The Best Time to be a Dork

I’m pushing 30, and I can’t think of a better time than now to be a geek, a nerd, a dork, or whatever you want to call it.

Seriously, right now, the dorks are winning.


I remember a time, around 15 years ago, where I couldn’t really proclaim my love for Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, or comic books. Of course, I went to a Christian school where things like that (magic, wizards, etc.) were frowned upon. I actually got in trouble once for having the manual to Civilization II in my backpack.

But really, I only had a couple of friends that would admit that they were into geeky things.

Fast forward to today.

Batman and a collection of Marvel superheroes are sitting at the top of the box office.  The San Diego Comic Convention is bigger than ever. Gen Con drew in over 41,000 people. You can’t go out without seeing someone wearing a Spider-Man t-shirt. Comic book characters on are TV. Major networks are taking chances of fantasy and sci-fi shows. Game of Thrones is one of the best shows on TV. Doctor Who is back and more popular than ever!

When I read a comic book in public, I RARELY get scoffed at. In fact, more often I get asked  if it is any good. People generally aren’t afraid to try roleplaying games. Video games are a booming medium. Everyone plays Call of Duty, Battlefield, Halo, or World of Warcraft.

This is a far cry from when I had to huddle in friends’ basements, rolling dice in the lonely, dreary shadows. Now, someone can put a good idea for a tabletop RPG on Kickstarter, and it can make 12 times its funding goal. There are so many cool geeky things out there, and there’s no way I have the disposable income to buy even a quarter of their awesome-ness. And that doesn’t even include the different geeky events around the country that I want to attend!

Viva la Dorka!

There are some even greater things that are coming out of this dork boom. People in general are getting more interested in science and math. Going to space is cool again. Comic book and video game art are inspiring younger  generations to create awesome things. Movie and video game music has never been better, and I bet you’ll see kids picking up instruments because of Halo, Skyrim, or Rock Band.

So, enjoy this geek boom while it lasts! It’s a good time to dork out.

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4 thoughts on “The Best Time to be a Dork

  1. Figaro says:

    Doesn’t it concern you though, TJ? How “nerdiness” has become ubiquitous? I mean, in these times, what does it mean to be a “nerd”?

  2. TJ Johnston says:

    I think that it used to, but now I don’t think it bothers me at all. I’m pretty inclusive.

    For the purposes of this site, a “geek” is someone who participates in some form of fantasy escapism. That’s a pretty broad term, but I think it’s also a product of our current culture and economic climate.

    There are people who often complain about “fake nerds” and really, it doesn’t bother me. I haven’t met any, and if I did, I still don’t think it would bother me all that much.

    People tend to always want to be part of the current popular movement. However, because of the largeness of the current geek cycle, you’ll find that there will be a lot more that have to scurry into the basement when the late 80s-early 90s culture comes back around.

    I guess what I’m saying is that it won’t always be ubiquitous, so it doesn’t bother me.

  3. John Calhoun says:

    So what is the modern geek now? What do you have to escape into to be considered a pariah in the same vein as video games used to?

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