Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

It is Halloween and such so enjoy the spookier things in life. If you don't like spooky, just look at this Pumpkaboo, it's adorable.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

3 Last-Minute Nerd Halloween Costumes

Happy Halloween! If you are anything like me, you suck at coming up with costumes and suck even more at planning ahead. Have no fear here are a few simple costumes to check out.

1. Youngster Joey
-Everyone's favorite Rattata trainer is also pretty easy to imitate. Throw on some shorts, a t-shirt, and a backwards cap. No matter what you talk about, relate it back to how awesome your Rattata is. If in doubt, borrow lines from other youngsters like "Hi, I like shorts! They're comfy and easy to wear!" Nobody will like you be the end of the night, but damn are those shorts comfy.

2. Neil Gaiman
- You probably really like something he wrote, or something based on something he wrote. Thankfully he seems to wear very similar clothes all the time. Find a black wig, mess it up, put on some dark clothing and go around talking about how cool libraries are and the importance of creativity. A lot of people won't recognize you right away, but you will receive a lot of recognition from those Gaiman fans.

3. Mutant Hating Citizen form the Marvel Universe
- I am stealing this one from my friend Jack who donned this costume last Friday. Wear normal clothes, but carry around a protest sign saying something along the lines of "God Hates Muties!". You'll probably have more than a few people think you are a member of the Westboro Baptist Church, but once you start ranting about Magneto and the fall of our species they should catch on.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The 5 Commandments of Wonder Trade

In the 2013th year of our lord Arceus, Pokemon fans were given yet another amazing thing. Wonder Trade is easily one of the spiffiest features of X & Y not because it allows you to ditch box-warming Pokemon with little guilt, but because it gives you the possibility of getting something cool in return. By pairing up trainers randomly to trade, everyone can experience trading without having other friends online. However, with a system like Wonder Trade there exist some inherent flaws. A level of anonymity may cause people to be inconsiderate jerk-faces. If you would like to Wonder Trade but would like to avoid being called such names, follow these simple commandments and you will be in the right with both those you trade with and your eternal Poke-soul.
(prepare for some poorly written mock bible speech)

1. Thou Shalt Share the wealth-
    - Have a Pokemon with Pokerus? Spread the love to everyone. Have a cool Pokemon appear in a friend safari? Catch a few and send them out. Did you breed 5 boxes of starters? Some kid would love to get your extras. Whether or not karma is real, giving rare or strategically valuable Pokemon freely can be its own reward.
2. If Thou Do Not Wanteth a level 4 Pansear, who doth?
    -If you didn't want it, why would someone else? If it is a common Pokemon from one of the early routes, do not fret, everyone else has already caught one. The one exception to this would be if said common early Pokemon was bred competitively, because who could say no to an IV bred Bidoof?
3. Nameth and Thou Shall Receiveth
    -Everyone catches bad Pokemon and everyone wants to get rid of them, while hopefully getting something cool in return. However, if someone insists on putting crappy Pokemon out there the least they could do is make them interesting. Nicknames make Pokemon personal or at least funny. I recently received a Karrablast in a Wonder Trade. There was nothing interesting about it other than its name. The trainer who captured this Karrabalast decided to name it RonnieDio. A stupid name yes, but it made me smile and it turned getting a junky Pokemon into a pleasant experience.
4. Thou Shalt not Regift
    -Whenever you get something crappy in a Wonder Trade the least productive thing you can do is throw it back into the trading mix. Nobody wants that Bidoof and if you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Let the Bidoofs go.
5. Go Forth and Trade
    -Wonder Trade is a really interesting feature. The more we as Pokemon players do it, the more chances we have of getting something really cool. Breed a boxful of something and go to town, just keep the previous commandments in mind before you dive in.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Why Nerds Should Care About Politics and the News

It is a rainy and muggy Saturday here in Conway, AR and considering the federal government is still in shutdown, I think it is a good time to write about why there should be more political interest among nerds.
I recently overheard a conversation at the comic and games shop where I work. The conversation was about the government shutdown and those discussing were playing D&D. It began with the wizard asking about what caused the shutdown, citing her lack of interest in the news, the paladin responded, incorrectly, saying it was about the debt ceiling and then the rogue mentioned, with little detail, his distaste for the Affordable Care Act. This isn't an uncommon conversation as many people are confused or disinterested in political happenings. However, I will make this request of my nerdy brothers and sisters, read the news!
It is generally agreed upon that modern nerds are people with a strong and somewhat obsessive interest in a particular subject. The subject can vary greatly but there are two standard traits, knowledge and enthusiasm. Nerds read the rulebooks and study sports statistics. Nerds follow specialty news religiously seeking out new information on their subject. Nerds are involved in discussions and communities of their chosen subject. All of these things nerds are good at are so important to good political discourse. Anyone who has time to study Magic cards for hours or create a new D&D module can handle learning what is going on with the federal government. However, we as nerds seem to fall into this pit of only focusing on our main interests and ignoring the issues not directly affecting us. This apathy is far from exclusive to nerds, but as the self designated smart and enthusiastic people, do we not have an obligation to want to make things better for everyone?
While I complain about a lack of involvement from nerds, I must point out that when something they love is threatened they jump into action. Just think back to when everyone was fighting against SOPA. Even now, the outrage about the spying
NSA is prevalent among political concerns for nerds. What I want to see is that kind of fervor over every political issue, not just the ones that hurt the internet. What is going on in Washington affects everyone and it warrants some attention. I know we can do it, we just have to try. We have to be excited about what we can do for the world and we have to share the knowledge we attain with each other.
I love nerds. I love talking for hours about comics, playing lengthy sessions of D&D, and I love escaping into fantastic fictional universes, but I want to improve the world I am in. I know that as a citizen, I have an obligation to vote and to help my community. We as nerds must step out of our immediate interests into the realm of improving the world for everyone. Read the news, vote in every election, serve the community.