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April 20, 2011 7:51 PM   Subscribe

Nerds Ruin Everything. XKCD Sucks. Gamers Are Embarrassing. Defunct: Game Journalists Are Incompetent Fuckwits Stuff Geeks Love. Classic: Five Geek Social Fallacies
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn (210 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
I do not want to be a part of this internet hate machine
posted by The Whelk at 7:52 PM on April 20, 2011 [30 favorites]


XKCD sucks is sometimes funny. Gamers Are Embarrassing is yet another site calling out gamer misogyny.
I think every subculture needs to be aware of its bad traits in order to correct them. I've learned alot from reading sites like the Five Geek Social Fallacies and the Heartless Bitches post on Nice Guys.
Internet Hate Machine is a great phrase. A local music site I go to uses 'shame cauldron', which I think was coined by someone they attacked.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:56 PM on April 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


As someone who loathes XKCD, yet gets it e-mailed to me or posted to my facebook page all the time, I thank you for introducing me to that site.
posted by Ideal Impulse at 8:00 PM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


As someone who seriously dislikes XKCD, that blog just seems like a bit too much.

I really like Gamers Are Embarassing and GJAIF though. Gamer culture is definitely some of the worst out there, and makes for some of the laziest, SEOish web content.
posted by codacorolla at 8:03 PM on April 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


forgot the previously
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:03 PM on April 20, 2011


Maybe that should be peeviously
posted by Flashman at 8:06 PM on April 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


presently living in a failure of geek social fallacy #4 because I thought I could tolerate my boyfriend's friends as housemates a hell of a lot better than I actually can.
posted by egypturnash at 8:07 PM on April 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Those links make me sad.
posted by MrFTBN at 8:07 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Weird. I don't see anything at http://soicreatedsomethingbetter.blogspot.com/.
posted by saturday_morning at 8:13 PM on April 20, 2011 [42 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Randall won't feel the need to make a sock-puppet account here to defend his works.
posted by localhuman at 8:14 PM on April 20, 2011 [16 favorites]


Starcraft pro gaming is a cesspit of misogyny, racism and homophobia. One of the biggest personality in the game got famous for making a rape analogy during an online lesson.
posted by empath at 8:16 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Get off my graph paper! Damn nerds...

In defense of that first link, doing crap like making Bert and Ernie into like Street Fighter characters or putting Mulder and Scully on Hoth or some shit really is pretty annoying.
posted by Maaik at 8:16 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like Nerds Ruin Everything. It's short, and I basically think of mashups as geeks peeing on things to mark new territory. "Ooh, a fire hydrant! Let me put a Vader helmet on it."

XKCD Sucks reads like crazy people, and that just about did it for my willingness to delve into the other links. Maybe later.
posted by furiousthought at 8:18 PM on April 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


This this Navi loves Link video is cute. Haters can suck on the it of their choosing.
posted by iconomy at 8:21 PM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Gamers Are Embarrassing is a troll site that feeds off the lowest hanging fruit it can find. While a lot of that fruit happens to be the idiotic misogyny common to many professional game writers, the site just as quickly turns to take a shit on the earnest creative endeavor of a young girl
posted by fartron at 8:24 PM on April 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


Can anyone suck on the it of their choosing, or does it have to be haters?

'Cause there are a few its out there I'd choose....
posted by hippybear at 8:24 PM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Much thanks, needed a laugh tonight.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:26 PM on April 20, 2011


Everybody's a critic.
posted by various at 8:27 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Yeah, some of the mash-up stuff is lazy and/or done on a lark. At the same time, no one's claiming it's high art or particularly clever. More like, "I thought this was funny, so I sketched it out and posted it."

What do you call a 6-foot-long predatory dinosaur with a monocle, and a top-hat that's puffing a pipe? A Philosophraptor*. Of course, if I drew that and posted it online, I'd be a Nerd ruining Dinosaurs.
posted by explosion at 8:27 PM on April 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Everybody's a critic.

Why didn't that link to a picture of Jay Sherman?
posted by device55 at 8:29 PM on April 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


After a cursory glance at some of the linked sites in the OP, the phrase "... bent under a crushing burden of dysfunction [and] social drama" sticks in my mind, though not necessarily for the reasons its author intended.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:31 PM on April 20, 2011


New Sincerity forever.
posted by inturnaround at 8:33 PM on April 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


Ruination is just another man's name for creation. Sure, your family's heirloom clock doesn't work anymore, but thanks to me you now have a mobile for your children. I strategically recorded over your old VHS tapes with pieces from your other VHS tapes, now you can watch Fox Mulder be interviewed by Phil Donahue. Oh, I melted your guns and made a statue of a larger gun for you to display proudly on your lawn. Your old sweaters are now a whimsical oven mitt. Enjoy!
posted by TwelveTwo at 8:33 PM on April 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'm loving 2/3 of the stuff in "Nerds ruin everything" - I am so not yet over mashup culture.
posted by jb at 8:33 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all.

No. If you don't have something nice to say, say it to the nerds who are ruining everything.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:34 PM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, but I have to note: a super-Mario parody of Stalin and the Red Army is labelled as "Nerds ruin Fascism," which shows a shocking lack of knowledge about mid-twentieth century murderous dictators. Stalin was many things - most of which involved killing people - but never a fascist.

nerds should always be historically accurate.
posted by jb at 8:38 PM on April 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


Weird. I don't see anything at http://soicreatedsomethingbetter.blogspot.com/.

Ah. Well. Here's a story.

So, I draw comics. Not professionally, yet - or at least not in a way that it could be my day job. But the year is young. And I've been possessed, of late, of a tremendous drive to improve and produce. Produce, by the way, is the hard part. I know a million talented people who just don't turn anything out and I've decided that I'm tired of being one of them.

As such, I bought a tablet. The fact that my art now has an undo button is a big part of why I did so; I now have no excuse. Nothing is wasted if I don't like a picture. My workspace, my brushes, etc. - they are so near to infinite as makes no difference. All that's left is to work.

So I practiced. Some of the stuff I did as practice can be seen on the little-used Metafilter oekaki; here and here. You get the idea. I like absolute light values and straight lines and moody shading. I like Jack Kirby and I like monsters (surprise!). It is how I draw. As I write this I am procrastinating on page eleven of the current story - which by the way looks a lot better than the oekaki stuff (and better than the stuff on page one). I have made progress.

But sometimes I get a little discouraged. The enormity of the task, maybe. I don't know for sure. But it's easy to stare down something to big and think, shit, what's the point?

When that happens, I read Ctrl+Alt+Delete, the webcomic.

It is my greatest inspiration.

Because you know what, I only need to read maybe one or two strips of it before I am filled with an incandescent fury, a white-hot rage at the fact that this pustulent manchild, this talentless sack of warthog shit has somehow found a way to monetize his idiot scribblings. At this point I've got it down to a Pavlovian reaction: I read his comic, I crack open GIMP and put on the headphones.

See, I tell myself that the only thing keeping me from enjoying similar success is actually doing the work, and that's all it takes. With that fresh in my head, I get to work.

So there's one MONSTER out there, at least, who is indeed driven to create something better by some of the drizzly diarrhea out there.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:38 PM on April 20, 2011 [74 favorites]


Is Nerds Ruin Everything supposed to be ironic? It so hard to tell anymore.
posted by device55 at 8:40 PM on April 20, 2011


What do you call a 6-foot-long predatory dinosaur with a monocle, and a top-hat that's puffing a pipe? A Philosophraptor

"Philosoraptor!" And that's insufficiently specific for a mashup! It would have to be a velociraptor chasing Marty McFly on a skateboard to be a mashup. Conclusion: you are a terrible nerd! I am taking all of your twenty sided dice.
posted by furiousthought at 8:41 PM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


The 90% side of Sturgeon's Law exemplified in whining about the 90% side of everything else.
posted by 0xdeadc0de at 8:42 PM on April 20, 2011


Sir, I salute you for this awesome, awesome post.
posted by Bwithh at 8:44 PM on April 20, 2011


SUPER MARIO RECRUITMENT POSTERS
posted by The Whelk at 8:48 PM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


[comment removed - I look at distended anus so you don't have to. Please do not link to goatse again, thank you.]
posted by jessamyn at 8:50 PM on April 20, 2011 [53 favorites]


Gamers Are Embarrassing is a troll site that feeds off the lowest hanging fruit it can find. While a lot of that fruit happens to be the idiotic misogyny common to many professional game writers, the site just as quickly turns to take a shit on the earnest creative endeavor of a young girl

I think calling out guys like Jim Sterling CONSTANTLY and not just when the latest PA-style scandal breaks is a useful thing.

It's hatred, but there's something creative about it. Maybe not EVERYTHING needs to have Star Wars or zombies in it.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:51 PM on April 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


[there it is again, I officially hate you.]
posted by jessamyn at 8:53 PM on April 20, 2011 [41 favorites]


Everybody's a critic.

And most people are DJs.

Forgot to add RipFork and Your Webcomic Sucks

part of the hating is implicitly on the ubiquity of the thing being hated. I've seen XKCD strips on shirts and refrigerators. I've seen every kind of Vader/zombie/Doctor Who shirt. And sometimes that stuff is clever or fun or interesting or whatnot. But often its just lazy, and it feeds into this strange self-congratulatory MUSH that I find hard to describe but was expressed well in the hating on the last uke post. It feels like beige, and forgetting why you loved Star Wars, and TV Tropes Troper Tales pages. It almost feels like the WEIRD edge of nerdiness is being blunted.

That said, I still I like nerd shit.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:57 PM on April 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


Can I still do a blog consisting solely of feeds from the above sites titled This Just In: Nerds Still Strongly Self-Loathing, or has it been done?
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:59 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wish Andrew still updated Wisdom of Gamers but between his other blogs and the Bureau Chief stuff he's probably too busy being productive.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:02 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Somewhere, right now, somebody is enjoying something you hate or is having fun in a way you didn't authorize.

They are doing it right now. Oh god oh god you guys

you guys

WE HAVE TO STOP THEM

WHAT IF THEY KEEP HAVING THEIR STUPID FUN

they never invite me
posted by pts at 9:02 PM on April 20, 2011 [35 favorites]


I am not a fan of xkcd, but the xkcdsucks site looks like a Dr. Bronner soap bottle covered in meticulously detailed and catalogued bile directed at a single person.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:07 PM on April 20, 2011 [24 favorites]


But often its just lazy, and it feeds into this strange self-congratulatory MUSH that I find hard to describe but was expressed well in the hating on the last uke post.

You do realize that this just as true -- and arguably more true -- of every link in your post, right?

Devoting significant amounts of time, or really any time at all, to tearing down other people's earnest creative efforts (no matter how silly, in-jokey, ineffective, or generally dumb they are) is the worst kind of self-congratulation. It is also ultimately self-defeating, because you're wasting time and energy writing angry blog posts when you could be out doing fun stuff that's actually fulfilling. Like, you know, making things.
posted by Commander Rachek at 9:12 PM on April 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


DANCE PARTY THE PAIN AWAY
posted by The Whelk at 9:14 PM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm of the school that xkcd was good at the time it got popular, and got worse and worse and worse over time. When it started, Munroe would just dash off a strip whenever he came up with a cool idea. Over time, xkcd turned into a job complete with deadlines, a fanbase with certain expectations, and so on. It's almost impossible to just sit down and write good material. Hell, half of the time, most newspaper comics don't even make sense.

But I do think the strip has improved a bit lately. He's finding a tone that doesn't depend so much on pure inspiration: lots of infographic comics, funny little observations instead of punchlines, etc.
posted by abcde at 9:16 PM on April 20, 2011


According to The Entertainment Software Association, the average game buyer is 34 years old and has been gaming for 12 years.

That statistic, for which I don't have an actual source link, reflects the membership of MefightClub pretty well. We have about 1500 people signed up at this point, all gamers of course because that's what MFC is about, and the average age feels about mid-thirties. We have some people in their late teens, many in their forties. You'll find hard to meet a nicer, kinder, more generous, less socially-inept group of people. Many of us have kids of their own, and many play games with them too, and teach them how to behave properly in the process. Part of the core... mission of the site has always been to provide a place for mature gamers (who may also be Mefites, of course) who want to get away from the pervasive sophomoric nastiness of the gaming world to find like-minded pals and cannon-fodder. Hell, half the reason I launched it almost 4 years ago was to have people to play games with who I actually liked. I'm 45 years old, for goodness sakes, and though I love to swear like a drunken sailor, I am a grownup who likes to play games when he has the time.

There can be no argument that there are a lot of foul-mouthed, racist, sexist, homophobic, select-your-pejorative-here gamers out there. I would suggest that the vast majority of them are children, in age or mentality or both, who aren't lucky enough to have had people to teach them how to treat others with kindness and respect, or to play well with others.

So, despite the multitude of examples to the contrary out there, I would challenge the idea that gamers are embarrassing to anyone. Some of them, though, are embarrassing to the great many of us who are well-adjusted, good-hearted grownups. It's the nasty children, the maladjusted teens, the perpetually-adolescent adults who find in online gaming (or, equally if not more so, the rest of internet -- Youtube comments are a fine example) a place to vent their frustration and competitiveness and general unpleasantness. Judging the great majority of gamers by them, at least in my lucky experience, is a bit like condemning all of Metafilter as illiterate because there are some members who refuse to use punctuation.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:16 PM on April 20, 2011 [21 favorites]


If criticism of something "funny" makes me laugh much more than the object of the criticism, I consider it valuable. This does happen, and not infrequently.
posted by anarch at 9:17 PM on April 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


The last link is pretty interesting. Although it seems GJAIF is on permanent hiatus.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:18 PM on April 20, 2011



So, despite the multitude of examples to the contrary out there, I would challenge the idea that gamers are embarrassing to anyone. Some of them, though, are embarrassing to the great many of us who are well-adjusted, good-hearted grownups. It's the nasty children, the maladjusted teens, the perpetually-adolescent adults who find in online gaming (or, equally if not more so, the rest of internet -- Youtube comments are a fine example) a place to vent their frustration and competitiveness and general unpleasantness. Judging the great majority of gamers by them, at least in my lucky experience, is a bit like condemning all of Metafilter as illiterate because there are some members who refuse to use punctuation.


I think sites like GJIAF, Gamers are Embarrassing, Wisdom of Gamers and Go Make Me A Sandwich are coming from the same place. They want to help reform the gaming community. With snark, which probably isn't productive but at least somebody is calling the sites out on their bullshit. I just to read Destructoid but that was before I realized how bad it was. I wish GJIAF was still around.
Sites like MefightClub are valuable on the other end, by constructing healthy communities of gamers.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:23 PM on April 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


They want to help reform the gaming community. With snark...

What do I do if the thing I hate about the gaming community is snark?
posted by fartron at 9:28 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


help

the thing i use to define my identity is getting tired and played out

how can i distinguish myself
posted by Existential Dread at 9:33 PM on April 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


jessamyn: "[there it is again, I officially hate you.]"

This should be a bannable offense.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:34 PM on April 20, 2011 [21 favorites]


help

the thing i use to define my identity is getting tired and played out

how can i distinguish myself


LOL LOL YOUR USERNAME IS EXISTENTIAL DREAD AND YOU POSTED ABOUT YOUR EXISTENTIAL ISSUES AND MY NAME IS DOUBLEHAPPY AND I LOLLED TWICE!
posted by doublehappy at 9:35 PM on April 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


So, I draw comics. Not professionally, yet - or at least not in a way that it could be my day job.

So what you're saying is...you're not actually Lady Gaga?
posted by infinitywaltz at 9:36 PM on April 20, 2011


I never said that.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 9:37 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]



XKCD Sucks reminds me a lot of Xeni Sucks-- a few well-founded criticisms floating in a stew of seriously creepy blather.

Five Geek Social Fallacies, however, is bursting with truth.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 9:38 PM on April 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


In all seriousness, FAMOUS MONSTER, I like your art and think it would work well on T-shirts.
posted by infinitywaltz at 9:39 PM on April 20, 2011


Geek Social Fallacies does not belong on the same post as those other 55-gallon drums of hater-ade.
posted by grouse at 9:40 PM on April 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Thanks! Will lend that some thought. The more recent stuff is probably more suitable but I'm keeping it under wraps for now. Will link to it on my profile when the time is right.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 9:40 PM on April 20, 2011


But often its just lazy, and it feeds into this strange self-congratulatory MUSH that I find hard to describe but was expressed well in the hating on the last uke post. It feels like beige, and forgetting why you loved Star Wars, and TV Tropes Troper Tales pages.

And that is how "Cute-thulu"/Cthulhu kitsch almost ruined HP Lovecraft for me. The first plush Cthulhu was hilarious. Subsequent ones decidedly less so.

That said, I never felt the need to go to the other end of the nerd spectrum and make trolling the thing(s) I loved my new form of nerdherdery, either. A lot of the GRAR in the FPP's links are not so much "Nerds ruined X" so much as "Nerds ruined X for me." The majority of these people are the hipsters of the nerd world*. They don't actually love the object(s) of nerd devotion so much as they love the cachet of being King of All Nerds. Fuck these guys. They add nothing to fandom except hierarchy and dominence.

*Some of the comments about the gaming community by LiB & Stavrosthewonderchicken suggest that there is a wider social dynamic at work there than mere fandom and since IANAGamer, I don't want to paint with too large a brush.
posted by KingEdRa at 9:41 PM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Given that this post is about geek cultural things people hate, if we talk about the stuff we like in this thread... would that be considered threadshitting?

Have we have reached yet another Internet paradox: sometimes being nice means you are off topic and trolling?
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:45 PM on April 20, 2011


It is nice to be nice.
posted by The Whelk at 9:46 PM on April 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


And sometimes that stuff is clever or fun or interesting or whatnot. But often its just lazy, and it feeds into this strange self-congratulatory MUSH that I find hard to describe

The word you're looking for is "BoingBoing."
posted by Ratio at 9:48 PM on April 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


DANCE PARTY THE PAIN AWAY

I thought it was "fuck the pain away."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:49 PM on April 20, 2011


My mother always said, if you can't say something nice then you are probably on reedit.
posted by The Whelk at 9:50 PM on April 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


The first thing on Nerds Ruin Everything is the Tintin Aliens cover, which indeed was tonedeaf and obnoxious. But it's not the very idea of a Tintin mashup that's disappointing, the Lovecraft themed ones are great.
posted by JHarris at 9:51 PM on April 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


My mother always said, if you can't say something nice then you are probably on reedit.

This is true. You should see some of the terrible things I say on "reedit".
posted by loquacious at 9:54 PM on April 20, 2011



The first thing on Nerds Ruin Everything is the Tintin Aliens cover, which indeed was tonedeaf and obnoxious. But it's not the very idea of a Tintin mashup that's disappointing, the Lovecraft themed ones are great.


Wow. Those are going to Lovecraft Bro. I think if you remove the cosmic horror the Lovecraft stories works as adventure stories.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:55 PM on April 20, 2011


But if you add cold war paranoia it turns ibis a bone chilling spy story..
posted by The Whelk at 9:57 PM on April 20, 2011


God I hate touchscreen keyboards.
posted by The Whelk at 9:58 PM on April 20, 2011


Too busy playing Portal 2 To read the links but: nerds ruin Easter eggs.

Damn job making me not play video games.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:00 PM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am 32 years old. I grew up on my dad's Amstrad CPC 6128, playing dozens and dozens of pirated games he picked up in Singapore. Went through ten joysticks. Loved it. No instruction booklets though, so I never figured out what the fuck was going on in Head Over Heels or Sentinel. Still, Who Dares Wins II was bitchin'.

Dad got a 386 from Osborne. 4MB RAM. Thing was off the hook, cost thousands. Brother was studying some kind of IT doctorate and worked for the RAAF, got another hundred floppy floppies of pirated games from there, and I pretty much took over dad's machine, remember early mornings, realising I had been up playing Eye of the Beholder II or a Gold Box from SSI for ten hours.

Parents relented, bought me a cheap monochrome laptop, 486SLC (which I remember being described in PC Format as "a 386 on steroids of sorts"), 4MB ram and another 4MB on some card thing. I think the hard drive was 20MB. Anyway. Doom. Wow. And hooking the laptop up to dad's VGA screen (and hitting F5 to lower the detail)? Double-wow, even with the tinny onboard PC speaker.

And on and on. First real computer was a Pentium something, upgraded that a bunch of times, played amazing stuff like System Shock. Five years ago got an Xbox 360, played Oblivion and Gears of War so much that it contributed to my wife leaving me (admittedly I was playing Oblivion while drinking a slab of beer and a bottle of gin a day, but still). I don't regret that any more, just indicating how important gaming was to me.

But lately I'm not feeling it. Didn't finish Dead Space 2. Thoroughly bored with Dragon Age 2. Enjoyed Crysis 2 for about five minutes. I realised I've played it all before. There's just nothing good or interesting any more. None of it is really new or exciting. Portal 2? I'm afraid I'd rather watch a walkthrough on YouTube, just for the Steve Merchant and the story. And I guess what I'm saying is I don't think I'm a gamer any more, and that makes me sad in a way, because it used to be, even up until six months, a year ago, such a big part of me. But it doesn't feel like anything's missing.

Maybe it's just a phase, like when you can't stand a certain book one week and the next week your mood and mindset is different and it's the greatest book in the world. But I can't see anything pulling me back the same way I've been pulled in before. It feels like there should be a gap somewhere inside me but there just isn't.
posted by tumid dahlia at 10:01 PM on April 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Maybe it's just a phase, like when you can't stand a certain book one week and the next week your mood and mindset is different and it's the greatest book in the world. But I can't see anything pulling me back the same way I've been pulled in before. It feels like there should be a gap somewhere inside me but there just isn't.

It might just be the burnout you get from doing anything too much. I've been going to about two gigs a week every week since January. I'm utterly burnt out. I just bought a big stack of XBox 360 and am planning to spend all weekend locked in my room gaming. I'll do that for awhile, then get back into the gig grind.

If you don't want to take a break than maybe instead of blockbusters try some niche or XBL stuff?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:06 PM on April 20, 2011


Randall Monroe would have to be a much, much better person than I to resist reading xkcdsucks every day and thinking smugly, "Heh. This is what the people who hate me and my comics are like."
posted by straight at 10:06 PM on April 20, 2011


Randall Monroe would have to be a much, much better person than I to resist reading xkcdsucks every day and thinking smugly, "Heh. This is what the people who hate me and my comics are like."

I think 'thinking smugly' is Randall Monroe's default.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:08 PM on April 20, 2011


You guys should check out the ace of spades beta. It is minecraft meets FPS, build bunkers, dig trenches. It is pretty crude but I have high hopes.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:14 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had a look at that the other night and it was broken as hell.
posted by tumid dahlia at 10:22 PM on April 20, 2011


I got Nier, which is an action RPG sequel to a game people hated but is apparently really good, or at least interesting. My current go-to studio is Platinum Games. If you can look past the objectification Bayonettta is, mechanically, one of the best action games ever. I just picked up Vanquish, which is their take on Gears of War, and that's supposed to be just as good. Otherwise, XBL?
Also, I'm the last person to play the 'Aussie pride!' card but I've already preordered LA Noire and I'm hoping that delivers.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:27 PM on April 20, 2011


] If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Samuel Clemons begs to differ.
posted by happyroach at 10:28 PM on April 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


Its nice that they clearly label their blogs, so I don't have to bother reading them. The internet has plenty of that crap without me seeking it out.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 10:33 PM on April 20, 2011


Don't Let Nerds Take Over Your Life
posted by sleepy pete at 10:37 PM on April 20, 2011


Maybe it's just a phase, like when you can't stand a certain book one week and the next week your mood and mindset is different and it's the greatest book in the world. But I can't see anything pulling me back the same way I've been pulled in before. It feels like there should be a gap somewhere inside me but there just isn't.

I stopped playing video games when I was 18 or so, and picked it up again almost 20 years later. It happens. I love it now, but who knows what the future will bring.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:46 PM on April 20, 2011


If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all.

"And if you have to say something, sit next to me." -Raja
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:48 PM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think the Nerds Ruin site proprietor is (secretly?) celebrating at least half of the things that he or she is posting. There are no bad drawings or lackluster sculpting on display there. And obviously you have to have some kind of deeply nerdy opinion about the purity of a doctor who image that ISN'T scooby-dooized to deem the dooized version 'ruined.' At which point you're a nerd, and one who is actively trying to ruin other nerds' enjoyment of their own torsos.

Though I suppose if you feel SO disgusted by the weak creativity behind "X? what about steampunk X!" that you refuse to appreciate how beautiful that etch-a-sketch looks, then every idea on that blog will genuinely offend you, and I can leave you to it.
posted by damehex at 10:52 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Have we have reached yet another Internet paradox: sometimes being nice means you are off topic and trolling?

I am a contrarian jerk and attempt to use my powers for good by anti-threadshitting and coming up with something nice to say.

Results are mixed.
posted by Zed at 10:53 PM on April 20, 2011


I'm... *rolls d20* ...disappointed by these sites.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:58 PM on April 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


Nerds ruined Dr.Who.....
posted by munchingzombie at 11:12 PM on April 20, 2011


I liked Nerds Ruin Everything, except OMG pacman bathroom was kind of cool, if it were in context. Like at a barcade, twould be cool, but if I went to a new boyfriend's house or a doctor's office and there was a pacman bathroom...

also, the pixel oven mitts were cool.

But I really hate the "let's make x thing booby and sexy" thing, ie ghostbusters. blech. It's like the sexy Cookie Monster outfit...agh my eyes.
posted by sweetkid at 11:54 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I liked Nerds Ruin Everything, except OMG pacman bathroom was kind of cool, if it were in context. Like at a barcade, twould be cool, but if I went to a new boyfriend's house or a doctor's office and there was a pacman bathroom...

There's a hipster bar in Sydney (World Bar) that has a Space Invaders screen done behind the bar in LEGO. That was pretty cool.

The best Nerds Ruin Everything thing are the mashups between two already nerdy properties. what's the point?

wish Stuff Geeks Love would update, though its been years.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:56 PM on April 20, 2011


Where'd up my link to goatkcd go? It is a classy nerdy mashup.
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:43 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll be totally honest. I hadn't seen the first twenty things on Nerds Ruin Everything, and now, having seen them, I'm wondering if the blog author understands what "ruin" means, because every one of them is fucking awesome.

It's possible I'm not ironic enough. If so, fuck irony.
posted by Errant at 1:19 AM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


TwelveTwo: I suspect if you post it again Jessamyn will be bringing down the banhammer.
posted by pharm at 1:23 AM on April 21, 2011


That "pretending to hate it" vibe from Nerds Ruin Everything can also be found at Fashion is Bullshit, which I subscribed to pretty much agreeing with the premise, but the more I read it the more cool arty some of the outre fashions depicted seem to be.
posted by whir at 1:45 AM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


cool and arty
posted by whir at 1:57 AM on April 21, 2011


Starcraft pro gaming is a cesspit of misogyny, racism and homophobia.

Your linked video is absolutely terrible and indefensible. But why would you condemn the entire community because of one person? Come on now.
posted by Avenger50 at 2:04 AM on April 21, 2011


That xkcd page critiques every comic? Someone is obsessed.
posted by rhizome at 2:15 AM on April 21, 2011


That xkcd page critiques every comic? Someone is obsessed.

Comedians eat more airline food than the rest of us.
posted by doublehappy at 2:45 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


That xkcd page critiques every comic? Someone is obsessed.

It's a pretty bad comic.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:07 AM on April 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


That xkcd page critiques every comic? Someone is obsessed.

Agreed. I can't understand how that level of hate for something ultimately harmless can be maintained. Personally I reserve my hate for people/things that have actually harmed me/others - this is for my own sanity as much as anything. This makes me think that the XKCD Sucks website must be driven by some kind of personal beef. If that's the case I have no business there.
posted by jonnyploy at 3:07 AM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Gamers Are Embarrassing is yet another site calling out gamer misogyny.

Gamers Are Embarassing are not calling out gamer misogyny, they are purely bitching. Have you read it?
posted by CautionToTheWind at 3:30 AM on April 21, 2011


Yes, and it mostly calls out peope like Jim Sterling. Have you read it?
Nerds Ruin Everything mostly shows off how MANY of these damn mashups there are.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:50 AM on April 21, 2011


The first link conflates nerds, geeks and otaku, a classic beginner mistake. The second link has already been in the blue.

Obligatory: The Oxford Cat and Girl.

The take-away here is, if you are going to get your hate-on, be sure to know your target.
posted by clvrmnky at 3:50 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Where'd up my link to goatkcd go? It is a classy nerdy mashup.

Read the thread, jessamyn deleted it twice, after asking you not to post it again the first time.
posted by Infinite Jest at 3:52 AM on April 21, 2011


Nerds Ruin Everything is hilarious. But you could rather easily make an equivalent "Normal People Ruin Everything", filled with Olive Gardens, blandified Hollywood movies, the press, etc.
posted by effugas at 4:13 AM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


oh my god.

thank you, gamers are embarrassing. I am never buying a video game again.
posted by sonic meat machine at 4:20 AM on April 21, 2011


Metafilter sucks.
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:36 AM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


So what happens if you're a nerd, but a nerd who doesn't game, isn't into math, can't get on with webcomics for some reason (dunno why, many seem rather smug) and has no truck with Python and Star Wars because nerds RUINED those by overquoting them to those of us too young to see them first time round?

I grew up dorky. I like nerdy things, I like crafting, comics, books and semi-obscure sitcoms. I have been known to roll a D20 in my time. I can quote chunks of The Rutles and Dead Alive. Yet when I see these geek and nerd culture type sites, they're usually showing me things that either leave me cold or bore me senseless. WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Maybe I am a 'wad'.
posted by mippy at 4:54 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


sonic--

Right, because if (when) a massive quake hits Hollywood, we won't be talking about the impact on the movie industry.
posted by effugas at 5:20 AM on April 21, 2011


[comment removed - I look at distended anus so you don't have to. Please do not link to goatse again, thank you.]

Metafilter: We look at distended anus so you don't have to.

/had to be done...
posted by spoobnooble at 5:27 AM on April 21, 2011


Why is Randall Munroe a supposed creepy stalker?
posted by Zhai at 5:34 AM on April 21, 2011


I'd say XKCD isn't bad, it's just horribly inconsistent. Not all math/engineering/geek culture jokes are created equally, and Monroe makes one three times a week.

It's pretty awful when a friend/social network starts to post every comic from XKCD, regardless of quality. But I find that if a person/group isn't in that habit, usually it's just the best ones that get reposted.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:39 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Speaking as someone at least partly responsible for at least one of the linked sites, I can assure you that, for me and it, there is no level of, "god I secretly love all this stuff and oh man I am super jealous of the fun they're all having without me because I am sad and uncreative and only stewing in a jacuzzi of self-hatred and my own semen."

There is, however, quite a large level of, "JESUS E-FUCKING-NOUGH ALREADY, WE GET THAT YOU LIKE BOBA FETT AND THINK 'THE CAKE IS A LIE' IS HYSTERICAL CAN YOU PLEASE STOP DOING THE SAME GODDAMN SHIT OVER AND OVER"
posted by Legomancer at 6:09 AM on April 21, 2011 [10 favorites]


Man, those geek social fallacies are hardly limited to geeks in my experience.
posted by symbollocks at 6:15 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Right, because if (when) a massive quake hits Hollywood, we won't be talking about the impact on the movie industry.
The quake did not hit the video game equivalent of Hollywood. It hit Japan. It killed tens of thousands of people and wiped entire cities from the map. Talking about the economic impact is one thing – creating a Wikipedia article about one class of worthless consumer goods? That's a different thing entirely. At least wait a year until the actual significance of its impact on that aspect of the economy can be seen. Until then it's just crying because your favorite entertainment product is delayed.
posted by sonic meat machine at 6:20 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's frustrating to people about nerd culture is what's frustrating about every culture, which is that it's primarily a place for people to bond over their shared interests rather than a collection of objectively good things which are heralded for their goodness. Control Alt Delete is the lowest sort of funny I've seen everywhere. XKCD will go for easy jokes instead of really striving to deliver good "product" three times a week, because it's really just a guy drawing things that he finds funny. It's a culture of largely contented people, people who're mostly okay with who they are and what they're interested in.

Content people are frustrating. Sometimes I feel really pissed off that other people don't have that need to explore and grow and see new things that I've got. I get it with nerds; I get it with my young summer campers who're crazy about pop music and not remotely interested in anything I find fun; I get it when I arrive at a date ready to go hiking or wandering town or looking for interesting trees and the girl in question is actually looking to just get drunk and stare at ChatRoulette all night. I struggle with finding the appropriate reactions to people like that. When there's a whole world out there and you're just sitting and digesting the first crap that you found in life and kind of sticking to it, what am I supposed to say to you? If I don't like it, am I supposed to just leave and look for newer, more interesting people? What if I don't know where those interesting people are? What if you're the only culture I really know?

For a few years I experimented with biting insults and rage, but at some point I realized that I was the bad guy, inflicting vastly too much negativity on people who were just looking for a quiet day without any confrontations. Since then, I've been trying to figure out how to "infect" people with wanderlust and curiosity and a desire to learn more. Which is hard.

I think nerds are especially frustrating, though, because of their seeming complete lack of empathy. They frequently don't seem to realize that other human beings have complex emotions and thoughts, or that people who aren't nerds are totally capable of loving nerds as much as nerds love themselves.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:21 AM on April 21, 2011 [22 favorites]


The quake did not hit the video game equivalent of Hollywood. It hit Japan. It killed tens of thousands of people and wiped entire cities from the map. Talking about the economic impact is one thing – creating a Wikipedia article about one class of worthless consumer goods? That's a different thing entirely.

I remember back when Hurricane Andrew grazed Miami and just missed New Orleans (or we probably would have had Katrina a decade earlier), and I was in the sf/comic store I worked in at the time talking about how lucky it was that that the storm took the arc it did, because the human toll could have been much much worse when a customer said "That's nothing. If it had been a little further north, it would have put the space program back by years!" Um, OK...

I guess myopic obsessives are gonna obsess, myopically.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:30 AM on April 21, 2011


"JESUS E-FUCKING-NOUGH ALREADY, WE GET THAT YOU LIKE BOBA FETT AND THINK 'THE CAKE IS A LIE' IS HYSTERICAL CAN YOU PLEASE STOP DOING THE SAME GODDAMN SHIT OVER AND OVER"

Wouldn't... I don't know... almost anything else be better for your blood pressure? I mean, I get annoyed by this sort of thing, but I mostly deal with it by staying out of art shows at SF conventions. I mean, I'm not you, obviously, but I would not find this therapeutic at all.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:32 AM on April 21, 2011


So what happens if you're a nerd, but a nerd who doesn't game, isn't into math, can't get on with webcomics for some reason (dunno why, many seem rather smug) and has no truck with Python and Star Wars because nerds RUINED those by overquoting them to those of us too young to see them first time round?

Oh man, I'm very glad that I now seem to be outside of the circles of people who would incessantly quote lines from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I recall many a time trying to engage those folks about Flying Circus or Gilliam's films and receiving mostly blank stares. That was when I'd become frustrated. I'm happy that other people still love Monty Python--if any comedians deserve a long long legacy, it's those guys--but the French Taunter was funny when John Cleese did it, it's far less funny when you do it, and now that thing that I used to love is now in my brain associated with twerpy drama club students. Thanks, nerds.

I recall an exchange Mrs. Maaik had with a coworker a while back. Coworker found out that I shared some of her nerdy interests and said something to the effect of "oh! I'd never thought he was a fan of Invader Zim." Mrs. Maaik replied that yeah, I didn't have to have a Gir backpack or anything to show that I was a fan.

I don't want to begrudge anyone their Gir t-shirts or the enjoyment they get from repeating chunks of dialogue from movies--I know that I share their guilt. What I'm going to take a while saying is this:

I'm guy who spent a lot of the seventh and eighth grades buried in Arthur C. Clarke novels or listening to They Might Be Giants. I desperately wanted other people to share these interests with, but my friends didn't know about this stuff. Making mixtapes and introducing my friends to new things was fun, but I couldn't have like a real conversation with anyone about that stuff.

As I got older, I found my communities of people, and that was good. And now that nerdy interests are pretty much everywhere you look on the internet and elsewhere, I feel like I should be happy. Like at last, my interests are being catered to and nurtured and there is this global community of people to interact with!

But I'm not. That doesn't make me happy and I'm conflicted about why. I'm perfectly willing to accept that it's because I'm older and grumpier, but I don't think that's entirely it. Part of it is that like mippy, I don't game and I'm not into comic books or toys, so much of what is now widely being marketed as geek culture just doesn't do it for me. Not that I really want to see a bunch of animated gifs of Yoshi being sucked into the Monolith. What is out there for music geeks/comedy nerds like me is also kind of hollowing. So now, I'm almost back to where I was in high school. Quietly tending to my own interests, talking about it with a few good friends who share them, and being irritated by what little of the fun house mirror I glimpse on the internet. Because that there, that dude in Questionable Content--that Pitchfork review--that Toto/Michael Jackson/Smiths mashup--that ain't me. And I kind of hate them for making other people think they are.
posted by Maaik at 6:35 AM on April 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


sonic meat machine: "oh my god.

thank you, gamers are embarrassing. I am never buying a video game again
"

Because someone made a Wikipedia article? Maybe you weren't that crazy about vidya games to begin with.

On the subject of that site, for all bravos GAE is getting for knocking on the misogyny present in gaming, WTF is up with making fun of this girl for the apparently unforgivable sin of Navi cosplay and making a music video around it? Oh, and also for daring to contend that Ocarina of Time is a "classic" (is this a controversial stance or something?).

Finding misogyny among gamers is like shooting fish in a barrel, and more shooting ought to be done, but in between the easy hits, it seems they try really, really hard to find fault with gamers just for being a bit enthusiastic, clumsy, maybe even geeky about their interests. I don't know if this is due to self-shame or because it's actually written by the dudes in skeleton costumes from The Karate Kid.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:38 AM on April 21, 2011


Because someone made a Wikipedia article? Maybe you weren't that crazy about vidya games to begin with.

Eh. I used to consider myself a "gamer." Played clan matches three times a week plus two nights of practice. I guess since I got married I have kind of fallen out of it... but this really just makes me step back and reconsider the whole endeavor.

It's the kind of embarrassing that hits you right in the kidneys.
posted by sonic meat machine at 6:42 AM on April 21, 2011


Wouldn't... I don't know... almost anything else be better for your blood pressure? I mean, I get annoyed by this sort of thing, but I mostly deal with it by staying out of art shows at SF conventions. I mean, I'm not you, obviously, but I would not find this therapeutic at all.

What makes you think I hang out at SF conventions? I don't. Nor do I spend a lot of time on specific fan sites or anything. My interests -- board games, Doctor Who, Lego -- mean I am, like it or not, destined to have to spend some amount of time around nerds. This doesn't mean I hang out on Doctor Who sites (oh GOD no) or go to gaming conventions or comic shops or anything -- I've well learned not to do that. But even the minimal interaction I have, necessary to maintain some of my interests, still means a non stop orgy of OMG BACON ZOMBIE MONTY PYTHON BACON NINTENDO YODA ZOMBIE PIRATE LINUX ZOMBIE ROBOT BACON FTW!

It's tiresome, and yeah, as a result, there are sites that probably could be helpful to me but I've eventually just stopped going to them because I'd had enough.

That's kind of the whole point here. It's not that you have to be around geeks 24/7 to get sick of this shit, that you only have to be around them for a small amount of time because it never fucking ends.
posted by Legomancer at 6:43 AM on April 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


That's kind of the whole point here. It's not that you have to be around geeks 24/7 to get sick of this shit, that you only have to be around them for a small amount of time because it never fucking ends.

Well, OK, fair enough, and, if it works for you, great. But I spent nearly two decades working in stores that (at least in part) catered to fans of one stripe or another and, believe me, I have been there. I couldn't look at any of this stuff for a while, and I am really glad my professional life is elsewhere now, but it's like the Buddhist parable goes:

Two monks are walking along a muddy path. They approach a woman standing on the side of the road by the wreckage of a small bridge over the path. It is clear that she is a courtesan, and she is loath to step down into the path because she will foul her shoes and the hem of her coat. One monk walks over to her and asks if he can help. She assents, and he carries her across to the other side. The two monks continue. After a bit, the first monk says "Brother, something is bothering you." The second monk bursts out with "You know that our order forbids contact with women, yet you spoke to a courtesan! You picked her up and carried her across the road!" The first monk said "I left her by the side of the road a mile back. You are still carrying her."

I try to leave this stuff by the side of the road. It makes my life happier.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:53 AM on April 21, 2011 [12 favorites]


Legomancer. Dude. I read your blog. I've ordered a geek t-shirt from your zazzle store.

You're a nerd, my friend.
posted by Zed at 6:54 AM on April 21, 2011


If "minimal interactions" send you into capslock mode, I dunno, maybe finding a better way to deal with it should be within the realm of possibilities.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:55 AM on April 21, 2011


When I was a kid I wrote some really stupid, agnsty poem after getting socially rejected by slightly cooler geeks about 'knowing the meaning of 42 but not being ruled by it'. Pretty lame. It was back when everyone was into Discordianism and Hitchhiker's Guide references and all that.

I've found that I've drifted away from geek cultue as I get older. It's a shame. I still LIKE the same stuff, to a lesser degree, and my best mate knows more about comic books and b-movies and wrestling than anyone. The same things that makes nerds and geeks endearing - our extreme enthusaism, basically - is the same thing that makes us irritating.

I was also trying to get better socially and that crowd wasn't helping. But maybe the problem was me. I tried to overcompensate by being 'cool' and then I realized that the cool kids are just as dorky as the dorks, at least when it comes to music. I tried listening to some Iron Maiden and after I cringed at how nerdy it was I saw them live and realized how much FUN it was that there was a massive crowd singing about Dune and the Devil.

The problem is that alot of geeks haven't grown out of that period when you're 15 and doodle the Imperial logo on everything.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:56 AM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think that challenges to the lazy misogyny, homophobia and racism in both games and gamer culture are valuable and necessary. On the other hand, I wish it could be done without calling people lame, retarded, fat or nerdy.

That doesn't feel like an impossible aspiration. The Border House, for example, is always interesting reading.
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:59 AM on April 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


Zed, at what point did I say I wasn't a nerd? I'm a nerd. I just don't seem to be the type of nerd who thinks that "mashing up" Star Wars and Pokemon is EPIC AWESOME. I'm not the type of nerd who thinks that a joke only gets funnier the more times you tell it. I'm not the type of nerd who doesn't understand that different social situations call for different behavior.

I assume there are moderate Christians out there who try and tell their more zealous brothers to tone it down a bit. That's kind of where I am.
posted by Legomancer at 7:00 AM on April 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


The other thing is all the nerd 'hate' on this thread is coming from the same place as the hipster 'hate' in other threads (and is sometimes aimed at the same object). It's recognizing the bad tendencies in your own subculture and pointing it out. Alot of bands and musicans I really like and respect have a nerdy song or two or a Triforce tat or something, and its often the people you'd least expect. And that's cool if you're genuinely into Watchmen or Star Wars and want to use that to make something creativily new. But Monster Magnet didn't just go 'Jack Kirby FTW!'. They actually wrote the songs.

I've got a little brother who's seriously geeky, and it's been a great spur to his creativity and part of me hopes he never stops making weird little horror films. But another part of me hopes he ends up as a well-rounded guy who dosen't need to slap Cthulhu on everything. I realize the two aren't mutually exclusive.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:01 AM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think Stuff Geeks Love was the most insightful, and I wish it would come back. As for the humor thing (and I realize this is about half my comments):

For a geek, it’s not enough to like a book, television show or movie, it is imperative that they be able to recite lines from it at the drop of a hat. Should someone ask what time it is, it’s necessary to respond with the line about time being an illusion from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, regardless of whether or not the person asking has heard of it. To a geek, this represents “wit” and “humor”.

It stands to reason then, that if a television show itself starts dropping such references, then surely the geek is at ground zero of a comedy explosion, especially if the references are to mostly geeky things! The geek gets two delights out of this: first, he can be impressed with himself that he “got” the reference, since he’ll assume he was one of the few to do so. Secondly, he will feel as though the show is speaking to him, validating his sense of importance in the world. (There’s also a third effect if the reference is to something geeky on a show that is itself not geeky; it’s a sign of mainstream acceptance, which we have already established that geeks crave.)
Isn't this photo hilarious?

Isn't this photo hilarious?

The other type of reference that geeks enjoy is a reference to bits of obscure pop culture. Here the referrer has a fine line to walk. The reference must be something that is simultaneously not well remembered and not completely forgotten. The 70s is a good decade from which to mine these references, as the bands, television shows, and bad movies are just beginning to fade from popular consciousness, but are still accessible to geeks who lack the mental ability to discard knowledge they no longer need.*

Once you’ve dropped the name of an old no-hits-wonder band or single-season Saturday morning cartoon, your work is done. You don’t have to formulate a joke revolving around “Tenspeed and Brown Shoe” — simply dropping the name is the extent of the joke. Shows such as “Mystery Science Theater 3000″, “Family Guy”, and pretty much the entire “Adult Swim” lineup have made episode after episode around this idea of comedy.

There is an old joke:

A guy is in prison his first night and after lights out, the prisoners start shouting numbers.

“Seventeen!” someone yells, and the cell block is filled with laughter. Once it dies down, someone shouts, “Thirty-six!” and again, the place is in stitches.

After a while the new guy asks his cell mate what’s so funny. His cell mate explains that they’ve been there for so long, they’ve memorized all the same jokes, and now only need to refer to them by number.

The new guy, wanting to fit in, yells, “Twenty-five!” but there is only silence.

“Son,” says his cell mate, “Why don’t you leave the joke telling to someone funny.”

As bizarre as the prisoners’ concept of humor is, it’s exactly how geek humor works. What is said makes no difference whatsoever, just the idea that it is recognized by both people as something that, at some point, was funny to them. This is exactly how geeks use Monty Python references. If a third party mentions a parrot, it’s a race for any nearby geeks to start yelling about how it is “pining for the fjords”. Other geeks will howl with laughter, even though the reference adds no humor to the situation; the joke is simply that the reference was made. If a co-worker is talking about his vacation and mentions, say, riding on a hovercraft at some point, the office geek has to ask if it was “full of eels”. He’ll then look around to see if anyone “got” his joke, despite it not being a joke at all, simply a line from a Monty Python sketch. But when it was said in the sketch it was funny, and the line shares a word with the topic at hand, so by geek rationale, he’s made a joke.

Of course, like everything else a geek does, these references are also a way to start a fandom-rating contest. A glorious moment for a geek is when he drops a line from “Red Dwarf” that another geek — also a supposed fan — doesn’t recognize. Radiant in superiority, the alpha geek can now explain to his inferior exactly which episode it happened in, and then follow with the rest of the scene.

Making and recognizing them requires utterly useless information, makes geeks look “weird”, and allows them to believe they’re having some sort of social interaction, and that’s why geeks LOVE pop culture references.
SGL
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:05 AM on April 21, 2011 [10 favorites]


But even the minimal interaction I have, necessary to maintain some of my interests, still means a non stop orgy of OMG BACON ZOMBIE MONTY PYTHON BACON NINTENDO YODA ZOMBIE PIRATE LINUX ZOMBIE ROBOT BACON FTW!

Gotta say that I read your blog too and there's no way your interaction with geek culture is 'minimal'. It's AWESOME, but not minimal.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:11 AM on April 21, 2011


Can we at least, like, run some kind of auto-forgiveness script on embarrassingly geeky behavior done, say, through high school? There's a certain point where stuff like the geek social fallacies and the posts on geeks are embarrassing are... well... embarrassing, but a lot of the bad behavior in these settings just happens as a result of letting kids in. I think that's a lot of the problems with, for example, XBox live stuff, and hopefully they'll grow out of it and learn better.

And that Navi Loves Link video was great.
posted by NoraReed at 7:27 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


It was! I thought it was endearing.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:32 AM on April 21, 2011


Is this all a case of fans vs superfans?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:37 AM on April 21, 2011


Is this all a case of fans vs superfans?

Don't think so. Superfans probably wouldn't thinki 'Doctor Who needs to be more like Star Wars' and vice versa.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:43 AM on April 21, 2011


But lately I'm not feeling it. Didn't finish Dead Space 2. Thoroughly bored with Dragon Age 2.

DA2 is one of the most beautiful and cinematic games I've ever played. I still get chills thinking of that initial scene with Flemeth and my party surrounded by floating ash. I can still picture all those super cool loading screens. Its one of the few games where someone gave a shit about the writing.

Look, I get it. We all outgrow things. But there's no need to piss on the things we no longer are into. Its like thirty-something Stars Wars fans. I imagine if they ever meet George Lucas they'll kick him in the nuts screaming "THANK YOU FOR ALL THOSE IRREPLACEABLE CHILDHOOD MEMORIES BUT I HAVE NOW OUTGROWN IT AND HATE YOU!!!"

Not to mention, its easy to be Mr. Critic. Its easy to pick on creative people working their craft. Its easy to engage in confirmation bias. Its easy to pick on the low hanging fruit. I really hope these sites don't discourage creative people. Who knew the age of easy self-publishing also is the age of popular hateful diatribes against said self-publishers?
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:46 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


The problem is that alot of geeks haven't grown out of that period when you're 15 and doodle the Imperial logo on everything.

From where I'm sitting, the problem is more that a lot of geeks haven't grown out of that period when you're desperate to find someone you can feel like you're above in the social pecking order.
posted by Zed at 7:51 AM on April 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Also, the rhetoric on those sites isn't some careful criticism that will end up being the tide that raises all boats. Its hateful meaningless vitrol like " ...Randall, you're a famous webcomic-ist. You're a professional now. Fucking act like one."
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:52 AM on April 21, 2011


The best Nerds Ruin Everything thing are the mashups between two already nerdy properties. what's the point?

....fun?
posted by Narrative Priorities at 8:08 AM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I get it when I arrive at a date ready to go hiking or wandering town or looking for interesting trees and the girl in question is actually looking to just get drunk and stare at ChatRoulette all night.

Maybe I'm being too defensive and splitting hairs, but this person isn't a geek. A geek would be up all night writing her own version of Chatroulette. This is just a boring person. Just because she's using technology doesn't make her a geek. The geeks I know would love to go out with you and check out the stars or see what animals they could spot in the wilderness. We'd bust out our stargazer apps and our IR goggles. I'm not certain that the person in your story is really representative of the geek culture.

I knew a girl who was obsessed with IM, facebook, etc. Her mom suggest she should study CS because "she loves computers." No she doesn't. She loves bullshitting with her friends and stupid animated gifs.
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:12 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Look, I get it. We all outgrow things. But there's no need to piss on the things we no longer are into. Its like thirty-something Stars Wars fans. I imagine if they ever meet George Lucas they'll kick him in the nuts screaming "THANK YOU FOR ALL THOSE IRREPLACEABLE CHILDHOOD MEMORIES BUT I HAVE NOW OUTGROWN IT AND HATE YOU!!!"

I'm 40-something and still love Star Wars. I don't feel like I've outgrown it.

I have, however, gotten tired of seeing everything in the world get mashed up with Star Wars.

This is what I am trying to say: you can be into a thing without having to be into being into a thing.
posted by Legomancer at 8:12 AM on April 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


I read that interview with BurnYourBra that Gamers Are Embarrassing linked to. That was heartbreaking.
posted by magstheaxe at 8:49 AM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


It is kind of interesting how nerds/geeks have evolved from uptight or socially awkward academics or tinkerers to consumers of media (usually in less mainstream genres like fantasy and sci-fi, but media nonetheless) in the common definition. It's kind of strange, and maybe a symptom of how our culture is now so media-centric.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:56 AM on April 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


I just spent 10 minutes reading through "Stuff Geeks Love" and at least half the stuff on that list applies to all men. We could easily substitute 'geek' for 'jock' and make sense of most of those entries. If we substitute 'comics' with 'sports' then we're doing even better.

What I find odd is this double standard. If a geeky guy is assertive, he's an asshole without social skills. If a jock is, he's a confident leader. If a geeky guy spends $500 on comics, toys, and gadgets, he's a hopeless nerd who needs to grow up. If a jock guy spends $500 on sports tickets, memorabilia, etc he's a good red-blooded american. If a geek wears a Batman shirt, he's an out of touch loser. If a jock wears the same Cubs shirt he's just a normal guy. If a geeky guy gets a little passionate when his favorite authors are criticized, he's just a moron loser. If a jock's team loses, he has the right to completly lose his shit, get drunk, whine and complain, and even physically attack the fans of the other team.

This list also echoes a lot of complaints women have. If a woman is assertive in the workplace then she's a bitch. If she spends money on clothes she's a credit-card obsessed trixie.

Why is it that we excuse all these things for meathead guys, but when it comes to other groups, suddenly its all hand-wringing and websites dedicated to hating them? Pardon me if I think most of these criticisms are just the typical whining from those who just refuse to believe that its possible that its good to be different.
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:57 AM on April 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


I don't think anyone's excusing meatheaded dudes from misogyny--I'm certainly not. Maybe men's lifestyle magazines are, but I'm not excusing them either.

I think the double standard you're talking about isn't one that anyone in this thread is falling prey to. I don't pretend to speak for everyone here, but I don't think anyone here would say to that kid in the cape buying all those graphic novels "hey, why can't you be more like that Red Wings fan spending a fortune on season tickets and official authorized merchandise?"
posted by Maaik at 9:07 AM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nerdgasm furor. (again)
posted by whimsicalnymph at 9:09 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the double standard you're talking about isn't one that anyone in this thread is falling prey to.

I am addressing the site linked in the FPP. It very much falls into this double-standard, thank you very much. I don't think the sites need to say "HELLO WE ARE ENGAGING IN A DOUBLE STANDARDS" explicitly for me to criticise them. If anything my criticism is a lot more gentle than the mindless attacks these sites typify.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:11 AM on April 21, 2011


Ah, okay.
posted by Maaik at 9:12 AM on April 21, 2011


Hi, long time lurker, first time poster, so do forgive me if I muck it up.

I'm all for reductive categories to an extent, they make the world manageable. But there are gamers and then there are gamers, likewise, there are nerds and then there are nerds. Add your own circumstances as needs be.

Unfortunately we all get wedged into these cognitive shortcuts to some extent, and it at times can be honestly frustrating - the nuance or individuality gets left by the roadside. But as it stands I don't think the issue is the people we're lumped in with, but rather the people who take lazy shortcuts, so that we get ridiculous statements like that nerds lack empathy. Lack empathy? Who exactly?

And not to pick on Legomancer, but I will look at your username with a cocked eye, given your criticism of mashups (which is not to say that it's not great, just that not everyone will match the standard you've unilaterally set). Also that's no moon.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 9:13 AM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


there are nerds and then there are nerds

Much like there are wine enthusiasts and there winos.
posted by Maaik at 9:16 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are people having fun in the right way (which, by amazing coincidence, includes how I have fun), and there are people having fun in the wrong way. This distinction is very important.
posted by Zed at 9:24 AM on April 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


sonic,

We absolutely had a ton of stories about the impact of BP on the gulf seafood industry, and frankly, more people are going to die from that...
posted by effugas at 9:26 AM on April 21, 2011


If it is any consolation I have found an item for the ages, an item destined to forge a common bond between the Jocks and Nerds (well redditors mostly). It will be loved, or reviled, equally by both groups. I give you ZEPHYR SEA BAY NARWHALERS AUTHENTIC ZHL JERSEYS.

posted by Ad hominem at 9:33 AM on April 21, 2011


Much like there are wine enthusiasts and there winos.

Indeed, all you have to do is mention Grange and you'll have a cohort to do your bidding.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 9:33 AM on April 21, 2011


Regarding xkcdsucks:

Did Randall steal his dog or something? Holy shit that guy has an axe to grind.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 9:41 AM on April 21, 2011


Why is Randall Munroe a supposed creepy stalker?

xkcdsucks has a running "joke" of pretending to think that every time Randall draws a female character, it's a fantasy version of some girl named Megan that he supposedly has a crush on.
posted by straight at 10:01 AM on April 21, 2011


We absolutely had a ton of stories about the impact of BP on the gulf seafood industry, and frankly, more people are going to die from that...
The seafood industry is a fundamental one – food production. I don't criticize the discussion of the earthquake's impact on globally important things, like the automobile, nuclear power, or, yes, seafood industries. Even the impact on chip manufacture seems important.

Video games are not important. They are an entertainment product. The fact that they got a Wikipedia article before most of the others is an indictment of the Wikipedia model and the insularity of gamer-geekdom as a whole.

This is the same Wikipedia that has been noted for randomly declaring other articles "non-notable" and deleting them. What, is the video game industry too important for the main article?

Forgive me for finding a culture that is this out of touch with reality unsympathetic.
posted by sonic meat machine at 10:03 AM on April 21, 2011


Well, I agree about XKCD. The only web comic I find more baffling and unfunny than Randall Munroe's irksome stick geeks is Achewood. At least I sort of get what Munroe is shooting for, even if it misses me by a country mile. I don't have the first idea what Onstad thinks he's doing.
posted by Decani at 10:17 AM on April 21, 2011


Using wikipedia as a metric for anything seems disingenuous to me. Its an easy target because it reflects the interests of those motivated to be contributors. My question is, where the fuck is everyone else? Why do you feel so entitled that your editorial values must exist in a volunteer led organization without you doing any of the volunteering?

I used to work at a charity. There were criticisms of how things were done. Its very common, just what's almost 100% uncommon is for any of these critics to roll up their sleeve and pitch in to make what they are complaining about better. If it wasn't for motivated geeks we wouldn't even have the wikipedia. Heck, we wouldnt have the internet. You'd page through your out of date encyclopedia hoping to find some decent information.

So yes, the guy who loves LARPing will only write about LARP, because its what he knows and what he's motivated to do. He won't write about Sudanese Vitamin A shortages that lead to vision defects in the young because he has no fucking idea about any of that. The question is, why isn't the non-geek group pulling its weight? My edits on the article on the god Mithras doesn't at all effect your ability to edit whatever you feel is important.

Again, its double-standard time. The geeks get it for being geeks, but when we turn the mirror the other way, the non-geeks get a free pass because its "normal" to not be a wikipedia editor and its "uncool" to be passionate about something that isn't sports, making cash, or getting laid. Critic, criticize thyself.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:17 AM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


My question is, where the fuck is everyone else? Why do you feel so entitled that your editorial values must exist in a volunteer led organization without you doing any of the volunteering?
I tried. Ever have someone revert an edit you made to fix a grammatical error, or decide that a respected journal isn't worthy of "citation?" It gets frustrating.
The question is, why isn't the non-geek group pulling its weight?
Because the experts in a field have better things to do with their time than to play penis-length games with the no-lifers who make up the Wikipedia editor cabal. The fact is, credentials and experience don't matter; "everyone's edits are equal." What this means is that an expert can make an edit and then have it reverted by someone who read an article in Wired about the topic. The expert's knowledge is expert knowledge – but perhaps he didn't cite it well enough for Wikipedia, so the idiot just deletes it all and replaces it with a badly-written paragraph with a footnote to Wired magazine.
Critic, criticize thyself.
Yeah, well, let's just say that I have a couple of articles that fell victim to the mediocrities of Wikipedia. (One is about a literary term from Japanese; it now consists almost entirely of "manga artists who make use of this techniques.")
posted by sonic meat machine at 10:31 AM on April 21, 2011


Also, another thing. "Geeks" did not create the Internet. Scientists created the Internet. Geeks use the Internet. I would even argue that Ward Cunningham isn't a geek in the sense that geek is used today. "Geeks" today are just fans of products with a lot of time on their hands.
posted by sonic meat machine at 10:42 AM on April 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


Maybe your edits are terrible. Maybe your opinions need to be cited. Maybe your cites are terible. Maybe you're just wrong. Have you ever considered that to be a real possibility? Or maybe you are a victim who knows. Its a decentralized system because it turns out no one really wants to pay for a nice centralized system anymore.

Wikipedia editor cabal.

Cabal? Really? The system works well enough. You don't get perfection in life. Wikipedia produces comparitively high quality information that is better than its competing projects. I feel that if you have some special need or special requirements than its not the proper tool for you. Look other successful products like the Conservapedia. Those people went marginalized and forked. Sure, its shit, but at least they do more than whine. Again, get off your ass. The Conservapedia guys did it. The jokers at Encyclopedia Dramatica did it.

I just hate that those who can't or won't do something magically have the higher ground against those who do because I can't critiicze their non-existant works. They all suffer from the Nirvana Fallacy and its shameful they can't see it. The world isn't here to serve you and you should consider that you are asking way too much from what is essentially a volunteer project of non-experts. How you turn that into some kind of hand-fisted critique of all geeks is beyond me. Maybe you should have more practical expectations.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:43 AM on April 21, 2011


"Geeks" today are just fans of products with a lot of time on their hands.

How convenient for you to arbitrarily define the group you just happen to hate! Maybe you can also tell me which ones are some of the "good ones" and that some of your best friends are geeks.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:45 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe your edits are terrible. Maybe your opinions need to be cited. Maybe your cites are terible. Maybe you're just wrong. Have you ever considered that to be a real possibility? Or maybe you are a victim who knows. Its a decentralized system because it turns out no one really wants to pay for a nice centralized system anymore.

I considered it, but I was never able to discern what determined whether a cite was worthy. I had a citation to the Virginia Quarterly Review rejected. I think they're pretty well respected in the literary field.

Cabal? Really? The system works well enough. You don't get perfection in life. Wikipedia produces comparitively high quality information that is better than its competing projects. I feel that if you have some special need or special requirements than its not the proper tool for you. Look other successful products like the Conservapedia. Those people went marginalized and forked. Sure, its shit, but at least they do more than whine. Again, get off your ass. The Conservapedia guys did it. The jokers at Encyclopedia Dramatica did it.

Are you serious?

I just hate that those who can't or won't do something magically have the higher ground against those who do because I can't critiicze their non-existant works. They all suffer from the Nirvana Fallacy and its shameful they can't see it.

Maybe you're mistaken. Maybe you're just wrong. Have you ever considered that to be a real possibility?

Sorry.

See, here's the issue: sometimes, "perfect is the enemy of the good" is not the right response. Sometimes the thing just isn't good. I don't think Wikipedia is good. I don't think the wiki ideal can ever work as Wikipedia intends. This is the product of my experience with a subject-specific wiki as much as with wikipedia.

How convenient for you to arbitrarily define the group you just happen to hate! Maybe you can also tell me which ones are some of the "good ones" and that some of your best friends are geeks.

I don't arbitrarily define geeks, nor do I hate them. I considered myself a geek in the nineties because I was one of those weird kids who programmed for fun and hung out with people who did the same. When I was in seventh grade I was soldering circuits together. That is the classic "geek." It wasn't a pop culture phenomenon, and the idea that the two groups – pop-culture referencing know-nothings and people who are deeply interested in some technical topic requiring study and effort – would ever overlap in the public consciousness is bizarre to me.
posted by sonic meat machine at 10:53 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Are you serious?

I'm 100% serious. If people weren't willing to fork and do their own thing than we'd all lose out. Its just easier to whine and blame some group you can't even fucking define for all your woes.

pop-culture referencing know-nothings and people who are deeply interested in some technical topic requiring study and effort

Mindless parroting of garbage predates computers, networks, and the internet by thousands of years. Sorry you won't get your perfect ubermensch even after a geek genocide.

Again, Nirvana Fallacy. Your superworld of perfect wikis and non-annoying people is impossible.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:58 AM on April 21, 2011


xkcdsucks has a running "joke" of pretending to think that every time Randall draws a female character, it's a fantasy version of some girl named Megan that he supposedly has a crush on.

That's so hilarious! If this is the humor the detractors are proposing to replace xkcd with, then we will be ushered into a new golden age of comedy! A man obsessively stalking a woman! Har Har! Will wonders ever cease?!
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:01 AM on April 21, 2011


I'm 100% serious. If people weren't willing to fork and do their own thing than we'd all lose out. Its just easier to whine and blame some group you can't even fucking define for all your woes.

So, because I think Wikipedia, which is big enough that it has become the de facto source of knowledge in our culture, is failing in providing reasonable and meaningful information on important topics, which is a result of an entrenched and over-invested group of editors... I should start a new wiki. Even though it will have no momentum, audience, or anything much to say beyond "I don't think wikis work."

Also, since I tried to contribute information to Wikipedia once upon a time, but had a frustrating experience in which an editor rejected my citations and writing, I am probably wrong and my citations sucked.

I also hate geeks, can't argue without falling victim to the "Nirvana fallacy,"1 and apparently just an idiot overall.

For the record, what you are doing is ignoring the crux of my arguments and responding to me as a person. This is an "ad hominem," a term which is often misused. You, however, show mastery of the technique and I must commend you on your hard-nosed dedication to it.

1Which doesn't apply in this case because I argue against the idea of Wikipedia, not for an imaginary perfect replacement of Wikipedia. Just throwing that out there.
posted by sonic meat machine at 11:09 AM on April 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


You know, sonic meat machine, I don't especially care if you think gamers are assholes or short-sighted pricks or whatever. I just think it's weird that you see gamers treating the serious subject of Japanese suffering with, in your opinion, cavalier myopia, and respond to it by vowing never again to buy those Japanese exports. I'm not sure what message you think you're sending, but I'm pretty sure you're not helping Japan by not buying video games, so your outrage comes off as boycotting an industry because someone wrote a Wikipedia article about them. Which, I don't know, seems weird.
posted by Errant at 11:25 AM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nerds Ruin Nerds Ruin Everything
posted by wildcrdj at 11:28 AM on April 21, 2011


I might add that a video gaming forum I belong to raised close to $5000 dollars in a couple weeks to support the relief effort in Japan. The tsunami led to Reiteisai being delayed, as well as the release of the demo for Touhou 13, but anyone on the forum who so much as sniffled about this was promptly reminded that actual human beings died and there are more important things than having to wait a few more weeks or months for your favorite games. For the most part, there was no question in our minds that we wanted to do whatever we could to help the relief effort, first and foremost.

So, OK, smm, you can tar all gamers with the same brush based on the existence of a single Wikipedia article, but I think you might be microscoping a bit.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:34 AM on April 21, 2011


Errant, it was hyperbole. I will undoubtedly buy a video game again when something worth buying has the Steam sale. Granted, I haven't bought a Japanese-made video game in years.

It was more of a feeling of exasperation at the "gamer-geeks" themselves. It depresses me that someone felt the need to write the article at all, as if this tiny, insignificant part of this vast morass of human suffering actually matters.
posted by sonic meat machine at 11:45 AM on April 21, 2011


OK, but again, you're still microscoping. If your lens on the gaming world is a site called GAMERS ARE EMBARRASSING, what do you think the gaming world will look like? I'm just sayin', consider that we're not all sexist, racist, homophobic, glibertarian fuckwits. Maybe even not most of us.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:52 AM on April 21, 2011


It was more of a feeling of exasperation at the "gamer-geeks" themselves.

Sounds like your have a problem with fantatics not geeks. Why do sports fanatics and hooligans get a break from your candor? Or car guys with loud mufflers? Or car stereo guys with loud subwoofers? Do gamers break into your home, tie you up, and force you watch them beat Super Mario or something? Could it be that you're just a little bit biased here?

Why is it always the techy geek? Why is it that I've heard "duh winning" and million times this year and have heard "Luke I am your father" in real life maybe 10 times? Honestly, sounds like you just have a problem with people in general. You're just fooling yourself if you think its just geeks who do the stuff you hate. You're just another internet misanthrope.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:53 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ok.

Tohoku is a major producer and distributor of sake, and in the aftermath of the disaster there were a lot of questions about how badly the industry there was hit and how they might recover, from distributors and enthusiasts alike. It was not because no one could stand to wait for their next bottle of booze, it was because those are real people who work very hard at their chosen profession and they need support to recover.

To quote one 7th-generation brewer, "For the time being, no one in this area feels like drinking sake. To avoid secondary economic damage, we want to earnestly ask everyone around the country and in other countries to eat and drink products from the Tohoku region. That is the most supportive thing you can do for us. We of the Tohoku region will not lose to this. We absolutely will prevail. We will rise again like a phoenix, so please support us."

So I don't think it's especially myopic to be concerned about the state of industry in the wake of disaster. It's not the most important thing, certainly, but it is an important thing to those involved and to their consumers. You may now think sake drinkers and brewers are embarrassing.
posted by Errant at 11:56 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why do sports fanatics and hooligans get a break from your candor?

Okay, at this point I'm ignoring you. I will respond to people who aren't latched onto my leg like a particularly stupid bulldog.

OK, but again, you're still microscoping. If your lens on the gaming world is a site called GAMERS ARE EMBARRASSING, what do you think the gaming world will look like? I'm just sayin', consider that we're not all sexist, racist, homophobic, glibertarian fuckwits. Maybe even not most of us.

That's fair. Like I said, though, I have been a gamer. Would you believe I have some umpteen thousand posts on the Penny Arcade forums? It just caught me off-guard. I wasn't expecting to see that kind of stupidity this morning, and it embarrassed me at least in part because I am connected to that community.
posted by sonic meat machine at 11:57 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Okay, at this point I'm ignoring you. I will respond to people who aren't latched onto my leg like a particularly stupid bulldog.

Wow, how insightful and smart! I can't imagine why any of your wikipedia contributions could ever be rejected. Truly, there is a conspiracy against you!
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:59 AM on April 21, 2011


So I don't think it's especially myopic to be concerned about the state of industry in the wake of disaster. It's not the most important thing, certainly, but it is an important thing to those involved and to their consumers. You may now think sake drinkers and brewers are embarrassing.

It's okay to think about it—it is an issue, certainly—but I also think that sake drinkers would be happy to have their issues added to the "Aftermath" article rather than creating a separate article elevating their particular luxury good beyond the "sub-section" level of importance. In the absence of similar behavior from other subcultures, everything else is purely theoretical.
posted by sonic meat machine at 12:07 PM on April 21, 2011


Well if you tell a sports fan you don't like football or whatever they tend to drop it right away without going on and on and on and on and on about double standards and people having expectations, which is looking like a real fucking bonus especially now.
posted by furiousthought at 12:09 PM on April 21, 2011 [11 favorites]


The problem isn't that people are going for the comedic low-hanging fruit, they're going for the stuff that's already sitting on the ground and half-rotted.
posted by mikeh at 12:10 PM on April 21, 2011


Well if you tell a sports fan you don't like football or whatever they tend to drop it right away without going on and on and on and on and on about double standards and people having expectations, which is looking like a real fucking bonus especially now.

Yeah, if I posted four links to sites that attacks sportsdom on, say, ESPN you'd get a wonderful rational response!

Seriously, posting this shit on metafilter is almost trolling. Sonic's crusade to expose "geeks" is fucking shameful and some of the worst nonsense I've ever seen on this site. Pardon me if I reply to his replies. Take it to metatalk if its such a big fucking deal.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:18 PM on April 21, 2011



I just spent 10 minutes reading through "Stuff Geeks Love" and at least half the stuff on that list applies to all men. We could easily substitute 'geek' for 'jock' and make sense of most of those entries. If we substitute 'comics' with 'sports' then we're doing even better.

What I find odd is this double standard. If a geeky guy is assertive, he's an asshole without social skills. If a jock is, he's a confident leader. If a geeky guy spends $500 on comics, toys, and gadgets, he's a hopeless nerd who needs to grow up. If a jock guy spends $500 on sports tickets, memorabilia, etc he's a good red-blooded american. If a geek wears a Batman shirt, he's an out of touch loser. If a jock wears the same Cubs shirt he's just a normal guy. If a geeky guy gets a little passionate when his favorite authors are criticized, he's just a moron loser. If a jock's team loses, he has the right to completly lose his shit, get drunk, whine and complain, and even physically attack the fans of the other team.

This list also echoes a lot of complaints women have. If a woman is assertive in the workplace then she's a bitch. If she spends money on clothes she's a credit-card obsessed trixie.

Why is it that we excuse all these things for meathead guys, but when it comes to other groups, suddenly its all hand-wringing and websites dedicated to hating them? Pardon me if I think most of these criticisms are just the typical whining from those who just refuse to believe that its possible that its good to be different.


Mookie, is that you?

Seriously, this double standard exists only in your head. The only people who think like this are usually geeks who can't get over high school and the fact that more socially adept people existed, and then tend to conflate those who play sports with a particular type of sports super-fan who is amusingly tolerated at best. (Yes, sports riots are just smiled and winked at by the population at large.)

Most people don't give a shit if you wear a Batman t-shirt. People do give a shit if all you talk about is Batman, just like people will give a shit if all you talk about are the Browns. If you're conversational medium is limited to geek references and you build your identity around "geek pride" based on some products you like, people will find you tiresome, just as much as some sports fan who talks of nothing else.

Most geek stuff isn't exactly obscure, it's just that most people enjoy it in a pretty straightforward and non-intensive way. That's totally cool, and to have a fascination and intense interest in something that many people only have a casual interest in is also cool, but geeks share some common oppression with women because most people don't want to dominate their lives with so-called geek interests and some geeks can't shut-up about them.
posted by Snyder at 12:33 PM on April 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


oops..."...but geeks don't share some common oppression...
posted by Snyder at 12:34 PM on April 21, 2011


The only people who don't have haters are those who aren't doing anything worth caring about.
posted by mateja at 12:36 PM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Content people are frustrating. Sometimes I feel really pissed off that other people don't have that need to explore and grow and see new things that I've got. I get it with nerds; I get it with my young summer campers who're crazy about pop music and not remotely interested in anything I find fun; I get it when I arrive at a date ready to go hiking or wandering town or looking for interesting trees and the girl in question is actually looking to just get drunk and stare at ChatRoulette all night. I struggle with finding the appropriate reactions to people like that. When there's a whole world out there and you're just sitting and digesting the first crap that you found in life and kind of sticking to it, what am I supposed to say to you? If I don't like it, am I supposed to just leave and look for newer, more interesting people? What if I don't know where those interesting people are? What if you're the only culture I really know?


When I find myself feeling frustrated with The Way Other People Are Who Are Not Like Me, I just try to repeat my simple mantra: "Other people are not like me. They like different things. This is not wrong. They don't like the same things I do. This is valid and okay." Especially if they are not harming me in any way and I can just ignore or minimize my exposure to what they do that annoys me.

As a despicable example of the tribe of the Contented, you know things are pretty good from here. I am also much older than you, maybe that has something to do with it. People like me still seek out new things, just maybe in a more subtle and less aggressive way, and maybe mostly from the safety of our desk chairs and couches. This is not wrong. I think if you have a huge problem with things like this, you might benefit from a sense of perspective that considers other people's values as valid.

Some of us worked very hard to get to a contented state, and *didn't (or don't) like* the seeking-seeking-seeking of fresh new things to try all the time. Sometimes the seeking can be wearying and you can waste money and time and end up with some really distasteful experiences (I hate that quote about "You regret the things you didn't do in life, not the things you did." BULLSHIT! I regret *plenty* of things I did!). Once you know exactly what you like best, why is it bad to focus on doing those things?

My overall point is that it sounds like you want to tell other people what they like is Wrong, and that what you think they should like is Right. This is pretty arrogant and off-putting. You can make a forum if you want, dedicated to people who are only interested in the things you find fun. You got a fair number of favorites for your comment, I'm sure there are lots of people who would be interested in such a thing. It might help your frustration at continually encountering people who are not "interesting".
posted by marble at 12:36 PM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


so-called geek interests and some geeks can't shut-up about them.

Really? Geeks are constantly harassing you? I'm often asked what team I'm a fan off, if I saw the game last night, if I'm a Sox or Cubs man, etc. I've never been asked if I'm a Firefly or Dollhouse man. If I saw last night's No Ordinary Family and if I think Wonder Woman's new outfit is too sexy.

One of us lives in bizzaro world, and I don't think its me. Let's stop pretending to be victims of some massive conspiracy.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:38 PM on April 21, 2011


"Geeks" today are just fans of products with a lot of time on their hands.

The commodification of "nerd culture" or "geek culture" (which, indeed, now seems to connote "fans of products," whether TV, movies, games, books) seems to parallel the commodification of the "counter culture" (hipsters) from the '60s.

I've never been asked if I'm a Firefly or Dollhouse man. If I saw last night's No Ordinary Family and if I think Wonder Woman's new outfit is too sexy.

The meaning of nerd or geek seems to have shifted significantly toward "science fiction movie/tv fan" whereas before I think it had previously referred to academic and scientist types. i.e. a geek used to be into ham radio or something; now a "nerd" is more likely to be an Dr. Who fan or whatever and a "geek" the guy who maintains a Dr. Who fan site.

Perhaps there's a larger global theme of first-world producers becoming primarily consumers, etc. I'm just rambling ...
posted by mrgrimm at 12:47 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


The terms are meaningless because the generalizations are meaningless. I've met guys who wouldn't be caught dead reading a sci-fi anthology, but are crazy about the recent Batman movies. Or girls who have little interest in this stuff reading Margeret Atwood's sci-fi.

Its all mainstream. The geek/nerd bashing is just as convincing as "reverse racism" or "the liberal media" or whatever the marginalized nutters call the rest of us. Its just angry people venting in unison, hoping the horrible noise they make comes off as convincing to other angry people. Haters gonna hate.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:51 PM on April 21, 2011


The meaning of nerd or geek seems to have shifted significantly toward "science fiction movie/tv fan" whereas before I think it had previously referred to academic and scientist types. i.e. a geek used to be into ham radio or something; now a "nerd" is more likely to be an Dr. Who fan or whatever and a "geek" the guy who maintains a Dr. Who fan site.

This is essentially what I have observed. In my little corner of geekdom in the 90s, we had people obsessed with mathematics, coders who hacked the Linux kernel as a hobby, game programmers, musicians, and writers. We shared a common interest in a particular video game—which was our original connection—but almost all of the people in that circle had deep academic or technical interests and skills.

I think, if that tiny subculture emerged today, it would grow much larger, but it would be fueled only by the canon and merchandising surrounding the video game which was our touchstone. Whereas interesting projects emerged at that time because of the deeply different people involved in the subculture, current "geekdoms" seem obsessed with the "-dom."

I certainly wouldn't expect to be able to ask the geeks in a video game fan site in 2011 to explain C pointers to me. Or theoretical math. Or the interactions between chained electronic synthesizers.
posted by sonic meat machine at 12:58 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Really? Geeks are constantly harassing you?

Constantly? No. But considering I have really enjoy many things that are generally considered geeky, like RPGs, wargames, video games (i guess they are still somehow considered geeky and obscure,) comic books, etc., I'm like Legomancer in that to pursue those interests, I have to interact with a group of people that replace wit for repetition and personality with interests and consumption, in addition to usually having massive persecution complexes and mistaking their social ineptitude for free-thinking.

I have friends who I play RPGs with. When we're playing RPGs, we tend to talk about the game and RPG related stuff. When we hangout outside of gaming, RPGs come up, because that's how we met, but it would be boring as shit, and I probably wouldn't play with them if RPGs, or other "geek related" topics were all the could talk about.

I don't hate "geeks" I do dislike people who hyper-obsess about a handful of things to the exclusion of all others and then form some goof-ball oppressed group identity about it.

I've never been asked if I'm a Firefly or Dollhouse man.

So? No one has ever asked me if I like the Washington Senators, either. Beyond that, it's an insipid question, so i'm glad no one ever asked you that.

One of us lives in bizzaro world, and I don't think its me. Let's stop pretending to be victims of some massive conspiracy.

I'm not the one who thinks I'm being oppressed by society at large for liking Batman.
posted by Snyder at 1:07 PM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm not the one who thinks I'm being oppressed by society at large for liking Batman.

No, but I am visiting one of my favorite sites and hit with the equivalant of "ZOMG SCIFI FANS SUCK LET ME TELL YOU WHY!" Its not like I started an FPP about how oppressed I am. I just reacting to the links as presented. Not sure why this is such an issue for you.
posted by damn dirty ape at 1:21 PM on April 21, 2011


Consiering both yours and Sonic's posting history is little more than geek detritus like gaming and webcomics perhaps the awful geek menace you fear is really yourselves.

Oh, that's right, you hypocrites believe your geekdom is perfect and good and not annoying ever. Its just everyone else's geekdom that's the problem. Yet another shit roguelike or shit webcomic on the front page? Genius!

You two nerds crack me up.
posted by damn dirty ape at 1:35 PM on April 21, 2011


Ok, you are taking this awfully personally, to the extent that you are misrepresenting and misreading what I and others have wrote. If some people being vocal about not liking certain aspects of geek "culture" in a thread about some people said topic is really bothering you to the extent you are tooling around people's posting histories for a lame ad hominem, then there is no reason for me to keep responding.
posted by Snyder at 1:50 PM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Tooling with your history? Its public and god-damn is it geekdom of the lowest common denominator. The exact thing you are decrying here. Glass house. Stones. Figure it out.
posted by damn dirty ape at 1:52 PM on April 21, 2011


Y'know, I've already been to two sf cons, a gaming con, and a comics con this year, and I didn't encounter any of these braying repetition-as-wit folks. I have met some in the past; I do recognize the phenomenon being referred to. But I don't think it could be said to be representative of even these most geekiness-target-rich environments.
posted by Zed at 2:15 PM on April 21, 2011


And on the flip side, I go to sci-fi cons and I run in geek circles and I can't escape them. If I had a nickel for every "Inconceivable!", for every "I'll be in my bunk", for every "These are not the {noun} you're looking for", for every "Fezzes are cool", for every time someone just recites a quote rather than actually adding to the conversation (and instead brings it to a halt, especially if I don't know the source material) ... well, let's just say my pockets would be pretty damned heavy.

There's a target audience for our local indy moviehouse's midnight Princess Bride quote-along.
posted by cadge at 2:30 PM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Fezzes are cool" I didn't even recognize and had to google.
posted by Zed at 2:36 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of us lives in bizzaro world, and I don't think its me. Let's stop pretending to be victims of some massive conspiracy.

I think you live in the Bizzaro World. Nobody's opressing you, at least not on MeFi. I just had some links that I enjoy reading and thought they'd be a funny FPP. If you want to question my geek credentials feel free to look through my posting history.
There have been plenty of criticisms of Wikipedia and geek culture on this site, and they don't come out of hatred. We just want to make our subculture a better place.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:06 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Fezzes are cool" I didn't even recognize and had to google.

Ataturk would disagree.
posted by The Whelk at 6:54 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm definitely confused and alarmed by the visual content of this video, but damned if I don't love the totally chill MMO song just a little bit.
posted by EatTheWeak at 7:31 PM on April 21, 2011


If it wasn't for Rohan, where would I be?
posted by mrgrimm at 8:17 AM on April 22, 2011


The thing is, fezzes ARE cool.

(but not as cool as suspenders. Gentlemen, let me just point out that suspenders are very flattering to the male form and highlight the breadth of your shoulders. There's a reason that women swoon over Sharpe and Mr Darcy, and it's not the hair).
posted by jb at 11:26 AM on April 22, 2011


Sometimes I find Dilbert cartoons amusing or even relevant to day to day experience.
posted by Artw at 11:54 AM on April 22, 2011


I liked this one from last December. That's a pretty good phrase in the middle panel.
posted by Zed at 3:19 PM on April 22, 2011


jb, I agree suspenders are cool, but if your man has anything near a gut when wearing suspenders will make him feel like Santa Claus and this is not conductive to self-esteem.
posted by The Whelk at 3:38 PM on April 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


my man only has a little teeny gut, which he disguises with nice ties, so the suspenders are still working for him. (Long ties look better on him, though bow ties have been also declared cool.) Also, the suspenders (or braces, he would say) hold his trousers up, which is good too.
posted by jb at 9:22 PM on April 22, 2011


A little late to the hate party because they just put the site back up: Shit Otaku Say. I'm a bit more on board with this type of hate because it lets the actions of its targets damn themselves.
posted by zabuni at 3:26 PM on April 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


My god.
posted by Artw at 5:17 PM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Almost every entry on that page had me gaping in shock and horror.
posted by grouse at 5:21 PM on April 24, 2011


Seems the site got taken up by domain squatters within a few hours ago, or at least something happened to make it look like that's the case. What am I missing?
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:41 PM on April 24, 2011


Looks fine to me, for a mind melting horror value of fine.

Almost every entry on that page had me gaping in shock and horror.

The first one on the earthquake and the one by patzprime stick out though...
posted by Artw at 5:50 PM on April 24, 2011


I just can’t agree with this kind of walking-on-eggshells political correctness at all, I think it’s completely ridiculous. If I was living in Japan and lost family in the earthquake, I still wouldn’t be in favor of anything being cancelled or delayed.

I’d think ‘Hell no, that’s stupid. Don’t cancel anything for my sake, there are people that want to see the movie/television series/whatever, go and release it for them, I’ll deal with my own feelings myself.’


... what is ... I don't even ... who in the what with the ... ? Agh, this site is post after post of fascinating horror.

Some folks in my local comic stores are keeping quiet cuz they're terminal introverts, others are keeping quiet cuz they're doing everything in their power to avoid winding up in a conversation with the manga and anime obsessed. I know it's rude but I've been burned before. I've had telemarketing conversations, in which I was the telemarketer, that I prefer to some of my otaku run-ins.

I'm into a lot of nerdy stuff. It can get shameful with the Mountain Dew and the Cheetos and the not doing anything cuz you're busy unlocking achievements and the knowing Spider-Man better than your own brother but anime obsession has that little extra something that lets it get body pillow bad.
posted by EatTheWeak at 6:25 PM on April 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow Shit Otaku Say is... yeah.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:20 PM on April 24, 2011


Taken over by domain squatters for me, too.
posted by Snyder at 12:47 AM on April 26, 2011


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