#5 NERDS

The world is divided between those who love watching dragons kill dead people and those who do not. This is a strange situation; we used to feel tribal impulses according to nationality, age, race, gender, income and so on. These days, however, only one thing in this world matters: Do you watch Game of Thrones?

Fans of this new ‘nerd’ culture must admit one thing: they are passionate about fiction. It is not real. Fake. False. You must suspend your critical judgement in order to enjoy something so fantastic and unrealistic. On the other hand, there is educational and psychological value here. Let me explain…

Game of Thrones, and the rest of ‘nerd’ culture such as the ‘Magic’ card game and the ‘Warhammer’ model game, all include profound, complicated, multi-layered storylines which are difficult – nearly impossible – to follow. There is so much detail and technicality that your brain is truly exercised and pushed to the limit. Also, many of these stories resonate so strongly because they include what Carl Jung – the Swiss psychoanalyst – would describe as “archetypal” characters whose behaviour and development is familiar to us on a fundamental level. It is difficult to resist Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen because you understand their psychology so well.

So, if you are not interested in nerd culture and have no interest in dragons, then no problem, but surely you are interested in human behaviour – and this is one area where nerds have mastered their art.

 

ENGLISH EXERCISE: Fill in the spaces. Change the words (blue) or think of new words (red).

There has been a recent ………(1. deny) trend towards nerd culture – in Spanish this is referred to as being “friki”. What used to be ……..(2. wide) considered uncool has suddenly become fashionable. Vampires, dragons and elves, all of ……..(3) things are more popular than ever. What is going on?!

Many so-called ‘millennials’ were introduced to the world …….(4) fantasy through a popular game known ……..(5) ‘Warhammer’, where ……….(6. participate) assemble, paint and deploy an army of ……….(7. myth) characters and then send them into battle with one-………..(8). Inspired …….(9) JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of The Rings , the ………(10. popular) of this game has been unprecedented.

When the series Game of Thrones first hit our screens, very ………(11) people could have predicted its ………(12. event) success, however this epic, multi-layered story has gone …….(13) to become a global sensation and is now .……..(14. argue) the biggest and most successful series of …….(15) time.

So what have we learnt from this? Perhaps it is natural for modern humans to desire something other than the ………(16. mundane) of 21st Century existence, and maybe dragons are the unlikely answer.

 

ANSWERS:

  1. Undeniable
  2. Widely
  3. These
  4. Of
  5. As
  6. Participants
  7. Mythical
  8. Another
  9. By
  10. Popularity
  11. Few
  12. Eventual
  13. On
  14. Arguably
  15. All
  16. Mundanity
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