enovate: A New Generation of Chinese ‘Nerdy Guys’

A unique niche of young Chinese guys is currently being carved out amongst Post-80’s and Post-90’s Chinese Youth. This is the Nerdy Guy.

A unique niche of young Chinese guys is currently being carved out amongst Post-80’s and Post-90’s Chinese Youth. This is the Nerdy Guy.

Being the only child in their families, Nerdy Guys are used to receiving love, care, and sole attention of elder family members. As they emerge into their early to mid twenties, Nerdy Guys often find they are not the sole focus in real society, lacking capabilities to change the world into what they have imagined. Thus, they escape to a fictitious space to seek their stage. It is in animation, movies, music and games where solace is found. It is in this fictitious space where Nerdy guys share stories of realizing their true dreams and finding new channels to communicate with others who share common beliefs.

A recent online viral video being spread around Chinese Nerdy Guys portrays CG animated military animals, fighting for their respective countries in Afghanistan. It’s titled Cat Shit One and its satirical depiction of animals representing stereotypes of their countries taps into core cultural sentiments of Chinese Nerdy Guys. The elements of its viral-ness help paint an interesting portrait of modern Chinese Nerdy Guys.

The CG animation of Cat Shit One reminds China Nerdy Guys of the epic and popular video game “Call of Duty” with adrenaline pumping weaponry and action. Cat Shit One’s commentary on a global issue (The War in Afghanistan), and references to history and politics is a core appealing element to Chinese Nerdy Guys as it allows them to pick apart video elements with the precision of a scalpel and talk about each element in forums and social networks. Things often get heated; names get called; feelings get hurt; facts and fiction spread fast; but this is the place for social commentary discussion generally lacking from youth playgrounds or households.

For Nerdy Guys, the Internet is a place where they receive all of their information. It’s not from school textbooks, or handed down from previous generations. Nerdy Guys shape their world perspective and views based on the social conversations and verbal discourse happening solely online. There’s no other place in society for Nerdy Guys to voice their discontent or spread and share creative, viral ideas and videos.

In spite of China’s huge “local area network”, the Nerdy Guy’s voice is concentrated, influential, and far reaching. He is often the catalyst for all viral content online.

Be nice to the Chinese Nerdy Guy.

Jermaine Chen is an enovate Research Investigator and very much enjoys mingling online with Chinese Nerds, though offline is anything but a “Nerdy Guy”.

enovate is an insights and design firm based in Shanghai. We publish daily insights and develop creative solutions for China’s youth market. Visit enovate’s website for more information.

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