Revenge of the Nerds. Ok. Has the world flipped on its head? What once was the domain of the geek is now mainstream. As a kid, I used to “enthusiastically” play Dungeons and Dragons, read countless science-fiction fantasy books one after the other, play chess with a timer, and feast on a multitude of other strategy games with an endless appetite for more… and as a result, I was relegated to the world of geekdom. But now, I watch my eight-year-old read Harry Potter, play fantasy card games like Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! (look it up, it’s a super complex manga Japanese card world), and go to chess and coding tournaments – and wait for it – all of these activities are now hailed as the “cool” things to do! Lest we forget, that Pokémon Go is not hiding in people’s pockets, but held proudly out in front of the most mainstream of audiences.
Hence my interest in The Economist’s ‘Be nice to nerds’ article, with its sub-head, ‘Forget the cool kids. Geeks are now shaping new products and services.’ In it, we learn that geek culture is rushing to Silicon Valley, “as soon as they graduate, forsaking careers on Wall Street to code their way into the 1%” and become the next Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. It notes that video game competitions, drone “rodeos” (where attendees race remote drones around football stadiums), and “hackathons” have all become part of our lexicon. It tells us that companies and brands are now getting down with the new zeitgeist. Case in point from the article – “Haagen-Dazs has put up billboards in San Francisco that proudly declare – We’re a 56-year-old startup – and present the written recipe for vanilla ice cream as if it were code.” Perhaps a wee bit of a stretch, but they’re definitely buying in.
Yes, there’s big money to be made in our uber-technological world. That said, appealing to, marketing to, and “speaking geek” to geeks, may not be for everyone, but we should never discount the influence of a group or a movement on the world… especially, when one day, they may become our technological overlords. Now if I could only find my Dungeon Master Guide…
Forget the cool kids. Geeks are now shaping new products and services
In North America today, we see big ticket networks provide full eSports coverage, like ESPN’s eSports News, which puts the relatively young pro-gaming industry right up there with globally established and culturally significant sports like boxing and tennis, and on the same platform that showcases professional football, hockey, and baseball.
Michael Chase, CMO
St. Joseph Communications
#MondayMashup > http://stjoseph.com/monday-morning-mashup-july-25th/