2015: My Geek Culture Highlights

“Nerd life is so much better than regular life.”

-John Green

Between grown men crying at the opening credits of the new Star Wars movie and Marvel stepping up their plans for wold domination, 2015 has to be one of the geekiest years yet.

In this blog post, I’m going to tell you about some of my favourite geeky moments and memories from this last year.

10. Game of Thrones Season Five

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Image by RaVVeNN

The internet’s most pirated show this year has all a girl can ask for: dragons, deceit, and death, and this season brought us twists upon twists (some of which even book-readers hadn’t anticipated). However, this last season has also been the most controversial yet.

Many fans have questioned the decisions made by writers this year, including that Sansa Stark plot, and the introduction of the Sand Snakes, which many book-readers including myself found anti-climactic, especially as the showrunners seem to have decided not to include a very key (and my personal favourite) Dornish character from the books.

Still, I can’t wait to see what season six will bring, and to find out exactly how Jon Snow will make his return (because let’s face it: he can’t really be dead for good).

9. My First Comic Con

2015 marked the year that I attended MCM London Comic Con. While I was only able to stick around for one afternoon, it was overwhelming to see so many people openly expressing all their wonderful and geeky interests, and to see the hard work they had put into their costumes pay off. Although my time at Comic Con was short, there was something special about seeing so many people united by a love of pop culture.

8. Geek and Sundry Launched Critical Role and Titansgrave

Even though I’m not a tabletop gamer, there is something about these web series that is just so engaging, exciting, and imaginative. Watching the games progress, and the characters develop during each episode is like watching a story unfold, as if the author is writing it in front of your very eyes.

It may not be how we’re used to discovering stories, but these two series showcase storytelling at its finest, creating diverse and multidimensional characters, each with their own backstory, ambitions and weaknesses.

7. EGX 2015

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Image: BagoGames

Even better (in my eyes) than London Comic Con was the UK’s largest gaming convention. For a convention-virgin, stepping into the main hall at EGX was like stepping through the rabbit hole. In minutes, I went from a train station in Birmingham, to a sea of video game enthusiasts, in which Lara Croft and Evie Frye could walk the same floor, and a 15-foot spider courtesy of Total War: Warhammer could be found not far from a towering TIE Fighter, courtesy of Star Wars: Battlefront.

6. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The Force Awakens has been long-awaited by fans across the globe, bringing many a tear to the eye of grown men, and bringing back old favourites like Han Solo and Princess Leia. Twitter has been on fire with fans describing the latest instalment as “everything we’ve been waiting for”, and the film has already made over $1 billion, having sold out cinema screenings to crowds dressed as Wookiees, Stormtroopers, and Jedi Knights.

5. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

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Having won multiple Game of the Year awards from the likes of Gamespot and the Golden Joystick Awards, there aren’t many who can dispute that The Witcher 3 deserves a spot in my top ten. The latest instalment in the Witcher series is over 30 times larger than its predecessors, and features vast and dynamic environments. To fully complete the game (including side quests) can take over a hundred hours, and it’s safe to say, I have reached nowhere near that level of commitment to the game. Yet. It’s one of the first games I’ve been able to play on a next generation console, and it embodies exactly what I loved about Skyrim, and what I have been desperate to find in a game ever since. And maybe even more besides that. If I can find 100 hours in 2016, maybe you’ll be hearing more about Wild Hunt.

4. Jessica Jones

This has certainly been Marvel’s year, with Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Agent Carter having all graced our screens in some form over the last year. There’s not much more I can say about Jessica Jones, other than what I’ve said in my previous blog post, but alongside Agent Carter, Jessica Jones has given me back something that’s been missing from my screen since Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

3. Project for Awesome 2015

p4aEach year during Project for Awesome (P4A), thousands of people post videos to advocate the charities which they believe are deserving of the year’s donations. The Project for Awesome was created by two of my favourite nerds, John and Hank Green to “decrease world suck” and is characterised by a 48-hour livestream. This year’s Project for Awesome has raised over one and a half million dollars, more than any year previously. Since the project began with the brothers taking advantage of the YouTube algorithm to fill the front page with P4A videos, P4A has been an incredible example of nerds using their powers for good.

2. Rise of the Tomb Raider

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Image: BagoGames

My second favourite geeky moment this year is a personal one. Following EGX, I published an article for my university’s student publication, Redbrick, reviewing the demo of Rise of the Tomb Raider that was showcased at the gaming convention. As if being able to play the game before its release wasn’t enough excitement, somehow, the official Tomb Raider Facebook and Twitter pages picked up on the article, and before I knew it, it had received over two and a half thousand likes on Facebook. For me, this was absolutely mind-blowing that so many people had seen something that I’d worked on, and that Tomb Raider had directly quoted what I’d written about them on their page.

1. You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)

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Image: Christina Gandolfo

My favourite geeky memory of 2015 is without a doubt reading Felicia Day’s memoir, “You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)”. The book is both a hilarious homage to geek culture, and an inspirational testament to overcoming the hurdles inside our own minds that so many of us face.

For me, it was also a reminder that the people we admire are, in fact, human. Concealed beneath her outward confidence and unrestrained nerdiness, even the unstoppable Queen of the Nerds Felicia Day battles the same self-doubt and punishingly high expectations that so many geeks are familiar with. Nestled amongst witty quotes and hilariously awkward encounters with fans (and non-fans), are inspirational gems. The book is packed with life lessons, for perfectionists, creators, nerds, and all human beings from all walks of life.

With technology moving forward everyday, new shows announced for the summer, and movies still to come, 2016 promises to be at least as geeky as 2015. Feel free to comment with your geek culture highlights of 2015 by leaving a reply in the “doobly-doo” below. Happy new year!

“The heart of my story is that the world opened up for me once I decided to embrace who I am—unapologetically. My story demonstrates that there’s no better time in history to have a dream and be able to reach an audience with your art. Or just be as weird as you want to be and not have to be ashamed. That lesson’s just as legit.” 
― Felicia Day, You’re Never Weird on the Internet

Featured image by Nick Royer

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