A Look Back
By AJ Lansdale
As 2012 comes to a close, it’s always good to take a look back at the big stories that shaped the year in the nerd communities. Between mass-market gaming releases and franchises getting revived, it’s been busy.
SOPA Blackout- January
This was one of those things that (mercifully) died a short death, but nearly broke the Internet. While designed to stop piracy, hence the name of “Stop Online Piracy Act”, but the bill could have required that search engines block entire domains from being accessed for one user making an “infringing” post. Thankfully, the combined efforts of the entire Internet (you may have recalled the Wikipedia and Reddit blackouts at the time), as well as Anonymous’s efforts forced Congress to shelve the bill. We’ll have to keep an eye on this and make sure this sort of legislation stays dead and buried.
Mass Effect 3 Ending- March
Mass Effect 3 is a great game, no question. About 90% of the game is a fun conclusion to one of the great series in this generation of video games. Then we get to the ending. (LATE ARRIVAL SPOILER ALERT) At the end of the game, Shepard is given three options for stopping the Reapers: destroying them, controlling them or merging organic and cybernetic life. No matter which option is chosen, the mass relays are destroyed (later edited to being “heavily damaged” in most endings after the Extended Cut was released in June), potentially stranding the entire military capability of the galaxy in the Sol system. You’d have thought the Internet was exploding after that, and for good reason: it felt like all the choices that players made throughout the series didn’t make much of a difference. Getting further away from it, it doesn’t seem quite as terrible as it did before, but it’s still a bit of a letdown.
Comic Book Movies- The Avengers vs. The Dark Knight Rises– May/July
This was a big year for blockbusters, and surprisingly, the two biggest ones were good movies, appealing directly to us nerds. Both The Avengers and TDKR grossed over $1 billion worldwide, in essence reaching an apex of strong comic book films that had been building over the last few years. As similar as the films were in terms of subject matter, they’re diametrically comparable in other things: Marvel vs. DC, Disney vs. WB, the relatively cherry and fun-loving directorial talents of Joss Whedon vs. the dark, gritty Gotham City that Christopher Nolan stayed true to. It was the end of Nolan’s travels in the DC Universe (although Man of Steel, the Superman reboot, may be promising, and a Justice League movie is possible), while the Avengers will get to tangle with Thanos in their sequel (once Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 have run their course. Stay tuned.
GeektheNews.com Founded- July
Well, you’re reading this now, aren’t you? So it must be kinda important.
Apple vs. Samsung patent fight- August-October
Technophiles and mobile nerds should keep an eye on this one., this was a story that needed to be looked at. On August 24, a US court ruled largely in favor of Apple, awarding them over $1 billion in damages. Emboldened by the ruling, Apple filed yet another suit on August 31, saying that 17 other Samsung devices violated their patents. Samsung, however, filed an appeal on October 2. This story is far from over, I’m sure.
Disney Buys Star Wars- October/November
Avid fans of our site might remember that I touched on this issue shortly after it happened. Read it Here. Disney’s acquisition of LucasFilm was officially finalized on December 21, and Star Wars VII is currently scheduled for release sometime in 2015.
Those are the biggest events I saw this year in geekdom. Do you guys think I missed something? Leave it in the comments. Have a happy New Year’s, and we’ll see you in 2013.