Tuesday, May 31, 2011

LA Noire: Something Old is New

The first video game I ever played was Pong.  It wasn't at a Con in the vintage game room, but on my living room floor on a shag carpet.  It's amazing to think that a little ball bouncing back and forth across my TV screen could keep me busy for hours, but don't underestimate the wonder of Pong.  The better you played, the faster the ball bounced, and if you were really good and smacked it at just the right angle, it zipped off the screen too high or low for your opponent to possibly hit it back.  Video games have gotten slightly more complex since Pong.  Now they're whole worlds come to life on your screen.  More often than not, though, you're running through that world with barely any time to appreciate your surroundings.  LA Noire is a welcome break from that frenetic pace and a return to a style of gaming that I haven't enjoyed in years.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Darth Vader Cupcake

I did not go to Walt Disney World for the grand re-opening of Star Tours last weekend. I didn't get to stand in line for pictures with Darth Vader, nor did I have a chance to say "Aren't you a little short for a stormtooper?" to an actual Imperial Stormtrooper. Through some strange twist of fate, however, half of my friends were in Florida last weekend even though they couldn't tell you the difference between an X-Wing and a TIE Fighter. Yes, it was horribly unfair, but they did come back with some fantastic pictures. Darth Maul, Chewbacca, Twileks, Gamorreans. They were all represented, but my favorite picture wasn't a character or a parade or even my friend's husband and son wearing R2D2 Mickey ears. It was this little Darth Vader cupcake.

The Dark Lord of the Sith turned into a $4 confection that was the joy of a child's afternoon made me smile. And that's what things like Star Wars Weekends, and just being a Geek, are all about. Enjoying what brings you happiness and forgetting about the real world for just a little while.  Thank you little Darth Vader cupcake, and may the chocolate filled Force be with you.  Always.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Happy Towel, Star Wars, Geek, Glorious 25th of May Day!

I love Geek holidays  They don't force you to hang out with family and endure the same old stories you've heard a hundred times, many of which involve the adorable and embarrassing things you did when you were a kid. You aren't required to cook a meal of epic proportions that will leave you with enough leftovers for a month. There are no presents to buy, decorations to hang, or cards to send. Geek holidays are not such pressure cookers of adult responsibility. They're pure and simple fun. Take today, May 25th, which has the distinction of being not one, not two, but as many as four Geek holidays rolled into one. Confusing? Not at all. But just in case you aren't "in the know" about the wonder of today, let me break it all down for you.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Torchwood: Captain Jack is Coming Back!

I'm a big fan of Captain Jack Harkness. I think it has lots to do with that coat he always wears. Coats are cool, just like fezzes and bow ties and Stetsons. The only difference is that Captain Jack doesn't ever tell you his coat is cool. It just is. When I finished watching the last Torchwood series I was very sad that I would be seeing no more of my favorite overly-sexed, wise-cracking, too handsome for his own good, hero.  There was talk about the series returning and about who exactly would come back, but it all seemed to be in that ethereal Never Never Land that holds things like the possibility of new episodes of Firefly. Yet with the unveiling of the new trailer for Torchwood: Miracle Day, it finally feels like this one is going to happen, but will it be any good?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tomorrow Ends With...

Most of you have probably heard that the world is going to end tomorrow, May 21st.  Really.  I'm not making this stuff up.  Even the CDC got in on the action with their warnings about the Zombie Apocalypse so that's got to make you wonder just a little bit if we all ought to be getting ready.  I think the possibility of the world ending by zombies just doesn't fit the bill this time.  If they took over, it wouldn't happen in one day.  I know this from movies, TV and comic books.  It takes time for the hordes to overrun the world and send you fleeing into the woods with a cricket bat and some Twinkies.  If tomorrow the world ends, then it has to be something much quicker and more dramatic. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Geek Girls Network Podcast #16 Wookiee the Chew

Last month I stumbled across James Hance and his adorable tribute to Winnie the Pooh and Star Wars called Wookiee the Chew.  This week we finally get to chat with James about how he came up with the idea and what further adventures are in store for Chrisolo Robin and his Wookiee.  You'll also find out how you can help James with a very special project for his daughter, Maddy.  Check out his website to see the full line of prints and the Wookie the Chew book. 

Download GGNP Episode 16

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

You Vex Me, Game of Thrones!

The buzz surrounding the TV adaptation of George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones was nearly impossible to miss. Fans couldn't stop talking about how excited they were to see his amazing world finally come to life. They talked of dire wolves, and swords, and epic battles. I wanted to share in that excitement, but since I'd never read the books I could only muster so much enthusiasm. The one bonus to this was that I had no preconceptions about what the show should be and wouldn't be disappointed by the omission of a favorite scene. So, right along with the legions of die hard fans, I sat down to watch this grand, fantasy adventure. 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The D6 Generation Podcast #79 Interview: Geek Dad Ken Denmead

Ken Denmead, editor of the parenting blog GeekDad over at Wired.com, takes some time to chat with me about his latest book The Geek Dad's Guide to Weekend Fun.  He talks about his favorite projects, how he came to build a Nerf dart gun that far exceeds the usual specs, and evades my attempt to start a war at the end of the interview.  Download the show and head to the 2hr 18min mark to hear the interview, and for a chance to win a copy of his book from Total Fan Girl, check out my full review and leave a comment about your favorite geeky kid's activity.

Download D6G Episode #79

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Review and Giveaway: The Geek Dad's Guide to Weekend Fun

Geek Dads are a special breed of parent. Sure, they'll teach you how to ride a bike just like any other dad, but they'll also teach you how to modify that bike with rocket boosters so you'll go faster that Lance Armstrong. That's the kind of dad that's going to love Ken Denmead's latest book The Geek Dad's Guide to Weekend Fun. As editor of  the parenting blog GeekDad over at Wired.com, Ken has become something of an expert at helping moms and dads alike grown their little geeks. This is his second Geek Dad book and this time he has given us a fantastic bunch of new projects that parents can do with their kids. I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of this book for review, and had only one real complaint. Do I have to let my husband have all the fun with this or can I keep it for myself?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Geek Girls Network Podcast #15 Thor, Superheros, Tauntauns

We discuss Thor and why I think it's must-see even though Kristin thinks he's actually He-Man in disguise. This leads us to superheros, the perils of skipping school, and a debate over whether having an alter-ego named Frank that is a Tauntaun sleeping bag is a mark against your sanity.  All this, and a googly-eyed contest to win some great comics!

Download GGNP Episode 15

Monday, May 9, 2011

Review: Thor

Once again I have spent a ridiculous amount of money on movie tickets. It's not enough that the price of a regular admission with soda and popcorn is roughly equal to my mortgage. Now, all the biggest movies are being released in Imax 3D which adds the cost of a car payment to the experience. I end up walking into the theater knowing I may be living in a cardboard box soon and hoping that it will be worth it in the end. This was my mindset when I went to see Thor on Friday night. I really, really wanted to love this movie. I wanted to cheer out loud, knocking over my popcorn as I threw my hands in the air and screamed "For Asgard!"  with the rest of the theater. The Mighty Thor had to meet some mighty high expectations.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Roll a D6

This one is for all the Gamers out there.  You know who you are, staying up late drinking soda by the gallon and munching on handfuls of chips between die rolls.  This parody of "Like a G6" has got you pegged.  Enjoy!

Geek Girls Network Podcast #14 Bonnie Burton of StarWars.com

What better way to celebrate May the Fourth, also known as Star Wars Day, than with a special guest! Bonnie Burton, writer at StarWars.com, author of The Star Wars Craft Bookand Geek Girl Extraordinaire joins us to talk about being a Geek Girl, her love for all things Star Wars and why you should never, ever let your dog eat googly eyes.

Download GGNP Episode 14

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Find Bonnie on twitter @bonniegrrl and check her out on StarWars.com and her personal site grrl.com.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I Have a Superpower

I spent last weekend in New York City eating too much pastry and walking until my feet hurt.  There were plans to meet up with some fantastic Geeks on Saturday night, and when I saw how far the designated bar was from my hotel, I decided to give my feet a rest and take a cab. This is tricky business, especially if you come from a place where hailing one generally means making a phone call.  Standing on the side of the road with traffic flying by in a blur and your arm sticking out waiting for a pigeon to land on it is awkward.  So, I took the easy way out and had the nice man at the hotel with the uniform and the whistle get one for me.  Unfortunately, bars do not have guys in hats with magic whistles, or at least not any you'd want to talk to, so I was on my own getting home.  Without any video proving otherwise, let's just say getting a cab was challenging.  Cab Hailing was not my superpower.