The Nerd Guide

20 movies, books, series and games that will give you a free pass to the Nerd Universe.

The Nerd Guide

This is an ode to the ones who felt criticized for reading too many comics, for playing too many video games, for reading too much fantasy, or for believing in fantastic universes, talking lions, elves and magical rings.

This a celebration of the ones who were not taken into consideration. Not until a nerd (Bill Gates, Microsoft's founder) became a millionaire and said that we should be nicer to nerds because we might work for one.

Nowadays, as a sign the changing times, being a nerd is SO cool. It is a mix of being smart and knowing things about video games and comics. You can even find a date with this kind of knowledge; some say being a nerd is sexy. Who knew?

Comic-Cons are everywhere: the conventions that reunite the best of what is happening in terms of tv-shows, movies, comic books, and cosplay. So many cosplayers! The public for nerd events is just growing every day.

So, if until now you were not really into nerd things but want to give it a try, I would suggest you read further. We listed 20 items to give you a great perspective on what nerds might be talking about. You are going to be able to start conversations about elves and Middle Earth as well as discuss The Three Robotic Laws and the new champions in League of Legends.

A long time ago, before becoming the massive cinematic success directed by Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy was already a huge deal in the Nerd Universe. J.R.R. Tolkien and his story about how a little Hobbit had to carry the One Ring to Mordor is a classic and must be part of any nerd’s library. Magic, Middle Earth, Elves, Orcs and an incredible quest. This adventure has everything.

Maybe you’ve already heard of Constantine. Well, I guess you might have at least watched that movie with Keanu Reeves. No? Good, don't watch it. Instead of that, you should go read the Hellblazer comic books. As with any other publication under the Vertigo seal, Hellblazer is raw and the themes are dark. John Constantine, the main character, is a detective in a world full of supernatural creatures. He constantly deals with devils and angels as a part of his job.

Big Brother is watching us. All the time. If until now you did not know where the expression Big Brother came from (no, it is not from the reality show), let us introduce you to George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984). The dystopian world created by the British author presents us with Airstrip One, province of the Oceania state. Airstrip One is under 24/7 surveillance. People are unable/not allowed to think for themselves and the gin tastes incredibly oily. A classic of modern literature, this book is an amazing critique of how our society works.

A piece of art, Sandman is just so different, beautiful and unconventionalThe DC comic book series, written by Neil Gaiman, follows seven siblings - Dream, Destiny, Desire, Despair, Delirium that once was delight, Death, and Destruction - through several different stories. With 9 different issues, Sandman is perfect for the ones who like mysticism and a more mature way of storytelling.

Here we go again with the Hobbits’ stories. It is well-known that Hobbits are not really into adventures, however, great legendary quests started when Bilbo Baggins accepted to go on one (Well, his Took's blood was strong, I guess). 

The Hobbit, written as a kids book for J.R.R. Tolkien's son, follows Bilbo as he joins a group of dwarves to recover treasure now guarded by a dragon. Fun from beginning to end and a great starting point for those yet unsure whether they want to read The Lord of Rings, or not.

Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario Bros.

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Released for the first time in 1983, Mario Bros. was a part of almost every kid's life after its publication. Who did not want to save Princess Peach, eat some crazy mushrooms and get a ride with Yoshi? It’s great that we still can play with the adventurous plumbers even nowadays. It's like being a kid again.

Originally published as several different short stories, I, Robot”, by Isaac Asimov, was compiled into one book in 1950 and, since then, is the most symbolic publication about robots ever written.  The “Runaround” tale, one of the stories in the book, is known for containing The Three Laws of Robotics. These laws are principles which are mentioned in all of Asimov’s stories. They partially define the mystic behind robots and can even be applied in the real world.

With several seasons, some books and even Christmas specials, Doctor Who has gathered a huge fandom across the world. The story behind the Doctor is interesting: he's an alien from the planet Gallifrey, where all residents were Time Lords. The first season was produced in 1963, which means we have already seen many different versions of the Doctor. It is fun to watch: you truly don't know what is coming. I would advise you to not blink. You might miss something important.

Defence of the Ancients, also known as DotA, is one of the most popular and played MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) in the world, especially since DotA 2 was released. The mechanics are not too complicated to understand. You can play with your friends and have a lot of fun with it. However, you might have to eventually choose a side: you’re either a DotA or a LoL player, you can't be both. I'm kidding, do whatever you want.

In a post-apocalyptic world where “walkers” (aka zombies), are everywhere, a group of people fights to survive and make it through these tough circumstances. If this plot sounds interesting to you, then you would probably like to read The Walking Dead. Long before the release of the television series, Sheriff Rick, Michonne, Andrea and other characters were already fighting walkers and facing other dangers in the comics.

Live long and prosper! Spock's famous saying is what best characterizes the Star Trek franchise. With many different TV shows (there is even a new one called Star Trek: Discovery airing now)  and movies, this science-fiction adventure has avid fans all over the world. Either being Team Kirk or Picard, you cannot miss this journey through the stars with the USS Enterprise crew.

One of Alan Moore'most famous work, Watchmen, is not the typical superhero comic which you might be used to. They are more human; the member with superpowers is Doctor Manhattan. Published by DC Comics, the graphic novel was adapted as a movie in 2009, but some fans believe that the adaptation didn't do the story much justice. Fallen superheroes in a decadent society. At the end, we ask who is watching the Watchmen? This graphic novel is totally worth a read.

Lobo may be a really underrated graphic novel, but it is totally worth your time and money. This subversive and funny story of an alien bounty hunter called Lobo is the picture of the perfect Anti-Hero. With his healing powers as well as super strength, Lobo is not really known for following rules.

League of Legends is as popular as a free-to-play MMORPG could be. Released in 2009, the game rapidly turned into a sensation. The LoL “fam” is strong and the player interaction is extremely encouraged by Riot, the developer of the game. In the most common mode, Summoner’s Rift,  5 players fight against another group of 5 to see who will destroy the nexus (structure that lays in the middle of the team base) of the opponent first. The quest might look easy, but you have to farm a lot of minions and destroy many towers to get your way through the map.

The famous story about the Skywalker family, Star Wars is the ultimate nerd movie series. The films were important to multiple generations of kids who were eager for a well-elaborated adventure. In the original trilogy, we meet Luke Skywalker and follow his journey to become a Jedi master. He is also tasked with helping Leia, Han Solo and the whole Rebellion fight against Darth Vader and the Empire.

The Warlord Chronicles

The Warlord Chronicles

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King Arthur is known for his magic sword, Excalibur, and for having the Knights of the Round Table as his loyal companions. If his legend is true? People are still unsure about that. However, Bernard Cornwell managed to write a trilogy that seems so believable, we almost forget it’s fiction. Since The Winter King, The Enemy of God and Excalibur were published,  the story of this legendary British king became even more prominent in nerd culture and is a must-read.

Narnia is so magical and beautiful that we wish it was actually real. The seven books tell stories about the creation of the fascinating world by Aslan, a mythical Lion. They also tell the adventures of the Pevensie children as well as other unexpected events that only a creative mind such as C.S. Lewis’s could think about. Nerd insight here: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were close friends. You can read more about their relationship in the book Tolkien and C.S. Lewis: The Gift of a Friendship.

Wolverine - Old Man Logan

Wolverine - Old Man Logan

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Comics. This might sound a bit cliché, but comics are a total must if you want to integrate into the nerd community. Our suggestion here is Old Man Logan. This is an alternative story about one of the most important characters in the X-Men universe, Wolverine. As referenced in the title, it shows an older Logan who is tired and haunted by his mistakes from the past. The Logan movie was influenced by this arch of stories.

42. The most important thing you need to know in life. While this might sound silly to some, according to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, this is the answer to everything. The Douglas Adams’ books depict the human Arthur Dent after the “demolition” of the planet earth. He was rescued by his long-time friend Ford Prefect that, despite his human appearance, was actually an alien. The adventure goes in 5 different volumes that turned into a nerd classic.

Dragons, dwarves, undead, kingdoms and giant wolves. Game of Thrones has everything. The book series that turned out to be one of the most successful TV shows of all time is trending right now. Its characters are already iconic. The mysticism behind George R.R. Martin’s story attracts avid fans. Everyone is waiting for the continuation of this tale. Enjoy the break between the seasons and keep up with the reading.