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Nerdy Things Thursday: First-Person Shooters

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Welcome to another Nerdy Things Thursday here on The Nerd’s Wife. Last week, I asked for suggestions from my Facebook friends for topics to cover in this little column ‘o mine. Boy did we get some good ones!

This week, we’re going to talk about something that my friend Sommer suggested: Video Games. Now, I’m going to break this up into a two-part series. Because here in our household, video games are what it’s all about.

So, this week we’re going to talk about First-Person Shooter videogames. Next week, we’ll cover RPGs (no, not rocket-propelled grenades, but Role Playing Games).

I’m only going to talk about those two categories for now, because those are what The Nerd likes to play. And this blog is about him (us!).

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First-Person Shooter games utilize a unique perspective for the player — YOU hold the gun, YOU control the turns. The screen looks just like if you were standing in the warehouse, shooting bad guys yourself.

Usually, you can see the character’s hands, holding a gun or other weapon. This allows you to position the weapon for your character and to change weapons according to the situation.

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First-Person Shooters are usually war games, but they don’t have to be. One game that The Nerd *loved* was BioShock — a game set in an alternate timeline of 1960. You play a plane crash survivor who has to explore an underwater city.

You inject yourself with different steroid-like substances that give you powers — like the ability to shoot lightening from your hands! And yes, you see the needle actually injected into the arm. It’s really gross and disturbing.

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There are two reason Nerds like to play video games. The first is to get a sense of personal achievement by overcoming obstacles and beating objectives in the games. The second is to immerse themselves in the world that is created by the video game.

First-Person Shooters are all about the first reason. That’s the appeal. These games have, for the most part, an over-arching storyline and objective for the player to accomplish.

But it’s more than that — you can collect feathers, go on small missions, rescue civilians and increase your standing in XBox Live. Each of these tasks gives the Nerd a little sense of accomplishment.

He feels like the 60 hours he’s invested in this game was totally worth it because he found each and every one of those feathers. I feel like throwing up thinking that he invested 60 hours of his life looking for feathers. But that’s neither here nor there.

And it doesn’t hurt that you usually get to blow stuff up and shoot people in the head.

Here are some popular First-Person Shooter titles:

Check back next week to learn all about Role Playing Games!

Is there anything you’d like to see covered in Nerdy Things Thursday? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear your suggestions!

Until next time, live long and prosper!

Nerdy Things Thursday: Firefly

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The Nerd and I had just started dating when he decided to take me to Best Buy in search of a new television. He had worked all summer as an intern and had a significant nest egg, which he decided to blow on a big screen TV.
But I digress.
As we were walking down the aisle of Television Series DVDs, he suddenly stopped. And I wondered what he was doing. (The Nerd doesn’t usually deviate from his intended purchase once we enter the store — he goes right for it and then we leave. No browsing allowed.)
His hand reached out and lovingly caressed a DVD on the shelf: Firefly. He then grabbed a whole stack of them and started putting each copy in front of the other DVDs on display. There were only a few copies, so it didn’t take long.
“There,” he said. “Now people will see the Most Awesome Show ever.”
And he is right — Firefly *is* the most awesome show ever.
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It premiered in 2002 on Fox, and only lasted one season, to the chagrin of Nerds around the world. The show takes place, you guessed it, in a faraway galaxy. It chronicles the adventures of the crew of a Firefly-class cargo ship named “Serenity.”
The planets of this universe, though populated by spaceships and laser-gun-carrying agents of the law, are mostly frontier and people still ride horses and shoot with guns you might see in a John Wayne movie.
This juxtaposition of the American Wild West and futuristic technology is extremely interesting and unique.
I think the theme song sums it up:
Take my love, 
Take my land, 
Take me where I cannot stand.

I don’t care,
I’m still free,
You can’t take the sky from me. 

There’s no place
I can be
Since I found Serenity.

You can’t take the sky from me.
And the characters are *real.*
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Captain Malcolm Reynolds (who I secretly pine for) leads the crew. There’s Zoe, his right-hand warrior woman; Wash, the pilot who serves and the show’s comic relief and Zoe’s husband; Jayne, the hired gun; Sheperd Book, a preacher who seems to have more to his past; Kaylee (yes, she’s the namesake for our pup!), the ship’s engineer who keeps the ol’ gal runnin'; Inara, a “Companion” who tags along for the ride; Simon, a doctor trying to rescue his sister from the Alliance; and River, Simon’s psycic sister who is a super-genius.
No, our puppy isn’t the only family member named after a Firefly character. You remember River, my niece
Seriously, if you haven’t seen this show, please go out and get it (or put it in your Netflix cue). I’m sure the DVD set now only costs about $20. It’s well worth it.
Here are some of my favorite Firefly quotes. Can you name the character(s)?
If you take sexual advantage of her, you’re going to burn in a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater.”

“And what does that make us?” “Big damn heroes, sir!” 

“My food is problematic.”

“Mercy is the mark of a great man.” (stab) 
“Guess I’m just a good man.” (stab) 
“Well, I’m alright.”


On a final note, I’d like to thank all of you who commented on my Facebook status with suggestions for Nerdy Things Thursday topics. I took them all to heart and I promise to cover each of them in due time. If you have anything you’d like to see covered in Nerdy Things Thursday, just leave a comment and let me know.

Thanks for looking!

Nerdy Things Thursday: BSG

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Welcome to the inaugural edition on Nerdy Things Thursday, a weekly (I hope) adventure in all things nerdy.
Every Thursday, I’m going to try to explain (and try to come to terms with) some of the nerdy aspects of my life to you “normal people.”
Bear with me as I flounder through my explanations. The Nerd has already pointed out an error in this post because I initially wrote Colonel Pike instead of Captain Pike (although he was a colonel by the end of the movie, so I think it still counts). I have since corrected the error because if I didn’t, I’d never hear the end of it.
Anyway, this is my disclaimer telling you that all of the things you’ll read regarding this nerdy stuff in Nerdy Things Thursday are just my observation as an outsider being exposed to them and are *not* necessarily The Word of God. There. I hope that makes all of you nit-picky nerds happy.
In this edition, we’ll explore the television show Battlestar Galactica, hereforth referred to as BSG.
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The show first aired in 1978 but was recreated in 2004 with a new, more gritty look and it is this later edition of the franchise that we will talk about.
Battlestar Galactica takes place in a distance universe where humans live in the Twelve Colonies. Once upon a time, they built Cylon robots who became too smart for their own good and a war ensued between the humans and the machines (sound familiar?). The Cylons disappeared for many years, leading the humans to think that the war was long over.
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This is a Cylon.

But a sudden attack on humanity nearly wipes out the race, save for a few thousand souls and only one (so you think) warship known as the Battlestar Galactica. The show chronicles the journey of these survivors to find a safe place in the galaxy as they run from the Cylon arm. Little do they know that some Cylon models appear human and there are enemies amongst their own.
It’s actually a very good show and I enjoy watching it. But don’t tell The Nerd that.
My first exposure to BSG was shortly after The Nerd and I started dating.
When we first started dating, two things were explained to me in no uncertain terms: First, that James plays video games. We’ll talk about the ramifications of that statement at a later date. Let me just say that when a Nerd tells you that he “plays” video games, he does not mean that he occasionally picks up a controller for an hour or two.
The second Nerd Law was that under no circumstances would we *ever* go out from the hours of 8 to 10 p.m. on a Friday night. Never. Ever. Those two hours are what I like to call the Friday Night Nerdgasm.
Back in 2006, the Friday Night Nerdgasm consisted of Stargate: SG1 and Battlestar Galactica. Today, it’s Stargate: Universe and Sactuary.
(I still maintain that the reason that SciFi — I refuse to call it SyFy — chooses to air the most popular nerdy shows at primetime Friday night is because they know that nerds would rather have an imaginary date with Katee Sackhoff than with a real girl. See this video for evidence.)
I know what you’re thinking — she’s crazy to have agreed to those terms. Yes, yes I was.
I chose Battlestar Galactica for this edition because it has been a huge part of my life the last two weeks, since I bought The Nerd the complete series on Blu-ray for Christmas. Big mistake. That’s all we’ve watched since Christmas. I’m having dreams of Cylon Agents bursting through the front door.

Well, there you have it. If you’ve ever wondered why your man asks for a Cylon Toaster or mutters Starbuck in the middle of the night, you have your answer.

Live long and prosper!

A Magic-al Weekend

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This weekend, The Nerd and I drove south to Houston to visit some friends. About a year ago, these friends had introduced us to a wonderful (and addicting!!) trading card game called Magic: The Gathering.
We’ll talk about the specifics of the games later in the week during Nerdy Things Thursday. For now, let’s just say that it’s FUN!
Oh, and the cards are pretty. That’s all that really matters.
A new set of cards was released this weekend, and we all got together for a booster draft!
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We purchased a booster box to split between us — that’s 36 booster packs, each containing 15 cards.
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That’s a lot of cards.
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There’s nothing better than opening a fresh pack of Magic cards:
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The Nerd likes to tease me by not letting me see the cards he got…
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He’s a mean, mean man.
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And then, he let me see the rare from the pack:
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April is a much better model.
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She likes pretty cards, too.
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She’s my compadre in many of our Nerdy activities.
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Once all the cards were open, the draft ensued! Eric won. 
Then everybody else. 
I was last. 
I suck.
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Eric is the thinker of the group.
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April always has a cool combo up her sleeve.
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And then there’s me. Blinded by pretty cards. 
(And wearing my Pioneer Woman shirt!)

Not Me Monday

It’s that time again…
Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.
As for me, things have been pretty hectic the last week or so.
Things have been so busy, in fact, that I totally did *not* forget to post another Nerdy Things Thursday post last week. Not me.
Two weeks in a row that I’ve missed.
So much for my schedule.
The Nerd and I headed out of town for the weekend, which you’ll get to read all about in tomorrow’s post. I totally did *not* persuade my husband to purchase 8 additional Magic booster packs, just so I could get a pretty box. Not me. 
And I totally did *not* drink a Dr Pepper on our way home yesterday, cheating on my resolution to only drink water. I have *not* cheated several times. Not me.
And finally, I am totally *not* about to leave you hanging with a photo preview of tomorrow’s post. Not me.
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Happy Monday!


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