I love nerd culture (and yes, that is intentionally vague), it shows us so many cool devices that make us say: “damn, I NEED one of those!” And with technology moving to the point where we can make a laser that can shoot through twenty feet of steel so it seems more and more likely that the current and more nostalgic desired toys of my nerd-dom could soon be in my dorm. So science people, here are the top ten nerd items (and if you want to be nit-picky, each of these does have some basis in gaming, so…yeah)
10. A Medabot (Medabots)
For those that don’t know, Medabots was an anime that came to the U.S. a few years back. I don’t know if it was ever super popular since it was kind of on Pokémon’s coattails, but I liked it. The plot of the show was that in this world, people had a variety of these robots known as Medabots. The Medabots had a medal in their back that was basically the robot’s personality, and when they fought, the losing Medabot’s medal would pop out.
I always found the show interesting since not only did you fight, but you could wager part of your Medabot for a piece of your enemy’s Medabot; which (besides teaching kids gambling) added a level of strategy to the series; do you fight close hand, long range, and some of the weapons would better with a certain class of Medabot than others.
Also, they could actually speak more than their name, so you would have someone else to talk to and strategize with during a fight. Plus they had some pretty sweet toys, they basically developed on the gambling system and you could mix and match pieces to build the Medabot you wanted. I actually had all the Medabots at one time until my dog decided they made a great chew toy, but hell, I liked the series well enough that every now and again I do still look to see if I could get replacements somewhere online.
9. A Zanpaktou (Bleach
For those of you who aren’t an anime fan, this article is probably already bugging you, stick with me and we will get through this soon. Now for those of you that don’t know, a Zanpaktou is a sword unique to people in Bleach, everyone’s is different based on their personality. Though each one does have a shikai, the sword’s basic form it takes, and a bankai, which is the ultimate ability of the sword.
I could go into a lot more depth with how it works, but that’ll take too long, if you want to know, watch or read it, it’s a pretty good series. Now the reason I want one is partly because it does act as a representation of you, and I think it would be interesting to see a physical form of that.
Also, the abilities can get pretty crazy, basically ignoring the idea often that it was a sword to start out with, and usually leaving you to drop your jaw the first time you see one. Sadly, you do have to be kind of dead to get one…so it doesn’t rank too highly on here.
8. A portal gun (Portal)
Now this shouldn’t really surprise anyone that this made it on here. If you’ve played Portal, odds are you have thought about how you would use one should you get your hands on one. I know that when I’ve been stuck somewhere bored I have constantly thought how I would use one to occupy my time.
Now for those that don’t know, a portal gun is your constant tool as you play through Portal, the gun fires off two different portals that you can place on any flat surface and instantly travel through those portals. Now you might be wondering “Merc, you’re so sexy and smart, but why is the portal gun so low on the list?” Well thank you kind internet person, and the reason is because unless you have already been to that place, or where you’d like to shoot the portal is in you sight, there isn’t much you could do.
There are also a lot of technical aspects I would like to: is there a limit on how far apart the portals can be, is there a time limit on keeping one open, what is the energy source? So yes, I would take one in a second if offered, but an instruction manual would be nice to have with it.
7. Saiyan abilities (Dragon Ball Z)
Sorry, I really didn’t keep from the anime long…but come on!! Even if you knew almost nothing about DBZ you know you thought about being a Saiyan. A super strong alien race that can shoot energy blasts, fly, have awesome strength, and can turn into a super form of them would be cool.
While the whole “turn into a giant primate” bit may get old, I actually wouldn’t complain about having a tail. I can’t think of a lot of negatives, except I guess if you did end up attacking people you cared about that could be bad, and the fact that either the military or researchers would probably be after you for their benefit, but they could kiss my monkey tail because I’d be flying!
6. Pokémon (Pokémon)
Alright, I’m just going to stop apologizing about the anime, only one more time anime shows up here I swear! But come on! You know you’ve thought up which six you’d face the final four with, and how you (used to) wish that one day you’d see Pokémon wherever you went.
I already know I’d probably have nothing but psychics in my party. And I think “I have to go stop Team Rocket from world domination” would be a valid excuse for never going to school.
While things might be a little chaotic it still would be cool to have them around (but no, I don’t want both Pokémon and Medabots, just one or the other.) Plus I think the fact that you can make so much off of them would be perfect. How would the economy work? I don’t know or care, where’s my Abra?
5. A sonic screwdriver (Doctor Who)
See? Good ol’ Doctor Who! Now I will admit, I don’t know for what I would use a sonic screwdriver for all the time, but I know I’d find reasons for it. I mean, not only does it function as a lock pick, but it can be used for medical scans, tracking, controlling other objects, and it makes an awesome noise!
Now I realize there are many variations on the screwdriver, but I think I’d have to go with David Tennant’s version. I just like it for whatever reason, and I like the blue light rather than Matt Smith’s green.
A sonic screwdriver would definitely be something I’d love to pull out of the inner pocket of my jacket to use on a locked door, computer, or even just wander around pretending to know what I’m doing just to hear the sound it makes. Hell I’d be tempted to get one of the replica versions just because I want one to play with (and I believe my roommate looks a bit like David Tennant, and can sound like him.) So come on Time Lords, help a nerd out and let me have one!
4. A Babelfish (The Hitchhiker’s guide)
Now this one I’ll make sure to explain, in case some of you haven’t read these books (that’s very sad, definitely read them if you get a chance.) So the Babelfish is a small fish that actually will go into your ear and live in your brain. It doesn’t do anything to damage you or hurt you in any way, but while inside your head it will then translate all languages into one that you can understand.
Now why do I want one of these living in my head? Simple; I wouldn’t have to take Spanish. Now yes, this would make a lot of things much simpler, businessmen and politicians could easily communicate with each other and make business between countries so much simpler.
So yeah, it might be a little gross to know that you’ll not only have to stick this in your ear, but that it will live in your brain, but hey, you don’t have to feed it. So I don’t think the benefits of one would outweigh the immediate grossness of it.
3. Psychic paper (Doctor Who)
Yet again, one of the Doctor’s toys makes it on here. Now while psychic paper isn’t as common as the sonic screwdriver it’s still a pretty cool device (and may just be one of the cheapest props ever.) Now on screen, the psychic paper looks like just a regular business card sized blank piece of paper, but it’s the person that’s holding it that gives it power. Whoever has it in their possession can make whoever is looking at it say whatever they want it to say.
It can be an I.D. badge that gets you into a government building, an access card for locked area, or just some form of I.D. that makes people believe you are who you say you are. Now the only disadvantage is that anyone with psychic training can see past it and won’t be fooled, so it probably wouldn’t help a person to say they’re someone who they obviously don’t look like.
While on the show they never say how that would work, I can guess not well.
2. Devil fruit (One Piece)
Another anime strikes! Muahaha!!! Okay but to be honest this was probably the second thing I knew I’d be putting on this and so it naturally gets second place…I guess? Now this one, unlike the zanpakuto I think I can explain well, One Piece is my favorite anime so I know a lot about it, so here it goes: A devil fruit is a mystic fruit, said to be cursed by the sea devil, and upon the first bite of this fruit, the one who ate it will gain an extraordinary and unique ability.
However, upon eating one of these fruits the sea will reject the one who ate it, making them unable to swim and rendering their abilities null. Now as far as what you could expect to get in the way of a devil fruit, they are split into Paramecia, Zoan, and Logia. Paramecia is one that alters the person’s body, or enables them to alter another. For example, the main character, Luffy, ate one that turns his body into rubber, while another character, Mr. 3, can create wax from his body, there’s even a character who can not only alter her age, but the age of others, so kind of a mix of the two.
Then there are the Zoan, which change whoever ate it into a specific animal, and gives them three forms, their original form, the animal form of whichever fruit they ate, and a hybrid form of the two, those that eat a Zoan often have their physical attributes raised, and excel in close combat.
Then there are the logia, said to be the rarest of the three types, Logia change a person into an element of nature, and give them control over that element. For example, there is a sand one, fire, lightning, and so on. These can also be trained to the point where the person can even have attributes of the element (Crocodile, the one who has sand abilities, can actually dehydrate people by touching them.) And yes, I know what one(s) I’d eat, now you can only eat one devil fruit, as others would just be nulled, so I’d go with either the smoke one, the darkness (which nullifies other’s abilities too), or the magma one. It also seems there is a way to combine an inanimate object with a devil fruit, thereby giving a person the chance to have access to a devil fruit, without directly suffering the negatives.
Okay, now let’s wrap this up with number one!
1. Beam Katana (No More Heroes series)
I’m such a jerk.
Yeah that’s right! I don’t want a lightsaber, I demand a beam katana! Now to validate this, a beam katana to me, does look a little more reliable, often having something that seems to act as a way of stabilizing the beam.
Also, I like the design of a beam katana better, there is a lot more variety to them than there is to a lightsaber, there are some that look much more like a blade, and have only the edge with a beam on it, and yes, there is still a double edged one so if people want, it is possible.
And yes, I’ll admit, I like the fact that you do charge it, while in my own free time I have thought to myself that there must be other, less obscene ways to do so, why would you really want to? I mean, doing that would definitely make your opponent pause for a second before coming after you to attack.
So yea, a beam katana definitely sits as number one on this list.
Well there we go, those are the ten things I want to own from all of nerd culture, I hope some of you found a few that you wish you had too, or maybe look into one of the franchises on this list to learn more about it, and leave me your top ten, I’m interested to see what things other people want to make their everyday lives a tad more interesting. But for now, I got to work on my school’s next theatrical production, since I’ll be Assistant Director for it. Have a good one folks.
And thanks to Matt Brumagin, my friend and roommate, for giving me the idea of adding Super Saiyan to this list.