Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Ten Levels of Nerdness

I remember being labeled as a nerd at a very young age because I liked to read.  It was difficult back then, you know, before being a nerd was what all the cool kids were doing.  Now I feel like I've been part of some important movement to have all Nerdness recognized and given its rightful place near the middle of the grand ladder of society.  I mean, look at all the nerds who are super cool now (and also super rich.  I'm hoping to break into that circle at some point).  Bill Gates, George Lucas, Steve Jobs, that guy who created Facebook.  These are the Super Nerds.  They rank maybe a 7 or 8 on the nerd rating scale because let's face it, Nerdness is like an aggregate model in that once you reach the Nerdness equilibrium and continue further up the scale, you cease to be awesome and become sort of creepy.

I made this scale by polling people (1 person at work, actually) and asking them (her) which things she considered more nerdy than the others.  The scale goes in ascending order so 1 is the least nerdy and 10 is David Schwimmer.  Haha, who? It does not include foregone conclusions such as, you drink obscene amounts of Mountain Dew.  So, a lot of work and thought went into this soon-to-be definitive measuring tool of Nerdness.

1.  At this level of Nerdness you are hardly even recognizable as a nerd.  You may do a few "nerdy" things like read books and make good grades but aside from that, you are pretty much a failure at being a nerd.  You are very extroverted and you have an active social life and girls speak to you without laughing at you.  You also bathe on a regular basis. 

 2.  The second tier on the Nerdness scale is not a whole lot different from the first one except we throw in a few video games and maybe some saturday morning cartoons.  You like to watch The Transformers because it "takes you back to the good old days".  Now, when I say video games I do not mean that you are a "gamer".  If the only games on your shelf are NCAA Football, any Madden game, Halo, and/or any Call of Duty game you do not qualify as a gamer.  Sorry.

3.  You are really into video games at this point.  You like to play Halo and Call of Duty, yes but you also love games like Little Big Planet, Rock Band, and God of War and you're pretty damn good at them if you do say so yourself.  However, you prefer Rock Band over God of War because you like to play with other people and that is what keeps you at level 3.  Aside from video games, you have heard of some show called Star Trek and you've seen Star Wars once when you were little.

4.  The level 4 nerd enjoys a variety of video games and can spend hours playing them.  Especially games like Final Fantasy, Elder Scrolls, and Mass Effect.  The longer it takes to beat a game the better! You enjoy cartoons on Adult Swim like Bleach and Naruto, even though your nerdier friends call this "anime", whatever that means.  You might pick up a comic book every now and then if it's something with lots of violence and blood in it, like the Watchmen.

5.  The middle-tier nerd is an interesting creature because even though you are at the halfway mark, this is not the mark of descent, or the equilibrium.  Oh no.  This is merely the threshold of awesomeness.  You have risen above the masses of wannabe nerds and you may make it with a little work.  You can name the major characters in Star Trek and Star Wars and you are emotionally involved in at least one comic book.  You know who Leroy Jenkins is and appreciate the humor in this meme.  You also know what "meme" means.

6.  World of Warcraft defines the 6th tier of Nerdness.  It may seem confusing at first as to why WoW is so low on the list.  Simply, it is because Blizzard has lowered the bar on the game so that even a monkey can play it and we all know that primates have no concept of Nerdness.  There is no role-playing involved in WoW and so people can feel a little more at ease while playing it.  You can install most software on your computer without the desire to put your fist through your monitor.

7.  At the seventh tier, you have made a conscientious decision that Star Wars is far better than Star Trek and you can site 100 reasons why off the top of your head.  You are capable of having lengthy debates over the fact that Han did shoot first and you are deeply disappointed in George Lucas over the prequel trilogy.  You watch anime in Japanese because you know that dubbed anime is horrible.  You've attended some sort of convention once but you didn't dress up like those other weirdos.

8.  Level 8 is the pinnacle of Nerdness.  WARNING:  ADVANCING PAST LEVEL 8 MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR SOCIAL LIFE.  Level 8 nerds are not only good at math, they actually enjoy it.  As a level 8 nerd, you understand concepts such as RAM and static IPs and you can use Linux without setting your computer on fire.  You debate frequently with your other nerd friends over PC vs. Mac.  You can name most of the characters in the X-Men comic and you can "transform" a Transformer without inadvertently breaking off one or more of its limbs.

9.  Level 9 begins the decline from Super Nerd to weirdo but you're not quite weird yet.  You play D&D with your friends occasionally and you spend a vast amount of money on Magic:  The Gathering cards.  You know what manga is and you scoff at people who don't know that you're supposed to read it backwards, duh.  Conventions are your thing and you wouldn't dream of going to one without cosplaying as something.  "Mainstream anime" is like drinking cheap wine and is completely beneath you.  You take pride in the fact that you are not one of those wannabe losers who is totally engrossed in Bleach and Naruto.  Your tastes are far too sophisticated for trash like that! You have read several Star Wars novels and you can name minor characters that no one else in the world has ever heard of and you were totally stoked that Jacen Solo :SPOILER:  became the next LORD OF THE SITH.

10.  Level 10.  You are creepy.  Your tastes have devolved and you believe firmly that Star Trek is superior to Star Wars in every way and William Shatner is a GOD.  You rarely shower because that would take precious time away from text gaming.  Who needs graphics? The only time you leave your house is to do some LARPing with the few friends you have who are also more than a little creepy.  No one understands your obsession with animated girls (and really, should they?) but you can't seem to find a real woman as delicious as Faye Valentine so why try? You don't just play D&D, you are a freakin' GAMEMASTER, bitches! You love boobs, but not as much as you love your computer games, cartoons, and anime.



Anonymous said...

That's a very impressive list you have there. I'm not sure what level of a nerd i am but most likely an 8.

Najaraja said...

It was difficult to be objective since I have so many advanced nerd hobbies.

Jensling said...

What if you've never watched Star Trek, only played WoW for less than 30 minutes, but frequently GM an Exalted Campaign and really enjoy Shadowrun and other non-D&D rpgs?

and is in the board of a "east-asian culture society" (read: anime/manga/videogames club)
and not only go to conventions, but hold them?
and really love LARPing >_>

9 perhaps?

Najaraja said...

I think LARPing automatically puts you at 10. Sorry.