Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Geek Syllabus and Test

http://www.cbs.com/video/?showname=classics/star_trek&showtype=classics#video

For reasons unknown to me, one of our younger kids at work, a punk rock sort of kid, who finds my permanently raised geek flag both sad and amusing, is curious about the weekly game night hosted at our house. Not in playing, really - but observing what a geek does with his or her spare time. I told her today that she can only visit the stately Wickett manor after certain criteria have been met. To infiltrate our geek ranks, she must become like us.

Indoctrinating someone of the "Hot Topic" generation is a daunting challenge, to be sure - but I look at it this way: either I convert her to geekdom, or I torture her with hours of Star Trek and D&D. Either way, I will have achieved something.

Keep in mind this is only a rough draft of my plans. Please leave comments and suggestions so we can turn this kid to the good side of the Force.

* * * * *

Syllabus:

* Read The Hobbit.

* Watch 5 original Star Trek episodes (Space Seed mandatory), then watch Star Trek 2, 3, 4, and 6 (1 and 5 optional).

* Watch any two Mystery Science Theater 3,000 episodes.

* Watch all three Evil Dead films.

* Watch the original Star Wars trilogy (prequel trilogy optional).

* Watch Blazzing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, History of the World: Part I, and Spaceballs.

* Read 4th Edition Player's Handbook for Dungeons and Dragons, then create a character unaided.

* Watch Alien and Blade Runner for Ridley Scott. Aliens and Terminator 2 for James Cameron.

* * * *

Geek Test:

1) According to Gandalf the Grey, wizards are:

a) subtle
b) usually pantless
c) quick to anger
d) a and b
e) a and c

2) Name the three standard lightsaber colors. (Bonus question: What color is Mace Windu's lightsaber?)

3) Who - or what - are more than meets the eye?

4) Name the nine "classic" D&D alignments.

5) Fill in the blank: "He's dead, _______."

6) What is the life span of the Nexus 6 android?

7) Do Tauntauns smell better on the outside or the inside?

8) What kind of scenario is the Kobayashi Maru? Who is the only person to beat it? How did he or she accomplish this?

9) At what speed does one successfully "go to plaid"?

10) In a hundred words or less, please explain who is the better starship captain: Kirk or Picard?

* * * *

Send me your thoughts, people.

5 comments:

Martin M said...

Very nice list. Very 80's-heavy, though. If she's really ten years younger, then you should throw in some 90's lore, like mandatory watching of seasons 2, 3, and 4, of Babylon 5. Or asking "Where is the truth located?" How many floppy disks does windows 95 fit on?

In any case, an alternate strategy may be to simply point out that anyone who is a punk rocker in the 21st century is really just an elaborate historical fantasy cos-player trying to relive the glory days of their parents (or grandparents), and hope that the wave of realization transforms them to geekdom in one fell swoop.

The Wick said...

"In any case, an alternate strategy may be to simply point out that anyone who is a punk rocker in the 21st century is really just an elaborate historical fantasy cos-player trying to relive the glory days of their parents (or grandparents), and hope that the wave of realization transforms them to geekdom in one fell swoop."

Martin, have I told you lately that I love you?

The Wick said...

I'm working on the 80's heavy. I criticized my partner in crime in this endeavor because she was pulling too much from her own geek fetishes, and what we needed was more of a "geek 101." I pulled a little too much from my own geek fetishes, possibly. But, in my defense, I left out Tron - which, to me, was a big sacrifice.

But the problem is that the 90's sucked for sci-fi/fantasy, compared to the 80's and this decade - unless you were a hardcore fan of shows like Buffy, DS9, and Babylon 5, which all required you to tune in every week to keep up with the story. I'm going for minimal time investment with the broadest results, like The Hobbit over the Lord of the Rings, original Trek over the continuity rich successors, etc...

arcion said...

To me you left out Kevin Smith movies...but I don't know if they qualify for true geekdom, they are for me. Also Labyrinth and Dark Chrystal, but maybe those are keeping with the 80's theme. More modern maybe with SG1 and BSG. Also might throw a little "Lost" or "Heros" but only season 1 of "Heros."

1) Name 3 instances where it is mandatory to use the phrase "indeed"

2) Fill in the blanks. "Save the _____ save the ______"

The Wick said...

It's funny that you mention Kevin Smith, since I was just thinking that the original "View Askew" trilogy should be added to list, after watching or, hopefully, re-watching the holy trilogy.

Also, thinking of Kevin Smith led me to realize that we were completely without any comic books on that list. Probably need to start with a self-contained story, like Watchmen or The Dark Knight Returns.

Like the Lost or Heroes idea. I was trying to avoid too much continuity - but those shows are very often TV crack cocaine to both geek and non-geek alike.

Going to have to go with Lost. It's less traditional sci-fi than Heroes - plus, J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot peeps are making the new Star Trek movie. Lost could be the gateway drug to Trek and a much larger universe of geek.