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Monthly Archives: December 2007

Political rally – no pants required

Representitive and republican presidential candidate Ron Paul Republican presidential candidate and apparent internet god Ron Paul will likely be remembered more for his power over Digg than his policy.  The Republican underdog has achieved a rare following of online fanatics who help the candidate raise money and promote him like no other, pushing articles about the candidate to the top of Digg and social bookmarking sites.  For another first, Paul supporters are holding a rally for the candidate in the uncontested land of Azeroth.  Supporters will march through the Whisperwind server on New Year’s Day at 8:30pm EST.

It is unknown if the candidate himself will or can appear (does he have a character and is it a high enough level?).  Regardless, this rally marks another crossover between the real and virtual worlds that Second Life so pretended existed.  People might actually attend this one.

Second Life has been a focus for politicians, with Barak Obama and John Edwards both building campaign centers even with no proof advertising in the social world works (it most likely doesn’t work).

But World of Warcraft offers a different environment for social promotion.  The game encourages constant involvement through monthly subscriptions whereas Second Life is free.  Nine million World of Warcraft subscribers means a good portion actually play the game.  Further, the game offers rewards not only for addictive level play, but for teamwork and socializing – the best way to win battles and gain loot. Second Life is simply a trip to the mall – more fun with friends but just as easy to do alone.

I doubt World of Warcraft can be manipulated by Madison Avenue advertisers in the same way as Second Life – it is a fantasy world and its citizens will not want Coke advertising there.  But World of Warcraft has on paper the potential to be a valuable social networking tool.  But what advertisers will probably forget is Azeroth citizens will network themselves.  Ron Paul didn’t initialize this rally.  His supporters did – true evangelicals for the cause.  And that’s the best kind of promoter anyone can ask for.

7 musts of 2007

To best sum up 2007, I have combed the entertainment world to find these seven highlights that brought joy to my heart and hokey crap like that. These are the must-see movies, comics, shows, and events that every geek needs to enjoy before tackling anything in 2008.

Buffy Season 8 #1, from Dark Horse Comics 7. Buffy Season 8

While television spin-offs remain in development limbo, the comic book world welcomed Joss Whedon with open arms. Whedon continues the adventures of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in comic book form, an unheard of use of cross media storytelling. Buffy Season 8, published by Dark Horse Comics, features Whedon and other top writers telling the stories that might have appeared on the TV screen had Buffy continued – and if Whedon had an unlimited budget. The experiment is far from over, and the first bunch of issues have yet to shock and awe in the same way the show did, but the punchy dialogue and quick wit makes this a must read because there’s nothing else like it.

6. Bioshock

If all the awards and rave reviews haven’t convinced you Bioshock is as good as the Second Coming, than you don’t deserve to wear the geek moniker. This art deco romp through philosophical mind games is one of the most unforgettable video game experiences around. The unique gameplay and soon-to-be classic Big Daddies only lays the foundation to a brilliant story filled with plot twists that affect how you view playing the video game.

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Two years of Xbox 360 making as much progress as a month of Mario

Trusty Bell Xbox 360 bundle, from Microsoft Microsoft’s Xbox brand has been facing an up Mount. Fuji battle since its launch. And while the 360 has faired better than the original Xbox, some recent numbers shown by Famitsu (translated by NeoGAF) shows the Xbox might be farther down the mountain than originally thought.

Famitsu tracks the top 50 best selling Xbox 360 games with the top game not even selling a quarter million units. As Destructoid points out, when you add the total sales of all 50 games, only 1.8 million units have sold – as much November sales of Mario Galaxy and Guitar Hero III in the U.S.

The surprise in these numbers is how even games that attracted huge headlines for first week sales dropped of. Ace Combat 6 helped the 360 console outsell the PS3 in Japan for the first time, selling 77,000 units in its first week. A month later, Ace Combat 6 has only sold 6,000 more copies.

Even games that Japan loves are having trouble expanding the 360’s user base. This will make the 360 Devil May Cry 4 sales numbers versus the PS3’s all the more interesting. Check out the full top 50 after the jump.

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Vote for the sexiest geek of 2007

Michael Sherrin on Halloween dressed as Stephen Colbert Even though I’m a little bitter I’m not nominated (anyone want to nominate me?), I felt it worth sharing this fun, Wired feature.  Visit Wired’s site here to vote for their selection of sexy geeks.  Why Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart aren’t on the top of the list, I’ll never know.

The picture me dressed as Stephen Colbert for Halloween

Geek Chic: How to wear geeky belt buckles revisited

iPod belt buckle from Beat BuckleI’ve been hearing from a lot of readers who want more information about wearing belt buckles, so let’s take the time to explore this fashion forward practice a little further. This advice can be used by men and women though I have some specifically female advice at the bottom.

In Part 1 of How to wear geeky belt buckles, I talk about tucking in your shirt and/or wearing a sports jacket/blazer to dress up the outfit. But there are many ways to style belt buckles for many occasions. The key is to consider if the belt buckle will be the focus of your outfit or an accessory. This is simple to figure out. Large, ornate, or multi-colored belt buckles will be the focus of your outfit and should be paired with solid colored shirts or shirts with a little embellishment (like a little writing on the chest). Small belt buckles with a simple design and limit color can be paired with busier shirts. Basically, when you look in the mirror, you should focus on one thing, be it the belt buckle, shirt, shoes, or rainbow hair. Having too much going on creates chaos for the eye and can ruin and outfit even when all the pieces alone are fashionable.

All belt buckles pictures link to their sales pages. Prodigeek does not receive any compensation for these referrals.

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Just because you say it’s wrong, doesn’t mean people will agree

One of the many debates spurned by technology has been the morality of file-sharing and piracy. David Pogue of the New York Times wrote last week about his talks to various groups where he discovered a surprising reaction to these ethical questions. First he spoke with groups of varying ages and asked which of many hypothetical situations were wrong, like borrowing a CD from the library or making a backup copy of a DVD, or replacing your 2,000 vinyl records with copies of CDs from the library. Pogue says as he went through scenarios, more and more hands went up showing a lot of gray areas to the debate.

Then Pogue spoke to a college audience. He went through the same list and says no more than two hands ever went up out of 500 people. Even when he went for the extreme “You want a movie or an album. You don’t want to pay for it. So you download it.” Only two hands.

Pogue’s unscientific but nevertheless revealing social study shows not only is the file-sharing debate more complicated than media companies claim, but there’s a generational gap in how people view the moral debate. Simply, young people don’t think file-sharing is wrong.

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Geek Out Game: Falling Sand

Falling SandFalling Sand bridges the world world game/non-game with the most fun with particles you’ve ever had. This tranquil yet addictive experience gives you a variety of substances, like sand, oil, water, and salt, to mix and match for a variety of results. You can use walls to collect substances and add growing plants or ignite a fire. There is no goal or reward except for the joy of exploration and discovery. Experimentation is rewarded in this unique and relaxing game/non-game.

Geek Out Game: Falling Sand

Happy holidays from Prodigeek

I hope everyone is having a great holiday – there’s certainly enough video games to give as gifts this holiday season; there’s something for everyone. Enjoy your families (and gifts) this holiday instead of wasting time reading my blog (since I’m not updating it). I’ll see you all again on Wednesday.

Happy holidays

4400 canceled, epidemic of stupidity blamed

4400, from USA I have been grateful for cable’s ability to let niche shows thrive.  They need smaller audiences to generate blockbusters, often a quarter of what it takes to be a success in network primetime.  But the USA Network destroyed my reality by canceling the popular and amazing series 4400 only a few months after it’s cliffhanger season finale.  The show has seen its ratings continuously drop since its record-breaking opening mini-series, but the show remained a top 20 cable hit.  The abrupt cancellation stings more as many loose-ends go unresolved.

I can’t reconcile TV network’s apparent hatred for its viewers.  Shows like Desperate Housewives and Lost have inspired a flood of overly mysterious shows with numerous plot threads meant to dangle for several seasons.  To the detriment of viewers, networks refuse to allow for long term planning, whether it means limiting the series or promising a set number of episodes.  Lost, regardless of its success has 48 episodes left told over three seasons.  This allows for the show to plan long term about how to resolve the multi-year mysteries.  Even Battlestar Galactica, which flew close to the chopping block, earned one last season to finish.  Why couldn’t 4400 have the same chance for closure?  Are there so many wrestling matches that USA needs the extra airtime?

Geek Chic: Geekiest ways to show your holiday spirit

Holiday clothing more often then not looks tacky rather than festive, but with some advice from you Geek Chic guru, you can put your show Santa just how much you love this holiday.

Geek holiday shirts – Available in a variety of shapes and colors, from white t-shirts to polos and turtlenecks, you can pick from some of these flattering and at the same time hilarious holiday shirts. Whether you enjoy from programing humor or just want some nice ASCII art (well, binary, but only real geeks will know), these are the shirts for you. Available at CafePress.

Geek LED belt buckle – You can wear this belt buckle all year long. Just change the LED letters to customize your own message specific to the event, whether it’s Happy Holidays or I<3 LARP. How you wear this belt buckle is up to you and isn’t that kind of control what the holidays are really about. Find it at ThinkGeek.

Quality holiday music – You’ve heard the best, now try the rest. Why settle for Gene Autry when you can have Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo. Yes, this pop culture icon from the wholesome family show South Park has his own collection of classic holiday songs including “The Lonely Jew On Christmas” to “What The Hell Child Is This?” and the all-time favorite “The Most Offensive Song Ever.” Remember your holiday memories with this unforgettable treasure. Available at Amazon. Parental advisory recommended (that’s a sales pitch, actually).