Getting My Geek On


img_2373“I’m dusting off my site and making it a point to actually write and use it! ” she says with all the confidence of a party goer making resolutions at 11:45 on New Year’s Eve. Followed immediately by “and this time, I mean it.” So, here we go again with all the very best of intentions!

What I’d like to start doing is cover all my geeky favorites, taking it further than just my #GameNight weekly instagrams. I’ll be writing about the games we play on our weekly tabletop night with friends, the difference when you play with a table full of high school boys, a possible trip to our next gaming convention and so on. So think of this post, dear reader, as a promise. Maybe not a promise to you… but a promise to myself to actually take the time and do this for me. To take the time and do all the cool ideas that are floating in my noggin and bring you along for the ride! And who knows… it might just happen. I mean, I gave up caffeine for almost 2 weeks that one time, anything is possible.


Showing the love with #GISHWHES & #NoteToSelfie.


Photo Aug 06, 1 24 44 PMAugust is a big month for me. It’s my BTC workaversary (three years!) and it also holds two events that I wait the entire year for. GenCon, the best 4 days in gaming ™, in Indianapolis and GISHWHES (the greatest international scavenger hunt the world has ever seen.).

This year, all three managed to collide.

As you may know, at BTC we’ve been asking you to send us your #NoteToSelfie’s, well as it happens… one of our GISHWHES tasks took that to another level.

“As you all know, Saturday the 6th of August is International Find Another Gisher Day. Meet up (reach out over social media to find gishers in your area) with AT LEAST 5 other Gishers that aren’t on your team at a bus stop and, together, decorate the bus stop with post-it notes inscribed with a mix of delightful, surreal, and uplifting messages. One must read, “Be the unicorn you want to see in the world.” Submit one image of all 5+ people standing in, on, or around the decorated bus stop. The submission description must include the gishwhes usernames of each Gisher in the photo. Each team can submit the same image if a team member was there representing the team.”

Coincidentally… I was going to be in Indianapolis on the 6th and took to the socials to find GISHERs from 5 other teams to meet up. With a lot of coordination and luck, we were able to find our bus stop and get something scheduled.

We drifted in one at a time, and got set with our Post It’s. As we wrote, the 6 of us could not help but talk about the warm fuzzy level growing. One of the things I did was, write out many of the messages from the #NoteToSelfie Twitter stream to keep them going. As we decorated our bus stop, passers-by asked questions and a few even jumped in and wrote some of their own!

It’s been almost a week and I’m sure it has been taken down or rained on… but my hopes are that our messages lived in and the people who stopped to read them.

No go out and Be the Change (or the Unicorn) you want to see in the world.



Pokemon GO Gets Social, by NOT Getting Social


imageYesterday, we succumbed. While on a long weekend, visiting Milwaukee for Summerfest, we both downloaded the Pokemon Go app.

Just a little background about me and Pokemon, I’ve never once played. Not the card game, not the computer game, the cartoon, zip. I worked at Barnes and Noble when the cards were in their hay day & In my mind, I was always “too old”, “too cool” or just too indifferent to bother learning to play.

That has all changed.

I am much older, much cooler and found myself very intrigued by all of the chatter amongst my friends about the game.

First thing yesterday morning, we lay in bed, dreading getting up and facing the world after staying out past our bedtimes two nights in a row, and we both started to play.

One of the first things we noticed and found odd was, there was no need to connect with one another on the game. We tried to form a team, we stood next to each other trying to see one another on the map, we tried to beat each other to the Pokemon in the room.

That night, as we played all the way in from the parking lot and into the fest grounds. When we stopped for dinner, the first conversation happened.

We both say at the table with our apps open discussing our games (I had just gotten to level 5, thank you very much!) when we heard someone behind us ask the couple a table over.. “Oh! What level are you on?”. I turned around and held up my phone. “So, we’re not the only ones who came to Summerfest for Pokemoning?” The five of us chatted for a little bit about our levels and what teams we should join and then we all moved on.

We discovered pretty quickly, you can form Pokedar pretty quickly, especially in a big crowd. It’s similar to seeing the faces people make when using Snapchat face filters.You would see someone being led around by the phone then suddenly stopping, aiming and flinging those balls. Once you see that, you hurry to open your app and go over to stand by them and catch your prey. You nod and smile and maybe talk about what you just got and your teams.

When we settled into the massive crowd to watch Death Cab For Cutie, we overhead some people chatting behind us and guess what the topic was? Yep. Pokemon GO.

As the night for on and we got closer to the show starting, we resituated where folks were standing and I proceeded to chat Pokemon with one of my new festival besties (neither of us being super excited for the show).

We talked about the lack of a social layer and whether or not it was intentional. Did Nintendo set out to create a mobile game that not only, got us nerds out of the house, but interacting with other people?! He talked about a similar game called Ingress, that had the social later so we know the technology is out there.

It can’t have been an oversight on Nintendo’s behalf, social on a mobile app is not something you forget about. So, it’s down to us to desire for ourselves what the reasons behind the decision was for. I like to think that it was with intention to draw people out and interact with one another while getting out and exploring the world.

My memories of this year’s Summerfest will be two things: The Whiskey of the Damned CD launch party, and all the fun PokePeople I’ve gotten to meet.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a Bellsprout over in the corner. I’ve got to go.

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