Geek Things You Should Know About

by Carolyn, Carrie, Morgan, and Jill

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Today at camp, all the geeks are meeting and greeting and talking about Firefly. Here are some obscure geeky things that you might not already know about but that are awesome.

“I don’t think you can truly call yourself a geek until you’ve traveled across the country, climbed a mountain, and slept in bear infested woods just to sit in a room and talk to other people about video games.”
-Bren

Jill Houk, Super Heroine

Mass Effect

Do you want to date my avatar?

Do you enjoy space operas? Blowing things up? Romancing the ladies? If your answer is yes, then you will love Mass EffectMass Effect is a role playing video game available on X-Box and PC where you assume direct control of a space marine named Commander Shepard. You, the player, get to determine your Shepard’s history, personality, and destiny. This includes who you wish to romance. When Mass Effect was released in 2007, it elicited a small amount of controversy due to “graphic” love scenes and nudity, culminating in a critical segment on FOX News. Honestly, I’ve seen more “graphic” love scenes in a PG-13 movie, but whatever. The real reason for the controversy was the player’s ability to engage in a queer relationship with a hot lady alien. Couple this with a compelling story, loveable and memorable characters, and the theme of ‘unity in diversity,’ and you’ve got what some have arguably called the most important science fiction franchise since Star Wars or Star Trek. The first game was followed by two sequels, both of which increased the number and variety of queer relationships for your philandering Shepard to partake in. And you get to shoot bigger monsters.

Carolyn, Contributing Editor

The Guild

The brainchild of Felicia Day (also known for Buffy and Dr. Horrible), The Guild is an adorable web series about a group of online gamers forced to become friends in real life. Codex (real name Syd Sherman) is dumped by her therapist the morning Zaboo, a fellow member of the Knights of Good, appears on her doorstep and starts stalking her from her living room. Codex gets the rest of the guild to meet up in person for the fist time to help her get rid of Zaboo, and various nerdy adventures ensue. The show has Felicia Day in pyjamas, geeky humor, regular humor, awesome guest appearances, and a Community-esque focus on interpersonal relationships.  It’s also on Netflix!

The Leviathan Series

Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series takes place during an alternate World War One, in which Britain and its allies use  hybrid creatures based on Darwin’s manipulations of DNA, while Germany and Austria use steam-powered war machines. Deryn Sharp is a girl dressed as a boy in order to join the British Air Service, and becomes a midshipman on Leviathan, a gigantic airship (floating whale slash ecosystem slash boat). Alek would-be heir of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and escapes to the Alps in the middle of the night after Ferdinand’s murder. This series has: steampunkery, hostage taking, a few queer undertones (in Behemoth especially), political intrigue, and a creature named Marmite.

Carrie, Community Managerette/Moderator

Y: The Last Man

Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra is a comic book series set in a post-apocalyptic future run by women. Here’s the deal: Yorick Brown is the only man to survive a plague that killed every male on earth. The crazy addictive 60-issue series follows him around the world as he navigates a dystopian future in search of an explanation of how the hell he is still alive. Though told through Yorick’s perspective, Y features plenty of badass, multi-faceted females (one of the primary characters is a geneticist and Yorick’s mom is a Senator) and plenty of lesbian storylines for good measure.

The Mary Sue

Purporting itself as a “guide to geek girl culture” the Mary Sue will fulfill your every nerdy need. I mean, even the website’s name is rooted in feminist geekery! The Mary Sue covers science and tech news as well as pop culture, gaming, sci-fi/fantasy and comics. It’s a great place to stay updated on the latest geekery and one of the few female-dominated corners of the internet covering those topics. They also have a super twitter feed.

Morgan, Contributor

Noir

So gay chicas with pretty legs and lots of shootouts, yes yes. But so much moah. A rare show is one that has an all female central cast, but a rarer show still is one that has no significant male characters at all. Noir is about two assassins that hang a shingle in the underworld and call their killing pair, well, Noir. The story it tells is one of the prettiest, saddest, strangest single things that has ever been a part of my life. Carried by a musical score so sumptuous it could bring about world peace, you follow blonde bombshell Mireille and shy butterfly Kirika as they try to uncover the truth behind the tragedies of their past. It’s feminist without being pandering, it’s dramatic without being melo and it’s complex without getting Lost. And while often awash in a sea of death and amorality, hope always buoys to the surface.

A stranded on a desert island show if ever there was one, no two pilgrimages to this series are quite alike. I hope you’ll consider taking the journey someday.

The Middlemen

WW: Who leaves a palindrome?

MM: Typical supervillain horse feathers. Can’t wait to hear this guy’s monologue. “I am the Palindrome, feel my power! Power my feel, PALINDROME THE AM I!” Peter-pipin’ weirdos.

Pushing Daisies. Doctor Who. Men In Black. What do these things have in common? The threesome that gave birth to this boundlessly quirktastic show by Javier Grillo-Marxuach. Wendy “Dubbie” Watson is a struggling, disaffected comic book loving art school graduate who finds a job at the Jolly Fats Wehawkin Employment Agency, a cover for the the Middleman. MM is protector of the world from threats both intra- and extra-terrestrial, and sees in Wendy his successor of the (wo)mantle, partnering up with her to teach her the world of space gadgetry and general mania that is every peter-pipin’ episode. Contained in this series are enough geeky references to make anyone’s hours of investment in nerddom feel totally justified, all while telling a story with a lot of heart and gusto. While it was cut tragically short after 12 episodes, it displays the kind of writing that knows not to waste your time, packing every fast-talking minute with sterling gems like:

“Seriously, Dubbie, since you and I met, I’ve been writing like a song-nado.”
“A tornado made of songs?”
“You know it.”

“I’m as serious as a Hefty bag full of Rottweilers.”

“Is there any chance you might be pregnant?”
“Only with anticipation.”

By the end you’ll miss it like you miss Firefly, and as Al once said, “‘Tis better to have Firefly and lost, then never to have Firefly at all.”

You probably have some favorite geek things that not enough people know about, because doesn’t everyone? Tell us what they are! We love to watch/play/read/do/download lists.

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Carolyn is the NSFW Editor for Autostraddle.com. She is also a freelance copy editor and writer, and her work has appeared in Bitch, Xtra!, Jezebel, the Billfold, and other places. Find her on twitter.

Carolyn has written 286 articles for us.

27 Comments

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    If you like The Guild you should check out Sandeep Parikh’s (Zaboo) now completed web series called The Legend of Neil. The premise is that this guy named Neil accidentally gets sucked into the NES Legend of Zelda during a moment of autoerotic asphyxiation and must go through the game to save Zelda. It’s raunchy and absolutely hilarious. Also for all you Felicia Day fans she plays the fairy!

    Unfortunately for those of us who are not in the US I can no longer find a website that plays it outside of the region. But if you’re good with workarounds or happen to live in the US you should definitely check it out!

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    The Mass Effect games are fun. I’m working through them on my 7th Commander Shepard (I wanted to see all the fifteenth story paths). Dragon Age and Skyrim are also fun. Darkaiders 2 came out last month, and it’s fun too. I’m looking forward to Assassin’s Creed 3 and, also, there is a Sherlock Holmes take out next week.

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    I love The Mary Sue! I go there just about every day. Great list Carolyn.

    I’m a huge gamer as well and I love the Mass Effect series, up to a point. The ending has disappointed a lot of players, me included. Just a heads up.

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    I love Mass Effect with all of my being, seriously. Also Firefly and the Guild. This whole post is full of relevant interests.
    I feel like Bones, while being relatively mainstream, does kind of hold a geeky feel for me? Maybe not as much as a cult show like Firefly but omg do I love Bones wow. And awesome queer representation as well.
    Another note: DRAGON AGE GUYS. IF YOU HAVE A PC/XBOX THEN PLEASE JUST PLAY DRAGON AGE. TRUST ME. IT IS AMAZING. SO MANY FEELS ABOUT THIS GAME. It’s like Mass Effect but in a Medieval fantasy setting and you have tons of character options and there are possible queer relationship choices! In the second game, EVERYONE is bi (pan?) so your options are unlimited (also I have lots of feels w/r/t the rivalmance options). And if you play the first game, just play through every origin option and figure out which one is your favorite. I thought Dalish elf would be my favorite, but turned out my ONE TRUE PASSION is being a hot dwarf princess who gets exiled from her kingdom. Who knew?

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      OMG Dragon Age: Origins. I had a badass female Dalish Elf warrior (with an giant sword) who hooked up with Leliana and had amazing adventures. I chose to be the one to complete the final task, so there were lots and lots of feelings and I totally cried while watching the scenes after the final battle. Best storyline of a game I’ve ever played.

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    HNGHHHH MASS EFFECT. i love mass effect. i love all the characters, the worlds. miranda’s CG model makes me crack UP!!! that butt, srs. can we also talk about how fanservicey and silly the camera angles can get during miranda’s scenes?

    i just finished mass effect 2, so i’m kind of looking forward to see what the ending is. (is it really that bad?)

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      It gets pretty bad with Liara’s scenes too! I fully believe that the ME series is one of the best out there for equal/diverse representation but every once in a while the sexed up angles get a bit much and I am divided between “WHAT IS THIS OBJECTIFICATION” and “hnngh hot blue alien yes plz.”

      This is pretty much exactly how I play ME: http://unrealitymag.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mass-effect11.jpg

      Yes the ending is terrible. Also near impossible to predict, I’d say. I enjoyed the ME3 gameplay more than I did ME2, though, so it’s still fully worth the playthrough.

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    I found The Mary Sue via twitter link one day and at the bottom of the article I read I saw a link to something about ‘Is SUCH AND SUCH really a man?’. I clicked through to find an article on some random website about suspecting that some new performer was suspected of being a ‘man’ and then claimed to have found photos of said person’s vagina proving that the person had undergone SRS.

    I don’t understand why TMS would link to an article like that or if they were even aware of it (could have been one of those ‘relevant links’ widget things), but I was pretty disturbed and kind of put off of The Mary Sue.

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    This post isn’t quite as geeky as I’d hoped it would be…yes I am into about 60% of the things listed here, but…come on. LETS GET GEEKY. Why not have a discussion on new tech coming out, or ways to hack your PSP. Does it have to be related to lady loving? Maybe have a section on how to fix your gf’s broken iphone (I learned the hard way…).

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    I’m enjoying watching “The Middleman”, thanks to this recommendation, so I’ll share one of my own. I recently watched the show “No Ordinary Family”, which I somehow completely missed when it originally aired. It’s about a family who develop super-powers, and have to deal with the usual: keeping them secret, fighting crime, finding others with super-powers, plus a big conspiracy that runs throughout the season. And in addition to that geeky premise, it’s clearly aimed at geeks, with lots of references to comic books and the like (something I didn’t think was done as well as it should have been in “Chuck”, for example). It’s pretty good and I wish there were more than just one season of it.

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