Look, I think I get it. When you’re into stuff, you want to learn as much about it as you can. Your hard-earned knowledge is a badge of pride and a mark of how passionate you are about your hobby or sport or fandom.

The problem is when you start to take that badge as credentials. When your years of experience lead you to say, “because you don’t know the things I know, because you haven’t gone through what I’ve gone through, you aren’t one of us.” Or, even worse, when you assume those things without even talking to people, because of the way they look or act.

It’s easy to scoff at weeaboos and people who “are only interested because of the movie.” It’s easy to say “HOW have you never HEARD of Frank Miller?” and to dismiss people as “other.” But here’s the thing: you used to be that same Other. We all were. Nobody emerged from the womb with the comprehensive knowledge of every Magic card ever released. We all started somewhere. And the fact that the old guard had it harder doesn’t give them more nerd medals than the kids who have easy access to stuff today because of the passion of their predecessors. We are all still investing time and energy into being excited about things, and that’s really damn great.

Instead of holding people up to an arbitrary standard, instead of saying “YOU ARE RUINING MY CONVENTION, GET OUT,” what if we tried to do just the opposite? If we said, “You like Naruto? I bet you’d also like Hajime no Ippo,” or “I should loan you Ultimate Spider-Man, it’s a lot like the movie.” Imagine if that moviegoer became one of us.

Here’s my challenge to you, nerds. Remember being young. Remember that uncle or family friend who introduced you to something really, really cool, that opened the door to other really, really cool things that you just had to learn everything about. And maybe, just maybe, try being that person.

But if you still wanna be a jerk, then you are no longer allowed to make fun of hipsters.