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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!”

Make Believe

Written by GeekGirlCon Copy Writer Winter Downs

Like a lot of kids, I loved the kind of unstructured make-believe games you’d play when all the toys got boring. Whether we were fairies with magical powers, or adventurers fighting minotaurs in the heart of a labyrinth, my friends and I loved telling impossible stories and being someone else for an afternoon.


Photo source: little girls R better at designing superheroes than you

I’ve tried many roleplaying games since, but nothing quite scratched that itch for collaborative creation–until I discovered Story Games, tabletop storytellng games with an emphasis on narrative and invention.

Whatever kind of story you want to tell, whatever scale you want to tell it on, however structured you want the game to be, there’s a story game for it.

If you like having the details of your setting defined, there are games like Durance, which explores power hierarchies on a prison planet, and guides the players through figuring out what particular shortages the prisoners suffer. If, on the other hand, you like a game that leaves the setting up to the players, pick something like Shooting the Moon, a game for three characters (one beloved, and two suitors vying for their favor). It has plenty of info on creating complicated relationships, but can take place on a pirate ship, in a law office, on an alien planet, in ancient Rome, or anywhere the players can imagine.

Genres? We’ve got genres. There’s Zombie Cinema for action horror, Shock for political sci-fi, Dungeon World for a classic dungeon crawl, and Hot Guys Making Out for yaoi manga, to name a few.

A few of these games need someone to step up and take the storyteller role, which is kind of like the Game Master in a traditional RPG like Dungeons & Dragons, but it usually has far less control over the direction and outcomes of the story. Rather than waiting for the storyteller or MC to fill in what happens next or what’s behind the locked door, players chime in with suggestions, making it a much more collaborative experience. A good example would be Apocalypse World (and all the games that grew from it, like Dungeon World and Monsterhearts). If you want your character to find the diary of their rival, just narrate that you find it. Of course, that doesn’t stop the person playing your rival from interrupting you reading it, or from saying you find out something you were better off not knowing. The Apocalypse World games also use dice to resolve some conflict situations, which can lead to some interesting unintended consequences.

Shock and Shooting the Moon don’t have MCs or storytellers, but there are very clear rules about taking turns in framing scenes, driving the scenes toward a conflict, and resolving that conflict.

At the other end of the scale, there’s Ribbon Drive, a meandering road trip set to a soundtrack. (And yes, players get to make the soundtrack!) Scenes tend to be longer, quieter, and more conversational. Scenes don’t have to contain conflict or obstacles at all, and when they do, it’s more likely to involve interpersonal tension than violence. One of my favorite things about Ribbon Drive is that the whole group collaborates on creating the setting and the characters based on the first two songs of the soundtrack, which gives you an excuse to sit your friends down and make them listen to songs you like. Or maybe that’s just me.

Most games I’ve mentioned so far are roleplaying games in the usual sense, where each player takes one character (or sometimes more) and speaks their words, narrates their actions, and advocates for their interests. While other players and MCs may introduce new events, facts about the environment, and so on, players get the final say on their individual characters.

Some games, however, are on a completely different scale. Microscope, described as a fractal game of epic histories, has the players explore vast swaths of invented history, only occasionally zooming in to play out scenes with individual characters. Even then, the characters don’t “belong” to any one player, and if they show up again in the story they might be played by someone entirely different. The typical scale of a game of Microscope might be the rise and fall of a galactic empire. This is a great introductory game for someone who feels nervous about roleplaying as specific characters.

Map-drawing game The Quiet Year is smaller in scope, covering one year in the life of a small post-apocalyptic community teetering on the edge of destruction, but rather than playing characters, players represent subgroups and factions engaged in a tug-of-war about how the community should prepare itself for the trouble to come. They don’t collaborate or make suggestions, they just show their contempt in the form of a token whenever another player takes an action they don’t like.

The Quiet Year: amateur cartographers welcome.

Photo source: Buried Without Ceremony

Getting Involved (in the Pacific Northwest)

 I hope this has given you some idea of the variety of different experiences you can have playing story games, and piqued your interest. If you want to try out the hobby among welcoming, experienced players, a group from Story Games Seattle camps out in the gaming area of most big local cons, including GeekGirlCon. They’ll help you figure out which game you might like, and then play a demo with you on the spot. There are also the annual gaming conventions Gamestorm (in Portland) and GoPlay Northwest (in Seattle), which both feature story games as well as more familiar roleplaying games.

If you can’t wait that long, get yourself to a meetup at Phoenix Comics and Games on Thursdays, or Wayward Coffeehouse every other Saturday. Phoenix’s next session is July 10 at 6:30 p.m., and Wayward’s next session is July 12 at 2 p.m.

Meetup groups:

Winter Downs
“Rock On!”

October Geek About Town

Wally the Dog is too busy this October with so many nerd events!

Hi folks! Is it fall yet? Here in the Pacific Northwest, it’s hard to tell right now! Let’s celebrate this sun a little longer with some nerdy fun!

Tuesday, October 2nd: Tuesday Night Games at Raygun Lounge with Queer Geek!
From the website: “This weekly meetup replaces the Monday meetup group that used to meet at Six Arms (and Chao Bistro before that). It will be held at the Raygun Lounge, Gamma Ray Games’ new game bar. Come and play board games and take part in other geeky pursuits and mingle with your fellow geeks” (Note: This is a weekly event so if you can’t catch Queer Geek! this time around, come through every Tuesday night for some gaming!)

Wednesday, October 3rd: Nerdy Board Game Night
Location TBA, please see event invite for details.

Thursday, October 4th: Dominion Tournament
Please see invite for details. If you would like to participate in the tournament, you must register!

Friday, October 5th – Sunday, October 7th: BrickCon
From the website: BrickCon is a convention for adult fans, collectors, and builders of LEGO®.

Friday, October 5th – Sunday, October 7th: Maelstrom International Fantastic Film Festival
From the website: The Pacific Northwest’s premier weekend long event devoted towards independent and international genre filmmaking. The event was created to offer exposure to films that traditionally are overlooked by the festival circuit from genres including action, animation, fantasy, horror, and science fiction. The festival will feature an amazing selection of fantastic films from around the earth – with the possibility of artists presenting the works themselves. U.S. and world premieres will play alongside global festival favorites and select retrospective titles.

Tuesday, October 9th Information Architechture Panel from Amazon
From the event invite: What is the role of an Information Architect at Amazon.com? You’re probably burning with curiosity, wondering what an IA does at the world’s largest online retailer. You probably wouldn’t guess that there are only 4 known Information Architects in the entire company! While Amazon has employed browse taxonomists for years, IAs are relatively new to the mix – mostly as a result of the tremendous growth of the company, and the information challenges that come with it. At this IA Meetup, you’ll have the opportunity to meet a panel consisting of three of them: Nick Sweers, Carolyn Tweedy, and Nick Berry. These IAs will inspire you with their pioneer spirit, as they show you how they are defining the practice within a culture dominated by developers.

Friday, October 12th: Seattle Art Museum Community Night Out
From the SAM Website: Celebrate the creativity and ingenuity of women artists with an evening full of free live music, art making, My Favorite Things tours, performances and workshops inspired by Elles: Pompidou and Elles: SAM. Bring your family, friends, students, kids, parents, and fellow artists—there will be something for everyone! (From the SAM website) Join GeekGirlCon for “Ten Things I Know About You,” a game about famous female geeks and geekery. Spin the wheel for a topic and then name everything you can think of about it in the next 30 seconds. Surprise yourself with how much you know and maybe even win a prize!

Saturday, October 13th – Sunday, October 14th: InfoCamp 2012
From the event page: Join us at InfoCamp Seattle 2012 for an exciting weekend of talking & learning about everything information! As always, it will be you, the participants presenting sessions, talking amongst yourselves, and driving the content of InfoCamp!
…Rates are $60 for professionals, $20 for students for the 2 day event including lunch and snacks…This year will return to Mary Gates Hall at the UW. As well as the unconference format, we are featuring two speakers in 2012: Seattle City Librarian, Marcellus Turner, will start things off on Saturday before we move to the participant-led sessions and discussion. On Sunday, we will feature Information Architect and educator, Dan Klyn, to get us jazzed for another day of enthralling discussion between the participants. For more information, see the Seattle InfoCamp Blog.

Sunday, October, 14th: Dominoes and Such
From the event page: “What are we doing? Dominoes (or other games depending on the mood), chatting about anything sci-fi related, drinking (caffeinated or unleaded), and general silliness. We start around 10:30 a.m. or so and play until whenever (usually 2:00 p.m.), feel free to come early or late; punctuality isn’t important.”

Friday, October 19th: DMG 5: Billy the Fridge, Art Vandelay, Death*Star, MC 117
Every third Friday at Pink Gorilla U-District, the DMG series features a line-up of live performing chiptune or nerdcore artists, complete with a visual display, and free-play gaming.

Friday, October 19th: Geeklesque: Unites!
From the website:In times of crisis, those with great powers often come together. Leagues are formed; things get avenged; clothes… are taken off?! Critical Hit Burlesque (Portland, OR) and Jo Jo Stiletto Events (Seattle, WA) are teaming up this fall to bring you Geeklesque Unites! Geeklesque Unites will feature some of the best geek-themed burlesque from around the Pacific Northwest, for one night only on Friday, October 19, 2012.

Friday, October 26th – Sunday, October 28th, 2012: AkiCon
Three-day anime, manga, and Japanese culture convention.

Friday, October 26th – Sunday, October 28th SteamCon
Three-day steampunk convention during Halloween weekend

Sunday, October, 28th: Dominoes and Such
From the event page: What are we doing? Dominoes (or other games depending on the mood), chatting about anything sci-fi related, drinking (caffeinated or unleaded), and general silliness. We start around 10:30 a.m. or so and play until whenever (usually 2:00 p.m.), feel free to come early or late; punctuality isn’t important.

Monday, October 29th – Tuesday, October 30th: Seattle Interactive Conference
From the website: SIC 2012 provides a unique stage for entrepreneurs, technologists, advertisers, designers, entertainers, online business professionals and thinkers to converge: Visionary speakers on technology, creativity, and emergent trends will leave you inspired, and networking events promise to better connect you.

Got some geektastic events you want to add on to Geek About Town? Email Shubz at prcontent@geekgirlcon.com!

Shiboo_Krismer
“Rock On!”

Geek out with GeekGirlCon

GeekGirlCon President and Marketing Director Erica McGillivray (left) and Programming Operations Director Julia Santo (right) show off the TARDIS built by GeekGirlCon staff and volunteers

Do you live in or around Seattle? Are you interested in getting to know other geeks in the area?

Then you should join GeekGirlCon’s first informal meetup of the year!

In addition to hosting special events such as movie nights, art auctions, and burlesque shows, we want more opportunities to get to know all of you better and build a community of GeekGirlCon fans.

What do you love? What sort of geeky things get you excited each day?

Come discuss them at one of our meetups, which we plan to host every other week. We’ll explore areas outside of Seattle, chatting with geeks in Tacoma, Everett, and perhaps as far as Spokane. We might focus on certain topics each time, and we’ll mix up times and locations — a bar one night, a coffee shop another, and an outdoor picnic on a pretty day.

We’ll host our first meetup on Wednesday, May 30, from 6 to 8 p.m.

But we need your help to get there. Tell us where our first meeting should be. We’ll stick to the Greater Seattle area for the first one, but what neighborhood or city?

Leave a comment below telling GeekGirlCon why we should come to your neck of the woods. The area with the most comments gets the first GeekGirlCon meetup hosted in their neighborhood. And feel free to suggest great pubs, coffee shops, or other meetup locations.

 ** UPDATE: Capitol Hill is the winner. We’ll be meeting at Ada’s Technical Books. Check out our Facebook event page for all the details. **

I’m counting down the days, and can’t wait to get to know more about all of you!

                                            

Susie Rantz, PR Manager

Guest Contributor
“Rock On!”

Join The Discussion #GeekGirlCon

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