Embrace your inner nerd

Evan Williamson, Courier Staff

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There has always been this stigma when it comes to certain types of entertainment like comics/manga, anime, theater, Dungeons and Dragons, etc. You needed to keep your love for certain things quiet or risk being outed as a nerd (though geek is the more appropriate definition) and there was a time where that would be an embarrassment. Remember when you were in grade school where it seemed like in a span of a summer break it went from being okay with liking things like Pokémon and Power Rangers to all of a sudden getting made fun of for it. We have all been there and I would guess it forced you to keep your fandoms if you will a secret. I guarantee that the vast majority of people still loved certain things we just had to pretend that we didn’t. Then as we got older we realized we were being stupid so by high school, we let up a bit being fully open by college. Though there are still some stereotypes out there about who nerds are there has been a variety of things to change that. I think Nostalgia is a big one because with all this horrible stuff we go through on a daily basis, the us versus them mentality we see through social media and the news (though some fandoms have that) its nice to go back to a time where we didn’t have to worry about things. The abundance of movies and TV shows over the past decade has made liking super heroes cool again, though they probably weren’t as taboo as other things. Dungeons and Dragons was a hush hush topic for years due to the “Satanic Panic” in the 80’s not only did secular fans have to keep their love of the game secret but religious people as well. With the more popular 5th Edition of Dungeons and Dragons being portrayed on a variety of internet shows and podcasts including the popular Critical Role (which features voice-actors playing the game) more and more people are coming out as fans and players including pro athletes, movie stars, musicians and even more. DND continues to gain popularity as the stereotype that it is worshiping Satan has been proven false and it’s no longer viewed as being played just by your stereotypical nerd. Theater is one of those things that I don’t know if you would call it nerdy I just know a lot of people that like anime, Dungeons and Dragons, and other nerdy things have a love for theater. I’ll admit I was never really a theater guy even though I love to quote movies and TV shows and sing, there were just very few things like Broadway that I was fond of The Lion King on Broadway was pretty much the only show I ever wanted to see. Theater always had that perception among people to be girly like real “men” don’t like that sissy stuff and if you do your gay type thing. Perhaps I had this perception to an extent, never malicious on my part, but that stereotype is very hard to get away from. I have recently found more and more people being fans of theater and singing showtunes (probably the only thing I was into regarding theater), including athletes and others you just wouldn’t consider. Now, I’m still not a huge fan of theater but it is growing on me a bit. The other day, me and a few friends stayed up late in our residence hall lounge and watched The Phantom of the Opera, I had very little interest to watch it, but I love my friends and time together in college is short, so I stayed. When the overture of the movie began playing I was hooked, and I have no shame in saying that. So, do not be afraid of what others think join the countless others who have embraced what they love and are proud to be called nerds because I guarantee that some of our students, athletes, faculty and staff enjoy theater, anime, Dungeons and Dragons,etc. Common interests are very important as it can bring us together during a time where our world is so divided.