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PAX South 2016



  • I fundamentally do not understand these people who call out fake nerds. Even if the "fakers" are engaging in your nerd media out of some truly pretentious desire, nerd shit is still not some cultural identity that can be unfairly appropriated. In this worst of cases, that's simply how the person is choosing to engage with some media or hobby, so chillllll the fuck out Clifford B
  • Matt said:

    I fundamentally do not understand these people who call out fake nerds. Even if the "fakers" are engaging in your nerd media out of some truly pretentious desire, nerd shit is still not some cultural identity that can be unfairly appropriated. In this worst of cases, that's simply how the person is choosing to engage with some media or hobby, so chillllll the fuck out Clifford B

    Right!? Saw this tweet yesterday that says it well:

  • I definitely do not support calling anyone a fake nerd, or anything similar. Nerd and geek are not rigidly defined. If someone claims to be a fan/nerd/geek of any kind, it's impossible to prove otherwise. Trying to test someone's geek cred it just a no true Scotsman, dick-measuring maneuver. It's not the kind of conversation you see good people having. You only ever see "that guy" calling people out in such a manner. That's all the reason anyone needs to not do this sort of thing.

    Not to mention the fact that if you try to test someone's cred who knows more than you, that shit will blow up in your face hard. Imagine someone coming at Rym trying to talk like he doesn't know some Utena shit. If you challenge someone to a dick measuring contest, you had better win. Don't be "that guy" who challenges someone to a duel and ends up with a bullet in the face. Life will be much better if you just avoid duels completely.

    That being said, I do find myself somewhat understanding where "that guy" is coming from in some of these instances. There do exist some people, that I have met, who identify as fans/geeks/nerds of specific things. Yet, despite being fans of a thing, for some reason they don't know much about the thing they are a fan of. It doesn't mean they aren't a fan. It's just weird as hell.

    Imagine meeting someone and they say they are a Star Wars geek. OK. They are. Clearly they must like Star Wars. Otherwise, why would they say such a thing? There's no arguing against that. They say they're a Star Wars geek, so they are. End of story.

    What if that person doesn't know the difference between an Ewok, a Wookie, and a Wompa? What if they can't tell an X-Wing from a TIE Fighter? What if they don't know R2 from C-3PO? If they really loved Star Wars so much, why don't they know these things? How can someone like a thing so much while knowing so little about it? It's not weird if they don't know who Jan Dodonna is. It took me 10+ years to remember that fucker's name. That's why I keep bringing him up every chance I get. It's just really weird if a Star Wars nerd doesn't even know that the originals and the special editions are significantly different.

    One thing I've never encountered is the fan who knows absolutely nothing. Let's hypothetically say there was a person who claimed to be a fan of Spider-Man. If they don't know the origin of the Rhino, that's understandable. I sure as hell don't remember it. If they don't know who Uncle Ben is, that's weird, but as already said, it doesn't make them not a fan.

    Now, what if they couldn't even pick Spider-Man out of a police line-up? Assuming their vision is fine, what if they pointed at Batman when you asked them to point at Spider-Man? Is there a point at which someone has so little knowledge of a thing that you can actually refute their claim to be a fan of it? I don't believe anyone on earth would claim to be a fan of something while knowing absolutely nothing about it. There are probably zero such people. But is this hypothetical know-nothing person still a fan?

    And again, even if they are or aren't, I still say that calling anyone out is not cool. If such a person does exist, I think it would be much more fascinating to talk to them and find out how their mind works rather than shame them for no reason.
  • It seems so often that the fear comes from this idea that "fake fans" will cheat you out of money or life. That women expect your adoration and commitment by watching them on TV, or that you will spend your life longing to date women like them only to then learn that they aren't really into the thing you like.

    At the end of the day, the real issue has nothing to do with whether or not these people are faking their interests. What people need to realize is that investing yourself in the identities of other people is a bad idea whether they're genuine or not. It's absolutely true that someone could lie to you to get you to spend money on them. That's always been true for the history of the world. It has nothing to do with geek/nerd/fan/enthusiast culture and everything to do with human nature. The most nerdy people in the world, if they are creating paid content, are attempting to get you to spend your time and money. The only thing that matters, in the end, is whether you enjoy what you received.

    The fact of the matter is, if you watched Olivia Munn on G4 and were like "OMG so hot and she's talking about the iPhone this is the best," you've pretty much already received the utility of having Olivia Munn in that role. You value having attractive people talk about things you like, and apparently you've received that. Whether or not Olivia Munn is lying (and she probably isn't, as she could get a hosting job doing anything) has nothing to do with what you receive from watching her. However, if you are trying to use people like Olivia Munn as validation that either:
    1. You are normal for liking what you like
    2. You can meet normal/attractive people who like the thing you like
    then you're focusing on the wrong thing.

    It all boils down to being okay with yourself. If you like Star Wars, that's fine. Olivia Munn doesn't need to know a damn thing about Star Wars for it to be okay for you to like Star Wars. What she does or doesn't know will not affect your knowledge or enjoyment. If you're watching Olivia Munn host a press thing at a Star Wars convention, as long as she can successfully convey the important information needed, it doesn't matter if she memorized it or is reading it off of a teleprompter. As long as you're not seeking self-validation through other people, what Olivia Munn knows doesn't matter to you.

    And of course, the people who simply want to drag down others they don't like/disagree with are always stupid, and never need to be taken seriously.
  • edited March 2016
    Yes, everything you said is right. Especially in the case of a TV host. In fact, for them it makes sense. Convincing people you know more about something than you actually do is one of the most important skills for a broadcaster.

    But there are still people who call themselves fans of X who know surprisingly little about those things. They don't have some ulterior evil motive. They don't have a reason, like it's their job. They genuinely like the thing X. They just don't know much about X despite liking it so much, and that is the only aspect that I don't understand. When I like something, I can't help but learn way too much about it.
    Post edited by Apreche on
  • It is strange, but I meet lots of people who just don't spend their time researching and learning. They are too busy with the rest of their life. They also don't know there's a wealth of information out there. They watch A New Hope and are like "That's fucking cool!" and don't even know that Jan Dodonna has a name. "What, there's a book that reveals he has a name? There's a website where people store that information?" To them, it doesn't occur that beyond the movie they just saw, more information could exist. Does that mean they lack imagination? Yeah, maybe. But curiosity is not universal. Some people don't really care. My mom barely remembered anything about Star Wars until she rewatched it when I wanted to go to see Force Awakens for my birthday (since it came out on my birthday). Then suddenly she loved it all over again. I tried to make her watch just the original editions, but then my step-dad borrowed the Blu-Ray collection from a coworker and they watched the special editions against my warning. They didn't really care. Even with knowledge, it didn't really matter to her because that's who she is.

    I think it would certainly be better if more people were curious, but we don't live in that world. We live in a world of complacency. And that complacency often means not looking even a centimeter past what is in front of them.
  • edited March 2016
    Sure, some people don't have curiosity. Take my mom for instance. She likes Star Wars, so she watches Star Wars. Sticking with the films and ignoring books, comics, video games, etc. That's not strange at all. That's most people.

    What I don't understand are the people who know shockingly little. My mom may not know Jan Dodonna's name, but she knows who Boba Fett is. If it's in the movies, she knows it. Even though she has no desire to research Star Wars, she has a desire to watch it. If you experience something, there is a certain amount of knowledge you can't avoid, curiosity or not.

    There are some people, who definitely exist because I've met them, who don't even have a desire to experience the thing they claim to be a fan of. They say they are a fan of Final Fantasy, but have never played a single Final Fantasy game. We're not even talking about someone who doesn't study it online, or someone who only played VII+. We're talking about someone who claims to like Final Fantasy despite never having played a single game in the series, and having no desire to do so. What is happening in those people's minds?
    Post edited by Apreche on
  • Yeah, we're not talking people who say they "are into board games" and then only know Risk/Monopoly/Axis & Allies/whatever.

    We're talking people who say they "are into board games" and can't actually name any board games, or else have no opinion on any board game, even ones they've played.

    It's a common thing.
  • Right. There's a know-nothing level that I don't believe exists. That's the example I used where the Spider-Man fan can't pick Spider-Man out of a police line-up.

    There is a still frighteningly low level, that does exist, where the Spider-Man fan can't name a single villain Spider-Man has faced.
  • There's a certain class of person who's gut reaction to everything is to say whatever it takes to fit in. If you say something, they'll excitedly agree and state how they are into that thing as well. I think we're all in agreement that you just feel sad for these people, not feed the need to publicly crucify them.
  • At least pull a Rym and convince people you know more than you actually do.

    I never read or watched any Game of Thrones, but I could talk about how winter is coming and Lanister something something so nobody would question me if I lied.
  • To socially fake media knowledge, in most cases all you need is:

    1. Common/shortened name of the thing (e.g., Marvel movies just as "the MCU")
    2. Names of a few main characters
    3. 1-2 major plot points
    4. One clever joke, pun, or easily-related catchphrase
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