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Every time I read an article about Nerds, it seems like the writer is documenting the divides in the culture and rarely the unity that we so often see. In fact in my first article with State-Lines.com I talked about the age divide in the comic book community and the tension it creates some times. We have to ask ourselves if this is really the case. Are we a group so set on seclusion and segregation that we are more exclusive then “those kids” in high school?

A great example, and the one I am most familiar with personally, is the great battle between STAR WARS and Star Trek fans. You can find pages and pages of the comparisons online so I won’t even try and go there. [And why should I because we all know The Wars is the bee’s fu*king knees.]To an outsider it might all just be more of the same SciFi, but when you get two or more people who are passionate about films, TV series, games, and books you can find yourself in a battle matching that of two young Sith on Korriban. Lucas’ Innovation was unmatched at the time. Star Trek is relatively more believable. And on and on, Back and forth, until someone yells “Bobba Fett, had a jet pack!” and walks away. So why do we do this? Why can’t we just say “You’re right, The Wrath of Khan was a good movie”?

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I think it comes down to a pretty simple statement. What’s the fun in that? Every Star Wars fan ever knows that the prequels made Darth Vader look like a bitch in his twenties. Every Trekie knows that when it comes to cannon story line consistency, they are at a loss. And there is nothing more enjoyable then to bring that up in the middle of Halo multiplayer to get a rise out of your opponent. To some extent you have to admit that you yourself have become engrossed in the opposing mythos, just so you can have your facts together to shove in the other ones face. Real world comparison: the people who tend to know the most about the bible are atheists.

So really are we dividing ourselves up, or just flexing our knowledge muscles and honing each other’s abilities? I would have never watched (and enjoyed) The Next Generation, if it wasn’t to pick apart every single flaw for future debates.

Next time you see two kids going at it about who would win in a battle between Starkiller and Goku, realizes this isn’t just primal bickering but young people weighing out pros and cons and coming to a conclusion. The fact that the kid who seemingly loses will not except that is what makes them a true nerd.

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John Osborne

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