Keeping Faith Strong: Adulations for Faith

Faith Issue 1With the trailer for the MCU’s newest entry, Civil War, on everyone’s minds, once again I find myself thinking about maybe, just maybe, reading some of the comics. While I know that this will never happen (there’s just too many!), things like this do put me in the mood to look over my comic options. My love-hate relationship with the Fables series is nothing new, but another company seems to be trying to vie for my attention.

I guess it should speak for my general lack of knowledge concerning comics that I was planning to review the series’ first issue for today, only to find out that said issue isn’t coming out until January. Maybe it should be seen as anticipation instead. No matter what it is, when I heard about the Faith series of comics a couple months ago, I started to wonder how the series was going to handle having a plus-sized heroine. Upon reading several interviews with the minds behind the scenes at Valiant Entertainment—and unfortunately not upon reading her one-shot, which I don’t have access to currently—I have a larger-than-cautious amount of hope that this won’t be a disaster.

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Lady Geek Girl’s Top 5 Geeky Feminist Costumes for Halloween

pic via stylist

pic via stylist

Every year during October I see many feminist sites coming up with a variety of different feminist style costumes. This includes everything from dressing up like the Notorious RBG to dressing up like birth control pills. Occasionally in this line-up we have some geeky female characters like Hermione or Katniss, and even some of our favorite 90s heroines like Buffy, Xena, or Scully, but I always wanted something more—something that would actively show both my geeky and feminist side in one costume. So without further ado, here are my Top 5 geek feminist costume ideas.

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Fangirls on Twitter: You Keep Doin’ Your Thing

Want to know what’s not new in the world? People ragging on girls liking things and the methods by which they choose to like things.

--via Giphy

—via Giphy

This old song and dance has been going on for as long as one could probably imagine, and we’ve all been witness to it: from the small microaggressions of people condescendingly calling girls “cute” if they express an interest in something to the more blatant, angry shut downs of those who don’t value the opinions of those who don’t fit into the typical boy’s club or adhere to their mindset. I know in my life one of the most blaring examples have been from the (slowly dying, thank god) Gamergate controversy, in which the experiences of female game fans and developers were getting talked over because the patriarchy in the gaming community might not have been as solid as sexist dudebros had come to believe. But really, it doesn’t take a fiasco like that to see what’s going on: girls have been called out as “fake geeks” ever since men decided to pretend that women didn’t like nerdy things as hard as they did. (Never will I forget being called a fake geek because I had an opinion on something about DC Comics—and I don’t even claim to be a fan of Western comics.) While these things are unfortunately expected in any sort of of group (movies, sports—it’s not limited to stereotypical geeky things), I would have hoped that at least semi-respected news outlets and the people who write on them would at least have the good sense to take a step back and consider that this kind of thing might just be a little fucked up. Unfortunately, sometimes they don’t. And just as unfortunately, sometimes we get articles like Radhika Sanghani’s, as was published on The Telegraph on August 2nd.

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Web Crush Wednesdays: Nerdy Nummies

I watch a lot of people on YouTube. Really, in this day and age I think I would be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t occasionally lose themselves to the black hole of a video site. However, while I was watching one of the talk shows I enjoy (which may be a WCW for another day) I was introduced to another geeky baking aficionado. And, well, long-time readers know I have a weakness for gaming eats and treats. So today I bring to you, readers, Rosanna Pansino and her Nerdy Nummies show.

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Exit Player Done: Pixels Is Just as Bad, If Not Worse, than You’ve Heard

Listen; I didn’t go into this movie thinking it was going to be good. Of course it wasn’t going to be good. There are reviews upon reviews explaining why Pixels is an objectively terrible movie. What I was thinking, however, was that I might get a chuckle or two out of it. Or that I might see some smidgen of fondness for the hobby that the movie attempts to sanctify. But no. Pixels was one of the most unloving, out of touch, unfunny pieces of gaming media of the past decade and I wish I was able to get those minutes (almost two fucking hours!!!!!) of my life back.

I like bad things, but this wasn't even bad-good.  (via Free-Stock Illustration)

I like bad things, but this was too much even for me.
(via Free-Stock Illustration)

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Good Behavior: How Riot Games is Using Psychology to Stop Online Harassment 

Gentle Readers,

I don’t know if any of you play League of Legends, a game I insist on calling “lol”, much to my older brother’s chagrin. I’m sure that by now, though, you’ve at least heard of it. League is a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) published by Riot Games, wherein teams composed of five people choose characters with specific abilities, called “champions”, and do battle against other teams. League of Legends is a community of millions of players, with as many as 7.5 million playing at any one time. For perspective, that’s more people than live in Massachusetts, or in all of Bulgaria.  And daily counts are in the high twenty millions. It is a truly massive collection of people interacting, often as strangers to one another. With any community of a reasonable size, some portion thereof are assholes.

The Champion Select screen.

The Champion Select screen.

While I’m not incredibly invested in the game itself—I played for a while, found it to be a lot like the WoW mod Defense of the Ancients that inspired it, and moved on—attempts to corral, quarantine, or reform these assholes are compelling object lessons in how one might manage a massive digital community. Over the past year, Riot Games has made well-publicized efforts to bring some of this behavior under control, considering their previous systems too lenient. As Jeffrey Lin, lead social systems designer for Riot, put it:

By giving the worst 2% so many chances, we’re actually letting them ruin a lot more games and players’ experiences and that’s something we want to try to reduce… we’re hoping to address with our systems is that some players understand what’s crossing the line and believe it’s ok, because other games never punished it in the past.”

Riot acknowledges that what it has is a relatively small problem, but considers that among the sheer number of games and reports of negative experiences,  even these are unacceptable. Thus, they are taking proactive steps to make their corner of the internet a little less like Lord of the Flies.

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An Ounce of Encouragement

This is a particularly tough time of year for many of us because it’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, if for some reason you don’t know that). You’re trying to make something good and actually write 50,000 words in a month. You’re behind deadline, and there’s no way that you’re going to get to fifty grand by the end of the month. Being in many ways a stereotypical “nerd” with my comical knowledge of Star Trek and my ability to list all the gods in the Deities and Demigods or all the times and ways that a Grey or Summers has died, for me, part of really enjoying a thing is delving as deep as I can into knowledge about the thing. By the same token, as someone who works in and loves the performing arts, I believe strongly in the power of an individual to create something that moves people, and so always want to create the best, most moving things possible. I don’t think that nerds are excluded from the second quality or that artists are excluded from the first. I do know that it creates a maddening obsession with well-informed perfectionism. Surely you know that feeling, too. Continue reading

Web Crush Wednesdays: Adam Warrock—Pop Culture Hip-Hop

web crush wednesdaysI love music and it has often been a comfort to me; I’ve also found value and comfort in nerdy things. So, mixing these two concepts together is the perfect product for me. This week’s Web Crush Wednesday, Adam Warrock, makes self-proclaimed “Overly Enthusiastic Hip-Hop” about pop culture and general nerdy media.

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Web Crush Wednesdays: Hogwarts is Here

Remember back a year or two ago when everyone was clamoring to join Pottermore and almost every post on every social media outlet was bragging about where they got sorted and asking people to friend them? Remember how great it felt to finally get into this digital Hogwarts, get sorted, get your wand, and finally traverse Diagon Alley in a way Harry Potter fans never thought would be possible? Remember how all of this got really boring after the first day because, after doing all the preliminary assigning, there really wasn’t anything to do except duel and brew potions ad nauseum? I remember, and there’s a pretty good chance a couple of you, dear readers, do too. So maybe Pottermore wasn’t everything we Harry Potter fans were waiting for, but what can I say? We have high expectations. Honestly, probably nothing would have been able to live up to the things we were imagining and had been imagining ever since we came to terms with the fact that we would never be getting our Hogwarts letters. However, all may not be lost.

Pottermore was, at its core, more about the books than the wizarding world it created or even the school it made so popular. Which is fine; expected, even. However, today’s web crush takes a more intensive approach to the Harry Potter universe, especially concerning Hogwarts. Harry Potter fans, hold onto your wands, because I have an important announcement: Hogwarts is here.

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Oh, My Pop Culture Jesus: Consumerism and Geek Culture

Happy Easter to all my Christian sisters and brothers! Today’s post is not going to be about anything involving Easter. Other than the Christ figures, there isn’t much Easter-oriented material in geek culture. There are probably a couple reasons as to why that is, but we aren’t going to get into that today.

Instead, we are going to discuss Christian ethics in geek culture. Particularly, we will be discussing issues of simplicity and voluntary poverty.

Shut-up-and-take-my-moneyRecently, I have been thinking about taking on the challenge of living a life of voluntary poverty. Voluntary poverty is an old idea going back to the monastics and hermits in the early Catholic traditions. The idea of lay (non-clergy) Catholics embracing the idea of voluntary poverty was made popular through the Catholic Worker movement, started by Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day. Living a life of voluntary poverty means to live as simply as possible, rarely buying possessions, and worrying less about making and obtaining money in order to dedicate one’s life to service and prayer. It’s a tough sell for many people, but it can also be very freeing. For most people, living a life of voluntary poverty does not seem to be an option. However, all Catholics are called to live a life of simplicity, not to be consumed with possessions or material wealth. I realized as I tried to realign my life in order to live more simply that I had a major problem. I’m a geek. And being an avid fan of all things geeky actually seems to be an exact opposite lifestyle to a simplistic Christian one.

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