Tuesday 15th March, 2011
11:00am to 12:00pm
Once, as depicted in classic teen comedies from the 80's, nerds were outcasts -- a special brand of too-smart-for-their-own-good, role-playing, glasses-donning, weak-armed, thin-voiced boys and girls. They were picked on and mocked.
Then, suddenly, it became cool to be a nerd. Geek chic proliferates, with Ashton Kutcher sporting a buttoned-up plaid shirt, Kirsten Dunst in heavy black glasses; nerd core music, the stylings of Deerhoof and Modest Mouse, is on the radio; hot girls who in a prior generation would have never given a nerd the time of day profess to love formerly geek-only pursuits like videogames and esoteric kung fu movies.
How do nerds respond to the co-optation of their once-exclusive domain? Is it sweet revenge to have the jocks that used to beat us up now playing Crackdown with us? Do we welcome the cheerleaders and the stoners with open arms or are they the elements that grief the ecosystem? And where do we go from here?
This panel cheerfully and irreverently examines the impact that mainstreaming has had on "gamer culture", which is at the forefront of this sort of gentrification, traces theories of how and why it happened, and makes totally unfounded but nevertheless visionary claims about the future. Audience participation greatly encouraged.
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