by Ashley Laurel Wilson

(Mostly) Offline Valentine’s Day Activities for Geeks

Feb 12, 20094 mins
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Playing with gadget-y gifts isn't the only fun a techie can have on Valentine's Day. From judging the hottest programmers to geek movie faves and an interactive scavenger hunt, we've got you covered.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to include red roses and Frank Sinatra. Technology influenced activities—like geeky movies underscored by a love plot line, and online-based activities—bring new flair to this year’s holiday.

Leading up to Valentine’s Day, is running a contest called “Get with the Programmer”, which currently notes the top 11 hottest tech guys nominated by site readers. The goal of the contest isn’t dating, but Dannielle Kyrillos, editor-at-large of, says that she doesn’t doubt it will generate romantic interest in the nominees. Over 900 tech guys were nominated and the top 11 were chosen by humor, their humble nature and those who were “delightfully geeky”. Though team did receive an image of a guy with a computer over his “database”, he was immediately disqualified for the entry’s inappropriate nature, Kyrillos says. “Loving tech boys isn’t superficial.”

In fact, the editorial team invented the contest based on their love for the boys of their tech department. Winners of the “Get with the Programmer” contest will be announced on February 13th, and both the winning nominator and nominee will receive a notebook computer with a 60 GB hard drive—and perhaps even a love connection.

A little geek love in a movie is enjoyable too. If you’re in the mood for romance, but not quite the Cinderella kind, then maybe watching movies geeks fall in love in a movie is just right for you.

Computer geek movie Electric Dreams is a 1980s movie about a man and an Apple computer vying for a woman’s love. Another 1980s computer geek movie, though with only a romantic sub-plot, is Weird Science, a movie about two boys using a computer to make their dream woman. A more modern movie of this genre,Hackers, also has a romantic twist. And of course, there is the relatively new tech movie favorite WALL-E, which is about a waste collecting male robot from Earth who falls in love with a sleek female robot from a space cruise ship.

While watching movies is a relaxing way to enjoy Valentine’s Day, leaving love notes and actively searching for love in a fun way may be perfect for those wanting more hands on excitement.

Letterboxing, is when a letterbox owner setts up a letterbox and provides clues for letterbox seekers to find it. Letterboxing originated in the 1800s when an English gentleman left his calling card in a hidden spot in Dartmoor, England, inviting others to contact him or leave their own calling cards. Yet today, letterboxing clues are left in known letterboxes or online. Once a box is found, the letterbox seeker is welcome to open the box and leave a small message, picture or stamp. This is also a great place to leave small Valentine’s Day gifts or cards.

Letterboxing can be a slow moving, yet rewarding hobby. Yet for those who happen to be spending Valentine’s Day in Los Angeles this year, and want a faster pace activity, a Twitter-based event, may be more your speed. “Looking for Love” is a scavenger hunt that merges social networking with outdoor fun.

The event’s planners, Chai Tetrick, a software company employee, and Tanja Barnes, a new media consultant, are, according to Tetrick, “techno geeks”.

“One of the criticisms of Twitter—and social networking in general—is that it isolates people,” Tetrick says, adding that they wanted to show the human side of technology by creating this largely offline activity.

Follow @Looking4Love on Twitter this week to learn the first scavenger hunt clues as they’re posted. Event attendees should arrive at the Los Angeles Farmer’s Market at noon on February 14th, where they’ll be broken into teams and given a list of clues.

“The initial clue list is going to be a totally separate list of clues than anything that is posted on twitter,”Tetrick says. “We will be using Twitter to give hints, bonus clues, and random tasks through out the event.”

Teams get more points for adding style to their pictures (like dressing up for the location) and uploading their information by digital camera to Twitter by certain times. Prizes will be tech related or handmade items.

Though the “Looking for Love” event gives Twitter a whole new use, Tetrick had a Twitter account for six months before he truly began utilizing it and compares Twitter to attending a party. “”You get out of it what you put into it,” he says.

Technology’s affect on Valentine’s Day activities may be growing, but remember, if you do meet someone cool, don’t try out a pick up line like “I want to play on your laptop”. Or any other nerdy pick up lines for that matter.