I've had these thoughts in my head for a while, but never really knew how to properly articulate it. I haven't updated a journal in a while, and I'm interested to hear other people's opinions, so I'll discuss it here:
In the West, particularly in the US, cartoons, comics, video games, animation, and anime have traditionally had a negative stigma of being childish, geeky, and needless. They were generally not socially acceptable hobbies to vocally announce, and compared to the more mundane things in mainstream like sitcoms, television reality shows, etc., they had fairly niche communities.
Of course in recent years things have changed, and the term 'geek' has become less of a negative term, and more of a universal self-proclaimed title to anyone who is a fan of something. Superhero movies based on Marvel and DC comics have become blockbuster hits, and cartoons like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic have become more popular with adults than anyone would have imagined.
There is some backlash to this abrupt popularity and change in pop culture, and to be honest, sometimes, I can understand that. It wasn't 'cool' to be a geek, and many of us were bullied or ostracized for our hobbies, so to see people who never claimed to be a geek say it now, it can rub us the wrong way.
Despite this, in a way, I think it's good that these traditionally nerdy mediums of the entertainment industry are getting more exposure and discussion. They are valid mediums of art and storytelling, and a lot can be learned from them. As a child I grew up being inspired by anime/manga, cartoons, fairy tales, Disney and Studio Ghibli movies, and it really influenced the person I am today and my love for drawing. I looked to characters as role models, like Chun-Li, Samus Aran, Edward Elric, and more. I sincerely believe that fiction can have influence on individuals, and it can really bring you positivity in your life. From being on Deviantart alone I've met a lot of wonderful people and forged friendships, and that alone stems from my roots as a nerd and loving characters and art. I don't think that the social stigma of these things are totally gone, especially with older generations, but they have gradually become more acceptable, I believe.
What do you guys think? Do you think it's a good thing that nerd culture has grown larger, or not? Or do you think the social stigma is still there? I'd like to hear your thoughts.
Listening to: Sonata Arctica - The Last Amazing Grays