Monday, January 27, 2014

Day 27: Nerdy Things to do with Friends (Nerdy or Otherwise)

Want to turn a friend into a nerd, or at least educate them on the culture? Or interested in further turning a friend to your particular Dork Side? Here are some things you can do with folks to further this end. Some of this can also go towards making new/better friends, but I’m a bit of the anti-social myself, so that’s hard to say.

1. Watch a TV show together. It’s pretty simple, but a lot of people treat TV watching as a solo/family activity. You can also discover a new show with a friend OR watch one you’re very familiar with and see your friend’s reaction/encourage them with tidbits of upcoming info (BUT NO SPOILERS!). A friend of mine found out I was watching through Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the first time and has mandated that I have to watch all future episodes with him. It’s worth the wait learning about his enjoyment of the show and having someone I can bounce thoughts off of, even if he won’t always confirm or explain.

2. In the same vein, go see a movie! This doesn’t have to be a romantic activity. If you’re significant other isn’t interested in the next Marvel movie, bring a friend! Want to see something a little different, maybe more on the indy scale? Grab a buddy who’s at least open to new things.

3. Board games. I cannot say this enough. You can get games that play half a dozen or more if you’d like, or you can find a plentiful amount of two player games as well. If you need suggestions, ask me!

4. Read together. Ok, this one is probably done better solo, but you can either suggest books you’ve loved while reading their suggestions or you can grab the same book and start reading at the same time – when you see each other, you have pre-generated material to talk about. You can expand this to a group of friends and create a book club if it is something you particularly enjoy. I’m well known for pushing the Ender’s Game series on folks. I’ve actually had to buy multiple copies after forgetting who I lent them to…

Something like this can be useful for a trip!
5. Take a Nerd pilgrimage. Find some locations close to you that offer something in your brand of nerd. This could be something social, such as a convention (there are many for many subjects.), or something private, such as visiting particular landmarks, especially if they are reachable as a day trip. I’ve been meaning to visit some of the Rhode Island locals H.P. Lovecraft wrote about in many of his novels. I’ve also down a tour of comic book shops on a longer trip with the Wife (who’s stuck being my best friend and main target of Nerd conversion). There's also apparently a Nerd Pilgrimage website, but I'm not familiar with it. Looks interesting!

6. Create something. If you and a friend or friends are talented or enjoy creating art in some way, shape, or form, make something together! If you’re a group of writers, try your hand at writing a co-operative story. If one can draw, try adding illustrations to a work of text, or doing something fun like a comic book. I’ve always wanted to do a web-comic with a friend, but my talent ISN’T in drawing, and it’s the more difficult/time consuming part.

7. Cook. Ok, this is an odd one coming from me, who mostly sustains himself with Taco Bell and other assorted fast foods, but there are plenty of nerdy cook books (I own Wookie Cookies, myself) with recipes you can make with a friend or a group of friends.

8. Write a Blog. Heh. Writing a blog about things you like can be an enjoyable experience. Having someone else writing about what THEY like can be even better. Your blog produces more content, the work load is shared, and there are competing reviews. Also, you generally have a captive audience with the other writers, because they should generally know what you've written about to avoid doing something too similar. Podcasting would be similar to this, but requires a bit more equipment.

9. Join a Club/Group. See what is available in your area and relative to your interest. Generally Google is your friend here. I myself am in MA but close enough to Rhode Island that I have a few options. I recently found out about, the Rhode Island Science Fiction Club’s page. You can make new friends this way, or you can sign up with a friend so you’ll have a familiar face when you do attend club events. Some are free, some have membership fees – do the research beforehand just so there are no surprises! If anyone from any state needs help on this front, I’d be more than happy to find some friendly and nerdy organizations for folks.

10. Try something new. If your friend is decidedly not-nerdy, consider doing something they enjoy, such as a sport (note: I’m not saying Nerds can’t enjoy sports. I simply do not, and this is my blog. So there). Then negotiate a tit for tat scenario or try and find some middle ground – in this example, you could try and introduce your friend to Muggle Quidditch. Yes, that is a thing. Yes, there are brooms, but, sadly, no actual flying.

Alrighty, there’s some ideas to hold you over. If I come up with more, I’ll let folks know. As always, I’m taking suggestions on any front!

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