Are you ready for Geek Week?

Felicia Day is seen in a clip from Dragon Age: Redemption in this screenshot of YouTube's Geek Week...

Felicia Day is seen in a clip from Dragon Age: Redemption in this screenshot of YouTube's Geek Week promo. (YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT)

Syd Bolton, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:00 AM ET

YouTube.com has declared that the week beginning Aug. 4 is going to be known as "Geek Week", so grab your pocket protectors and oversized glasses fixed-up with tape. Oh wait, that was so thirty years ago.

Stepping back in time, if you were a geek in the '80s, you would have likely tuned into Bits and Bytes on TVO which was an educational program about computers. For entertainment, you might have turned to Whiz Kids - a short-lived 1983 adventure television series starring Matthew Laborteaux that contained quite a bit of computer information for such an early time period. Finally, at the movies you could see movies like WarGames and Ferris Bueller's Day Off (both suspiciously starring Matthew Broderick). The times were good, but a little sparse for geeks of the day.

The end of the nineties brought us Freaks and Geeks, which helped launch the careers of Hollywood heavyweights Linda Cardellini and James Franco, another short-lived television series, but one made with style, humour, and some great storylines. It all ended too quickly, perhaps because the geeks were too busy on their computers and playing with this new thing called the World Wide Web rather than watching TV.

Now, Geek Week looms in the distance. Produced in partnership with the Nerdist in the U.S. and Channel Flip in the U.K., there will be more than one hundred nerdy channels featured new videos, series premieres and even creative collaborations. From Aug. 4-10, there will be different geek topics at the centre of it all, including Braniac Tuesday and Gaming Thursday. Check out Geek Week on YouTube and get your geek on!

You would think that YouTube would have the site geekweek.com all tied up, but they don't. The site is actually full of great stories in categories like comics, movies, video games, wrestling, music, sports, toys and technology, culture and books. Dubbed your "multiverse", the site contains many articles on these topics. Although, I have to admit, at first I was wondering how "geeks" and "sports" ended up being together. However, most definitions of the word geek indicate a "person with an eccentric devotion to a particular interest". The most common example is computer geek (like I haven't heard that phrase before) but it can really be applied to any interest or topic, I suppose.

And I was able to get my geek on this week when the iCade Jr. showed up at my door (ionaudio.com/products/details/icadejr). This tiny video game arcade machine replica holds your iPhone or iPod touch and works with hundreds of classic games including most of the Atari arcade hits. The full size iCade was designed for the iPad but this mini version is just what the geek doctor ordered for some. Of course, I have to have both!

YouTube's parent, Google, has also been trying to appeal to geek culture this week with the release of Google Chromecast, a brand new device that plugs directly into your television (any TV that supports HDMI) and streams wireless content in high definition. Aimed squarely at the Apple TV market, this $35 device has already sold out at online retailers everywhere. The size of a USB flash key, it uses your smartphone as a remote and brings content from Netflix, YouTube, and other services to your set with ease.

I remember growing up in the '80s and being part of geek culture. It was a lonely time back then. Now, geeks appear to rule the world with people like Microsoft's Bill Gates and Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin carrying most of the cash in this world. I was a little surprised that Ikea's Ingvar Kamprad has the fifth largest fortune in the world, but then again that furniture has a special appeal to geeks. Much like the furniture he sells, I imagine Kamprad put together the fortune himself.

If you're not a geek, hug a geek today. We're not only here next week folks, we're here to stay.

Syd Bolton is the curator of the Personal Computer Museum (www.pcmuseum.ca) and the Manager of Information Technology at ACIC / Methapharm. You can reach him via-email at sbolton@bfree.on.ca or by snail mail care of The Brantford Expositor.


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