The Nerd Guide

20 Movies, Books, Series and Games that will Give You a Free Pass to the Nerd Universe

The Nerd Guide

This is an ode to the ones who felt criticized for reading too many comics, playing too many video games, reading too much fantasy, believing in fantastic universes, talking lions, elves and magical rings.

This a celebration of the ones who were not taken into consideration. Not until a nerd (Bill Gates) became a millionaire then billionaire and people realized that we should be nicer to nerds because we might work for one.

Nowadays, as a sign the changing times, being a nerd is SO cool. It is a mix of being smart and knowing things about video games and comics. Now you can even find a date with this kind of knowledge. Some say being a nerd is sexy. Who knew?

Comic-Cons are everywhere: the conventions that unite the best of what is happening in tv-shows, movies, comic books, and cosplay. So many cosplayers! The demand for nerd events is growing every day.

So, if until now you were not really into nerd things but want to give it a try, you should keep reading. We've listed 20 things to give you a great perspective on what nerds might be talking about. You are going to be able to start conversations about elves and Middle Earth as well as discuss The Three Robotic Laws and the new champions in League of Legends.

The Lord of the Rings

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A long time ago, before becoming the massive cinematic success directed by Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy was already a huge deal in the Nerdosphere. J.R.R. Tolkien's story about how a little Hobbit had to carry the One Ring to Mordor is a classic and must be part of any nerd’s library. Magic, Middle Earth, elves, orcs and an incredible quest. This adventure has everything.

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Maybe you’ve already heard of Constantine. Well, you might have at least watched that movie with Keanu Reeves. No? Good, don't watch it. Instead, go read the Hellblazer comic books. As any other publication under the Vertigo seal , Hellblazer is raw and the themes are dark. John Constantine, the main character, is a detective in a world full of supernatural creatures. He constantly deals with devils and angels as a part of his job. This is especially interesting because things aren't always what they seem and Constantine is a bit of a jerk. 

Big Brother is watching us. all the time. If until now you did not know where the expression Big Brother came from (no, it is not from the reality show), let us introduce you to George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984). The dystopian world created by the British author presents us with Airstrip One, province of the Oceania state. Airstrip One is under 24/7 surveillance. People do not have a place to think by themselves and the gin tastes incredibly oily. A classic of modern literature, this book is an amazing critique of how society, oppression and surveillance works.

A piece of art, Sandman is just so different, beautiful and unconventionalThe DC comic book series follows seven siblings called The Endless - Dream, Destiny, Desire, Despair, Delirium, Death, and Destruction - through several different stories. Written by Neil Gaiman, who is the writer and creator behind American Gods, Sandman is perfect for the ones who like mysticism and a more mature way of storytelling.

Here we go again with the Hobbits’ stories. It is well-known that Hobbits are not really into adventures, however, great legendary quests started when Bilbo Baggins accepted to go on one (Well, his ancestral Took blood was strong). The Hobbit, written as a kids book for J.R.R. Tolkien's son, follows Bilbo as he joins a group of dwarves to recover treasure now guarded by a dragon. Fun from beginning to end and a great starting point for those yet unsure whether they want to read The Lord of Rings, or not. 

Mario Bros.

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Released for the first time in 1983, Super Mario Bros. (yes the original box just had Bros. on it) was a part of almost every kid's life after its publication. Who did not want to save the Princess, eat some crazy mushrooms get a ride with Yoshi? With Super Mario Odyssey we can play with the adventurous plumbers even nowadays. It's like being a kid again. 

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Originally published as several different short stories, I, Robot”, by Isaac Asimov, was compiled into one book in 1950 and, since then, is the most iconic publication about robots ever written.  The “Runaround” tale, one of the stories in the book, is known for containing The Three Laws of Robotics. These laws are principles which are mentioned in all of Asimov’s stories. They partially define the mystique behind robots and can even be applied in the real world. As we continue to venture into the world of Artificial Intelligence, these stories might be more important than ever before. 

Doctor Who

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With several seasons, some books and even Christmas specials, Doctor Who has gathered a huge fan following across the world. The story behind the Doctor is interesting: he's an alien from the planet Gallifrey, where all residents were Time Lords. The first season was produced in 1963, which means we have already seen many different versions of the Doctor. It is fun to watch: you truly don't know what is coming. We advise you to not blink. You might miss something important.

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Defense of the Ancients, also known as DotA, is one of the most popular and played MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) in the world, especially since DotA 2 was released. The mechanics are not too complicated to understand. You can play with your friends and have a lot of fun with it. However, you might have to eventually choose a side: you’re either a DotA or a LoL player, you can't be both. I'm kidding, do whatever you want. Choose whatever MMORPG, MOBA, LARP, REETS or any ARTS you want to. Guess which one of those acronyms is made up. 

The Walking Dead

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In a post-apocalyptic world where “walkers” (aka zombies), are everywhere, a group of people fights to survive and make it through these tough circumstances. If this plot sounds like the plot of almost every movie and TV show today then understand that the Walking Dead is so much more. Since 2003, long before the release of the television series release in 2010, Sheriff Rick, Michonne, Andrea and other characters were already fighting walkers and facing other dangers in the comics. In this gritty world the characters are always evolving and questioning "what makes us different from the walkers?". 

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Star Trek

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Live long and prosper! Spock's famous saying is what best characterizes the Star Trek franchise. With many different TV shows (there is even a new one called Star Trek: Discovery airing now), movies, and games, this science-fiction adventure has avid fans all over the world. No matter if you are on team Kirk or Picard, you cannot miss this journey through the stars with the USS Enterprise crew. The original show and films are responsible for creating some of the most quoted lines in nerd circles. Khaaaaaaaaaan

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Watchmen

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One of Alan Moore'most famous work, Watchmen, is not the typical superhero comic which you might be used to. They are more human in every way. In fact, the only member with actual superpowers is Doctor Manhattan. Published by DC Comics, the graphic novel was adapted as a movie in 2009, but some fans believe that the adaptation didn't do the story much justice. Fallen superheroes in a decadent society. At the end, we ask who watches the Watchmen? This graphic novel is totally worth a read or three. There is always something interesting to discover in rereading Watchmen. 

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Lobo may be an underrated graphic novel, but it is totally worth your time and money. This subversive and funny story of an alien bounty hunter called Lobo is the picture of the perfect Anti-Hero. With his healing powers as well as super strength, Lobo is not really known for following rules. Although this description might reminds you a bit of the very popular Deadpool, Lobo holds his own. 

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League of Legends

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League of Legends is as popular as a free-to-play MMORPG could be. Released in 2009, the game rapidly turned into a sensation. The LoL “fam” is strong and the player interaction is extremely encouraged by Riot, the developer of the game. In the most common mode, Summoner’s Rift,  5 players fight against another group of 5 to see who will destroy the nexus (structure that lays in the middle of the team base) of the opponent first. The quest might look easy, but you have to farm a lot of minions and destroy many towers to get your way through the map. With this type of increasingly complex gameplay, your inner-nerd with rejoice! 

Star Wars

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The famous story about the Skywalker family, Star Wars is the ultimate nerd movie series. The films were important to multiple generations who were eager for an elaborate adventure. In the original trilogy, we meet Luke Skywalker and follow his journey to become a Jedi master. He is also tasked with helping Leia, Han Solo and the whole Rebellion fight against Darth Vader and the Empire. There is a good chance you have already seen or heard nerds reference Star Wars but you still don't know what they are talking about so it is time to watch them all. The order you watch them is also important and we suggest 4, 5, 6, then 1, 2, 3, then 7, 8 and finally 9, when it comes out.  

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The Warlord Chronicles

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King Arthur is known for his magic sword, Excalibur, and for having the Knights of the Round Table as his loyal companions. Is this legend true? People are still unsure about that. However, Bernard Cornwell managed to write a trilogy that seems so believable, we almost forgot it’s fiction. Since The Winter King, The Enemy of God and Excalibur were published,  the story of this legendary British king became even more prominent in nerd culture and is a must-read.

The Chronicles of Narnia

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Narnia is so magical and beautiful that we wish it was actually real. The seven books tell the stories about the creation of the fascinating world by Aslan, a mythical Lion. They also tell the adventures of the Pevensie children as well as other unexpected events that only a creative mind such as C.S. Lewis’s could think about. These books were adapted into a TV series as well as many films.  Nerd insight here: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were close friends. You can read more about their relationship in the book Tolkien and C.S. Lewis: The Gift of a Friendship.

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Wolverine: Old Man Logan

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Comics. This might sound a bit cliché, but comics are a total must if you want to integrate into the nerd community. Our suggestion here is Old Man Logan. This is an alternative story about one of the most important and beloved characters from the X-Men universe, Wolverine. As referenced in the title, it shows an older Logan who is tired and haunted by his mistakes from the past. The movie Logan was influenced by this comic but the story goes in a completely different direction. Snikt!  

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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42. The most important thing you need to know in life. While this might sound silly to some, according to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, this is the answer to everything. The Douglas Adams’ books depict the human Arthur Dent after the “demolition” of the planet earth. He is rescued by his long-time friend Ford Prefect that, despite his human appearance, is actually an alien. The adventure spans 5 different volumes that turned into a nerd classic. Don't forget your towel!

Dragons, dwarves, undeads, kingdoms and giant wolves. Game of Thrones has everything. The book series that turned out to be one of the most successful TV shows of all time and continues to trend. Its characters are already iconic. The mysticism behind George R.R. Martin’s story creates avid fans. Everyone is waiting for the continuation of this tale. Enjoy the break between the seasons and keep up with the reading. With all the talk about building walls we can look to the north and learn from them.