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Geek Proud, GeekOut.

Posts tagged “Books

Dungeon Situational – Books and Their Secrets

Books, rich tomes of lore and knowledge, and in a world of magic, power, monsters, worse, and better, knowledge can reveal so much about the world that you can use to twist and bend to your advantage. Eldritch secrets, long forgotten treasures, and far darker mysteries abound to those with the patience to settle down and get some reading done.

As per usual, Dungeon Situational uses Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition rules but should be readily modified. It’s all just ideas to get you thinking about how to stock your own fantasy library.

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Top 10 Films That Were Better Than The Books

GeekOut Top 10s

Last week, we looked at Films That Were Better As Books. Those were films where the original source material was better than the films that was produced. In today’s Top 10, we’re flipping that on its head – Looking at the times when the films were better than the books. A lot of people say you can’t beat a good novel, but we beg to differ, as we check out our Top 10 Films That Were Better Than The Books.

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The One Liner Challenge

The One Liner Challenge is a blog challenge set up by The Awkward Book Blogger, which actually is a little bit different. Instead of answering questions about yourselves, as a blogger, you try to make one-liners, either funny or as a summary of at least five books, manga, anime or games. I’m not huge on these blog games, but considering the types of articles we write here at GeekOut South-West, I thought it was a rather good idea. So for once, I’m taking part in a blogger challenge – and this is going to be a lot of fun.

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Top 10 – Films That Were Better As Books

GeekOut Top 10s

If I were to tell you that films aren’t always a completely unique script, you’d not be surprised. Book-to-film is quite common these days, where we see plenty of movies being made from literature that should have just stayed that way. Hey, sometimes the movies are actually alright, but we just have to accept the original prose was just better. So, as subjective as this list will be, these are our Top 10 Films That Were Better As Books.

As a warning for this list, when we say books, we are not discounting Graphic Novels, including Manga. You have been warned. (more…)


GeekOut Bristol Meet: January 12th: HERO ACADEMY

18+ Event

The world is ravaged by evil-doers and the greed of man. There are countless people out there, trying to undo countless years of civilisation, breaking apart our very nations.

But, with the right guidance and help, you can help us. You can save us from ourselves. You can come along… and GeekOut in our Hero Academy!

Stand tall, friends, you and I are in for a bumpy ride, as we’re going to be looking to stop the evil-doers of the world. We’ll be taking you back to school, learning the very basics of your powers and abilities. We will show no fear and we will take back control of our cities!


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FOODIE PRE-MEET Times Pending (Poll Pending):
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… Many peoples wallets regretted it.

That’s right, we at GeekOut South-West believe in having a good nomming session before we start the night off of fun, games, drinks and great company!

The poll is up until Wednesday 10th, so please be sure to make your vote if you’re coming along to this month’s pre-meetup event! With a new comer on the list in Casa Brazil, be sure to put your vote on our poll.

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MAIN EVENT: 14:00-Midnight (Old Market Tavern)
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If you’ve seen the phenomenal anime My Hero Academia, this meet will be for you.
Love the X-Men? Great! This meetup is equally for you.
If you are a fan of Marvel, DC, or any other superhero stories, this meet will also be for you.

If you aren’t a superhero fan, then hey, this meet will still be a GeekOut Bristol Meet, filled to the brim with games galore and plenty of things to do and see. So as ever, come along for a fun evening!

PLEASE NOTE:

Food & drink can NOT be brought in with you to the Old Market Tavern. If you are caught with food and drink on the premises, you will be asked to leave until you’ve disposed of your food or drink.

There will be a food menu at Old Market Tavern in the evening! The food is very cheap and it’s absolutely delicious! Trust me, I’ve eaten there enough times… But regulars of the event are also fans of the food there! The food is home made as well, so it’s simply scrummy! Food is usually available from 6pm.

Final note: If you are asked for ID by the bar staff, we will not vouch for your age – You must provide ID.

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BOARD GAMES (& a dash of video games)
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As always, we’ll have a large selection of board games available, so please do check out what we have:

– Bears vs Babies
– Bucket of Doom
– Cards Against Humanity (UK Edition + Expansions 1, 2 and 3)
– Cash n Guns
– Chess
– Code of Nine
– Exploding Kittens*
– Fluxx
– Goat Lords
– Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit
– Jungle Speed
– Love Letter
– Pokemon Monopoly
– Rogues to Riches
– Scrabble
– Star Trek Settlers of Catan
– Star Wars Guess Who
– Three Wishes
– Unusual Suspects
– Zombie Munchkin
– Zombies!

AND MANY MORE!

We won’t be bringing every game listed above with us: If there’s a specific game you want to see, please let me know in the comments below, before I finish making a real system for this game request feature.

Also, bring along your devices – Quiplash, Drawful 2 and JackBox Party Pack 3 are played throughout the day. These are games where you connect with your smartphones or tablets (Or anything that can connect to a browser really). We also sometimes play other games, such as Worms and people with 3DSes can pick up StreetPasses and of course play games with other 3DS players. Also, people can play Mount Your Friends and other video games. We’ll try to bring the Raspberry Pi as well, which has some arcade games.

We will try to get a new game for this meetup as well.

*Please note, as of right now, Exploding Kittens appears to be missing. We’ll try to locate it, but it may have gone walkabout. As such, if we genuinely cannot find it anywhere, then we’ll get a new copy of it at some point.

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BOOK & COMIC SWAP
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We felt that we really needed to revamp our Book/Comic Swap system. As such, starting from this meetup, we will not be bringing all of the books and comics with us; but rather a sample of 10 books/comics. As such, we will be opening a spreadsheet from February 2018, listing all of the books/comics we own. If you wish to see a specific one, please let us know before the day via the spreadsheet. It’ll be included in all future Meetup descriptions!

PLEASE NOTE:

Books/Comics you saw last month might not be present this month, unless you have a specific request for book/comics. You may take a book/comic home, free of charge. You may leave a book/comic with us to put into our list as well.

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COSPLAYERS (Group Cosplay Picture: 9pm)
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PLUS ULTRA!

Coming in costume? Fantastic! If you’ve come up with your own My Hero Academia inspired costume; or if you want to be a member of the X-Men; or perhaps you just want to be your very own superperson – at 9pm, just after the competition, we will be getting a group shot of all of our heroes!

*CHANGING FACILITIES* If you want to change into a costume when here, please note there are no changing facilities. There are just standard toilet cubicles – Which are fine to change in, but you might want to consider this first.

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SOCIALISING
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We’re one of the geekiest events in the South-West. We get people together to play board games and video games, share a pint and discuss what they enjoy in geekdom. Books, comics, music – Anything that you’re passionate about, you’ll be sure to meet fellow geeks who are into the same thing as you!

We do not discriminate – But if you ever find you have a problem with anything at the event, just let the host (Timlah) know and he’ll sort it out!

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COMPETITION: Heroes Academy (8pm-9pm)
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Everyone loves a good competition and this month will be no different.

For the heroes amongst us, this competition will not be for the feint of heart. We’ll be doing a heroes academic test for only the most heroic among us. We’ll be putting to test your knowledge of what it means to be a hero. But, before you can do that, you must create your very own hero persona. As such, this is a two-part competition, which we’ll run at throughout the day, with it wrapping up by no later than 8:30pm.

When you join us, you’ll receive a Hero Profile Sheet, allowing you to create your very own superhero. Once created, come speak to Timlah and have a couple of minutes to spare. You must use this superhero to overcome a series of ‘practical’ tests. If you manage to get to the end, we’ll then score your results and compare them to others.

1st Prize: My Hero Academia Volumes 1-3, £25 cash and a GeekOut Poster of your choice.
2nd Prize: Logan Pop! Vinyl, £15 cash and a GeekOut Poster of your choice.
3rd Prize: Sky High DVD, £10 cash and a GeekOut Poster of your choice.

Note: Occasionally, there may be even more on the day!

*Please note, when I say practical, you will not be actually doing any physical heroics. Sorry about that.


There is so much to do and see at this months GeekOut Bristol Meet, so please do come along, bring a friend or a member of your family and come for a geeky night out.

As part of our commitment to being a great night out, we do not discriminate based upon age, gender, race, religion or sexuality. If at any point you feel you need to speak to someone about another’s actions, please grab the host (Timlah) and we’ll sort it out!


Top 10 Shocking Deaths

When you’re engrossed in a work of fiction, nothing is certain. From what direction the antagonists are going to take the story, to the sudden, tragic loss of a major character that you’re deeply invested in. Many of us have watched series, played games, or read books where a character is taken away from us just far too soon. We’re here to share with all of you our Top 10 Shocking Deaths in all forms of media.

GeekOut Top 10s (more…)


Top 10 Collectables

GeekOut Top 10s

This time, we’re gathering up every thought we could think of, to create a collection of… Well, collectables. Because of just how broad the collectables collective truly is, we decided to limit these collectables, based on two major criteria. A collectable to be considered for this list needs to either be:

  • A vast range of different things to get.
  • Something you get lots of to get something special in return.

As such, we’re not going to accept really vague collectables, or objects that are put in game with no big reward. We considered just about everything we could think of, from video games, physical mediums, literature, tv series, films – You named it, we’ve thought about it. These are the Top 10 Collectables within geekdom, but this is such a broad subject, get your typing fingers ready, as you’ll likely know of one we totally forgot! (more…)


Top 10 – Schools and Colleges

GeekOut Top 10s

Let us educate all of you here, a school or a college is an institution that has an educational curriculum. Now that I’ve said that, you might have realised that this discounts a lot of things that purport to be a school in any media. The issue with media is we see a lot of stuff, but we rarely see education happening, because it’s not exciting to watch, read or play.

However, we’ve gone back to think about what some of the best schools and colleges in the whole of geekdom are. We think we’ve come up with some pretty good ones. Let’s see if you are going to be a teachers pet after this lot, or if you’re just a poor student.


Top 10

10) Camp Half-Blood – Percy Jackson and the Olympians

percy-jackson-1

Everyone has heard of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, but if not, it’s a good way to learn more about mythology. Amusingly, Percy Jackson himself has been expelled from every school he’s gone to, so it’s not like you’re without schools in this series – But the most prominent one, at least the one that takes him in, is Camp Half-Blood. Known as the only safe place for Half-Bloods, Percy’s mother is told that she needs to send him there and that’s basically where he continues his education.

This is our number 10 pick simply because there’s not much in the way of “schooling” in this series. Yes, the camp technically counts as an educational institution, as there is technically a curriculum in place. With this said, it doesn’t mean it’s the best pick – but it’s certainly what we’d count as a school using our own terms. What do you all think though?

9) House of Night

marked

House of Night is a series of books written by P. C. Cast and her daughter, Kristin Cast. It’s been out for over 9 years so far, but not a lot of people have really heard of this series or know much about it. It just so happens, we have the whole set here, which I intend to have a go through at some point. The most important thing to note about House of Night is that it’s all set in the House of Night Campus, a school for…

Vampyres. Yeah, I know, there seems to be a typo on the word vampire, but the whole series revolves around a girl called Zoey Redbird and her adventures as one of those who have been marked. Being marked in this series means you’re basically a chosen one for the vampyre goddess. This series is full of blood (obviously), sex and rather graphic descriptions of what’s going on. Oh, did I mention that this series also did manage to get a #1 best seller as well, back in 2009? So it can’t be that unknown, right?

8) Battle School – Ender’s Game

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The only orbital school in our list, this space-station was designed to teach strategy in zero gravity, to identify a true leader, someone who could truly win a war on a galactic scale with vast gulfs between worlds as their battlefield. Through team games to shockingly (almost alarmingly) accurate simulations, the brilliant are whittled down to the exceptional, and from the exceptional are drawn the almost unnatural, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin.

Set in a future in which humanity was brought to the brink of extermination twice by a race of alien insects, the response is nothing short of utter obliteration from the human military force, but after surviving the impossible before only the impossible would do in retaliation. As such, Battle School is made to find the very best of the very best. While a better job could have been done in presenting the novel’s themes on screen, a fine job indeed was done of showing the educational space-station and the life and death lessons learned therein.

7) Highschool of the Dead

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If you enjoy The Walking Dead and only wish you could see a bunch of heavily armed school children who look like teens and young adults deal with the collapse of society in a world overrun by the shambling corpses of the dead then look no further. Highschool of the Dead features exactly such a band of survivors on their twelve episode and one OVA journey through a world infested with zombies, brought low by the corruption that dwells within all of us, and features absolutely no fan-service whatsover, none, it is not that kind of anime.

Alright so it’s Left for Dead meets Dead or Alive with a crate of military grade guns and a rather extensive bath-scene. Anime, can we not have a zombie apocalypse without you boobing things up? Still the kids make it though alive… ish, and it does make you wonder what Fujimi High School is teaching it’s students.

6) Unseen University – Discworld

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Sat amidst the economic trade hub Ankh-Morpork is the world’s premier arcane education and research facility. It holds the largest collection of books, enough to collapse normal space and enter into the strange sub-dimension lined with bookshelves connecting all libraries. The High Energy Magic Building is a gigantic centre for wyrd science, containing a self-upgrading computer named HEX. Even the rubbish dump around the back is a micro-economy called the Unreal Estate.

As a locale for most of the world’s magic it’s also a centre for a lot of major plot points, such as the rise of the Sorcerer, a spawning point for idle thought manifestation, and time travel! Oh and also the tallest building on the disk.  Wizards of UU are generally an amiable bunch, prone to between-meal meals and the odd bout of world-saving, so if you’re in a pinch that’s looking likely to get apocalyptic on some level, there’s a place in the city you can always rely on for help, eventually.

5) Third Street Elementary – Recess

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This is almost entirely a nostalgia entry for us, we may have to do an entire piece of Recess itself one day because just describing the school will never suffice.

We follow the stories of the allied band of misfits as the strange dynamics of the playground turn into epic dramas of monumental scale, the social hierarchy is exerted to the fullest extent, and games get all too real. King Bob sits atop his climbing-frame throne as a figurehead to the shadow-government of the Ashleys clique, savage kindergarteners and withdrawn Pale Kids, all under the tyrannical gaze of Ms Finster and her cringing pawn Randall.

It’s a dynamic world to cram into a twenty minute play-break, half hour lunch and the brief spaces before and after school, but Third Street Elementary shows us a world in which all of life’s trails and nuances are boiled down to simple play, and it’s done so rather brilliantly.

4) Whispering Rock – Psychonauts

psychonauts-lake

Busted down for not having much of a campus to speak of, absent of classrooms and main-halls, instead find a mess room, tree-house, boating lake and geodesic psychoisolation chamber. Normal summer-camp stuff. Still it’s a place of guided learning, with teachers who are experts in their field leading a class of students through a series of important lessons for aspiring psychonauts.

Lessons include mental infiltration, telekinetic levitation, in-brain combat, conspiracy unravelling, and psychoactive healthcare and un-lobotomising the lobotomised. No lanyard making or canoeing lessons, no sir. Even fishing is a little “different” but when you’re in the preliminary stages of joining an organisation of telepathic secret agents you cannot expect a typical summer camp experience.

3) Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma

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Shokugeki no Soma is a culinary school which see’s the best chefs in Japan (and further afield) come together, in the name of excellence. From people who have been part of a long line of prestigious restaurant chains, to women who can certainly handle meat better than anyone could imagine, Shokugeki no Soma is an exciting look at making food. I’ve not been this excited to see people cook since the classic TV show Ready, Steady, Cook!

Our protagonist is Soma, who comes from a small cafe. The other students see Soma as uncouth, a little brash and all in all, not worthy of their school. Of course, Soma has to realise his own shortcomings as part of the show, but he’s all about providing nothing but the very best. Even if he didn’t want to go to the school himself. Oh and if you’ve not seen this show before, this is the anime that brought some of the rudest food related gifs to the internet. Like the one above!

2) Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters

we-begin-at-xaviers-school-for-gifted-youngsters-after-the-events-of-days-of-future-past-things-are-peaceful

Who studies on a campus with a stealth jet under the basketball court, a lethal semi-sapient training room, and a massive telepathic amplifier in the basement?

The school for gifted youngsters is incredibly selective in who it permits to join, indeed it might very well be the most discriminating learning institution in the world, as applicants require a specific genetic distinction that sets them apart from the average person. “Gifted” refers to superpowered mutants, the kind of kids who can turn their skins to metal, phase through walls, fire concussive light beams from their bodies, or teleport.

Mundanes need not apply! This is no mere place of learning but also a place of shelter and respite, the one campus that can earnestly be considered a safe space, practically a fortress for the heavily persecuted against mutant race.

1) Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Wizarding_World_of_Harry_Potter_Castle

Hogwarts is of course going to be our number one pick on Top 10 Schools/Colleges. Think about what the entire premise of Harry Potter is about – And to make it even better, this last Friday, our meetup theme was Harry Potter. So yes, we’re a little bit Harry Potter mad at the moment, but you can’t really expect anything below to have beaten the one and only school for Witchcraft and Wizardry, now can you?

From Argus Filch who is one of the sleaziest caretakers you’ll ever meet, to the grand headmaster Dumbledore, this school has it all. Teachers with agendas against kids who have wronged them and of course, the typical awkwardness of teenage dancing. Yes, Hogwarts truly has it all – and then some! From house elves to owls, parchments to howlers, this magical school was honestly an intriguing and entertaining world – and I’m really looking forward to Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.


Honourable Mentions

It’s not so elementary, my dear reader, as we’ve come to an end of the bulk of our Top 10 list. But as per usual, we feel the need to enlighten you all some more with extras. Things that we feel should be mentioned, but not necessarily worth going onto our list.

Sky High

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If any of you have seen this film, you’ll know it’s downright pure cheese and you’re questioning my sanity for even mentioning this film. The truth of the matter is, I’ve not even seen it, but from what I’ve seen of the story behind it and from what I’ve heard about it, I think it kind of deserves the mention. You see, this isn’t any ordinary school, it’s one that supports the education of super heroes.

Young Will Stronghold is the son of two of the most famous superheroes of all: The Commander and Jetstream. Will however doesn’t have any powers of his own, at least none that have yet awakened. We’re treated to a pure cheese fest where bully kids treat him like an outsider due to his lack of powers and a bunch of Will’s friends. It’s goofy, it’s basically gorgonzola, but it’s actually quite a clever play on the superhero niche.

Pico’s School

picos-school

Those of us who grew up with Flash games by the man who made Newgrounds, Tom Fulp, will be very familiar with this title. It was bloody, it was insane, it was outright despicable when it came out, but we all absolutely loved how devious it was. From threatening to cut off male genitalia, to kids shooting one another up, this was a downright bloodbath of a Flash game, before they became huge.

Sure, it certainly wouldn’t make it onto our Top 10 list, as it’s not quite got the edge, but this game was sick for something so accessible… And we loved it. Yes, it’s violent, yes, there was a real education system in there… But ultimately, it becomes nothing more than a glorified arena. It’s a real bloodbath, with unsettling themes. You can check it out for yourself here but be warned, it’s not for young audiences.


Ultimately the test in knowing if a school has been good is how memorable it is – and if there’s something the above has taught us, there’s little as memorable as some of the great schools we’ve mentioned in our Top 10. Of course, memorability is one thing, but being an educational institution is the most important criteria of being a school. Having a school which is entirely dependent on actually educating its students is kind of why we’ve picked the ones we have. So then, it’s time for you to pick our next Top 10!

Now kids, don’t forget to stay behind after class to give the teacher your coursework. This time, you get to grade the grown-ups, as we are passing the conversation back to you. What do you think of our Top 10 Schools/Colleges? Do you think we were right in our number one pick, or is some of register jumbled up? Are there any finer establishments you could think of than the ones above? As always, share your thoughts in the comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.

 


Flavour Text

“The Dream” for me is to write flavour text.

How many of us actually take the time to sit and read a book in Skyrim or Dishonered, or follow the exchange of emails between colleagues in Shadowgrounds or Alien vs. Predator. Do you take the time to read the info about the new item set you just picked up, the nation you just occupied, or the wondrous monument you just built? If so, thank you, and you can stop reading this and go read this instead, it’s a lovely bit of narrative starring the major Planeswalkers in Magic: the Gathering and really shows you how their respective mana-colour forms their personality. (more…)


GeekOut Bristol Meet – March 11th Gallery

The third GeekOut Bristol Meet is over for the year – Not bad! Time to go ahead and see what were the common themes and have a look at this months gallery. Were you there? Let us know in the comments!

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