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Best Place to Hang With Fellow Geeks Phoenix 2012 - N.E.R.D.S.

It's time to shoot down some stereotypes: Geeks and nerds of the world long have been encumbered with the reputation of being nothing but a bunch of socially inept and physically unattractive loners who shirk the outside world in favor of hiding in Fortresses of Solitude to revel in their fandom obsessions (see: Cooper, Sheldon, from The Big Bang Theory). And though a certain segment of the population fits this description, it ain't necessarily true for everyone. For proof, look no further than the members of N.E.R.D.S. (short for "Niche Enthusiasts Really Doing Stuff"). The people involved with this local Meetup group help it live up to its acronym by routinely attending geek-friendly events across the Valley. The 600-odd members of the group include representatives from practically every faction in fandom, be they Whovians, Trekkers, Twihards, Browncoats, Gateheads, or Warsies. They flock to any and all events with a niche following, whether it's a gaming tournament, midnight movie premieres, or the annual Renaissance Festival. Unlike the bullies who likely laid into them during their school years, the nerds of N.E.R.D.S. accept everyone. Even if they haven't been outside for years.

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