Thoughts About Stuff: The 2048 Game.

This is the 2048 game.

You move some numbers around using the arrow keys, and numbers that are the same can be combined to add up to a new number. Rinse and repeat until you fill up your board and can’t move anymore. You can beat this game, but you probably just want to beat the scores of others. You’re probably blazing through it, and you’re thinking you’re amazing. All of a sudden, your board is full and “game over” fades onto your screen in the most sad way you can imagine. The 2048 game is a cruel mistress.

Ruin your life yet? Okay, it won’t ruin your life, but I’m guessing you’ll probably get addicted pretty quickly. Or maybe you’re not like me and won’t enjoy the game at all, I don’t know. I’m posting about this game because it’s beautiful how simple a game can be and still be incredibly fun. Of course people are familiar with Flappy Bird, Angry Birds, Candy Crush, and other mobile games but none of those games really grabbed me.

I won’t delve into philosophy like Andy did with his super awesome article about Nidhogg. I just think it’s cool that games as simple as these can sometimes create the most fervor and competition. Obviously, I would never call it my favorite game or anything, but I would say I enjoy it and that it kills time (a lot of time). While the game does have some strategy to it, I wouldn’t say it has a crazy amount of depth or anything, I take it for face value as a fun time killer, but fun enough that I wanted to tell people about it.

Or maybe I wrote this article to throw down the gauntlet to all challengers to fight for a high score. My current high score is 5656. Highest tile I got was a 512. And now I’m going to wait.

Oh, and the graphics and story are definitely 10/10.

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Thoughts About Stuff: Batman: Arkham Knight

I previously wrote about the Arkham Franchise as a whole and what we could probably expect with Arkham Origins being developed by a different studio. The game turned out to be not bad, but I think we can all agree it didn’t have the wow factor that made Asylum and City game of the year candidates. And a lot of people would argue it was because there were many changes to get used to. Whether it was voices or different aspects implemented by WB Montreal. However, if you haven’t heard, Rocksteady has announced their newest installment in the Arkham Franchise. Batman: Arkham Knight. Here is the trailer if you haven’t seen it.

Sweet Jesus.

Things to note:

Yes, let’s recognize how great the graphics look, but we should keep in mind that those clips are not gameplay. However this game will be exclusive to the newest gen systems. PS4, Xbox One, and PC. I would expect a gameplay trailer in the near future.

This is the third and final installment to the Rocksteady Arkham Franchise. I refer to it as their franchise because it’s obvious they will probably be staying away from Origins. Seeing as origins had the batwing to fly Batman around, and they heavily featured the batmobile in this trailer it will probably be his mode of transport in Arkham Knight.

It is also worth noting that Batman did not speak a word during the trailer, but all hints and clues point to him being voiced by fan favorite, Kevin Conroy. Why do I say that? Well Kevin spilled the beans some months back that he voiced an Arkham game, but it was not Origins. You can also see that the facial mold of Batman is back to the way it was in Asylum and City (this helps the movement of the face match the voice better).

Villains that we saw: Two-Face, Penguin, and Harley Quinn.

What does this all mean?

This sums it up pretty well.

This isn’t the game the Arkham Franchise needed, it would sell games basically no matter what. Its the game the fans deserve.

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Thoughts About Stuff: Fantastic Four Casting

If you haven’t heard by now, Josh Trank and FOX have cast their new Fantastic Four for their reboot.

675216-actor-1393167806-753-640x480
Left to right: Michael B. Jordan(Johnny Storm), Kate Mara(Sue Storm), Jamie Bell(Ben Grimm), and Miles Teller(Reed Richards).

Naturally a bunch of comic book purists and others flipped their shit for casting a black Johnny Storm and the entire cast being so young and close in age. First let me say racism is dumb, there’s not much else to it. MBJ is a very talented actor and is fully capable of playing a very dynamic and interesting Human Torch.

   

I didn’t gather these. They came from this tumblr but as the tumblr post also said, there isn’t a more Johnny Storm esque response I could think of. Plus, he’s going to be on fire for probably like half the movie anyway, so does it really change the foundation of the story if he’s black? No. (However, what might be interesting is if the comic book Johnny Storm turned black because of MBJ, similar to how Nick Fury is now black in the comics.)

As for the age thing, I don’t know too much about the Fantastic Four, and I know even less about the Ultimate version of them. According to their wikipedia page though, they are significantly younger and their ages are much closer together, so that explains that. Following ultimate story lines has been a pretty common route for non-marvel studios marvel films(i.e. The Amazing Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man 2).

So while this reboot was something I was never really excited about, I’m congratulating them for making a splash with their casting. And not a splash for the sake of splashing, this cast is very talented. I’m not as familiar with Mara and Bell’s work, but Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller have shown great acting ability in Fruitvale Station and The Spectacular Now respectively. So while I originally felt like this about the movie:

Meh.

I’m feeling more like this now:

Not bad Josh Trank, not bad.

And I guess that’s not a great promo for this movie, but understand I wasn’t going to even consider watching this movie unless it was on TV or something in like 5 years. And now I’m willing to be swayed by their promos and trailers they put out. At the end of the day, it’s always more about the script, the pacing, the editing, and 5,000,000 other factors that go into creating a film, if those things go well, I’m certain these actors can make the most of it.

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Thoughts About Stuff: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor

If you haven’t heard, Batman-Superman got moved back to 2016. The other big news was just announced today with Jesse Eisenberg set to play Lex Luthor in the film and Jeremy Irons as Alfred. Various sources if you google it or if you see it currently blowing up twitter. However, I personally learned the news from VarietyYou’re probably asking why I’m only planning on talking about Jesse Eisenberg’s casting and not Jeremy Iron’s? Well because Jeremy Irons is a BAMF and I’m 99% certain he’s going to do Alfred Pennyworth justice. THE MAN WAS THE VOICE OF SCAR. It’s completely unrelated, but it’s still pretty awesome. Just look at his IMDB picture and tell me he already doesn’t look like Alfred.

Jeremy
Another night of brooding Mastahh Wayne?

Jesse Eisenberg’s casting, however, does concern me a little bit. It’s not that he’s not a capable actor. I enjoyed his work in The Social Network and certainly in Zombieland. The issues I’m having here are that it seems odd that they picked such a young looking actor to play Lex Luthor. Lex Luthor in most incarnations that I’m familiar with outside of Smallville have been a smart, sophisticated, villainous and older nemesis to Superman. I’m not particularly convinced at anytime without heavy makeup/CGI that I’ll think Jesse Eisenberg isn’t younger than Henry Cavill’s Clark Kent/Superman. And that bothers me a little because Lex will probably just seem a little whiny and immature.

Zack Snyder is doing that whole changing the mythos thing again and it concerns me, because there are great stories to pull from but the dynamic between Lex and Clark will feel completely different in my opinion if they are roughly the same age or Lex is younger. And sure you could use Smallville against my argument, but you’re talking about a lot of changes that were made for Smallville to be on TV.

Like I previously stated, I respect Eisenberg’s acting range from the films that I’ve watched of his. He has displayed smarts, as well as awkward, among other things. I’m not convinced I’ve ever seen anything of his that would hint that he could be menacing and villainous, all while being super charismatic. I’ve also never felt like he had a character that has that kind of gravitas that Lex has. However, obviously he was cast for a reason, Zack Snyder saw something in him that made him say, “that’s my guy, that’s Lex Luthor.” And while I’m back and forth on the whole movie(mainly back), I want to see this movie purely out of curiosity of where he is going with all of these characters and interesting casting choices.

It’s completely possible he sets a new direction and creates a new era for DC and their cinematic world. Or he screws the pooch and sends them back to the stone age. Which one will it be?

Me, either Jesse.

So while I’m not really sold on Jesse Eisenberg, my reaction is probably the mildest of mild salsas in comparison to the internet’s reaction.

I fully expect everyone to be smoking when they read this news.

Thoughts About Stuff: New Years Resolutions.

It’s the last day of the year guys. A lot of things have happened. NerdSwole found it’s way after the death of the Dudes at 4 A.M. We all survived the apocalypse(again). The world had it’s crazy amount of happenings, be it unfortunate tragedies or other things. We also saw some pretty great things like batkid and random acts of kindness. On the nerdier side of things Marvel and DC had events that changed the landscape of their comics. Games like The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto V blew people away and set records. The Xbox One and PS4 were released.

There was plenty more to this year, but let’s look forward. People always make resolutions for the new year. It comes out to these grand lists of over 100 things that people will probably crack one of. A lot of websites also post their thoughts about this stuff (see what I did there?) and it comes up to like 20 things to do in the new year if you’re in your 20’s. 10 things to do in the new year. 50 things that will make you a better person in 2014. Something along those lines.  

So many of these lists say something really specific that we all should do, and it really doesn’t take into account anyone’s personal situation. It will tell you to travel or maybe it will tell you to make peace with an ex. What if you simply don’t have the means to travel, or an ex to make peace with? I appreciate these lists and usually find things here and there that I say, yes, we should all do that. However, for the most part though, I find the lists to be really over the top and things that apply to small groups. Rather than, say, everyone in their 20’s like their titles suggest.

Me personally? My list looks the same year in and year out. And I’m going to share it with you guys. Ready?

  1. Try and do the right thing.

That’s it.

Too vague? Try and do the right thing by taking care of yourself and those around you. Try and do the right thing by helping out your fellow man. Try and do the right thing by being the best version of yourself you can be. Try and do the right thing by reading my NerdSwole articles (ok, you don’t have to do that one).  I won’t say that it’s the grand scheme of the world or karma that will reward you for doing the right thing. Or that it is easy in any way shape or form. I just think if you do the right thing, you can at least take solace in doing what you believed to be right. Too difficult to do? It’s not. I believe in you. And so does JLaw.

I love this woman.

Happy New Years everyone.

-Brian

Thoughts About Stuff: Superhero Ensemble Films

I love The Avengers. I do. I really do. That film is even in my top films in general not even just top superhero films. It has it’s moments where it’s not so good as well, but overall I loved it. I won’t lie about it though, I didn’t think it was going to be as good as it was. I was very skeptical about the whole 5 movies leading up to an ensemble movie thing. They shoehorned a lot of SHIELD stuff into Iron Man 2 and ruined what potentially could have been a very good movie, and made it meh. They made Captain America: The First Avenger very much about him eventually becoming the leader and first pick for the Avengers initiative when I felt he deserved so more time in the 40’s. I still enjoyed these movies though, because they were decent standalone films, the same goes for Thor. However, with all things considered, it took 5 films to set up these characters for the awesome mash-up. Now a lot of these other Marvel franchises that are owned by other companies are attempting to do the same. FOX wants to do this with X-Men and the rebooted Fantastic Four, and Sony wants to do something within the Spider-Man franchise. WB and DC of course have their Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman/Invite the whole league thing going on. I just don’t think it’s a good idea though.

If you ask me, the flaw of the X-Men franchise is not that they didn’t have enough characters, it’s that they only bothered to really develop Wolverine. Which is a shame, because we possibly could have had a female lead superhero film, because the X-Men are populated with some of the most powerful ladies in all of the Marvel U. For example, most people were excited when Days of Future Past was announced I, personally, was not, simply because the title is in a lot of ways misleading, and their isn’t anything inherently wrong with that. Avengers: Age of Ultron is named after a story line that is a piece of hot garbage. However, Joss Whedon has come out and said that it’ll be almost nothing like the comic arc. This is almost guaranteed to be your face after reading Age of Ultron.

And those aren’t rain drops. Imagine them being tears of other people who also read Age of Ultron.

Going back to Days of Future Past though, the story is not supposed to be a Wolverine heavy story line. FOX has decided to make it the case though. Where instead of Kitty Pryde going back in time with her consciousness, which they easily could have done, they decide that sending Wolverine back through time using some crazy method they’re going to make up makes more sense somehow. X-Men: First Class was in my opinion the best of the X-Men franchise. While it had crazy inaccuracies, deviated from the books, and retconned a bunch of stuff from the previous films, they also had a bunch of cool characters, they actually took time to develop, and not just they’re relationship to Wolverine (i.e. the first 3 X-Men films.) This is pretty much why everyone hates Cyclops if I’m being completely honest, he wasn’t developed as a character, he was developed in a way that just made him someone who annoys the hell out of Wolverine. They always disagree, this is true, but they were still teammates with some rifts here and there up until a recent event in the comics (Schism 2011). See, the name Days of Future Past is a trap, because you get attracted by all of the names listed and the name of the movie, but I’m 90% sure because they changed the person going back in time it is going to be extremely Wolverine heavy. I’m telling you, ITS A TRAP.

We’re all birds, in the studio’s grand schemes.

Spider-Man? I’m going to go ahead and say, I’m pretty indifferent about the reboot. I think the The Amazing Spider-Man is just a rip-off of Batman Begins with a Spider-Man twist. You could argue that all superhero movies are the same, but let’s look at it for a quick second. The main bad guy in some way or another trains the protagonist. Both heroes decide that it is worth it in somehow to reveal their secret identity to the one that they love. The main bad guy has a plot that involves some toxins and shit to make the world the way they want it. However about this whole Sinister Six thing? I simply think that they should have learned from Spider-Man 3. Too many characters, scattered story, not enough development. There was a lot of hope for Spider-Man 3 and this is what many people feel like they got:

Wrecking ball? Or blindsided by an average movie after high expectations.

Ah. That leaves DC and WB and their plans for Justice League. A lot of the complaints for Man of Steel stem from the fact that it was too different from Superman movies in the past. Some people like the new direction some don’t. Most people, myself included simply wanted to see more Clark Kent and the Daily Planet, and Superman being Superman. As opposed to this whole zipping around the whole world doing whatever it takes that is normally reserved for Batman. I’ve always thought what made Superman great, was that he always does two things when most others can only do one thing, and sometimes even when he can’t. He’s flying to go fight Darkseid? He’ll probably still stop by California to stop an earthquake. OK thats a bit dramatic, but that’s Superman, big blue has never forgotten about the little guy, but he seemed to do that a lot in Man of Steel. I don’t have a problem with him killing Zodd really, I have a problem with him taking so long and letting so many people die before coming to said decision. To him, he won’t kill people because people may not know better, but he realizes that he’s essentially a god among men, and Zodd is the same, and he had a choice, and his choice was to be a dictator, so Superman killed Zodd. However, it still took him an hour of screen time fighting and a leveling of Metropolis to decide this. Basically, I could say a lot of things I dislike about Man of Steel, but they had a perfectly good opportunity to adjust these things in a sequel, or just explain some of the gaps. It teased that in a lot of ways with that whole Clark Kent thing at the end, but with the inclusion of a new Batman and Wonder Woman? They’re going to find a way to fit those characters in with Amy Adams and Laurence Fishburn still signed on to play their roles? Where Amy Adams signed on to co-lead this franchise as Lois Lane, she’ll likely take a backseat to Batman and Wonder Woman, which is really unfortunate.

I’m guessing Amy Adams’ and Laurence Fishburn’s response was similar to this after reading the script.

Ok, here is where I do my Brian thing. I’m not saying these films are guaranteed to be bad or mediocre. They could potentially blow the pants off of me. However, it all seems very rushed, with the exception of Spider-Man because that is planned to be after a trilogy is in place. It just seems like these studios are convinced that an ensemble expanded universe is what made The Avengers a successful movie. It’s not though. The Avengers is simply a good film. You can watch the film by itself, without having watched the previous 5, they just enrich the experience. Sure, the shock and awe of the cast probably brought in a good percentage of the box office, but I guarantee the word of mouth was amazing. I saw the film, and I had to tell everyone I knew to watch it. Essentially, this was me:

Exactly what I did inside the theater.

I’d be perfectly happy to be wrong about the other films. I hope these films prove me wrong and are masterpieces that make me need to change my pants. But something tells me the studios are OK with making mediocre movies as long as they make enough money, and will continue to do so until the money stops.

As always, please sound off and feel free to disagree with me on here, facebook, twitter, or any other platform. Also, share this or any of my other articles, and I’ll give you the wink and the gun, or shake your hand. I’ll even let you choose.

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Thoughts About Stuff: Gal Gadot As Wonder Woman

One week ago, Gal Gadot, one of the stars of the last three Fast and Furious films was announced to be our Wonder Woman in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman film. I personally will be talking about her as a casting choice for everyone’s favorite amazon princess. If you’re looking for thoughts about the film itself, that might be an entirely different article, me personally, I think the best way to execute having so many big characters in a film, is to have this film focus on Superman and his relationship with Batman, and have the other characters make either minor appearances or cameos. However, since they made an announcement about her casting, I don’t think this is the route they’ll be going. Anyway, time to talk about the casting choice.

If you haven’t watched the Fast and Furious movies, I have to say the last three really picked it up. Especially Fast Five and Fast and Furious 6, in my mind they really revived the franchise, they made the films about more than just fast cars, it brought a heist element, among other things. One of the stars of these films was Gal Gadot, she played a badass former agent of the Mossad. She did it a number of ways, she shot like an ace, she used her sexiness, and she could fight. These are all pretty great precursors to playing a character like Wonder Woman. Let’s break down some of the important elements of being Wonder Woman.

Does she have sex appeal?

Obviously, Wonder Woman is meant to be an extremely attractive woman. I think Gal has got this part covered:

I personally feel being exotic is a bit of an underrated aspect of many incarnations of Wonder Woman. Although she wears stars and stripes, she is still supposed to be an amazon who was made from clay that lived on an island unknown to the world by man, named Themyscira. I think Gal has a great accent that brings an exotic flare. Her accent is heavy enough to realize there is one, and not too heavy that you don’t understand what she is saying.

Can she physically handle being Wonder Woman?

While her character did some pretty cool stuff in the Fast and Furious movies, I’m sure you’re wondering if she’s actually able to do any of this stuff herself, as it turns out according to this interview she did her own stunts and practiced them and prepared rigorously.

Does she have the acting chops?

While many people would argue that Wonder Woman doesn’t require a good actress, I understand to a certain degree. But don’t we enjoy it much more when people find a way of truly capturing our favorite heroes? Many people would have argued that Tony Stark was a character that didn’t require a good actor because he’d be in the Iron Man suit for the best parts of the film. However, we got Robert Downey Jr, who in my opinion is a very talented actor to play Tony Stark, and look at him now, it has gotten to the point where no one else seems at all remotely acceptable to take over the mantle of Tony Stark. Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark to a lot of people, myself included. Gal has the opportunity to completely own this character, she excels in supporting roles, and in this case it seems that will very much be the case with Wonder Woman. Everyone I know absolutely fell in love with Gisele(Gal’s character from the F&F movies). And their hearts were completely broken by the end of Fast and Furious 6, I for one felt real sorrow over losing a beloved character from a franchise I enjoy(despite it essentially being crazy summer movie fun).

Does she have the look? Because *insert actress name here* would have been great.

The main knock I’ve seen against Gal is that she is too skinny to play Wonder Woman. However, if you think she is going to look exactly as she did in the Fast and Furious films, I’d wager you a sandwich that you will be horribly horribly wrong. If you think that Gal won’t be put on some kind of crazy training regiment, I will bet you yet another sandwich that she will look drastically stronger and bigger for the sequel to Man of Steel. Or even that Zack Snyder won’t be willing to CGI enhance his characters while editing, which he has done before. If Gal isn’t put through a training regiment and looks just as skinny as she does in the Fast and Furious movies feel free to absolutely come back here and shove it in my face. Although, if that is the case, it’s probably more because Zack Snyder just wants a completely different take on Wonder Woman, as he changed the rules of Superman and his powers anyway (just sayin’).  If Christian Bale can do this:

transformations_christian_bale
I’m not sure if he worked out or just came back from the dead. Either way, it’s impressive.

There is no reason to believe that Gal can’t go through a similar transformation. Plus, Wonder Woman is 6’0, I bet people would not have cared had they cast someone that was 5’6 or an obvious amount shorter than 6’0.

Now let’s talk about how this actress or that actress should have been Wonder Woman. Gina Carano? She absolutely kicks ass and is super beautiful. Cobie Smulders? I’m absolutely in love with this woman. Jaimie Alexander? Man, it’s like the list of women to play Wonder Woman are just my celebrity crushes. Gina Torres? A little bit out there, but maybe I could have bought in. So on and so forth. However, let me point out what would have been had and had not been if the fan bases got their way. Glenn Danzig was a favorite at one point to play Wolverine. You decide:

VS.

While I’m completely aware it is a little unfair to compare with a picture of Hugh already as Wolverine, you get the point. By and large Hugh Jackman is accepted and loved as Wolverine. He is generally seen as a great casting fit. There are plenty of other examples such as Tom Cruise at one point the favorite to play Tony Stark. But can you really picture anyone else as Tony Stark right now? Probably not, and that’s why Robert Downey Jr. was able to leverage fan love so much to get his contract to his terms to return for The Avengers sequels. Has casting gone wrong? Absolutely. However, I think the movie should come out, and let it be judged with unbiased eyes, and that’s why I’m showing my support for Gal Gadot to be Wonder Woman. I think she has the potential to do great things with this character, provided she has a real opportunity.

Plus I’ve loved this woman ever since Fast Five, and she made doing this something I put on my bucket list:

As always, please sound off and feel free to disagree with me on here, facebook, twitter, or any other platform. Also, share this or any of my other articles, and I will teach you how to dougie or how to spongebob. I’ll even let you choose.

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Thoughts About Stuff: Black Friday

A long long time ago, I used to be a Black Friday camper. I was actually on the news once for camping like 5 years ago or something. I used to be all about it, because it was awesome stuff for a super cheap price. This was despite the pushing, shoving, and trampling. I still really enjoyed getting awesome stuff for a great price. However, that was way before the time when people would start camping days ahead of time like they do now. There was more to it than shopping back when I camped out. It was a time of braving the cold and hanging out with some bros to try and save some money. It made for a pretty great bonding experience, and it was easy to bond with people in line when people because everyone was freezing so much their genitalia was probably receding into them. Pretty much everyone entered the Best Buy we camped outside of looking like this:

2256608-avengerfrozen3212012
Capsicles

That being said, it was still cool, because I went with a group, and we’d always split up what we were trying to get and move efficiently through the store. The mission was always getting in and out with everything as fast as possible. We were once in and out of a Best Buy in 20 minutes, with 3 TVs, 2 Laptops, a Desktop, and a bunch of other stuff. And it totally felt super badass.

If you can’t tell, I’m feeling very Avengery today.

It took years of experience to get to that point too. How to camp efficiently, where to camp, and what to bring to not die of being frozen to the ground. Eventually, I felt like me and my group were super efficient to the point we could hit multiple stores, and we did. So basically, by the time I got home, I always felt triumphant, like I had just come back victorious from battle. And taking off all of my layers and gear is what I imagine to be the equivalent of when girls take off their bras after a long day(I’m told this feeling is amazing), for me it was a lot like this:

Ok, this might be a little better.

I’ve even got great stories I can tell people from when I camped for Black Friday. I fell asleep in the grass holding a TV once, and I don’t mean like nodded off. Like, I was passed the fuck out. I saw a guy get elbowed in the face when he tried to cut into the line. Actually, I’ve seen way worse than some elbows being thrown, there was this one fellow who tried to argue that his line could be held in line with a stool, while he waited in the IHOP across the street or his car. Want to know how that ended?

He wasn’t even Thor, he was the tree in this case.

So, then why don’t I camp Black Friday anymore? I have a couple of friends who have worked retail and told me horror stories. I’ve heard a couple of outings where terrible things happened so people could get what they wanted. I’ve heard about cons, lies, and stealing on Black Friday. However, if I’m being completely honest? It’s because I value Thanksgiving as a holiday. When I first started dealing with Black Friday, it was just a game of waking up early and going out. People then began to camp out for stuff, and year after year, the first person to start camping would be earlier and earlier. 4 a.m. 2 a.m. 10 p.m. The earliest I ever camped was 6 p.m on Thanksgiving. Could I camp a day or two straight to get stuff at a really cheap price? I don’t know for sure, but I know I don’t even want to bother trying because I really do appreciate Thanksgiving. I mean think about it, you eat amazing food until you’re so full you can’t do anything else. Then you fall asleep watching Football, and when you wake up feeling awesome.

Kangaroos, the Australian Avenger.

And then you hang out with friends and family? What’s not to like? I already have beef with the fact that people want to start celebrating Christmas the second Halloween is over, but now Black Friday has become a bigger thing than Thanksgiving for some people? To me, that’s too much. I know game prices are amazing, I know books are cheap, I know 1,000 inch TVs are like 500 dollars, but to me it’s not worth passing up a great holiday that allows you to spend time with those you should be thankful to have. And mashed potatoes. Because who doesn’t like mashed potatoes? Plus, you know, Cyber Monday. Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and I leave you in the very capable hands of this flow chart by DealNews.

BF_store_flow2_alt

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Thoughts About Stuff: The Geek Community

WARNING: WALLS OF TEXT INCOMING, NO PICTURES. I would still highly suggest reading it if you are the following though: a gamer, a hardcore fan of anything geeky, a casual fan of anything, a girl, a guy, or a martian.

In the past articles I’ve written, there was a lot of cursing, filled with gifs and plenty of attempts at humor, but in this particular article I wanted to address something a bit more serious. Funny enough, we’ll be talking the opposite of serious, and talking about casual fans. Something I’ve never understood is why people turn their backs on others that are truly trying to learn a new hobby or enter a new fandom. For example, when someone says they are huge Marvel fans, that can mean so many different things. You have huge long boxes of classic Marvel comics? Awesome, more power to you, I’d love to hang out and read them. Oh, I’m not cool enough because I just started collecting floppy issues after the reboot? Fuck you too bro. And yet, somehow it gets worse, because these people who only just started collecting feel the need for that validation and turn others who only watch the Marvel movies away.

There are people who are Marvel fans that only watch the movies that come out in theaters, and they get excluded and considered casual fans. But what is wrong with being a casual fan? Why can’t they also be considered Marvel fans? Are they on your level of knowledge of the Marvel 616(The main marvel timeline)? Probably not, but why do these hardcore fans feel the need to shun and turn away these casual fans? Why is it necessary to create this hierarchy? It isn’t. I hang out with a bunch of people who don’t read comic books, but they love to ask me questions when we go watch the movies. How close to the book is it? What’s going to happen in the sequel? What does the infinity gauntlet do? What’s your beef with Iron Man 3? Who would win in a fight between Superman and Batman? And I love answering  them, and they see how excited I get by explaining a badass story, and sometimes it inspires them to read about it.

Listen. I’m not saying it’s absolutely necessary for you to become friends with everyone and teach them from square one, but why would you discourage them from learning more? This applies to many subjects, but I want to specifically address nerdy and geeky things. As a community, I honestly feel that far too often we are pots calling kettles black. My first experience with this particular issue was back when I was attempting to be come a pro Super Smash Bros. Brawl player. I studied that game daily, analyzing frame data, reading forums constantly, and attending tournaments to hone my craft. Brawl players were frequently looked down upon and constantly made fun of in the forums for playing a game that was “too simple” and just a poorly designed game. Do you want to know by who though? Super Smash Bros. Melee players. Seriously. The Smash community is about as grass roots as it comes when it comes to competitive gaming, 98% of the tournaments thrown are thrown by members of the community, and yet somehow they decide that they are prideful and arrogant enough to turn away the support of the younger sibling game. That’s not to say Brawl players are excused, they were just as bad, calling the predecessor an ancient game that was dying. Remember, this is a game that has struggled to stay sponsored by any competitive gaming circuit, such as MLG, eSports, etc. I won’t say I haven’t gotten into these flame wars on forums and arguments in person over things of this nature, I have, but I’ve come to realize how ridiculous it is. What’s even funnier about this, is that Smash as a game has consistently been made fun of by the FGC(Fighting Game Community) for being a game for kids and not a true fighting game like Street Fighter, Tekken, or Mortal Kombat etc.

So after having known what it’s like to be made fun of for playing Smash Bros, they divide themselves further by creating these walls determined by generations (64/Melee/Brawl) instead of supporting each other. It truly is trivial in the grand scheme of things. When they could just as easily unite under what brought them to the scene, their love for Smash games. This is ridiculous. This is why I’m writing this, as a community, the geek/nerd population needs to be more supportive and nurturing.

During EVOLUTION 2013, which is the largest fighting game tournament in the world, Melee peaked and had the highest views on a live stream ever for a fighting game at 120,000 views, what did the melee fans in the stream do? They decided to make fun of the FGC and talk about how superior their fanbase was. This is laughable. Why? I’m as big a Smash fan as their is, but if anyone truly believes that all 120,000 of those viewers were solely there for Melee, you are highly mistaken. The event just before Melee, King of Fighters, already had roughly 100,000 viewers, and when the event ended many left, but it was still left with about 90,000 or so viewers waiting through the game transition. Maybe, had Melee been proud of their views, but thanked the FGC and EVO for boosting them back into mainstream relevance, they’d actually have added more fans to the community. There were plenty of FGC players/important members who were vocal about their support for Melee and I salute them. People like Michael ‘IFC Yipes’ Mendoza, James Chen, and Justin Wong were all clear, they were excited to see some Melee. However, many Melee stream monsters decided to take this chance and do the opposite. Again spurning any support that came from others that already weren’t a part of the Melee community.

What am I asking for? I’m asking that you don’t condemn new fans, that you encourage them. That feeling of belonging to that fandom/group/forum/crew/community/whatever you’re in, it feels good doesn’t it? Why won’t you allow someone else to share in that? I promise you, they won’t take your shine from you, and you might in fact make a new fan and a person to geek with. That feeling you get when you meet someone who shares your fandom? Multiply it by 5, that’s the feeling when you create a new geek. For people who have been made fun of all our lives growing up, why are we so quick to do the same to others at our first chance. Why can’t we see that we can prevent what happened to us, by allowing more inclusion?

I want to tell you a story about a friend of mine, she helps run the comic book store I pick up my books from, The Laughing Ogre. I haven’t asked her if I it were ok to write about her, so I’ll use a fake name, DD(She absolutely loves Daredevil). I have the absolute utmost respect for DD, because I can’t imagine what it’s like being a girl who is into comic books. She’s told me a number of stories, and it’s either guys are drooling all over her for being a geek girl and not getting to know her as a person, or calling her a fake geek who just sells comic books as a job and doesn’t really read them. Let me tell you something, her pull list(the number of comics you get per week) would put all three of the guys at Nerd Swole to shame. Combined. She doesn’t read comic books to prove anyone wrong, she doesn’t do it for anyone else, she does it because she enjoys comic books.

I remember when DD first asked me and the NerdSwole guys to hang out with her and her friends outside of the comic book store, and why it took so long. Its because we were going through a bit of a screening. She explained to us that it’s difficult to find friends that just treat her like a person, and not like a fake fan or just were absolutely enamored with the fact that she read comic books. I honestly can’t imagine what that is like, constantly feeling like people are making you prove yourself. After placing decently at a couple of tournaments I was recognized as a player, and didn’t really have to prove that I loved the game. DD, still gets her fair share of jerks though, and despite all of that mistreatment, she still made me feel super welcome when I first started reading comic books. I honestly admire her composure and strength to not just lump all geek guys together with the jerks who called her fake. And as a side note, for a community that is largely male and wants more female attention, we sure aren’t doing our best to even the ratio.

So listen, I know I talked mainly about video games and comic books, but those are the communities I’m familiar with, and I know this is something that is prevalent in all communities because others have talked to me about it. This is why I’m making a call to the geek community, if we truly want to grow as a community, a geek, and really as a person, we should be accepting of all levels of geekiness. There is no reason to question whether or not someone is geeky enough, if they truly aren’t passionate about the subject they’ll find themselves uninterested soon enough when you begin to argue how about who would win in a fight between Green Arrow and Ron Weasely. I truly believe that if we’re more inclusive and welcoming as a whole it will be better overall. People who use geekdom as a mask to attract others or just want to fit in but don’t really care about the fandom will eventually just weed themselves out from just not caring about the subject. With a strong community, amazing things are possible, look at the near cancellation of the show Community and how it is constantly brought back from the dead by it’s endearing fans, they even got a guy who was fired back on the show. Seriously, think about that. So encourage, don’t shun. Create communities not hierarchies. Raise geeks not walls.

Ok, one picture. And I don’t give sandwiches to just anyone.

 

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