Production Blog 11/06/2007

The Long And Nerdy Road

The four South Park PAs are nerds.

We aren’t the classic, pocket protector/virginity 4 life kind of nerds, but instead a shining example of the new nerdiness: one of us is a music nerd, another is a soccer nerd, there’s the liberal arts comic book nerd and the months of extensive research electronics nerd. Our lives aren’t enveloped by our nerdosity, but spiced as if with a jerk sauce.

Although we spend the majority of our conscious lives together, I’m never really aware of how nerdy we are. Maybe because we work in an office that’s nerd friendly, with an atmosphere that both harbors and sometimes encourages us to be as nerdy as we want.

Tonight’s episode is all about the game Guitar Hero, which is a subject I’ve talked about before in the production blog. For those who don’t know games or live under a rock, Guitar Hero is a video game that simulates being a rockstar, complete with guitar shaped controller and imaginary fans. GH is especially near and dear to our hearts because it:

It allows you to pretend you’re cool.
It makes you think you might actually have some skill at playing guitar.
Girls don’t hate it.

Jeff and I are working late tonight, and we play our fair share of video games. We don’t come away from them thinking that we can actually fight space aliens, shoot magical portals into walls, or travel back to WW2 and shoot people without getting injured. Guitar Hero is different: if you play a good game of GH you almost strut a little bit.

Which is why tonight’s episode is a sobering experience. After watching it come together I feel like maybe we flew a little too close to the nerdy sun with Guitar Hero. Maybe we should take a step back and look at the dark side of being a Guitar Hero:

More often than not, a dude who pulls out a guitar looks and behaves like a total douche. We’ve all seen it before: some jerk trying to impress the ladies with his badass skills banging out Coldplay as hard as he can. Ugh.

Well, imagine that douche . . . now take away the guitar and replace it with a plastic video game controller. We’re even worse than that loser, because we’re pretending to be him, all the while tapping our feet and clicking our fingers with the same proud idiocy that the real-life jerk performs with.

So enjoy your Guitar Heroing, and enjoy the new episode, but think about other ways you can be cool that don’t involve wracking up points on Boston’s “More Than A Feeling”.

(Jeff would like me to note, here at the end, that he actually knows how to play “mean guitar”. I think it’s important to understand that, while this is true, I still beat him at the Guitar Hero playoffs a couple months ago in the office. Who’s the nerd NOW, Jeff?)