Nerd culture has always been with us since the dawn of time. Those days when young boys and girls dreamt of walking into Mordor or chasing flying dragons, and this was necessary before the boon of modern computer design. Nerd culture hit its peak in the nineties when shows like He-man, swat cats, and G.I. Joe took a ripe audience for a ride.
Moving away from Red Riding Hood and her impaired vision (I mean, who mistakes a wolf for her grandmother), we had cats who built plans in a junkyard. And the little me used the building blocks to assemble different items in my Mechanix box.
Nerd culture spun geographies, and I have a friend in London who grew up in Hong Kong and emigrated to England. Our upbringing has nothing in common, yet we spend hours discussing He-Man!
People have a passion for the pop culture and do not judge others. We do not fight if someone loves comics, board games, or even those who enjoy sewing. We appreciate all forms of nerdism and passion for different things.
The nerd culture hit me when I first saw the first spider-man movie in theatres. Here is a guy dressed in spandex, spinning webs from his hands, doing acrobats in the air. It was impossible to understand. And yet it made sense. It made so much sense that I watched that movie in the theatre three times. The Junior college (High School) student in me had saved enough money to do that. So what I go hungry for a week at college.
My girlfriend, now my wife, forgave me for taking her to the avengers' premiere for a date night and screaming in a theatre when I spotted Thanos on screen.
Or when I promised her, I would walk into Mordor with her, when giving her a ring, not THE ring. She was the one, however, as she gifted me my first edition of Lord of the rings and the complete Sherlock Holmes as a gift.
Did we know back then that the nerd culture would hit us badly? It will decimate the entire movie-going experience. It will change the world during a pandemic.
It was not a wave, and it was a big bang.
And the Big bang theory had a big hand in it.
See, until the point when the show Big Bang Theory came aboard, we all went to comic cons, but we never celebrated the fact. So when I entered the entertainment store in Bangalore, I saw but didn't buy because until then, there was a premium on being different.
My parents didn't understand why a grown man would want to buy comics. However, I may try to explain about a man dressed as a dog wielding an MP5 gun firing through riots in Delhi (for an unversed, that's Doga, an Indian punisher who dresses like a Dog). A manager at a famous IT firm told me it didn't look professional that I had comics in my drawer, even though I spent more money on them than he ever did for an aftershave. A karmic balance was maintained when another manager exchanged Hush Hush with me for my Sandman overture. My mother questioned my collection of board games and wondered if they were for the kid.
And here is the thing, people told us to hide the fact that we enjoyed nerd culture. And yet, here was a show that celebrated the culture and showed the world it was as normal as people screaming for their favourite sports team. Sheldon Cooper, as a character, told us that it was okay to wear your justice league t-shirts out in public, and we did just that. And it said to the nerds that if you try hard, you can find your Penny, the girl of your dreams, and she will adjust with your nerdvana.
The nerds realised we were being lied to our whole life. That we were told to hide our passions for the greater good was a lie. Did I know I'll have a room full of board games professionally preserved in a bespoke made cupboard? I didn't. It was not hard to convince my wife, who had been along for the ride, to have the ONE Ring keyholder on the console table. She just gave up.
But, and here is the kicker, most of us nerds were more prosperous than other muggles (even though we spend our money on things many considered useless), and the world was watching.
So a movie producer could proudly announce, listen, we are going to make seventeen films in ten years, and I know this bunch who will watch them. When the world entered the pandemic, the nerds knew what they were going to do. We studied every zombie, alien invasion and apocalypse film. The world now caters for nerds and celebrates pop culture.
The nerdgasm hit.
And it will be hard for the world to reset. The clubs are failing, and going out is taking a hit, but today the sales of board games, comics and e-readers are through the roof. Unfortunately, PS5 are unavailable in the market; this is humanity's golden age.
Since the dawn of time, humans revered the hunters and the gatherers, but the squeaky little guy who sat around the bonfire, telling heartwarming stories so that you do not fear throughout the night, had his only time now.