Happy Geek Pride/Towel/etc. Day!
Our pal Larry wonders, "Where's a spaceship when you need one?"
May 25th, 2012
02:01 PM ET

Happy Geek Pride/Towel/etc. Day!

Editor's note: A few years ago, the nerds at CNN.com had to explain to our coworkers what Towel Day was. We helped clear things up on CNN's long-defunct SciTech blog. In commemoration of today, we're bringing back our very informative post. We like to think of it as a "collector's edition."

Romulans, puppeteers, hobbits - lend me your ears! Today, we geeks can gather today and celebrate all that makes us unique.

Worldwide, May 25 is known as Geek Pride Day, Towel Day (for "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" fans like our own No. 42 above) and Glorious 25th of May, for Discworld fans.

Although Geek Pride Day is a relatively new holiday; founded in Spain in 2006, the Inalienable Rights of Geekdom (at least as we see them) that it celebrates are not:

1. The right to strive to be even geekier.
2. The right to not leave your house when there's plenty to entertain you there.
3. The right to not like football or any other sport.
4. The right to freely associate with other nerds.
5. The right to have a few select (inevitably awesome) friends.
6. The right to have a ton of friends - each geekier than the last.
7. The right to not be “in-style.”
8. The right to be overweight/underweight/have poor eyesight and the like.
9. The right to show off your geekiness at all times.
10. The right to take over the world.

Not all geeks will agree with or adhere to all - or in some cases even most - of these rules. Everybody geeks out in their own way; that's the beauty of it.

But we can all agree that being a geek can be a good thing. Why is that?
Well, let’s take a look at a couple of the great things about being a geek:

1. We can always find a game to play no matter what. We are like the MacGyver of games. Give us a pen and paper and we’ll entertain ourselves and others.
2. We look good in glasses. Seriously, we do.
3. We are clever. Who was the one who everyone turned to on "Lost?" The doctor.
4. Speaking of doctors, we have Doctor Who. He’s smart, funny, has a time machine and is one of the biggest geeks in the universe.
5. We can balance a checkbook. Whether we use a computer program, our raw brain power or a good old-fashioned abacus, we will not be overdrawn.

Geek Pride Day is all about looking at the best parts of being a geek, so grab your towel, stick out your thumb and tell us what your plans are - or what you've already done - for Geek Pride Day.

The migratory patterns of MMO gamers
Nikki Rau-Baker's "Star Wars: The Old Republic" character, Talie, a Sith sorcerer, shows off her lightsaber on Nar Shaddaa.
January 31st, 2012
10:51 AM ET

The migratory patterns of MMO gamers

Darnassus is a little quieter these days, as are Silverwood and Galtrev. The virtual watering holes are changing once again.

The latest and greatest massively multiplayer online role-playing game (abbreviated as MMORPG or MMO) on the block is "Star Wars: The Old Republic."  And according to unscientific numbers based on crowdsourcing from gamers, even since the beta of  this much anticipated game was released, some of the other major MMOs - including "World of Warcraft," ("WoW") "Rift" and "Lord of the Rings Online" ("LOTRO") - have seen a steady decline in player activity.

In December, people from my guild in "LOTRO" excitedly discussed what kinds of "Star Wars" characters they’d like to play as the "Star Wars: The Old Republic" launch date loomed. Soon after, several of them left "LOTRO" to play the new game full-time, even some of the officers and the guild founder.

I watched my “logged in friends” panel get smaller and smaller and wondered if they would come back or if they had moved on for good.

Players switching games isn’t uncommon - as trends come and go, so do the crowds of adoring fans. But any record of their movement from game to game is still something of a secret. FULL POST

2011's pop culture squees, 'sad trombones'
Colin Ferguson, left, star of "Eureka," at Dragon*Con. Andrew Garfield, right, delivered an impassioned speech at Comic-Con.
December 30th, 2011
02:30 PM ET

2011's pop culture squees, 'sad trombones'

We're pretty sure 2011 was a great year to be a geek. But with all of the amazing things we've witnessed in the nexus of nerd culture and mainstream pop culture, there were plenty of potential geek out moments that didn't quite work out. And then there were a few things this year that were just a mixed bag.

So, here's a look at some squees and corresponding "sad trombones" for this year's pop culture with a nerdy bent:

Squee: "Doctor Who"

Things got off to a rip-roaring start in the sixth season of "Doctor Who." We encountered the ominously creepy Silence, an “impossible astronaut” with murderous intentions towards the Doctor, and the constant foreshadowing of a fixed date when the Doctor must die. The episodes that followed maneuvered the twists and turns of Steven Moffat’s layered plotlines, and Matt Smith continued to reveal deeper and darker sides of our beloved Doctor. But perhaps the most brilliant gem was the Neil Gaiman-penned episode, “The Doctor’s Wife,” where the TARDIS comes to life in a beautifully poignant character, and we realize that she is the Doctor’s only constant.

'Star Trek' vs. 'Star Wars:' The ultimate showdown
December 29th, 2011
05:53 PM ET

'Star Trek' vs. 'Star Wars:' The ultimate showdown

No look back at the year in nerd culture can be complete without one of the most interesting developments in quite some time for fans of "Star Wars" and "Star Trek."

William Shatner took to his YouTube channel in September to declare, once and for all (reminiscent of the movie "Fanboys"), that "Star Trek" is superior to "Star Wars." In the midst of that, he took a few shots at Carrie Fisher (who appeared at Dragon*Con at the same time he did a few weeks earlier).

Fisher defended "Star Wars," and Shatner did not go unscathed either. "Shat" had a retort to Fisher, as well. George Takei, meanwhile, urged peace between the "Star-people," since they have a common enemy: "Twilight."

This debate for the ages inspired us to settle it once and for all, with you, dear Geek Out readers, as the judges. FULL POST

What we geeked out about in 2011
George R.R. Martin, author of "Dance with Dragons" and other books in the "Song of Ice and Fire" series.
December 28th, 2011
05:35 PM ET

What we geeked out about in 2011

2011 was a big year for geeking out (for one thing, this blog launched in 2011).

The staff of CNN Geek Out had quite a few geek out moments but we picked just a few of the biggest ones to share with you as we say goodbye to this year.

Doug Gross:

We’d waited six long years to hear those seven magical words.

“The dragons are coming. Prepare to dance.”

That’s what fantasy writer George R.R. Martin wrote on his website in March, signaling that “A Dance With Dragons,” the fifth book in his “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, had gotten a July publication date.

By this point, “SOIAF” had already leapt to the top of my list. I’d even committed the geek-sacrilege of suggesting it’s better than “Lord of the Rings.” The fact that Martin had taken so long to get this one just right only made the moment I learned that 2011 would mark a return to Westeros more of a rush.

There would be more fantasy-geeking on my part when the book was actually released and was just as masterful as any of us could have expected. And, of course, there was the rush of seeing “Game of Thrones” adapted for HBO. But those seven words … yeah. That was big.

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