WARNING: INCOMING RANT; Geekdom's Bad Habits

I've been far too busy to be angry about much of anything outside of everyday life but today I resurrect the RANT! This rant is brought to you by the second point that spurned on the rest of my thinking, so hold on to your asses all. This is gonna be a long one.

Today, we look at all of the bad habits of geekdom. We are all guilty of at least one of these points at some time in our lives. ALL of us. No exceptions.

  • Anime fans insistence on Japanese pronunciations

I used to be a huge anime fan. These days I don't have the time to sink into the 5,928 episodes that most series boast but in my high school days I couldn't get enough of anime and Japanese video games.

I studied the Japanese language for four years (three high school, one college) and learned a great deal about Japanese culture and could get a Japanese person to laugh at me a bit with my limited knowledge of their vast and difficult language.

In my Japanese classes there were a select few that were very annoying. Even outside the class they would yell out "SUGOI!" or call each other "Baka!" when they were in the halls or other places. (Sugoi - amazing; baka - idiot) Later, after discovering the Bad Webcomics Wiki (thank you Benjamin), I found out that there was a pejorative term for these individuals. Weeaboos or wapanese. In short, what this means is that they are white people or westerners with a gross misunderstanding of the Japanese culture and insist on using Japanese words repeatedly that they usually picked up from anime.

This gets worse when it extends into their speech regarding anime or video games. The biggest offender of which that I have seen is the way that weeaboos insist on calling Aeris from Final Fantasy VII by her Japanese pronunciation Aeirith.

The Katakana spelling of the name is this -

エ - E (pronounced as in wretch)

ア - a (pronounced as in Shawn)

リ - ri (pronounced "ree")

ス - su (like it looks)

Katakana is the list of characters that the Japanese use to translate foreign words. From that spelling, I don't know where they picked up the "th" at the end but whatever. It has since been made canon but I can't complain too much. This is a mild case despite how often I see it.

It really chaps my ass when I see it used with English names. I was linked to a deviantART page once that depicted a fan drawing of the main characters from the anime series Trigun and Gungrave. The characters names are Vash the Stampede and Brandon Heat respectively.

One commenter referred to Brandon as Boo-ra-n-dohn Hee-to. Like he was saying it in Katakana.

...IT'S AN ENGLISH NAME! THAT'S ENGLISH! I don't care how big of a fan you are, that's an English name, say the damn thing in ENGLISH! You look like a total tool who wishes they could have been born in the birthplace of Pocky Sticks and ramen noodles and like you believe Japan is one big anime/game convention. Tone that shit down. Speaking of insistent terminology...

  • It's LARA Croft

The Tomb Raider series has been around for the better part of two decades. 14 games and 2 upcoming titles over 18 years not to mention the theatrical release. It's a household name. I'd venture to say that Tomb Raider is right up on the level with games like Final Fantasy, MegaMan, Halo, and Call of Duty that people outside of the gaming sphere know.

Yet and still, over 18 years in the making and people still can't pronounce her damn name right!

THERE IS NO "U" IN LARA!

  • You should read the book, it's so much better! They left out...

Books are from the devil, and TV is twice as fast.

- Master Shake

This one is going to piss off my wife and our Books Writer and many others I'm sure. I can't see movies based on books with people that read the books.

I can't stand reading books. I've stated on many podcasts and possibly writings before that I don't have a great imagination when it comes to books. People say that books can take you to worlds beyond your wildest dreams and send you on a whirlwind adventure.

I see words on a page.

I'm a very visual person and maybe that's why I took to video games as I did. I don't mind reading the story, as that's how in older console games that the story was conveyed. Through words. I love being told a good story but someone else has to paint the picture for me.

I've seen many movies based on books and, without fail, one of my friends or family will always say, "That movie was crap! They left out A, B, C, and D! So and so had this happen! That character wasn't even in the book! OH MAH GAWWWWD!"

Look, books take time to read and I don't have time for that. If they can give me the Cliff's Notes in 2 hours, give or take, I'm fine with that. It's much faster.

Plus, the book would ruin the movie for me.

  • Brand Loyalty

The Samsung Galaxy S5 vs. the iPhone. Nintendo vs. Sega. Xbox vs. PlayStation. Facebook vs. Google+.

Whatever you use is shit, mine is better and here's why.

I saw this mostly growing up. The biggest thing for me was the console wars of the Nintendo/Sega era. Your parents only had enough money to buy you one console, so if you were the one kid with a Sega and everyone else had Super Nintendos, they would inquire as to why this was. The Sega sucks, the Super is better!

No way man! I got the better one! You guys all suck!

It's all a moot point because it boils down to opinion. Use or play what you like regardless of what other people think. Our own Head Geek Andrew and I have been in many heated arguements over the merits of Facebook against Google+. He loves Google+, I don't and I'm growing increasingly irritated that Facebook is trying to be Google+.

That's neither here nor there. The main point I'm making is to diversify your tastes. You miss out on a shitload of content or something that may be better than what you currently use simply by being closed-minded and steadfast to a brand just because it's your brand.

Besides that, the console wars are all futile anyway. PC gaming, from an unbiased standpoint, offers the most power and versatility and the system will last you the longest. This is coming from a console tard.

  • You aren't a real geek

This one, above all others, irritates me the most. Too often now, much like the point mentioned above, people draw sharp lines on what they like or hold dear. If someone enters that world that is an outsider, they are ostracized and considered a "fake" geek.

Many people cite being labelled as social outcasts earlier in life as their badge of honor to make their particular geekdom their hill to die on. They will defend it fervently until the last drop of blood is spilled and it makes absolutely no sense to me.

This isn't limited to people that follow traditional geeky hobbies either. During last football season the Seattle Seahawks (the team of my state) stomped balls in the playoffs and made it to the NFC Championship game and would later DESTROY the Denver Broncos at the Super Bowl. I watched both championship games and was surprisingly into them for the little bit I even cared for sports.

However, all over social media I saw people bash the Hawks, say they were a bad team, their team should have made it, and that people like me who were fair weather fans weren't "real" football fans.

What difference did it make to them really? Did it diminish their enjoyment of the game that a few "outsiders" enjoyed the same hobby, if even for a few weeks, that they did? Did it make them less of a fan? It's not like most traditional geeky hobbies that carry a stigma with them from early life. So what the fuck did they care? Why did they need to call me a "fake" football fan? It's the most popular sport in America for fuck's sake!

If any of you feel the need to martyr someone to your sect of geekdom and shun them, take a look at yourself for a minute and remember that feeling of being ostracized and made fun of.

Remember how it felt for you to be alone and think for a second before you label the vapid looking girl buying Call of Duty who you think is buying it as a gift for her boyfriend but is actually the leader of her own CoD Clan ranked 4th in the world. Remember that when that skinny looking nerdy guy is in the sports shop buying a team jersey when he is actually a factoid machine who knows more about the history of not only football but worldwide sports and could smoke you in a trivia contest on your own team. After all that, if it's truly that big a deal to you, roll your eyes, make your judgment and keep walking.

Geekdom is to be celebrated. To be shared. Let's quit being assholes to each other and create a better community free of all the bullshit back and forth and bullying based on being "real" or "fake". Who knows, you might even make a new friend.

RANT OVER.

WARNING: INCOMING RANT; PewDiePie Makes $4 Million a Year

It came to light recently that the most popular face in the gaming world, one PewDiePie of YouTube fame, earns a reported $4 million a year. $4 million.

With an "M".

A YEAR!

I couldn't stomach more than 30 seconds of his Let's Play of South Park: The Stick of Truth but I got the information I needed from it. I don't begrudge the guy for making that much money. Good for him. He gets to be a jack-off in front of a camera playing games for a living. I wish I'd beaten him to the patent on it honestly. Or at least figured out how he did it.

Apparently this brought another round of "'internet celebrities' need to get real jobs" comments which led to this gem from Jim Sterling:

https://twitter.com/JimSterling/status/479320226635743232

I'm not on the train of thought that "internet celebrities" need to get "real" jobs. There was a documentary on MTV that followed around a YouTube personality called Miranda. The show documented the fact that much of what YouTubers do is very time consuming and can grow to be exhausting with the constant pressure to put out new and original content. Joe Vargas of the Angry Joe Show dedicated a rant of his own as to how the Content ID system clusterfuck was affecting his livelihood. These people are real individuals who have lives and bills and shit to take care of just like the rest of us.

My problem with this lies in the culture of my generation.

I don't really like to throw buzzwords like "culture" around but we are conditioned from a young age that we can be whatever we want to be. If we just work hard and dream big then it will all fall into place for us.

That simply isn't the case.

All people who create content, including us here at The Drakkarium, start out as what is know as freelance. Freelance is basically a fancy term for "you work for free".

The Drakkarium is a bit of a different beast as we are fully independent. I'm sure if Andrew had the funding he would be paying an entire staff to be working under him rather than a group of friends doing this as a glorified hobby.

Once upon a time I wrote for a site called Bleacher Report. Sports fans may have heard of it since when I was actively writing for them as a correspondent and later a featured columnist, they were somewhere in the realm of the #2 to #4 sports site in the United States. If not the world.

When I was offered the gig as a featured columnist I asked if there would be paid opportunities. I was told that after 6 months my performance would be evaluated and that pay could be a possibility. No guarantees, just a "maybe".

Maybe won't pay the bills. Most of us here at The Drakkarium as well as bigger sites like IGN, Kotaku, Destructoid and YouTubers of all kinds have families to support and bills to pay. You can't hand your landlord an IOU every month for chasing your dream and you can't tell the cashier a WinCo that you might pay them the next time you come in. To quote Jim Cornette, "I can hope in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up first.".

It does suck to work a 9-5 job every day. I, along with many others, wish we could chase our passions for a living.

https://twitter.com/MerlotWilliams/status/479352403712417793

Andrew and I hope to one day be able to do what we do here for a living. I don't know about him but I certainly have no delusions of grandeur that we will be the next IGN. We devote the time that we can to it and we wish we had a lot more time to devote to the site. Trying to make something work from the ground up is something that is very difficult and doesn't happen overnight.

To all of you that have the ability to chase your dream and are willing to sacrifice life, love, sleep and food to do so, Godspeed. I wish you all the luck in the world.

But like Jim Ross says to all aspiring professional wrestlers, make sure to have a backup plan because it likely won't work out.

Not every professional wrestler becomes Hulk Hogan. Not every basketball player becomes Michael Jordan. Not every baseball player becomes Babe Ruth. Not every game journalist becomes Jim Sterling and you can bet sure as the sun will come up tomorrow that not every YouTube personality becomes PewDiePie.

RANT OVER.

20 Things to Avoid to be a Conscientious Driver Parts 7 & 8

I apologize for the lack of this series last week, I have recently started a new job, and it has monopolized my time pretty thoroughly.  However, I didn't get any complaints, so we mush forward with the series!  Here is part 7 and 8, two very important points. 7. Tailgating.

There is a huge difference between showing the person in front of you that they are going too slow, and being intentionally dangerous. The safe distance between you and the next car ahead is 5 seconds. Though, with how very frequently this isn't followed, I get the feeling that no one has any idea how to actually measure that, or what it means. Being 5 seconds behind a person means you are far enough back that the time it takes for an object at rest to go from the rear bumper of the car ahead to the front bumper of your car is 5 whole seconds. Try that next time you are on the road. You will be shocked at how far away that actually is. It measures out to be more than three car lengths distance at freeway speeds (60MPH is roughly 35ft). The exact amount of time varies from state to state as far as law goes, however as far as the combination of physics and reaction times of people, never ever go any shorter than 5 seconds.

8. Cell phones and driving.

Well, here's a hotly debated topic. Cell phones, and their usage during the operation of a vehicle. Did you know that only roughly 1% of the entire population of the planet can successfully multi task while operating a vehicle. Those are the same extremely few types of people that become fighter pilots. Not every person is born with the mental acuity it takes to be that many places at once, hell, barely any at all. It's not something you learn to do without very severe structured training and discipline. So, do not ever try to convince me that you can do it safely because it is far more statistically probable that you are full of both yourself and shit, than actually capable. Even I won't claim to be that good, nor will I deny ever having broken this particular law.

This does not extend just to physically holding your phone, or looking at your screen. Hands free options are just as distracting as not. It is scientifically proven that having a conversation with someone who is not physically in the car with you is just as distracting no matter how you happen to be talking to them. The person cannot sense the subtle nuance of when to shut the fuck up and let you focus because they aren't there to see it. You ever wonder why on buses you aren't supposed to talk to the driver? It's not just because they hate you, it's also because they won't lose their focus because you won't stop yammering.

Simple solution. Do not using your cell phone while operating a vehicle. Ever. No excuses. If it's an emergency, pull the-heavenly-powerful-amount-of-fuck over.