Interview: PlayStation First and the Gaming Community

Hour of Code has come and gone; the reviews are jumping all around the interwebs (my own is coming shortly). But was it enough for your kids? Did your spawnlings savour the taste of coding … and then ask for more? And is coding really enough for them to start their career in-game development?

Continue reading Interview: PlayStation First and the Gaming Community

PAX Australia 2015 (Part 3): Tabletop Review

If you are new to the PAX Phenomenon, you could easily mistake it for a big computer game nerd hub. But no matter how many flashy-lights and big badda-booms you saw, almost everybody there spent some time recharging with cards, miniatures, or boards.

And it was good.

Continue reading PAX Australia 2015 (Part 3): Tabletop Review

PAX Australia 2015 (Part 2): Indie Video Games Steal the Show

PAX – where Gamers go to Loot.

Walk the exhibition hall and the first thing thrown at you is every big name in the video game industry, and more. The hype is about new and upcoming games; the atmosphere is about promoting the most unreal gaming experience.

In between all the glitz and glory are the indie developers, stealing all the tweets. Part 2 of my PAX review is aimed squarely at the video games: the games planning to conquer the world… and the ones I predict will succeed.

Continue reading PAX Australia 2015 (Part 2): Indie Video Games Steal the Show

PAX Australia 2015 (Part 1): The Geek Social Hub

If the “geek shall inherit the Earth” then PAX is where they divvy up the loot.

As an expo, it is a huge opportunity to try new games, find new talent, and “mingle with your people.” Trust me—I have plenty of new finds to +1 your geek status.

But as a social hub? It’s a whole other level.

Continue reading PAX Australia 2015 (Part 1): The Geek Social Hub

PAX Prime: Hyrule Warriors Brings Zelda Fans Together

Link vs. Dark Link
Link takes on Dark Link at the PAX Prime event. All photos: Kelly Knox

PAX Prime in Seattle is a yearly gathering of some of the biggest video game fans. On Saturday night, Nintendo brought together hundreds of dedicated The Legend of Zelda fans in an event to celebrate the franchise and check out the new game, Hyrule Warriors, coming this fall.

Hyrule Warriors is a departure from the typical Zelda game. If you’ve ever played a Dynasty Warriors game, you’ll know what to expect, as the same team takes the helm to create a unique Zelda adventure. The action is bigger, louder, and more explosive, with the rare chance to take control of a Legend of Zelda character other than Link. That means you can not only play as Link, but also as some of your favorites from other games, including Zelda herself, Impa, Midna, and Fi, and some new characters introduced for this story. At the PAX Prime event, Zelda fans got their hands on Ganondorf, eager to take on the hordes of monsters threatening Hyrule.

Hyrule Warriors
Link takes control of Ganondorf.

Hundreds of Zelda aficionados arrived for the fan gathering event, with a large number of them in costume. It was easy to see how much these fans love The Legend of Zelda! Not only were they happy to share in their common fondness for the games, everyone in the room was buzzing about the exciting gameplay of Hyrule Warriors.

Hyrule Warriors will be released September 26, 2014—stay tuned to GeekMom for a full review! In the meantime, check out the happy fans celebrating The Legend of Zelda at this year’s PAX Prime.

 

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Join GeekMom and GeekDad at PAX Prime 2013!

GeekDad and GeekMom Panel at PAX 2012 / Photo: Tim Post

Labor Day weekend is almost upon us, which means it’s almost time for the Penny Arcade Expo! Gamers gather in Seattle, WA every year to celebrate games of all kinds and socialize with their fellow geeks. GeekDad and GeekMom are back again this year to bring you “Raising the Next Generation of Geeks” on Saturday, August 31, at 11:30 AM in the Serpent Theater.

Curious what’s on deck for this year’s panel? We’ll be back with the same great discussions with geeky moms and dads on the panel and in the theater. This year you’ll also hear not just from the parents, but from the parented — our kids who have their own take on what it’s like to be the next generation of geeks.

GeekDad/GeekMom Scavenger Hunt

This year at PAX Prime we thought it would be fun to encourage participation in the con and mix it up a little bit with our prize giveaways. Here is a list of people to find, games to play, and activities to do at PAX. The idea is simple. Use your phone or your camera to take a picture of yourself doing each of the things on the list and bring the phone or the camera to the PAX Prime GeekDad/GeekMom panel on Saturday. We will score your entry to see how many points you have earned. You may even get to pick from our fantastic pile of prizes!

The Rules:

1. The GeekMom/GeekDad scavenger hunt is to be played for fun. If you won’t be happy unless you win a certain prize or get the highest score, please put down your camera and find something else to do at PAX.

2. Get a picture of yourself doing the activity or with the person listed in the scavenger hunt. This is a photo scavenger hunt—no picture, it didn’t happen. If you are taking a picture of a person, it must be clear that they are taking the picture with you. Walking by in the background doesn’t count.

3. GeekDad/GeekMom staff are the final word in scoring. Arguing could lead to disqualification.

4. Prize distribution:
There will be three brackets in this contest: 4-12, 13-17, and Adult (including kids ages 0-3). At all GeekMom/GeekDad panels, prizes are distributed at the discretion of the panel. Scoring well in the scavenger hunt will be taken into consideration but will not be the only consideration when giving out prizes. Adults and teens should expect that preferential treatment may be given to children in the audience. Participation is not a guarantee of any prize.

In the case of ties:
For the kids and teens bracket, ties will be broken by age, youngest first. In the case of the adult bracket, ties will be broken by a friendly game Agricola or—if time does not allow—rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock.

5. Grumbling, complaining, or any other form of breaking Wheaton’s law may get you disqualified from the contest. (See rule number 1.)

Thanks to our Donors!

As always, we’re incredibly grateful for all the fantastic folks who donated prizes for our PAX panel giveaways. Here’s a list of our prize donors—click on the links to find out more! (We have a few more potential donors that we’re still finalizing details with, but we’ll update this list as soon as we know.)

Activision
AEG
Calliope Games
Catalyst Game Labs
ChessMate
Cleaner Science
Days of Wonder
The Doubleclicks
First Second Books
FitDesk
Flying Frog Productions
Floodgate Games
Gamewright
GeekMom
geekthelibrary.org
Greater Than Games
Gunnar Optics
Indie Boards & Cards
Little, Brown
Looney Labs
Marvel/Disney
Minimalist Parenting
Nerf
No Starch Press
Paizo Publishing
Playroom Entertainment
Scholastic
Shout! Factory
Spin Master
Stronghold Games
Tasty Minstrel Games
ThinkGeek
VEX Robotics
Viz Media

As you can see, there’s quite a list of goodies. We have a few more potential sponsors that we’re still working out details, but we’ll update this post as we go. Don’t forget, though—to have the best chance at winning some prizes, you’ll want to keep the photo scavenger hunt list handy on Friday!

I’ll be there along with fellow GeekMom Kay Moore. We hope to see you this weekend at PAX Prime!

Video Game Journalist Ryan Davis of Giant Bomb Dies at 34

Ryan Davis (on the right) during the Cards Against Humanity panel at PAX East 2013. Photo by flickr user cabbit, CC.
Ryan Davis (on the right) during the Cards Against Humanity panel at PAX East 2013. Photo by flickr user cabbit, CC.

Giant Bomb announced yesterday that video game journalist Ryan Davis has passed away. Davis was the co-founder of Giant Bomb, a hugely popular site within the video game community. He leaves behind his wife, having gotten married only one week prior to his death, and a devoted following of fans.

I remember attending the Cards Against Humanity panel at PAX Prime last summer where Ryan Davis served as a guest host. He was a tremendously funny guy with great warmth and charisma.

I would like to offer our condolences to his family, his co-workers at Giant Bomb, and his fan base.

GeekMom And GeekDad PAX East Panel To Be Live Streamed!

PAX East, April 6th-8th, Boston, Massachusetts

Join the GeekMoms and GeekDads for Raising the Next Generation of Geeks on Saturday, April 7th at 7:00pm in the Naga Theater. You’ll hear from Matt Blum, Corrina Lawson, Rebecca Angel, Doug Cornelius, and Nicole Wakelin who’ll tell you everything you need to know about raising good litle geeks.

Should you let your toddler play Skyrim? What’s the best way to introduce your child to RPGs? How do you handle it when your kid doesn’t want to play a game because he thinks he’ll lose? What do you say if your daughter says she likes “Twilight” more than “Buffy?” These questions and many more will be discussed by writers for GeekDad.com, GeekMom.com, and geek parents in the audience. Come share your stories and advice for how to ensure our kids grow up to be geeks like us! Don’t have kids? Show up and find out what may be in store for you if you ever do!

You won’t be able to join the gaming masses at PAX East? No worries! This year select panels are streaming live on twitch.tv so you can watch us from the comfort of your living room. But if you are at PAX East, come by and say hello. Did we mention we’ll also be handing out some loot? See you there!

The GeekMoms Podcast #3 PAX and Great Games for Kids

In episode three Nicole Wakelin is joined by Cathe Post to discuss her recent adventure at PAX in Seattle including the latest games from the convention as well as old favorites on the shelf back home.  And because it was THE geek issue of the week, they also talk about the Gizmodo post that rocked the geek world and the fantastic GeekMom response written by Ruth Suehle.  Questions? Thoughts? Suggestions? Email us podcast@geekmom.com.

 

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Nicole Wakelin: Total Fan Girl and Twitter

Cathe Post: GamerMom V1.0 and Twitter

Theme Music: Rebecca Angel

Wil Wheaton & Dragon*Con

Image: Wikipedia

I’ve been a fan of Wil Wheaton‘s since he was in Star Trek:TNG. I wonder sometimes if I was the only person who didn’t hate Wesley Crusher. In fact, since he was about the same age as I was when TNG was airing, I had a huge crush on both the character and the actor.

I grew up, got married, had a baby and started attending Dragon*Con yearly. It is widely known throughout the Dragon*Con attendees that come every year, that the chances of seeing Wil Wheaton on the guest list for Dragon*Con were slim to none.

The reason for this is that PAX is always the same weekend as Dragon*Con and he is always on the guest list for PAX. It has gotten to be a bit of a joke with the Dragon*Con folks – both attendees and staff, with Dragon*Con TV poking fun in several of their bumpers at the fact that Wil Wheaton never, ever attends Dragon*Con.

So I was honestly a bit shocked and totally excited when he tweeted this a few days ago:

This may be relevant to your interests: I am coming to Dragon*Con this year.

The news spread like wildfire over Facebook and Twitter, as it was one guest addition we never thought we’d see at Dragon*Con. I, personally, am so excited about this. There are a lot of really shiny guests coming to Dragon*Con this year, but I’ve been a fan of Wil Wheaton’s for so long that I’m geeked that I’ll finally be able to meet him.