Chicago Geek Guy

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Midwinter is Coming – Part 3: The Event Nears

With a little over a month to go until the convention, it’s clear. Midwinter is coming. I’ve spent some time over the past few months talking about Midwinter Gaming Convention’s origins and growth with the convention’s founder, Anne Holmes. As I look forward to attending for the first time, I decided to find out what makes the con worthwhile for some of the regular attendees.

“Everyone affectionately called it ‘gamer prom,…”

I’ve learned that gamers still tightly associate the con with the World of Darkness. “It was for a long time solely a Vampire event,” one gamer related to me. “Everyone affectionately called it ‘gamer prom,’ since it was kind of THE showcase for costuming and crazy national political plots.”

The commitment to One World by Night, the international organization of World of Darkness LARPs, drew storyteller Curt Goble to his first Midwinter in 2015. “I came in to play OWbN werewolf and vampire. I had great fun at the werewolf game, so much that I ended up skipping playing vampire to continue to play werewolf afterhours and at the OWbN Mage game that was running in the evening.”

Curt, a frequent storyteller at the nation’s largest gaming convention, GenCon, also appreciates the intimacy and structure of the smaller con. “At Gen Con, most events are single session games, and classically they haven’t been national-level plot – though there is the occasional fallout from a game that happens there.”

Midwinter allows for multi-day gaming sessions. “… there is more time to get into the swing, and the plots we deal with there are usually fairly large in scope and have effects on OWbN as a whole for years to come.”

However, this strong connection between Midwinter and One World by Night put off some people.

Chef Val remembers going to the con about six years ago. “I wasn’t particularly fond of the venue/hotel and I wasn’t that into the variety of games the con provided,” she told me. “I started back up 2 years ago and it had changed significantly. It has a much bigger variety of games and vendors, which always keeps me interested with stuff to discover and do.”

“It’s a beautiful Hilton that loves having us,…”

The venue also made an impression. “It’s a beautiful Hilton that loves having us, lovely spacious venue and guest rooms, and the location provides for nice dining/drinking in-house or you can venture out into the city on foot and explore all that beautiful downtown Milwaukee has to offer. It’s really a whole new con now and my personal favorite!”

The con’s diversification appeals to other, more long time attendees. Mike Surma started to attend back when it only targeted World of Darkness, specifically Vampire, players. “Over the years, it’s morphed from a targeted LARP gathering to a full blown convention. What keeps me intrigued is the continual addition of tabletop RPG games – where my heart lies – in which the creators show up and run sessions for players.”

“I’ve sat at tables with Ivan Van Norman, Eddy Webb, and this year I’ll be at a table run by John Wick.”

The closeness and intimacy of Midwinter speaks to Mike’s passion for tabletop RPG’s. “… these games are typically new releases and Midwinter is one of the few venues you might get to see them before they’re released. I’ve sat at tables with Ivan Van Norman (of Geek & Sundry), Eddy Webb (author of the Pugmire RPG), and this year I’ll be at a table run by John Wick (Author of 7th Sea, a swashbuckling RPG). It’s a fairly unique experience, and one that I look forward to each year in a less crowded (than GenCon, for instance), more personal venue where I don’t have to pay extra to play.”

As a storyteller and franchise owner of the LARP Dystopia Rising, Mike takes advantage of the format to spread love for his ongoing game. “First, it’s a medium sized venue that attracts a variety of people. With its initial posture supporting LARP, it still draws a strong crowd, many of whom like new options. Second, the events are free for the most part, and by offering a free short module, indoors, without a full weekend long commitment, people can get a ‘try before you buy’ concept of what the game (Dystopia Rising) is about.”

“Running a game, for me, is a good opportunity for exposure to something that people would potentially be hesitant about, or have never heard about before. We love what we do, and we hope others will join us and find that they love it too.”

The expansion has left some long term attendees doubting if they will go this year, however.

“Honestly, it’s kind of the variety that has decreased its appeal for me.”

“Honestly, it’s kind of the variety that has decreased its appeal for me,” a gamer said to me. “So many people have so much fun at the event now, but not much of its offerings justify the expense for me. The vendors are cool, but I have little need for their paraphernalia. I don’t dislike board games, but I don’t like them enough to need a whole event for them. And while there are options for LARP, most of them are lost among the sheer quantity.”

“The last few years I’ve gone almost exclusively for the Werewolf: the Apocalypse LARP, but the games that used to be the foundation of Midwinter have been largely sidelined to small, crowded rooms among dozens of other small, crowded room filled with other LARPs. It doesn’t really feel like an ‘event’ anymore, so much as a regular Werewolf game played where it’s OK to be in-character in public and then drink a lot and hang out with friends.”

For myself, even after all these conversations. I find myself looking forward to attending Midwinter and finding out if it’s a good fit for me.

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Midwinter Gaming Convention 2017 will be held January 12-15, 2017 at the historic Hilton Milwaukee City Center and will include more events than ever before. 

Photos by  C.Wenzel Photography

About that Werewolf Pack – When LARPs Don’t Go As Planned

A few months back, I talked to a very excited David Zoltan about joining a new Werewolf LARP. The first session went well and he was excited to continue with the troupe. Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse.

I followed up with David this week to find out what happened.

CGG: Are you ready to tell me about your experience? I see there’s been some activity in the FB group.

There’s a lot of consternation about the hard reset (a complete restarting) of the chronicle.

Part and parcel of that is the problem that the ST of the game hasn’t respected the players and the time and effort they’ve been putting into the game. He’s seen it purely as a playtest whereas the players have been actually playing the game in good faith and investing themselves in their characters.

He hasn’t organized his staff in any way which is a part of that disrespect. He hasn’t invested himself into personal storylines, into downtimes, into fleshing out the world beyond the plot points that he wants to push for the purpose of playtesting. Though to be honest, I could imagine far better ways to playtest the system.

When there is misalignment of such magnitude between the head ST and the players, conflict is inevitable. Either in the form of revolt or in the form of people walking away from the game.

CCG: What was the first thing you noticed that felt off?

Being told by the ST that he hadn’t read my background stories and probably wouldn’t.

You can’t build a game built on personal and grand horror without understanding the characters involved.

CCG: How long had you been playing by that point?

A couple of months, I believe.

And, as you note, it was the first thing I noticed.

On its own, it can be forgiven.

People are busy. STing doesn’t pay anything. Some STs can craft great stories with very, very little.

But it was the first of many problems.

CGG: In the earlier interview, you spoke about how the players really engaged you in the first session. Did that help the situation with the ST’s or make it worse? How did the rest of the players respond to this environment?

The players are largely fantastic folk. They are the main reason I stuck around as long as I did. I’ve made a bunch of friends among the players, and it frustrated me for a long time how things were run. Especially as I started seeing people drift off as games were cancelled due to lack of ST structure and initiative to find alternative sites. The ST failed to ban a player who was regularly sexist, racist, and slightly abusive because the player was a friend. Scenes were abandoned because the ST wanted to run a giant combat that was then limited from many people from even getting involved, grinding the game to a halt despite other members of his staff being around but having no plot kit details or at least being able to help run the combat faster.

My last straw was that he introduced major metaplot information when the PDF of the new rule book was released, but when I asked a simple question of how did we get this news and why was it confirmed now, he flippantly gave a three-word response. Not “I can’t answer right now because I’m busy” or “I’ll let you know as soon as I have a chance to think about it some more”, just an answer that showed how little he gave a shit about our experiences.

Now, the other players are mad because they are finding out that their characters that they’ve been invested in for a year or so and build histories and packs and connections around are not going to have any real chance to have their stories fully told all because this ST wants to take us into a networked game instead of continuing the story we started.

And rightfully so.

CGG: What, in your opinion, should the STs do now to rebuild trust?

The way that they got into trouble in the first place was that the ST didn’t listen to the players and treated the players as incidental to the ST’s goals. I would be pleasantly surprised if they stopped and turned that around to regain our trust, however that will take drastic action at first and rebuilding of trust over time. More likely, I think you’ll see players just walk away or implement drastic change in spite of the current ST.

CGG: Do you know what they are doing?

I’ve heard a lot of grumbling and talk, but I don’t think anyone knows what is going to happen just yet.

CGG: Do you give the game much chance of survival?

I think there are a number of people that are dedicated to the game and want to make it work somehow. It’s going to morph somewhat one way or another, but we’ll see what happens.

Greenfire Games Lights Up the South Suburbs

The taco truck parked out front told me this place was a little different. Food vans and gamers. Such a simple, genius, idea.

Greenfire Games, my new local game shop, opened its doors on October 1st. My interest piqued by a post on Facebook, I hustled my way over to check it out. A few long-established stores exist nearby. Friendly enough staff and players gathered around dimly lit folding tables; dusty product stacked on shelves. Greenfire Games appears to offer something more.

Greenfire game rents time on two 3D printers for customers to make custom tokens and figures.

Greenfire Games rents time on two 3D printers for customers to make custom tokens and figures.

Upon walking in, I noticed bright lights illuminating custom built gaming table toppers. Knowledgeable and personable staff guided customers through new games. Shelf talkers offered free promos with purchases. A mixed crowd of children, adults, and old timers like myself mingled and shared their favorite stories. Two 3D printers churned out custom coins, figures, tokens, and scenery. Intrigued, I wanted to learn more from the brains behind this effort.

Fate brought Michael Bradshaw and Brian Stuchell together a little over a year ago. Brian worked in sales without any history of gaming. Unhappy with his job, Brian wanted a big change and landed a position at a game shop, of all places. Mike, a lifetime collector of games, managed the shop. Working together, Brian developed a solid base of retail management skills, and Mike’s personal collection and desire to own his own store intensified.

“…with tabletop games you have an inherent sense of community,” Mike explained. “That is what interests me the most. I see Greenfire Games as a place where people can sit down with their peers on a weekly basis and have a good time. In the short time we have been around I am very proud of the range of people we have brought together and I can’t wait to see how it grows.”

“We made sure if there was anyone who made people uncomfortable or was inappropriate in any way we would take them to the side and talk to them”

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Greenfire Games offers free promos with some games.

Building that community and entrusting it to support a store took time and effort. Mike told me, “We have been running weekly game events for the past year at different venues. We made sure if there was anyone who made people uncomfortable or was inappropriate in any way we would take them to the side and talk to them, if it continued they would not be invited back. We took the time to make a safe environment and built friendships with the members of our group.”

The two would run events for any occasion. When one of their regulars decided to get hitched, Mike and Brian organized games for the reception. The bride and groom had a chance to do what they loved with friends and the two future shop owners entertained the rest of the guests with extra-large versions of crowd pleasers.

Greenfire Games offers something every day of the week.

Greenfire Games offers something every day of the week.

“The store came together in a series of conversations over the last year” Mike continued. “As game collectors, our regulars knew, they could order everything online, but they said they would rather pay slightly more if it meant they were supporting us and what we were trying to do.”

Eventually, Brian wondered how much money they would need to actually open their own shop. “I have a buddy in commercial real estate and I gave him a call.”

Working with their partner Marcus Felgenhauer, the three started in earnest last May. They opened a web site for game reviews, unboxing videos, rule explanations, and general industry news. They started expanding their reputation online before going looking for investors.

Their lack of experience with video didn’t lead to success with the crowdsourcing marketplace.

The three considered raising funds through Patreon and GoFundMe. Unfortunately, their lack of experience with video didn’t lead to success with the crowdsourcing marketplace. However, a few individuals, notably Phillip Flores, believed they could create something exceptional and helped. Philip became their fourth partner.

The team logically scouted for locations in the southwest suburbs where they had already established a client base. They needed to stay local.

Greenfire Games uses custom tabletops in their game space.

Greenfire Games uses custom tabletops in their game space.

“Big play area was our number one factor,” Brian told me. “That is such a big part of what we are trying to do. For example, tonight we have 12 people playing X-wing, 6 playing Magic, another 2 playing a tabletop game. With so many seats we can support this nightly.”

The two never doubted their efforts. When I asked about difficulties, Brian replied, “Truthfully we always knew it was going to happen. We did hit a point while searching for funding that we had to take a hard look at the timeframe.” They hoped the store would open in time to take advantage of Christmas shoppers, but not get lost in the retail chaos of November and December.

Greenfire Games found the sweet spot. “We have had a great first week, not only did we have a huge turnout for the grand opening itself,” said Mike, “but we have had a huge number of new customers over the last week. We’ve seen a steady increase in new returning customers, almost doubling the people we considered regulars. Some people have been in four-five days in over the last week.”

“I won’t feel satisfied until we have a packed house every night and even then there’s always room to grow.”

A successful first week doesn’t mean the two aren’t looking towards the future. Brian told me, “Next is continuing to build up our presence in the community. We started doing the Blue Island Park District game nights on Friday, twice a month. We have to keep bringing new people in and introducing them to these games. I won’t feel satisfied until we have a packed house every night and even then there’s always room to grow. We really do strive to be a cornerstone of this area bringing families away from the TV and computer and back to the table. All puns intended.”

“We are a welcoming environment for gamers of all ages and love teaching and getting new people in the hobby.”

Greenfire Games partners, left to right: Brian Stuchell, Philip Flores, Mike Bradshaw and Marcus Felgenhauer

Greenfire Games partners, left to right: Brian Stuchell, Philip Flores, Mike Bradshaw and Marcus Felgenhauer

Greenfire Games: 4811 95th St, Oak Lawn, IL 60453; (708) 576-8442

Geek Weekend Guide for October 21, 22, & 23

zombie-225x300Lot’s of scary and fun stuff to do in this Geek Weekend Guide. Halloween approaches and one of my favorite films is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Personally, Trinity and I will be searching the stalls for bargains at the Wheaton Haunted Flea Market Saturday afternoon.  One of our favorite CCG interviewees, Chef Val, will be there selling her wares. Trin and I have even put together comfortable costumes.

Highlander Featuring an Introduction by Nick Offerman

The Music Box Theater is offering a special showing of the Queen music fueled, sword fighting extravaganza that is Highlander.  Actor, comedian, writer, musician, and carpenter, Nick Offerman will be on hand to introduce the film.

Music Box Theater, Saturday, October 22nd, 11pm; for tickets 3733 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago, IL 60613

The Skywalker Cycle

EDGE Youth Theater is presenting The Skywalker Cycle, a light Shakespearean adaptation of the holy trilogy. Three casts, three directors, three movies and all the sword fights, shootouts, and laser battles you could hope for, all  in 90 minutes.

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The Skywalker Cycle;  shows on October 21st 7pm, October 22nd 2pm, October 23rd 7pm; $12; Devonshire Theater 4400 Greenwood St, Skokie, IL 60076

Nightmare on Chicago Street

From the web site:

On Saturday, the city of Elgin is calling for help to battle the zombie horde. The event promises that every human will have a good time with 4 stages of entertainment, bands, food and merchandise vendors, drinks, live graffiti artists, and guests like SVENGOOLIE.

As with all viral infections that occur, some people will undoubtedly FREAK OUT and destroy some of the businesses and buildings in the safe zone.  Expect some of the businesses to be boarded up, trash everywhere, burning tires, some of the left over cars may be damaged and overturned, as well as ZOMBIES being caged up. Do not fear! Your safety is guaranteed by military presence, concerned citizens and our Zombie Defense Initiative. Some of the businesses will be open for you to get food, shelter (YWCA Warming Station), medical treatment (an ambulance will be there with doctors on hand), and many more food and drink stations throughout the safe zone.

As with all groups of people (or things), some have a kind heart to them and will feel bad for the undead. Expect protesters there fighting for ZOMBIE RIGHTS and several ZOMBIE MARCHES may occur.

This may be your last shot at survival, so

In order to maintain some sort of economic health after the apocalypse we are asking for a nominal safe zone entrance fee. This will get you into the safe zone to partake in all of the entertainment, but more importantly it will guarantee your survival! Online tickets can be purchased on our website or at the entrance gates.

Nightmare on Chicago Street; Elgin, Illinois – Chicago Street, between Douglas and Villa; October 22, 7pm til 11pm

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Midwinter is Coming – Part 2: The 10th Anniversary

It only just turned to fall, but Midwinter is coming; Milwaukee’s Midwinter Gaming Convention, that is. CGG’s last article on the convention talked about its origins. I had always known Midwinter as a World of Darkness LARP gathering. I hadn’t known it started as a Toreador Masquerade, but I did notice its popularity among local Vampire and Werewolf players. Growing out of that niche took, and continues to take, some serious effort. Once again, I turned to Anne Holmes, owner of Daydream Productions and the creator or Midwinter Gaming Convention to find out how it happened.

“We’re all gamers here!”

“It was a challenge to be sure,” Anne described, “as so many people were skeptical that we would never be more than a ‘LARP convention.’ Even still, as we are so LARP heavy, there are people who question if the other tracks get as much love. I want Midwinter to be a place where any gamer can come and experience the events they know and love, as well as explore new options. I want it to be the place where people don’t say “those are the LARPers, or, those are the Tabletoppers, ect… I want it to be the place where people say hey, we’re all gamers here!”

Anne seems to have met, and exceeded, her hopes of expanding Midwinter into an inclusive gaming convention. As of this writing, the

Midwinter, it's not just for LARP anymore.

Midwinter, it’s not just for LARP anymore.

2017 convention offers 38 LARPs, but more than 134 tabletop RPGs, and 30 board game sessions. It also offers a large board game library for participants to drop by and use at any point during the convention. There’s even a smattering of card game events available and more events get added daily. Anne also recognized that it takes more than a wider selection of games to attract the crowds.

“There was no way of telling what types of companies would do well at Midwinter.”

“In addition to welcoming other types of games, my convention needed to have an exhibit hall. Because there was no way of telling what types of companies would do well at Midwinter, I cast out the net and offered first year exhibitors free space. It was a gesture of good will that has definitely paid off. From that first year with exhibitors we have retained three ‘Legacy Exhibitors,’ or companies that have been with us every year since. At that first event I joked that in ten years Legacy would mean something really cool and now that’s only three years away!”

Anne readily admits to making mistakes as Midwinter grew. For example, it turned out I wasn’t the only one thinking the convention was limited to One World by Night LARPs.

“We had been around for ten years… nobody had heard of us.”

“… the show was just learning how to reach out with marketing, explaining to people that yes, we had been around for ten years at that point but we had been limited in scope which was why nobody had heard of us. We spent several hundred dollars on terrain and prizes for an event that nobody showed for. We had presenters that were awesome, but not really in our wheelhouse, because we hadn’t gotten completely comfortable with what our wheelhouse was.”

When asked to reflect on the 2010 Midwinter Convention, Anne replied:

“Was the 10th anniversary the moment? Yes and no. I don’t think there will ever be a moment where I say ‘we have made it’, because that feels like saying we’ve reached the summit. We will never reach the top, because then there will be nowhere else to go.

The10th anniversary did show me that we were ready as a show to make the leap into a full convention, and it was an amazing revelation to me that I had been doing this now for a decade. I had ‘made it’ to the point where I knew there was nothing else I wanted to do as a career.

A bigger ‘made it’ moment for me was when the Best Western could no longer host us, we were bursting at the seams with space issues and needed to make the move to a larger venue in Downtown Milwaukee.”

Midwinter Gaming Convention 2017 will be held January 12-15, 2017 at the historic Hilton Milwaukee City Center and will include more events than ever before. 

Photos by  C.Wenzel Photography

Geek Weekend Guide for October 7, 8, & 9

Be Geeky! Be Healthy! This Geek Weekend Guide offers a little bit of both.

 Berwyn Fandemonium!

From their Facebook site (because I couldn’t say it any better):

Berwyn Fandemonium is Berwyn’s FIRST geektastic pop culture event, presented by fans, for fans! A Maker/Crafter/Creator show and market, inspired by comic books, sci fi, fantasy, anime, steampunk, gaming, and more – embracing all that is good and nerdy!

Berwyn Fandemonium will have vendors selling indie comics and prints, jewelry, wearable art, bags, stickers, pins, buttons, and new and vintage toys – all inspired by their makers’ love of pop culture and fandom.

When you’re ready to take a break from shopping, head over to our gamers’ corner and play on a classic 8 bit NES, stocked with all your favorites!

Do you like to #cosplay? Maybe you’ve always wanted to give it a try? Show off your favorite character in our all-ages COSTUME CONTEST! Kids and adults are welcome to sign up for their chance to win a prize from one of our generous sponsors.

We’re also going to have face painting and caricatures available to enjoy!

Berwyn Fandemonium: Saturday, October 9, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm; The Outtaspace, 6840 32nd St., Berwyn, Illinois 60402.

Rosehill Cemetery Crypt 5K 2016Crypt 5K

Trinity and I will spend Saturday night running through a cemetery. No. It’s not to escape the undead. It’s to benefit the American Diabetes Association. The course takes its runners through a fully candlelight Rosehill Cemetery, the largest cemetery in Chicago and the second largest in Illinois.

Registration for the race is closed, but I trust the runners won’t mind if you come down to cheer them on and check out the site.

Rosehill Cemetery Crypt 5K: Saturday. October 8; 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm; Rosehill Cemetery, 5800 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60660

somethingwickedFirst Friday “Something Wicked” Opening Reception

The first Friday in October brings an art opening to Elgin. Featuring live music from  Phantoms & Pestilence and Think Easy, the exhibit offers a “variety of arts media whose subject matter is meant to instill a combined sense of wonder, awe and perhaps a little dread.”

First Friday “Something Wicked” Opening Reception: October 7: 6:00 pm til 10:00 pm; Side Street Studio Arts 15 Ziegler Ct, Elgin, Illinois 60120; $5 suggested donation

Geek Weekend Guide for Sept. 30, and Oct. 1 & 2

I will desperately try to squeeze in some Geek for this weekend, but I’m focusing mostly on getting my new place set up.  Hopefully, I will be able to pop out and check out a new FLGS (Friendly Local Game Store). Greenfire Games is celebrating their grand opening on Saturday. If you’re near Oak Lawn, pop by the shop. Could it be a successor to Pat’s Hobbies?

And now, here are a couple of the cool things I won’t be able to attend this weekend.

ValorCon

Now in its second year, ValorCon will take place at Macy’s Event Center, Friday to Sunday.  It features scores of computer and video, live-action, tabletop games, and a host of interesting panels. A few we noticed include: Geek Femspective (to discuss  What’s Missing in the Geek Community), Friendship, Romance & Sexuality in valorcon-2-pngVideo Games, and Building a Successful Kickstarter.

In addition, participants are given an opportunity to join one of four larger teams, and points can be earned at all offered activities toward earning fame, fortune, and prizes! We website describes the event reads:

Being the biggest city in the US within reach of both coasts and everything in-between makes us the perfect gaming nexus. You’ll get to try new games, compete in tournaments, take group lessons, see veteran players go head-to-head, engage with publishers as they demo upcoming titles, and attend panels with industry leaders and gameplay experts.

Macy’s Event Center, 111 N. State Street, Chicago, IL; September 30 – October 2; For tickets visit: www.valorcon.com

Otherworld Theatre Company Presents Paragon

On Saturday and Sunday, Otherworld Theatre Company presents paragonParagon, 40 short science-fiction and fantasy plays performed by 110 actors over the course of  two days. This is the second year of this short-play festival, dedicated to Otherworld’s missing of growing the genre of Science and Fantasy.  Plays are divided into roughly one-hour blocks over the course of two days. Performances will take place at the Public House Theatre.

The Public House Theatre, 3914 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60613
11 a.m.-6:45 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Sunday
For tickets visit: http://www.otherworldtheatre.org/paragon

The Geek Weekend Guide for September 16, 17, 18

The Geek Weekend Guide has some interesting activities! Unfortunately, you won’t see me at any of these events. I will be moving.

Board Game Bonanza #3

A BYOB board gaming event in Westmont. This sounds like a lot of fun. Take your regular board game night and multiply it by a factor of 20. They may even order out for food! Come and go as you please.  Bring your own games. Plenty of free parking.

Westmont Commons, 117 N. Cass Ave. Westmont Il (Metra accessible); Saturday, September 17th, 8am till 10pm

Acrobatica Infiniti Circus: After Dark – Villains & Vigilantes

Dress up in your best villain cosplay to go and see a truly unique entertainment experience. The show promises international circus starts performing themed acts of juggling, acrobatics, contortions, comedy, and much more.

Uptown Underground, 4707 N Broadway, Chicago; Friday, September 16th,  8pm; tickets available.

Rubik’s Cube September Challenge9-15-2016-12-22-35-pm

Here’s a chance to prove your geek cred at one of Chicago’s best game shops. Work for your best time on:

  • 2×2
  • 3×3
  • 4×4
  • Pyraminx

To win prizes and the coveted title of Cat & Mouse Supercuber of the Month!

Cat & Mouse Games, 1112 W. Madison St., Chicago, Illinois 60607; Saturday, September 17th, 1pm till 3 pm, $5 entrance fee.

The Geek Weekend Guide for September 9, 10, 11

The stars are aligned and the forces of Chicago Geek Guy are together this weekend! It’ a Geek Weekend Guide we can all enjoy!

American Science and Surplus Annual Warehouse Sale

Once a year, one of Chicago’s geekiest retail chains opens the door to its warehouse to reveal the secret workings of its innards. The event promises, ” tables of incredible stuff at unbelievable prices. Bring the whole family, we’ll have something for everyone!”

Saturday, September 10, 9:00 am til 4:00 pm.  7410 N Lehigh Ave, Niles, IL 60714-4024

Geek Weekend GuideA Princess of Mars

From the website:

When Confederate deserter John Carter is mysteriously transported on the surface of Mars, he is forced into an epic conflict between the planet’s alien races. As Mars is poised on the brink of collapse, war-weary Carter realizes he must choose sides when the planet’s fate rests on his shoulders.

Chicago’s premier science fiction theater company brings the city another night of fantastic adventure.

A Princess of Mars, by Otherworld Theater Company, runs September 9 through to 24,  Berger Park,  6205 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60660. Seats available from Brown Paper Tickets.

The Geek Weekend Guide for August 26, 27, 28

I am not doing anything geeky this weekend. I’m going to do my best for a new personal record in the Rock the Night 5K then spend Saturday and Sunday recovering from my efforts. Still the Geek Weekend Guide offers up two fun events for those not laid waste by physical activity.

Arcade, Video, and Game Room ExpoThe 1st Annual Arcade, Video, and Game Room Expo

The Crown Plaza in Rosemont is hosting this first of its kind event. The expo promises hundreds of arcade games set to free play, vintage game tournaments, and a number of guest appearances.

Pokémon Go Cosplay Meetup: Valor vs. Instinct vs. Mystic

Stephanie Plus Verb and The Fantasy Realm of Chicago are hosting a Pokemon Go meet up at  Konak Pizza & Grill, Friday night at 8:00 pm. Cosplay is not required, but there will be a costume contest for those who dress up. If you’ve reached level 5, wear your team colors!

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