Today I wanted to address some things I’ve found rather interesting about the NIC (Nerf Internet Community). If you’re not new to Nerf, there might be some stuff in here that you haven’t thought about, but this is mostly for the noobs.
More after the jump!
I’m a journalism major, which means that I’m part of the Communication Department. This means I’ve had some experience observing and interacting with various cultures, and I have to say that, as a community and a sub-culture, the NIC is quite an intriguing beast.
Like many, I got into Nerf through Youtube, but I soon discovered that this was only one facet of the NIC at large. It was only a part of the community. So I decided to branch out and see what other options were out there.
After looking around a bit, I joined NerfHaven. It’s funny that a child’s toy can spawn entire subcultures, especially ones such as NerfHaven. For those who don’t know, NerfHaven is a comprehensive Nerf forum that contains vast amounts of information. However, it’s also a somewhat hostile environment, at least that was my impression from my active time on the website.
I was always hesitant to post anything for fear of negative backlash. So eventually I stopped contributing completely.
A little while after, I discovered a Facebook page called Nerf Modders Welcome (NMW) which is a closed group, but access is usually granted fairly easily. It’s more a matter of staying in that’s a problem.
It’s really neat to see taboos and regulations start to develop in sub-cultures and there are definitely some taboos in NerfHaven that are similar to this group; the biggest of which has always been the term “gun” vs. the term “blaster.” The use of the term “gun” usually clues in a veteran member of the NIC that the user is probably new to the hobby. But it goes a lot deeper than that. The community has attempted to distance itself from anything that has the potential to put holes in people, so the use of the term “gun” is frowned upon.
So to all you noobs out there, it’s blaster, not gun!
But wait, there’s more!
I have a special place in my heart for new members of NMW who, in their first post, put something along the lines of “Hey guys, I’m new. What kind of guns do you recommend? I can’t decide! HELP NOW! LOL!!!!!!!!!!”
“Has anyone done any mods for -insert blaster that everyone’s modded-? I haven’t used Youtube or Google, and I couldn’t find anything by thinking about it.”
Have you ever smiled and cringed at the same time? That’s basically what my face does whenever I see one of those posts.
If you don’t want to see me make that face, I’d recommend doing some research, and for the love of god, think before you post.