Over the years, the definitions of the word “geek” and “nerd” have changed massively. They have gone from meaning a person with incredibly niche interests who spends most of their time in internet cafes and dimly lit rooms to something far more mainstream and positive. Many people surveyed by YouGov even say that the word geek is cool.
But whichever way you define it, there are some core principles of being a nerd or a geek that will always hold true. Namely, it’s about having an unbridled passion for something, so much so that you are willing to show your appreciation for it in whatever way you can, even if it means embarking on ambitious fan projects that take hours to organize and complete – and here are some outstanding examples of just how far some take their passions!
Blizzard Cookies Project
In 2016, the enthusiasm of fans of Overwatch, the popular multiplayer shooter game from Blizzard Entertainment, translated directly into culinary deliciousness for the development team responsible for the title. The game had been released in May 2016 and fans were so taken by it that they chose to honor the development team with that would really make them smile – and so the Blizzard Cookies Project was born. With pledges from the wider Overwatch community, a fan named Christopher Culley successfully raised almost $4,000 (630% of the $625 fundraising goal) on Indiegogo in order to pay for a catering company to bake and deliver cookies to Blizzard. The cookies were ordered ($600 worth) with the remainder of the money being donated to the charity Child’s Play.
Game of Canada
The Game of Thrones fandom is known for two things: Being made up of millions of people and for its hard work and effort. Few fandoms are as dedicated to a franchise as those who love Game of Thrones, as they cosplay as the characters, collect the many pieces of merchandise, and produce pages upon pages of theories of what will happen next in the books or the television series. Another prime example of love for GoT is Game of Canada, which is an ambitious product that completely reimagines the HBO show as though it was made in Canada and starred Canadian actors. Can you imagine what Daenerys Targaryen would look like if she was played by Malin Akerman? Or if Winterfell was actually The Fortress of Old Quebec City? The project is a brilliant way to show off Canadian love of the franchise, which arguably also echoes South Park aesthetics.
Skyrim’s Falskaar Mod
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is already a pretty massive game, as the fantasy RPG offers hundreds of hours of content. But one player, named Alexander J. Velicky, wasn’t satisfied which is why the (then) 19-year-old fan decided to create the Skyrim Falskaar mod. Falskaar took a year to make and by the end, it was significant enough to rival official Skyrim DLC packs. It adds 25 hours of content, an area that is approximately a third of the size of the base game, and even new characters and quests. In fact, Falskaar didn’t just impress Skyrim fans; it was enough to land Velnicky a job at developer Bethesda.
Geeks and nerds are often a misunderstood bunch, with some saying that they pour too much time and effort into hyping up their favorite franchises. But the above makes it clear that being in a fandom is no bad thing and the creativity it inspires can be amazing.