2018 has been home to some of the best and worst things we’ve seen in a while, which isn’t surprising – That happens every year. So, last week during our usual Top 10 slot, you chose for us to write about the Top 10 Worst of 2018. So buckle up, we’re focusing on the best and worst of anything geeky, from films, video games and even the internet itself gets a stern looking at.
10) Holmes and Watson
Haven’t seen it, not going to see it. I might see it, but only so that I can fairly tear it to shreds. There are ways and means to parody Sherlock Holmes, and sure amongst them there’s the version where he’s secretly a complete idiot who keeps stumbling into success. Do so with well composed slapstick, physical comedy, and hilarious misunderstandings… but… ok.
We’re in an age now where people composing trailers have to also compose a miniature version to fit into the five seconds before we’re allowed to skip to what we really clicked on. Ferrell and Reilly filled that five seconds with screaming in Victorian Outfits. That spoke volumes, but the full trailer paints a picture – an accurate picture – of an obnoxiously loud bumbling mess of a film in which Ferrell and Reilly can do Step Brothers again but worse, and while burning down a literary giant.
9) Fallout 76
Oh Bethesda, did you have to fall so hard? There’s no secret that I absolutely love The Elder Scrolls Online, so we know Bethesda can make a successful and fun online experience for its fans. Fallout 76 sounded like a pretty unique experience, coupled with a lot of potential to have a genuinely fun style. It’s a shame that the game has fallen harder than a sack of spuds being dropped from a 100 foot platform.
Okay, so I can’t talk about the game itself – I’ve not played it, which is a shame as I wanted this to be the Fallout title to help me try out one of the franchise. Unlike Joel, I’ve never picked up a Fallout title, even though I kinda want to. But for a game to be riddled in bugs, including allowing you to change frame rates and bug out the online experience, or for the special edition to end up feeling not so special, then this might not be the experience I want or need right now.
Ah well, back to The Elder Scrolls Online!
8) Super Seducer: How To Talk To Girls
You really can’t make this one up. Super Seducer: How To Talk To Girls is as clear as the title presented. You “play” as the star of the books himself, the man who proclaims himself to be a pick-up artist – and, well, perhaps he is. Let’s just say I wouldn’t have much experience in ‘picking up women’ myself, but that’s another discussion all together. However, some people buy into his ideologies, which is troublesome for the dating game as a whole.
Oh if the notion of this ‘game’ wasn’t ridiculous enough, according to a lot of people, Super Seducer 2 (yes, a sequel was made), became quite self-aware and sort of went with the bad publicity garnered from the first one. Apparently, it’s quite different, but in all honesty I think the damage was done. All in all, you can’t just write some questionable books and turn yourself into a video game – So please buy my books and perhaps we’ll turn our GeekOut Media activities into a video game?
7) Blizzard’s Diablo Immortal Announcement
Blizzard’s Diablo Immortal Announcement at first doesn’t sound like such a big deal, but it was proof that it was a big company who didn’t understand its core audience. The Diablo fans have been waiting for quite some time for an announcement of a new Diablo game, as Diablo III was released back in May 2012. However, when the fans had finally got this big announcement they’ve been waiting for – bang – they were given a mobile game… One that would ultimately be filled to the brim with microtransactions.
Whilst I can’t talk for the game itself, I can certainly talk for the fans. They were upset, they were betrayed and, like the guy above, they wanted to know if they were just experiencing a really delayed April Fools joke. The good will they gathered from some of their other ventures were wasted, due to a misplaced interest in exploiting a market they weren’t known for. However, to Blizzard’s credit, their other announcements this year were pretty good such as; the Warcraft 3 remake; the new characters for Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch; the Vanilla World of Warcraft servers and more. A real shame they produced such a stinker of an announcement for the Diablo fans.
6) Tide Pod Challenge
Maybe we’re just getting old, we’re now old enough to point and laugh when the people who are younger than us do dumb things. We were the planking generation, and that got pretty dangerous, right? Are we now old enough to not “get” why kids would just intentionally poison themselves? That’s it, we’re getting to that age.
But come on. We ate spoonfuls of cinnamon because it was dumb, cinnamon neither looks pretty or kills you, it just hurts and makes you cough a lot! Nobody died planking!
Oh, yeah, that guy did. Well, at least there were no labels explicitly telling us not to lie on things. Tide Pods (and other branded equivalents) very specifically tell you not to eat them because they are made of poison! Genuine poison! Can’t wait to see the next fatal fad.
5) YouTube Rewind 2018
Oh wow, of all of the companies to get their audience so very wrong…
YouTube claims to be a website for content creators to get together, to showcase their works with the world and then they want to celebrate them. All in all, this normally works well enough. There may be the occasional flaw with the platform – see the later mentioned adpocalypse – but normally the platform is a stable place, with a bunch of interesting, fun communities.
Well then, for YouTube Rewind to go so wrong is a bit of a weird one. Oh sure, it had Baby Shark in it, which was genuinely great and a lot of YouTubers that people genuinely enjoy. However, the format was changed up. We got less of a music video and more of a “hey, isn’t this a thing that happened this year?” It didn’t feel like a rewind that we’ve come used to – Instead, it felt bland and uninspired.
Oh and it’s the most disliked video on YouTube… And it’s made by YouTube themselves. Now stop jumping on the Fortnite bandwagon, it’s a great game, sure, but it doesn’t need to be featured non-stop in this one long video!
4) Tumblr Censorship Purge
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not gagging to go onto the NSFW editions of Tumblr myself, but this had to get on the list. If the Blizzard announcement was a botched misunderstanding of its fanbase, then this is definitely equal, if not greater than that. Indeed, Tumblr has become somewhat infamous for the fact it was filled with rather naughty images – Some of which should be removed, others should be allowed to be raunchy.
I won’t judge anyone who uses the platform for any intent – If the users have come together and made Tumblr into the website they want, then perhaps the founding company and the platform have turned into something it didn’t want to be. Nevertheless, to implement such a botched bit of software which thinks anything is pornographic is embarrassing. Couple this with the fact it represents family values, but then has violent posts? Confusing, to say the least.
3) Logan Paul
I don’t think it’s entirely unfair to point the finger at Logan Paul for almost single handedly toppling the YouTube community as a whole.
You may recall he was already attracting a lot of undue attention by the end of 2017, typically for crass behaviour and a little copyright issue, some accusations of sexism, and going along with all of the worst behaviours of his brother, Jake Paul. But on the last day of 2017, along with all of the controversy the following January (2018), it was Logan who deserved all the hate.
There is a way to treat the topic of suicide, and frankly I don’t see a problem with showing the body if it’s done with tact, dignity, and a real message about… not doing it. Things like removing your hat, especially dumb hats. Things like not including the body in the thumbnail. Things like not making a huge deal about how it’s a YouTube first, or making jokes, and laughing (or editting it out, I do get gallows humour to be fair), or framing it so that it’s “on brand” for you. Oh, and then when you apologise for how crass and dumb you have been, don’t pat yourself on the back and then hashtag it!
YouTube as a platform was, and still is, in a desperate state where no balance can be found between over- and under-regulation of content. It’s under constant fire and scrutiny from “mainstream” media and advertisers, and has been increasingly bad at handling their creator base.
This is a long entry for a top 10 list. This was a dumb thing to do. This was an opportunity to do something productive, and it was not merely abandoned, it was burned and salted so that no one could touch the subject safely again.
2) Article 13
Depending on where you sit on the fence with this one, Article 13 is a tragedy waiting to befall the internet. Some people say that there won’t be a huge change when Article 13 comes into effect, but let’s be honest – It’s going to affect the internet in a huge way. It’s legislation that’s come in, when the people writing said legislation aren’t up to date with the workings of the internet. That would always spell some form of disaster.
Nevertheless, Article 13 is currently in a Trilogue, which means it’s been agreed but is in final discussions, which are due to be finalised next year. As such, I’ve got to keep my eye out for the wording, so I know if I can even proceed with the new website – Ultimately, it might become too expensive to even start up a new website. If you’re interested in knowing more about Article 13, have a read around. Check out Julia Reda who gives a good breakdown of some of the potential consequences, or even YouTube themselves.
1) The Loss of Stan Lee
I talked about this at the time, and I’m not going to link back to the article because neither myself or Tim are interested in promoting ourselves off a man’s death. We were both saddened to an extent, but we both agreed that Stan Lee had lived a life of success, fame, and joy. Perhaps not a perfect life, that’s fine; but a good life and a long one.
An amazing creator was lost to us this year, there’s no denying that it’s a bad thing. A life worth celebrating, but it’s no less painful to see it end. In the words of another great creator, “…a man is not dead while his name is still spoken.” So let us keep Stan alive in our hearts, on our shelves, and on our screens. And Terry Pratchett… but he does not qualify for this list.
It’d be cool if they could hang out now…
Much like all of the nonsense that happened in our Top 10 list above, here is some more pretty terrible stuff that happened this year. Let’s try to move past these and hopefully to a brighter future.
Quickfire Round: The Worst Memes of 2018
Drumroll please, these are going to vanish faster than moth memes did… and those were good!
Ugandan Knuckles – Although it started before 2018, it picked up notoriety this year and it was so overused that I just don’t want to hear it again. Hopefully, it doesn’t get brought back…
We Live In A Society – Funny at first, the punchline dies really fast. The idea was deeper than the execution.
Yanny/Laurel – Because this one just didn’t really make much sense to begin with. Rehash of “That Dress”.
Sonic’s Legs – Because no one can ever feel comfortable again. That, and it’s the film literally no one was asking for… Except for the most extreme hardcore Sonic fan…
I Don’t Feel So Good – Too soon.
Right, let’s get past these dreadful memes now and move onto something more serious.
Extinction of the Northern White Rhino
We do our best to not be political, but there’s a phrase that needs to be in circulation more: anthropocene extinction. We – as a species – qualify as a mass extinction event, as devastating as the Chicxulub meteor. The northern white rhino is now considered extinct, as only two females remain, and any efforts made to save the species is going to lead to unpleasant results based on in-breeding and the age of both living individuals and the remaining DNA pool.
There is a tremendous list of species that have been driven into endangerment and are approaching extinction, and it is as a direct result of human activity. As it stands our best means of combating poachers are funded by trophy hunters killing the same animals. And those are only the species we’re actively trying to save. So many species go extinct without us even knowing about it, but another poster child for conservation is now, functionally, gone.
That was it. 2018 has now finished. This was the last Top 10 of 2018 and we went out by shaking our heads at the year, which feels pretty apt. However, just because the year’s over doesn’t mean we have to forget about it. I’d prefer it if we did forget about all the crap and just remember the good. Let’s start 2019 off with a much more geek-inspired Top 10 list to start the year off right.
Did the worst geeky things make their way to this list, or did we mess this one up? Did we forget the real worst thing to happen this year? Was our order alright, or was that simply the worst order we could have picked? As ever, our Top 10’s are what they are because you get involved. Share your voice in the comments below, or join us over on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll see you all in the new year!