Wait, geeks have fun? The geeky idea of fun is so far from the rest of the world’s pleasures, that normal people would raise an eyebrow when the words geek and fun are in one sentence. In the remote past, geeks were freak show performers in carnivals (think eating live chickens for a living). Thankfully, history and language has become a bit kinder to our geeky brothers and sisters. While the term still has negative connotations (like being inept and foolish), it’s also levelled up to something with more positive implications. Today, geeks are considered – permit me to use the euphemism — “enthusiasts”. They’re generally considered smart, but with a specialized knowledge on nonconventional interests like anime, comics, technology, or science fiction. They’re the people who let their babies don Plutonium Creepers, discuss the benefits of Asterisk opposed to hosted virtual PBX, and elucidate how the atomic structure of graphene makes bendable smartphones possible. Used self-referentially, the term can now even be a source of pride. I like how Ask Yahoo explains it, these are the people you make fun of in high school and later work for as an adult.
If you can identify with the definition above, then chances are, you’re a geek. It’s hard to bore a geek, because they’re just so enamored with their current interests. Even if geeks since the 60’s have exhausted all possible Star Trek topics (the conversation has now reached the pinnacle, folks – Star Trek uniform socks and President Obama nearly losing his Star Trek card are the latest), geeks will be able to come up with new and viral content. That’s how smart and obsessed geeks are. Still, the hype in current geeky undertakings is hard to resist even if you’re already fixated on a different interest. Here are some fun activities you or your geek friends might want to check out:
Mix art, technical ability, and a penchant for astrology and one of the products will be astrophotography. As the name denotes, Astrophotography is a special type of photography dedicated to taking pictures of astronomical objects and large areas of the night sky. Astrophotography has been around since the first photo of the moon was taken in 1840, but current advancements in technology have made it much easier for enthusiasts to take more detailed photos. Astrophotography is a huge and difficult topic. Says web designer and photographer Forrest Tanaka, it will take a lifetime to perfect the technique. You’d need to think about the telescope, camera, lens, trackers, and other equipment you’d have to use. Of course, you’d also have to practice with focal length, shutter speed, and ISO, so you can minimize star trails or make the objects more visible. Sounds like something geeks would love, right? Here are some high resolution photos of space on YouTube:
Like astrophotography, stop motion animation has been around for years but has become increasingly popular because of new technology. Stop motion animation is a series of still pictures taken with a camera and streamed together very fast to create a movie. Brickfilming is stop motion animation but with the use of Lego blocks or a similar construction. How geeky is that? Aside from stop motion animation, you can also use traditional animation or CGI techniques to make a brickfilm. Storylines can be inspired by comics, movies, and other random topics. The hobby has become so popular that there are even brickfilming festivals you can attend. Or you can simply do a YouTube search to get your daily fix of brickfilms. Check out this Doctor Who Spin-off by a repellingspider to see a sample of brickfilm:
What’s cooler than role-playing games? LIVE ACTION role playing games (LARPing)! As a Ragnarok fan, it has been my not-so secret desire to turn into a Priestess or at least a cute Poring. Imagine the happiness when I discovered the LARPing community. It’s not as expensive as astrophotography; just pick a character and get into gear. You can be as resourceful as you want in your costume, so you don’t spend as much. Afterwards, you can create quests, exchange items, go into a forest for a swordfight, and more with a local LARPing community. Sure beats just clicking a mouse and typing on a keyboard, don’t you think?
What other geeky interests can you share with fellow geeks? Sound off in the comments!