Generation Y Geek Chic by Steve Farnworth

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					Generation Y: Geek Chic

by Steve Farnworth
2   Generation Y: Geek Chic
Random Musings Series                     3

My first book in print,
and I must say, a
handsome tome it is.
Thanks to anyone that
helped me get this out
there, it’s bloody


They say signed books are worth more.
Yup, that’s mine.
I’m an author ya’know.
Actually, it’ll only be there if I actually
sign it, so it probably won’t be there.
4                    Generation Y: Geek Chic

    This, as you can probably tell, is the
     first book in the Random Musings
        Series of books written, and
     coordinated by Steve Farnworth.

    They are (well, this is the only one
    currently) published on the internet
through print-on-demand channels, and
    are put into the hands of readers all
               over the place.

We’ll try our best to keep a cover theme
and stick to it, so people collecting the
     tomes will be able to have a nice
                looking set.
Random Musings Series                     5

      Generation Y: Geek Chic

Your one-stop guide for being a bit of a
 geek and surviving in the non-stop, 24
   hour, technology filled noughties.
 So sit back, relax, and enjoy this brief
 whistle-stop tour of stuff you need to
know, what you need to do, and how to
                  do it.

If you follow this book, you’ll know what
  names to drop, and what things do
what, to make yourself an instant expert
    in the field of, well….geekiness.
6                    Generation Y: Geek Chic

          Chapter One: Gadgets
    As is probably obvious, all names of
    products are probably trademarked or
       copyrighted to their respective

    We will make this perfectly clear from
     the beginning; you cannot be a 21st
     century geek without a plethora of
     gadgets. It’s not enough to be just
smart, nope, you need to be smart and
     be able to have enough technology
       behind you so you always have
       something for every occasion.
Random Musings Series                   7

 That is where come in. We’re here to
   teach you what you need for what
  purpose. Make sure you listen and
 heed our warnings if you want to look
       cool rather than just shit.
8                    Generation Y: Geek Chic

We all like listening to tunes, however it
isn’t the actual sounds that we’re
currently interested in, it’s the way they
get played to you.

By now, you will most probably have
heard of the iPod. The one gadget that
is currently defining our generation, and
if you don’t have a version you’re no
one I’m afraid.
It might not be the best, might not
support all formats, or have the longest
battery life, but it’s the player to have.
Random Musings Series                           9

In fact there are so many units out there
now, that thieving little buggers are
actually targeting them, and you know
that if fucktards are willing to steal it, it
must be popular.

However, there are a host of options for
the new purchaser. Do you go for the
Nano which you could inhale via your
nostril? Perhaps the Shuffle, however it
is a little too simplistic to really be
considered a geek gadget.
What about the Mini? Sure it’s ageing a
bit, but it’s solid as a rock and the lack
of a colour screen will give good reason
10                  Generation Y: Geek Chic

for shouting at people about why they
feel the need to look at pictures on an
MP3 player (you see this is what I
personally say, as I have a Mini…..iPod
– Steve).

My bet would be to go for a standard
white unit, with a hard-drive size to
meet your music collection
requirements, and just stay with the
crowd and be a sheep.
Better to be a sheep than a reject.

One thing I will say is though, change
the headphones. Firstly, the white ones
Random Musings Series                    11

are a magnet for those thieving
fuckwits, and secondly, they’re hardly
the best, and with Sennheiser ones so
silly-cheap nowadays, you’re best off
investing in a decent pair of non-whites.

Right, now you have your iPod, you’re
all set are you? Pfft, think on.

What about at home, are you going to
be changing CD’s like a shmuck (like
me), no you’re going to want a HiFi with
an auxiliary port (mine has one,
however, auxiliary cables are about as
hard to come by as non-fattening
12                 Generation Y: Geek Chic

bacon), so you can use your new toy to
listen to tunes around the house.

And how are you going to buy your
music? From a what? A Store?
Get with the times. Downloading is
where it’s at nowadays, and what since
you will have iTunes installed by now,
you might as well use Apple’s music
The general price for songs is about
80p a pop, with albums at around £5-8.
Random Musings Series                     13

There is a whole lot of brewhaha over
the topic of digital rights management
on this type of thing though.
What happens if you change computer
and use a fresh install of iTunes?
Your iPod will be wiped of course, so be
slightly wary of using online stores to
buy all of your music.

There are ways of getting around this
type of DRM though, but this is a
respectable book so we will not be
printing any of them.
14                 Generation Y: Geek Chic

Mobile Phone
The role model of convergence, the
mobile phone is fastly becoming the
only gadget you need.

You’ve got ones nowadays that will take
functionality right from your iPod and
will allow direct syncing to iTunes so
you can listen and then pick up a call
straight after.

Then you’ve got the more common
camera phones, which are beginning to
get dedicated-camera beating
Random Musings Series                    15

resolutions, as well as video cameras
and VGA video calling cameras.

What else? Well, texting, mobile
internet, Bluetooth, wireless chatting as
well as a bunch of other stuff that hasn’t
been invented yet, but will be old hat by

I could tell you to go out and buy a
particular phone, but most of the ones
now do all different kind of things, and it
is really down to personal choice as to
what you require, however, make sure
you get some of these things in there:
16                    Generation Y: Geek Chic

     • Lots of talktime/standby time, so
        you’re never left short and having
        a call cut-off.
     • Bluetooth. Being futureproof is
        important, so perhaps think about
        including Bluetooth in there.
        It’ll keep you connected, and will
        allow interaction with other
        devices like headsets and
     • You’ll most probably want a non-
        VGA spec camera, look for a
        minimum of 1 mega-pixel, but
        with the emergence of phones
Random Musings Series                       17

      with upwards of 3, you’ll want to
      stretch to the best you can afford
      to play safe.
   • And obviously you’ll need style,
      so perhaps aim for one of the
      many new Motorola, BenQ-
      Siemens, LG or Nokia mobiles
      that all look truly stunning (as of
      mid/end 2006 anyway).

Gaming on your mobile phone is
something that can be a very good
thing, however, you can sometimes
look like a right twat on the bus
18                 Generation Y: Geek Chic

huddling over a handset with both
hands, and you could end up being
worse off than if you were with a crusty
mobile you’ve had since you were eight.
So make sure that you only choose
games that require one handed
operation, and also play with the phone
on silent, no one else wants to know
that you’re playing Prince of Persia on
your V3.

Please, please promise me though, that
you will never, ever, use the speakers
on your mobile to play music.
Random Musings Series                     19

It makes my blood-boil that chavs do it;
we do not need people of our own kind
doing it as well.
No one wants to hear what you’re
listening to, especially via the crummy
speakers and poor sound-quality of
mobile phone music.

Oh, and make sure you leave your
phone on vibrate, the ringtone thing
was so Generation X, and we do not
need to play polyphonic renditions of
the latest pop-tunes to impress people.
20                     Generation Y: Geek Chic

You know that beige mouse-like
contraption you jabbed in the purple or
green slot on the back of your PC? The
one with a 5dpi resolution, or worse,
you have a desktop rodent with the
equivalent of a beach ball up its arse.

You need a proper unit to control the
little cursor thing on the display.
If you are any kind of geek, you need to
have a mouse that sports about
2000dpi, and needs to be large enough
to stay firmly in your sweaty mitts until
you’re done with it.
Random Musings Series                  21

Models by Razer are a safe bet, as with
Logitech. Perhaps even stretching to
Microsoft ones as well, but the previous
twos ranges are large enough, and they
are the respected people in the market.
22                  Generation Y: Geek Chic

Our war on the beige, desk mounted
stuff, is in full swing now, and your
trusted QWERTY is next.
You get a nice satisfying noise from a
proper keyboard, and if you’re doing
any gaming, a proper unit will allow
your fingers to stay on the keys
Logitech’s range is full featured enough
to fulfil your requirements and the sharp
people at Razer (see what I did there?
– Steve) are about to release their own.
Random Musings Series                      23

To provide the ultimate look of a geek
that knows their computers, you need to
have a selection of external
components to make it seem you are a
constant upgrader.

Most things attach by U Silly Bugger
(a.k.a USB, ok, lame joke, it’s actually
Universal Serial Bus), but there are a
load of other connectors around, so
make sure you check to make sure that
they are compatible with your computer.
24                  Generation Y: Geek Chic

You’ll want an external hard-drive, just
to store all that geek porn and *cough*
perfectly legal files */cough*.
Some of these can be pretty hard to
connect, and you’ll need an enclosure if
you insist on using a spare hard-drive
you have laying around.

If your PC isn’t up to scratch (do not
fret, most people’s do suck, badly), you
may want an external optical drive.

These aren’t anything to do with
glasses, contrary to the name, and
encompass things from a plain old CD
Random Musings Series                  25

ROM drive, to the hyper, brand-new
Blu-Ray unit.

I’d suggest in getting a decent external
super-drive, something that can do both
CD and DVD writing/reading duties
without a lot of fuss.
26                    Generation Y: Geek Chic

 So there is your brief tour through the
necessary gadgets to look the part and
        to make sure that you can do
       everything that is required by a
           moving/stationary geek.

You might want to look at the contents
 again, because no doubt this chapter
     cost you a fair bit of dough, and the
 next ones aren’t going to lay up any.

        End of Chapter number one.
     You didn’t really need me to tell you
                that did you?
Random Musings Series                     27

Fine, I’ll just sit here whilst you read this
blatant spam, and we’ll start again fresh
             in Chapter Two.

     Forward young one. Now. Go.
            Turn over already.
28                   Generation Y: Geek Chic

           Chapter Two: Wares

 Ah, you’re learning, you know how to
     change chapters. That’ll be useful.

If you know anything about geek culture
you’ll know that the term ‘warez’ refers
 to illegal copies of software packages.
 This chapter however is dedicated to
the legal, bought and paid for software
 you need, and need to be seen to be
           using to be geek chic.
Random Musings Series                      29

Office Use
The sad fact of life is, we can’t play
videogames the whole time, and though
it pains me to say it, we all do have to
do work sometime.
However, as long as you have the right
software for working, it should make it
faster and easier for all involved.

Although many people out there think
Microsoft is a big hairy company that
devours babies and likes to kill kittens,
they’re really aren’t and their products
are bloody useful.
30                  Generation Y: Geek Chic

I’d suggest using Office for all of your
mundane, worky-type tasks, because
it’s fast, efficient, and you’ve no doubt
been using them in school etc already,
no point in changing.

If you need to do anything a little more
fancy (like exporting to PDF), or if you
run a little-know geeky thing called
Linux, you might want to consider using (the .org is part of a
name, not an advert, so don’t accuse
me of being a sell out young one).
It does most things Word does, and
more as well, but as with anything non-
Random Musings Series                     31

Microsoft on Windows, it isn’t as fast as
the first party stuff.

If you are a graphic designer, or a web
developer (two very stand-up geek chic
jobs), you will probably have
encountered Adobe Photoshop, the
graphics program that basically sets the
standard for all other picture software
However, if you want to use the same
type of tools, but don’t have much
moolah, The Gimp is a nice bit of
Freeware that does most of the things
Photoshop does.
32                 Generation Y: Geek Chic

In this area, people tend to be
pretentious, I personally cannot see
what is wrong with using Windows
Media Player for everyday listening,
and only using iTunes from iPod

However, to make us seem cool, we
need to have a mixture of media

All have free variants, and most have
paid for extras, but we won’t worry
about them, you just need to know what
Random Musings Series                    33

names to drop, and which files to drop
them for.

Movie files are best played through
Quicktime, and perhaps DivX.
This is mainly due to the popularization
of the .mov format which is native to
Quicktime, and the fact many low-end
video cameras export files that only a
DivX codec (file that tells other players
what to do with a specific file type) can
34                  Generation Y: Geek Chic

Music files should be played in either
iTunes or Windows Media Player,
mainly because these are the easiest
ones to use, and have native support
for various audio formats.

Real player gets used a lot for their own
filetypes, however, it’s pretty useful to
keep around as there are a lot of
music/video streams that need it.
Random Musings Series                    35

Fancy Shit
Geeks have to code/script, simple way
of life I’m afraid. And with
coding/scripting comes other
responsibilities as well, like art and
sound generation.

For scripting (like HTML for the web),
you want to use Notepad.
Yup, that little program built into
Windows is a useful little bugger when it
comes to writing huge pages etc…
It is also somewhat of a status symbol if
you are hard-coding sites yourself, and
using Notepad only compounds this.
36                 Generation Y: Geek Chic

Use it to open and edit HTML, PHP and
other web-file types, as well as non-
webby ones like Yabasic or any other
lower end coding files.
Random Musings Series                     37

I’ve mentioned before about using
Photoshop or The Gimp for art, so I
won’t bore you with it again, however,
just copy and paste what was said here.

Music generation is something that has
become a lot more popular nowadays,
and with programs like Cubase out
there to create loops and sounds, its
getting better for the enthusiast.
Audacity is also another one (free this
time though), that allows you to create
tunes, however it works by having using
sound inputted from a mic rather than a
user generated noise.
38                  Generation Y: Geek Chic

There are probably some more audio
production programs out there for
Linux, but that would require a little
more digging into the depths of Google
or SourceForge.
Random Musings Series                       39

Flash development is another thing that
is a very good skill for a geek to have.
Of course you have the standard issue
Adobe/Macromedia Flash Studio
program that comes with all the tools
and the latest edition of ActionScript
(built in scripting language in Flash to
add more functionality to flash files) to
code games and the like.
Or you could use a shareware product
like Koolmoves that can create .swf
flash files, but has a more limited
selection of tools (but all for about a
tenth of the price).
40                  Generation Y: Geek Chic

The Essentials
There are some pieces of software that
just need to be installed on your hard-
Communication, file-reading, and loads
of other stuff that could be making your
PC work for you.

First off, Windows Live Messenger, it is
probably the most useful program in the
world (as long as your friends have
computers and WLM installed).
You can stay connected by the power
of instant messaging, and best of all, it’s
Random Musings Series                     41

You might also want to get Messenger
Plus!, which is a free plugin that adds
better chat archiving and better tracking
tools to WLM.

Then we have Skype. Skype is one of
those programs that somehow creeped
from nowhere and has taken the world
by storm.
It basically provides free-phone calls
between registered users, allowing
even more free communication
      You might want to get a USB
headset/handset to use when on Skype
42                  Generation Y: Geek Chic

as using your PC’s speaker-mic combo
will allow others to hear your
conversation, and that’d be a disaster.

Another definite essential is Adobe
You want to be able to read all those
PDF’s spattered around the internet?
Well you need Reader.
It’s starting to become a standard install
on a variety of computers, but check,
because it’s a big old file, and
downloading it when you want to be
reading a file is a pain in the arse.
Random Musings Series                     43

Although I hate the pretentious people
that use it, you aren’t a computer geek
unless you have a copy of Mozilla
Firefox installed upon your hard-drive.
It’s an open-source internet browser
that is slower on Windows than Internet
Explorer, but is apparently safer
(although any Thomas, Richard and
Harold can read the code behind it).

      N.B. I’d recommend being even
      more pretentious and
      downloading Flock.
      It’s based on Firefox, but has
      native blogging tools, so you can
44                   Generation Y: Geek Chic

      post directly when the browser
      has loaded.

You need an FTP (File Transfer
Protocol) client as well.
My personal favourite is CoreFTP (I do
have my own, custom built one for my
website, but that’s not something a
name-drop geek needs to know about
necessarily), however, most work in the
same way so it’s down to personal
preference in the looks department.
All you need it for is to upload files to a
remote server (i.e. webpage).
Random Musings Series                    45

As a sub-part of essentials, there are
some plugins that are best to keep in
your arsenal of installed products.

Firstly, Flash player is something you
need to play any kind of .swf file, so get
over and download it as soon as you
want to do some surfing on the net.

Less important is Java, however it is
something that is beginning to be used
more and more in everyday sites, so
46                   Generation Y: Geek Chic

again, you’d be well advised (by me) to
install it ASAP.

Moving down the ranks, we stumble
across Macromedia Shockwave.
        It’s not used in a great deal of
web apps (it tends to be used on those
Quiz CD’s you buy in the Post Office
and the like), but it is extremely
powerful, and as you can guess by the
fact its in this section, you’d do well to
install it.

And finally on the essential software
section is Spybot - Search and Destroy.
Random Musings Series                  47

It’s a free program that scans your
hard-disk for spyware and takes care of
it for you without you getting your hands
all messy.
      This is a very important function,
what with the amount of malicious stuff
on the net nowadays.
48                   Generation Y: Geek Chic

See, your wallet wasn’t hit too hard this
              chapter, was it?
Now you know the names and functions
      of a variety of different software
     packages, so you’ll seem like a pro
 when you come to talk about this kind
                  of thing.

Again, you can turn over whenever you
 want, but I bet that as long as there’s
     writing on this page, you’ll keep on
Random Musings Series       49

             ……..told ya.
50                   Generation Y: Geek Chic

         Chapter Three: The Look

There’s a knack to looking like a proper
     geek, and not just the stereotypical
      spots and black, square rimmed

So we walk you through how to look like
am intelligent person, without seeming
         like some nerdy teenager.
Random Musings Series                    51

Not to put too finer point on it, most
geeks hair is complete shite.
However, to recreate this look takes a
hell of a lot of time.

You either want the emo look, which
can suit some people, or you just want
some weird spikes, and slightly messed
Not being a hairdresser, I couldn’t give
two shits, but you know what I mean.

Use some holding gel and just go for it.
52                 Generation Y: Geek Chic

You also want to get rid of those
goddamn spots.

Might seem a little metro to use
cleansing wipes, but they work, and
make you look a damn site better than if
you have a face full of white heads.
I’m sure the geek-girls appreciate the

Also, have a shave as well, you don’t
want to look like someone has put glue
on your chin, then emptied the contents
of their vacuum cleaner over it.
Random Musings Series                       53

You need the ironic T-Shirt.
The staple clothe piece of geek-kind is
the funny/witty slogan or picture
displaying from our chests.

Go for something gaming related, but
perhaps retro (I’m looking in the
direction of a tee with a Mario
Mushroom with an arrow pointing down
to your crotch).

There are thousands out there, but if
you must be a little bit different to the
crowd (I’m looking at you, Firefox
54                  Generation Y: Geek Chic

users), you might want to consider the
wealth of sites out there that let you
create your own shirt/design.
CafePress and Spreadshirt are good
places to start, and as long as you have
mastered Photoshop or The Gimp from
the previous chapter, you should be
able to knock up a pretty sweet design.

Try to avoid button-down shirts, and
those hideous full scale dragon ones
you see being sold.
You’ll look like a twat. Seriously.
Random Musings Series                   55

Jeans are a safe bet as always.

However, you’ll look even more like a
twat if you buy pre-ripped ones, or ones
with huge skulls or patches.

Less is more (hyea….) in this
department. Meaning understated.

Go for darker blue, rather than the
really light ones.
The really light ones are for 80’s porn-
stars and 30 somethings (hmm, do the
two correlate?).
56                  Generation Y: Geek Chic

Depending on what you want to do,
there are several options.

If you wish to be a skater, you want
some of those big and clunky skate
Some browny/black ones from DC will
do the trick.

However, if you don’t insist on
endangering yourself on a twig with
wheels, get some decent white ones.
Adidas or Reebok classics show style,
yet a retro look in keeping with the rest.
Random Musings Series                    57

 Not being a stylist, this isn’t really my
        area of expertise. Meh.
      You now know how to look.

    I once looked, but then the wind

 Now I’m a cross between the original
      Xbox controller and a ferret.

                 It’s true.

  I have video evidence…um…yeah;
  perhaps you don’t want to see that.
58                  Generation Y: Geek Chic

      Chapter Four: Word Library

 Somewhat different from a dictionary,
 this is the best place for you to find all
those words to carefully drop and use in
 conversations, without seeming like a

So make sure you do your homework.

Come on, sooner you do it, the sooner
               you’ll learn.
 These aren’t in any kind of order, so
     don’t be expecting an A-Z here…
Random Musings Series                    59

   • And it was like….

      Surfer lingo is in.
      Stuffing the word ‘like’ into
      everything is in.

      So combining the two is like, so
      totally good.

      And it was like this big fuckoff
      boss at the end, and I totally
      owned his ass.
60                  Generation Y: Geek Chic

     • Dude

       Another entry that traces
       its roots to the surfer people.

       Use it when explaining
       something pretty huge.

       Dude, you so had to be there.
       This guy like totally got
Random Musings Series                    61

   • Fragged

      Internet speak for shot or blown
      the fuck up.
      Has managed somewhat
      mainstream penetration, and is
      seen as a somewhat reasonable
      use of l337 speak.

      Er…hehe, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V…
      Dude, you so had to be there.
      This guy like totally got
62                   Generation Y: Geek Chic

     • Meh

       Dismissive term, essentially
       a polite way of saying ‘I
       couldn’t give a shit’.

       Made popular in an episode
       of The Simpsons, it is very
       much a mainstream word,
       but mainly used by geeks.

       Person 1: Do you want peas
       or sweet corn?
       Person 2: Meh. Either.
Random Musings Series                   63

   • Uber

      Word for big, huge, and in geek
      speak, superior.
      Original (and still) a German
      word, it has been used by nerds
      for years.
      Only well know because it is an
      actual word.

      That was an uber ski-jump dude.

      I am like the uber god.
64                   Generation Y: Geek Chic

 It was only a quick look through some
of the words to slip into a conversation.

     So, we have currently gone through
four chapters of how to present yourself
        to the world surrounding you.

It was good; we spent a bit lot of cash,
          and have had fun, right?

Moving on now to a chapter about what
     games you need to play to be geek
Random Musings Series                    65

           Love that phrase.

              Geek Chic.

    It’s like some really cool form of

               Go. Now.
66                 Generation Y: Geek Chic

      Chapter Five: Video Gaming

 Perhaps the definition of a geek is the
somewhat unhealthy addiction to video

     Whether you’re a PC or a console
person, it doesn’t matter, we’re here to

 The games you need to have played,
     the ones you need to say you’ve
      owned, and some tips as well.
Random Musings Series                      67

This section isn’t telling you that your
PC is shit (although, I think we both
know it is), it is dedicated to games.
Later on we’ll instruct you as to the
specs you need, but that’s being
savoured for another chapter.

So sit back and gently read about what
you need to be playing on that ‘ol
desktop you have lying around
somewhere (most probably on a desk).
68                  Generation Y: Geek Chic

If you don’t like First-Person-Shooters,
there isn’t a lot of point in using a PC for
The one genre that seems to flourish on
the beige-box also happens to be the
one that falters so badly on consoles.

This is where those gaming peripherals
we looked into earlier really come into
their own.
You need excellent response times,
and only a gaming mouse can provide
the relevant quality to succeed.
Random Musings Series                            69

FPS’s you need:
   • Far Cry
      Desert Island based shooter that looks
      good enough to eat.
   • Half Life 1 and 2
      Staples of the gamers shooter diet, this
      series has been around for yonks, but
      the latter one is very heavy on the PC.
   • Red Faction 1 and 2
      Old dogs nowadays, these are ageing
      in looks, but are still fun.
   • Cube
      Free, open-source, FPS for everyone to
      enjoy, single players pretty shit at the
      moment, but multiplayer is brill.
70                  Generation Y: Geek Chic

Role-Playing-Games are one of the
most popular videogaming genres,
mainly because of their high levels of
immersion, leading to a feeling of
actually being there in the flesh fighting
orcs etc…

Look out though; these can be even
more taxing on the silicon chips than
high-detail FPS’s, so make sure you
have more than the minimum specs to
run them, otherwise you just spent £30
on a pretty CD.
Random Musings Series                       71

RPG’s you need:
   • Oblivion
      Fourth Elder Scrolls game, and one that
      many people have literally become
      addicted to.
   • Baldur’s Gate
      Dated graphics, but a decent combat
      system and huge levels make it a must.
   • World of Warcraft
      5 million people can’t be wrong.
      Online game with more players than
      sense, and lots of quests to keep even
      the avid gamer happy.
72                   Generation Y: Geek Chic

The only way I’d recommend driving
games for the PC is if you went the
whole way and bought a proper
steering wheel setup, else leave it to
the younger, sleeker, consoles.

There are loads out there, but just buy
anything from SimBin or a Trackmania
Just make sure that you can run it
smoothly, last thing you need is the
frame rate to drop as you’re trying to
turn for a corner.
Random Musings Series                    73

Same thing with sports actually, make
sure you get a proper set-up, and
perhaps buy a wired Xbox360 controller
to plug into the PC to play them on.

I’d recommend any of the EA Sports
titles, they are the best around, and
being mainstream really isn’t a problem
in this genre.

If you must be difficult (again, looking at
the Firefox users), try Pro Evolution
Soccer 5 (or, depending on when you
read this book, the latest one).
74                  Generation Y: Geek Chic

Quite a bit like the PC, Microsoft’s first
games console was really the hard-core
gamers’ choice.

It plays the action/shooter games better
than any of the other consoles, due to
the more meaty control pad.
This also helps with driving games, as
the carefully placed triggers at the back
are a darn sight better for racing than a
2 pressure button (a la the PS2).

Prices range (it’s old hat now), but for a
new unit, expect to pay about £80.
Random Musings Series                  75

As said before on numerous occasions,
consoles are not really the place to be
experimenting in shooting practices.

However, the most popular Xbox
franchise happens to be an FPS.
Any guesses as to what this game
series is?


The game that most probably sold the
most Xbox’s, the one that’s shifted
76                   Generation Y: Geek Chic

more units than certain movies and has
redefined the sci-fi action shooter.

You cannot own an Xbox without
owning Halo.
It has to be a crime.

Other highlights include Doom 3 and
any of the Rainbow Six ones.
Make sure though that you get the full
games. A few of them are just
standalone mission packs, and you may
feel short-changed if you only get a
handful of levels.
Random Musings Series                       77

Xbox FPS’s you need:
   • Halo 1 and 2
      You like games? Buy them. Now.
   • Doom 3
      Even scarier when you don’t have a fan
      rumbling in your ear.
   • Rainbow Six 3
      Looks fookin marvellous, and sports
      some extremely good controls, brilliant
   • Ghost Recon
      Tom Clancy has a good market share in
      the Xbox games market, and the GR
      games are slightly watered down from
      their RS counterparts.
78                 Generation Y: Geek Chic

Role players come into their own on the
Xbox, as RPG’s are considered the
hardcore of games, and the box is
considered the hardcore of consoles,
they are a perfect match.

The massively multiplayer genre is less
effective here, however, there are a few
creeping in (mainly for the Xbox360

Keep an eye out on the online reviews,
sometimes a less than hyped game can
be a really good role-player.
Random Musings Series                         79

Xbox RPG’s you need:
   • Morrowind
      Won Game of the Year and released a
      special edition.
      Get this and bask in pre-first-person
      Elder Scrolls.
   • Splinter Cell 1, 2 and 3
      OK, more of a stealth-action, but you
      are role-playing, and any of them are
      good enough to immerse yourself in.
80                 Generation Y: Geek Chic

As said before, driving on the Xbox is
easier because of the presence of the
triggers, so there are a number of
decent ones out there for the playing.

If you are into simulation driving, make
sure you get Forza Motorsport.

If arcadey gameplay is more your forte,
then you may want to look at Toca 3 or
perhaps Project Gotham Racing 2.
      PGR2 is another of those games
that you really should own if you have
an Xbox.
Random Musings Series                     81

As with the PC, you will want to stick to
the mainstream games when going
down the sports avenue.

Top favourites like Fifa and Tiger
Woods PGA Tour are the best bet for
having a bit of non-exercise.

There are quite a few more obscure
titles in this genre; however, having a
comedy tennis game perhaps isn’t the
most chic thing, is it?
82                  Generation Y: Geek Chic

Sony’s middle-child has the biggest
selection and has sold the most, so is a
good bet for anyone who just wants a
more casual gaming experience.

The standard-bearer of game
controllers, the Dual-Shock 2, has many
a fan around the world, with possibly
the best layout and simplicity of all the
console controllers.

It also sports a number of the biggest
selling games ever, and it’s exclusives
being the main reason for owning one.
Random Musings Series                    83

Possibly the biggest selling gaming
franchise ever (even more than Halo in
all probability), is Grand Theft Auto.

GTA3 made the violence 3D for the first
time on a modern unit, and brought
mindless murder to even the most
sedate person.
Vice City, San Andreas and Liberty City
Stories have all added to this, and have
pushed the envelope of PS2
development (the next instalment,
GTA4, will be out in Winter 2007 for
Xbox360 and PS3).
84                  Generation Y: Geek Chic

Another of the elite games that tend to
shift consoles is the Gran Turismo
Debuting on the PS1, it evolved to
become the ultimate racing game (even
though there is little to no damage in it)
on the PS2.

In fact, it is so popular the developers
even released a few of the levels from
GT4 early in a special boxed game, and
people bought it….even though it was
just a glorified demo.
Random Musings Series                     85

Thirdly we have the Final Fantasy
Almost at edition 12, it is one of the
most respected RPG franchises.

The ones to look out for are the four
latest single player ones (that is VIII, IX,
X and X-2).

The characters never really carry on
through each game (none except X and
X-2), which can make it hard to get
involved at the start of each new one.
86                   Generation Y: Geek Chic

As a name dropper of Generation Y,
you’re going to want to make sure
you’ve played and make sure people
know you’ve played on the Super
Nintendo Entertainment System,
otherwise know as SNES.

Games you need to know are Sensible
Soccer, the overhead, physics bending
footie game.

Super Mario Bros is another one, with
its side based scrolling action; you need
to play it, and not just to tell other
Random Musings Series                   87

people why it beats modern games, but
because it rocks.

Mario Kart is also another one; the
cartoon racing game defined the SNES,
and generally makes people feel

The controller of the SNES is pretty
awkward to use compared to the
modern efforts.

Also, you need to know how to blow the
dust out of the cartridges; it’s something
every gamer just has to do.
88                      Generation Y: Geek Chic

New Kids
The new kids on the block are the latest
generation consoles that pack enough
punch to knock down a heavyweight
         Although graphics aren’t
everything, these new units will show
you near photo-realism looks, and have
levels so big it’ll take hours to explore.

At the time of writing (books can’t
update like websites, god knows I’ve
tried), only the Xbox360 had been
released, so forgive me if some details
are a little sketchy.
Random Musings Series                    89

The bigger brother (or perhaps younger
brother? Meh, up to you), of the PS2,
the PS3 is the epitome of video gaming

Weighing in at about £600 it has to be
bloody good to try and attract half of the
PS2’s buyers (the PS2 launched at half
the price [£300]) that stayed loyal to the
Sony bandwagon.

The Cell chip has already been dragged
through the mud by Microsoft, claiming
90                   Generation Y: Geek Chic

that its architecture isn’t suited to
Perhaps some friendly bullshit
generation? Or some pretty true
technical stuff?
Only a few more months to wait!

The Blu-Ray format will be used in the
PS3, so we can expect games and
movies that are about 25GB big, 3-3.5
times bigger than the previous consoles
(A DVD can hold 4-8.5GB).
Random Musings Series                91

So now you know the vital info for
conversation-izing about the upcoming
92                   Generation Y: Geek Chic

Xbox 360
Microsoft’s own next-generation
machine has been out almost a year
(as of press time), and is still utilizing
the DVD format (although by the time
you’re going to be reading this, they’ll
no doubt have launched their HD-DVD
movie player add-on) for game playing

The new console is a lot smaller than its
older sibling, and sports a new, iPod-
esque, white frame to make it look more
Random Musings Series                   93

There are a host of new games that
look set to make the Xbox 360 more
popular than the original.
      First off there is Oblivion.
The omgbbq!!1!!one!! RPG is probably
the one game that has motivated
people to buy the console.

Other highlights include the soon to be
release Test Drive Unlimited, and two
titles expected to drop in 2007; GTA4
and Halo 3.
94                 Generation Y: Geek Chic

Nintendo Wii
Forget the genius marketing buzz that
is the name, and the new Ninty console
is looking like one of the most fun
gadgets I’ve seen in a long while.

The funky remote-control style
controller, sporting gyroscopes and all
that shebang, is one of the freshest
concepts in gaming since the
introduction of CD’s rather than
Random Musings Series                    95

Whilst I do still think it should have been
called the Revolution, you cannot fault
their marketing division.
      The name ‘Wii’ had everyone
talking about the console for weeks,
and Nintendo got more press coverage
than you could pay for as a result.

Games to look out for are the first-party
sports titles (like the Mario tennis one),
and other more serious titles like a new
Zelda and a specially designed Prince
of Persia.
96                 Generation Y: Geek Chic

Little dots on the gaming scrapheap, or
major underground players?
There are a wealth of consoles out
there that I bet you’ve never even heard

Most of them are handheld units, not
many people have tried to penetrate the
home market, and those that have,
have tended to falter.

Let’s have a little look through them
then, eh?
Random Musings Series                  97

Ok, not so much and obscurity, and the
PlayStation Portable is one of the best
handheld consoles ever, but it’s in this
section mainly because of the lack of in-
depth titles.

As is the case with most handheld
units, the PSP suffers from having
mainly casual titles.

Highlights, however, include Liberty City
Stories, and the soon to be launched
Vice City Stories from the GTA
98                   Generation Y: Geek Chic

Also with the prospect of almost every
PS1 title to be available to download for
the unit, things are getting ever

Just a little more info.

It utilizes the very new UMD format to
play games and movies (although in its
movie guise, it is quite unpopular).

And for save games it uses Memory
Stick Pro Duo cards that slot into the
side of the unit.
Random Musings Series                     99

The Nintendo ‘Dual Screen’ DS is one
of those new Ninty consoles that is all
about the fun rather than the graphics.

What the DS lacks in processing power,
it makes up in functionality, with the
funky dual screens (one of the being
touch sensitive), and the large
catalogue of fun games.

Plus with the new Lite edition, it is
looking sleeker and sexier than ever,
making it much more appealing.
100                Generation Y: Geek Chic

Nokia’s phone-cum-games-console
suffered badly in the beginning from
poor processing power and bad game
placement (to change games you had
to open the unit and place the game
cartridge underneath the battery), as
well as having to answer the phone on
its side.

The newer QD version solved the
placement problem, however, by then
the PSP and DS were in the pipeline,
and the dated graphics and poor
controls just wouldn’t cut it with gamers.
Random Musings Series                  101

There is hope though for people that
stocked up on the N-Gage games.

The company is looking at the
possibility of placing a reader in its new
Series 60 phones, allowing people to
have a great looking handset, and be
able to play the games they bought for
the ‘Gage.
102                Generation Y: Geek Chic

The Phantom
Our favourite piece of vapourware, the
Phantom game system was originally
developed to allow you to play PC
games on a console based, download

However, troubles with financing and
bad press for the company seem to
have taken its toll, and in mid-August
2006 it looks like the company have
abandoned the console (whilst still
advancing with the download-system).
Looked good, but was ultimately too
good to be true.
Random Musings Series                   103

The nice thing to come of it though is
the lapboard.
The keyboard and mouse combo seem
to be perfectly designed for playing
games on a PC when not at a desk.

Every cloud, as they say, has a silver
lining, and the board looks like it will be
a nice little gem.
104                Generation Y: Geek Chic

Successor to the moderately-successful
GP32 Linux-handheld games console,
the GP2x expanded on its siblings’
roots, and allowed developers to get
down and dirty with content creation for

Highlights include a full featured GTA-
esque game, and several clones of the
Doom series, as well as a MAME
emulator for it.
Random Musings Series                 105

There we go, there’s our look at how to
             be geek chic.

  Heed our warnings, and accept our
 advice and you’ll be considered very
              cool indeed.

 Hope you enjoyed this little escapade
through geekdom and we would like to
   see you again once the next book

106   Generation Y: Geek Chic
Random Musings Series               107

  Other planned works by the non-
  award winning writer behind this
  (None are guaranteed to be written)

        4 Cold Nights in Roslov
            Roslov Book #2
            Roslov Book #3

        Generation Y: Book #2

      Memoirs of a Dustbin man
108   Generation Y: Geek Chic
Random Musings Series   109