About the Manual

The Nerd Manual is meant to be both a useful resource for nerds and a guide for the people involved with nerds. If you're a nerd you can find information here that will help you improve your life and perhaps better understand yourself. If you're close friends with, dating, or married to a nerd, I want to give you insight into things nerds do that a lot of people have difficulty understanding.

I hope to avoid offending anyone--either nerd or non-nerd--but please understand that the manual will get into some sensitive topics, stray into contentious territories, and even use stereotypes to illustrate points. It's OK to disagree with something, but keep your comments civil.


Nerd Entertainment: Games

Thomas Quine - Games Table
Games have been around as long as people, possibly longer, since even animals play, and everyone is familiar with how much fun (and how frustrating) games can be, but nerds often become heavily involved in games that other people may not have even heard of. Sometimes this involvement can seem obsessive, but there’s a deeply rewarding aspect of gaming that encourages this level of involvement, and games provide a safe context for social interaction that can grow beyond the playing surface.

All games have certain characteristics that make them appealing, even if they might look odd at first glance. If you're willing to give them a chance, you might find that you enjoy the same things your nerd friend does. There is a solid sense of achievement when you beat a game's level, or manage to overcome the obstacles and win, something that is less tangible in real life. Story is a large part of many of the games nerds prefer—although the plot might be thin in some of the tabletop games or paintball—and it's the sense of progression from one plot point to the next (again, often difficult to find in real life) that adds to the sense of achievement. Games that involve multiple players offer an opportunity to socialize around a common interest, and compete without fear of long term fallout. Of course, plain old fun is a huge part of the attraction.