After having a conversation with somebody the other day about video games and the industry itself, the word nerd came up, and for some reason, my usage of it offended this person. At first I thought ” Well, I didn’t mean to offend him/her with this word at all”, but once a few hours went by, everything started to make sense. They took the word in a different context than what I meant for it to be used in. You see, some people associate this term with being a loser, outcast, etc., but in all honesty, it was meant to be more of a compliment than an insult.
This whole discussion got me to thinking about what the term nerd really means to me. According to the dictionary, the word is defined as a person who is single-minded or accomplished in scientific or technical pursuits, but is felt to be socially inept. Out of that whole description, at least in my case anyway, the only phrase people tended to focus on is socially inept, when in fact there is more positive words in that sentence than negative ones to begin with. My interpretation of this word is that a certain person is extremely knowledgable about a specific form of media, science, culture, etc., and therefore focuses all of their attention to it.
Is that a bad thing though? No, not really. Think about it, if smart and critical thinking people didn’t exist in our society, then we wouldn’t really have solutions to all of the problems that each one of us faces on a daily basis. Creativity and ingenuity is what makes the world go round, and without it, all of the enjoyable aspects of our lives would cease to exist. So before you try to classify and tease other people about who they are, remember this one thing, when it comes down to it, your life couldn’t function without them.
To sum everything up, my feelings towards the word nerd are more positive than negative. Does this mean that my opinion is the right one though? Of course not, because everyone is entitled to perceive this term in their own way. Which leads me to the question “What does the word nerd mean to you?”