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This Week in Nerd History | July 31 – Aug. 6

Nerd culture is a vibrant tapestry of events, releases, and milestones that have shaped the entertainment landscape. From iconic movies to groundbreaking games and significant literary contributions, this article takes a trip down memory lane to explore the notable nerd culture events that occurred from July 31st to August 6th in history. Let’s celebrate these cherished moments that have left an indelible mark on the hearts of fans around the world.

Photo Credit: NBC News

July 31, 1989 | Game Boy

On this day, the Nintendo Game Boy was released in the US. The Game Boy was a handheld console that revolutionized gaming on the go. It came with a green dot-matrix screen and a cartridge slot for games.

Nerdy Fact: The Game Boy was the first video game console to visit outer space when it visited the Mir Space Station in 1993.

Photo Credit: SilvaGunner Wiki

July 31, 1989 | Super Mario Land

On this day, Super Mario Land released in the US alongside the Game Boy. This classic platformer game introduced the world to Sarasaland and Princess Daisy, who was kidnapped by the alien Tatanga.

Nerdy Fact: Super Mario Land was the first Mario game to be made without the involvement of Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario and many other Nintendo franchises. Instead, it was directed by Satoru Okada and produced by Gunpei Yokoi, who were both involved in the development of the Game Boy itself.

Photo Credit: DW

July 31, 1989 | Tetris

On this day, Tetris was released in the US alongside the Game Boy. This puzzle video game was developed and published by Nintendo and was the first game to support the Game Link Cable, an accessory that allowed two players to compete against each other.

Nerdy Fact: Tetris was chosen to be bundled with the Game Boy after Nintendo’s president Hiroshi Yamauchi played it and was impressed by its addictive gameplay. He also thought that a puzzle game would appeal to a wider audience than the action games that were popular at the time.

Photo Credit: Sportskeeda

August 1, 1981 | Video Killed the Radio Star

On this day, MTV launched on cable with the slogan “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll” and the music video for “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles. It became a cultural phenomenon by airing music videos and original shows for a young audience.

Nerdy Fact: MTV was initially available only to households in parts of New Jersey that had a certain cable carrier. The first VJs had to take a bus to a bar in New Jersey to watch their own debut on TV.

Photo Credit: IGN

August 1, 1985 | Superboy-Prime’s First Appearance

On this day, Superboy-Prime made his comic debut in DC Comics Presents #87 – a side story to the Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline, where he was introduced as an alternate version of Superman from a world where superheroes only exist in comic books (often thought to be “our” Earth).

Nerdy Fact: Superboy-Prime survived the crisis and was sent to a paradise dimension with Alexander Luthor Jr., Kal-L and Lois Lane of Earth-2. However, he became disillusioned and bitter with the new reality, and escaped with Luthor to cause the Infinite Crisis (2005), hoping to restore his own world. He became a violent and ruthless villain, fighting against many heroes and killing several of them. He later joined the Sinestro Corps and has continued to cause havoc in the universe.

Photo Credit: GeekDad

August 1, 1996 | A Game of Thrones First Published

On this day, A Game of Thrones – the first novel in A Song of Ice and Fire – was publsihed. This was the first of a series of fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin, that introduces the readers to the complex and bloody politics of the medieval-inspired world of Westeros and its neighboring regions, where several noble families vie for the Iron Throne and face a supernatural threat from beyond the Wall.

Nerdy Fact: Some of the best house words in the book, such as “Hear Me Roar” (Lannister), “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” (Martell), and “Growing Strong” (Tyrell), are actually inspired by the lyrics of the 1970s feminist anthem “I Am Woman” by Helen Reddy. This is no coincidence, as all three houses have strong female leaders in the story.

Photo Credit: Ranker

August 1, 2014 | Guardians of the Galaxy

On this day, Guardians of the Galaxy released. This superhero film, based on the Marvel Comics team of the same name, follows the adventures of Peter Quill, a human abducted from Earth as a child, who teams up with a group of misfit aliens to stop a fanatical warrior from destroying the galaxy.

Nerdy Fact: The first incarnation of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the comics looked very different from the movie version, and was set in the 31st century. The original team consisted of Vance Astro, Martinex, Charlie-27, and Yondu, who was the only one to appear in the film as a Ravager leader.

Photo Credit: Hotstar

August 2, 2002 | Signs

On this day, Signs released in theaters. This science fiction thriller film, written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, revolves around a widowed former reverend and his family who encounter mysterious crop circles and alien invaders on their farm.

Nerdy Fact: The artwork in the book about extraterrestrials was done by writer and director M. Night Shyamalan’s daughter, Saleka Shyamalan.

Photo Credit: Hotstar

August 4, 2005 | Always Sunny

On this day, long-running comedy series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia premiered. This dark and satirical sitcom introduces The Gang, a group of self-centered and morally bankrupt friends who run a failing Irish bar in South Philadelphia.

Nerdy Fact: The show has been around for 16 seasons and is the longest-running live-action comedy series in American TV history, surpassing The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, which ran for 14 seasons.

Photo Credit: TMZ

August 4, 2015 | Kermit & Miss Piggy Split

On this day, after 40 years of a tumultuous relationship, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy shocked the world by tweeting their official statement of relationship termination, causing an uproar of reactions from fans and celebrities alike.

Nerdy Fact: Their break-up tweet generated more than 10,000 retweets and more than 7,000 likes in less than 24 hours, making it one of the most viral celebrity splits ever.

Photo Credit: GameLuster

August 4, 2020 | Fall Guys

On this day, Fall Guys premiered for PlayStation 4 and Windows, and became a huge hit with over 10 million copies sold and more than 50 million players after going free-to-play two years later.

Nerdy Fact: The game was originally called Fool’s Gauntlet and had a medieval theme, but the developers changed it to Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout and gave it a more colorful and whimsical style to appeal to a wider audience.

Photo Credit: Variety

August 5, 1998 | The Points Don’t Matter

On this day, Whose Line is it Anyway? premiered on ABC. This American improvisational comedy show, adapted from the British series of the same name, was hosted by Drew Carey and featured Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, and Wayne Brady as its regular performers.

Nerdy Fact: The show started as a radio show in England in 1988, before moving to British television later that year.

Photo Credit: Vanity Fair

August 5, 2016 | Suicide Squad

On this day, Suicide Squad premiered. This superhero film based on the DC Comics team of the same name, featured a group of incarcerated super-villains who are recruited by a secret government agency to execute dangerous missions in exchange for reduced sentences, under the command of Amanda Waller and Rick Flag.

Nerdy Fact: The film features a cameo by Ezra Miller as The Flash, who briefly appears to capture Captain Boomerang during a flashback. This was Miller’s second appearance as the character, after a brief scene in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Photo Credit: Fandom

August 6, 1999 | The Sixth Sense

On this day, The Sixth Sense premiered. This psychological thriller follows a child psychologist and his young patient who has a shocking secret: he can see dead people.

Nerdy Fact: Donnie Wahlberg, who played Vincent Grey, the former patient who shoots Malcolm Crowe in the beginning of the movie, lost 43 pounds to play the role. He wanted to prove that he was serious about pursuing an acting career after being a member of the pop group New Kids on the Block.

Photo Credit: Collider

August 6, 1999 | Mystery Men

On this day, Mystery Men premiered. This superhero comedy film parodies the genre with a cast of quirky characters based on Dark Horse’s Flaming Carrot Comics, such as the fork-flinging Blue Raja and the invisible-when-nobody’s-looking Invisible Boy.

Nerdy Fact: Mystery Men is the first superhero team movie, predating the Justice League, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers, and X-Men. It also parodied many superhero tropes that would later become popular in the genre, such as the recruitment montage, the training sequence, and the inspirational speech.

Photo Credit: CNET

August 6, 2021 | The Suicide Squad

On this day, The Suicide Squad premiered. This superhero film follows a team of imprisoned supervillains who are sent on a dangerous mission to destroy an alien threat on a South American island. This is a soft reboot of the original from 2016, featuring a few of the same characters and several new ones.

Nerdy Fact: The Suicide Squad had the biggest sets ever built for a Warner Bros. production, including a 40,000-square-foot replica of a Nazi-era prison and laboratory that took three months to construct.





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