There seems to be a lot of things in this world that get me fired up. When I try and put one word that seems to link all of these seemingly different issues that cause me to rant quicker than c, that word would be ignorance. Being a nerd/geek/gamer, I face a lot of it. The entire community does and it really chaps my behind to put it nicely. I’m happy to report that my children do not seem to face the same sort of discrimination as my generation does and even worse, the generations before mine. However it still exists and it really needs to end, especially when this ignorance and discrimination comes from main stream media sources. If what is said was being said about Blacks, Jews, women, gays, Hispanics, Asians, Muslims (insert any other group that has a tendency to be largely discriminated against), the outcry would be deafening. So why are people like Roger Ebert allowed to continuously perpetuate a very negative stereotype regarding this topic. Case in point, his latest tweet:
You know what, I will be the first to admit that as a group of people, we can be an odd bunch. We like to argue the minutia of pretty much any subject that is the object of our obsessions and compulsions. We like to dress up in funny costumes and attend conventions where we unleash our geekiosity upon an unwitting city. We are a very passionate bunch of people and we will allow our passions to be spilled upon any poor unsuspecting person if given the opportunity. We may not always be the most socially graceful people but we have heart and we care deeply. We are willing to stand behind our beliefs despite rampant criticism from our peers.
But I want you to think about that for one minute. How are we any different from the “jocks” who attend their favourite sporting event dressed in team colours and faces painted, screaming and hollering from the stands? How are we any different than that same group of people spending hours debating over the merits of The White Sox vs. The Yankees? How are we any different than any group of people who attend any event in support of whatever it is that gives them that boost of adrenaline.
Ebert made mention of messy pigs. Have you looked into a frat house or looked in the home of the bachelor jock with their beer cans, pizza and take-out boxes, piles of clothes and miscellaneous debris all over the place? The geeks/nerds I know are way more obsessed with order and cleanliness that any other group of people I know. Maybe their gaming areas are not always the tidiest and I know that my desk always looks like it has exploded but I do not know of too many creative types where their creative space is not a complete hazard.
Apparently we smell too. That is a stereotype that really bothers me because again the group that seems to hate us the most (the jocks) have the exact same issue. Especially when it is down to play-off time and they wear their same lucky jersey for weeks on end without washing because it will ruin the luck. And let us not forget about the gross and disgusting play-off beard-o-luck. I have met some pretty stinky gamers in my time. There is no denying that but I will deny that the image of the lone gamer in his/her mother’s basement is far from the norm. It is a very unfortunate negative stereotype.
And now for screaming at the PC. Are you trying to tell me that is not a common occurrence? Because let me tell you something, it is no different than the testosterone-filled group massed together in the living room or bar, hooting and hollering over every single little thing that happens during their all-worshipful game. Are you trying to tell me that because it is being done in a pack it is more acceptable or are you telling me that because it is coming from the “cool kids” you are willing to overlook this same behavior?
Now let me tell you something about geeks/nerds/gamers. There seems to be a lot of press about violence and us. And the odd occasion that it does happen, it is shameful. But our instances of violence are not nearly as prevalent as one would like to believe. I will admit, we can be huge assholes to each other online. We have been known to troll the internet just waiting for the opportunity to allow our words on the screen to cause someone else to cry. We have been known to rage quit and some are even known to get a sick perverted sense of satisfaction when they know they are the cause of this rage quit. But I do not think I have ever heard of a group of us destroying a city when our team has lost. I do not think I have ever heard of us ever getting into physical fights with someone in a bar or in our homes while we are drunk and someone says some stupid shit about our team. As a general rule, we are a very non-violent group of people who just like to anonymously run their mouths from time to time. It bothers me that you never hear about the dude who beat up his wife or the kid who went on a shooting rampage after watching a movie, reading a book, looking at a picture, attended or watched a sporting event (many more examples can be put here) but music and gaming seem to be two of life’s awesome things that like to get singled out because of agenda and not because it is the real cause.
I have nothing against jocks. The only reason I am using them here is because that is the group that is stereotypically pitted against the nerds. And this is one stereotype that does have a good basis of fact behind it unlike the stereotypes that people like Roger Ebert like to fart out of their asses and post on Twitter. When the reality is, if it were not for us geeks/nerds/gamers Roger Ebert wouldn’t be able to fart anything onto Twitter again because guess what, we invented the thing! All of these awesome technological things that people use without a second thought (computers, cell phones, social networking, blogs, intertubes, games, technology to create movies which Ebert makes his life from, engines, microchips, television, bridges, buildings, space shuttles, telescopes, sound mixers, etc., etc., etc.,), none of it would be available if it were not for us. Pretty much every job and every single person’s sources of entertainment would not exist if it were not for some geek spending hours dreaming of how to make something work. I think maybe the only exception to this would be painting as it does not require some type of mechanical device to do.
So Mr. Ebert maybe you want to think about that next time you decide to spew ignorance on the internet. We made it possible for you to still have a voice. You should be thanking us for all that we have given you because without us, you would have no way to hand out your venom.