Posts tagged geeks

mensbatman

Forbes, Sexism, Booth Babes, and Preparing for Cons

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Recently, Forbes.com published an article about what to wear to E3. This article was was only aimed toward women, and was amazingly offensive. Now, if you click that link you’ll see that there’s a disclaimer at the top of the article. Hilariously, after the backlash they received, they removed the offending points. While I have to applaud them for listening to the feedback, I also find it appalling that they clearly didn’t do any research on the demographic they were trying to reach with that article to begin with – and the fact that they don’t stand by their opinions. Let’s see a quote from that original article before the edit:

If you’ve been to E3 before, you know the challenge.  How do you convey credibility in promoting your game, your studio and yourself at the convention in a room full of guys gawking at larger-than-life, theme-park-like attractions and scantily clad ‘booth babes’?

Many women prefer to keep a low profile with “non booth babe” wear – like a baggy t-shirt and jeans.  But in an industry trying to attract more female gamers, its worthwhile to spend some time thinking about how what you wear can help you stand out as the savvy gaming industry expert that you are.

Looks like someone just learned the term “booth babe.”

E3 may have come and gone, but there are still plenty of conventions planned for the rest of the year, and the fact that a company as prominent as Forbes would post something like this at all is important.

Women: your credibility is not defined by your wardrobe. Your credibility should be dependent on your merits, not your appearance. Of course specific situations will require a specific dress-code; in general, if you are good at what you do, it doesn’t matter if you have green hair and cleavage. People will listen when you speak. Do not allow anyone to treat you differently based purely on what you’re wearing. Especially at a convention.

Men (and woman, in fact): you should be treating people you encounter with equal respect, no matter what they’re wearing. All people. If you judge her by her t-shirt, you could be missing out on your new favorite artist. If you judge him by his facial piercings, who knows, you may lose the chance to meet to best programmer in the room. You do not get to slut-shame women or men for their bare skin or for cosplaying. Making snap judgments about someone based on their appearance will only make you lose out on that person’s best qualities.

On “Booth Babes”:  it’s true that the gaming industry has a history of employing attractive women, dressing them scantily, and using them to bait young men into visiting their booths at cons. However, this is 2013, and these companies aren’t stupid. You will see a dramatic shift in the coming years of these companies hiring knowledgeable, personable people to represent their products. Do not assume that just because you see an attractive woman is at a booth at a convention means she’s only there to look pretty, and knows nothing about the brand she’s representing. After all, you wouldn’t see Jamie Dillion from Child’s Play or Barbara Dunkelman from RoosterTeeth at a convention, and assume they’re know-nothing booth babes, would you? No. They’re professional women who are integral parts of the companies they represent, and obtained their positions by being the best at what they do. Don’t let an antiquated gender idea sully your idea of how you want to present yourself, and certainly don’t let any silly slut-shaming prevent you from cosplaying your favorite character.

I think it’s time we start thinking more about having a good time at the conventions we attend, and worry less about being mistaken for booth babes. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some tips that might actually help you while you attend a convention. Don’t worry, fashion geeks, I’ll still include a couple of outfits for inspiration.

Tips for Attending a Con:

  1. Wear Comfy Shoes. Throughout any convention, you will be on your feet for hours a day, usually multiple days in a row. Bring a pair of shoes that you won’t worry about getting scuffed up, stepped on by other people, or getting dirty. It’s also a good idea to carry a back-up just in case.
  2. Drink Plenty of Water and Don’t Forget to Eat. There is a ton of excitement involved in going to a con, and sticking to panel and presentation schedules can make for very little free time. Plan ahead, and take a look at what food options will be near you, set alarm reminders for mealtimes on your cell phone, and carry a bottle of water with you everywhere. You don’t want to wind up dizzy and tired by 4pm just because you forgot to eat lunch.
  3. Carry Business Cards. If you’re in the industry, or hoping to network in any way, bring plenty of business cards. Don’t be pushy about giving them out, but do be creative. Conventions can be the absolutely best place to hob-knob with fellow industry workers, and make some helpful friends. Make sure you have something to give them, and make it impressive.
  4. Bring A Bag. Hitting the booths, you’ll encounter a ton of fliers, cards, posters, and prints. This doesn’t even include the various memorabilia and items you may purchase while you’re there, or the personal items you may need to bring with you. Be smart, and bring something to carry those things in. A tote bag is a cheap, easy way to address this issue, but a messenger bag might be more durable and have more handy pockets.
  5. Things to Carry in That Bag: band-aids, snacks, water, cell phone, charger/extra battery, extra pair of shoes, light jacket, camera, deodorant, mini sewing kit. You’d be surprised how often these items might come in handy. It’s possible you’ll never need any of them, but when you do, you’ll be glad you have them. Sidenote about the camera: not all venues will let you bring in a camera, so check the rules of the event before attending (this actually goes for all items), but you never know when you might run into a photo op – either an amazing cosplay of your favorite video game character, or maybe your favorite actor. Come prepared, you may never get that opportunity again!
  6. Plan and Check in with Your Buddy. The buddy system isn’t just for elementary school. It’s easy to lose your group in a large crowd, and people can easily go missing. If you’re with a friend or a group of friends, plan ahead to meet at certain places at certain times. Make sure everyone gets where they’re going safely, and be sure everyone has everyone else’s phone numbers in case of emergencies.
  7. Plot Your Course. There’s a lot to see at a convention, and you don’t want to miss out on some key opportunities. Figure out what panels you want to attend, and buy any applicable tickets early. Plot out which booths you absolutely want to visit, and find them on the floor map. Allow for plenty of time in line – it could very well be hours. You don’t need to be militant about your planning, but if you have a general plan in place, you’ll be more likely to see everything that you want to.
  8. Bring a Book. You may have to sit in line for a very long time at a busy con. Bring something to keep yourself occupied – whether it’s a good novel, a thick graphic novel, or a Sudoku book, make sure you won’t be bored. Or, you could always make new friends around you!
  9. Shower and Deodorant are Your Best Friends!  Personal hygiene should be common sense, but you’d be surprised. If you’ve ever been to a packed convention, you truly know the stink of body odor. Try to be considerate of those around you, and boost your own confidence by showering every day, and wearing deodorant and clean clothes.

Tips for Dressing at a Con:

Now, we’re not going to tell you that you shouldn’t show skin, dress provocatively, or really dress any way beyond how you want to in public. That’s nobody’s place but yours. However, we can give you some words of wisdom about being prepared for an event in how you dress. This tips go for both men and women.

  • Check the Weather. Look at the forecast for the days and locations that you’ll be out at a con. Even if it’s an indoor convention, keep travel and after-events in mind. If it’s going to rain, bring a small umbrella just in case. If it’s going to be cold later in the evening, bring a light jacket to be on the safe side.
  • Wear Layers. A packed convention hall can get gross and sweaty in an instant. If you wear a couple thin layers, you can add or remove them to adjust to your comfort level at any moment.
  • Flexible Clothing is Key. You’ll be moving around a lot, and don’t want your clothes to be restrictive. Wear something you’ll be comfortable in either sitting in a convention hall for a couple hours, or running to catch a bus.
  • Keep Your Items Close. Just like tips for visiting new cities, keep your personal belonging close to your body. While we hope everyone we come in contact with will be honest, you still need to account for the possibility that you might drop or lose something. If you have a bag that closes, or pockets that zip, use them.
  • Plan Ahead with Costumes. If you’re wearing a costume, make sure it’s something you’re not going to get hot, sweaty, or uncomfortable after a few hours. Also make sure you build yourselves some pockets or a clever carrying case (for example: if you’re cosplaying Chell from Portal, maybe make yourself a purse in the shape of a companion cube). Also, make sure any items you intend to bring to enhance your costume don’t go against the convention rules. If you’re cosplaying Gordon Freeman, it’s probably best not to bring a crowbar. You may also want to bring a change of clothes in case of emergency or if you want to change for after parties.

Any way you go, let your geek flag fly. As promised, here are a couple con-inspired outfits that might help you build your own ensemble.

Batman Inspired Con Outfit (note the tennis shoes for running around, the bag for collecting items, and the simple accessories):

 

con style - batman

Or for something a little more feminine, try this subtle Green Lantern Style get up (note the easy-to-move-in ballet flats, and the light, comfy dress that’s easy to pair with a jacket):
con style - green lantern
Sorry, fellas, I don’t have any guy outfit suggestions at this time, but feel free to list any below!
The number one rule at a convention is to have fun. You spent the money, and probably traveled to get there, so enjoy yourself! Whether you’re networking with some industry execs, or showing off your creative costuming skills, just be yourself, and have a blast.
If you have any convention wisdom you’d like to share, please leave a comment, and let others learn from your experiences!
UPDATE:
We received wonderful contribution from Rachel Steiner in the comments below, I’d love to include her suggestions here.
I can think of some amazing yet geeky men’s style that I’ve seen on people such as Chris Hardwick and even Kevin Pereira that looks put together but still allows them to show their geekiness without fear. I’ve put together a few men’s geek inspired looks on Polyvore:
A complete Batman look (Yes I know the button down costs $100+ but you can find similar items for under $20)
mensbatman
Some various neckwear for men:
neckwear
Additionally
Converse has the licensing for Batman: Arkham City. So you can customize your own pair of shoes and even have different graphics and color schemes to each shoe. For example:
batshoes
Thank you, Rachel!
NerdgirlReading

Being A Thrifty (Book) Nerd

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The holidays have passed us by and now our thoughts turn to “whoa, that’s a lot of bills I have to pay!” Being a nerd doesn’t make it any easier because we constantly have more and more things that we don’t just want, but need. Top among that list is books and our push to read often sends our costs up. However, there are many free avenues that we can explore to get our reading fix!

Library: This should be at the top of everyone’s list, but many times it is not. I’ve heard from many fellow nerds who rush out to buy the latest book just to read it once and then cast it aside. Instead, head out to your local library where you can read both the latest best-sellers and long-forgotten classics for free. It’s the power of your library card. And with the integration of most library systems today, anything that your local library does not have can be ordered from surrounding libraries, so you’ll never miss out.

E-Books: If you simply do a search for “free e-books” on the web you’ll turn up many sites that provide books for free, from classics to modern fiction. Project Gutenberg was the first to embark on the free e-book trend and many have followed, including Google, Amazon, and Many Books. Whether you have an e-reader or not, there are free e-books out there waiting for you.

Book Swaps: This is the avenue I tend to turn to most often because of my success rate in acquiring books. If you are one of those individuals who has a pile of books taking up space, book swaps are a great way to not only get rid of them, but turn them into new reads. The two I frequent the most are BookMooch and PaperbackSwap. From these two sites I’ve managed to get the latest books, as well as many books from my wishlist that have been out of print for a while. We can all benefit from the exchange of literature. [Additionally, the PaperbackSwap site is partnered with SwapaCD and SwapaDVD, so you can apply the same principle to CDs and DVDs.]

There are definitely more areas to explore for free books and I encourage you to seek them out. Some publishers send out review copies in exchange for a review written on their site or your blog. Other avenues include free audiobooks so that you can listen on the go. And the list goes on. So, the next time you’re wondering if you have to sacrifice your reading habit for the holiday bills, remember that being a thrifty book nerd is never a bad thing.

frank-darabont-the-walking-dead-amc

The Walking Dead: A Look Back, Season 1

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I was going to write about the last episode but I lost track of time with the holidays and I moved and whatever else occupied my time in the last couple weeks.  Either way I figured, why spoil the ending?  If you want to see it you have full reviews from every other episode from me and if you have gone 5 eps deep then watching the finale will be well worth it.  I did really enjoy this arch but of course like any new show there is always a testing ground.  I still have not read the graphic novels but plan to, to get more in depth with the series for when it returns for its second season.  Yes, it was picked up and why shouldn’t it?  I really enjoyed what they did with this season and I am happy to call myself a fan.

From what I have read the second season will be twice as long as the first and, sorry to say, but we have no set date as to when it will air.  I feel like we may have gotten a taste of what this show has to offer and if you ask me most of us will be out for flesh if it doesn’t have a date set in the near future.  It is always terrible when you have a show you are falling for and have no idea when you will get more.  There are a few snags that could cause the new season not to air until October of 2011 though.  Frank Darabont, the executive producer/director, has let go of his entire writing staff and there are talks of not bringing on another one.  Instead he is commissioning out freelancers to write the episodes.  Also, AMC is the new hot place to be if you are an awesome tv series that has style and substance.  They already have two hit shows coming back in 2011, Mad Men and Breaking Bad, and they will be airing a new series called, The Killing, sometime in the new year.  That is quite a full plate for a network that used to show nothing but classic movies.

This show is looking like it will have quite an impact.  The first episode was released at the perfect time, at the end of the spooky Halloween season, and I really believe that gave this show a leg up to get the buzz out there.  I can only speculate what the next season will look like with all the freelancing and amazingness that will bring.  From what I have reviewed and what I was excited about from this show I was totally blown away.  From the beginning to the end you really see the relationships opening up and even the violence, which was something I knew AMC could handle, has been tasteful and gruesome at the same time.  The entire cast has been a great choice so far.

There is a soap opera kind of feel to it with some of the characters, but I think that makes for good drama.  As the show started, and since I am a proclaimed nerd, I had no problem believing there were crazy zombies running around out in the world.  The characters react exactly how I would expect them to and there are some tough decisions shown that really make you step back and contemplate how you would handle it.  Let’s be honest here, no real situation is ever so cut and dry.

So let’s get into the meat of it all.  When the series starts you are kind of a time before when you get to meet Rick Grimes, a cop, and his partner, Shane.  When Rick is put into a coma and wakes up mysteriously alone in the hospital the reality of a world alone sets into place.  The story leads us to Rick searching and eventually finding his family, which include his son Carl and wife Lori.  Lori was under the impression he was dead and so has sought comfort in Shane.  As time goes on you realize that Shane is not happy to be left at the wayside when Rick returns, but this is all under Rick’s nose and he has no idea the turmoil both of them are going through now that he has returned.

Not only are you dealing with betrayal on some level but in other stories you are seeing the decisions of deciding on death as a viable option to living in this hell.  What is there really to live for in a world like this?  You see everyone around you die eventually and so why wouldn’t it be a good option?  Well, that is unless you have someone to live for.  These people are all they have and at this point if they don’t have each other there is no reason to go on.  Not all of them have the strength to be optimistic like Rick and push on thinking they can save the world.  This innate American idea that we are bigger and meant for more definitely resides in a guy like Rick, a leader.

Then you see the struggle that comes over Andrea when she does realize she is that person for someone, Dale.  He had seen his entire family die and yet kept going.  He let Andrea and her sister, Amy, into his heart and gave that place to them.  Those relationships become stronger as time progresses.  Bonds formed through great tragedy are stronger because you can really see someone for who they are.  Sometimes though that isn’t the person you thought you would see.  A really great example of that comes out in Carol’s husband, Ed.  Now it is possible that he could have been this way before the world ended but her transformation is what really struck me.

Carol seems like a simple housewife who does what she is told.   Ed is her overbearing abusive husband.  They make a good couple until the sisters, who are definitely more outspoken and liberated, interfere to make Carol feel ok about laughing and having fun despite this dark time.  You may think that she may not change because she runs to the side of him even after he beats her, but when he turns and has to be taken down she is the one to do it.  The escape!  Not only an escape and a victory but one she can feel good about and not snap to obtain.  Slight victories like this are well deserved by these travelers and when they get them you must believe they will take them.

The many triumphs and disasters that these people go through are shown on their faces and their reactions and actions throughout every situation.  You really feel what they are going through.  An amazing moment is when the group is in the city together and they have to escape somehow.  An option is to walk among them but how is that possible?  Well, take a clue from Shaun of the Dead, act like them, and of course smell like them.  The hacking of an already dead body is a head turner but touching at the same time.  Rick memorializes the moment and makes them remember that life in this afterlife is all about survival.

Some amazing revelations have been made through all of this as well.  We are finally clued into how long this has all been going on in the end of this season.  They meet a scientist in the CDC named Dr. Jenner.  Now, in my life previous to becoming obsessed with zombies I had a phobia.  After seeing 28 Days Later and saw how fast they could be and the fact that maybe this could happen something came over me.  I didn’t like that thought and eventually had to overexpose myself to the whole thing so that now, maybe it is still kind of a phobia, but at least I know what I can and am ready to beat the hell out of some stumbling brain eaters.  In this series we learn a little more about what is happening physiologically.  It is a spark in the brain that goes out.  Where there were so many neurons and electrical impulses lighting up before there is only one area that seems to be relit and it is the basic most primal area.  No function but survival is left.

The first season comes to DVD/BluRay March 8th, buy it, rent it, netflix it and help this series spread a widely and quickly as the disease they portray.  Remember to also like them on their facebook page and follow them @WalkingDead_AMC on twitter.

Our Amazing Followers

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This is a shout out to you.

Yes. You!

We started this blog just a few short months ago. It was dreamed up by Stephanie (shinyswoots) as a way for the nerdy chicks of the Node community to share our interests and geek out about nerdy things. If you’re suddenly finding yourself questioning what a Node is, “The Node is the official Nerdist community. It is a collaboration network for creators to nerdsource (crowdsourcing with nerds) and exchange ideas,” created by Chris Hardwick, and fueled by some hard-working folks that love getting nerds together to do productive things. Ever wonder about that “n” gear shape in our logo? Totally his.

Since then, we’ve seen a tremendous growth in our readers both in numbers, and also in diversity. We’ve opened up pathways for communication with interesting and challenging folks, groups, organizations, and companies, which only allows us to do more and more. Because of this, we’ve been able to keep this going, plan exciting events for the future, and even lay down some groundwork to get you guys some really cool stuff coming up. This is all thanks to you. Basically, what I’m trying to say here is… we love you.

One area we’ve seen quite a bit of growth in is twitter. As simple as that is, our twitter account (@nerdsinbabeland) is currently up to 830 followers, and going strong. We post fun links, information, and general tidbits throughout the day, and are able to easily communicate with our fellow geeks through this medium.  We want to keep this going, and we want to show our appreciation for your help in this. Here’s the deal.  Like fun, silly things? Awesome. So do we. Recommend us to your followers to gain us more followers on the twitter. Our 1000th follower will get a sketch from me, personally (@jackietherobot), as well as whomever referred them.  I can’t promise this will be a good sketch, but I can promise it will be ridiculous. Probably random, too. In addition to that, we will also ship you and lucky # 1000 a couple of NiB buttons with our nerd-girl logo (which I drew, by the way).

Commence the scuffle, and know that we ♥ you either way.

P.S. – The Node is a closed Beta community site, and is invite-only. If you ever want an invite to the Node, just email us at info@nerdsinbabeland.com, and we’ll be happy to send you one!

neildegrassetyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson On My Television

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Neil deGrasse Tyson, noted astrophysicist and always deemed my favorite, has once again invaded our television screens as an actor on a beloved television series. Fans may know Tyson from his work on Nova ScienceNow or his numerous books that bring astrophysics to the masses. Casual viewers or readers may know him better as ‘The Man Who Demoted Pluto.’ Yes, third graders everywhere are cursing his name because they have to relearn the planetary jingle.

Despite the fact that it’s been four years since the IAU agreed with Tyson and demoted Pluto to dwarf planet status, the entertainment industry is still using it to their advantage. Tyson first took a turn as an actor on the Stargate: Atlantis episode “Brain Storm” where he played…Neil deGrasse Tyson. He became the subject of taunting by Dr. Rodney McKay over his role in the planet’s demotion, but managed to get a few good jibes in himself.

Rodney McKay: Hey, at least I didn’t declassify Pluto from planet status. Way to make all the little kids cry, Neil. That make you feel like a big man? (SGA, Episode 5.16, “Brain Storm”)

And now, two years later, he’s back again. This time, he’s on the hit comedy Big Bang Theory, favorite of nerds everywhere, and he’s playing…Neil deGrasse Tyson. Hey, when you’re iconic, you can be your own character! He is still defending himself as not being the sole person responsible for Pluto’s demotion, but Dr. Sheldon Cooper will have none of that.

Sheldon Cooper: I’m quite familiar with Dr. Tyson. He’s responsible for the demotion of Pluto from planetary status. I liked Pluto. Ergo, I do not like you. (BBT, Episode 4.7, “The Apology Insufficiency”)

Poor Dr. Tyson, he just can’t win. But if the television writers want to ride this joke out for however long they deem it funny, I’m happy to see Tyson return time and again. Until then, I’ll be over here geeking out over my favorite astrophysicist.

Photo Credit: Chris Cassidy, NOVA science NOW

Reminder – GeekGirlCon Auction!

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Just a little reminder that today and tomorrow is the GeekGirlCon Auction!

2 11×17 prints of “Cupcakes?” (as shown here) done by !!! Email bids to sponsor@geekgirlcon.com by 5pm tomorrow!

Also, don’t forget that all of the proceeds from @tishalule1‘s etsy site go directly to GeekGirlCon.

Search #GGCAuctions for more details

GeekGirlCon Silent Auctions

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Just a reminder that the lovely ladies of GeekGirlCon are still holding silent auctions via Twitter.  All items being auctioned off are donated by vendors/merchants, geeky crafters, GeekGirlCon organizers and anyone else who wants to make sure this event happens. All winning bids will go straight to GeekGirlCon. No bids are ever too small!

Currently this super awesome leopard purse/tote is on sale through ‘s etsy store.  I know I know we spend a lot of money and suggest a lot of stuff on this site but this is for another great Nerdy/Geek girl cause 🙂 Also, everything in ‘s etsy store goes 100% to GeekGirlCon.

New auction items go up around Thursday or Friday.  I will continue to post them as they come out!

Search #GGCAuctions for more details

Zombies! Are they people too?

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When Halo: Reach came out, I thought that would be enough to keep my better half entertained for a while and that we would be trading in our old XBox towards one of my games(namely Fallout: New Vegas)but alas I was mistaken.

Dead Rising 2 came out this past Tuesday and yours truly got sent to go and pick it up after I was sick for most of the day. This is not a game I would ever enjoy playing I don’t think but I have to say, the weapons you can create…they are EPIC with a side of AWESOME. My new personal favorite is the homemade lightsaber, created using a flashlight and gems…which you bust jewelry store cases to get to. The ridiculous amounts of zombie carnage warm my heart and make me giggle like I used to while mooning over a boy band at age 10. The story leaves something to be desired but the crazy weapon combos(like the IED made out of a propane tank and nails, or the 2x4s attached to a lawnmower which makes a very efficient zombie grinder), and the really sweet costumes were enough to make me actually put my iPhone down and watch the game.

It’s not one I’ll play…but I could watch my husband kill zombies with a smile on my face for hours…:)

Our First Interview!! – DIF meets NIB (NSFW)

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You can download it here: http://www.downinfront.net/audio/NIB-DIF.mp3

And hear more from these boys here:

http://www.downinfront.net/

**NSFW warning.. strong language**

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