Monday, September 17, 2012

Nerd versus Geek


A lot of people not in Geek Culture ask me a question:  What is the Difference between a Geek and a Nerd?  Many people have many answers.  Mostly Geeks are seen as obsessive about their interests to the Nth Degree.  Nerds are intelligent and very studious about their interests.  Can one be both a geek and a Nerd? Yes, they can.  Many a Physics Nerd is also a Star Trek Geek.  In my experience a Nerd can have knowledge and know how to use his knowledge in a practical was.  Computer Nerds can field strip a PC blind folded.  A Computer Geek can make a cool website, but does not know how to parlay that into a career.  Some geeks can use their knowledge practically.  Harry Knowles has done that with his website Ain’t It Cool News.  For Example I am a Comic Book and SciFi/ Fantasy Geek, but I am also a Mythology, Folklore, and Literature Nerd.  I have both the training and education in those fields.  I am more scholarly in my Nerd interests, than is not to say one cannot be scholarly about comics and SciFi/Fantasy.   Many Comic Book Professionals are also studious about their Artistic Format of choice.  Mark Waid and Kurt Busiek are examples of this.

I recently took a Geek/Nerd/Dork test online.  My Results were: 65 % Nerd, 48% Geek, and 26% Dork.  According to the test, a Nerd is passionate about knowledge in an Academic way.  Geeks are passionate about obsessions, many of which are obscure or socially scorned. Like I said in my Geek Button essay, Goths could be seen as Geeky.  Hell, Abby on NCIS straddles those two worlds wonderfully.  Now we are in Geek Renaissance, it is acceptable to be geeky.  It is becoming part of mainstream culture.  This has the old school hardcore Geeks up in arms.  Another difference between Geeks and Nerds in my experience, Nerds want mainstream acceptance and Geeks are torn by it.  Geeks don’t want to be ridiculed, but they don’t want to share in their obsession either.  It is theirs; they feel they have a right to say who is truly into and who is a poseur. 

My Opinion is it does not matter what other people think, even other Geeks or Nerds.  Are there poseur glomming onto Geek Culture, because it is the new big thing?  Yes, those folks will not be around in five years.  The True Believers will still be around once the dust settles.  Is it possible to both a Geek and a Nerd?  Yes, most Nerdy and Geeky people can be Nerdy about one thing and Geeky about another.  Does it Matter? No, be happy regardless.  They are just labels; never let labels define you completely.  Remember it is part of who you are.  It is not all you are.  That is My not so Humble Opinion.

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