Geek Culture

From comic books to TV shows to games, how we're remaking the world in our image.

Geek Culture

"Like any proud (Filipino) American family, we give thanks that we may eat well, drink well and tear up the local Counter-Strike server. While the older folks gather around the karaoke machine and croon the same '80s pop tunes every year, my middle school-aged cousins cluster around our motley collection of PCs, and without fail, "Boom, headshot!" resounds throughout the house. This is because, from gamer geeks in the Netherlands to my 12-year-old cousin in California to my college roommates who got me hooked on the show three years ago, everyone watches Pure Pwnage."

Geek Culture

"There's been some pretty bad offenders over the years. Malcolm in the Middle had mysterious game-less Game Boys. Every soap has the generic kids sitting in front of a TV that produces R2-D2-like sounds. And then there was 2006's "horror porn without the porn" flop Stay Alive. But there have also been rare gems such as South Park's "Make Love, Not Warcraft" that have managed to stay faithful to the games they portray, earning fame on TeamSpeak channels across the internet."

Geek Culture

"Pong, released in 1972, relied on cutting-edge electronics. Dungeons & Dragons, which appeared two years later, employed technologies that had existed for thousands of years. The odd-shaped dice used to play original D&D - the pyramids, the icosahedrons, the strange gear of so many roleplaying games - are the five Platonic solids. The Greeks had advanced math, writing, drama, myth and lots of leisure time - not to mention an academy at Athens loaded with nerds. So why didn't Plato ever think to deck out a dungeon for his fellows to loot?"

Geek Culture

"It's small by overseas standards - this isn't ComicCon - and there's an extra emphasis on kids. Downstairs they go batshit for the laser tag and wrestling; upstairs there are long avenues of Magic: The Gathering tables. One of Armageddon's biggest moments sees two dozen sugar-fed little buggers onstage for the Dragon Ball Z Kamehameha contest. What better way to spend a Sunday than shooting a giant imaginary fireball out of your arms and screaming like a Japanese cartoon?"

Geek Culture

"Every videogame veteran can recall a time when he had to grit his teeth, hunker down and just grind through the minefield, whether it was the Library in the original Halo or the twitchy session of hide'n'seek with chainsaw-wielding dimbulb Piggsy in Manhunt. "Continue?" Yes. "Restart from last save point?" Definitely. "Sure you want to keep going despite the fact that this really isn't doing either of us any favors?" Exactamundo."