1985: The Year Hollywood Discovered Nerds Are Cool

Tracing a direct line from Val Kilmer to Marc Andreessen

It started in 1983 with WarGames. By 1984, Revenge of the Nerds and The Last Starfighter confirmed it. By the summer of 1985, it was undeniable: Real Genius, Weird Science, My Science Project, Explorers—hell, even the highest-grossing movie of the year was about a kid who hung around a lab-coat-wearing professor who was building something called a “flux capacitor.” Nerds were in.

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