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How the Dweebs Conquered the Universe

Chris Hardwick—comic and king of the Nerdist empire—on the rise of geek culture.

 

*Illustration by DKNG Studios

 
“People always ask me the difference between a geek and a nerd, and it really boils down to semantics. Some people will tell you that nerds are a little more technical, whereas geeks are a little more pop-culture-obsessed. So a nerd might rebuild your computer, and then a geek might watch Battlestar Galactica on it. The bottom line is that we’re all really almost unnaturally passionate about the things we love, and those things happen to be technology, sci-fi, and Dungeons & Dragons. It’s just that now these things are sort of accepted in society, which wasn’t the case when I was growing up. Back then you were weird, and exiled. But those same people were the early adopters who’d go to RadioShack and build their own computers. It wasn’t ubiquitous like it is now—you actually had to seek stuff out. But a lot of those early adopters went on to become billionaires. Everything that is the foundation of our culture now nerds made. I don’t think it’s hard to see why that happened.”

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