Routine. That’s what my life consists of.  I rinse and repeat. I wake up and do it all over again. Everyone knows this feeling, and oftentimes life can feel bland because of it. Now I am not saying that exciting things do not occur; they do, but not as often as they should. This past summer I had one of the greatest experiences of my young adult life when I traveled to Europe with my best bud for an entire month. We traveled to five different countries, one of them being Switzerland, where I bungee jumped out of trolley that was suspended 1400 feet above a lake. I was loving life. But then it was back to school. Back to the same ol’ grind. It sucked, and it still does. But I am a nerd, so I will survive.

               Books. Videogames. Anime. Manga. Comics. These are a few of the things that many people refer to as “nerdy” subjects. But I don’t understand them. They have got me so confused that sometimes I don’t even know what it means to be a nerd anymore. Today, it seems to be that anyone who does something that isn’t popular among the majority is considered weird or uncool. Just a few weeks ago, when I first started blogging, I actually questioned whether writing on Game Informers’ website was a nerdy thing for me to do. I don’t know anyone else that is into blogging, so it must be weird right? This was going on in my head, and I nearly needed to slap myself to stop thinking like that. Blogging is not nerdy. Videogames are not nerdy. Books and anime are not nerdy. They are activities and hobbies that I enjoy. They are fun. As for the people that think otherwise, that’s ok, because I know that they are missing out on the things that make the everyday trudge through life bearable.

               I like to think that I have a healthy, that’s right a healthy obsession with video games and books. By this I mean that while I am not constantly engaging in these activities, the stories and characters they contain are actively present in my thoughts and conversations. I can’t count on my fingers and toes how many times I have daydreamed about the war stricken land of Westeros or about the locations of dragon shouts in Skyrim that I hoped to visit when I got home. These fantastical worlds are so immensely enjoyable to explore, and I feel privileged to know characters like Jon Snow and Robert Baratheon. I find their personalities, friendships, struggles, and insecurities enthralling, and every character that the wonderful George RR Martin has killed off I have truly cared about. When I read a book like Game of Thrones, I escape from the world. I am moving alongside each character as a quiet and reflective observer, experiencing every betrayal and murder, knowing all their secrets, hopes, desires and fears. And then there is a game like Skyrim, where I am no longer a third party. The character on the screen is essentially me. I control where I go, what I buy, what I say….even who to kill. I get to wield a sword and shoot a fireball out of my hand for God’s sakes! I’m sick of my reality; I want to fight a Dragon, absorb his words of power, and Fus Ro Dah somebody off a cliff! I know for a fact that I can’t do these things in reality, so hell I’m going to have to do it in the virtual world.

               Anime. No I’m not talking about cartoons. I’m speaking of epic series such as Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, One Piece, Bleach, Death Note, and hundreds of other ones that for the most part fly under the radar. Anime, at least in my personal life, is often misperceived as childish entertainment by my peers. But oh are they wrong, so very very wrong. Take the ever popular series Naruto for example, whose narrative is a coming of age story filled with heartfelt moments that honest to God had me tearing up at times. The power of friendship is a prevalent theme throughout the show, and the bonds between Naruto and his friends are as tight knit as the characters in the classic movie Stand by Me. But Naruto is a mainstream anime, and there are so many unknown series that move people in profound ways. I am ashamed to say that I have only watched a few anime, them being Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, and Death Note. Yet a close friend of mine once said to me that “anime heals”, and I found this to be quite a powerful statement. It’s a kind of therapy, something that he looks forward to after a stressful day. There are thousands of others in the world like my friend, but too many people still do not fully grasp the appeal behind anime. I think that they need only to watch an anime like “Princess Mononoke” to see that the genre can be as moving and powerful as any Hollywood film, but unless they give anime a chance they will never know. If you choose to not watch anime, that’s fine. But it is ignorant to consider it childish if you have never given it the time of day.

Being a nerd is fun. Pure, unadulterated fun. It truly baffles me when someone uses the word as an insult, or attaches an unattractive connotation to it. But I cannot blame them for their lack of understanding; they simply were born nerd-less. And that’s truly a shame, because boy are they missing out. I couldn’t imagine a life without videogames, books, anime, and whatever else nerds do that I’m sure I would love. When anyone calls me a nerd for these things, I have grown accustomed to thanking them, because life would suck if I wasn’t.

 Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment I would love to hear your thoughts!