, , , , , , , ,

There it is. The letter. Finally, a chance to get away from being constantly bullied by your peers, to make friends with people that share your magic, to belong to a community that accepts you for who you are. And so, you pack your bags and head off to this wonderful place, only to overhear from another in Diagon Alley:

I really don’t think they should let the other sort in, do you? They’re just not the same, they’ve never been brought up to know our ways. Some of them have never even heard of Hogwarts until they get the letter, I imagine. I think they should keep it in the old wizarding families.

At first, nerds seem like a friendly, accommodating lot, being fellow outcasts and all, and friends in geek culture are often as strong as Harry, Ron, and Hermione. But just when you think you were free of Dudley Dursley, you end up face-to-face with Draco Malfoy, the kind of geek who goes around flaunting his self-imposed status on everyone and insulting others in the community for being fake geeks.

I have been playing video games since the original Super Mario Bros., and I can be quite obsessive about completing the hardest challenges and collecting everything. Nowadays, everyone wants to get into them. And it’s freaking awesome! No longer are games seen as mind-rotting time wasters for people who go nowhere in life. Gamers are growing up to be scientists and surgeons, unravelling the secrets of protein folding. And now it’s an experience for the whole family, not a shameful habit with which you have to hide in your room.

But apparently, the “true” gamers don’t like that. Those “casuals” are seen as intruders, taking their hardcore games away. Even though games can be a lot of things and thus the label makes no sense. I mean, the adorable and cartoony Mario universe is seen as “hardcore”. Imagine that. One of the worst products of this mentality is that awful “fake geek girl” meme, which is so widespread, and not just in the gaming community, that it’s sad. That’s the nerd equivalent of “Mudblood”.

You’ll soon find out that some wizarding families are much better than others, Potter. You don’t want to go making friends with the wrong sort. I can help you there.

Just as Harry realized that some wizards go bad, so did I realize that geeks could be as bad a bully as the stereotypical popular kids. In fact, a lot of them use being outcasts as an excuse, in a way similar to how Severus Snape sees James Potter. Yeah, Harry’s dad was an ass, but taking out your bitterness on your students later in life doesn’t really solve things. Neither does being prejudiced and hanging out with other assholes get you laid, as he found out the hard way with Lily (MRAs, take note). In the end, you just become more miserable and reclusive.

Why nerds would rather be seen as outcasts is beyond me. Like Dumbledore’s Army, they are in a great position to be welcoming and inclusive to all sorts of people, even struggling wizards like Neville and strange ones like Luna. And that is the attitude geek culture should foster.

I enjoyed the meetings too. It was like having friends.