Before I get started today, a random question…what is with the whole “mysterious hands floating around a crystal ball” thing, anyway? While searching for images to yoink for today’s post there was an eerie similarity in how people handle crystal balls (insert “that’s what she said” joke here). I mean, c’mon people – it’s not like it’s going to burn your hands or face off like the end of an Indiana Jones movie. Ah well.

Anyway, the imagery of a crystal ball is supposed to evoke that age-old tradition of bloggers to make predictions for 2011 or so. You can find a sample of this among the geek bloggers I follow, like Keen, who takes a….well, keen eye to the future of MMOs. Another interesting read is a post from a few weeks ago from Lum/Scott Jennings where he looked back at what he predicted for 2010 in games and saw how accurate it was.

But you’re not going to really find any such posts from me. Don’t worry – I’m not bashing these kinds of posts (that would be negative, and you know how I feel about that), but I also refrain from making them for a few reasons. One of these would be the fact that more than likely, I’d be completely and totally wrong. I’m not really an industry luminary by any means, and my current association within the gaming business is more focused on people and communities rather than on product, per se. As far as the rest of geekery, I’m plugged in but I don’t have an ear to the ground like most people.

This makes any sort of prediction I make about how geek media is going to change (or not) equally likely to be accurate and true. I could tell you that all the slated MMO releases for 2011 will launch with hundreds of thousands of subscribers and it would be as accurate as if I told you World of Warcraft will allow you insta-roll a max level character for money. I could tell you something safe like predicting that games will be played by people, and it might have the same chance of coming true as us discovering that aliens are among us, and they play Call of Duty obsessively as a means of education about earthling behavior. No, I don’t trust my ability to accurately and credibly predict anything, and neither should you.

The other reason why I wouldn’t make such a post is really the fact that it’s A)more fun to discover what happens in geek media on our own and B)geekery is so unpredictable it’s hard to see what they latch onto from year to year. For examples, look no further than recent history, which probably couldn’t predict that a service which allowed you to tell people what you were doing and also cruelly forced you into a 140 character limit would be wildly successful. Or how about the fact that streaming media would begin to encroach (or in the case of poor Blockbuster, kill) on traditional markets of “modern” media consumption. What about how viral media and a familiar term from sci-fi rocketed an alliance of companies into a contender to unseat the iPhone? I’m telling you, sometimes you can’t predict this stuff – especially in the world of geekdom, who have taken on a mantle of not only being hyper-analytical about things but also vulnerable to the next shiny thing that comes along.

Really, though, it’s a testament to geekery that its gadgets and software and games and the like are not easy to predict. It’s a dynamic, flowing, changing segment of consumerism, and it has the backing of industries and workers that have a clear and seemingly limitless path of advancement. With such “sky is the limit” behavior, it’s no wonder that the darlings and surprises of the geek world have appeal just because they come out of left field and impress. In the end, I plan on sitting back and watching to see what will be successful and amazing out of the geek media world in 2011 – and you can be sure I’ll be trying to write about it in my own, sunny, perpetually happy way.