15 Things That Every Geek Should Know, Do, or Be

Admit it: you have a bucket list or life list, some way to tally whether or not your life is going successfully. But do you have enough geeky activities and plans on it?

If not, here are a few ideas to get you thinking…

What to Know

Basic phrases in Klingon
You should be able to greet people, bid farewell, and casually remark that “today is a good day to die” in Klingon. If you haven’t checked this off your list yet, you can find instructions and pronunciation guides of all kinds online. Remember to use the phrases regularly so they’ll stay fresh in your mind. majQa’!

How to set up your computer and network
If you’re proud of your computer skills, you probably did this when you were eight. For the knitting, manga, or model geeks out there, this is still an essential geeky skill that people expect you to have. And it’s useful to be able to help that pretty girl or cute guy set up their new computer or home network, if you catch my drift.

The entire “all your base” script
Any geek should recognize this, and if you don’t, you need to learn now. Youtube can instruct you in the ways of this secret geek handshake. If you’re not sure if you’re among friends, blurt out, “All your base are belong to us.” If there’s laughter, you’re safe. If you get blank stares, edge away. Just beware… if you recite it too much around your friends, it gets annoying, and somebody might set up you the bomb!

At least one computer language (other than HTML)
You probably already know basic HTML, but don’t be lazy. Take the time to learn some computer language and you can impress employers, cute nerds, or webmasters at will. You might even be surprised at how useful it can be.

The basic plot of either Star Wars or Star Trek
How many times have fellow geeks started making red shirt jokes or quoting lines that made you stare blankly? It’s a really embarrassing feeling! Learn the plot of one… or both for bonus points and best results.

What to Do

Make or build something related to your main obsession
If you’re a gamer, have you ever built a gaming computer? If you love manga, have you tried to write one? If you play D&D, have you built your own fantasy world and campaign from scratch? Try it out! All of these activities are fun and will award you plenty of geek XP.

Go to a fan convention
It can be about Star Trek or Supernatural, Comic-Con or Anime North… as long as it’s geeky and you go, all’s fair. This is the ultimate experience in geekiness for many, though others say it’s the ultimate experience in overheating and fatigue. It’s still full of nerdy glee either way.

Drive a Prius and pretend you’re in White and Nerdy
Do I really have to explain this? If you’d prefer to avoid the experience, act out any other Weird Al video and you can still get the nerd cred. Tape it and post it on Youtube if you feel like risking being laughed at (a la the lightsaber kid), for the chance of bonding with other nerds.

Play Pong on the oldest (or newest) console you can find
Program your own if you want to really impress people. Otherwise, it’s still fair game if you’ve played it enough to describe how the game works. …you have played it before, right?

Back up everything
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… a public service announcement disguised as a life list item. Seriously, back up all your stuff – WordPress installations, games, emails, whatever you have that you’d miss. Make it a fun afternoon with some Pepsi and chips, music, and nerdy friends out to accomplish the same mission. Take pictures of all your external hard drives in a circle. Did I make it sound fun yet? Darn…

What to Be

The life of the party (even if just once)
You might be a socialite geek, or perhaps you’re a total introvert (I’m raising my hand), but this is an experience that’s bound to make you happy. Maybe it’s a geeky party or a “normal” one, but either way, having everyone hanging onto each word of your latest story is a pretty cool feeling.

A star in Japan
Maybe it’s harder to be one these days, but the Japanese are still generally fascinated by foreigners. Take full advantage of this status and use your gaijin power to wile your way into show biz. Appear on talk shows for them to laugh at your bad Japanese, or volunteer for game shows; voice over English in commercials or coach famous Japanese singers. It’s easy to be a star there, and you’ll be the envy of many sheltered North American geeks.

A cosplayer
If you haven’t done this yet, you need to. It’s a surreal and bizarre experience if you’re holding tightly onto your expectations or haven’t been to a convention before, but it can be hilarious and very gratifying when photographers rush to take pictures of your costume.

A podcaster
Chances are very good that you already have all the equipment you need. Maybe your podcast will only last for an episode or two, but it’s still pretty cool to be able to say, “Check out my podcast.” The public downloads podcasts… the geeky make them.

The proudest geek you can be
Yes, it’s cheesy. It’s also essential if you want to identify as a geek in public. Though the very g-word has shifted from having entirely negative connotations to having a kind of cool, chic air about it, it’s still important that we represent geekdom proudly!

Your List

So, what’s on your life list? Here are a few things on mine that inspired this post:

  • Play a full board game of Sid Meier’s Civilization without sleeping.
  • Visit Akihabara (in Tokyo).
  • Build my own gaming computer.

Share your geeky goals and dreams! Don’t be shy, you’re probably not the only one who wants to do it.

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