The most popular articles this year from Nerds on Earth (read that list here) aren’t necessarily our best ones. “Best” is rarely the same as “popular.” As usual, the most popular music wasn’t necessarily the best recorded this year either. Same for the highest-grossing restaurants. Or for innumerable other sectors, media, or products.
That means that if you want to find the best, most thoughtful work in nerd culture, you rarely find it by clicking the top result in Google. You’re going to have to avoid the distraction of letting an algorithm decide that a quickly-worded article loaded with SEO keywords is necessarily the smartest take on a topic.
Do your own thinking, in other words. And, according to our thinking, these are some of our best articles on Nerds on Earth this year, although they won’t necessarily be popular in a Google search result. You’ll have to read them and let us know what you think of them.
This review of the tabletop game Gaslands immediately makes you want to play the game. Read it here.
2 Jurassic Park
This hot take makes the case that Michael Crichton was the greatest science fiction writer of the 20th century. Read it here.
3 Stranger Things
This article looks at the “Satanic Panic” of the 1980s and how cultural fears have shifted throughout the decades. Read it here.
This article looks at how the themes of board games are at their best when the are fully integrated into the mechanics of the games. Read it here.
5 Be Safe
These tips can help you feel (and be) safe at cons. Read it here.
Magic: The Gathering, why one player quit the game, then why he came back to it. Read it here.
7 A Spider-Man Classic
The story of why an old Spider-Man story is a classic tale. Read it here.
8 Fresh Eyes
Words from one comic shop worker who excels and connecting with brand new young fans. Read it here.
9 Waste Management
Using engineering realities to argue that Luke Skywalker should’ve been fired out of the Death Star with a t-shirt cannon. Read it here.
10 Thanos Was Wrong
Understanding the Great Malthusian Imperative and why Thanos was so wrong to buy into it. Read it here.
11 Yo Joe
A nostalgic overview of the 1980s GI Joe obsession. Read it here.