Imagine getting into a brand new anime or video game.
You feel like a kid on Christmas, opening your presents and anticipating the surprise of your life. Then, before you could open the Christmas presents, a strange relative, who you don’t know, spoils the surprise for by telling you what the presents are before you got a chance to open it and goes on about how they got it already. Plus, they continue to claim how they know more about it than you do, causing you to not want the present anymore. That, my friends, is exactly how it feels when you encounter Gatekeeping in the Nerd Community.
Gatekeeping in the nerd community has been a thing for a very long time.
When I first got into JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, there were many people that were just as excited as I was about the anime. However, there were also others that felt like they were superior because they watched the anime and read the Manga. They’ll even go as far as to call themselves ‘true fans’ and call everybody else ‘fakes’. Weird enough, I see this happening more in the Dragon Ball Z and Naruto fandoms than any other anime.
Also, in the Cosplay Community, I see this a lot. There are literal cosplayers that will try to define what cosplay is or isn’t as if they’re Gandalf telling monsters that they cannot pass. They will literally tell people that buying your costume is not cosplaying, which is stupid because costumes are made for people to wear.
Plus if there’s anything concerning Batman, you can really expect a lot of gatekeeping in that area. People will literally rant about how they knew about Batman since they were a baby. But when someone is introduced to Batman in present-day, some will go as far as to bash the person about not knowing about Batman.
Also, in the movie Deadpool first came out in 2016, everyone was actually pretty happy about it becoming a movie. It’s literally a guy with the face of Freddy Krueger that fights whomever and literally binge-eats chimichangas and crude humor. Typically, that would be Disney’s worst nightmare since they partnered up with Marvel, but I guess not.
On the other hand, there were lots of people discussing how they knew about Deadpool before as if they had something to prove. Honestly, if you see people excited about something, keep your thoughts to yourself and let them be happy.
Plus, there is a lot of sexism via gatekeeping as well.
There are guys that will make women prove whether or not they’re actually into that particular series. Yes, there are people that are mad insecure about themselves to where they try to force others to prove themselves. It doesn’t make anybody a fake fan because they just discovered a certain series, regardless of gender.
They’re as annoying as people that go on videos and comment that they knew about a song before everyone else did.
Gatekeeping, as an entirety, can make or break people when it comes to joining fandoms, at times. It causes people that have a genuine love for a series to completely dislike it. It’s sad because the reason why people gatekeep so much is because they want to have something to prove. Plus, nine times out of ten, they’re either insecure with themselves or… they’re insecure within themselves. That’s it. There’s no way around that.
At the end of the day, let people enjoy things even if you knew about something before they did. No, nobody asked you if you knew about Yoko Littner before they discovered Gurren Lagann. Nobody cares if you knew about Superman’s origins if someone discovered. Nobody needed to know if you played Call of Duty and Half Life 2 before the other person discovered it.