Time to Enter the Nerd Confessional
Posted by Alan Edwards
I’ve mentioned quite a few times on this blog how much of a nerd I am. I am not ashamed of this. I can sit at a table in the middle of a restaurant while everyone I’m with disclaims loudly about LARPing or playfighting or tabletopping without wanting to die (Just barely. Seriously, not one of my favorite things, but I’ve gotten a little better at handling it.) The purpose of this post in no way indicates my need to seek absolution for being a nerd, because I don’t really care what general society thinks of my hobbies.
However, nerd society itself is big on shaming those that don’t share every geeky interest there is. Admonishments about how “you HAVE to watch this” or “what do you MEAN you don’t like this” or “how can you say the new Battlestar Galactica is a pathetic uninspired piece of shit that resembles more of a random Cylon-of-the-Week generator and whose main premise seems to revolve around the idea that LOOK STARBUCK IS A GIRL!” run rampant whenever geeks collide. Many of us nerds carry our opinions proudly and defend them vociferously. Others hide the things they hate lest they get besieged with long-winded arguments and belittled by someone with uncontrollable flatulence. They just nod knowingly but silently during the conversations regarding the things they dislike.
I fall into both camps. In general, my apathy (my third superpower) wins out over any desire to strongly express an opinion about anything to argue with another nerd about geek stuff, and my desire to get along with people means that I’ll happily seem interested in whatever thing they want to talk about. But seriously, if you use “frack” in conversation as a substitute curse word, you’re a tool.
Anyway, I’ve decided to come clean on some nerdy things I don’t like. I’m not sure I hate them (see: Superpower 3 - Apathy), but for many people the simple act of not really liking something is an act akin to supporting Vichy France. We nerds can be touchy. And I’m not excusing myself. Diss on Mass Effect or Skyrim or Firefly or Conan the Barbarian (original movie) or Marvel comics (specifically until 1992 or so, since a lot of ass has happened after that which is unforgivable. Fucking Clone Saga.) and I’m liable to get pretty snooty and uppity and use the word “Philistine” for some reason. But now is the time for me to confess my disdain for some of the Nerdy Touchstones. I’m not seeking forgiveness or absolution or anything. I’m just coming clean. Hopefully the rest of us can do the same and clear the air.
Here are some things I don’t like.
The Legend of Zelda
I am fucking sick of hearing about this game. I played the NES way back when it first came out, so don’t tell me that I had to be there. I was there. Chances are, the Link fans out there just creaming themselves anytime Peter Pan’s less-masculine cousin makes an appearance weren’t old enough, or alive, to play the original Zelda. I did. I hated it. I hated everything about it. I still do. Every new shitty-looking installment of that lame-ass franchise makes me grit my teeth as I listen to the fanboys and fangirls rave about whatever stupid bullshit is supposed to be good about that game. Seriously, fuck Zelda, fuck Link, and fuck the entire franchise. If I want to play an RPG, I don’t want it to look like a fucking episode of My Little Pony with increased pixelation.
I played Diablo back in the day. “In the day” was the time when there wasn’t a whole shitload of variety in games and most weren’t any good (it was 1997, to be exact). My wife and I played Diablo together, going through the dungeons underneath the town, smashing barrels and crates and whatever while chopping through skeletons and demons and whatnot. It was fun in its way and for its time, getting gear and porting back to town. The music, especially in town, was haunting and, dare I say (I think I dare!) beautiful. I even used that music as part of the background mood stuff for a particularly dark and strange adventure when I ran my Marvel Super Heroes tabletop game. Those of us who played Diable recognized it instantly, and it was a good time.
So why is Diablo on the list? Because in 2000, Diablo II came out. My wife and I had enjoyed it, so I picked it up. Hey! This’ll be fun! But it wasn’t. It was fucking boring as all hell. More barrels! More crates! More endless waves of monsters that engender a great big I don’t give a fuck response! YAY! There were new classes that let you fight the exact same things with a slightly different way to click the mouse button! Awesome! I played Diablo II for maybe a grand total of 16 hours before I gave up entirely. I didn’t like it, didn’t hate it, just wasn’t for me. It wasn’t enough to make me care at all. So, again, why is on this list? Because 12 fucking years after Diablo II came out, they have released Diablo III. People are fucking spooging over a game franchise with the development cycle-time of Duke Nukem. There are hordes of people excited by the prospect of Diablo III. I cannot fathom this. “But the loot is so cool!” they exclaim. OK. Whatever. Have fun. Just don’t expect me to give a shit or have a conversation about it.
The Dark Knight Batman Movies
Holy fuck am I sick of the Christopher Nolan Batman movies. From the stupid chunky Batmobile with the absurd fucking tires to Christian Bale “acting” (dark and broody is really hard to pull off) and all the grim-and-gritty bullshit – I’m sick of all of it. Every bit. The Dark Knight was an interesting graphic novel, very different in tone from comics of the day. We get it now. Comic characters can be grim. So fucking unrelentingly grim that trying to endure watching their grim escapades under a gritty cloudy sky and grim pollution-choked streets and gritty hopeless undercurrent of poverty and desperation makes you long for one of Batman’s fucking ridiculously stupid array of dumbass nonsensical villains (seriously, Batman’s lineup of archenemies makes Blue Streak and the Ringmaster look cool) to actually nuke Gotham City into fucking orbit so it can form a giant black hole of angst and leave me alone.
I’m so happy The Avengers beat the living shit out of the box office. I hope it signals a return to the concept that comic book movies can take place during the fucking daylight. They are even making the new Spider-Man movie all grim and gritty. Fuck you for that, Dark Knight. And I like Batman. I just happen to prefer the World’s Greatest Detective to The Dark Knight interpretation. And for the record, I don’t give a shit about Heath Ledger, either.
I read and watch a lot of stuff about video games. Because I’m a nerd. So I am constantly bombarded with people talking about Minecraft. Minecraft is an open-world game that allows its players to build shit out of big blocks and looks like something that would have been awesome to play on my Atari 2600. It hearkens back to the days of 16-bit graphics that were better left as something to be fuzzily remembered. Holy shit this thing looks like ass. It’s referred to as “nostalgic” and “chunky” and “old-school”. It’s ass. I am not interested in technology that looks 30 years old.
Anything to Do with Star Trek other than the Original Series
Seriously, everything that doesn’t involve William Shatner bores the ever-living fuck out of me. Way to make intergalactic war and space ships and lasers and shit lame and uninteresting.
There. I feel better. Gotten that off my chest. So how about you? What are the things that your friends and compatriots feel like you have to love that you actually hate or just don’t care for?