2013: The Year in Geek

Categories: Geek Speak

Just one of 2013's many pleasures.
In less than two weeks, 2013 will come to a close. That means it's time for that most joyous of traditions -- the year-end list! Everywhere you turn, lists of the best, the worst, the most and the least are springing up, informing you about all the cool shit that you missed or, more likely, giving you validation for the things you agree with and rage for the things you disagree with. Far be it from me to miss out on that fun! My 2013 was full of geeky joys, and these are some of my favorites.

See also:A geek's guide to the holidays: Gremlins, "Christmas at Ground Zero" and other goodies

Yes, that's right -- favorites. I don't know what the best movies, games and moments of the year were, because I didn't try all of them. I sampled but a small portion of what's out there, and it would be as dumb as a bag of hammers to claim that the cream of my personal crop represents some sort of authoritative "best of geek." I'm also not going to limit myself to things that came out in 2013 -- instead, I'm including all the stuff I experienced this year. The thing is, a lot of the sweet stuff I loved this year (and every year) happened to come out in other years; I just missed it then. That said, everything on here is awesome, and you should check it out regardless of its year of origin or whether it's "the best." Okay, enough disclaimers. On to the list!

Game of the Year:
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
The next best thing to saving the world from zombies is saving it from aliens, and man, have I had a blast saving the planet in XCOM: Enemy Unknown. This was the rare game that tempted me to buy it when it was at full price, but I held out until it was $20 -- and you know what? I totally should have bought it at full price. That would have meant way more time this year (and part of last, since the game came out in October 2012) plotting out the optimal strategies to defeat the extraterrestrial menace in turn-based strategic combat, figuring out the optimal way to develop my tech tree and sending little gray men to the big saucer in the sky.

Best New Geek Experience:

Moderating a panel at Denver Comic Con
I've been going to cons since I was twelve years old, and in that time I have attended dozens, maybe hundreds of panels. From the very start, I always thought, "It would sure be cool to be on one of these panels" -- and this year that dream came true. Director Alexandre Philippe (People Vs. George Lucas, the upcoming Doc of the Dead) asked me to moderate his panel on zombie culture at DCC, so I stood up in front a few hundred people and blabbed about zombies with some fellow experts -- and my lifelong dream was fulfilled.

Best New TV:
Almost Human
A handful of new geek shows hit the air this year, and of all the ones I managed to check out, Almost Human took the pole position. Sure, in some ways it's just another cop show, but at the very least it's the most original twist on a cop show in a decade. The Blade Runner-lite aesthetic and strong cast really caught my eye from the very start, and I'm looking forward to seeing where this one goes.

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