealing to the masses and  dominate the media.

First Person Shooter video games PWN gaming sales figures. But back in the day, only hardcore PC gamers used to play them.

The top two movies at the box office this year, The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers, are based on comic books.

The No. 1 comedy television show in America is The Big Bang Theory, which centers around four nerds and their everyday lives.

The No. 1 show on basic cable is The Walking Dead, which is based on an independent black-and-white comic book.

The most downloaded show in history is Game of Thrones, which is based on the medieval fantasy novel series, A Song of Fire and Ice.

Undoubtedly, it is a good time to be a nerd.

Technology is better than ever and thanks to the Internet, our nerdy voices and opinions influence Hollywood. Nerd Rage is no longer limited to you and your friends arguing about how much the Green Lantern movie sucked or how many times Marvel is going to kill Professor X. Studios scour the net for social media commentary and visit prominent nerd blogs for feedback.

The San Diego Comic Con started out as nerds meeting up yearly to trade comics. Now, it is the largest comic book convention in America, and it also promotes upcoming games, movies and TV shows.

And it’s happening locally as well. This year was the biggest turnout in the history of Planet Comic Con Kansas City, thanks to the appearances of Edward James Olmos and Billy “Lando Calrissian” Dee Williams.

The event, which was usually held at the Overland Park Convention Center, has been so successful that in 2013, it’s moving to Bartle Hall downtown, where the big boys hold their conventions.

For anyone who has misgivings about my nerd status, here are a few tidbits to prove I’m legit. My apartment has Star Wars, Batman, Marvel and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles posters on the walls. I watched anime and read manga back in ‘03, before most of it was legally imported.  I went to debate camp in high school, I add “padawan” to the dictionary of every phone I own, and I cried the second time I saw The Dark Knight Rises, despite already knowing how it ended.

Of course, there is a downside to the massive proliferation of nerdism that has overcome America.

Hipsters think it’s cool to dress like Steve Urkel and Screech from Saved by the Bell. It’s not.  Nor is the never ending use of Internet memes on social media sites.

And of course with anything popular, money starts to play a bigger role. DC and Marvel have re-launched their entire comic book line-ups in order to attract new readers.

Disney bought LucasArts. And they won’t stop making those god-awful Transformer movies, since that franchise is a cash cow.

Being a nerd in 2012 is pretty damn sweet.  I mean, if I get to see more obscure comic franchises on the big and small screen, I guess I can deal with looking at those stupid horn-rimmed glasses all the kiddos and hipsters like and all the horrible movies about robots.

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