I am a nerd. Always have been. There's no argument about it, no way around the fact. Not that I would try to distance myself from the moniker anyway. I proudly bear the mantle of nerdiness, championing the weird and the uncool in my daily life. I have nerd tattooed into my skin, into the definition of who I am as a person. Traditionally speaking, nerds are people who are social pariahs, who obsess over particular interests to extreme degrees. The textbook definition (or Google definition anyway) is this:
1.) a foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious. "one of those nerds who never asked a girl to dance" synonyms: bore; More 2.) a single-minded expert in a particular technical field. "a computer nerd"
So yeah, basically what I said. However, due to the wild popularity of comic book movies and tv shows and video games, 'nerd' has become less a pejorative term and rather more an accepted branch of subculture. 'Nerdy chic' is a term which exists now, something no nerd 15 years ago would've ever imagined. All that being said, though, I think that it's important to acknowledge that there are different kinds of nerdiness, especially at this point where 'nerd' is the new pop culture vogue. It's okay to be a nerd now, so let's examine some of the kinds there are.
@voidx @danse @hikaymm @luffynewman @kalyanmadoori @roronoaluffy A culture-specific type of nerd, these have been around for as long as jocks in high school have been pushing kids into lockers. Anime nerds are all about consuming Japanese Anime, Manga, Vocaloid, and other forms of Japanese pop culture. I am personally very much an anime nerd. Within every nerd sub category there are levels, of course. Not everyone who enjoys anime well self-ascribe as being an otaku, and most people will try to distance themselves from the connotations of weeaboo. At whatever level of interest, though, you are most assuredly a nerd.
Video Games Nerd
@paulisadroid @lavonyork @poojas @turtleyturtles @octoberhymns Video game nerds are a common type of nerd. These are the people who can tell you the individual merits of different gaming consoles, people who have lists of games that they consider the best and debate the intricacies of with their peers. Video game nerds are excited by new releases and tech, and love people like Hideo Kojima. Also worth considering in this category are table top game nerds. People who play Dungeons and Dragons campaigns with friends or even have board game nights. DnD is not the socially suicidal interest it once was; as nerdiness becomes more celebrated, so too are the activites associated with them.
@mchlyang One of the biggest new up-and-coming branches of nerd-dom is the Sports Nerd. Historically, sports have been the antithesis of all things nerdy, and in many ways, that remains to be true. Athletes can be nerds, but that's not how people will envision them at first glance. Instead, sports nerds are most like the superfans. People who paint themselves up for games at home and travel on the road for games in other cities. Sports nerds engage in fantasy football, obsessing over point totals for individual players, paying insane attention to very minor details. Sports nerds may get defensive about their obsession, but their level of focus on minute detail makes them akin to gaming nerds who fancy RPGs. (example: the players who make the most money in places like DraftKings are people with understandings of complex sorting algorithms)
@tessstevens @jordanhamilton 'Woah now, wait a minute. How can fashionistas and the like be considered nerds?' You might be saying right now. Well believe it or not, the people who follow fashion and can clue you in to the hottest trends and designers, people who keep their fingers on the stylish pulse, they are still nerds. The level of fanaticism expressed by some fashion-conscious people is tantamount to the feelings expressed by gaming nerds over new tech releases. If you know exactly what season that pair of Louboutins are just from a glance, you are a fashion nerd. If you are excited by upcoming, new designers, or you lament the fact that you missed out on Alexander McQueen's Fall '14 collection, you are a fashion nerd.