Did you know that today is International TableTop Day? Find a game to celebrate with this installment of Ask GeekGirlCon: What is your favorite tabletop game?
Betrayal at the House on the Hill
“My favorite tabletop game is Betrayal at the House on the Hill published by Avalon Games. Every time you play this game, there is a different scenario. You build the game board as you go, and every time a different set of circumstances triggers the big bad Haunt. There are dozens of endings to this game and I’ve never seen the same one twice. I remember the first time I played I was beyond intimidated because my friend had to pull out his giant binder of endings and I thought it was the rule book. Even though the game varies so much, it’s still easy to learn and easy to play. And did I mention everyone has the chance to randomly become a traitor? What’s more fun then turning on your friends half way through the game because you’ve lost your sanity and turned evil?” – Jex Ballard, Volunteer Program Manager
“We play a lot of games in our house but my favourite game to play would be Antoine Bauza’s Tokaido. Tokaido is simple, relaxing game where you and fellow players travel along from Tokyo to Edo on the famous Tokaido.
This is a simple game with point to point movement where each player chooses a traveler at random to travel one of the most magnificent roads of Japan. During your journey, you will buy souvenirs, eat amazing meals, visit temples, meet new people, and see gorgeous vistas all as you travel the East sea road.” – Kristine Hassell, Twitter Administrator
Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game
“It is so hard to choose a favorite! Right now, I would say it is Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game. I had a lot of doubts when I picked up the game, as I have played many bad games based on TV shows or movies. Battlestar Galactica is a rare board game that is not just a lot of fun, it also remains true to the show. You really feel as though you are playing a character on Battlestar Galactica. While the game is mostly cooperative, one or more players are secretly cylons or cylon sympathizers working against the human crew. There is a lot of bluffing, deception, and deduction. This makes it fun to play over and over!” – Susie Rantz, Manager of Public Relations
Your turn, folks! What’s your favorite tabletop game? Any suggestions on what to play next?
The dreaded cover letter, it instills more fear in job seekers than any other part of the job search experience. But it doesn’t have to be so scary or terrible. I have broken down a few helpful tips to help make the cover letter experience more bearable.
But first I would like to take a moment to stress the importance of a cover letter. Time and time again I have talked to hiring managers who are dumbfounded when they get a resume with no cover letter. Not sending a cover letter does two things: Firstly, it sends the wrong message to the employer. You are basically saying that your time is more valuable than theirs, or that you simply don’t care enough. Secondly, you are missing a valuable opportunity to sell yourself. A cover letter helps an employer get to know you beyond the resume. Cover letters are really a wonderful tool that can help differentiate you from the completion.
So now that I have clearly convinced you to write cover letters, on to the tips!
Be sure to write your cover letter in a proper and formal fashion. Always have a formal salutation. Address your letter to the hiring manager (e.g. “Dear Ms. Lastname” or “To Whom It May Concern”). None of this “Hi” nonsense. Make sure to close your letter formally as well (e.g. “Sincerely”). In addition, do not use abbreviations or internet/text lingo—I cannot stress this enough. Seriously. (And that includes emoticons!)
2.) Proofread x12
It is essential to have a flawless resume, but it is even more essential to have a flawless cover letter. If you have spelling and/or grammatical errors in your cover letter, the reviewer might just toss your application without even reviewing your resume. So proofread your work. A good rule is to set it aside once you’re done with it, and then proofread it a few hours or a day later. It is hard to see your own mistakes when you just produced something, so taking a step back will help you clearly see where you might have misspelled something. Again, just slow down and take your time.
3.) Know who you’re addressing
Make sure you address the right company. I have seen cover letters that have had the correct company in some sentences, but then a different company in other sentences. Big no-no! Make sure you know whom you’re addressing, and how they spell their name (e.g. GeekGirlCon, not Geek Girl Con). In addition properly addressing the company you’re applying to, make sure you stress why you want to work that particular company. Hiring managers want to know how you will help their company succeed.
4.) Do Not repeat your resume
You should use your cover letter to tell the employer more about yourself, not to reiterate information that is in your resume. This is an opportunity to show your personality, and interest in their company and the industry. Try to tell an interesting story about why you’re interested in the industry, or why a particular strange job was actually a great way at developing x and y skills.
I hope these tips help you create the perfect cover letter and land your dream job! Happy Hunting!
Here’s today’s Geek Fact of the Day: The Sims launched on February 4, 2000. Happy Birthday to The Sims!
In honor of this nostalgic video game many of us played growing up (or still play today), we asked GeekGirlCon staff members to share their favorite video game from childhood. Check out some of their answers.
Elevator Action NES Cover
“Choosing only one game was really hard for me as I have so many good memories of game time growing up. However, there is one little known game that I always come back to partly because I played it so much and partly because almost no one has ever heard of it. It’s Elevator Action. In this 1983 NES classic you’re a thief trying to get into the hotel, steal the goods, and get to your getaway car (using the elaborate elevator system, of course) without getting shot by the good guys or squished by one of the many elevators. It’s partly puzzle, partly reactionary, and mostly just plain fun! There’s nothing better then hearing that short few notes that said you made it to the car and you’re headed to the next level!” – Jex Ballard, Manager of Volunteer Administration
“My brother and I LOVED Torin’s Passage. It’s a point-and-click PC game, and you play Torin, who’s on a quest to rescue his family from an evil sorceress called Lycentia. Torin travels to the “lands below” to worlds beneath the surface of the nested planet, through colossus crystal columns called phenocrysts. He is aided by a purple cat-like creature called Boogle, which is able to change itself into a variety of shapes. It’s got lots of fun puzzles (some of which were pretty hard for a children’s game), but the best part was the humor. The game was designed for parents to play with their kids, so a lot of the jokes went over my head as a child, but they are hilarious now. BRB, searching Ebay for Torin’s Passage…” – Amber Dawn Bushnell, Designer
“Frogger! At the end of every semester when I was in Catholic grade school, we had a school party day at the local roller rink, Rollero. I never had very good balance with wheels on my feet (I still don’t), so I spent most of my time–and lots of quarters!–in the little video arcade room. There was Donkey Kong, some ridiculous shooting ducks game, Ms Pac-Man (also a favorite), and then there was Frogger! For some reason I loved being the little green frog dashing across all those lanes of traffic. I wasn’t terribly good at it–we only went twice a year, plus a birthday party here and there–but I just loved it. Play the game here.” – Sarah Grant, Copywriter
“The game was simple: one button, one 2 ¼” trackball.* Me versus one determined centipede! I would play that game for an indeterminate amount of time on a pair of quarters at our local arcade. Once I played before a high school volleyball match and I played so long, that the next day, I had to hit the ball with my left hand because my right was so sore. If I see the game, I’ll get a nostalgic twinge and dig for quarters in my wallet so I can play.
“The coolest thing is that several years ago, I learned that the game was designed by Dona Bailey, one of the few female game programmers in the industry.
*The same size as a billiard ball.” – Kristine Hassell, Twitter Administrator
The Magic Map!
“When I was a kid, I bought King’s Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow at my neighbor’s garage sale (for 25 cents!). It quickly became my favorite game of all time. As a kid, it was thrilling to use the game’s magic map and discover some seriously awesome lands. I loved that Sierra incorporated stories like Wonderland (the Isle of Wonder), Beauty and the Beast (Isle of the Beast), and Theseus and the Minotaur (Isle of the Sacred Mountain). Both my sister and I played through King’s VI many, many times – frequently as a team. I sincerely hope a King’s Quest reboot is on its way!” – Stephanie Little, Web Administrator
“Mine was Where in Space is Carmen Sandiego? One of my earliest memories of DOS games. My dad was a total astronomy enthusiast and just sat me down with this and I was hooked, engaged by the graphics and enthralled with researching V.I.L.E. operatives, planets, and moons. Since I love space, this definitely stood out for me more than any of the other games in the series. The imagination behind the dossiers was particularly impressive. I remember reading that thing more than a few times, for sure. A few years ago I wanted to play it again to see how it held up but there’s next to nothing on the Internet about that installment of the Carmen Sandiego series. Definitely the best one, too.” – Kathryn Storm, UX Designer
So readers, what’s your favorite childhood video game?
Our Manager of GeekGirlConnections, Terra Olsen, has some fantastic tips in store for the geek on a mission to network and take advantage of a new career! Take a gander at her advice.
Writing a resume, be it your first or your twentieth, can be a daunting task. I have compiled my favorite tips for resume building in the hopes of make it more manageable.
1.) Style Properly
* Use an easy to read font.
* Use a proper format. Chronological formats are popular (experience first, then your education and skills), but it also works well to use a customized format (where you address the job to which you are applying at the top).
2.) Know your Audience
* When building a resume, it is extremely important to know your audience. For example, if you’re applying to a graphic design firm, then it’s appropriate to build a creative resume that stands out. On the other hand, if you’re applying to an engineering firm, then it’s appropriate to have a straightforward and clean resume.
* Try to put only relevant experience on the resume. There is no need to list every single job you’ve ever had. If you’re new to the working world, list the jobs you’ve had, but be sure to make them as relevant as possible for the position to which you’re applying.
Friday, February 1-Sunday, March 10:Photograph 51 From the website: “The Seattle Rep presents “Photograph 51 “ by Anna Ziegler
From the website: An intriguing portrait of British scientist Rosalind Franklin and her—often overlooked—role in the discovery of DNA’s double helix structure. This complex tale explores how Franklin, a smart, stubborn, and courageous woman, operated in a field dominated by men. A balance of the historical, romantic, and scientific, Photograph 51 is a touching human play of ideas.”
Friday, February 1-Sunday, February 3:FoolsCap Con From the website: “Foolscap is a small weekend conference where readers, writers, visual artists, and other people who love science fiction and fantasy meet, learn, talk to each other, and have a great time together.” It is occurring at the same time as Potlatch 22.
Friday, February 1-Sunday, February 3:Potlatch 22 From the website: “Potlatch is about books: the books we love, and why we love them. Potlatch is about good conversation, conversation about books, and how they fit in our lives, and also about almost anything else you can think of. Potlatch is about speculative fiction, both SF and Fantasy. Potlatch is about sharing: sharing with old friends as well as the ones we just met: sharing great meals, sharing small adventures, sharing our favorite tipple, and sharing our ideas in the ongoing conversation that is Potlatch. At the center of that conversation is a single great book, one we hope everyone will have read by the time we get together, so that we can take a common starting point to range out from.” It is occurring at the same time as FoolsCap.
Wednesday, February 13:GeekWire Meetup From the event page: “Mix and mingle with key members of the Seattle tech community at the beautiful new Hub Seattle startup and co-working space in Pioneer Square.”
Friday, February 15:EMP Art of Video Games Opening From the website: “Celebrate the opening of The Art of Video Games with a family-friendly Game Nite! Enjoy tournament style gaming on popular consoles on EMP’s monumental Sky Church screen; classic tabletop gaming with Blue Highway Games in the EMP Lounge; spotlight talks that offer insight into the lives of industry professionals in EMP’s JBL Theater; and a test arcade where audiences can sample the latest and greatest projects from local up-and-coming game designers.” Also, GeekGirlCon has a booth! Stop by!
Friday, February 15-Sunday, February 17:RadCon Science Fiction Convention (Pasco, Washington) From the website: “RadCon, the big con with a small con feel, is a Science-Fiction Convention held annually in Pasco, Washington. We cater to all genre of the SciFi community.”
Saturday, February 16:Grab Bag 2: Electric Boobaloo From the event page: “Unnatural Redhead Productions is proud to bring “Grab Bag 2: Electric Boobaloo! A burlesque revue with something for everyone!” to Seattle this February. Do you like horses? Sexy clowns? Robots? Flamingos? Classic fan dances? Nerdy burlesque? Singing? No matter what interest or preference, this show will have something to please every audience member!”
Saturday, February 18-Sunday, February 19:Northwest Scale Modelers Show From the website: “See hundreds upon hundreds of model aircraft, cars, tanks, ships, spacecraft, and more as NWSM members display their collections. Meet expert modelers and learn about the fascinating hobby of scale modeling. The show also will feature special displays of models representing famous aircraft produced by the Mikoyan-and-Gurevich Design Bureau and creatures and hardware from the Star Wars series.
Friday, February 22-Sunday, February 24:FaerieCon West From the website: “The FaerieCon universe [expands] to embrace fantasy, steampunk, goth, metaphysics, and many other genres who enjoy sharing their diverse interests and passions throughout the weekend.”
Saturday, February 23:ChibiChibiCon A one-day convention celebrating Japanese animation
Saturday, February 23-Sunday, February 24BeyondCon From the website: “BeyondCon is a costuming relaxacon event where you can learn new costuming techniques, share techniques you have developed, and hang out for the weekend with other costumers.
What are you excited for in February? Leave us a comment about what your geeky plans are or email Shubz at email@example.com to have it added to our events list! Please keep in mind that we, at GeekGirlCon, reserve the right to add or omit event entries.
Happy 2013, everyone! While the New Year is here and the holiday season winds down, take a look at these geektastic events in January!
Saturday, January 5:The Doubleclicks & Molly Lewis in Seattle! Geek girl music at its finest! From the Facebook event page: “There’s no cover charge, but we do the indie “suggested donation” thing – so if you can afford it, please support the tour with a donation of $5 or $10 – or maybe buy a CD or a poster!”
Saturday, January 12:Seattle Elvis Invitationals at the EMP Museum From the Facebook event page: “The 16th annual search for Seattle’s best amateur Elvis Impersonator. **Buy tickets in advance, this event sells out every year!** 21 and over with ID required.”
Friday, January 18-Sunday, January 20:RustyCon From the website: “Rustycon has a focus on literature, science, art, costumes, and gaming. After dark, many fen can be found enjoying the various parties and night time events. Join us as we explore the alternate worlds of the human imagination.”
Saturday, January 19:Vox Fabuli Beginning Puppetry Class From the press release: “In this fun, dynamic class, you’ll learn the foundations of good stage puppetry – focus, physical commitment and basic puppet operation. We’ll focus on how to make your puppet seem alive and connect with the audience. You’ll get lots of hands-on time with professional arm-and-rod puppets plus a simple practice puppet to take home so you can keep working on your skills. No puppet experience required, class recommended for ages 15 and up, and class size limited to 16.”
Saturday, January 13: Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Film Festival From the webpage: “EMP in partnership with SIFF will present the eighth annual Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Film Festival on January 19, 2013 at the Seattle Cinerama Theater. The festival brings together industry professionals in filmmaking and the genres of science fiction and fantasy to encourage and support new, creative additions to science fiction and fantasy cinema arts. The festival will showcase animated and live-action in science fiction and fantasy films.”
Monday, January 21:Nerd Nite – Gotta catch a ball! From the Facebook event page: “Eat your heart out, nerds! This month we’ve got Pokémon… we’ve got board games… and as always, we have fabulous new, nerdy friends and ample amounts of beer!”
Wednesday, January 23:Central Cinema’s TV Dinner featuring GeekGirlCon presents “Red Sonja” From the invite: “Whether your introduction to Red Sonja was from her debut in a short story in 1934, her first appearance in Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian comic series in 1973, or her own feature film in 1985 (this one, in fact), you can relive the action of Red Sonja’s revenge on Queen Gedren. Enjoy snacks or a meal while attending a showing (or two) of Red Sonja.”
Friday, January 25:An Evening at Merlotte’s Burlesque Show From the Facebook event page: “You are cordially invited to a special night of music, burlesque, and vampires with the citizens of Bon Temps! Join us for one of two shows, either at 7 p.m. or 10 p.m. on January 25 at the Highway 99 Blues Club for a celebration of all things True Blood.”
How are you going to celebrate the first month of 2013, readers?
It’s another year and another 365 days for geekery and nerdiness! When asking the GeekGirlCon Staff what their geeky resolutions for 2013 are; here’s what some of them said:
This would be a great cosplay!
“I have two geeky resolutions this year. My first resolution is to attend a convention that I am not volunteering at in any way. For most this may sound easy, but I work a lot of cons, so it’s more difficult than it seems. My second resolution is to cosplay at least once this year. Maybe I’ll dress up as Illyria, even if it’s just from the neck up.” – Jex Ballard, Manager of Volunteer Administration
These two adorable creatures are already into Kristine’s goals for 2013.
“I don’t so much believe in making resolutions just because it’s a new year. I DO believe in continuing to treat people as I wish to be treated, making healthier choices in life, and lastly being true to myself so I can be happy. There’s also the matter of planning a honeymoon this year… Happy New Year’s everyone! Thanks for making GeekGirlCon a reality and see you in 2013!” – Kristine Hassell, Twitter Administrator
A fantastically decorated page.
“My resolution this year… well, one of a couple, actually… is to start writing things down. This includes everything from tasks at work, to outings with friends, to starting up an altered journal so that I can note day-to-day activities, movies, good and bad times, everything that I possibly can! That, along with the usual of eating better, more exercise, just generally treating myself better — this should keep me busy.” – Kris Panchyk, Exhibitor Services Manager
I’m right there with you.
”Save Community from cancellation and get Dan Harmon back on the show. Should be easy enough, right?” – Abby Reinheart, Manager of Hospitality and Transportation
So what say you, readers? What is your geeky resolution for 2013?
Never fear! GeekGirlCon’s Last Minute Geek Gift Guide is here!
Kinda Last Minute
There’s always Amazon, but if I can, I like to think a little smaller. CafePress, ThinkGeek, Etsy, and HalfPrice Books have a wide variety of products guaranteed to appeal to the geek in your life: t-shirts, toys (both pop culture and scientific in nature), coffee mugs, movies, books, bumper stickers — and the list goes on!
Local comic and games shops may offer gift cards or gift certificates if you’re overwhelmed by the amount of geek one place. Find out what genre your geek loves the best, then ask an employee to point you in the right direction. It saves time, and gives your shopping experience a personal touch–as well as giving that employee the opportunity to show off their own geek cred.
Mostly Last Minute
It’s definitely time to go local, people. If you’ve got a steampunker or a scientist in your midst, shops like UW Surplus, Second Use, and Hardwick’s are goldmines. New and used machine parts, tools, building materials, furniture, and stuff you never thought about using might be just what your geek is looking for.
There’s also a search option on Etsy for “shop local”. Find something you think your geek will like, and contact the artist. If that handmade awesomeness is available, it’s as easy as meeting the artist at a local coffee shop to exchange your money for the nifty gift.
TOTALLY Last Minute
Tickets to local events can be found on Brown Paper Tickets, a fair-trade ticket company; you can print them and hide them in a festive box for your geek to open. Brown Paper Tickets sells tickets to concerts, movies, author readings, and conventions. For instance, you can gift your geek with passes to GeekGirlCon ‘13! (shameless plug, I know…)
I don’t know about you, but I love to poke around in museums and educational attractions. Don’t tell the kids about the educational part, though, or you might have a fight on your hands! Some suggestions for local places and events:
Pacific Science Center: The big one going on now through January 6, 2013 is the King Tut Exhibit. There are also rotating movies at the IMAX Theater, as well as camps and scientific exploration stuff for the kids.
NO TIME WHATSOEVER
As an absolute last minute option, there is probably a gift card rack at your local supermarket or convenience store. Those racks have gotten bigger over the years, and sometimes that card is the gift your geek will value most. They get to pick what they want at their leisure, online or in a store, and you don’t have to worry about having your gift exchanged or returned. Some racks contain gift cards for iTunes, a favorite restaurant, or online gaming sites. Even a gift card to that Seattle coffee chain looks pretty in its little envelope, and geeks love their caffeine.
Barnes and Noble Gift Card
My favorite gift, for anyone looking, is a Barnes and Noble gift card. Any denomination welcome. *wink*
Hi folks! In this installment of Ask GGC, we asked our staff members about the most memorable gifts they’ve received. Read up on what some of them had to say:
“My first pet, a baby black and white kitten I named Domino! I asked for a cat (from Santa) when I was seven and decided to test Santa’s reality by putting my christmas list in a neighbor’s mailbox down the street (instead of my own where my parents could find it!) I never mentioned wanting a kitten to my parents, and I wanted one SO badly … and it turns out the neighbors found my letter and brought it back to my parents the next day. So Christmas morning, I woke up to a little black and white ball of fur under my neck! It was seriously one of the most magical moments from my childhood! I was convinced Santa was real!” – LB Chambers, Manager of Fundraising
Sarah’s gift: a talking Dalek!
“I dated a very nice guy several years back, and he was pretty good with gifts. For my birthday, he got me a pair of sterling silver earrings with pretty purple stones, and a gift card to Barnes and Noble — both right on the money. The best gift he ever got me came wrapped in the newspaper — comic section, of course. I opened as we were driving to dinner, and I remember bursting into delighted laughter. He got me a talking Dalek from Doctor Who — black case, flashing lights, rollers underneath it. When I hit the button it croaked out, ‘Exterminate the Doctor!’ and ‘Obey! Obey!’” – Sarah Grant, Copywriter
You can’t go wrong with Snoopy!
“One year, I asked Santa to bring me everything Snoopy … which were my exact words. ‘Bring me everything Snoopy!’ My mother saved all the letters, so there’s tangible proof. Among the avalanche of Snoopy memorabilia, two items tie for some of my most memorable gifts. There was the super-cool Snoopy snow cone machine that my cousins always wanted to use during the summer. It was a lot of work for a little treat! And I loved my Snoopy soap dispenser. The contraption attached to the counter with a suction cup, and it used a weird granular dry soap that looked like dry laundry detergent.” – Kristine Hassell, Twitter Administrator
“My most memorable gift was a Super Nintendo from my dad that was bundled with Donkey Kong Country when it first came out. We didn’t have much money growing up, so any kind of gift more than $50 wasn’t something I could hope for. My Pa and I used to play on the NES together (he’d ALWAYS AND FOREVER beat me at Tetris) so he thought of it as an investment in family time. My SNES still works perfectly, and I marathon Donkey Kong every so often!” – Meg Humphrey, Assistant Volunteer Coordinator
Stephanie and her boyfriend, Robert, celebrating after completing a half-marathon.
“My awesome boyfriend spoiled me on my birthday! He bought tickets for Wicked and got me a Camelback — complimenting my geeky and sporty interests.” – Stephanie Little, Web Administrator
Thanks, Staff! Readers, what was your most memorable gift?
Holidays are for the kids! Whether you have a geeky kid or are a geek who needs to buy for a kid, here’s your guide to geeky gifts for kids. Your guide writer here has kids ranging from baby to teen to buy for, and I’ve got some ideas for you.
We’ll start at the top: the teenager. Buying for teenagers is almost the toughest. They can be really picky and also pricey. First to ask, what is your teenager into? Mine is into cosplay. Here’s just a few: