Is ‘nerd’ merely a pejorative term, or is there more to it? Is ‘nerd’ just another word for a troll? Alexander Hinkley has made it his mission to explain what makes a nerd a nerd, with his book Nerd Psychology.
After studying for his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology, and Criminal Justice at Niagara University, with a minor in Philosophy, and obtaining a certification in Homeland Security, Alexander became interested in what makes people tick.
Growing up around the individuals mentioned in his book, and after interviewing literally thousands of nerds, Hinkley discovered out that the responses he received painted pictures of individuality but with some stand-out similarities. He found it interesting that complete strangers kept acting in a similar way, and would say similar things game after game.
The term ‘nerd’ was first recorded in the Dr Seuss book, If I Ran the Zoo (1950), and historically has always been regarded as a derogative term. Nerds were always regarded as the less sociable, more obsessive geek, but Alexander believes that there’s much more to a nerd than being a super geek.
Discussing various psychological theories, such as ego states, ego boosting, and possible reasons as to why nerds behave the way they do, Nerd Psychology gives a unique insight into what makes a nerd, a nerd. Using theories from revered Psychologists such as Sigmund Freud and Eric Berne, Hinkley provides a fascinating insight into why nerds behave the way they do.
Hinkley delves deeper into the nerd psyche, and investigates why they use power-assertive behaviour, and how they often haven’t progressed from their child state of mind. How nerds pick on the weak to boost their ego, due to possible negative encounters in other parts of their lives, and how they’re focused solely on winning, regardless of the implications.
The comparison Hinkley makes between nerds and trolls is expected but intriguing, and I would highly recommend Nerd Psychology to anyone who wishes to look deeper into why certain gamers behave the way they do. Hinkley provides several tips and tricks for how to respond to these types of gamers, and using several case studies, gives excellent examples of where you may come across such players.
Nerd Psychology is available to buy from Amazon, in both digital and physical formats for £4.90 and £9.32 respectively.