The Chic Side of Geek: Best States in the U.S. To Fit In [ARTICLE]

Chic Side of Geek

Chic Side of Geek

It’s no secret that the Goths that are fans of DGM aren’t afraid to use their brains; nor is it a secret that we may actively enjoy some very niche portions of culture that some might call “nerdy.”

To paraphrase the incomparable Wil Wheaton: being a nerd is to be absolutely passionate about something and not care if anyone makes fun of you for it because that thing you love is so important to you.  Whether your passion is clothes, comics, makeup, Doctor Who, or Magic: the Gathering, we impassioned souls are nerds by definition.  Yeah, we may be better dressed and more stylish than some stereotypical nerds on TV or in film, but who amongst us couldn’t have an impassioned discussion with personalities like those we see reflected in the CBS’ show, The Big Bang Theory?

(In truth, it’s clear that the creators of the ‘Big Bang Theory’ actually don’t know any goths, because the episode where Howard and Raj go to the Goth club would have ended very differently if the club been peopled with actual examples of the Goth community.  While the duo would’ve gotten no credit for “faking” tattoos, they would’ve quickly found they could just be themselves and fit in quite nicely.  Eventually the entire show would’ve had to move into the Goth club–for what could be better than a whole club full of kindred spirits to hang out with?)

With this in mind, our colleague, Mother Irreverent, recently ran across an article titled, “The Nerdiest States in America,” which rates the most Nerdy areas as Nerd Heaven and the least Nerdy as Nerd Hell.

The man behind this idea, Ryan Nickum, works for a company called Estately, a nationwide realty search site.  With all the competition out there, you’ve gotta try to find any way you can to set yourself apart.  When Mr. Nickum began posting on Estately’s blog, showing a penchant for number crunching and humor, he came up with an idea he called: Estately’s Ultimate Lists.

These lists would be articles for home buyers that would have useful information, but would be so amusingly written that they might get picked up by sites like Cracked and Listverse.  He started with an article called “17 Terrible Neighbors to Avoid When Buying A House“–which he’d boiled down from research he’d done online.

As the reaction to this proved positive, he began to refine his use of the research tools at his disposal, moving on to lists of the best cities for different types of things. Some of the more iconic lists include: “9 Best Places in America to Reinvent Yourself” and “The Dude Resides: The 11 Most Lebowski-Friendly Cities.”

After that, as Facebook targeted advertising tools became more powerful, he decided to quantify states by interest listings for between 10 and 12 criteria.  These results would then be boiled down to determine the best or worst areas to be in to be around people with similar interests or, in the case of one article, the states most likely to survive a Zombie Apocalypse!

So what datasets did Nickum and his team analyze to find the Nerd Heaven & Nerd Hell States?  They focused on 12 categories and compared what residents of different states listed as favorite things in their Facebook profiles:

  1. Star Trek:  The Next Generation
  2. Cosplay
  3. Harry Potter
  4. Star Wars
  5. Anime Movies
  6. Dungeons & Dragons
  7. LARPing (Live Action Role-Playing)
  8. Doctor Who
  9. Fantasy Lit
  10. Lord of the Rings
  11. Magic:  The Gathering
  12. Comic Books

(If you look at it objectively, you might only have to swap out three or four topics to get a dataset that would measure the most Gothic states!)

So what are some of the fun facts that came out of this study?

Well, despite the fact California has a lot of conventions and nerdy things going for it, because there are so many people there it’s actually got Few Nerds in it.

Northwestern states Washington, Oregon, and Alaska are Nerd Heavens–to no one’s surprise, save perhaps Alaska–but the #1 Nerd Heaven isn’t on the West Coast!  Instead, it’s the state that brought us both Orson Scott Card and Brandon Sanderson: UTAH!!

Meanwhile, Kentucky (the state where the home offices of DGM are based out of) is actually the 7th highest ranked state (well in Nerd Heaven realm).  We, Indiana, and West Virginia are the southernmost states of Nerd Heaven, with Nerd Hell stretching as far south as the eye can see!  (Scientifically, this shows clear evidence that humidity kills nerds.  With that in mind, I have no idea why DragonCon isn’t moved out of the Georgia Hell up here to Kentucky.)

Check below to see where your state falls in the Nerd spectrum (and you can go to the original article to see the specific break down of these states and find which state beats other states for comic books, Magic: The Gathering, and much more)!

Nerd Heaven Hell (Created by

Nerd Heaven Hell (Created by


Author: JT Hanke

J.T. Hanke is the founder and former editor of DarkestGoth Magazine. Stepping down as editor in 2019, he currently serves as its technical adviser and a contributing writer.

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