Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Release Date: December 2013
Publisher: Quirk Books
My Rating: 3.5/5
Source: Received for review from publisher
Cover: Thumbs up, the 8-bit style brings back memories and goes well with the Geek theme =)
You keep your action figures in their original packaging. Your bedsheets are officially licensed Star Wars merchandise. You’re hooked on Elder Scrolls and Metal Gear but now you’ve discovered an even bigger obsession: the new girl who just moved in down the hall. What’s a geek to do? Take some tips from Eric Smith in The Geek’s Guide to Dating. This hilarious primer leads geeks of all ages through the perils and pitfalls of meeting women, going on dates, getting serious, breaking up, and establishing a successful lifelong relationship (hint: it’s time to invest in new bedsheets). Full of whimsical 8-bit illustrations, The Geek’s Guide to Dating will teach fanboys everywhere to love long and prosper.
Growing up in the 90’s I was fortunate to be around a lot of the weirdest, coolest, and corniest fads ever to have been invented. Not becoming a true Geek, in my opinion, I have still had an obsession (some short-lived, some still proudly and strongly going) for trading cards, video and computer games, the internet in general, certain television shows, etc. I would say I’m a low gradient Geek who can still appreciate the lifestyle and passion of full-fledged Geeks. Despite the fact that I am not the main target audience of The Geek’s Guide to Dating, I still had a lot fun reading it.
I thoroughly enjoyed every geek-tastic reference that I could personally relate to. Some were lost on me but that’s because I haven’t personally enjoyed an MMORPG (like World of Warcraft), watched Star Trek or Star Wars (I knooooow, don’t shoot me), or read many comics (only because I don’t really know where to start…) What were some of the references I enjoyed you ask? Well, let me share a few:
On dating the same type person – “So don’t choose Pikachu every time, Player One, no matter how cute that lightning-bolt tail may be. Try a Squirtle or a Charizard and see what happens.” (38)
On posting your “About Me” section for online dating – “Be original and genuine…unless you truly do love pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. In that case, good luck with the pneumonia and alcoholism.” (49)
On merging geek life with love life – “…it’s important to remember you can’t force the person you’re dating to connect with your interests in the exact way that you want her to. If you’re an autobot and she’s an aerialbot, you can’t expect her to suddenly transform into a ground-based vehicle. But you can still bond over your mutual love of administering beat downs to Decepticons.” (173)
Putting on our serious pants for a moment I must say that this book was very thoughtfully structured and detailed. The author thoroughly walks the reader through every step of the dating game from discovering and identifying your(geek)self to dealing with rejection from the perspective Player Two. As a woman, I appreciated the fact that a lot of care and thought went into this guide because it makes it apparent that there are males out there that take the time and effort into planning a date. However, it became a slight chore for me to get through the middle of the book. I suppose this is where the book loses its “can be applied to both female and male Geeks” appeal. Or where I thought maybe the author was holding the hand of Player One a little too much and being a little too thorough. But I digress…there is a short disclaimer in the beginning about the Gal Geek reader and how the book is geared to the male geek. But it’s understandable… the author is a charismatic male geek who is reaching out to his fellow male geeks with the ultimate Dating Game walkthrough! All in all this is a fun, charming read that is full of pretty smart advice for the male and female geek and non-geek. You’ll just appreciate the references and metaphors more and laugh harder if you embrace the geek within.