Tag Archives: nerd

Warhammer, or: how I failed to be THAT kind of nerd

I’ve been playing Space Marine as I’m reviewing that badboy, and it’s had me thinking about how I failed to truly nail the nerdgasm that is Warhammer, Games Workshop and all that shit as a child.

See, I played Space Hulk on the Amiga and it made me happy. Why wouldn’t it? Giant armoured men shooting and punching Aliens rip-off Genestealers in the future, all sci-fi’d up the joint. Marvellous. I wanted in. It was based on a board game, for which I asked and – for a Christmas present – received.

That was where it all went wrong, really. While the tiny, paintable figures were cool as shit (and if you argue otherwise, you are a moron or a girl), I did not have the artistic inclination to make them look anything other than ‘slathered in yellow’, ‘doused in green’ or ‘saturated with red’. So that aspect – the obsessive, detailed painting – was out.

But that’s not the most important part – no, the most important part is the game, yeah? Yeah, apparently. But the fucking rules. Jesus. I mean, I still remember them because I studied them quite hard to try and figure out how to play the thing, but I always resorted to just rolling dice for moves and going “PEOW PEWO DUKKA DUKKA DUKKA” for combat, rather than spending Command Points (I think it cost one to turn 90 degrees). Eff that ess, as my tiny child’s brain said.

Thing is, my most favouritest videogame, UFO: Enemy Unknown, works on this exact movement points-based principle. Obviously I need animation and sound and mouse clicks to make me give a shit. Hmm.

Anyway, yeah, I also played ‘proper’ Warhammer 40k once, and it shocked me even more. It was a case of measuring movement – you were allowed to go five inches forwards, or something. It was honestly quite baffling at the time.

I also failed at enjoying any visit to Games Workshop ever, as I just didn’t fit in with this brand of nerd. Also the people who worked there (the one in Meadowhall, near the big Boots, next to the exit) were damn rude.

So I am sorry, nerdlingers. I never got into that whole thing, try as I might. I’m still one of you though – just in a different way. And if you have any tiny, (well-)painted men you want to donate my way I’d be happy to stand them next to my other stupid toys I have at work.

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In appreciation of: USB memory sticks

Sometimes, still, even in Space Year 2011, I get a disparaging remark or a funny look when I reveal I always carry a USB memory stick on my keys. Some people seem to still think this fact means they can laugh derisively in my direction, or that they can mock me for my geekish, technophile tendencies. They think this, when in actual fact they are just big fat shitty Luddites and are, in fact fact, massive bellends who need to go away and die.

I’m protective of my USB memory stick’s honour, you see.

But it was worse many years ago – back when some friends carried floppy discs around in their bags at all times. I was one of the earlier adopters among chums, picking up a whopping 256MB stick that could be used to transport around important university documentation. Like lists of the pubs we were going to, and stuff like that.

I remember back then being embarrassed about having it – not exactly showing it off unless it was the right company (right = male, nerd). Even though it made perfect sense to have one.

Over the years the storage size has grown and the mild embarrassment has faded into just expectation. Why wouldn’t I carry one? It houses templates for work, a couple of “DEFINITELY LEGALLY” acquired movies and a few other bits and bobs that can – and have – come in handy in a tight, computer-based situation.

But the best thing about USB memory sticks, apart from the fact I deem them worthy of writing a whole blog about, is that without them a man wouldn’t have come into CEX while I was working and proudly boast to a bewildered woman next to him that the USB stick he was wearing around his neck “holds two five six em bee”.

“What does that mean?” She asked.

“Well, it’s like, better em bees, innit. You can get jigger lo bytes too.”

I laughed, she laughed, he laughed because he was too dim to do anything else, fun was had by all. A great day.

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FREE LCD TV! (not really, but something boring about shopping instead!)

Shocked you may be to learn this, but I am not what you would call ‘a shopper’. I don’t just not shop for things until I really have to, I actually let stuff like clothing fall to pieces before I will replace it. Some would say this is thrify, but they are idiots. I do this because I despise shopping. I never browse. I never want to aimlessly walk around for hours on end, comparing tops and going “I want it, I can afford it and it will work out as a sound – and fashionable – investment. BUT OHMYGOD SHOULD I BUY IT I DON’T THINK I WILL OHMYGOD” thirty two times in the space of four minutes.

Transport me to the world of online shopping though, and things are a little bit different. Make that online shopping for electronics and technology and you’ve got yourself some bona-fide nerd levels of interest going on. Case in point: I spent two hours this morning doing nothing but traipsing through reviews and prices for televisions, just because I may, as some point in the next month or two, be able to pick one up for cheap.

It’s not even a certainty, yet I’ve spent hours of my day doing pretty much nothing – even less than when I’m playing games or watching TV or films – because I’ve… sigh… enjoyed it. I’m not hugely technically-minded, but I know what the numbers and acronyms stand for. I can see why it might confuse people, but not me. And as a result, I want to read about the difference in performance between a 10m HDMI lead and its gold-plated equivalent. I want to know how the TV can be hung up on the wall. And I do care that the contrast ratio is less than I expected it to be.

So yeah. Turns out I do like shopping. Damn.

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