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The NL issue 874

Author: Darryn King
Friday, 31 August 2007
Let’s get it on like Diddy Kong! Yes, it’s time to dust off your coke-bottle spectacles. It’s the NerdLinger (NL for short), the section where social ineptitude and poor motor coordination are assets, not shortcomings. O RLY- Yes RLY!


First on the agenda, in an unprecedented move, Nintendo is bringing out a Wii that can play DVDs. Warranty invalidators everywhere have tinkered with their existing Wiis to get them to play movies, but finally Nintendo themselves are taking a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, it was a step that should’ve been made about a year ago. Wah wahh wahhhh. (That’s supposed to be that trumpet sound when something lame happens in a cartoon.)


Speaking of the Wii, who’dathunkit- The hedgehog with the attitude and the plumber with the mo’ are finally appearing in the same game together. I’m talking, of course, about Sonic and Mario, due to star in Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games this November.
As I’m sure many of you will appreciate, this is roughly the video game equivalent of George Bush and Osama Bin Laden getting together for a tea party. Remember the ol’ SNES and Mega Drive rivalry in the schoolyard- Good times. That was a long time ago, of course - Nintendo and SEGA have had an amicable relationship for a while now - but their respective mascots have never drunk from the cup of peace and shared a game release. What’s more, they’re bringing the rest of their teams along as well. Think Bowser and Tails competing in a hammer-throw. My God this column is nerdy.
Only a few events have been let out of the bag already - the 100m sprint, hurdle and archery events - but you can bet that there’ll be plenty more precision- and endurance-based party games. Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games could well be the Wii Sports of the summer season with awesome four-player capabilities. No prizes for guessing who wins a sprint out of Mario and Sonic though. Sorry, that was the most predictable nerd gag ever.


Speaking of irrepressible nerdiness, the national final of Samsung-sponsored World Cyber Games were held at Luna Park. The NL wasn’t there, but hears tales of over 100 gamers squaring off on the likes of Command and Conquer 3, Counter Strike 1.6, Warcraft 3 and Gears of War. Possibly to offset the nerd emissions, competitors were bashing buttons in a boxing ring.
Among the other surprises on the weekend were software developers and game publishers mixing with the crowd LIKE NORMAL PEOPLE and a preview of an upcoming game called Halo 3 you may have heard of. Surprisingly for a gaming event there were also women in revealing outfits for some reason…-
Anyway, the 10 Australian winners will be off to Seattle at the beginning of October to compete in the WCG Grand Final. The NL wishes them all the best and reminds them not to play gaming devices while the plane is taxing.


Is it just the NL, or are there more nerd conventions than you can Pokémon at- (I don’t mean actual Nerd Conventions, I mean conventions tailor-made for nerds.) In any case, it’s only a good sign for nerdness everywhere.
The first cab off the rank is Animania, so get your Sailor Moon outfit at the ready. It’s happening over the NSW Labour Day long weekend (28-30 September) in Sydney Town Hall. (Parklife- More like, Nolife. Ha! I’m jus’ teasin’.) And did somebody say ‘Fan Dub competition’- No, it’s not a Jamaican music contest. This is how it works: you choose an anime clip and dub your voice and the voices of your friends over the scene. HILARITY ENSUES. Up until now contestants have been doing it on the spot at the festival itself in a dark room with a scary man. This year, you can choose your own anime clip, get it all nice and polished with your movie-making software, and send it in to the good people at Animania. Entries close 7 September, so you’ll have to get in there quickly.
Next up, the Supaonva Pop Culture Expo is happening at Sydney Olympic Park - yep, they’ve moved away from the wharf and to the far more spacious Dome - on the 12-14 October. Among the guests so far: Liam O’Brien, the voice of Gaara from Naruto; Marv Wolfman, creator of Teen Titans; and Kate Vernon from Battlestar Galactica… There’ll also be an exclusive event for preview night ticket holders: a telecast with legendary Stan ‘The Man’ Lee - the comic artist behind Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and many others - an opportunity to find out how he’s spending all the royalties he’s getting from Hollywood’s never-ending stream of Marvel Comics movies.
Finally, to get back to the games quickly, the event billed as the Australian E3, the Game1: The Electronic Gaming Expo and Tournament, will be happening over the 1-2 December weekend, and get you grinning like a feral bandicoot. Among the highlights- A 36-hour gaming event, with 40 Xbox consoles and over $30K worth of prizes up for grabs… Say no more! You’ll also have access to the Auto Salon Automotive Lifestyle Show, happening next door, so you can check out some sweet cars and more women in revealing outfits…