You Know Nerds Have Hit Mainstream When…

…they have their own reality show (the good),

Which I’m actually looking forward to since I did enjoy watching WCG Ultimate Gamer. This one will, obviously, go beyond video games to the nerd universe in general. Check out the long trailer below.

I’m sharing this because at least two of the contestants reference Halo in some way. One of them, which I already plan to cheer for, is Celeste (aka BiiTTERSWEET on XBL and missceleste on Youtube). I followed her YouTube channel years back when I flirted with the idea of competitive gaming and wanted to learn more from various players in the pro circuit. I particularly enjoyed how prepubescent newbs troll and challenge her online only to get slaughtered in 1v1 Slayer.

And speaking of sexism in online gaming, this is actually the perfect segue into a blog topic I’ve been meaning to post for sometime now.

…their online behavior conforms to society rather than rebels against it (the bad),

We, as gamers, experience derogatory language and vulgarity all the time when we’re playing online. Just because we accept it as “normal” behavior doesn’t mean it’s the “right” form of behavior. There’s a huge difference between trash-talking amongst friends and/or competitive colleagues and being straight-up asinine. The old adage “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” doesn’t quite cut it these days. The version I prefer is, “If you can’t say it in front of your mom, don’t say it at all.” Feel free to substitute “your mom” with whoever you admire if that’s a better example for you, but you get my point.

And seriously, since when did it become OK for prepubescent brats to cuss at total strangers for no reason? A few weeks ago I got a nasty voice message on XBL that was mostly incoherent except for a few high-pitched squeals of expletives. Did I do anything to deserve it? Not that I can think of. It was a game of Spartan Ops Matchmaking, for crying out loud. The point of that mode is to work cooperatively, not to throw tantrums over little things.

While I’m not out to tell people how they should live their lives, it would behoove others to consider the following:

If you are a heterosexual male who is single: Casually using terms that refer to female body parts, female animals, or the forcing of one’s will onto someone does not score you brownie points in a female’s eyes. In fact, it just makes you look like a sexist a-hole. And guess what, gents, more and more ladies game online now but you don’t know that because you’re too busy bragging about your K/D ratio.

If you are a heterosexual male who is in a relationship: If you still talk like the previous example, your girlfriend/spouse should kick you to the curb. Some women still think of video games as a childish pastime, so don’t let your behavior further perpetuate the stereotype. Even cougars want men, not boys (again, generally speaking).

Before anyone starts thinking that I’m trying to kiss up to the ladies, I will also like to mention that women are just as prone to vulgarity as men.

…when picking on other other people becomes the “cool” thing to do (the ugly).

Homophobia sets me off just a bit more than sexism does because it is present in both sexes when it comes to multiplayer. I recently left a gaming group and refused an invitation from another gaming group because of the overuse of the words “fag”, “faggot”, and “gay”. I’m confused as to why being gay was ever and is still considered a bad thing. I’m so comfortable with my heterosexuality that being called gay would actually be considered a compliment. Why? Because gay guys know how to get to a girl’s heart without getting into their pants, a skill every straight guy should learn.

Again, I don’t claim to be an expert of any kind. I just hope these words encourage more gamers to think about how society and culture affects their behavior and vice versa. We don’t need to wait for a reality show to put nerd culture in the spotlight. We can represent it positively in the way we interact with others both offline and online.

5 thoughts on “You Know Nerds Have Hit Mainstream When…

  1. Getting hate mail like that usually means I had a really good game, or a really bad one. I am always surprised that people take the time to stop playing, find me in the menu, and make and send a message. That takes effort. I’ll do it to thank somebody for being a great wheelman, or if I had a good run of games with them, but not to cut them down.

  2. I remember Celeste! That’s great that she made it onto the show. πŸ™‚

    Completely agree with you. Certain things are uncalled for in games. It’s just a game, after all. (Well, unless one is doing competitive gaming.) Sometimes people live like they’re playing competitively, all the time, and it does them (and their health) no good to live that way. *shrug*

    As hard as it is, try to look at the hater message in a good way. As justcal has said, it’s surprising that people take the time and effort to go and find you, then message you (whether it’s good or bad). In this case, it makes me think of a quote Ramiele Malubay once said on American Idol: “If you’ve got haters, it means you’re doing something right.” It’s just how life is… so you must be doing something right. πŸ™‚

    • The good thing I saw about the hate message was that it encouraged me to not only give the person a bad player review, but to also make use of the “File Complaint” option LOL Other than that I haven’t thought of it much other than a reason to make a social commentary, which is another good thing.

      • Very true. It’s interesting how we come up with blog ideas and discussions, isn’t it? Even the most negative things can be used as inspiration and catalysts for change. πŸ™‚

        That said, I miss playing Halo 4. Must make that custom game we thought of over the weekend!

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