Imagine a nerd space that had so much respect that people didn’t even comment on its presence. One with dedicated TV-channels that spent hours talking about the nerdiest of all nerd things — numbers. One where even basic channels spent programming time on helping millions of nerds figure out the crunchiest parts of their tabletop role playing game (TTRPG).
Do you have that utopia in your head?
What if I told you it exists and it’s sports?
No really, I’m being serious.
Sports spaces are some of the nerdiest spaces I’ve ever been in. They’re loud, sure, and very mainstream (a thing certain other nerd spaces definitely see as inherently normie). They definitely have a reputation for being aggressive and abusive and unsafe that– same as every other group’s reputation– is both earned and unearned. But they are also full of nerds who obsess over things like statistics, and magic rituals, and the latest tech.
And yes there’s a TTRPG that gets television air time.
You probably don’t know me. What I do for Stitch’s Media Mix, and Stitch, is largely unseen. I don’t engage in fandom the same way Stitch does— or for that matter the way most of you do— I tend to more actively interact with news and sports than I do with fiction, and I really enjoy avoiding fan spaces.
But I have known Stitch for over a decade. I know who they are as a person and who they are as an author, and who they are as a fan. I know the work Stitch puts in to every article that gets published on here, on Patreon, in Teen Vogue. And I believe in the work she’s doing. It’s VITAL that we actively think about, and actively engage in critiquing the entertainment we consume. If we cannot critique our entertainment, if we cannot place it in the large context of our society (both how it is informed by society and how society informs what we find entertaining) then we are not doing everything we can to make a better society.
And Stitch has chosen to not just apply critical analysis to fiction and to music, and to the reactions of the fans. She has chosen to take this really incredibly dense academic concept and make it accessible, both in terms of how it’s written (trust me, every single article Stitch writes could be SO MUCH more dense) but also how and where you have access to it.