7 Kinds of Fans That Ruin Things for the Rest of Us

Friday, January 23, 2015 at 5:00 am

IGN Boards

One of the great things about being a fan is that you can be an obsessive fan. You can memorize trivia, speculate on elaborate theories and have conversations entirely in quotes from your beloved franchise. And the Internet makes it easy to find fellow superfans who won't judge you for your love.

Unfortunately, small subsections of these dedicated fandoms practice the same exclusionary tactics that once prevented them from finding comrades. Sometimes their actions are intentional and sometimes they're accidental. Either way, the message is the same: "If you're not like me, you're not a true fan." Fandoms should be inclusive, but these folks are preventing that...

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The 14 Nerdy Things We Most Look Forward to in 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 4:00 am


2014 ended three weeks ago, but our wrap-ups of 2014's best and worst ended yesterday. It's fair to say we consumed a lot of entertainment, enjoyed many things and had almost as much fun vocally destroying the things we didn't like so much. And as I hope was evident, not every Topless Robot contributor had the same ideas about what those things were.

Which is why, as we look to the year ahead, I've gathered together as many of our regular contributors as possible for this list, in which they all describe what they're geeked out about for 2015. From board games to RPGs, action figures to adaptations - and in one case, even the rumors we long to hear - it's a varied, insightful and excitable sneak peek.

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The 8 Worst Things About Tabletop Gaming in 2014

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 5:00 am

Geek & Sundry
Somehow, this show continues to not make this list. But Wil Wheaton's smug face does.

RPGs are a somewhat unique medium in that there is very little agreement about the good and the bad. For everyone that hates a setting or system, there are others who completely love it and lull their newborns to sleep by reading to them from the main rulebook. Every RPG system seems to appeal to someone, even if it's just a small group of people with very similar ideas on how fantasy swords should work. Also, RPG fans occasionally seem to hate buying things. Entire enclaves exist on the web of angry roleplayers that believe all RPG development stopped after their favorite edition, claiming everything that came afterward was nothing but a money grab.

Personally, I disagree. I like RPGs and find them inexpensive, good returns for value and don't mind getting new editions after 5 years or more. I am generally well-disposed to new releases and assume someone, somewhere, will like them. One only needs to go to a gaming convention and find that one guy in the corner running his favorite RPG from 1986 to confirm that there is some truth to this. However, this isn't to say that all is roses and honey in the RPG world. Every year there are things that are bad, and things that just aren't good. Read on for the 9 worst moments in RPGs this past year.

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Friday Nerdy News Roundup and Weekend Open Thread

Friday, January 9, 2015 at 5:06 pm


Programming note: Monday morning's feature will be Sherilyn Connelly's coverage of Image Expo in San Francisco yesterday. And how is everyone liking our new, earlier publishing schedule?

Here are a few last things to start your weekend right:

-NECA reveals production art for their next Aliens Ripley action figure (above).

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TR's 10 Worst Nerd Films of 2014

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 5:00 am


[EDITOR'S NOTE: This list was written completely independently of my "Best Movies" list, and neither one of us had any idea what the other had selected - LYT]

It's no secret - not is it even a remotely original observation - that nerds are currently standing astride all of popular culture like a mighty colossus. The trend continues: The highest-grossing films of the year continue to be either a) comic book adaptations, b) YA fiction adaptations, c) reboots of popular properties from the '80s and '90s, or d) sequels to any of the above. Many have said this is a great epoch in which to be a fanboy, and the announced slate of upcoming nerd-friendly feature films (Terminator vs. Ultron! Jurassic Hobbits vs. Justice League Chew!) has the nerd world (i.e., every teenage boy on Earth) veritably vibrating with excitement.

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The Psycho Shower Scene in Lego Animation

Friday, January 2, 2015 at 1:53 pm


See, Gus Van Sant? If you had just done your silly shot-for-shot remake in Lego, instead of with Swingers dude and Mrs. DeGeneres, we would have loved it. This one scene, which is also shot-for-shot, takes a good stab at it (sorry; obligatory) and hits home.

Side note: can somebody submit to Lego Ideas a proposal based on a black and white movie? I think a grayscale playset and minifigs is just what the line needs.

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Ohio Man Forced to Remove Zombie Nativity...AFTER Christmas

Wednesday, December 24, 2014 at 4:30 pm


Jasen Dixon of Sycamore Township, Ohio, decided to build a Christmas Nativity scene in his yard with the materials he had to hand. And as it happens, he's the manager of a horror attraction called "13 Rooms of Doom," which led to a whole bunch of his spare zombies being repurposed/ Unsurprisingly, now he's been hit with a citation to take it down. He claims his free speech is being infringed upon. Neighbors claim it's a zoning issue:

Sycamore Township, which is outside Cincinnati, does not allow structures to be located in the front or the side yard to occupy more than 35 percent of the area. Also, the primary structure must be 3 feet from the street, and 6 feet from the house.
But the small print makes it all sound like an exercise in wrist-slapping:
Dixon, who said about 40 people take photographs of what he calls "the world's first zombie Nativity scene," has until Dec. 26 to take down the scene.
Oh, so he doesn't have to take down his Christmas scene until after Christmas? That sounds like win-win to me.

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The 12 Messed-Up Days of Christmas

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at 6:00 am


Despite the assurances of Andy Williams to the contrary, this is not, for everyone, the most wonderful time of the year. The non-religious, or those of other religions, or strict interpreters of the First Amendment of any faith, may be offended by its feeling of overbearing Christianity. On the other hand, some Christians may be troubled by the even more overbearing consumerism and vulgarization of the holiday.

But even in its most secular form, Christmas can get on some people's last nerve. Even people who like Christmas most of the time can have a rough season or two. In short, for some people most of the time, and for most people some of the time, Christmas can suck. Fortunately (for some), pop culture affords plenty of Christmas entertainment options, ranging from the horrific to the merely snarky, even in these cases. Here, in honor of the Twelve Days of Christmas, are twelve of them. So, on the First Messed-up Day of Christmas, in addition to a stocking stuffed with heartache, anxiety and bitterness, my true love gave to me...

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This Marvel vs. DC Fan Trailer Is an Amazing Edit, and Should Be Called "Dawn of Fan-Boners"

Monday, December 22, 2014 at 5:00 am


The live-action movie that will never, ever happen - although who knows; we once said that about Spider-Man - gets an expertly edited fan trailer that really shows you what great illusions the right cuts can create. Watching this is like watching a magic show - you know it's not real, and you kinda-sorta think you know how it's being done, but it's done so well you can just lie back and let it fool you with a big ol' grin on your face.

"Alex Luthor" is pretty obviously a pseudonym - my guess is this guy actually works as an editor professionally. And he's also apparently the only guy who likes Ryan Reynolds' Green Lantern as much as I do.

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"I Want a Pony Semen Jar for Christmas" - A Topless Robot Holiday Carol

Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 12:10 pm


The most horrible toy-related story of the year, the Pony Cum Jar Project is the gift that keeps on giving. In case you missed it, it involves "self-love," a My Little Pony toy in a jar, and some accidental radiator overheating.

And now, courtesy of Krista Johnson, we have a song about it. Is "enjoy" the right word?

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