Originally posted at Yahoo! News By Eric Pfeiffer, Yahoo! News
ANAHEIM, Calif.–At Friday’s opening day of Wondercon 2013, the swords were drawn early. Or, more specifically, the light sabers were drawn and the phasers were set to kill.
Four experts, including two psychologists, debated four specific topics as part of an epic breakdown analyzing the respective strengths and weaknesses of “Star Wars” and “Star Trek.”
To an outsider, the debate might seem trivial. But to fans of each series, the differences have long run deep, pitting the more cerebral science fiction of “Star Trek” against the emotional, fantasy-driven stories of the “Star Wars” universe.
As the debate opened, it was clear a majority of the hundreds of Wondercon attendees who packed into the ballroom showed up in, er, force, to support “Star Wars.”
Well, first of all, there are not as many Trekkies here because they are all at work today,” quipped Larry Nemecek, author of “Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion.”
Round 1: Nature vs. Nurture
Thanks to the infamous “Star Wars” prequels, we now know that the villainous Darth Vader was not always bad. But the greatest villain of “Star Trek,” Khan Noonan Singh, was literally born bad–a product of genetic engineering who believed himself superior to lesser men. So, which is the better story?
Written by ARKHAM ASYLUM DOC
Last night, I attended a screening of The PaleyFest’s The Walking Dead Panel, a live event recorded at the Saban Theatre, Los Angeles, for the Paley Center for Media. Chris Hardwick, the host, presented a preview of Season 3, Episode 12 (Clear), showed some behind-the-scenes special effects vignettes, and interviewed writer Robert Kirkman and actors Andrew Lincoln (“Rick”), Norman Reedus (“Daryl”), Danai Gurira (“Michonne”), Steven Yeun (“Glenn”) and other favorites from the cast. Naturally, I cringed through the 25 minutes of behind-the-scenes zombie-making and killing (I’m not a fan of blood and gore, which speaks to how much I must love this show’s writing and character development). The interviews, however, placed an introspective focus on many psychological themes that come up with the Walking Dead: Is Rick crazy? Who should take on the role of leadership? Are humans innately self-serving and callous? Hostile, even? It’s as if Kirkman created his own psychological experiment: In a time of a zombie apocalypse, how do we react? Do we unravel? Who is more capable of survival and why?
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This has been a hot topic of late and I have openly applauded several girls in the geek community for speaking out against it. After hearing some of the arguments however, I feel the need to weigh in on the subject. Now I would like to put this right out front – Geek Girls: I AM ON YOUR SIDE. However I feel like there is a part of the discussion that is missing.
After reading several really well thought out and intelligently written articles on the subject (here, here and here), I want to make sure there is some perspective on the topic. This is a far more complicated subject when you dive into it then it appears to be. It contains factors of gender, culture, society, and personality.
My mantra for a long time now has been “smart is sexy.” Lucky for me, many of the girls in geekdom are exactly that – smart. So as a self-professed geek the idea of women I find attractive AND that are into the kind of things that I am into is nothing short of fantastic. And the idea that there are those who want to drive those women out is quite repulsive – but let’s face it – to guys, men, boys, senior citizens, etc. in the geek culture this is something relatively new to us.