By: Mike Dodd
It is that time of year again and that means for some of you, freedom, the first time out on your own and setting up your own college dorm experience. I am actually very jealous of those who will be entering college for the first time in the next few weeks; getting a chance to live, learn and be a part of something special in your lives.
Yes, I am one of those guys who misses college with every passing year. I am pleased however that I get a chance to take a look at what I’d do in order to get set up if I did it all over again. I present to you, my own version of a functional back to school style guide with a geeky aesthetic. All the items that I have chosen here I think will serve you in some nerdy capacity and will provide you with more than just entertainment functionality.
So please sit back, and get ready to spend your parent’s money or perhaps some of that lovely school assistance funds in a semi responsible, yet fun way. Let’s open things up for your geeky dorn room.
I assure you, you’ll be the king of the nerds should you desire it.
1) PlayStation 4
Alright, I assume that most of you will want a next generation console when you hit school and who would blame you? It’s going to be an exciting few months with games like Overwatch, Titanfall 2, Call of Duty and Battlefield. It might make studying harder but it serves as a good way to relieve stress.
I choose the Playstation 4 as the system of choice for several reasons. You are bound to find a good deal on older bundles, as newer SKU’s come into stores as we prepare to get into Sony VR in the next little bit. The PS4 can also do tons of stuff with multimedia, like being able to stream stuff from your computer, etc. I also choose the PS4 for other unexpected benefits. Many cellular providers offer Spotify free for 2 years, so you can use your PS4 to stream audio through your television or to a stereo system connected to the console.
It is also likely that A LOT of new dorm friends have a PS4 due to its install base, so you’ll always have access to people play games with. Who knows, maybe you’ll meet your future E sports teammates here.
I doubt it.
PRO TIP: Always take a look at different bundles and ask to price match wherever it is offered. You can snag some amazing deals. Check online as well, the same can be done on some online retailers websites.
2) A PS4 Headset
You know how I was talking about your PS4 on your new stereo? Well let’s say that you have a real thing for the collected works of James Brown… and your roommate doesn’t? This is a good solution for both you and your roommate. It offers some pretty impressive features such as virtual 7.1 surround sound and it has the capability to be used with other devices via an included audio cable.
One of the cool features that I really enjoy is that certain games have a built in sound profile and that can be downloaded to the headphones via a PS4 app. When you can have a profile built for the tense atmosphere of “Until dawn” or the high octane action of a shooter like “Uncharted 4,” you’ll be ready for anything.
If music or gaming is your thing and you prefer to keep the experience personal, then you really can’t go wrong with these headsets. You also get a pretty sweet microphone that is built in and works well for streaming on your PS4 should you decide to do that. Or maybe you need it to talk smack in your online multiplayer sessions.
3) Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard
School can make us lazy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be lazy AND inventive at the same time. I’m pretty particular about being able to use my computer or devices from anywhere, yet still have the power of a full keyboard behind it. You can be in bed or at your desk, or perhaps at some odd place in between, like a giant Pokemon shaped beanbag chair. Guess what, even then, you can still use this keyboard. The power of Bluetooth allows us to connect to smartphones, PCs, and tablets and even next generations consoles.
I found out that you can use this particular keyboard with a PS4 and have yourself another fully functional keyboard for gaming and web browsing.
It also helps that this keyboard is small, meaning it can be slipped into a backpack if you are particular about having your own or are skeptical about touching the grossness that can be public keyboards. It’s slick, stylish and functional!
4) UE ROLL 2
OK, real talk here. I sing in the shower. Who am I kidding? I put on damned concerts in the Bathroom, and I channel my inner rock god whilst soaping up. Logitech has given me a waterproof, shockproof and even DUNK proof wireless bluetooth speaker that I can hang off the shower head or wherever. If you pair this with a device that has a Lifeproof case, which is virtually indestructible, then you can have yourself a PARTY in your bathroom.
If partying in your bathroom isn’t your speed then you can take this little speaker out into the world, and yes, even to the last few pool parties of the year. You could probably even bring this out to the hockey ring outside so you don’t have to worry about it getting wet and wrecked.
This thing is LOUD, and you can even use the included program to make it work with another speaker to make things super loud. It’s a great little speaker and its nice to have a party that can fit in your pocket that can last around 9 hours.
5) TV/ DVD / Blu-rays
Sometimes we need to decompress between classes, or we need something to binge watch on the weekends while we await those dreaded Monday morning lectures. I have picked two of the shows that I think are actually going to be going somewhere, are on the same network and will be crossing over at some point.
I’m talking about Supergirl and Legends of tomorrow from Warner Bros home entertainment. DC has really had a relatively solid track record of fantastic stuff on television since its live action universes started playing nice with each other. Not only that, but every show has offered something different to its audience. Supergirl offers something bright, optimistic and funny with a lot of heart and wants to get at its DC roots sooner rather than later. Apparently it will honor us with an actual Superman come season 2. Legends of tomorrow is an action adventure team up throughout time with a team made up of B list heroes going against an A list threat with Vandal Savage through time and space. Think Doctor Who but with super powers.
The shows have the advantage of both having fairly strong first seasons. They allow the viewer to get invested in not just our main heroes but also the supporting heroes as well. I myself am really looking forward to seeing what Legends of tomorrow can do now that it too will have access to heroes like Supergirl, the Flash and potentially, Constantine as well. It’s not hard to imagine a weekend or two being lost while we fight on in the live action DC universe done right. DC has rarely let down it’s TV audiences unlike Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, which can be disconnected from its cinematic counterpart while promising it’s “all connected.” Whereas DC has made TV, it’s exclusively connected universe.
A toy you say? Okay, so EVERYONE spends a little of their college money on something goofy and something completely unnecessary and for me, it was a replica light saber. I am recommending something pretty kick ass from Hasbro, and that is one of the newer Transformers figures. I really think some of these can be fun little distraction and even a neat conversation piece to have in your room. It’ll usually get people talking, especially if it’s a flashy or something that triggers the question of “OOUU! What’s that?”
Michael Bay has for better or worse introduced the idea of “robots in disguise” back into people’s pop cultural mindset. We have seen 4 Transformers movies, so why not show off something a little different and actually recognizable for a change.
I’m recommending two different styles here: the Titans return Leaderclass Soundwave, which will blend great with other stereo equipment, and the much larger Combiners, which are a combination of several smaller robots.
There are a variety of different price points for the figures but I really like anything in the voyager, leader or titan class. Speaking of Transformers….
7) Transformers: The Movie 30th Anniversary Edition
We need to get ourselves a proper movie night, and we’re going to do it up in style. The original 1986 Transformers movie is an absolute geeky classic, and this is the first time it has been released in North America on Blu-ray. The war against the Decepticons is coming to a head in the year 2005 and the Autobots basically lost, but perhaps a change can happen, and the war can turn. This movie pulls NO punches in its brutality, and its made all the more spectacular because of its hand drawn style. Michael Bay’s movies have never shied away from violence, but there never has been any heart behind it, but there was something special here.
One of the greatest moments I had during my college experience was finding my fellow geeks and nerds and getting them together for our first movie weekend. I showed them a bootleg copy of this movie back in 2006 and I’m glad I did. We all had a chance to experience that uniquely 80’s soundtrack with Weird Al, some strange metal bands and of course, the iconic STAN BUSH and “The touch”. This song was so influential in my life that I actually used “The Touch” during my wedding and had Stan Bush himself do stuff for my wedding as well.
I recommend this as part of your back to school experience because it’s new and has never been easier to find. It’s an iconic 80’s movie that can unite nerds from across the spectrum, and as the movie says “’Til all are one.”
8) Nerd Block
As you enter school, and eventually “real life,” you will see that mail can absolutely SUCK and rarely does anything good, BUT you can change that. There have been many things in the last few years that fit into the subscription crate service that SUCK but this is thankfully NOT one of them.
What is NERD BLOCK? Nerd Block is a subscription crate service that offers you stuff like toys, collectibles and some other pretty sweet clothes as well. The clothes are sweet and have designs that you can’t find in stores. The best part about Nerd Block is that they are Canadian, ship super quick and have some of the best customer service around. The price is also quite nice too, which falls between 20-30 dollars plus shipping.
Out of all the crate services that are available, I feel that this is likely one of the best for Canadians and for anyone who wants to have something other then a bill show up once a month.
9) Han Solo Mini Fridge
9) Han Solo Mini fridge
Likely, your dorm room comes with a fridge, and you’ll have to mark ALL your food against your roommate, BUT there is an option if you want to keep things private to your room. This mini fridge allows you to bring a little bit of a galaxy far, far away to life, all the while keeping 18 cans of your beverage of choice chilled to perfection.
You also have the option to keep things hot. So if you were so inclined you can keep your college cuisine of hot pockets and Kraft dinner nice and warm while you go and run a few errands. Removable shelves and portability means there is some versatility in this little fridge.
There are versions of the Star Wars mini fridge with BB-8 or R2D2 styles, but I really think that the Han Solo version is likely the coolest. You can also use this to bargain with many Hutt crime families, though I don’t know if your Residence advisor counts.
10) Game of Thrones House Banner
Your dorm room is your castle. You are the lord of your domain, but to which house do you swear fealty to? I myself swear loyalty to House Stark and Jon Snow, the king of the North, out of fear that “winter is coming.”
I think these huge cloth banners are better than your average poster of some random hot chick or whatever. They add a touch of class to your surroundings. There are many Game of Thrones inspired items such as drinking horns, glassware, dinnerware and even full sets of blankets and pillows.
Sure, you’ll end up owing a king’s ransom to deck out your room but hey, a Lannister always pays his debts.
I’m picking this out of sheer bias. It’s a throwback to my frosh week and how I spent some of my first weekends in the dorms when I wasn’t working or doing homework.
Resident Evil 4 (PS4)
Resident Evil 4 was one of the games that got me interested in audio design and the atmosphere of fear. Recently, the folks at Capcom have spent the last year going back and remastering some of the older Resident Evil titles, and they finally finish things off with the best of the “newer” style RE.
It’s time to take up as Leon Kennedy and save the President’s daughter from the villains of the Spanish countryside, except this time, in glorious 1080p with tons of bonus content from all the previous editions.
This game is pretty much a must play, or must own, for anyone who enjoys the action adventure genre and anyone who can enjoy a good scare. Your residence may drown out the sound of you screaming like a child when monsters jump out at you.