It’s pretty common for people to say that geek culture has won or that we’re all geeks on the inside. Maybe that is so, but spending time in the company of geeks before that victory was secured or that inward reflection was realized I can say that once upon a time it was easier to sub-categorize geeks than it is now. There was a time when the label was applied to a purer variety of geeks. One of my favorite subcategories is those who do their research. Before the Internet this was a considerably harder task most of the time, but these personalities are still being minted today and the Internet allows them to explore many things in the time it took to explore one – which is part of what I think feeds the “we’re all geeks on the inside” thing.
When I was a kid I watched WWF professional wrestling. I went from believing it was real, to having my doubts, to learning the truth, but I enjoyed it all the way through that journey. In the first two of those stages I felt emotional connections to the face characters. I was invested in watching them succeed.
I remember as a kid that I’d read the packing and instruction books that came with my Atari 2600 games. From then until now I still remember the name David Crane associated with some Activision games. He’s the guy who made those games. Other people made other games, but Crane was prolific enough to get his name into my brain so much that it’s still there. I was recently listening to the audiobook of Ready Player One and there’s a video game arcade museum as a location. “Hundreds of shrines and exhibits devoted to various game designers and publishers were also scattered throughout the museum.” As Wil Wheaton read that passage aloud my mind imagined a David Crane shrine.
Channel 9 used to run “Kung-Fu Theater”, where they showed poorly dubbed martial arts movies of the 1960s and 1970s. “Kung-Fu Theater”, and later “Black Belt Theater”, introduced me to martial arts movies and the memes associated with them. You know the memes: the exaggerated chopping and blocking sound effects and the cases where the character’s lips were still moving even though the voice dubbing them had stopped. As a kid, the movies didn’t make any sense and I didn’t bother to remember anything about them other than that I enjoyed them.
Atlas Obscura is a website that showcases unique, and often lesser-known, attractions around the world. I stumbled upon them some years ago, thought they were neat, and then never really thought about them. A while ago I was compiling a list of interesting local spots and re-discovered them. Again I thought they were neat so this time I joined their local email list, the LA Obscura Society.
Beginning in childhood and at every age since, looking into the years ahead the thing that excites me most is virtual reality. When I was in grade school I remember seeing images of the future where school desks had computer screens built in and holography was a thing and the entire world looked different, like a world of imagination. It was then that I saw my first mock-up of a virtual reality headset and I grocked it and wanted it in the way kids do.
It’s been a while since I’ve considered myself a reader. I went through a period in my early twenties where I read everything and kept logs and lists of titles, hung out in bookstores, and identified with the “reader” title pretty heavily. That’s been gone for some time now; the flame slowly extinguished and I ceased following literature. In line at San Diego Comic-Con 2014 I was chatting with a guy, Johnny C, who recommended all sorts of anime and comic titles that I needed to consume. One of the titles was Ready Player One, the novel by Ernest Cline.
It seems that everywhere I look nowadays Wil Wheaton’s footprints are visible. It is so much so that I look favorably at him as a taste maker. The man has voiced a lot of audiobooks and if I ever find myself at a loss for a title I think I’ll search for his name and choose something he’s done. It’s the same thing with games.
I am standing in the eye of a favorite storm: convention season. Last weekend I took my nieces to Anime Expo 2015 and today my wife and I begin our attendance at San Diego Comic Con. Conventions are wonderlands with each one having its own character.
I remember waking up one morning when I was a little kid and it was really early, like before 6 a.m. kind of early. At this hour the TV was mostly news with Romper Room on one of the local stations. I always turned the dial a complete rotation anyhow. It was a winter morning sometime between the release of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, and on this morning there was a cartoon playing that wasn’t like the others. It was different from anything that William Hanna or Joseph Barbera drew. This cartoon had people that looked like people and it had really cool spaceships and there were robots and aliens and all sorts of cool outer-spacey stuff. I had discovered Star Blazers.