#2. Geekifying Manliness
So you've trained your whole life to be an MMA superstar. You can kill eight men at once with your bare hands, and 27 children. Well guess what? You want to rise to the top of the UFC, you gots to know how to tweet.
Today the UFC actually offers bonuses to their fighters if they use Twitter. Not only that, but the bonuses are based on the number of followers and the creativity of their tweets.
We're seeing this more and more from "manly" shows like this, because dammit, geek's where the money's at. Pop culture is all video games and comic books now. The producers know this, and what better way to tap into a whole new market than to send out that invitation in the form of, "Hey, come sit with us jocks. We won't beat you up. You're one of us, bro."
Hey, look! Fox Sports has a robot as their mascot -- they must be geeks like us!
But, true to form, no one has been more shameless about this than pro wrestling, to hilarious result. I'm a huge wrestling fan -- I watch it because it makes no excuses about what it is: goofy, testosterone-fueled entertainment. But a couple of months ago, something happened that was so out of place, it was bordering on surreal. Even for wrestling.
They started promoting the living shit out of Twitter. Not just for their general WWE account, but for every performer in their organization. Every member of their staff was required to work Twitter into their promos, as well as having and updating their own Twitter accounts in real life. Oh, I am not talking about a graphic at the bottom of the screen or a reminder at the end of the show's credits -- they do it right on the air, as part of their show:
Yes, I know that every single business out there does social networking now. But this is the equivalent of actors on a TV sitcom stopping mid-scene and telling the viewers to follow them on Twitter. It eventually culminated in an event that had to have been incredibly embarrassing for everyone involved, even in a sport that is based entirely on being shameless: The "Trending Worldwide Match."
That was a match from the WWE's yearly award show called The Slammys, that's supposed to be like the Emmys, only with wrestlers. No, wait, that's not the stupid part, there's more. Every part of this match was exactly what you'd expect from a normal wrestling match, except for one stipulation: The first person to "trend worldwide" on Twitter during the match, would win the Slammy for "Trending Star of the Year."
This ties into another annoying Internet fad, the Snakes on a Plane style Internet Fan Campaign. In wrestling, it came in the form of an incredibly annoying wrestler named Zack Ryder. He was a nobody who had hung around the WWE for five years being completely unspectacular in every way. Until he found YouTube. Donning a bright orange and purple headband, he spiked his hair, sprayed on a fake tan, and adopted the personality of a Jersey Shore-style "bro." He then posted videos of himself, declaring that he was the WWE "Internet Champion" (complete with a toy championship belt covered in kids' stickers). Little by little, "Zack Ryder" signs started to pop up in the WWE crowds. He became a meme, to the point that his T-shirts started selling out without him ever appearing on the show.
Yep, this guy.
And again I have to ask: Were they genuine fans? Were they just liking him ironically? I don't know. I don't think they know.
But come on. I'm on the Internet all goddamned day, can I not watch a couple of hours of sweaty gladiator combat without having that shit shoved in my face? We might as well start fighting our damned wars with robots now.
#1. Marketing Sexy Nerdy Gamer Chicks
I'm not mad at Felicia Day. No one can stay mad at Felicia Day. But I do think she inadvertently opened the door for "cute as a button" nerdy gaming girl archetype as a selling point. When the mainstream media saw how people embraced her, they lost their fucking minds. No, I'm not mad at her because I happen to think Felicia is honestly being her true self. I do not think the same can be said for Olivia Munn.
"Here's a photo of me just casually playing some Pitfall on my Atari 2600, tee hee!"
Munn is a model and actress who landed a spot on the G4 cable network, doing shows about video games, relationship advice, and oddly ... drift racing. On her own, she was just another attractive woman trying to make a career in the entertainment industry, and even landed a few hit-or-miss shitty movies. But her career didn't truly take off until she was presented to the public as a gaming chick.
If you type her name into Google Image Search, you'll find her dressed as Wonder Woman, Chun-Li from Street Fighter, Princess Leia (the gold bikini version) and in futuristic, sci-fi looking outfits made of latex. All spotted in a sea of Maxim covers, bikini modeling and wearing outfits that cost more than your car.
Compare that top row to the bottom.
No, she's not a nerdy gaming chick. She is a manufactured marketing strategy, designed to rope in drooling Internet geeks by making them think that gaming and Star Wars fandom can attract girls who look like supermodels. And it worked. She ended up with a spot on The Daily Show. She's been on the cover of Playboy. She's written books -- and here's a shocker: One of them is called Suck It, Wonder Woman: The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek.
It's becoming a formula. Take a girl, dress her up in some superhero or video game character costume and send her out to a comic book convention, and watch their ratings explode. April O'Neil knows all about it.
No, not the reporter from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I'm talking about the hardcore porn star who has made an entire career off of building a geek following. She does it by wearing half-shirts that say "NERDS" on the front and talking about her love of TMNT. And by going to Comic-Con, dressed as the cartoon reporter. The following video says everything you ever need to know about geek culture, and why I have grown to hate it so very, very much:
It's a segment from G4 where a guy interviews her and another woman who are dressed in their favorite comic stripper outfits as a crowd of about 50 guys and four women cheer him on while he makes awkward comments about them possibly kissing. The entire point of the interview was that he was talking to two "hot chicks" who are into comics. And get ready for another shocker: it's their first time at Comic-Con!
Now, we already know about April O'Neil, but that blonde is just a huge comics fan who happens to be attractive, right? Nope. That's Nikki Griffin, a struggling actress who's played bit parts in low-end movies for a few years and is currently trying to market herself as just another one of us laid back geeks by appearing in costume. To her, she might as well be standing outside a Mexican restaurant in a giant taco costume. It's just another one of those things she has to reluctantly do to advance her career.
And the greatest thing to me is that these women are incredibly easy to spot because since we all live within the geek community, we know our own. When someone tries to bullshit their way into the room, they stick out as clearly as if they were wearing one of those fake mustache/nose/glasses disguises. If we saw April O'Neil on the street, the first thing that pops into our heads isn't going to be, "Wow, there's a hot, nerdy gaming chick." It's going to be, "Now there's a woman who makes a living rubbing cocks on her face."
Via Her NSFW Site (Nudity)
"I once blew four guys dressed as turtles! I'm such a nerd!"
And that is fine, I don't begrudge her that. But my video games are video games and my porn is porn. My brain is capable of handling more than one flavor of entertainment, I don't need you to put my steak and ice cream in a blender and I don't need you to dress my porn models up as Chun-Li.
For more Cheese, check out 8 Scenes That Prove Hollywood Doesn't Get Technology. Or answer Which Ninja Turtle Are You? Life's Most Important Question.