I don’t like the term “Nerd.” It makes me think of glasses-wearing twenty-somethings who are obsessed with “Star Trek”, video games, board games, and comics.
But why do I consider myself a nerd? Why am I not ashamed to be a fan of anime, monster movies, “Star Wars”, and other stereotypical nerd things?
This is the reason: Empathy.
For example: The character of Eureka in the anime series Eureka Seven is one of the greatest characters that I have encountered in fiction. But here’s the thing — she’s an alien. Someone like her will never exist. But in Eureka Seven I can imagine she exists. I can share her pain, her joy, her sorrow. I can get inside her head: I can see why she does what she does.
I can empathize with Eureka. And by empathizing with her I can be a better person: I can learn from her.