Whether you’re looking for something to add to your own wishlist or to bring to what will definitely become the best white elephant ever, you’ll need something fantastic and geeky to make a splash. The staff at GeekGirlCon came together and curated this perfect list, with options ranging from a few bucks to a few hundred, so there’s something in every price range.
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?
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?
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*
Do you have a tabletop gamer in your universe who has been on the AWESOMESAUCE list? Can’t figure out what to get that d20 high roller? Well, take a gander at a few of these gift suggestions!
What’s great about DiXit is there are 3 expansion sets! That means more illustrations and endless fun!
Asmodee’s Dixit is a favorite in my household. My husband and I have introduced many of our friends to this fun game, which is recommended for folks as young as eight. With beautiful illustrations and tons of replay value, this game is sure to be a favorite with your geek.
Guesstures, 1st Edition
Guesstures, a table top twist of the game charades, is a classic for players 12 years old and up. Act out suggestions from drawn cards and have your team guess them all before the “mimer-timer” runs out.
Dungeons and Dragons Players Handbook, 4th Edition
Now, I just started playing Dungeons and Dragons, and I am having a blast! Whether you’re a seasoned GM (game master) or it’s your first time picking up a character sheet, one can always benefit from some D&D swag!
Do you like some crafting along with your tabletop game? Warhammer is going strong. Visit the Seattle Bunker or a store near you to learn about all the armies and games Games Workshop has been developing. If you are a fan of The Hobbit, there’s a game to go along with it.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey — The Bundle.
You can never go wrong with a couple of accessories! For the steampunk enthusiast, check out this steampunk dice set:
A plethora of dice is a tabletop gamer’s ally.
So many dice and no bags of holding in sight? Check out a few of these dice bags on etsy!
Check out this sweet Galileo ornament! Festive! (Photo by Sarah Grant)
Happy Holidays from your friends at GeekGirlCon! If the winter chill has got a hold of you, gander at our awesome list of geeky events to keep you warm with nerd comfort and joy!
Friday, November 30 — Tuesday, December 4:Princess Bride Quote-a-Long From the event page: “The swashbuckling fairy tale to end all swashbuckling fairy tales returns to the big screen complete with quote along subtitles for all the best lines, free inflatable sword props, and Rodents of Unusual Size LIVE in the auditorium!”
Saturday, December 1:: Molly Lewis and The Doubleclicks: The Dammit Liz Holiday Special From the Facebook event page: “Known for organizing and producing geeky and off-the-wall events and entertainment, “Dammit” Liz Smith brings together some talented nerd folk for a holiday extravaganza! Get ready for an evening of music, comedy, and holiday merriment in this all-ages show! Featuring special guests Molly Lewis, The Doubleclicks, Kyle Stevens (Kirby Krackle), NerdProv, and Stepto! Holiday cosplay encouraged.”
Saturday, December 1 — Sunday, December 2:Urban Craft Uprising From the webpage: “At Urban Craft Uprising’s shows, fans can choose from a wide variety of hand-crafted goods including clothing of all types, jewelry, gifts, bags, wallets, buttons, accessories, aprons, children’s goods, toys, housewares, paper goods, candles, journals, art, food & much, much more. Each Urban Craft Uprising show is carefully curated and juried to ensure the best mix of crafts and arts along with originality and uniqueness.”
Tuesday, December 4:Buffy the Vampire Slayer Trivia Night at Central Cinema (SOLD OUT) From the Facebook event page: “Hosted by the inimitable Brandon Ryan, inscrutable Shane Regan, special guest host Brittany Cox, and MAP Theatre! Teams of 1-5 are welcome. Prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, & last place, door prize, costume prize, and random other prizes for being awesome. You don’t have to be good at trivia … just come on down to ole Sunnydale and relive the Glorificus with us.”
Thursday, December 6GeekWire Gala From the website: “Make our gala your holiday party, close out 2012, and ring in the New Year in style. Join the “geeks who give back” and consider supporting Vittana. Bring old friends, your colleagues—and yes, your significant or insignificant others—and enjoy an evening of conversation, tasty treats and festive cocktails with our region’s vibrant tech community.”
Friday, December 7:Ladies Gaming Night at The Raygun Lounge From the Facebook event page: “The Raygun Lounge will be hosting the first Queer Geek! Ladies Gaming Night! All LGBT-friendly female-identified individuals are invited. Hetero ladies are welcome, but no dudes- it’s our turn to hog the games! Beer and food will be available at Raygun, and some board games will be provided. Feel free to bring your own games as well. If you’re new to tabletop, role-playing, or board games, come on out- we’re a friendly bunch and happy to show you the ropes.”
Friday, December 7:Teens Celebrate Art with GeekGirlCon and SAM From the press release: “Join GeekGirlCon and the Seattle Art Museum for an evening in celebrating the accomplishments of women and the arts. Hear live music, watch dance performances, play instruments, talk about global women’s issues, and create your own works of art at workshops inspired by Elles: Women Artists from the Centre Pompidou Paris and Elles: SAM. Free admission for teens 13-18 (and accompanying adults). Stop by the GeekGirlCon booth in the South Hall to play a game of “10 Things I Know About You,” a game about female geeks and geekery. Spin the wheel for a topic and then name everything you can think of about it for the next 30 seconds. Surprise yourself with how much you know and maybe even win a prize!”
Friday, December 7:Slog Happy Hour From the event page: “We’ve been telling you about the Raygun Lounge, the bar-and-gaming venue that was Kickstartered into existence by the good folks at Gamma Ray Games, for months now. The Lounge’s temporary liquor license finally came through this morning, which means that it’s time to celebrate with Slog’s nerdiest nerds.”
Friday, December 7 — Sunday, December 9:Gremlins at Central Cinema The rules are simple: 1. Never expose them to sunlight. 2. Never get them wet. 3. Never EVER feed them after midnight! This holiday season, Central Cinema is going to be full of GREMLINS!
Saturday, December 8:JENGA Tournament at Central Cinema 32 players enter…….
Only one remains victorious!
Prepare yourselves for JENGA Thunderdome
Saturday, December 8: Second Saturday SciFi Cinema at Wayward Coffeehouse,
6417 Roosevelt Way NE #104, Seattle It’s a brand new monthly event at Wayward Coffeehouse, hosted by SciFi Commons and Wayward Coffeehouse. This month’s cinematic feature is Santa Claus Conquers the Martians!
Sunday, December 9:December Mourning Market From the website: “Mourning Market is Seattle’s premiere dark themed market. An artists collective, featuring the Pacific Northwest’s spookiest artists, crafters and vendors. Hosted at El Corazon, Mourning Market is not your average show. It is an experience. Encouraging artists and supporting its unique culture and dark romanticism.”
Thusday, December 13:Seattle Girl Geek Dinners Enjoy dinner, and a guest speaker for the holidays with Seattle Girl Geek Dinners! Featured speaker is Lisa Koutek, Senior Director of Customer Experience at Cobalt.
Saturday, December 15 — Sunday, December 16:GeekFest From the website: “The holidays are coming, and you don’t want to be caught without some shiny gifts to give to your friends and family. Now’s your chance to get all your holiday shopping done and get your groove on with some geeky entertainment. We’re bringing together vendors from all over the Pacific Northwest with wares sure to charm your inner geek. Special guests include Kirby Krackle, Hello, the Future, NERDprov, and many others.”
Got a geeky event you’d like to see on our Geek About Town? Email Shubz at firstname.lastname@example.org! We at GeekGirlCon do reserve the right to include or not include any submissions.
If you’ve got a geek in your life (or are a geek yourself), you know how hard it can be to find the “perfect” gift. Most geeks are first in line or online to snag the latest [insert cool geek object of affection here] before the rest of the population even knows it exists!
Whatever the geeky inclination, get thee to etsyRAIN’s 4th Annual Handmade Holiday Show Black Friday Weekend (November 23 and 24, 2012) to check out 70 craft makers and artisans featuring their handmade wares. The show will be held on two floors of the Marion McCaw Hall at the Seattle Center featuring gifts in the following categories:
Bags and Purses
Bath and Body items
Ceramics and Pottery
Clothing and Accessories
Glass (Not jewelry)
Jewelry (Beadwork, Metalwork, other materials)
And Much More!
EtsyRAIN is Etsy’s official Seattle Metropolitan “Street Team” made up of regional artists and craft makers who own independent shops on Etsy.com. Members reside in the Seattle metropolitan area, as far north as Port Townsend and as far south as Olympia. Their mission is to nurture a supportive local community of artists and craft makers that will inspire, educate and promote the growth of their individual shops on Etsy.
Laurel McJannet is GeekGirlCon’s Web Content Producer. Laurel writes, designs and consults as a marketing communications professional. There isn’t a CMS she doesn’t like, she’s mastered the art of translating tech-speak for the non-techie, and she is proof positive that Marketing and IT can co-exist and not implode.
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!)
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 9thInformation 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: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 28thSteamCon 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.