Geek Proud, GeekOut.

Events

MCM Birmingham

I don’t go to MCM comicons very often these days, despite living only ten minutes down the road from the Telford event it’s a rare occasion for me to have a weekend off, and they never seem to line up. This month circumstances so happened that I was able to arrange the day off* and so I went with a few friends to Birmingham NEC to get nerdy for a few hours. This does of course mean I’m only just getting through the Punisher, but it’s been worth the wait.

First of all let me say a quick thanks to the admins who corrected my minor screw-up, after accidentally buying a ticket for Sunday I emailed them to ask for a swap, and they had it done by morning. Despite the website saying no refunds or transfers, it was apparently nothing to set me up properly. Cheers guys.

The NEC was host to three events this weekend, and not only did that make for the most crowded train ride I’ve even been on, it also meant MCM was relocated to the far end of the building which is something of a new experience for me, despite having been at the NEC or the nearby Hilton at least a dozen times, I think this weekend was my first experience of the halls at the far end. Perhaps the halls are bigger? Certainly more labyrinthine, usually I can sweep through a comicon twice in in an hour, this year I’m still not sure I saw it all.

Important points, if you’re enjoying the newly rebooted Robot Wars then you might be interested in seeing the season 1 champion Apollo on tour with the robot fighting arena that pops up at every MCM (at least the ones I’ve attended). There are always a host of celebrities to meet, not least of which Warwick Davis and some of the Red Dwarf cast, Ian McElhinney, and Virginia Hey, and those are only the faces I saw. With time and money on the line however, I had to prioritise my Christmas shopping, no time for queues and autographs.

The advantage of having predominantly nerdy friends is that finding something for everyone is easy; the hard part of shopping at an MCM is deciding how much to spend, by and large the answer is too much. I notice this year there has been a distinct upswing in the number of custom Lego minifigures and randomised loot boxes, but sincerely I can’t say that I noticed anything lacking. Anime, comics, memorabilia, video games, film, cosplay… possibly every order of geeky interest is always solidly and massively represented.

I had the opportunity to say hi to a couple of friendly faces, at least one member of the Kitacon committee (Hi Claire!) and an artist friend from work, Faiza, who dropped me off at her stall in the artist’s alley to chat to her sister about D&D. Unexpected for sure, but good conversation is good conversation.

Ok, so the level of engagement is not quite so deep as one of the big anime conventions, but the appeal is universal, and this close to Wales then Birmingham is the biggest and the best.

And I’ve managed to check two more names of the Christmas list. I don’t care that it’s November, more fool you for not starting months ago.


*The caveat being that I’ve lost quite a substantial chunk of my weekly games night just as the campaign is heating up.


GeekOut Bristol Meet – 11th November: FANTASTIC FANTASY Gallery

Fantastic – That’s the word I’d use to describe this past GeekOut Bristol Meet. Another month has gone by and another meetup Gallery is here for you. This month however, my camera died! How inconvenient; however help was on the way in the form of Dillon Keith Diep, who came along with his trusty Canon camera! So with the criteria for a gallery sorted, we had a night filled with Fantasy and… Oh god… I made the wrong decision when I decided we needed a Fanfic writing competition.

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Toronto’s Dungeon Master For Hire

I recently learned that there is a gentleman in Canada is serving the greater Toronto area as a Dungeon Master for Hire…

Don’t I just feel like a complete idiot right about now? (more…)


GeekOut Bristol Meet – November 11th: FANTASTIC FANTASY

18+ Event

Mordor, Ankh-Morpork, Hogsmede, Eternia and Hyrule. What do all of these places have in common?

If you said “They all have vowels”, well you’d be right, but that’s not the answer, silly! No of course, all of these amazing places are Fantasy worlds; places where swords, spells and strange fashion sense are commonplace.

So whether you’re into fashionable tunics, wisened robes, or if you’re more of a platemail wearing warrior, come along to this months fantasy-themed GeekOut Bristol Meet!

NOTE: If you’re fortunate enough to have youthful looks, then please bring your ID. If you’re asked by bar staff to provide ID, you must show it.

We will not say you’re with us if you’ve been caught without your ID.

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FOODIE PRE-MEET 12:00-13:45 (Poll ACTIVE):
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That’s right, we at GeekOut South-West believe in having a good nomming session before we start the night with fun, games, drinks and great company!

Vote either on Facebook, or in the comments below, only if you’re coming to the pre-meetup. 

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MAIN EVENT: 14:00-Midnight (Old Market Tavern)
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“We are warriors, born from the light!”

Or, you know, we could also be chaotic-evil. Whatever your alignment, this fantasy themed event will leave you enchanted with lots to do and see. So come along, buy a drink and have a chat with your fellow GeekOut Bristol Meet geeks!

PLEASE NOTE:

Food & drink can NOT be brought in with you to the Old Market Tavern. If you are caught with food and drink on the premises, you will be asked to leave until you’ve disposed of your food or drink.

There will be a food menu at Old Market Tavern in the evening! The food is very cheap and it’s absolutely delicious! Trust me, I’ve eaten there enough times… But regulars of the event are also fans of the food there! The food is home made as well, so it’s simply scrummy! Food is usually available from 5pm.

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BOARD GAMES (& a dash of video games)
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As always, we’ll have a large selection of board games available, so please do check out what we have:

– Bears vs Babies
– Bucket of Doom
– Cards Against Humanity (UK Edition + Expansions 1, 2 and 3)
– Cash n Guns
– Chess
– Code of Nine
– Fluxx
– Goat Lords
– Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit
– Jungle Speed
– Love Letter
– Pokemon Monopoly
– Rogues to Riches
– Scrabble
– Star Trek Settlers of Catan
– Star Wars Guess Who
– Three Wishes
– Unusual Suspects
– Zombie Munchkin
– Zombies!

AND MANY MORE!

We won’t be bringing every game listed above with us: If there’s a specific game you want to see, please let me know in the comments below, before I finish making a real system for this game request feature.

Also, bring along your devices – Quiplash, Quiplash 2 and Drawful 2 are played throughout the day. These are games where you connect with your smartphones or tablets (Or anything that can connect to a browser really). We also sometimes play other games, such as Worms and people with 3DSes can pick up StreetPasses and of course play games with other 3DS players.

As ever, we will bring along a new game for this meetup as well.

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BOOK & COMIC SWAP
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One of our most unique features is our Book & Comic Swap, a collection of books and comics are strewn across our table in the conservatory available for people to take a book, or to leave a book for others. These are books that have been donated, or are from my old repository. Pick up or borrow a book and get reading!

PLEASE NOTE: Books you saw last month might not be present this month, unless you have a specific request for books. A new request system will be put in place, in case you want a book to be present to take home or just to browse whilst at the GeekOut Bristol Meetup.

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COSPLAYERS (Group Cosplay Picture: 9pm)
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Princess Zelda?

Rincewind the ‘Wizzard’?

Galadriel?

Whoever your fantasy fancy is, you should totally come and sport your favourite outfit to have a night of fun and games in cosplay. Whether it’s your first time, or if you’re a seasoned veteran of cosplay, come join your fellow Bristol geeks and come show off your amazing outfits!

*CHANGING FACILITIES* If you want to change into a costume when here, please note there are no changing facilities. There are just standard toilet cubicles – Which are fine to change in, but you might want to consider this first.

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SOCIALISING
———————–

We’re one of the geekiest events in the South-West. We get people together to play board games and video games, share a pint and discuss what they enjoy in geekdom. Books, comics, music – Anything that you’re passionate about, you’ll be sure to meet fellow geeks who are into the same thing as you!

We do not discriminate – But if you ever find you have a problem with anything at the event, just let the host (Timlah) know and he’ll sort it out!

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COMPETITION: Fantastic Fantasy Fanfic (2PM-8PM, Results 9PM)
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Everyone loves a good free-to-enter competition and this month will be no different.

Hoo boy, I might be setting us up for something a bit terrible here. This month marks NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. With that in mind, we figured we’d let our audience loose on their creativity. 

With a hard limit of 350 words, a fanfic scenario must be presented and written. Any existing character can be used in any context – be it a normal day for the character, a raunchy outting or otherwise. We obviously will not allow people to mock one another in real life through their prose; nor will we accept racist, sexist, homophobic, disablist, or otherwise derogatory entries – It’s all for a good laugh!

But as ever, we’ll have some great prizes, including:

1st Prize: TBC, £25 cash, 3 Steam games from our list and a GeekOut Poster of your choice.
2nd Prize:
TBC, £15 cash, 2 Steam games from our list and a GeekOut Poster of your choice.
3rd Prize:
TBC, £10 cash, 1 Steam game from our list and a GeekOut Poster of your choice.

Note: Occasionally, there may be even more on the day!

———————–

There is so much to do and see at this months GeekOut Bristol Meet, so please do come along, bring a friend or a member of your family and come for a geeky night out.

As part of our commitment to being a great night out, we do not discriminate based upon age, disability, gender, race, religion or sexuality. If at any point you feel you need to speak to someone about another’s actions, please grab the host (Timlah) and we’ll sort it out!

Please note, if you require extra support to attend, please leave a message in the comments below and I’ll get back to you.


GeekOut Shrewsbury Meet – October ’17

It was a happy Hallowe’en. And it wasn’t even Hallowe’en.

Let it be known that I do not cosplay often… read “ever”, so even my low-energy effort as the “Quest Giving NPC” still took some work but it’s not easy to carve a question mark out of styrofoam, get it painted yellow and affixed to a headband securely enough in between all the writing and full-time-job-having. It didn’t quite work out as planned, and five minutes after settling into Sweet and the quest marker was in three useless pieces. I took my frustrations out on Murray’s Magic deck and an oversized milkshake.

Kudos to Murray for his cosplay, he endured his wig, makeup and heels for most of the day, boosted along by the compliments of strangers. Sat next to him I felt woefully under-dressed. (more…)


GeekOut Shrewsbury – Such Plans

October’s GeekOut Shrewsbury is in only a week, and after eight months I think we are – as a group – settling into a pleasant routine that’s broadly enjoyable. A competition one month, a pub quiz the next, board games to keep us going, food, drink, and light heartedness. We average somewhere between twelve and twenty people, a mixture of regulars and new faces, enough to keep multiple games going and to leave people room to move around and socialise as they please.

So this month, it’s time to shake things up a little.

This Month

I’m asking more of my group this month than ever before. This is pub quiz month, and each month I’ll be trying to add a little more to each quiz, or at least something different, building from just a list of trivia questions that some may have considered rather cruel, a picture round added in August, keep an eye out for what’s coming this month.

Additionally I’m encouraging everyone to show up in costume, and (unbeknownst to them) the prize for the best competition is better by far than those offered to the winning quiz team. Here’s your first clue to my costume, find others hidden around this article:

October the 26th is promising to be one of the more interesting GeekOut’s ever, there are a handful of ideas I’ll be throwing in this month that I have not alluded to on Facebook or Meetup. If you can’t get there, keep your eyes on GeekOut for the catch-up articles we publish on our events every month.

Plans

November and December will be busy months, but we’ll battle on to make GeekOut bigger and better, concluding the year with a GeekOut Christmas party, but as the Shrewsbury Meet should fall on the 28th, I want to talk to you – the attendees who are the lifeblood of the event – to find out how and when to run the Meet to suit you, as well as working closely with our venue, Monty’s Tower who have been friendly, encouraging, and even enthusiastic in making the Shrewsbury Meets as good as they could possibly be.

See this projector?

Oh, how I yearn to use this projector for running computer-game oriented competitions, or just to get some different games running. I’m quite aware than not everyone wants to play board games, some of us want to get their hands on mouse and keyboard, a joystick, or a controller. My attempts at connecting my tablet have thus far been fruitless, but technology is bountiful, and there are gears turning that will make it possible for new competitions.

On the subject, I’m idly toying with ideas for upcoming competitions, but as a role-player and a writer I’m naturally orienting toward design based competitions, such as the Pokethulhu designs and the character creation. While they’ve yielded some fantastic content (and I love watching you guys work), it wouldn’t hurt to throw in a little diversity here and there.

Still, it’s you – always you – who we create these events for, in Shrewsbury and in Bristol, and it is your feedback that we thrive upon for making every event better than ever. So this month I have one question and one question only.

With the means to bringing computer games to GeekOut Shrewsbury on the horizon, what games would you like to multiplayer first?

Later on today you’ll see the poll open up to choose a venue for the pre-meet venue for October 26th. I’ll see you there.


GeekOut Bristol Meet – October 14th: VAMP-TASTICAL! Gallery

Blah! We vant to suck your blood– Oh dear, that’s the worst vampire cliche ever.

We came, we saw, we drank and we dined. GeekOut Bristol Meet was as loud as ever, seemingly slightly busier than usual and with a competition that really seemed to gnaw at everybodies necks. So whilst we were being so merry, time went by so quickly as we had games on the go, people discussing everything, including a rather deep conversation about life in the conservatory. Deep stuff, guys.

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GeekOut Shrewsbury Meet – September ’17

Despite the start of a new university year, the GeekOut crowd has proven harder to diminish. Oh sure, we’ve lost a few regulars along the way, I’m sure they’ll come back when they are able, but with an early season cold starting I was glad of the quieter meet this month.

Palmers was a quiet pleasure, a busier start to GeekOut than I’m used to where the pre-2 o’clock crowd rarely amounts to more than two or three. It was a crowd of five that wandered over the car-park to Monty’s. Kudos to the lady who complimented us for openly playing a more traditional game and enjoyed a short discussion on how the Shrewsbury Geek scene has gotten bigger and more sociable of recent years, and thanks to the gentleman behind the counter who told us about their board game night on the first Thursday of every month… we knew already, but thanks. (more…)


The Shrewsbury Insider: Harry Potter’s Labyrinth, D&D in The Cave

Ahh, Shrewsbury is a-growing.

We have a thriving nerd community around town, GeekOut Shrewsbury is only one addition to a variety of events, groups, societies and organisations with a geeky slant. Shrewsbury, let me tell you, we are the envy of many towns and cities around the country where the gamers, film buffs, fantasy, sci-fi, and horror fans are simply not as well catered to.

Today I celebrate a couple of new groups to town, the shop Labrinth, and a new public gaming group hosted in the Cave: (more…)


GeekOut Bristol Meet – October 14th: VAMP-TASTICAL!

18+ Event

Blah! I want to suck your blood! Don’t read into that too much; I don’t really. But this month, we’re celebrating All Hallow’s Eve!

So if you’re a ghost, or a ghoul, it’s time to get dressed up in your best horror outfit! Come and give us quite the fright as we prepare for another excellent GeekOut Bristol Meet.

We’ve got the games. We’ve got the books and comics. We’ve got the venue.

We just need you!

NOTE: If you’re fortunate enough to have youthful looks, then please bring your ID. If you’re asked by bar staff to provide ID, you must show it.

We will not say you’re with us if you’ve been caught without your ID.

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FOODIE PRE-MEET 12:00-13:45 (Poll Pending):
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That’s right, we at GeekOut South-West believe in having a good nomming session before we start the night off of fun, games, drinks and great company!

Want to join us for some food and drink before we head over to the Old Market Tavern at 2pm? Great! We’ll be launching our food poll on Wednesday 27th at 12:00.

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MAIN EVENT: 14:00-Midnight (Old Market Tavern)
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Spooky! We’re in the season where the dead come back to life and the young get dressed up, cementing their futures as little cosplayers. Or just people obsessed with eating lots of sweets.

So come along for a Monster Mash, as it’ll be a Graveyard Smash – This is our early Halloween-styled meetup! Oh! Special mention to the Old Market Tavern this month, who will be providing us with some special GeekOut Bristol Meet exclusive cocktails!

PLEASE NOTE:

Food & drink can NOT be brought in with you to the Old Market Tavern. If you are caught with food and drink on the premises, you will be asked to leave until you’ve disposed of your food or drink.

There will be a food menu at Old Market Tavern in the evening! The food is very cheap and it’s absolutely delicious! Trust me, I’ve eaten there enough times… But regulars of the event are also fans of the food there! The food is home made as well, so it’s simply scrummy! Food is usually available from 5pm.

———————–
BOARD GAMES (& a dash of video games)
———————–

As always, we’ll have a large selection of board games available, so please do check out what we have:

– Bears vs Babies
– Bucket of Doom
– Cards Against Humanity (UK Edition + Expansions 1, 2 and 3)
– Cash n Guns
– Chess
– Code of Nine
– Fluxx
– Goat Lords
– Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit
– Jungle Speed
– Love Letter
– Pokemon Monopoly
– Rogues to Riches
– Scrabble
– Star Trek Settlers of Catan
– Star Wars Guess Who
– Three Wishes
– Unusual Suspects
– Zombie Munchkin
– Zombies!

AND MANY MORE!

We won’t be bringing every game listed above with us: If there’s a specific game you want to see, please let me know in the comments below, before I finish making a real system for this game request feature.

Also, bring along your devices – Quiplash, Quiplash 2 and Drawful 2 are played throughout the day. These are games where you connect with your smartphones or tablets (Or anything that can connect to a browser really). We also sometimes play other games, such as Worms and people with 3DSes can pick up StreetPasses and of course play games with other 3DS players.

As ever, we will bring along a new game for this meetup as well.

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BOOK & COMIC SWAP
———————–

One of our most unique features is our Book & Comic Swap, a collection of books and comics are strewn across our table in the conservatory available for people to take a book, or to leave a book for others. These are books that have been donated, or are from my old repository. Pick up or borrow a book and get reading!

PLEASE NOTE: Books you saw last month might not be present this month, unless you have a specific request for books. A new request system will be put in place, in case you want a book to be present to take home or just to browse whilst at the GeekOut Bristol Meetup.

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COSPLAYERS (Group Cosplay Picture: 6pm)
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Spooky scary skeletons? Super succubi? See-through Spirits?

Whatever your poison, come along to this meetup in your best dressed scary costume! We’re going to let people see the spirit of Halloween early!

Who’s going to come along as a scary, terrifying vampire? Blah!

*CHANGING FACILITIES* If you want to change into a costume when here, please note there are no changing facilities. There are just standard toilet cubicles – Which are fine to change in, but you might want to consider this first.

———————–
SOCIALISING
———————–

We’re one of the geekiest events in the South-West. We get people together to play board games and video games, share a pint and discuss what they enjoy in geekdom. Books, comics, music – Anything that you’re passionate about, you’ll be sure to meet fellow geeks who are into the same thing as you!

We do not discriminate – But if you ever find you have a problem with anything at the event, just let the host (Timlah) know and he’ll sort it out!

———————–
COMPETITION: 20:00 – 21:00 (Spook-tacular Costume Competition) [Subject To Change]
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Everyone loves a good competition and this month will be no different.

Okay, so the competition is possibly subject to change, depending on a few factors – However, as a safe bet, we will likely have a spook-tacular costume competition. After all, this is going to be our equivalent to a Halloween meetup, so why not get on your scariest costume? Show us your best spooky makeup, your scariest ghouliest self and don’t forget to freak out all of the normal patrons of the pub…

… Okay, on second thoughts, let’s not scare the patrons! We like going to this venue, so please, do not scare too many people! As mentioned above, there’s not many places to change, but there are lavatories which you can change in the cubicle, if you need to.

There’s a chance this competition will change; if so, we will let everyone know a week in advance!

1st Prize: TBC, £25 cash, 3 Steam games from our list and a GeekOut Poster of your choice.
2nd Prize: TBC, £15 cash, 2 Steam games from our list and a GeekOut Poster of your choice.
3rd Prize: TBC, £10 cash, 1 Steam game from our list and a GeekOut Poster of your choice.

Note: Occasionally, there may be even more on the day!

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There is so much to do and see at this months GeekOut Bristol Meet, so please do come along, bring a friend or a member of your family and come for a geeky night out.

As part of our commitment to being a great night out, we do not discriminate based upon age, gender, race, religion or sexuality. If at any point you feel you need to speak to someone about another’s actions, please grab the host (Timlah) and we’ll sort it out!