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Today in Nerd History | March 29

Welcome back to our beloved journey through the annals of nerd history! March 29 is a day that has given us some truly iconic moments across comics, online gaming, and blockbuster movies. From a dark and defining Batman story to an online adventure that shaped the childhoods of many, and a cinematic ode to pop culture enthusiasts, let’s dive into these milestones and uncover some nerdy facts that might just surprise you.

1988: The Killing Joke (DC Comics)

On this day, “The Killing Joke” by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland was released, forever changing the Batman universe. This graphic novel not only gave us a possible origin story for the Joker but also explored the complex relationship between Batman and his arch-nemesis, all while pushing the boundaries of comic book storytelling.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • A Darker Joker: “The Killing Joke” is renowned for its mature and psychological exploration of the Joker’s character, presenting him in a more tragic and horrifying light than ever before.
  • Lasting Impact: The events of this comic had significant repercussions, most notably paralyzing Barbara Gordon (Batgirl), a controversial decision that has influenced Batman stories for years.
  • Iconic Artwork: Brian Bolland’s art in “The Killing Joke” is often cited as some of the best in comic book history, with its meticulous detail and expressive characters adding depth to Moore’s dark narrative.
2004: RuneScape (Online/Browser)

RuneScape, developed by Jagex, officially launched in 2004, quickly becoming one of the most popular and accessible MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games) of its time. Set in the vast, medieval fantasy realm of Gielinor, RuneScape allowed players to forge their own path through its rich world, filled with quests, monsters, and treasures.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • A Dynamic World: RuneScape was groundbreaking for its non-linear approach to gameplay, offering players the freedom to choose their own adventures, skills to master, and goals to achieve.
  • Ever-Evolving: The game has undergone numerous updates and reiterations, including a major overhaul in 2013 known as RuneScape 3, yet it still maintains a loyal fan base with its classic version, Old School RuneScape.
  • Guinness World Record: RuneScape holds the world record for the world’s largest and most-updated free MMORPG, a testament to its enduring popularity and the developers’ commitment to the game.
2018: Ready Player One (Theaters)

Directed by Steven Spielberg, “Ready Player One” hit theaters, inviting audiences into the OASIS, a virtual reality universe filled with endless pop culture references, easter eggs, and nostalgia. Based on Ernest Cline’s novel of the same name, the film was a visual spectacle that celebrated the spirit of gaming and fandom.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • A Pop Culture Treasure Trove: “Ready Player One” is packed with references to movies, video games, music, and television shows, making it a fun scavenger hunt for pop culture aficionados.
  • Spielberg’s Touch: While Spielberg chose to omit references to his own films to avoid the appearance of self-promotion, eagle-eyed fans can still spot a few subtle nods to his iconic works.
  • Virtual Reality Pioneer: The film’s depiction of virtual reality and its potential impact on society sparked conversations about the future of VR technology and its role in entertainment and social interaction.

March 29 stands out as a beacon for fans of gripping storytelling, immersive gaming experiences, and cinematic adventures rich with nostalgia. Whether you’re revisiting these classics or experiencing them for the first time, today is a reminder of the creativity and passion that fuel our favorite forms of escapism. Here’s to the creators and fans who keep the spirit of nerd culture alive and thriving. Happy Nerd History Day!

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Station Manager of LTN Radio and co-host of the "Nerd History Podcast" & the "Two Words Podcast". Matt is a third-generation radio station manager who has done pretty much every job in the radio industry. Matt is the father of two boys and a little girl. It's probably the best thing about him.

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