It’s Gauntlet Time!

For a third year, four intrepid members of the GeekGirlCon staff will be battling it out this Sunday, May 15th at Mox Boarding House for the Gauntlet!

What IS the Gauntlet, you ask?

The winning team also wins a literal gauntlet! Image source: Kristine Hassell

The winning team also gets a literal gauntlet! Image source: Kristine Hassell

The Gauntlet is an invitational charity tabletop game tournament that includes local industry professionals from across all gaming genres. It’s also a marathon, and not a sprint: teams of four play games for nine hours! In addition to being able to play well, each team gets “power ups” throughout the games, which are special abilities to help boost their chance at winning. But, they don’t come cheap! Power ups are based on each team’s fundraising capabilities. The higher-ranked a team is based on its fundraising abilities, the more power ups they get! All fundraising efforts benefit a local charity. Last year, the teams raised an incredible $93,000, and GeekGirlCon also came fourth out of twenty teams! Information about the previous years’ event can be found on our blog here and here.

 

Odyssey-768x1187

Image source

This year’s theme is Odyssey, and the charity of choice is YouthCare, a Seattle-area non-profit that works with homeless youth, to help them get off the streets and preparing for life. During the day, Mox will also be hosting other activities, such as face painting, a donation drive and a twitch livestream!

“We’ve been practicing the games as much as we’re able to make the org proud,” says Kristine Hassell, who, along with Hosanna Tolman, Kathryn Storm and Mikey Brant will be flying the GeekGirlCon flag high this weekend. But, that’s not all. In addition to preparing for the games, Team GeekGirlCon has been planning a group cosplay which they will reveal on Sunday!

So, if you’re free this weekend, head to Mox Boarding House and cheer on Team GeekGirlCon! You can also donate for the team’s power up ranking here.

 

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

Tomorrow: All Geeks, All Games at Mox Boarding House!

Do you love board games? GeekGirlCon has teamed up with Mox Boarding House for a monthly gaming night on the Eastside!

Come to our All Geeks, All Games event tomorrow (Tuesday) night at Mox Boarding House (13310 Bel-Red Rd, Bellevue, Washington 98005) from 6:00pm onward! Admission is free! All ages are welcome.

Check out Magic the Gathering, try some RPGs or check out the newest board games with your fellow geeks! We (and Mox) will provide all the games from our library, but don’t hesitate to bring your own to share!

Attendees at October's All Geeks, All Games event. Photo credit: Kristine Hassell

Attendees at October’s All Geeks, All Games event. Photo credit: Kristine Hassell

New to board games, or looking for a new game to try? Not to worry! All Geeks, All Games is here to celebrate and promote diversity and inclusiveness in the gaming community. We will teach you how to play in a safe and friendly environment!

At our inaugural event last month, we had over 40 gamers come out to play! So if you’re looking for a new group of fun, friendly people to play games with, Mox Boarding House will be the place to be. As an added bonus, if you play a board game from their library and like it, you can buy a fresh copy for 20% off!

If you've never played an RPG with Andy, you're in for a treat! Image source: Kristine Hassell.

If you’ve never played an RPG with Andy, you’re in for a treat! Image source: Kristine Hassell.

We also still have our successful bimonthly Wayward Coffeehouse Nights every second and fourth Friday of the month from 7-11pm on the west side, hosted by our lovely Gaming Event Coordinator, Andy Munich. So, with events on both sides of the lake, that’s double the opportunities to come out and play with us!

You can RSVP to our event here, or, to find out about our upcoming events, sign up on the Meetup group here. We hope to see you soon!

Our event at Wayward Coffeehouse. Image source: Kristine Hassell

Our event at Wayward Coffeehouse. Image source: Kristine Hassell

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

September Geek About Town

Sad that summer is over? Get your geek on for the fall with these super September events!

Wednesday, September 9: Seattle Public Library “Directed by Women” film series: Little Women

1:00-3:15pm, Broadview Branch

From the website: Join us to enjoy “Little Women” as The Seattle Public library joins the Directed by Women global party this September! With their father fighting in the Civil War, Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy grow up with their mother. In spite of tragedies, the bonds of the close family hold even when men friends appear. Directed by Gillian Armstrong.

Thursday, September 10-Saturday, September 12: Star Trek: The Sexed Generation Burlesque

8:00pm, The Annex Theatre

From the press release: More debaucherous than a weekend on Riza, Star Trek: The Sexed Generation blasts off once again September 10-12th at Seattle’s Annex Theatre.  After a sold-out run in 2014, this fully scripted burlesque extravaganza is back with an all-new storyline, more beloved Starfleet characters, and sexy, space age striptease!

In this tale of lust, intrigue, and spandex bodysuits, what should be a routine mission for the USS Enterprise takes an unexpected turn after passing too closely to a strange wormhole in space. Trapped in time and unable to return home, Captain Picard, Commander Riker, and the rest of the crew must turn to some unexpected allies in order to unravel the mystery.

Written, produced, and performed by lifelong Star Trek fans, Sexed Generation is both a celebration of the show’s unique place in the sci-fi pantheon and a loving critique of its quirks. Featuring Seattle burlesque stars and seasoned thespians, Star Trek: The Sexed Generation is so over the top, it’s out of this world.

Friday, September 11: GeekGirlCon Board Games Night at Wayward Coffeehouse

From the Meetup page: “Do you love board games and enjoy teaching others how to play? Explore the board/card game hobby and meet folks happy to teach you their favorite board games! No pressure though, you can just come and play with folks who love playing games. And the best part about the GeekGirlCon game nights with our friends at Wayward? They are absolutely FREE with no cover charge!

Our group is inclusive and totally newbie-friendly. We play a wide range of modern board and card games as well as some classics. You might find King of Tokyo, Völuspá, Alien Frontiers, Locke & Key, Coup, Tokaido, The Resistance, Skull and Roses,Settlers of Catan, 7 Wonders, Toc Toc Woodman, FLUXX and many more!

Bring a game with you or just bring yourself. Join GeekGirlCon staffers, make some new friends, play some games, and enjoy some delicious organic, fair trade, and shade-grown coffee.

There are also local pastries and vegetarian/vegan treats, if you get hungry during all that gameplay. Their pastries are delivered daily from local vendors including donuts from Mighty-O Donuts, croissants from Le Fournil Patisserie, bagels from Blazing Bagels, and the rest of their tasty treats provided by Little Rae’s All Natural Bakery. There are even GF cookies from WOW Bakery!”

Saturday, September 12: Beginning Stage Puppeteering

1-3pm, $45 pre-reg/$55 day-of

In this fun, dynamic class, you’ll learn the foundations of good stage puppetry – focus, physical commitment and basic puppet operation. Seattle-based puppeteer Rachel Jackson will teach you how to make your puppet seem alive and connect with your 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.

Sunday, September 13: Seattle Public Library “Directed by Women” film series: Desert Flower

2:00-4:30pm, Douglass-Truth Branch

From the website: Join us to enjoy “Desert Flower” as The Seattle Public library joins the Directed by Women global party this September! “Desert Flower” tells the real-life story of Waris Dirie, a poor girl who flees an arranged marriage in Somalia, winds up in London and becomes one of the world’s most recognizable supermodels, who also speaks out against female genital mutilation. Directed by Sherry Hormann.

Monday, September 14: Seattle Public Library “Directed by Women” film series: Monsoon Wedding

6:00-8:00pm, University Branch

From the website: Join us to enjoy “Monsoon Wedding” as The Seattle Public library joins the Directed by Women global party this September! Part comedy, part drama and part romance, this charming film about a very chaotic Indian wedding won the prestigious Golden Lion Award at the 2001 Venice Film Festival. In English and Hindi with English subtitles. Directed by Mira Nair

 

Saturday, September 19-Sunday, September 20: Seattle Retro Gaming Expo

From the website: Seattle Retro Gaming Expo is back and ready for it’s annual expo!! This year SRGE is partnering with the Living Computer Museum to bring you both console and vintage computing fun! This September 19th and 20th, video game collectors, retailers, and enthusiasts will descend upon the Emerald City for SRGE 2015.

SRGE 2015 will also feature an exciting panel lineup with topic including collecting, industry insights and more! SRGE will release more information as the show approaches via http://www.facebook.com/SeattleRetro and http://www.twitter.com/SeattleRetro.
 
The Freeplay room is open to all attendees, and features over 1200 games, including NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast and more, All free to play ! In addition, there will be consoles from every generation (not currently in production) with games, challenges, contests, and more included with your badge!
 
Seattle Retro Gaming is dedicated to strengthening the local retro gaming community. We have partnered with Ninkasi Brewing and the EMP to bring retro gaming events to Seattle. In addition, the last Tuesday of every month SRGE is sponsoring the QUESTION BLOCK Video Game Trivia Night at the Wilde Rover in Kirkland. Details for these events and more can be found at www.SeattleRetro.org.

Saturday, September 19-Sunday, September 20: Seattle Mini Maker Faire

10:00am-5:00pm, $15 for a 1 day pass online, $20 at the door

From the website: Try out the latest, greatest inventions by over 80 makers from across the region at a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness—and a celebration of the maker movement: people not just hungry to talk about the next big thing, but to make it!

Over the course of the weekend, guests are invited to get their hands dirty and try out amazing projects through exhibits, hands-on activities, demonstrations, and talks that blend art, engineering, science, and technology. It’s a vibrant gathering of innovative minds, and the perfect opportunity to learn as well as share.

Monday, September 21: Jane McGonigal: Gaming Your Way to Better Health

7:30pm, Town Hall Seattle, tickets $5

From the website: In 2009, game designer Jane McGonigal’s life suddenly changed when she suffered a debilitating concussion. SuperBetter is her story of recovery–how she used her skills to create a game to help her recover–and how this personal project turned into a national plan to assist the recovery of others. Based on scientific research into the beneficial properties of playing games, her program became a research study with the National Institutes of Health and, more than 400,000 people later, it continues to help others. She’ll describe her experiences–how she overcame ill health through gaming–and explain why, in order to live a “happier, braver, more resilient life,” we all need to adopt a “gameful” mindset. Whether it’s Pacman, soccer, or a crossword puzzle, she’ll explain how to use any games we encounter to control attention, strengthen relationships, and self-motivate.

Friday, September 25: GeekGirlCon Board Games Night at Wayward Coffeehouse

From the Meetup page: “Do you love board games and enjoy teaching others how to play? Explore the board/card game hobby and meet folks happy to teach you their favorite board games! No pressure though, you can just come and play with folks who love playing games. And the best part about the GeekGirlCon game nights with our friends at Wayward? They are absolutely FREE with no cover charge!

Our group is inclusive and totally newbie-friendly. We play a wide range of modern board and card games as well as some classics. You might find King of Tokyo, Völuspá, Alien Frontiers, Locke & Key, Coup, Tokaido, The Resistance, Skull and Roses,Settlers of Catan, 7 Wonders, Toc Toc Woodman, FLUXX and many more!

Bring a game with you or just bring yourself. Join GeekGirlCon staffers, make some new friends, play some games, and enjoy some delicious organic, fair trade, and shade-grown coffee.

There are also local pastries and vegetarian/vegan treats, if you get hungry during all that gameplay. Their pastries are delivered daily from local vendors including donuts from Mighty-O Donuts, croissants from Le Fournil Patisserie, bagels from Blazing Bagels, and the rest of their tasty treats provided by Little Rae’s All Natural Bakery. There are even GF cookies from WOW Bakery!”

Saturday, September 26: Star Wars: The Party Strikes Back

EMP Museum, 7:00pm-11:00pm

Tickets $30 general public, $25 EMP members, $20 youth, free for children 4 and under

From the website: EMP invites you to join us for the closing party of Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen: Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume. Explore the exhibition before it leaves EMP, and enjoy galactic games and light saber duels, drink specials, Padawans costume march, and a dance party of Yub Nub proportions. Attendees are encouraged to arrive in costume and pay tribute to their favorite characters across the Galactic Empire. Do. Or do not. There is no try. You’re our only hope.

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

GeekGiftGuide: Geeky Gifts for Kids

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:

 

Kanna from Inuyasha

Temari from Naruto

Tweak from South Park

Shiboo_Krismer
“Rock On!”

Board Game of the Month: Ark

Today’s blog is the first in a series from our copy intern, Jaden Blazier. Jaden is a big fan of board games and will be reviewing a few of her favorites. Enjoy!

Rain or shine, board games are always a great activity! While this one doesn’t physically include a board (it’s more of a complicated card game), it’s still one of my all time favorites. Ark is a game of strategy, logic, and cute animals. It’s the perfect blend!

Ark

I’m sure we’re all enjoying the nice summer weather that’s finally made it to the Pacific Northwest, but you couldn’t say the same for Noah. With the treacherous 40 day storm just around the corner, there is work to be done on his ark. It couldn’t have been easy building such a giant boat, and he’s now facing the challenge of getting animals of all kinds settled onboard before the flood. Do you think that you could handle it? Now you can see for yourself!

This game is a 45 minute journey into the land of the Ark. Three to five people above age 8 (including you!) will be placed in the stressful, yet exciting, situation of finding safe places for all of the animals on the boat before the rain hits. Sounds easy? Well, here’s the catch: each animal has needs that must be satisfied. Maybe you play the koala bear card, and this koala is a slow, herbivorous, sunshine-loving creature. He must be placed in a cabin with other sunshine animals so he doesn’t freeze, without any provisions because he might eat them, and without any carnivores that might eat him. Oh, and don’t bother trying to get anyone else on the boat in that turn, this is one slow critter. Complicated enough yet? He also weighs 1 whole unit, and you wouldn’t want to tip the boat!

With a handful of animals of all shapes, sizes, and needs, fitting them all together can be quite challenging. However, finding places for these needy creatures will be rewarding! Every time you successfully place something of a certain category on the boat, you earn points in that category. Your koala would earn you a point in the “slow” category, and the food you placed in the cabin next to him would earn you a point in the “provisions” category. At the end of the game, those with the most points in each category will get bonuses, and the player with the most points wins the game! See how many points you can collect and how many animals you can get onto the boat before the final rain-card is drawn and the boat sets sail.

It may sound a little bit overwhelming, but it is a surprisingly fun game, especially for an animal lover like me. The one downside to this game is that it can get frustrating at times. Finding a good spot to place an animal takes some thought, simply because there is so much to consider. Sometimes you might feel like giving up entirely, but persistence pays off. It always feels great once you figure it out, and it really is worth the effort!

Other than being a tad tricky, I give much praise to the game.The first time I played it, I was less focused on the actual game and more enchanted by the beautiful artwork included. Each animal is drawn with charm, sealing the deal for me. Ark was designed by Frank Nestel, my favorite board game designer. He is well known for all of the animals and critters in his games, and this one is no exception. The characters are made loveable to keep you absorbed in the fantastical world created by the game; you’ll want to play it again and again!

A few of the playing cards from Ark

I would certainly recommend Ark, a game suited for family or friends. It is the perfect choice for a laid-back game night, or simply a fun activity for a day in. It may not be very applicable to the real world, but it does indeed develop strategic skills, and is plenty enjoyable for those with big imaginations. Ark is definitely worth a try. I mean really, who doesn’t love a challenge, some competition, and cute animals? Just get them all on the Ark before the storm and you’ll be set!

Shiboo_Krismer
“Rock On!”

Kickstarter Highlight: Social Gaming Cafe in Bellevue

ATTN: Bellevue, Washington

You have some new visitors, and they want to say “Hello” to their new city by opening a social gaming cafe this fall. Jessica Schattie and her husband just moved to Bellevue from Fort Collins, Colorado. They currently have a Kickstarter campaign for Gaslamp Social Games Cafe in Bellevue, which they say will be “a comfortable spot to hang out, play games, and enjoy our amazing coffee and snacks while you spend time with friends new and old.” Check out the video below.

You’ll never be able to complain that Seattle gets all the cool events and businesses! We caught up with Jessica to ask her a few questions about the Kickstarter project, which ends on June 17. Check out what she has to say about coffee, board games, and her vision for Gaslamp below.

Can you tell us a little more about your vision for Gaslamp Social Games Cafe?
My vision for Gaslamp Social Games Cafe is a place where folks can come to create a community. My husband and I have met so many wonderful people through gaming, and we want to create a place where others can make those connections. I envision it something like a personal library from the 1800s – warm tones, comfortable seating, vintage-y touches here and there, wrought iron accents, and of course shelves stacked full of games. Add in a cup of coffee or tea and a few friends to pass the evening with, and you’ll be all set.

Guest Contributor
“Rock On!”

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