Lauren Rabaino

Where my nerds at? Stand up.

We’ve got new Batman and Superman movies coming out; “Iron Man” comes out next month; there’s a Hulk movie coming out that may not suck; and studios are making a new Street Fighter movie, a G.I. Joe movie, a Justice League movie, an Avengers movie, a live-action Star Wars TV show and a new Star Trek movie. It’s a pretty damn good time to be a nerd, but still, the “nerd” label is still trendy to throw around in our culture. I say it’s time to make a change, like Jean Grey did when she became Phoenix. My fellow nerds know what I mean.

Society is starting to come around to videogames. They’re no longer considered the epitome of nerdiness, but some people still make fun of those of us who choose to wear the telemarketer headset while playing online multiplayer games. Do you even know how vital it is that I communicate the exact positions of the blue team to my red teammates so we can capture the flag, gain experience points and go up in rank? Other than the Deaf International Basketball Federation, have you ever seen a silent game of basketball? Communication is necessary when playing sports, and now that we have Major League Gaming, “Halo” is a sport. So suck it.

Then there’s the stigma around comic books. If you read them, you’re a nerd, but watching movies based on comic books is totally cool like Slater. What’s the difference? Reading. This proves that reading is the single nerdiest activity you can do, which actually means you are being a nerd right now … but don’t put this paper down. Embrace your inner nerd; everyone has one.

Seriously, we have to stop the trend of calling certain people nerds. Everybody is a nerd in some way. ESPN addicts are not sports enthusiasts; they are sports nerds. KCPR DJs are not hipsters; they are music nerds. Nobody’s fashionable; they’re style nerds. Nobody has a shoe fetish; they’re shoe nerds. You know those friends of yours who are always telling you about their new favorite brand of gum? Yep, gum nerds. And that dude at the party who knows all the beer pong house rules and corrects you every time you say “beer pong” like, “Beer pong is with paddles. This is beirut, dumbass.” He’s a beer pong nerd. The sooner you realize what kind of nerd you are, the sooner we can all see eye-to-eye and stop bullying each other. Personally, I’m a hip-hop, comic-book cartoon, “Rock Band” drummer, major-ranked “Halo” player and giant robot nerd. Who can’t relate to that?

Then again, isn’t being a nerd awesome simply because only other nerds understand your passion for something others label as stupid or lame or geeky? Isn’t it amazing when you break into 45-minute conversations about how “Spider-Man 3” bore no resemblance to the classic comic book storyline? Yes, but that doesn’t mean we can’t all benefit from breaking down this “you are a nerd, I am cool” trend.

So, my fellow nerdicans, live long and prosper. Know that anyone who makes fun of your nerdiness is himself or herself a nerd in some form. And if you want to challenge the TRENDASAURUS at “Halo 3,” you can’t; he’s a Nintendo nerd (but my gamertag is The OG B Man). Bring it on, bitches!

Brian McMullen is a journalism senior, Mustang Daily columnist, and self-professed nerd.

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