: Has Gaming Made The Nerd...Better?

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Has Gaming Made The Nerd...Better?

Yes, we are all aware of the stereotype, and we're all aware of how far the industry has come, and just how mainstream video games are today. But has anyone begun to consider the fact that games themselves are starting to have a positive aspect on men in the eyes of women...?

Just go with me for a second. Everywhere you look, you're beat over the head with terms like "alternative lifestyles" and "life choices" and the like; essentially, we move further and further away from the traditional family concept with every passing day. "Families" can pretty much consist of anything right about now, and "relationships" can, too. But believe it or not, there are still women out there who embrace the old-fashioned ideas of what makes a guy attractive; gallantry, sensitivity, charisma, charm, and perhaps a touch of courage laced with bravado. In short, despite the fact that gay is now "in" and despite the fact that marriage isn't much of an institution anymore, women may not have changed as much as we'd like to think.

Okay, so if that's the case, most of you are going, "great, so the cheerleader that made fun of me back in high school is the same shallow, cruel bitch she's always been." Eh, maybe. But more importantly, are you the same guy you've always been? Can one make the argument that our video game heroes we interact with on a routine basis could have some sort of impact, if only subconscious...? Think about it: of the positive traits I listed above, does not the standard ideal game hero exhibit such traits? Would he not frown on Type-A, overly aggressive jocks who treat women like worthless objects, designed only to be taken advantage of? Would he not be both willing to protect and defer to a woman, depending on the situation? Can he be charmingly shy and pleasantly romantic at the same time? In short, what about many of these heroes would women find unappealing?

The question, of course, is whether or not guys take a few cues from these fictional characters (even if they're not aware of it). If they do, I'd like to think that the idea of the gaming nerd has suddenly become that much more attractive to women. Thing is, the gamer is older now; they are more mature; they might be more willing to act on carefully instilled ideas. Perhaps, over the years, they've become more confident and capable; two more traits that game heroes typically possess. As the industry gets closer and closer to reality, it's almost impossible that at least some tiny facet of a fictional character's personality wouldn't rub off on the player. Factor in the obvious point that geeks and nerds rule the world today, and it's difficult to argue that the traditional ideals set forth in many games, perhaps especially old-school RPGs, can't have a positive effect.

So, what do you think? Has the nerd become "better," maybe especially in the eyes of the fairer sex, thanks to gaming?

9/4/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (43 posts)

JMO_INDY
Friday, September 04, 2009 @ 10:12:32 PM
Reply

Its a nerd's world, and it's pretty damn sweet.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

fatelementality
Friday, September 04, 2009 @ 10:22:15 PM
Reply

It's great if you're young, emo, or both. Us 27 year old rockers don't have it so easy. Most girls my age want a guy who landscapes all day and drives an f'in Dodge Ram. I gotta get the hell outta VA.

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JMO_INDY
Friday, September 04, 2009 @ 10:23:43 PM

Damn it sir, you have me pegged, i prefer "Alternative" or so says my music playlist. The young emo part, but its called "alternative."

Last edited by JMO_INDY on 9/4/2009 10:24:31 PM

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s360s
Friday, September 04, 2009 @ 10:44:37 PM
Reply

That would be cool because my game heroes are James Earl Cash, Daniel Lamb and Leo Kasper.

Edit: They're from the Manhunt games.

Last edited by s360s on 9/4/2009 10:47:53 PM

Agree with this comment 7 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

JMO_INDY
Friday, September 04, 2009 @ 10:48:55 PM

Now those are some really good role models huh?

Agree with this comment 5 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

s360s
Friday, September 04, 2009 @ 11:28:25 PM

The best role models you can get. They might be a little to nice though.

Agree with this comment 6 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

JMO_INDY
Friday, September 04, 2009 @ 11:33:11 PM

Yeah, i understand, that could be an issue, no flaws.

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Jawknee
Friday, September 04, 2009 @ 10:54:32 PM
Reply

Is that you in the pic Ben? Ha.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, September 04, 2009 @ 11:08:11 PM
Reply

Interesting thoughts Ben, it reminds me of a forum article i wrote on whether or not gaming makes women sexy.

Personally, I'd have to say yes. I'm even guilty of stealing excellent one-liners right off a game to make girls laugh cuz I knew they would never have encountered it, and rather successfully I might add. I was more the outcast than the nerd, but I get the point. I'm not ashamed to say Cloud showed me how to be cocky as hell, and lets just say it worked.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 9/4/2009 11:09:06 PM

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JMO_INDY
Friday, September 04, 2009 @ 11:19:10 PM

Cloud as a wingman huh? Interesting, another reason to have a PSP.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 12:03:15 AM

I'll tell you right now jmo, as complex as the ladies are, they feed off what you think of yourself at the moment.

Example: I played cocky aloof wingman to cloud at a street race and came home with a hot girl's number written on a condom. The rest is history.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

Fane1024
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 5:54:46 PM

@ World

I hope it was written on the package or you might be in for a surprise.

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TGG
Friday, September 04, 2009 @ 11:27:54 PM
Reply

As someone who just got out of high school I never really thought that high school worked like it did in the movies. Cheerleaders aren't all that popular, I kind of thought they were skanky, but not in the sexy way. It seemed that the soccer girls were popular. The "Jocks" weren't all that mean.

No, the people who were complete douchebags had a kind of I'm-better-than-you you nerd kind of attitude. They acted like the fictional cheerleaders, "popular girls", and jocks. They were the people who wanted to be that. They divided everyone in their heads like that for some sort of power fantasy they wanted to be fulfilled.

There were plenty of popular girls who were bitches, and plenty of popular ones which were really nice. I liked the latter and despised the former, there's nothing inherent about being popular that makes you bitchy. It doesn't really work like a John Hughes movie.

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Tru Reality
Friday, September 04, 2009 @ 11:50:49 PM

that was a nice trip back to high school days, get ready for college.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 12:03:55 AM

you are correct sir, anything you ever saw in a movie is BS. Life is intricately more difficult.

Agree with this comment 6 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

godsman
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 7:59:59 AM

You are right. I remember when I was in high school, the cheerleaders weren't super sexy with all hot air. The hot girls were divided evenly among the smart and dumb ones. They all still like charismatic and funny guys. Well, if you are anti-social, you wouldn't make friends with any of them anyway.

The "jocks" were still total idiots though like on tv. It's where all the dropouts go to. Still have yet to see someone that play sports and have a decent grade in classes (which is really sad).

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Fane1024
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 5:57:58 PM

I knew plenty of "jocks" who got good grades and plenty who didn't. My best friend was a beast on the field, an excellent musician, and one of the best students in the school.

And he played D&D.



Last edited by Fane1024 on 9/5/2009 5:59:21 PM

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Jalex
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 12:07:18 AM
Reply

Considering my video game idol is Liquid Snake, I don't know how well such a theory would work in my favor.
But I'm taken anyway, so I suppose it wouldn't really affect me.

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Scarecrow
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 12:29:34 AM
Reply

Hmmm I should act like M. Bison :D

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OhYessss
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 9:10:13 AM

Lol, super strength Nazi.

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Scarecrow
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 12:58:32 PM

He's not a nazi

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dlte
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 12:36:09 AM
Reply

i like all the "words" in "apostrophes" in the "second" paragraph in this "article"

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Fane1024
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 6:01:42 PM

Those aren't apostrophes.

There is one in this comment. See if you can find it.

(Too dickish?)

Last edited by Fane1024 on 9/5/2009 6:02:45 PM

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tes37
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 1:42:06 AM
Reply

I didn't think you could improve upon the nerd. Ben you have convinced me that I've been wrong. Fine piece of journalism.

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King James
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 2:17:29 AM
Reply

Disclamer: PS fam forever...except no substitutes, impostors, and/or posers.

On topic: Gaming has taught me a lot. Whether is was Snake or Squall, I learned something from them. And they did have an effect on me.

Last edited by King James on 9/5/2009 2:17:54 AM

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LinTr
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 7:23:59 AM
Reply

It seems a person is affected by what they like and what they don't like. It doesn't seem mean and women have changed all that much. I do see more women playing video games, which is cool. I usually don't bear witness to a woman having a list of games to test on a potential partner. Women who can have an intelligent convo w/o the "you're a child" prejudgements come across as extremely appealing, however.

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CrazyIrishBoy
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 9:20:24 AM
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It depends who the girl is! The end.

Enough of these articles!

Agree with this comment 6 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Deadman
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 9:57:20 AM
Reply

It has more to do with tech than gaming. Cellphones are what the girls love tell them a nerd is responsible for making them, and Viola! Instant attraction.

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laxpro2001
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 10:10:43 AM
Reply

Ben, I'm pretty sure you have your terms confused... Stereotypically a nerd is someone who is really smart. A geek on the the other hand is what we all are, meaning people who are really into video games, anime, and that sort of stuff.
So the question here is: Has gaming made the geek better?

Last edited by laxpro2001 on 9/5/2009 10:10:50 AM

Agree with this comment 4 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 10:15:39 AM

I seriously doubt there's any one accepted definition of "geek" and "nerd."

I'm pretty sure those terms are interchangeable.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

fatelementality
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 11:41:25 AM

I always thought that geeks just knew how to be social and nerds didn't. That's how alot of people I know see it.

Last edited by fatelementality on 9/5/2009 11:44:55 AM

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Diggity Dan
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 3:29:49 PM

Err Div/0!

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laxpro2001
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 5:08:19 PM

Hey Ben I understand where you are coming from and definitely agree with you about there not being a single definition. However, I feel that believing they can be used interchangibly is a common misconception as I'm sure others do after looking at the comment ratings.

When you take a bit to think about how both these terms have been established in our society through the media and what you may come to agree with me.

Also if you go to this site it might further explain what I'm trying to say:
wikihow. com/Tell-the-Difference-Between-Nerds-and-Geeks
(I put a space so the link wouldn't be blocked)

Regardless, sorry for being nit-picky but please do read that page if you have time.


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Fane1024
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 6:11:23 PM

Technically, a geek is a freak, an odd ball, a spaz, someone who looks or acts bizarrely. It was originally used to describe carnival freaks.

A nerd, on the other hand, is un-hip, bookish, and socially inept.

One of the problems with spoken English is the tendency to treat words as interchangable synonyms, until all words lose their meanings.


Last edited by Fane1024 on 9/5/2009 6:14:06 PM

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fluffer nutter
Sunday, September 06, 2009 @ 12:33:30 PM

Don't forget that one of the other major problems with spoken English is the fact that people don't know the true defintions of words and so they get riled up for no apparent reason, other than their clear ignorance.

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somethingrandom
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 @ 2:18:08 AM

I once heard someone say a nerds were dumb and geeks were smart... lolz

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LinTr
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 10:40:14 AM
Reply

Yep. I agree with Richard Clarke's "geeks get it done" comment though.

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www
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 12:07:53 PM
Reply

I hope it made the NERD better since I've never been one.I've never had all As in my tests, I'm not too tech-savvy neither. Just call me your average Joe who will attend some of the parties but loves his games and music more.

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Ricochet
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 12:41:17 PM
Reply

In my world, high-school jocks and hot cheerleaders are non-existant. What we do have are the "GOWIV type of girls", the local "Al Faeda" (a word play of Al Qaeda) trying to terrorize their school with their Birthday (beat-em-up)tactics, I remember having to fight these guys everytime I get to class as well as the corridor "demons" that will bite you when you're not looking. (No, I'm not kidding)

And girls tend to fall in love with the as*holes, and not the "Handsome-Jock-I-treat-a-girl-for-granted" ones. But rather the "I-go-to-internet-cafes-to-play-counterstrike-everyday-douchebag" kind of assh*les as well as the guys who could perform 'backflips', seriously they go crazy for them.

Ahh.. life. Gaming is just gaming, here in Hong Kong it's normal to game, you see people on the train station, bus stations with their DS's and PSP playing monster hunter and other NDS train games with couples.together.

Last edited by Ricochet on 9/5/2009 12:45:27 PM

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Metal Head
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 7:38:23 PM
Reply

Stereotyping people is a way of segregating people that don't fit in this hypocrat society. I love gaming, thrash metal,my best friend is my dog,my exgirl is a psychologist. People are shock to learn I am a gamer and proud of it:).

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Hezzron
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 9:08:42 PM
Reply

Cripes.....the Administrator must of been feeling either exceptionally insecure or mighty horny today.

I personally like my woman like Niko Bellic likes his......various, scantily clad and on the pole.

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Zorigo
Sunday, September 06, 2009 @ 7:42:04 AM
Reply

i live a different life, most of the girls in my school are either taken, or just not interested in pakis. tough life. ;)

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Croik
Wednesday, September 09, 2009 @ 2:31:07 PM
Reply

I've been following PSXEX through the mailing list for a while, but I finally decided to register so I could offer a female's response to this one.

I personally don't think gaming has improved "geeks" in general. Geeks have had cool, confident role models in their media for a long time, but it's not like watching Star Wars 400 times is gonna turn a guy into Han Solo, any more than me playing the hell out of Bayonetta is gonna make me 5'9 and smoking. Plus there are so many negative influences in games these days that if a guy told me on a date "I learned how to treat women through gaming!" I'd be worried, not impressed.

If gaming has helped me with men, I'd say it's by giving me opportunities to interact with guys that share my interests, through forums like this and even co-op play. Not by subconsciously teaching me how to be more like Lara Croft :U

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