I am in no position to call anyone a "nerd." Coming from me -- a mere observer/outsider at this past weekend's Nan Desu Kan Sweet 16th annual Anime convention -- that word would be derogatory...and wrong. Sure, anyone could snag a ticket (or a three-day pass, as I did) to the gathering celebrating anime and gaming of all eras, tropes and worldly origins. But once you were inside the sacred halls of the Marriott Denver Tech Center's full-on transformation into NDK, you were in a safe and sacred space where those who are devoted to the art form congregated to celebrate it -- and you must respect that.
These anime conventioneers, however, can definitely call themselves "nerds" -- a term I heard used repeatedly in self-descriptions over the course of 72 hours of NDK immersion. To put it as bluntly as one of the convention's directors, Jeremy Pieta, did at last night's closing ceremony: "This is what I like, this is who I am and goddamnit, I'm going to Nan Desu Kan!"
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