Archive for the ‘Conventions’ Category

Hey have you heard of NewCon in Portland? If not, it’s a nerdy culture convention. They have a little bit of everything happening at the convention. It starts on Friday. I will be there Saturday and Sunday volunteering at the Japanime Games booth. You should come see me!

At Kumoricon for Japanime Games!

At Kumoricon for Japanime Games!

We’ll be showing off Tanto Cuore and you can buy your very own copy of OKTOBERFEST! It’s really exciting and titillating. The new game introduces new mechanics which include alcohol levels and events that effect your barmaids. I’d be happy to run you through a game!

Tanto Cuore: Oktoberfest

Tanto Cuore: Oktoberfest

Kamikaze Games will also have Barbarossa there in association with Japanime Games. If you haven’t tried Barbarossa, it’s a strategic deck building game. You’re fighting through World War II Campaigns with sexy female soldiers! You should come give it a try!

Barbarosa

 

See you soon!

Last year I was a bad kitty. I didn’t keep up with the blog. This year is going to be different. There will be a new structure to the blog, with three weekly articles and a bunch of revolving monthly blogs. That way things are more consistent for you, the reader.

(Hope no one is offended by the graphic below.)

BadHelloKitty

Weekly

Wednesday – Life in a Box – Talking about geeky memories and emotions.

Friday – Card Shark – Weekly card spot light. How to use it, how it’s broken, or just how it’s awesome.

Sunday – Movie Time – Reviews, coming attractions, old movies

Monthly

What’s in the box?! – What we’re doing and where we’ll be.

Casual Time – Casual games I enjoy.

Brick by Brick – Talking about Legos… and sometimes Mega Blocks.

The Sandbox – Anything at all.

Toy Box – Toy reviews

Breaking Down 2015

XmasSurvival_EM053

 

Some amazing movies and games came out this year. If you haven’t played Fallout 4 yet, or Santa thought you ordered Fallout 3, you are missing out. You need to save up the $60.00 and go get it. It’s $49.99 on the Steam Sale right now. They’ve made major changes that allow you to build settlements and craft items easier. You have a home base but it can be customized. It’s also work the investment to buy the guide, which was only $18.00 when I bought it two days ago. Animal Crossing also came out with a spin off game called Happy Home. It’s fun if you like grindy games with no end. I’ll write more about these two later. Rock Band 4 came out. We’re finally getting to play it tonight… hehe.

LEGO! How could you lose the TMNT license to Megablocks? Seriously, why did your stuff have to suck so much for that franchise when everything else was amazing. ( Side note: the Back to the Future car… also terrible.) Lego did a great job this year on their Friends, Elves, Disney, City and Star Wars lines but kind of dropped the ball on a few other licenses they were holding. The Jurassic Park sets were amazing but they had a hard time keeping up with demand. This left a lot of collectors flapping in the wind. The architecture line has been amazing the past few years but this year they didn’t do their big box of all white blocks. Color me disappointed. This is a Christmas time set that they release only in Lego stores. It wasn’t release this year but they did a smaller box. I have to give Megablocks their dues though. They came out with some really great looking historical military sets and Call of Duty brand Zombie sets.

Tanto Cuore, I love you. I will never leave you… EVER. I can’t wait for OktoberFest to come out. I had the good fortune to volunteer with Japanime Games this summer. It was amazing and I can’t wait for the conventions to start up again this year. Luckily they had demo sets to show people for Pre-Orders and Previewing. The game introduces a new mechanic, beer cards, which affect your ability to play certain cards. It’s going to be a lot of fun. If you want a GOOD FUN card game for 4-5 people, keep an eye out for it. They should be shipping them out in the new year. Also, they have an associated company called Kamikaze games. They produce Barbarosa, which is an irreverant, sexy, World War 2 card game. You really have to be a good sport to play this because they base it off real battles, so… you sort of play as an invading Nazi army, featuring chibi sexy Hitler. It’s a great game though. There is a version of the game that has historical photos instead of the Ladies if that makes you feel more comfortable. ( I like the Anime version.) They also have several other new games coming out. One is called Gods Gambit, which they let me try out when I was at Kumoricon! I’m looking forward to Gods Gambit so much. It’s an Uno Style game. It will be a great fast game you can play with your buddies at a party. The art is really interesting too. I have some photos, I’ll dig out later and write about it in depth.

Cell phone games… well… If you didn’t play Alpha Bears, go work on that right now. They have made so many improvements to the game. They added a VS mode. They added a better system of replenishing coins. They’ve added seasonal, special event content. Kudos to Alphabear for listening to their users. It’s amazing. They are also developing a new game for Android in 2016.

Movies were really great this year. Do I even have to mention Star Wars? Holy Carps. Holy, holy Carps.

magikarp

Crimson Peak, Mocking Jay part 2, The Martian, Jurassic World were all pretty incredible movies. I hope Hollywood keeps up the momentum because so far all I want to see in 2016 is Civil War and Dead Pool. Hopefully, it will rev up quickly and not be an off year for movies.

That’s all for now. 2015 was a great year and 2016 is going to be even better. Happy New year!

2015

People go to great lengths to look good at conventions. At least, in the past few years. I am that way myself. I think I originally fell victim to being self conscious and trying to be the opposite of the stereotypical gamer/convention goer. You know, unwashed, sloppy and overweight. I am overweight but I don’t try to dress sloppy or go unwashed. I’ve taken it a step further though. I go out of my way to dress up nicely, even when I’m not in costume.

I’m not the only one either. Vloggerfair had a lot of guests but was smaller compared to PAX. I really noticed the difference here. Women were in full make up and dressed to the 9’s as they say.

20150822_114011

Young Creepy Pasta Vlogger

20150823_084343

Me with Chris Pirillo @ Vlogger Fair

Clothes, Hair, and Make up have become more and more visible at conventions. I hope that they are doing it for themselves. I am doing it for myself these days. Although, at Vlogger fair I was partially doing it because my every movement was being taped! Dear gods. It was insane. I am still trying to think of a good way to sum it up.

20150826_215507

Here I am bleaching my hair the night before PAX Prime. I decided hair needed some work after Vlogger Fair. I eventually want to go purple and pink again but for now, this was a lot more work than I thought it would be. It was mess too. I am not a huge fan of the mess. I made a big deal this year about looking just right though.

20150828_085029

This is from the first day of PAX Prime 2015. I think I looked smashing and it helped people focus on the game I was teaching them. Dressing up really made people feel more comfortable talking to me about a game with sexy maids (Tanto Cuore). Looking good also made me feel more confident talking to hundreds of strangers over the next four days.

20150829_104747

I wasn’t the only one though. Whether you they were in cosplay or there for work, I noticed a lot of women just felt more comfortable being dressed up!

What does it mean? It’s a safe space for one. They don’t feel they have to dress down to be comfortable. It means that they feel that they can run around and be themselves.

That is a good sign with our culture. The last few years have been rough. There will always be some of the old guard that don’t realize Women are people.

Snapchat-4842088190445601088

20150905_162819

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think it’s also because a lot of the crowds are mixing now. It’s common place to have dances and formal dress events at Anime Conventions. More Anime fans are also going to comic book conventions and gaming conventions. The crowds are mixing and those norms are changing. I saw more suits at Kumoricon then I think I ever have at a convention. A lot of those attendees weren’t wearing them for a costume either.

Conventions are special events and people are starting to treat them that way. It’s kind of exciting.

20150906_152248

 

20150829_093602

The end of convention season this year was a little different for me. I began volunteering with Japanime Games. They import, translate and distribute Tanto Cuore and Krosmaster Arena. I worked three conventions in a row for them; Vlogger Fair, PAX Prime and Kumoricon. This was exciting and exhausting at the same time. I arrived home from the third convention this past Monday and the next day I almost called into work. Not only was I exhausted, I was fighting off what we call “Con Crud.”

Snapchat-3320892693376493384

This wasn’t the first time I’d helped out the company. Sakuracon, was the first this year, it was fun and rewarding. I spent the entire convention helping people learn Tanto Cuore. That’s the game I teach best. Krosmaster Arena is a game I love playing but don’t feel entirely comfortable with teaching. (Although, at Kumoricon, I stepped in plenty of times to help out.) At the start of these three conventions, I learned that I do know the base rules, but I get tongue tied. I also discovered something else, Post Convention Depression.

20150906_182825

The conventions are exciting! You meet a lot of people and most of them are there for the same reasons! It’s great bonding with people that think the same way you do! Conventions are also exhausting. You want to spend the whole weekend packing in as many experiences as possible. There is an adrenaline rush that comes from the entire experience.

20150907_141021

When I attend conventions, I eat too little, do too much and don’t sleep nearly enough. This all contributes to something called Post Convention Depression. The conventions are always fun, as much fun as I can possibly make it.

After the conventions, I have a hard time sleeping, feel exhausted, feel disconnected from my every day life and feel a general malaise. This is all part of PCD, or Post Convention Depression. I didn’t realize this was actually a thing till Kumoricon. There was a panel at Kumoricon about dealing with PCD. I unfortunately couldn’t make it to that panel, but it peaked my curiosity.

The number one advice people give for dealing with PCD is planning for your next convention. If you’re a cos-player, then you probably have a handle on this.

wpid-20140111_204548.jpg

The next piece of advice is hanging out with friends. In the past PAX Prime attendees in Seattle have had post convention game meet up. Seeing your friends, even your non-convention friends can help alleviate some of the gloom that comes from being in the real world.

wpid-20131231_233210.jpg

Make sure you get lots of rest after the convention. You didn’t sleep well, or didn’t sleep the in the same bed. That can affect you more than you know.

Snapchat--7072337554199194778

In the immediate week following, make sure you get enough to eat and you re-hydrate. Drink lots of water and restrict your caffeine intake. During conventions it’s hard to get the right nutrition and enough water.

623 Blog 10 06 13 437 wpid-20140821_182445.jpg

They also advise that you should get exercise and take it easy at the same time. It’s good to stay active but also, don’t run yourself ragged.

All of this will help you recover after the convention and help you avoid… CON CRUD! ( Colds passed around by convention goers.) One year I got swine flu from PAX Prime. Other years, here and there I caught something respiratory after the conventions. This year, I managed to fight off whatever virus was passed around because I rested, ate well and made sure that I got the right foods after getting home.

bravest-warriors-catbug-horse-1920px

What am I planning for next?  Geek Girl Con and Brick Con, which are both in October.  Then we start the process all over again next year. Keep well.

If you don’t feel better, make sure to talk to your friends or family. If you don’t feel you can talk to them make an appointment with your doctor. If it’s worse than that, just remember, someone loves you. Call the suicide hotline 24/7 at 1 (800) 273-8255. 

Disco Zombie

Disco Zombie loves me!

 

There was a LOT to see at PAX. If you don’t believe me, just go look at their schedule. Go ahead. I’ll wait here. Here are a few games that I spent time with or that stuck with me after the show.

Dragon Fin SoupDragon Fin Soup-This one is a rogue-like, plain and simple. But not so plain. Very beautiful art and a real sense of a world gives this game some surprising depth of character. Already ran a very successful Kickstarter, this will be one to watch for the dungeon-crawl fan.

Orcs Must Die

Orcs Must Die: Unchained-The sequel to Orcs Must Die 1 and 2, this one is a big shift for the series. This time, things are focusing on 5 on 5 PvP in a very MOBA-esque format, but with the distinct traps and tools of OMD. I’ve had very limited time with the beta and it is, to put it mildly, chaotic. Definitely will be spending more time with it. If you liked the first two or other MOBA games, worth a look for sure.

Borderlands PS

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!-Its more Borderlands. After two games, you know what to expect. Crazy FPS with RPG elements but this time in a low gravity environment. Looks like a lot of fun, as always!

Tales from Borderlands

Tales From the Borderlands-Another Borderlands game? Yes and no. This one, as you might have noticed in the logo, is made by Telltale who is famous for The Walking Dead adventure games among other point and click masterpieces. This looks to be another in a long line of great, story driven adventure games.

PokemonTCG_Online_Logo-600x383

Pokemon: TCG Online-Its the Pokemon TCG and you play it online. Having played the actual TCG, I can highly recommend it! I’m looking forward to some down time spent playing it.

Evil Within

The Evil Within-And now for something completely different! The latest horror game by Shinji Mikami of Resident Evil fame. Didn’t see much, but you couldn’t go anywhere at PAX without seeing it mentioned.

Chromancer

Chromancer-As it says, browser based card game. Also uses field positioning and tactical combat. Got to sit and play the tutorial and it is on its way to being one heck of a game!

Super Comboman

Super ComboMan-Retro action game with modern graphics. Combat depth would give Devil May Cry a run for its money despite this being a sidescroller. Very beautifully done hi-def 2D graphics.

Swords and Soldiers 2

Swords & Soldiers 2-Side scrolling RTS. This is a rare breed. You don’t see many games in this genre and this one played fast and furious. Great art direction and animation with mechanics that work surprisingly well on the WiiU control pad.

Darkest Dungeon

Darkest Dungeon-Despite seeing this at two PAX-es running, I still have no hands on time with this. It is, from what I can gather, a side-scrolling rogue-like dungeon crawl. The art is striking and definitely grabs you when you see it. I’m just going to have to break down and buy it.

never-alone-logo bg

Never Alone-An absolutely stunning side-scrolling adventure game. Very reminiscent of Limbo, Braid, Trine or even Lost Vikings. Based on stories of the Alaskan Inuit, the game project was actually started by a tribal group looking to preserve their stories interactively. Definitely one to keep an eye out for.

shadowgate-logo-custom

Shadowgate-Remake of a classic point and click adventure game. The new graphics are just beautiful. If you like these classic point and click games, you owe it to yourself to get this one! Absolute stunner.

PAX 2014 Tickets

Posted: September 3, 2014 by Noccie in Conventions, Noccie, PAX
Tags: , , , , ,

The tide has shifted. This year Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) felt different than in other years. Kane and I have been attending for 7 years and so, we have a bit of room to compare our experiences from this year and previous years.

I think the ticket scalpers may have done us a favor. There were so many passes out of general circulation, the place felt emptier than in previous years. I could move around, walk around, turn around, back up and all the other things I wanted. I could dance in the isles!

It’s my theory that this sense of space, was because so many badges were in the hands of scalpers. Even passing scalpers on the way into the building, on the last day, the scalpers had nearly an inch thick stack of badges for sale. They were super annoying and ALL over the place. It was SUPER annoying to be bombarded walking up and down the street with scalpers trying to buy and sell tickets. A friend of ours had a press pass, he was offered $10.00 for his pass. Yeah… no thank you sir. There is a bigger down side though.

It’s incredibly hard to get tickets.  Most of our friends didn’t get tickets this year because they sold out so quickly. There is no easy way to fix this issue. I don’t even know what to suggest to fix the issue besides making the solicitation, purchasing and selling of tickets on the street some sort of harrasment and making it illegal in public. That leaves thousands of tickets in the hands of ONLINE ticket brokers still.

You would think with all these tech savy people in one place we could figure out a better way of issuing passes to fans. A way must be invented to keep ticket scalpers from effecting a community in such a way.

wpid-2014-09-02-21.37.02.jpg.jpeg

The company that took over for the creators of Penny Arcade have added many levels of security to the badges to keep out counterfits. That’s helped with the crowds a bit. They have a serial number, hologram, monogram sticker, a QR code, color coding and a super secret level of security. A black light reactive design was added to the pass. It didn’t photograph well but the design was a bunch of space invaders.

wpid-2014-09-02-21.40.34.jpg.jpeg

 

This reminds me of when I was younger and impressionable. I used to go to a lot of death metal shows and the place had a problem with tickets. I went to everything thing there, death metal, speed metal, black metal,… etc. You get the picture. Well they started adding elements to the tickets so it was harder for people to make fakes. I understand why Benders Concert Cave did this, he was only charging $5.00 a ticket or $8.00 at the most. This was his bread and butter. Eventually they added a black light reactive element and then once you were in they stamped you with a black light reactive stamp as well. Don’t get me wrong, black lights are cool. I love the glowing freaking hidden stuff but in 20 years NOTHING has changed.

Can’t we come up with a better way to make the tickets hard to counterfit?

Secruity adds different levels. There is a level of safety, level of inconvience and many little levels that keep you safe or make your day harder. Everyone hates taking their shoes off in the airport. Does it keep the plane safe? I don’t know, maybe? I’m not saying that we need to be barefoot or that we aren’t allowed to bring in outside liquids. I do know that there has to be a better way to put tickets in the hands of people that love games.

Although, things really did change this year. I’ll write more later.

P.S. I’m not saying this because I want to stand in longer lines either… I just really dislike scalpers.

Tonight was special. There were people all over Seattle that have flown, driven, bused, caravaned, and taken the train for PAX 2014. This is the first time I’ve seen so many people come together before the convention to celebrate. They had a pre-PAX boardgame night at the Sheraton next to the convetion center. We were told they approximate 600 people came through to the event. This was just one event.

I know of at least four other parties being held near by for PAX 2014.

Everyone was having fun playing board and card games. We even sat down with people we didn’t know and played Tanto Cuore.

wpid-20140828_221638.jpg

Kane took time to show a friend from New Mexico and his friend how to play AGAINST THE HORDE. That’s the game Kane’s developing.

wpid-20140828_202222.jpg

It was wonderful to see everyone getting together already. Keep building the community.

Also, there were a lot of geek girls dressed up to play board games, including myself. There was about a 50/50 ratio of women to men, too!

wpid-20140828_194927.jpg

Good night and see you tomorrow.

I’m so excited for PAX 2014! Every year Kane and I head down to the convention center for this fantastic romp through video game heaven. I’m looking forward to all the flashing lights, nifty swag and good times. Every year I get a little more into going to panels. I’ve picked out a bunch but here are some gems that you should look into.

Friday

10:30 AM  – Story Time with Mikey Neumann is the keynote speech this year. The Keynotes have been awesome, even if I didn’t really know who the speaker was that year. Mikey Neumann works for Gearbox Software, so it should be an interesting talk.

11:30 AM – Building Inclusive Community in Analog Gaming Spaces – The panel is a great  conversation about how to bring in various groups of people and get them involved in gaming. They really mean it too. They discuss bringing in families with children, more women, getting girls interested at a young age, minorities and people with disabilities. They also bring up how to get new players involved! I’ve been to the panel before and I’m an acquaintance of Donna Prior, who is on the panel. It’s always a good conversation that involves the audience.

3:00 PM – Pop Cap – How We Make Games – I really just want to go to this panel because I disliked the second Plants vs Zombies. I think I deserve an explanation.

5:00 PM – Hironobu Sakaguchi Reflection, Past, Preset and Future of RPGs – Hironobu Sakaguchi is the creator of Final Fantasy. It will interesting to hear him talk about the evolution of the genre.

8:30 PM – Friday Night Concert – The Doubleclicks are playing! I love them. Caught them last year and I’m addicted. They have catchy tunes that hit you right in the feels. They also have the Triforce Quartet and Paul & Storm performing.

Saturday

12:30 – Firaxis Mega Panel – I am so excited!!! They are going to show off what they are working on for the sequel to Alpha Centauri, Sid Meier’s Civilization:  Beyond Earth. I’ve been waiting for this game playing Alpha Centauri over and over.

4:30 PM – Grim Fandango: Bringing the Dead Back to Life – I loved Grim Fandango. This panel will be talking about how they are remastering the game for PS4 and Vita.

Sunday

10:00 AM – Are Twitch, YouTube and Podcasts Killing Traditional Games Journalism? – I am curious to see what the panel has to say. Maybe it’s not killing the traditions, maybe it’s giving them competition that they need to become better. Although, by Sunday I may be too tired to get there by 10AM. We’ll see.

12:30 – Women in Games Development: We Have the Best Job Ever! – I am a bit of a feminist. I do tend to go to panels that discuss women and their roles in my world. I want to contribute and be a part of this panel that discusses the industry spanning from big games to indie games.

2:00 PM – Bridge to Japan: The Process of Localizing Japanese Media – This will be all about bringing over Japanese shows, games, cards etc and how mistranslation can cause chaos with an American audience. They actually mention Cardcaptor Sakura. I am glad they do because there was originally a lesbian story line that was taken out to spare American audiences. Weird.

8:00 PM – Three Old Guys Playing Falling Block Games – I love Tetris. They are going to be playing a variety of games. I am curious what they are going to pull out.

Monday

12:30 PM  – Video Game Memories: What Makes a Game Special – They have a group of games journalists talking about what makes a game special. I’ll tell you what, FALL OUT. That is all you need to know about games.

2:30 PM – Beyond the Stars: How Games Are Keeping Science Fiction Alive – I don’t know who any of the panelists are but I like the subject. Being a science fiction writer, I try to keep games and movies in mind when I write my descriptions. That way if they are optioned, I’m all set!

I’m mostly just excited for the convention. I buy dice there every year and I want more of the Q-Workshop dice. I also want to visit the Funko booth and buy some bobble heads.

I’m only cosplaying two days. I have a Muad Pie outfit and a Star Trek costume. Although, I dyed my hair for Muad! 🙂

See you there!

There is a magical place where you can go to be with friends you’ve never met before. This magical place is called a convention. I’ve been to lots of conventions. Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head. There is a sweet spot with conventions where they aren’t too big yet and aren’t in the first year stage. A balance is struck between panels, vendors and other activities in these sweet years. Geek Girl Con is in that sweet spot right now. I’m not saying it won’t get bigger and better. I do want more but this is definitely part of that sweet spot.

There were panels I wanted to watch and musical performances that I loved. The vendors room was an interesting mish-mash of crafts, arts, authors and organizations. There was a gaming floor for table top games and a few video games present. The special guest area was humble and calm. The special guests weren’t asking for money in exchange for their signature and photo. The cosplayers were friendly, proud and excited by about the other cosplayers. Everyone was really down to earth and approachable.

I personally had a few moments where I was brought to tears. Honestly, I’ve been rather emotional lately but when I met Karen Prell I couldn’t help myself. Karen Prell is the voice and puppeteer for Red Fraggle, of Fraggle Rock. So many happy child hood memories came back and my regret that Jim Henson was no longer walking on this earth came spilling out. I was utterly overwhelmed and teared up. There had been a short line with only 5 people in front of me. She was so thankful to be talked too and very sweet. I wish I had been able to make it to her panel.

I only made it to one panel. There were many but the first day we were there, I was lost in the wave of people, sights and sounds. The second day I couldn’t arrive early enough to hit the panels I really wanted due to poor logistics. Kane made it to several though, I am sure he can run down how the panels stand up.

There were all kinds of human beings present. There were older people, little children, Men, Women, gay, straight, Trans, little people and disabled people. I wish I had taken a picture of her but there was a really nice little person that was hanging out with a lady in a motorized chair. They were dressed as Hermoine and Luna Lovegood. I ran into the Sexy aka the Tardis. I loved her costume so much. There as a guy, very secure in his manhood dressed as a Hello Kitty version of Gears of War. There were tons of cos players of all kinds. There were lots of Doctors from all throughout the series. I saw a few tiny baby Doctors, daleks and tardis’. The costume contest was funny and impressive. A lot of the Cosplayers hung around after to talk to people and pose for photos.

The music was fantastic. Friday night they had a kick off party at Wayward Coffee House. Wayward Coffee House is a Firefly and Science Fiction themed coffee house. They have a Chai Tea Latte called the Muab’dib because of the spice. My favorite drink is their Green Tea Latte. I have had these all over Seattle and theirs is the best. They use matcha powder and make sure it’s pure with no additives. The Doubleclicks and Molly Lewis   (here is her facebook.) played at Wayward as a pre-convention party. The place was packed with about 150-200 people. If you don’t know the Doubleclicks, they are a band from Portland. They are sisters and incredibly funny. Aubrey plays the Cello and Angela plays the guitar and ukulele. They sing songs about D & D, velociraptors, Mr. Darcy and acceptance in the geek community. Molly Lewis plays the Ukulele, she’s from the Seattle area. Her songs are funny and irreverent. The songs go from break ups to Goldeneye 64. The whole crowd began to sing along with both bands. The big Concert on Saturday was Unwoman and Marion Call. If you haven’t heard of Unwoman, you should hunt down her music. Her music is played on electric cello. Electronic versions of classical instruments have become popular in the past 5-10 years but Unwoman has been playing since she was six and her first album came out in 2002. She briefly toured with Rasputina and has played at the last four SteamCon’s. Her music is soulful, lonely and haunting. Watching her perform was a trip because she has an electronic Cello. This means the body of the cello is missing in this case. You can see from the photo it’s just the head, neck and strings. I was floored because I am used to seeing photos of her with a standard wooden cello. I felt lucky to see her twice at the convention. If you doubt the geek relevancy of her act, just know her name Unwoman is a from “A Handmaid’s Tale,” by Margaret Atwood. A story of a post apocalyptic dystopian society where infertile women are called Unwoman. The headliner was Marion Call, a self published singer and songwriter. Marion Call is like a nerdy Ani Difranco. I only had a chance to see part of her performance though. She’s very talented and uses her body and non musical prompts in the composition of her music. It was fascinating to watch her perform. She would stomp on the stage and type on a type writer for different parts as accompanying rhythm/percussion. While, I am not too into her music, she is an INCREDIBLE musician. She’s also adorable because she was really excited that she is traveling to see CERN again. I appreciate that passion for science.

One of the really unique things about the music at Geek Girl Con were the secondary concerts they had. In the atrium area of the convention center, all the musical guests that performed and some other musicians that had traveled to the convention performed. It made the entire event magical because you were surrounded by music as you went from the doors to the third floor. The openness and accessibility of the music made the convention feel that much more intimate. They didn’t have a microphone and but Unwoman did have a little travel amp she uses. Most of the music was acoustic, except Unwoman of coarse. Everyone was so respectful and quiet. People were sitting on the floor once the couches and foot stools filled up. There were people watching from the second and third floors as well as people traveling on the escalators. This was a great chance for people who couldn’t make it to the concerts to enjoy the musical guests and for other musicians to get introduced to the crowd.

Did I mention that the special guests felt comfortable to just walk around freely at the convention? Denise Crosby was there as a special guest. I about died when I saw her sitting at a table with no line! Denise Crosby played officer Tasha Yar on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Even though she was only on the show for a short time, her character had real meaning and impact. I still feel for Data, having lost the only woman he ever loved. Back to the convention though. I saw her just walking around enjoying the place several times. I kept making Pokemon style jokes during the convention though, “Look, a Denise Crosby in the wild!” There aren’t many conventions where stars can go and feel like they aren’t going to get mobbed by crazed fans.

A very special feature of this convention was a science discovery zone! They had real scientists running an area for children to explore science! The experiments included simple things like making a raisin float in carbonated water and more complex experiments like detecting DNA. There craft activities like making a nature book and making home made goo. All of this was propelled by fun and a punch card. If you got six punches you could enter in a drawing for prizes both days. There were 10-12 activity stations, so it was easy to get six. Even though the area was really big, like 4-6 kids could be at each station, there were more people interested than could fit into the area at one time. This is so math! I hope next year they get a room for that activity area though, it was INSANE.

After everything was said and done there was one more thing we had to do! The Ladies of the 80’s sing along was right before the closing ceremony. Everyone made their way to the largest room at the convention. There were two screens on either side and hilarious videos were projected with subtitles. They played Madonna’s “Borderline”; Cyndi Lauper’s “Girl’s Just Want to Have Fun”; Janet Jackson’s “Nasty Boys”; Debbie Gibson’s “Only In My Dreams”; and Olivia Newton John’s “Physical.” The host also played one of my favorite nonsensical videos, “Love is a Battlefield.” There is sexy dance fighting and 1980’s post apocalyptic clothing. Nothing makes any sense any more! WE ARE YOUNG! Heartache to Heartache we stand! Love is a battlefield. Sure… sure it is. Whatever makes you feel better in the morning. ( I love this song on Rock Band and dance along like in the video. No, I’m not going to post a video of that) The best and last video played was “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” by Bonnie Tyler. The video for Total Eclipse is like the brain child of someone on drugs. The video includes ninjas, laser eyes and ballet dancing barbarians. There is no rhyme or reason to the video. Everyone had a good time, it took a few songs but everyone really got into it. There was a dance party in front of one of the screens where most of the kids wound up. The host was also adding little funny comments throughout the event. This was a great way to end the weekend.

The closing ceremony was short and sweet. They thanked everyone who had come together to make the convention so wonderful. Then the Doubleclicks played, “Nothing to Prove.” I couldn’t help myself, I teared up again. The whole room was singing along with the song. Above is a link to the video.

YAY GEEK GIRL CON 2013! I signed up to volunteer for 2014. See you there!

At Geek Girl Con we found an awesome vendor selling video game related soap, Digital Soaps.

Sounds awesome right? You have no idea.

Chrystal Doucette, is the founder of Digital Soaps and we talked for a while. She is charismatic, friendly and really open to questions about her cool products. We were impressed because on first glance, her soaps looked like the real game cartridges. There were soaps of all sizes and game systems. We purchased a Chrono Trigger cartridge that is Mt. Dew Scented in fact. Yesterday I handed it to my Mother and said I bought a new game. She tried to feign interest reading the tag. Then Kane and I laughed because she commented that something smelled really nice. Even she was amazed by how much they look like the real cartridge.

SoapsTrio

I also bought a deliciously smelling Pokeball. The scent is Strawberry Rhubarb pie. The ball looks like a Pokeball. According to Chrystal, there is a surprise Pokemon in each one. I can’t wait to find out what I bought. I will have to post an update after I’ve rubbed it all over enough to expose my POKEMON! I CHOOSE YOU… to wash the filth from my body and make me smell nice.

StrawberryRhubarbSoap

As a bonus she gave us a Mario star. It’s citrus scented.

Digital Soaps had other products I wanted but I thought I should start with two first. I am a little bit of a girly girl  at times and I have a back log of handmade soaps. There was one that looked like a PlayStation controller.  I really want the buy that next. She had a variety of scents that included Dr. Pepper and A&W Root-beer. She suggested getting the shampoo when she found out I have a pile of soaps. Her product line is very diversified. She makes body washes, soaps, lotion, hand sanitizer, shampoo and conditioners. One of the really unique items she makes is CAFFEINATED SHAMPOO. Yeah, you read that right. If you need to rise and shine, rinse and repeat.

Another really cool item are the Tetris soaps. I just like the idea of being able to display them before I use them.

If you really like bacon, but don’t want to rub yourself all over with it, try her soap. She makes a vegan bacon soap. They come in either dark chocolate or bacon scent.

These are great gift items. I smell holiday shopping ideas!

Check out her Etsy shop or her website.

http://www.cleangeeks.com/digitalsoaps/

http://www.etsy.com/shop/Digitalsoaps?ref=pr_shop_more