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Lunch Dates: Wil Wheaton

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Maybe there really isn’t such as thing as bad publicity.

If you’re not a Trekkie, or a fan of The Guild, or The Big Bang Theory, or a bunch of other stuff on TV, video, audiobook, and even book-books, then perhaps you haven’t heard of Wil Wheaton. One of his first screen-credits was in the animated version of The Rats of NIMH, which was my favorite book as a kid, although the movie scared the bejeebers out of me.

With a slogan of “Don’t be a dick!”, Mr. Wheaton must be aware of his characters’ sometimes questionable moral views. But there’s also “Be honest, be kind, be honorable, and always be awesome,” and “It’s not what you love, but how you love it,” which show up on a lot of specially-made shirts and posters.

Wil Wheaton is a huge proponent of technology-related stuff. His blog is full of things he’s thinking and doing. He brews beer. His Twitter feed is covered with a background that parodies the Neil deGrasse Tyson wavy-hands thing. He raises money (with his wife) for shelter animals. He’s got a beard and wears snappy t-shirts. He’s basically a Seattle-ite.

Questions to ask during lunch:

  • As a tech-loving guy, what do you think about Slashdot and Tested? Other tech favorites?
  • Do you also build stuff, like models and electric things, or stick mostly to web/computer/writing things?
  • Are you the kind of person who distinguishes between nerd and geek?
  • Having been on TV and a board game YouTube channel, you must be a nerd. Do you think of yourself as a nerd or a geek?
  • Do you encourage nerd-ness in your kids or was it inevitable?
  • You seem to have the dream nerd-life doing things like moderating a Comic Con panel for Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage. Do you like being a celebrity?
  • You attend various Cons, but from your blog, you don’t seem to like being in the public eye very much, and yet, can rally a lot of people at once. Besides some charity work, what do you want to do with that kind of power?
  • Who was/is your favorite character to play in a role?
  • Is it strange to play a version of yourself on BBT? Do people expect you to act in certain ways when they meet you?
  • Do you feel a sense of obligation to defend nerd-things (like commenting on the Discovery Network‘s truth-stretching/fiction for high ratings)?
  • What do you see as the biggest role for Hollywood (and other media) in terms of education?
  • What are your favorite shows? favorite educational shows? Least favorite and/or poser education shows?
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