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forwardslash  ·  3517 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: "Take off the meme shirt!"

So, okay, there has been something that has been bothering me for a while as well that is related to this, but I want to say upfront I'm not directing this at you. I'm more or less going to be ranting about a mesh of people I have interacted with on the internet, with whom I once closely identified with.

There is a word for what geek/nerd/internet culture is, but I'm not sure exactly what it is. I also thought it was something it became, but I now realize it has always been that way.

I hear so many stories of people who grew up social outcasts, bullied because they were different. Somehow they didn't meet societal norms or the expectations of their peers and found themselves on the wrong side of exclusionary culture. However, they found solace in something nerdy/geeky and they flourished to become productive/creative people.

Inevitably these stories always end in, "and that's why I have declared myself arbiter of geek/nerdiness and reject those who would dare wear the mantle of geek/nerd without my explicit permission". Recently it's rejecting the 'legitimacy' of women being gamers/geeks/nerds because someone can know an entire person's history by looking at them and know they are not true gamers/geeks/nerds.

Some of these people grow up to live the dreams they had while playing video games instead of having friends and work in the game industry. Then they put their heart and soul into these games and are rewarded by their geeky/nerdy peers with anger because they would dare reference anything that has so completely defined their life.

I found it so odd that those who suffered merely because they were different would be so keen to outcast and exclude those who are different from them. You'd think that those who saw the dark side of exclusionary culture would not go on to become that which they hated.

I now realize that it has always been that way. There was always someone else to make fun of, to look down on. There was always a social normality that was enforced by the crowd. Geek/nerd culture has not been a rejection of the systems which outcast us but merely a reimplementation of it.

I've spent almost my entire life online or on the computer. I taught myself chess, started a pokemon webring, learned to type by playing MUDs and using IRC. I don't think I would change a thing about that, but I don't want to embrace it as I once did. As they say, "When I was a child I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things." I'm not sure what I would call geek/nerd/internet culture, but either it has changed over the years and that's alright, or it has always been the same and should be reformed.