Here are a few of my favorite things: Nintendo, Penny Arcade, The Legend of Zelda, Mario, Pokemon, Harvest Moon, Fallout, Dungeons and Dragons, books, dice, Professor Layton, Shadow of the Colossus, Minecraft, and so much more. I'm going to talk a lot about video games, I sincerely hope you don't mind.

Newest paper sculpt project!

Sonic Screwdriver trio for my friend's birthday.

An interview with Adam Harum of Transolar Galactica.

They achieved their Kickstarter goal, and now the world gets more of their award winning sci-fi comedy!

Doctor Who themed lip balm!

Brought to you from Earthtastic! and A Bit of Geek.

Minecraft paper sculpt!

My submission to the Mojang community art contest. Watch the video!

A TARDIS desk lamp!

Instructions and babbling on how to make a TARDIS lamp from foam core!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Roadster Sculpt Video - Vroom Vroom

A paper sculpt of a friend's real roadster! This was a total challenge for me since cars aren't really my thing. It was difficult to know what I was looking at in the reference photos. Hurray for challenges!


Monday, August 25, 2014

Final Fantasy 8 Diary - Entry 19





Friday, August 22, 2014

Why Captain Picard is a Great Role Model for Anyone

When I was little I didn't have any heroes. There weren't any famous figures that I looked up to, or that I used as a guide for right and goodness. Except for my mom. I happen to have a mother with a strong moral and ethical compass, but not all children are so lucky. They look around themselves to determine how people, adults especially, should be acting. With the prevalence of TV shows, movies, books, and comic books in the lives of children, I believe that creators have a responsibility to make characters that can be idolized. In the absence of strong adults in person, they deserve strong adults in media.

Personally, when encountering complicated and confusing scenarios in my teenage years I would ask myself how my mom would feel about my decisions. Would she be proud? Would she think I did the right thing? Or would she be disappointed in my lack of judgment, or in my treatment of others? Who is a good role model for children?

Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise, of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame, is just such a person.

Captain Picard on the bridge of the Enterprise.

In starting my Star Trek: The Next Generation journey I have come to one absolute conclusion: Captain Picard is an excellent role model. He is confident, compassionate, and respectful. He exhibits patience and understanding, and expects to see those same qualities in others. He encourages everyone around him to be their best selves possible, and he is never above seeking the advice of trusted friends and colleagues.

Let's talk about some of Picard's finest moments! And, uh, spoilers, I guess? Oh, and I'm currently half-way through season 6, so this list doesn't include any of season 7 or the movies!

1. Convincing Wesley Crusher to admit his Starfleet squad tried the Kolvoord Starburst (S05E19)

In this tension filled episode, Picard and the Enterprise crew are at Starfleet Academy and discover that Wesley Crusher is acting oddly after the death of a classmate. It is revealed that Wesley and his squad members tried an extremely dangerous, and banned, maneuver called the Kolvoord Starburst which resulted in the death of a squad member. Wesley and the rest of his group have decided to lie about the circumstances of their friend's death to avoid punishment for attempting the taboo flying formation. Captain Picard corners Wesley and reminds him of his duties to Startfleet and what it means to be an officer aboard a starship. He also threatens to reveal the secret if Wesley doesn't do so himself.

This was a touching and uncomfortable encounter between the two characters. Picard expects goodness and honesty from the people that he cares about, and everyone else, and doesn't fear backlash or people disliking him in his more blunt moments. Ultimately Wesley confesses the truth, and is better for it. Consequently he is made to re-do his final year at Starfleet, but it's a small price to pay for causing the death of a classmate, and in confronting his mistakes he learns a hard lesson about what fellow Starfleet members will expect from him in the future.

2. His horror at accidentally killing the new, unknown species (S04E16)

Star Trek: The Next Generation 'Galaxy's Child' alien creatures.

The crew of the Enterprise encounters a strange new being floating in space, and Picard's fascination at the discovery of a brand new life form is written in the wonder and excitement on his face. When the creature begins to attack the Enterprise, he orders a low power beam to be shot at it as a form of non-fatal defense. Unfortunately, this kills the creature on impact. The camera cuts back to Picard, who now looks absolutely distraught at the accidental destruction.

His value and appreciation for life of all kinds knows no bounds. Even after being attacked he wished only to defend, and not to harm in response. In his immense respect for alien beings he is constantly putting himself and his entire crew in danger, because there is no telling how the unknown will respond. And yet, he continues to give them the benefit of doubt, not only because their mission is to seek out new life, but because the lives aboard the Enterprise are no more important than those of undiscovered creatures.

3. Fighting for Data's right to autonomy and preventing his being disassembled (S02E09)

A member of the cybernetics department of Starfleet visits the Enterprise, intent on learning more about Data's positronic brain. He wishes to dismantle Data in an effort to learn about his construction, and to create more androids like him. Data refuses, opting to resign from Starfleet rather than disobey a mission command, but is then told that he is not sentient and is therefore mechanic property of Starfleet and has no choice. Picard steps in and demands an official hearing to decide whether or not Data has autonomy and a choice, and through a series of events is forced to defend Data against Commander Riker, who has been commanded to stand in as representative for the opposition.

We see an amazing display of compassion and rights activist qualities from Picard, who is adamant that Data deserves all the considerations that every other member of Starfleet is granted. He has to give his all against Riker, his Number One, and not be angry (or take personally) when Riker throws in convincing, and damning, arguments to prove that Data is not sentient. Picard values equality and justice, and didn't hesitate to protect Data from what he viewed as a gross violation of rights, no matter the cost or who he had to fight against.

4. Asking the time traveling human for help (S05E09)

When Captain Picard and the rest of the crew meet a time traveling historian from the 26th century, he encounters an ethical dilemma; the Enterprise's current mission is in assisting a planet from an accidental Ice Age, and he needs advice. There is one option to save all of the planet's inhabitants, but one slight miscalculation could end up killing everyone instead. Picard pleads with the time traveler to reveal the outcome to help decide on what they should do. The time traveler refuses to discuss any information about the event, saying he's not allowed to alter the time continuum. Normally Picard takes the Prime Directive very seriously, but he also believes that certain circumstances allow for rule breaking measures. He views this event as one of those times, and flatly asks for help in making a decision.

Picard has such great respect for rules, and decorum, and following them to a T. He also knows the value of breaking them, though. Not every situation is a one-size-fits-all, and he's not so prideful as to refuse a chance to get help when the opportunity is presented. Breaking the rules from time to time opens up new possibilities, and can lead to new information and exciting discoveries, but should be done only after careful considerations of the potential repercussions.

5. Stopping Lal from being handed over to Starfleet (S03E16)

Captain Picard and Commander Data discussing Lal in 'The Offspring.'

Lieutenant Commander Data creates an offspring that he names Lal, who is android like him, but is capable of advancing speech like a human, and can feel emotions. Picard reports the event to Starfleet command since it is technically a new life form, being not quite like Data. Admiral Haftel arrives on the Enterprise and demands that Lal be handed over for further investigation, since Starfleet has much to learn yet about Data's advanced android status. Data moves to comply, seeing as it was a direct order, but Picard steps in and orders Data to stand down and to not give Lal to Haftel. Admiral Haftel reminds Captain Picard that he is at risk of losing his ship and his rank for interfering with a direct order.

Captain Picard is able to repeatedly pair logic with emotion in his decisions. He knows that it is wrong for Lal to be given up, because she is, for all intents and purposes, Data's child, and no other member of Starfleet would be commanded to hand over their child for study. He also knows that Data is defined as sentient and has his own rights, giving Picard greater traction for his argument. Even though he risks losing his rank and his ship, he cannot stand by and allow injustice to take place on the Enterprise, or to one of his crew members.

6. Crying to his brother about his Borg encounter (S04E02)

Picard and his brother Robert after fighting in 'Family.'

In this follow-up to a two parter about Captain Picard being kidnapped and assimilated by the Borg, Picard visits his home in France and spends some time with his brother and his brother's family. While there, continually insisting that he's fine, he gets into a fight with his brother that culminates in Picard finally collapsing and allowing the trauma of his experience to show. He cries out about not being strong enough, and how vulnerable and powerless he felt in being assimilated and stripped of his identity, and eventually finds comfort from his brother Robert.

In what is undeniably an emotionally charged, heart wrenching moment, we see that no one, not even the great Captain Jean-Luc Picard, is above feeling the tug of despair, sadness, and vulnerability. The audience sees that even the strongest of people can feel pain, and can feel like they aren't good enough, and also that it is healthy to open up to those that love and care for us.

7. Admitting to Q that he was wrong about being prepared (S02E16)

Q appears to play with the crew of the Enterprise once again, and is angered by Picard not listening when Q insists that there are dangers in the universe that Starfleet isn't prepared for. Picard insists that they are ready, prepared, and able for whatever they come across. Q, as a lesson, propels them farther than they've ever been, to an unexplored area of space where they immediately encounter the Borg. It is quickly proven to the Enterprise that they are no match for the Borg, and will be destroyed in very short order. Picard angrily calls for Q's return, admitting arrogance and pride, and agreeing that they aren't ready for what lies beyond the Federation's reaches.

Even though Q went too far in this instance, seeing as his charade cost the Enterprise 18 lives and caused the Borg to begin pursuit across the universe, he did have a point. Picard was arrogant, and wrong in his assertion that they were prepared. After being returned to their original coordinates in space, Picard reflects on how far the Federation has yet to advance. It was an extreme situation, but Picard was able to admit that he was wrong, one of the most difficult things for people to do. What's more, the experience stayed and humbled him. He didn't return to arrogance once he and his ship were back to safety.

8. Defending Tarses when he is accused of being a traitor because of his Romulan heritage (S04E21)

When a member of Starfleet Command comes to the Enterprise to investigate possible sabotage after an explosion occurs in engineering, a crew member named Simon Tarses is accused of being in cahoots with a Klingon officer who was smuggling information to Romulans via amino acid sequences. Tarses insists that he had nothing to do with the explosion, but is further targeted and put on trial because of his Romulan heritage, which he lied about on his Starfleet application instead indicating that his appearance was from a Vulcan background. Captain Picard tries to put an end to the investigations, asserting confidence in Tarses, and is instead put on trial and accused of also working with the Romulans.

From the beginning of the investigations, Data and Geordie are certain that the explosion was a legitimate malfunction, and not external forces. Picard has trust in all of his crew members, and is confident that further trials and interviews are unnecessary. His trust and confidence in everyone who is aboard the Enterprise is wonderful. He has no reason to distrust two such respected officers, and he works hard to surround himself in that company. Everyone would benefit from friends and colleagues who embodied the traits that they highly value, as they do tend to rub off and influence us. While being questioned by Starfleet Command, he remains calm and points out that Tarses is being accused simply because of his heritage, demonstrating a profound dislike for prejudice and racism.

9. Paying the hotel owner before leaving 1800s San Francisco (S06E01)

Captain Picard assures the hotel owner that he and his entertainer friends will soon have money to pay for their stay in 'Time's Arrow, Pt. 2.'

While Picard and company work to return to the 24th century and the Enterprise, meanwhile simultaneously stopping an alien race from feeding off of sick inhabitants in 1800s San Francisco, they take up residence at a hotel. Through the episode we repeatedly see Picard talking with the hotel owner, a kind but agitated woman who is insisting that she be paid for their stay. Picard insists that they'll have money for her soon and manages to continually shoo her away while not raising suspicions. At the end of the episode, before departing for the 24th century, Picard acquires money and tells his 19th century companions (who happened to be Guinan and Samuel Clemens) to pay the woman for their stay.

The entire ending scene is a total whirlwind, and Picard has a lot to think about. He's facing a dodgy time rift, and an alien race slowly destroying Earth's inhabitants. Guinan is injured, and nearly everyone around him is in peril. And yet! He finds the time and means to make sure the owner was paid properly for his stay at her hotel. I was completely floored by this move, because it further demonstrates Picard's sense of justice, fairness, and ethics. He was never going to see the woman again, didn't need to trouble himself with her life at all, yet he knew that losing out on her hard-earned, and deserved, payment would have meant hardship for her and her family. He is able to see past his own needs, and make sure those around him are cared for.

10. Tasha Yar's eulogy (S01E23)

Captain Picard approaches the funeral for Lt. Tasha Yar.

After the sudden and sad death of Tasha Yar, the Enterprise holds a touching funeral that is headed by Data. Tasha had pre-recorded messages for all of the senior crew members for use in the event of her death while on duty. In her address to Captain Picard, she states that of all people, she most wanted him to be proud of her.

In watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, Captain Picard has become another person who I think of when making decisions. What would Picard think? Would he approve? Would this make him proud? I agree completely with Tasha's sentiments, because Picard is a man to admire, to want to emulate, and certainly someone whose approval one would desire.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree that Picard is a great role model? What are your favorite Picard moments? What are your favorite lessons from Star Trek?!

A happy Captain Picard. (via Trekcore)


*header image source

*preview image source

Friday, August 15, 2014

Outlander Viewing Parties!

My mom, sister, and I (and grandma, and aunt, and many others in the family) are huge fans of the 'Outlander' book series by Diana Gabaldon. I've written about them before (anticipation of the Starz show and the Outlander Fan Retreat in Seattle), and now the show has finally premiered! You can check out my thoughts on the first episode too, if you'd like!

I've read about people who do Game of Thrones viewing parties, and my family and I decided that viewing parties would be necessary for Outlander. The show officially aired last Saturday, August 9th, but Starz did a free multi-platform early viewing on Saturday, August 2nd. The show is actually in swing now, so I thought I would share what we've decided to do to enhance watching it!


bridies Homemade bridies, hot from the oven!

Meat Pies (I know this is technically an Irish recipe, but it sounds too good to skip!)


Corn Dodgers



Fresh bread

For the early premiere I made bridies and stovies for dinner, and my mom made bread and my sister brought homemade jam for dessert. The stovies took about an hour, and the bridies about an hour and a half. I made the crust from scratch, which was a lot of extra work but totally worth it. It really felt like a party, and event, to have people over, talking and laughing, while making delicious themed food. It was a first, and I hope we do it for future episodes! Food is mentioned a lot in the books so it's easy to find relevant recipes online.


scottish whisky bottles Scottish whisky from the collection in Edinburgh.

Whisky (something Scottish, preferrably!)


My mom and sister are big wine fans, but I'm more of a whisky person. While many of our party sat down with wine, I poured myself a nice glass of Bunnahabhain Scottish whisky, which I brought back with me from my trip to Scotland in the spring! If any of you want to try whisky because of Jamie and Claire, but you're unsure if you'll appreciate the taste, I recommened drinking it on the rocks and allowing the ice to melt a bit before sipping. It's a legitimate, and tasty, way to enjoy whisky! If all else fails, grab some Coke as a chaser ;)


Bagpipe music on youtube

'Outlander' soundtrack!

We didn't have any music at our premiere party, but I would love to incoroporate traditional Scottish melodies into our cooking adventures. There are samplings of Bear McCreary's 'Outlander' tracks on  youtube to enjoy as well.


outlanderPremiere Getting into the spirit with my Fraser tartan and Pocket Jamie!

Wear something tartan

Bring a sword!

It was about 80 degrees in the house from our roasting summer and the fact that I was cooking up a storm, but I still managed to don my Fraser taran (from Scotland!) and pose for a festive photo. Since it's a split season and we won't get the second 8 episodes until early next year, there's plenty of time to figure out warmer themed outfits for future parties!

Pre and Post Party:

Discussions of what we think the episode will cover based on the synopsis

Discussion everything we loved about the episode! Plan food for next week ;)

There was plenty of pre-episode chatter and preparation, especially since over half of our party hadn't read the books before! Afterward we talked a bit about the new additions (scenes that weren't in the books), and asked everyone what they thought. We also reminded them that pilots are slow, and that because it is an especially faithful rendition so far, they can expect things to pick up rather quickly.

We're definitely not alone in our enthusiasm. Outlander Kitchen has many great ideas for hosting viewing parties, (and tons of recipes!) if you need more ideas! I hope this post has encouraged you to throw wee food celebrations of your own to bring your favorite TV shows to the next level!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Tribute to Robin Williams

How do you begin to eulogize someone who you've never met?  It's a conundrum I'm currently facing, but I can't shake the feeling that I have to put into words how I feel about the loss of someone whose presence I've never been in.  On August 11, 2014, humanity as a whole lost one of the most beautiful examples of a human being that there ever will be.  Robin Williams was a man unlike any other in terms of comedic wit, acting ability, and more heart than anyone could handle.

I've grown up with Mr. Williams.  Not in the sense that we grow up with siblings, cousins, or friends, but Robin was always relevant through film, so much that he was a household name for many people.  Through his work, he taught many lessons, made us laugh, made us cry, and caused us to ponder things we may never have considered before.  It was almost like having an uncle who you'd never met, yet he was accessible at all times through your VHS.

Whether it was any of the 52 (as counted by James Lipton) exuberant Genie personas in Aladdin, the playful alien Mork in Happy Days, or the courageous Peter Banning in Hook, each role was played with such finesse, and his comedy executed with such blinding speed that the rest of us could never hope to keep up.  Robin Williams had such a wide spectrum of ability that he could make any role his own.

There are many of his works that are endlessly important to me.  It seems that every one I think of, there was always something I could learn from and use somehow in my life.  Mrs. Doubtfire was an impactful movie for me, having had parents who had gone through a divorce myself.  Interestingly enough, the movie came out before my parents separated, so watching the movie both before and after yielded different results.  If this makes sense, before the split, I could feel sympathy for the children in the movie, whereas after the divorce, it was more of an empathy, being able to identify with the characters.  One thing was for sure, Robin's character, Daniel Hillard, was the kind of man I took my father for; someone who would do absolutely anything for his kids, even if it meant donning drag.

In Patch Adams, he enlightened people about compassion, and the power that laughter has to heal.  Jack shows us that life is short enough as it is, you need to live it to the fullest.  The Birdcage brought to light the struggles of the (at the time) non-conventional family, and the importance of acceptance.  Good Will Hunting taught us about embracing potential and accepting loss.  Jumanji taught us to never trust a board game.

His appearance on Inside the Actor's Studio was one of the most renowned events in television history, and is heralded as one of the greatest episodes in the series because of his honesty, passion, and improvisation.  This and his appearance on the PBS series In the Wild where he hosted an episode about dolphins were two of the most prominent appearances of his that my father and I have bonded over and discussed multiple times.  Each are fantastic in their own ways, but you get to see Robin Williams in his element, firing off jokes as if it were nothing.  No one else in the world has ever demonstrated such natural ability.

I could sit here and list things that Robin had taught me, but one of the most important roles he brought to life was John Keating in Dead Poets Society.  Mr. Keating shook up a private school by encouraging his class to embrace poetry, pursue greatness, and to seize the day.  To act outside of your comfort zone, shatter boundaries, and make statements.  His performance was one of the reasons I chose to pursue teaching as a career.  The feeling I got after viewing that movie, being given that knowledge of language and how to break away from the norm, these were things that I wanted to give to others.

When I heard the news, it was like the wind had gotten knocked out of me.  I was devastated, half-convinced that it had to be some sort of hoax.  A quick bout of research confirmed my fears.  I always felt that one of the saddest days would be when Robin left this world, and I can confidently say that my intuition was spot on.  The first thing I did was call my dad, as Robin and his performances were things we bonded over regularly.  I got him on the phone at work and said "Did you hear the news?  This is bad."  When I told him, he was silent for what felt like forever.  "Are you kidding me!?"  He was just as thrown as I was, and it has been a rough couple of days for the both of us.

Everyone grieves in their own way, and I have never felt like I do it right.  While it might seem silly to most people to grieve over a celebrity, I honestly feel like I've lost a mentor, friend, and family member.  It is stunning how hard it is hitting me.  The coping process has me on a marathon of his performances, and there is plenty of material I haven't seen yet that should keep me going for quite some time.  Where most of us the world over may feel the same way, there can be no comparison to what his family is going through.  My positive thoughts go out to them.

There is no shortage of wisdom he could impart on us.  Though the words he spoke may not have been entirely his, it was he that delivered them, and he that added his own personal emotion and flavor to every word.  The world is a little bit darker without him.

Rest in peace, Robin.  There will never be another quite like you.


If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, please reach out.  There are many resources available to help you get through this, and it is absolutely worth it to keep living.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Monday, August 11, 2014

Final Fantasy 8 Diary - Entry 18







Friday, August 8, 2014

Outlander - First Episode Thoughts

After years of being a fan of the 'Outlander' books, and after a full year of high anticipation of the show premiering, the first episode has come and gone. Simulcast across multiple platforms, for free, courtesy of Starz, one week ahead of time (to draw in new viewers and subscribers, I'm sure, but it was still nice of them), I can finally breathe a sigh of relief having seen the show.

But, how do I feel? What did I like? What didn't I like? How does the casting fair? Was the production value, costuming, and acting really as good as Twitter and Facebook hyped it to be?

The short answer is: yes.

But here's the long one!

"I'm going on an Outlander adventure!" 
"I'm going on an Outlander adventure!"

It is a beautiful, thoughtful adaptation. As with most TV show pilots, it was slow paced and not particularly action packed. I'm not bothered by it, and no one else should be either, because it's important to establish setting, story, and characters before you launch into the exciting madness.

What did I like?

An opening shot from S01E01 of 'Outlander' An opening shot from S01E01 of 'Outlander'.

The cinematography was gorgeous. It is thrilling to have the show set in Scotland! Every shot is pure art. And the actors are all completely wonderful. Many of them are nothing like I pictured in my mind but that sort of thing I don't feel is worth even a passing thought. There is literally no way that they could resemble my imagination. What's important, though, is that the casting department obviously put in heavy consideration - they are near perfect emodiments of Diana Gabaldon's writing. Basically I liked practically everything.

What didn't I like?

If I had to pick something, it would be the opening credits and some of the music. I feel that the images in the opening credits are lovely, and I think the song is pretty, but their combination as the opener to 'Outlander' displeases me. I don't feel that it captures, or prepares the viewer for, the immense excitement, adventure, and visceral feel of the story. To me, the opening feels far too flowery and ethereal, like some sort of early '90s high fantasy made-for-TV movie. It's really my only complaint, and I don't plan on bringing it up ever again.

As for the music... I know that a lot of people were very excited for Bear McCreary's compositions, but I'm left feeling wishy washy. There are one or two thrilling moments in the premiere episode that required upbeat/fast paced music, and I feel that he rose to the occasion wonderfully! The bagpipes kicked in and it was awesome. But some other parts were slow, quiet, and soft, and something about his choices just rubbed me the wrong way. It's similar to how I feel about the opening credits: it didn't "fit" in my mind. Of course, I don't know what I would have done differently, and this simply my opinion. It's also not going to ruin the show for me.

Production Value

A flashback to Claire as a nurse in WWII. A flashback to Claire as a nurse in WWII. Note the gory, open leg wound.

As far as I can tell, they pulled out every stop possible! The sets, the costumes, the makeup, the blood! The beginning of the episode shows us Claire in bloody action during WWII, frantically working on a man with a torn up leg. It was gruesome, and horrifying, and amazingly done. In addition to being necessary for the audience to get a feel for what Claire is capable of, it was a fantastic preview of what's to come (because 'Outlander' is chock full of gory, medical goodness).

While we didn't get prolonged or well-lit views of the attire of 1743, the kilt-y bits that we saw in the darkened forest were incredibly detailed. Based on the stills that Starz has released, and the praise from the actors, I am in high anticipation of fabulous period-accurate clothing in upcoming episodes.

Final Feelings

'How you doin'.'

It is a GREAT time to be an 'Outlander' fan! With the recent release of the 8th book in the series (Written in My Own Heart's Blood), the premiere of the show, and the graciousness and interactvity of the stars and producers of the show (not to mention the author!) on Twitter, we have a lot to be pleased about and thankful for.

The premiere left me happy, satisfied, anxious for more, and highly approving of everything that was added that wasn't in the book. Ronald D. Moore was clearly the perfect choice for a TV series, and I thank him from the bottom of my fandom heart.

Now go watch the premiere! What are you waiting for?!


*header photo source

Monday, August 4, 2014

Why it's a Great Time to be a Geek

Part of appreciating what you have is about taking stock of how far you've come. It's a way of honoring the steps you've taken to get where you are and the ones who've helped you get there.

So without a hint of doubt, I can say this: there hasn't been a greater time to be a geek.

I mean that in all seriousness. Right now, in the 21st century, is the thriving time of the geek.

Now, I was born in the late 80's. Which means that by the time I had arrived, a lot of well geeky foundations such as comics, video games, television and film were already pretty well established. A lot of phenomenal contributions had already been made, but I would argue that being a geek hadn't quite hit its stride.

Liking Star Trek, reading comics or playing video games was still somewhat looked upon as juvenile interests or, at worst, the strange hobbies of the geek outcast.


But I would argue that that sentimentality really started to change in the 90's with the rising advancement of technology, more specifically in the refinement of computers and the enormous connecting power of the internet. Suddenly, everything was different.

With better and better computers, mediums across the board were growing in quality.

Video games went from this:


To this:


To this:


Witnessing this from nearly the start, this was huge. I remember playing through Zelda or StarFox on the Nintendo 64 and being amazed at the graphic world I was presented. At the time, it was the most advanced, immersive worlds I could conceive. But if you had shown me the things that were to come, I would have been blown away at your wizardry.

And I was not alone in this excitement. Millions of other people joined me in this wondrous process, following along each step of quality progression. This staggering amount of people did not go unnoticed, which is primarily how the video game industry has continued to grow.

As more and people paid attention to video games, seeing them no longer as childrens' fancies, so did the production companies, who in turn started producing better quality games for the masses.

But video games were not alone in this. Films and television, too, were growing.

The introduction of CGI(Computer-Generated Imagery) in the 90s brought a whole new world of world creation that brought deeper immersion to audiences.

The Lion King, considered a masterpiece in animation and visuals, was the direct result of computer animation. It became so popular, it still holds the record for third-most grossing animated film.

Another major contributor to the geek film culture was the introduction of superhero movies.

Now, Superman had already come out in the late 70's, followed by Tim Burton's Batman movies in the late 80's. And while these were necessary predecessors to superhero movies, I would go as far to argue that they never really hit their widespread popularity until the 2000 movie, “X-Men.”

In its opening week, X-men grossed $54,471,475, convincing Marvel Studios to begin making adaptations of their other products. Eventually, this would lead them to begin their expansive Marvel Cinematic Universe, starting with Iron Man and culminating in The Avengers(where they brought in all the characters/actors from the previous movies and grossed $1,518,594,910 by itself worldwide).

My inner 9 year-old is STILL freaking out. 
My inner 9 year-old is STILL freaking out.

In response to Marvel's success, DC launched their own modern film series with the 2005 movie “Batman Begins,” Christopher Nolan's take on the Batman legend. His triology(“Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises”), is widely considered one of the best film adaptations of Batman with an average rating 0f 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and grossing nearly 2.5 billion dollars.

It's Bat-tastic. 
It's Bat-tastic.

These two titans of superhero films, Marvel and DC, would create a culture of popularity in geek films, spawning other adaptations from other mediums, such as “Hellboy,” “Scott Pilgrim” and many more.

Suddenly, not only was it popular to be a geek but it was profitable for the industry as well. And while they gained off exploiting our interests, it also led to more numerous, better quality productions.

All by the dawn of the 21st century and the rise of technology.

All of this growing technology, while it may not have seemed like it at the time, was all cultivating the culture of the geek. Everything that we as passionate fans hold dear started in these early beginnings at the start of the century. The growing availability of computers and the staggering connecting power of the internet brought us closer together as a species, bringing our unified interests to light.

This brought a whole new level of acceptance to geek culture as we found kindred spirits in our respective interests all over the world. Online gaming, geek sites and more united us together, creating a global culture of gamers, comic enthusiasts, crafters, writers and everything else under the sun.

What was once considered obscure interests is now commonly accepted, even celebrated for its uniqueness.

Comic-cons are more popular than ever.

Fans are able to tweet their favorite creators.

Films and television are streamed online.

Digital comics are on the rise.

And Joss Whedon rules us all.

The geek is at his most thriving time. It's truly a great time to be alive.

The future only holds greater promise and I cannot wait to see what it yields.


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