The elves have recaptured Kris Kringle and imprisoned him once again in his rune-encrusted hyperbaric containment chamber to sleep for another year. That baby with “New Year” sash and top hat is crawling his way toward Times Square. All of this means nerds across the country are once again preparing to make (and immediately abandon) their resolutions for the new year.
You’ve got your standard weight loss goals, career changes, pledges to learn Klingon and the like, but this year, we're going to focus on our own insecurities about unchecked boxes on the "nerd card." If you’re a fellow enthusiast and would like to join us on our quest, please read on and comment below!
1. Stop with the “It’s been a while since I’ve seen/played it” equivocating.
When conversation drifts toward a topic of well-tread nerd lore, and it’s a game or film or show we simply never got around to absorbing, we have a tendency to want to appease the other person by pretending we totally saw that thing, too. We simultaneously have the feeling of embarrassment for having never seen said property, and then resolve to fix this inadequacy as soon as possible, and then fear that we will be found out before we can.
A go-to response when asked for an opinion is a casual, “Oh, it’s been ages since I saw/played that old thing.” Followed by whatever details we remembered from the trailer or some common pop culture knowledge.
It’s a skill I honed with book reports in grade school, one 1d4 writer said, adding that it goes something like this: “Oh man, you’ve seen 'The Dark Crystal?'”
“Oh yeah, I mean it’s been ages but… (internal monologue: Was that the one with David Bowie or the other one I also never saw? Keep it generic, Brando!) … "I remember the puppets were so realistic! These days it would be all CG and look totally fake amiright?”
Then we high five and I secretly feel like a total fraud. Well starting in 2019, I will try to own my inadequacies proudly.
“Have you ever played 'Super Metroid?'”
It may mean the death knell for that conversation, but that just means I’ll have more time to write 1d4 articles!
2. Stop badgering my “normie” friends to watch or play whatever nerd thing we love.
Repeat after us: “Just because we think something is great, doesn't mean everyone should.” Now keep that mantra in your head every time you get the urge to fanboy (or girl) out to your friends about this hilarious new anime you found. Here’s the thing. Sometimes liking nerdy things can be a lonely endeavor. You can always find an online community that’s into whatever you’re into, but that’s a far cry from actual face-to-face human conversation with a person you love and respect.
Part of this urge is driven by the need for validation. “Hey I think this is great and I think you’re great. Can you tell me if this is really great? Or am I crazy?” Nobody wants to find out they’re crazy. So you’re sure if you can just get your good buddy who’s never ACTUALLY shown any interest in D&D or podcasts to power through the first five hours of "The Adventure Zone," then they’ll just have to love it as much as you do and you’ll finally have someone to talk about it with.
The truth is, this line of thinking will only alienate your friends. Further, if they ever actually DO watch or listen to or read the thing you’ve been hyping up all this time, it will never live up to the now-sky-high expectations. So stop it. This is 2019 already. Write a blog.
3. Instead of “Um, actually-ing,” just let it slide, my dude.
You know your stuff. You’ve researched the comic, read the book, watched all the special features and tracked down the author’s yearbook photo. Your message-board game is strong, so when you see someone slightly misquote your favorite character, there is often an overwhelming urge to correct them.
I’ll admit, for me, this urge is at least in part motivated by the sense of “justified” superiority this brings to my fragile little ego, one 1d4 writer said. When you can cite some obscure liner-note verbiage that explains why those totally intense lyrics actually mean the opposite of what everyone else thinks, that is a tempting cudgel to swing. But 2019 resolutions are all about resisting that temptation, which makes this a perfect goal to attempt and ultimately fail at. Seriously, who thinks the NES Classic is a great buy when you can just build your own on a Retropie platform for a fraction of the price? We're just going to straighten this random person on Twitter out real quick…
4. Ten pushups every time my character levels up.
Yes, it is a twist on getting healthier, but it's a good twist.
Imagine the chiseled-marble body you would have if you did even one tenth of the physical exercise that you've piloted a hundred video game characters through. From now on, assuming the game's hero is not a super soldier of some kind, we are going to commit to 10 pushups for every level our characters gain.
It's simple, it's a fun way to exercise, and it will keep us honest for easily a solid week into 2019.