In an attempt to tackle one of the universe’s greatest mysteries, Jesse Singal has broken down his theory of nerdiness and, more specifically, the ‘nerdrage,’ which I assume is the antonym of nerdgasm:
nerdrage: the overwhelming feeling of anger engendered when a nerd is disappointed by that thing he or she cares so deeply and irrationally about—an anger that non-nerds, or different species of nerd, find very hard to take seriously or not scoff at, because of that whole opaque-to-outsiders thing.
Though he acknowledges that nerds come in all shapes and sizes, Singal addresses nerdrage through the lens of Blizzard’s Diablo III, whose recent release spawned one of the more dire cases of nerdrage in recent years. He rightly identifies that feeling of being captivated by a bad game, a peculiar Stockholm syndrome that every gamer has experienced.
It’s a weird disconnect, this idea of being hopelessly addicted to a game that pisses you off in so many ways. There’s something ominous there, a hint that the brutal logic of the slot machine has become fully entrenched in “higher” forms of entertainment. Because sure, at its core Diablo 3 is about killing monsters, but it’s also supposed to be about characters and plot and graphics. At least that’s the story fans tell themselves.