A belated and very short article today as Joel is not feeling too well. So instead here’s our end-of-expo round up conversation, kindly edited by Tim.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the GeekOut YouTube channel, where we deliver yet more geeky content, Tim’s “Let’s Plays”, more interviews and conversations, posted sporadically when we have content to share.
So shortly after writing a short, and only slightly sarcastic article about Toronto’s Dungeon Master For Hire and discovering another in New York, and more still on Reddit, I find myself thinking that there may just be a career in this, and perhaps just enough money to be made that I can finally shed the burdens of traditional employment and embrace a true vocation, a calling if you will. Am I so willing to surrender my evenings and weekends to meet with random strangers and show them how to play my favourite hobby?
Well it’s that or take up drinking… (more…)
We’re closing in on AmeCon, a celebration of all that is anime that’s taking place in the legendary Warwick University. For Joel and myself, this is a seriously important location for a convention, so join me as I take a look at what’s been announced for AmeCon, as well as what I’m looking forward to and what the GeekOut guys will be up to on this weekend anime loving extravaganza.
Look at this, the earliest time we’ve ever released a GeekOut article: at 1 minute past midnight. We’re in the New Year here in the UK! Now that 2016 is upon us, why not look back at some of the articles Joel and I consider to be our personal favourites and best of the past year.
Now that 2015 is behind us, I think for me I am proudest of GeekOut the meetup group. We’ve built a fantastic, all-inclusive community of like-minded geeks. We’re able to say without any shadow of a doubt that we’ve built from what we started the year with and made it turn into an event that truly feels special. From a simple recurring meetup joke that’s now turned into our official mascot, Gordon the GeekOut Goat (more on that in the first quarter of 2016), to the humongous Christmas meetup we had last month, we can tell there’s a shift in perception about our group.
We’re serious, we’re here and here are some of my favourite articles about the Meetup events:
However, moving away from the meetup, I’m also proud of some of the articles and galleries I ran this year. I’m keen to bring you geek culture in all of its glory throughout the year, I’m also proud of the advances we’ve made in our social platform:
I’ve learned a lot this year, discovered a great deal about my personal writing style, mostly by coming down from my lectern and climbing up on a soapbox. Getting a little into film review and critique has raised my analytical skills, and generally discussing my experiences as an overt and perhaps excessively geeky person in day to day life have caused me to be far more analytical of myself.
This was also an incredible year of accomplishments for me, two interviews with some very important people; Gerry Anderson’s son Jamie, who’s in the process of restoring the ultramarionation style his father made famous, and Professor Elemental, who can proudly proclaim – at the very least – an major part in the founding of a genre. I also finally had a stab at NaNoWriMo, granted it failed but I’ll be trying again next year, and this time I’ll be doing it ~snigger~ write.
- Firestorm Update – An Interview With Jamie Anderson
- Prologue – Inspiration
- Interview – Professor Elemental
All in all, this has been the third year of dramatic change for me, and almost all of it positive. This year coming will also see my second anniversary with GeekOut, and having helped take this show from strength to strength has been an incredible experience that piles positivity on top of positivity. Here’s to a fourth year of growth.
2015 was a highly successful year for us both: We were considered worthy to be press pass holders for EGX Rezzed and Kitacon[link]. We took full advantage of this: For Rezzed, we held interviews with developers and hosted the audio over on Soundcloud. Eventually, I’d like to get this ported over to YouTube.
Our biggest interview yet was with Professor Elemental and both Joel and I worked tirelessly on this. Joel came up with some truly fun and unique questions for the quirky professor and I managed to turn him into a prime minister. Kind of. Make sure to have a listen to Joels’ interview with the professor and feel free to laugh with the dreadful animation I provided!
We’re here in 2016 and we’re a duo of the proudest geeks you’ve ever met, so brace yourself as we’re coming to make this another successful year. What’s your plans for 2016? Let us know in the comments below, or join in the conversation over on Facebook and Twitter. Articles will resume at the normal time (9am) tomorrow, so in the meantime have a Happy New Years’ Day!
Well, my Kitacon very nearly ended in a whimper, rather than the bang it deserved. During the day I began suffering with exhaustion and dehydration, and ended up leaving the Professor Elemental/Mr. B gig, combining my evening with sleep and water before emerging again at half midnight to find Tim getting a game of Cards Against Humanity together. I ended up finishing my convention experience dizzy, tired and sick but far more content at three in the morning. That’s the Kitacon spirit! Party until you drop, but stop somewhere short of medical attention. (more…)
They say reflection is a form of mental processing, so when I think about it, it’s only logical that I would finally do an article on why I started to blog and why I think you might want to consider it too. After all, it’s not like I produce the highest quality of articles, but I’d like to think the topics I touch upon are at least vaguely interesting to someone out there. Except perhaps my personal cosplay posts, those are a whole different beast.
We’re going to go quickly into the history of this website, along with the future of the site and what I believe are some universal truths about blogging. Hopefully someone out there will benefit from this knowledge from an “insiders point of view”, so if you benefited from it in some way, just leave us a comment and let me know.
I know a lot of people actually start blogs with the intention of making a lot of money off of their free blogs. If you start with the intention of making money, let me tell you now: You may make a couple of quid, but you’re going to win no friends this way. I’m not sure about all of you out there, but I think the majority of you will agree with me that networking is one of the coolest things in the world.
If you don’t believe me, welcome to GeekOut South-West, a website built around the concept of having a geek social group. We exist: 450+ members of us. We have over 930 Twitter followers and rising. We have over 130 of you on Facebook too. We thank each and every one of you for every click, every like, every share you do of our little corner of the internet and don’t think that’s me just trying to appease our regular readers.
This is from the bottom of my heart – I honestly love seeing the, albeit small, sense of community we have here on this website… But more to the point, I love the community spirit of the greater blogosphere. Whilst all of this is great, it’s not why I started blogging, so now let’s go back and look into why I started blogging.
Ayacon Apocalypse 2013
Those of you who know the website well enough will be aware of the events of Ayacon, all the way back in 2013. This was when I first met Joel and this was actually a sort of prequel to the story of this website. Before this website… No, before Ayacon… I was really in a rut. There was nothing for geeks here in Bristol, not really. Now, suddenly, Bristol has exploded with geek activities and events… But let’s talk about this site.
When I begun, there was very little here in Bristol. The highly praised and much loved Bristol Video Game Social wasn’t a thing. Bristol Bad Film Club was still quite new, as they started around summer 2013 (to my knowledge). Other than this, we already had the amazing BristolCon… If I’m going to be brutally honest: Other than the Bath and Bristol RPG Meetup Group… There really wasn’t much else! I mean we had some cool shops, but that’s about it.
It was bleak, very bleak. So back in late 2013, I thought to myself that I would give myself a little bit of a run for my money. After Ayacon 2013, I needed to see more people so positive, so ready to allow themselves to be freely geeky and freely up for chatting to other geeky people. I attribute a lot of this to my fellow GeekOut writer, Joel… More on that shortly.
At Ayacon, I went with a costume that was so bad, I refuse to link to it. I say it was bad, but people somehow recognised it. So, clearly, something was right about it. The nicest thing was: People cared. They wanted to talk to me about the costume and the things I had made. They wanted to know how things were made. They wanted to know the cost. Everything. It wasn’t just one or two people: It was tens of people. A lot to me.
I knew these people had to exist in my home town of Bristol, so I thought to myself: How can I bring a convention feeling to the every day of Bristol, without running a full blown convention every single month? Simple: I had to form a social group.
Quotes from the Tabletop
Occasionally in life, you meet someone who far exceeds your expectations. Joel was this person and if he reads this, I hope you don’t feel so mushy about this post. Joel was a large part of why GeekOut South-West was even brought to life. I’ve told countless stories of this, but it bares repeating. One of our most important partner sites, Quotes from the Tabletop, is one of the pivotal points of this websites fledgling life.
When I met Joel, he was an incredibly enthusiastic individual who came literally rushing over to me and my friend Rob. I was wearing a shirt that I’m wearing as I write this post (don’t worry, I’ve washed it between then and now). It says: “I KNOW KARATE (And like 2 other Japanese words” I put a blonde wig in as my cosplay was completely destroyed… and I put a blue band around my head. Why? Because I was just having fun at the event and you know – it was funny to me.
When Joel rushed over to us, he wanted to chat to us about everything geeky and that to me was something I aspired to see more of. More positivity, more unification of a geekified world… So after I grabbed some details off of him, I bugged him day and night. No, really: I did. I bet he got fed up with having a little me bugging him whenever I felt like it. I set up the initial website of GeekOut… But never did I expect to get anywhere near the numbers that we received. The positivity of the scene alone was something I had always wanted to see.
I set the website up, I started to blog and when we got big enough: I asked Joel if he’d like to get involved. Interestingly, I think because of our friendship, he started to watch the website more and more. It was good to have a second pair of eyes, an ally, as it were, in my quest to bring a more geek front to the UK – Even if my initial reaction was to bring more of it to the south-west. Eventually, we’d like to expand and have more events happening across the UK… But this is a way off yet.
The point to take away from this is: You must always begin with a goal in mind. You need to have a reason to start a blog. Are you a gamer? Why not start a blog about your favourite video games and all of the really cool things you know about them that not everyone does? How about a writer? You need to have a blog about your upcoming releases! A blog can change someone for the better… So this begs the question:
How you can start blogging
This post focused on the life of GeekOut, which is more or less how I expected it to be, but I want to send you away with a positive lesson out of all of this. You’ll notice I’ve mentioned that I didn’t start this for money. I didn’t even think a site like this could make money (for the record, we’re currently not making money. A lot of expenses comes out of my own pocket!)
Don’t let costs of anything deter you. You don’t have to pay a penny to run a WordPress blog. In fact, it can even make you money for absolutely nothing if you really must earn money off of it. But what I want you to take away from this post is that you need to find a subject that not only are you passionate about, but you think others will be interested in too.
A writer doesn’t usually write just for themselves… Although I’ve known a few writers write just because they enjoy writing. If you’re one of these people, do it. If you’re not one of these people who writes because they like to write, you don’t need to matter yourself too much. I don’t write for the sake of being a writer, I’m afraid to tell you all. I write because I believe people will read it… and people will come together, even if my writing isn’t the most riveting of prose written.
I hope you feel that you’re passionate about a subject enough to start writing. If you’re already a writer: Why did you start? Let’s talk about what makes someone a blogger, or a writer, and let’s share it with the world. Are you new to blogging and looking to other blogs for the first time? Share your experiences in the comments below, over on Twitter and Facebook.
Yes, it’s now close enough to the time that Joel and myself travel across the land, searching far and wide for fellow geeks. We will be going back to Kitacon, which takes place in the Hilton Metropole, right next to the NEC. Here’s a look at what’s going down!
The guests this year are largely the same as last year. We’re going to have Professor Elemental giving another spectacular live performance, but as well as the very British professor, we’ve got his rival: Mr.B, the Gentleman Rhymer. Click here for an example of his music. Joel’s secured himself an interview with Professor Elemental, so hopefully we’ll be able to have a word with Mr.B as well. As well as the two musical guests, Kitacon is host to even more guests, such as voice actress and YouTuber Ashly Burch and the Cosplay guest Naraku Brock. With such varied guests at this years Kitacon, I’m eagerly looking forward to seeing what each of them have to bring to the event.
This year, Kitacon is supporting three amazing charities that you should go and look up if you’ve never heard of them before. Attitude is Everything, a charity that is looking to help improve deaf and disabled peoples access to live music by working closely with the music industry. Next up is Marie Curie Cancer Care, a charity group who support terminal ill patients pass on in either an environment they feel most comfortable in. Finally we have Special Effect, a charity made to support anyone have access to video games, regardless of their disability. They use video games not just for entertainment, but rehabilitation and boosting self-esteem. Click one of these images to be taken to the respective charities.
Whilst these conventions are always fun, they usually do work towards a good cause. I hope we can raise a lot of money for the three charities this year. As well as guests and charities, there will be the usual gaming rooms, one for traditional games and one for video games. There will also be a dealers hall, where people (like me), can splash out and buy as much geeky swag as they want. Finally, there’s a huge range of panels and of course, the famous Kitacon parties. Since I’ve now got my camera, expect to see some from the party videos!
I may or may not have trash talked Joel on Facebook. So we’re going to have to lay the smack down on one another, as we will be bringing our very best Magic: the Gathering decks. Last time we played against one another, I was triumphant. Many times. Joel, mark my words – Nothing will change. My deck will still trounce yours! But now that I’ve been so brash and bold, here’s where my decks just cannot perform against his. If you’re coming to Kitacon and you’re looking for some friendly competition, come bring your decks and play with us. Alternatively, I usually have a few decks, so we would gladly show you how to play!
Last year, we made some brilliant friends thanks to the amazing Kitacon. It’s a convention that seems to bring together some really good people and it helped last year that EGX Rezzed (which I saw for myself this year), was literally right next door. Because of that, we bumped into Kim and Phil of 1001Up, so go check out their works if you get a chance. We also did a rather funky game of that terribly card game I cannot post results of on this website… Because we keep it PG here on GeekOut South-West. So there. We’re spoil sports.
With this in mind, Joel and I are going to be attending Kitacon for all three days. If you’re going to be at this awesome event, please come grab us – We’d love to just chat about whatever! Also, I am working on some masks currently which I plan to be taking to Kitacon. I’ll be giving some updates about the masks throughout the coming weeks, but I’ve got several different ones planned. So if you’re a fan of Assassination Classroom… Or you really like my Oskar mask… Keep your eyes peeled for future mask pictures along with the creation process and the likes. I’m excited to be able to work on these and I will be taking them to the Bring & Buy.
That’s it – Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this little look at Kitacon in a nutshell for me. I’m excited to be going Back to the Kitacon and I hope all of you are excited to see this years festivities in quality much higher than my silly camera phone. I’ve not mentioned this before, but I’ve now got me a second hand laptop. This means I will be able to provide articles during the day time events too. I hope to share some awesome content throughout the days so keep your eyes peeled. Until next time – Leave us a comment!
In 2013 I decided to have the best year ever. It may seem like a ridiculous concept, and that it’s not just a choice to be made, and that fate inevitably gets in the way of such things, assuming finances don’t stop you in the first place. I had just lost the first job I’d had since dropping out of university for personal reasons, and it was a job that I’d really been enjoying. A lot of things seemed to be falling apart around me, and I stood amongst the wreckage and decided to rise above it.
As it turns out, it worked, and by the end of the year – in spite of a hell of a lot of drama and assorted hardship – I felt like I could conquer the world. I decided I’d start working on that in 2014…