Thursday, June 24, 2010

How to Be a Geek

So, you want to be a geek do you? And not just any geek, but the most hardcore king of all geeks? Oh wait you don't? Well then you've come to the wrong place, because this here is a lesson in how to be just that plus a lazy, hackneyed introduction.

Watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail

I seem to talk about this movie a lot, but if you want to be a geek then you need to see it. And not only do you need to see it, but you also need to like it and think its the most hilarious movie ever made and be able to quote it in daily conversation. If you want to take it to the next level then you should know the names of all members of the Monty Python troupe and be familiar with their more famous sketches.

Read Lord of the Rings

This one is hard. The books are incredibly long and Tolkien isn't exactly the greatest writer, despite the fact that he pretty much created the high fantasy genre as we know it. It takes ten chapters and seventeen years just for Frodo to leave The Shire. And during that time absolutely nothing happens. I guess what I am trying to say is, there are boring parts. If its too much work, then you could probably get away with just watching the movies, but you'd better make sure its the extended version.

Log at least 10 hours of WoW

If I need to explain to you what WoW stands for, then there is no hope of you ever becoming a geek. When a geek baby is born, he/she instinctively knows what it means. Ten hours isn't all that long. Enough for you to understand the basics and pick up the lingo. If you really want to be the full package however, then you'll need to reach max level, participate in a endgame raid, and earn at least one piece of epic gear which is a lot more of an investment. Luckily its as addictive as crack, so it shouldn't be all that hard provided you don't have a job, family, or school (or at least don't care about them).

Play Dungeons and Dragons

When people think of geeks, this is one of the first things that come to mind. I must confess that I am yet to delve into this particular realm of nerdom, but I have several friends and family members who have, and I can tell you that there's no going halfway with this. Once you're in, you're gone. Try not to be the character who's a dick and has sex with everything. Everybody hates that guy.

Familiarize yourself with Star Trek

You can take your pick of any series in the Star Trek franchise, but most serious trekkies are divided into the Original Series and the TNG camps. Pick one to watch, but know the major characters in each. It is of vital importance that you can do the "Live long and prosper" symbol if you want to be taken seriously. If you want to be taken seriously by other trekkies but not the general public, then learn to speak klingon. Look forward to arguments over whether Kirk or Picard is the better captain.

Achieve MVP status in a round of Team Fortress 2

This one can take a bit of time if you're brand new to the angry, angry world of video gaming. I recommend focusing on one class exclusively until you become MVP and then move on to mastering the other classes until you become leet. Medic is a good choice as you can often avoid direct line of fire and rack up insane points if you spend most of the match healing your team's best player. Due to the nature of this game and the fact that most people would rather be on the winning team than have challenge, you may get a bit irate. My only advice is to keep calm and team switch the first chance you get. Also, expect and be prepared to witness furry porn.

Be able to argue why the original Star Wars trilogy is better than that new crap

This one requires watching all six movies, which isn't all that hard as by this point I am sure you've seen at least half of them. The whole series is pretty much one great big special effects extravaganza anyway, so you don't need to fully invest your attention. Make sure that you know the names of even the most incidental characters. When trying to make the original trilogy look better, I find it helps to focus most of your hate towards Jar Jar Binks while denying the existence of ewoks.

Know which superheroes/comic books are Marvel and which are DC

If you don't know the difference between Marvel and DC then you have quite a bit of work ahead of you. Wikipedia is a helpful resource for brushing up on who's who, but if you really want to learn then you'll have read the source material. If you want to be a snob about it, then you should read Watchmen and anything published in the DC Vertigo series such as Sandman, Preacher, and Hellblazer. If you're unsure what's good then anything written by Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Garth Ennis, Neil Gaiman, or Warren Ellis is a pretty safe bet.

Win a game of Settlers of Catan

The hardest part about this one will probably be finding other people to play with. Most people cannot comprehend the idea of there being a board game other than Monopoly or Risk. Once you get past the weird looks people give you then it should be smooth sailing. It's not that difficult a game to understand and with a little luck you should cement a win within your first five games. However there are some people who require a bit more time. Seriously Kevin, my sister won the very first game she played and she didn't know what a development card was. Of course there are many other great games beyond Settlers, and I encourage you to check them out, and I am not just saying that because I am president of the Board Game Club.

Follow at least one manga or anime show

I have difficulty with this one. At times, Japanese culture seems a bit strange to me. All I can say is thank god for Dragon Ball Z, otherwise I'd probably never fulfill this one. Of course real manga/anime nerds go far beyond DBZ. I am not going to judge whether or not they go too far, because upon reflection, a lot of what I do in terms of geekiness crosses a line. If you can't already tell, I don't know very much about this particular branch of geek culture, but despite my feelings, its definitely an integral part of it. All I can say is that Evangelion is supposed to be good and Pokemon doesn't count.

Become an expert in a very specific area of academia that has no discernible value
If you attend university, then this should occur naturally on its own. Given enough time and study, you'll eventually find your own obscure area of interest. However it should be noted the keyword here is "academia" which means becoming an expert in Star Wars lore or how to be most effective at Call of Duty isn't gonna cut it. Acceptable areas of expertise includes, but is not limited to: turn of the century Indian literature, the reign of King Henry III, and the dietary habits of the okapi. Every field of study has countless little niches to settle in to. It's just a matter of finding the one that's right for you. And then talking incessantly about it to everyone you meet.

Attend PAX, ComicCon, or any other equivalently nerdy convention

Once you've found a particular branch of nerdom that appeals to you, its time to attend a convention for it. There are tons of conventions out there that cover all areas of geekery, and if you live near a major city, chances are at least one will be coming within 100km of your home. All you have to do is purchase a ticket and go. You'll get to look forward to panels, booths, autograph signings, flashing lights, and sweaty fat people dressed as stormtroopers. You also probably won't get much sleep, but you'll have a blast anyway.

Dress as your favourite character from a comic book, video game, movie, or TV show

I like to think of this as the last step towards being a full-fledged geek, hence why I put it last on the list. Once you've been through about 3/4 of the other things on this list, you've most likely become obsessed with a particular movie, comic book, video game, or TV Show. And now you want to express that obsession via your body. That means its time to make a costume. The quality of your costume can range from awesomely amazing to soul crushing. If you want to maintain your dignity and any sense of self worth, I recommend that you aim for the middle. Some people make their costumes by hand, but if you lack the skills necessary, then you can probably buy most of the parts for it (or a close approximation) at your local second-hand clothing store. Once your have your costume, its time to show it off to the world. The most acceptable place to wear them are conventions. I highly recommend against wearing them at any other time other than Halloween when you can probably get away with it without seeming like a total loser to all your peers. But honestly at this point you probably don't give a fuck.


  1. Dude, how can you NOT get anime/manga?! You don't have get Japanese culture nor any of its strangeness to get it at all. Try "Death Note", it's short. Also, there's "Full Metal Alchemist", although relatively old. That one doesn't require any familiarity of Japanese culture since the setting is in the style of European Industrial Revolution. There's many more but enough said.
    You need to get Asianized. Stat. You go to SFU for God's sake.

  2. I refuse to dignify this with a response other than this one until you become a follower.