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Nerd Rage: Despite All Your Rage, You’re Still Just a Nerd in a Cage


Posted March 14, 2014 by

“It looked as if a night of dark intent was coming, and not only a night, an age. Someone had better be prepared for rage…”  -Robert Frost
“He felt even angrier that Dumbledore was showing signs of weakness. He had no business being weak when Harry wanted to rage and storm at him.”  -J.K. Rowling

Rage. The sound of the word conjures images of wild-eyed fury. We think of a sane person losing control and the animal inside taking over. Sometimes that animal inside is rabid wolf, devouring all in it’s path. Rage can result in physical outbursts and violence.

Or they can result in throwing a temper tantrum and making snarky comments online. The latter can be classified as types of nerd rage.

Purist Rage

This is the mighty roar of indignation emitting from your nerdy friends and neighbors upon learning that their most beloved movie or television show is being remade. “NO!  How can this show be any good if Starbuck is going to be a girl in it?” “How can you remake RoboCop and have it not be rated R?” “Yeah, I would love a new Indiana Jones movie, IF IT WERE DONE RIGHT!” This type of nerd rage will always be with us. There are times when the rage is justified and warranted. Other times, the rage is completely unfounded because the new Battlestar Galactica was better, even if it had a a girl Starbuck.

nerd rage

Katee Sackhoff as Kara “Starbuck” Thrace. Image courtesy of

Hipster Nerd Rage

Rage is not really the right term for what the Hipster Nerds show. It’s more condescending; it’s a passive-aggressive type of rage. You can see it on the face of the mustachioed nerds at your local comic convention as a group of teenagers walk by dressed as various incarnations as the 11th Doctor. “Matt Smith was terrrrrrrrrrible. The best Doctor of all time was Jon Pertwee. After him, they got too mainstream.” Hipster Nerd Rage is always evident by the elongation of the Rs in the word terrible. The more Rs, the more they hate it.

nerd rage

Jon Pertwee as the Third Doctor. Image courtesy of

Sore Losers and Rage Quitters

Whatever game you nerd out about, whether its a collectible card game, video game, or fantasy football, it brings with it a lot of passion. The thrill of competition, the art of smack talking, the adrenaline rush and glory that comes with winning the match… When things don’t work out though, that passion can be channeled into a dark and destructive force. I’ve smashed a controller over something cheap that happened in a game. There are videos all over the internet of table-flipping, monitor-smashing nerds hulking out over their game. Most of you are familiar with and have yourself rage quit a game because you couldn’t beat a specific level or the other players were just being impossible. These are never our best moments, and as humans we should learn to keep perspective on things and hold our emotions in check. But I’d be lying if it wasn’t also really entertaining. As long as I’m not the one rage quitting, that is.

nerd rage

Image courtesy of


The cruelest and lowest form of all the nerd rages is trolling. These creatures, known as trolls, delight in knowing and pressing the buttons of others to provoke even the most mild-mannered nerd into foaming at the mouth. One common tactic includes taking ridiculous stances on topics just to engage or carry on an argument with someone. Their subhuman scrawlings can be found across the seedy corners of the Internet and have been deciphered by some experts attempting to explain their behavior as doing it for the ‘lulz.’ In reality, theirs is a special and rather dark form of nerd rage, they rage inside at not getting attention. If you meet one of these creatures, your best bet is just to ignore/block them. Don’t feed the trolls.

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Nerdy Rivalry

Fewer things can stoke the un-holy fires of nerd rage like someone claiming that what they like is better than what you like. “Microsoft better than Apple? YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS AND ARE THE DUMBEST PERSON EVER.” The longest of these nerd rivalries must be the Star Wars/Star Trek debates. While not as heated in this day and age, many a nerd fight was started over which was better. (The first rule of nerd fight club: There is no nerd fight club. The second rule of nerd fight club: take your retainers out.) More recently there have been battles over which was superior, Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. (Or, much to the chagrin and horror of Harry Potter fans, whether Twilight or Harry Potter is better.)

In all seriousness, uncontrolled anger or rage is not healthy. Whether that anger stems from losing a board game or from realized that you are not where you would like to be in life. Nerd rage or regular rage, everything in life is better if you calm down.  Try some strategies to cope with anger or try stepping away for a bit. You, and those around you, will be glad that you did.

– by Jeremy Dawson and Nathan Gifford



One Comment


    I rage quit approximately every game that I play. I rage quit Dead Space at one point because I could not for the life of me get past this one part… Turns out you just had to run. I had played seven chapters of the game without running once. Impressive? I think so. Pathetic? Maybe…

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