Web Crush Wednesdays: Stupid Boys Hit Each Other with Sticks and It’s Amazing

webcrush picI often talk about games that are among the finest ever made—exemplars of engineering and bastions of creative storytelling in a world often chock full of diss-worthy games like Pikmin. (Yes, I am a hater. Thanks for asking.) But, that’s not just limited to Naughty Dog games, or my obsession with Pokémon, which has changed the way the world thinks about handheld gaming and game merchandising. There are also games like Shadow of the Colossus, which are an easy response to anyone who might tell you that video games aren’t art.

kirby hammer brawl 3giHowever, I haven’t really talked much about the funnest games ever made, and any list thereof would undoubtedly include the Super Smash Bros. series. At its essence, SSB is a response to the question “What if we took everyone’s favorite video game characters and made them fight?”

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The Downside of Growing Up Nerdy

growing up 2

… I was a kid.

If you looked at my list of things that make me a nerd (which doesn’t actually exist, but metaphorically speaking), it would include all of Star Wars, all of Star Trek TNG, all of Voyager, and all of (the terrible) Enterprise. In a way, it’s somewhat impressive. However, there is a catch of sorts, and let me tell you what it is.

My dad is into a lot of geeky things; he’s claimed to have seen every episode of The Twilight Zone just as a frame of reference. I guess that’s where I got my geeky tendencies from. So my Dad and I watched Voyager once a week live, Star Wars when it was rereleased in movie theaters in the early 90s, Enterprise live, and TNG reruns. My Dad recorded his favorite episodes (on tape).

This guy? I thought his name was Felix. So when I say I don't remember things, I'm not joking.

This guy? I thought his name was Felix. So when I say I don’t remember things, I’m not joking.

I’m sure that all sounded great to you guys. Growing up with some good sci fi, what could be bad about that? In reality, it’s been something of a mixed blessing. While I can say that I’ve seen everything, I honestly don’t remember a lot of it. I can’t tell you episode names, and I’m lucky if I can come up with the names of the less important characters. So I find it challenging to talk to other people in fandom, where attention to minute details is critical.

The other downside is that I’m raised on certain… beliefs, or prejudices (for lack of a better word). My mom has a story that she doesn’t like cats because her father told her not to and she (nor her siblings) never questioned that. There wasn’t a particular reason given to explain why they shouldn’t like cats; they just didn’t. The same scenario applies to me and Captain Kirk. My dad imposed the idea that Captain Picard was the best and I’ve stuck to that. I honestly don’t even think I’m capable of not thinking that way. I know it sounds silly, but when it was so engrained in my childhood I’d hope you understand that it’s something I probably won’t be able to change. And I guess in the long run being anti-Kirk is a lot better than many sexist/racist/bigoted thoughts that could have been engrained in my skull during childhood. But it still doesn’t let me have my own ideas; maybe I would have liked Kirk, but because the idea that Kirk is awful was thrown at me at such an early age I didn’t have the chance to come to that realization (or disagree with it).

So while growing up on sci fi sounds awesome, it’s not as great as you’d think. I mean, I remember Star Trek is awesome, but when I’m trying to have a conversation with other nerds, I can’t remember anything specific. Because what’s the point in growing up on it and then not being able to remember?

Adventures in Geekdom or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Comics

xkcd knows what’s up.

In my fifteen or so years of participation in geekdom, I’ve learned that there are two universal truths.

1. There are infinite shades of nerdity on the geek spectrum.
2. There are many people out there who still don’t get it.

Being a nerd was always part of my core identity, though I took pride in calling myself a “nerd” over “geek.” Geeks were socially awkward, not smart, like me (doesn’t that sentence just radiate hypocrisy?). I prided myself on being some kind of upper echelon of social outcast, defining myself through criticizing others. It didn’t matter that I never actually envisioned who that social outcast was who sat on the lower rung of the social ladder. I wasn’t like “those” weirdos, whoever they were.

So it really wasn’t a surprise when similar feelings resurfaced when I was invited to go check out Free Comic Book Day.

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New Year’s Resolutions for the Geeks in Fandom

We have been talking a lot about how the media needs to change things this coming year, but we can’t really expect the rest of the world to change if we don’t change ourselves, right?

There are always some problems in fandom that bother everyone. This year, let’s promise everyone that we’ll follow the resolutions below to create a better, happier fandom.

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Sandy Hook Massacre: This has to stop.

(WARNING: This is not a happy post. There is swearing and very little analysis of anything fun. I’ll go back to Christmas posts next time, but I need to do this. You’ll understand in a moment.)

In August, I wrote an article asking for geeks to not support Aurora shooter James Holmes. I argued that just because he was no doubt mentally unstable and fell through the cracks doesn’t mean he should be supported for shooting and killing twelve people in a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises.

I wanted that to be the first and last real-world disability post about mass killings that I ever wrote. I don’t get my wish, and now I must discuss the death of twenty-seven people, including twenty children, cut down by a mentally deranged man. Oh, and apparently he and I share a disorder. Continue reading

Web Crush Wednesdays: Geek Therapy

Another day, another Web Crush!

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I’m a big supporter of therapy. Seeing a therapist is like seeing a doctor. Sometimes you just need a check every so often to make sure you are healthy.

It’s the same for geeks and nongeeks alike, but geek therapy is a different story.

Nongeeks out there are realizing how popular anything geek is and need help to up their G.Q.  I mean how are nongeeks supposed to pick up women if they don’t know the name of Jayne’s gun or what pwned means? They can’t. So they need the help of a geek therapist.

But geeks need help too. Like what if you’re a nerd but you’re boyfriend is a geek, or you can’t stop reciting movie lines, or you’re still distraught over the death of Steve Jobs. That’s right—therapist.

But you know who needs help the most. DC comic book writers. Those guys are insane.

I hope you enjoyed my latest Web Crush! Check out Comediva for more awesome videos!