The Nerdies: The 10 Best Nerd Things of 2007

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I’m on leave from Time for a month to work on a book, which is leaving me less exposed to nerd things than usual. I haven’t even seen fricking I Am Legend, for frick’s sake. But I’m keeping the blogging flame burning, sort of. Because, you know, it matters.

Today I spent my lunch break noodling around with a list of the best nerd things of 2007, regardless of category:

1. Halo 3 — backlash be damned, it was beautiful.

2. The iPhone — at this point it’s such a mainstream status symbol it hardly counts as nerdy, but you have to give it up for a beautiful engineering feat. Plus when developer kits ship next year, I think we’ll see some backlash to the iPhone backlash.

3. The Orange Box — Half-Life 2 is just my kind of thing. Big emphasis on the single-player campaign, gorgeous virtual firearms, lots of big cinematic vistas, a dash of horror. I’m only on item #3 and this is already sounding like one of Stephen King’s Entertainment Weekly columns.

4. BioShock — run Bioshock hype macro here.

5. Harry Potter and Thingety Thing — it had its flaws, but it got me where I needed to go. And where will the next thundering fantasy epic come from after this, one wonders?

6. Beowulf — It was smart, and sad, and violent, and had Crispin Glover in it. I don’t ask for much more. Insert honorable mention for 300 here.

7. MC Frontalot’s Secrets from the Future — if a great nerdcore album dropped this year, would anybody care? I would and did. All together now: I hate your blog.

8. Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao — a great novel about the fall and fall of a fat Dominican-American nerd.

9. The return of Futurama — let this also serve as an omnibus post that embraces my whore of a co-blogger’s Simpsons episode, featuring the voice of Alan Moore.

10. Scrabulous — it’s not cool. I know that. I’m just being honest.

Don’t bother quibbling about the order, I know it’s wrong, or at least arbitrary (or you can, but don’t worry, I get it), but I’d be curious to know what I missed. Obviously it’s heavily weighted toward games, but that’s because it was a frickin’ unbelievable year for video games, what with all those hot-ass high-quality second-wave Xbox titles arriving. I could have done the whole list in games, what with COD4, etc. Probably should have.

It also made me think about how unbelievably great next year looks, especially in movies, with Cloverfield, Dark Knight, the new Trek movie, and Indy 4 all in the pipeline. Plus there’s a new Nerf Herder album coming. Sweet.