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Archive for June, 2019

GeekOut Shrewsbury June ’19 – Board Game Beginners

Board game beginners, bring your friends, those who haven’t touched a dice since Ludo, someone who with the bitter aftertaste of Monopoly finally fading. If you can’t shuffle a deck of cards to save your life, this is your month to dip a proverbial toe firmly in the metaphorical water.

Premeet – Sweet

I did not take photos at the premeet again, I was kind of busy having my ass handed to me repeatedly at Magic while downing milkshake, not by Murray this time, but by Kim and her vicious blue-green ramp deck, which I should not have attempted to mill to death… which makes a lot of sense if you’ve played Magic but if you haven’t… well come to GeekOut, we’ll teach you.

It was pretty on theme too, Kim’s Magic addiction is in its first flushes, so taking out an experienced player with relative ease is always going to be affirming. Although I refuse to accept any and all responsibility for any hobby-induced poverty experienced as a result.

Monty’s

We have outlived the quiz! Not our quiz, the other one that was moving in on our territory. So no need to move into the far side of the pub, we get to keep our corner with all of the amenities we’ve become accustomed to, like a projector, tables for the board game library, and room to spread and expand in comfort.

And this month we were also almost back to a full compliment of 30+ attendees, including some new faces alongside the regulars. Amongst those new faces, at least one new adventurer steps into Meadsbridge, and there will be some newcomers who are most certainly returning – if not next month – then certainly in the near future.

It wasn’t all plain sailing this month, we completely forgot the competition, so I guess that’ll have to be a rollover? And we had a mini-parade of mental and medical complaints, but news and updates from all concerned sound broadly positive. We look after our own, your health and welfare are priority one. Look after yourselves and each other first and foremost, then break into the board games and nerdiness later.

Next Month – Convention Season, the 25th of July, conveniently right in time for me to vanish to America for GenCon, and while I’m starting mad prep for Insomnia in August. No Kitacon, no Amecon, so in the absence of my regular national-scale geeky get together, we’ll do our best to capture the moment.


Top 10 Worst Games on Release

GeekOut Top 10s

Video games are to be enjoyed and can be a lot of fun, but sometimes you pick up a game on its release day and you’re gutted. It’s not what it claimed to be, or it just isn’t very good. Sometimes games stay this way, other times games rebuild themselves into something better. Today, let’s check out some games that were really not particularly good on release for various reasons – Bear in mind, these haven’t all been fixed. Some are still bad to this day…

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The Boys Trailer Looks Damn Good

Being a PG-13 website, it’s kind of hard to show too much about The Boys, but we’ll tell you all about some of the key parts of the series. Coming soon to Amazon Prime Video, The Boys looks to take the superhero world and put it back in its place. I’m sure I’m not the only one to suggest there are too many superheroes out there, so here’s a series dedicated to keeping collateral damage down and keeping these heroes in check. But here’s a little bit of backstory behind The Boys, including the source material.

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A Begrudging Defence of The Big Bang Theory

I am very… very proud to be a nerd in the 21st century. Our culture, is culture, we took over in a big way, we’re not the counterculture or the underground any more. Comics break the box office, games outsell every form of modern media, we’re in music, literature, we’re on every screen, and even the geekiest of hobbies have entered the public sphere.

Back in 2007, Chuck Lorre who was still riding high on Two and a Half Men success, created a show that… yeah, let’s say it took advantage of the rise of geek culture in its early flushes, computer games were starting to get mainstream, and we’re still pre-MCU. Here comes this gaggle of guys who are painfully socially awkward, love science and comic books, and don’t understand girls, and OH NO, a girl just moved in next door and she doesn’t understand any of it, and one of those guys loves her so very, very much.

There are just… so many reasons why The Big Bang Theory is a slap in the face to geeks, and they have been described best by other people, Wisecrack are actually pretty good at pulling it apart for it’s worst aspects, and it’s not just about the laugh track. The characters are caricatures, the reference humour is reference without the humour, and while the science on the boards may be accurate, it doesn’t take too long to realise that neither actors nor writers know what they’re talking about. And Sheldon is “crazy”, at it’s most base definition, he demonstrates some of the clearest signs of inability to comprehend and function within a wide variety of basic human functions.

Personally, I got sick of it around when they started attempting to understand Dungeons & Dragons; it was like a mask had been ripped off and suddenly the hideous thing beneath was revealed. And how many times did I hear people say “You sound like that Sheldon from Big Bang you do”? That’s a kick in the face I don’t need thank you madam.

I’ll throw some links down below, that’s not what this article is about.

Geeks were on TV, and they were popular enough to endure 12 years of being on TV. They were grown men wearing comic-book logos, playing video games, making science jokes, some of which were funny, they’d watch cartoons when bored, they hang swords on the walls and behaved awkwardly in normal situations while thriving at science competitions and strolling into conventions like kings. They were the centre of the social circles at the comic book shops, they’d take cross country road trips to meet celebrities from sci-fi shows, and they’d spend their days in the lab doing science and changing the face of the world.

Ok, it was a lot of stereotypes, many of which got pretty damn hurtful, but it’s stereotypes that people understand. “Normal” people don’t want to hear a lot of science jokes, the good ones I mean, same with video game and comic book jokes, and gods forbid an anime joke slips through the editors desk… ever. But they know pop-science, and they understand the words they learned in their teens like Friction or Tangential. It’s a foot in the metaphorical door, and if it means a few more people make the brave step into the rest of the room, and much like with actual physics, they’ll learn that they’ve been taught wrong the whole time, but it helps them to understand the rich complexity that lies beyond.

And on the subject of learning physics, the Big Bang Theory has not only caused a massive upswing in interest in science among younger kids, the show has also funded its own scholarship fund for STEM students. I also found out today that the science consultants would also have their work checked by Mayim Bialik* who’s highly qualified to do so, and unlike the rest of the cast, really does know what she’s talking about.

Nor is she the only true-blooded nerd on the show! Wil Wheaton is something of a polarising figure, but there’s no debating his geeky chops, years of role-playing and board gaming and a ~cough~ “starring” role on Star Trek definitely earn him the proverbial badge, and he brings a few old Star Trek friends along for the ride. See also, Katee Sackhoff, Brian Posehn, Kevin Smith, Summer Glau, Stan Lee – The cameo king, also the kings of pop-science Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, and Steven Hawking… go through the cameo list, there are some big names and many of them actually wanted to be on the show!

Most of these people are already household names, but there are plenty of them whose presence on the show brings more and more light to the geeky creators still working tirelessly in the industry to bring real nerds and nerdiness to screen, and who knows? Maybe a few TBBT fans might end up falling into that culture in time.

It’s an insult to our intelligence, it’s an insult to geeky culture, but it appeals to a particular palette that we’d reach no other way. If we are ever to strive for the great, glorious geeky, monoculture born of media domination and memes… lots of memes… we have to meet the common people on their own territory, we have to extend the proverbial olive branch and say “it’s cool, we get it” while drip feeding the truth.

Now here’s some stuff about why the Big Bang Theory is terrible… it’s just terrible. Some contain rudey badwords.

Pop Culture Detective – The Adorkable Misogyny of TBBT

Wisecrack – What Went Wrong

No Laugh Track


*Something that many people did not pick up, Mayim was referenced a year or two before her actual appearance as “TVs Blossom” when debating new friends they ought to bring into the group. Guess she was listening.


Ultimate Games Master – Preview

You probably already know that I build web-based applications for people to fund my nerdy habits. With the launch of the now popular DnD Beyond, I began to wonder just how long it might take someone to come along and challenge it. If there was any way you could beat the behemoth that is Wizards Of The Coast, it would be to design an app that did more than just Dungeons & Dragons, which is precisely what Ultimate Games Master (UGM) does.

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Review – Jessica Jones Season 3

After a spate of cancellations, Jessica Jones included, I wasn’t expecting to see another Defenders series, and this final season of Jessica Jones arrived with surprisingly little fanfare. The meta-series hit rocky reception from the back-half of Luke Cage, grew worse through Iron Fist and generally the ensemble piece was… just bad to be honest, I’d started to see a solid beacon of hope afterwards however. The Punisher was a breath of bloody air, Luke Cage’s second season ended on a compelling note, and Daredevil reached a great conclusion, a happy ending with which anyone with even the most bitter tendencies (me) could be satisfied. (more…)


GeekOut UK – Our New Name

Hey all, I decided not to do a full post today, but rather I’d quietly slip in a tiny update.

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Sega Mega Drive: The Games I Loved Growing Up

The Sega Mega Drive was, to most of the rest of the world, the Sega Genesis. I had one of these excellent consoles growing up and I often end up looking up videos, remembering the great games the console had. Oh sure, there’s Sonic, for sure, but that’s not all the console had. Today I’m just going to chat about four different games from the Sega Mega Drive that I absolutely adored as a kid. For obvious reasons, I am not going to count Sonic, because I think that’s a given. Nevertheless, check out some of these more obscure games and one that everyone should know.

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Top 10 90’s Geek Films

GeekOut Top 10s

Before we delve into this list, we’re defining a 90’s Geek Film as one that was set out to entertain geeks. Therefore we’re going to include the likes of the 90’s Batman films, but not things like Home Alone which went on to become a cult classic. Some films toe the line between geeky and simply a good movie, so some of these may be contentious. Without further adieu, these are our Top 10 90’s Geek Films.


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Cosplay Project: ‘The Fiend’

It’s been a while since I wrote a cosplay post; Indeed, I think the last time I did was in January. I was originally going to be doing a year of small cosplay parts, but time quickly told me that I was going to be hunkered down with work. So, instead, I’m now vowing to complete one costume for the year. The character was only formed a few months ago and it’s quickly become a visual favourite of mine. Are you prepared to follow the leader and let me in?

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