Nerd Goings On in #YEG

Summer, I think it is safe to say, is finally here.  I know nothing is official until June, but the blue skies, blazing sun and my totally coincidental bright red sunburn (you win this time, Daystar!) lead me to accept certain things as fact.  Lucky for me or any other nerd seeking relief from solar radiation, there are plenty of geeky events in the next while that will keep us safely indoors.

“Movie” Nite – The Guild Season 4

As a lead up to the local Can’t Stop the Serenity event, Sheelagh Semper and the Alberta Browncoats have teamed up with Happy Harbor Comics to present weekly viewings of The Guild.  This Wednesday features Season 4, starting at 7pm.; Season 5 will run at the same time next Wednesday, June 6.  Admission is free, and you can pick up your tickets to the CSTS screening while you’re there!

Brass n Brew: Rose n Crown Style

Join the local Steampunk crew for rollicking good times at a brand new venue, the Rose & Crown Pub.  These are great social events for people new to steampunk, or would perhaps like to see what it’s all about in a friendly setting.  And what could be friendlier than a pub? As always, costumes are not required for Brass n Brew events, but are of course encouraged.  The important thing is to come out, relax, and have a great time.  Bully!

Monthly Pure Speculation Organizing Meeting

Want to have a say in how Edmonton’s Pure Speculation Festival runs?  Then join them for their monthly organizer’s meetings.  There is no better way to get involved with one of Edmonton’s top nerd events, plus you’ll get to meet some really great people.  If you’ve ever wondered what goes in to organizing a weekend-long nerdstravaganza, you need to attend at least one of these.

Apocalypse Kow Spring Fling

While not a nerd event per se, it definitely features a bunch of nerds I know and like.  Apocalypse Kow is a tremendously popular a cappella group here in Edmonton, and you will love them whether you are nerd or nerd-adjacent.  How do I know?  Because how could you not love five guys performing the Super Mario theme?  Or their cover of Fat Bottomed Girls?  Trust me: go to the concert and awesomeness will ensue.  Also, partial proceeds go to support The Food Bank and that is always a good thing.

Okay, that should be enough nerdery to hold you for a while.  Next week we’ll touch on a few other things coming up, like Can’t Stop the Serenity and Free RPG Day.  And as always, if you think I missed a crucial geek-oriented event, drop me a note in the comments.

And hey, let’s geek safely out there.

Geek & Sundry

As a geek in the Age of Geeks, every day there is some new nerdy thing offered up for my amusement.  Links, images, movies, tv shows; the dork train is pulling out of the station and everyone is trying to get on board.  A lot of it is bad, no denying.  A small portion is good, and an even smaller portion of that is excellent, obviously created by one of us, a nerd with talent.

My fellow dorks, I predict Geek & Sundry will be excellent with a bullet!

Announced officially at this past weekend’s Wondercon, Geek & Sundry is a premium YouTube channel founded and Executive Produced by Felicia Day (yes, she of The Guild and Dragon Age: Redemption).  When it launches on April 2, it will feature a variety of weekly and bi-weekly programming aimed at just about every facet of geekdom: motion comics presented by Dark Horse; Tabletop (“Think “Celebrity Poker” meets “Dinner for Five”…“*) hosted by Wil Wheaton; Written by a Kid, with sf&f/horror stories by real kids brought to the screen as shorts by talented directors and artists;  and Sword & Laser, a look at the world of sci-fi/fantasy literature and hosted by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt.  The channel will also feature season five of The Guild, as well as The Flog (“Join Geek Goddess Felicia Day in a whimsical vlog show, as she explores quirky new hobbies and shares experiences that connect her with her favorite people – her fans – in person as well as across the web.“*)  And then later in the fall will see the launch of Learning Town, a show starring the nerd-music duo of Paul & Storm.

I’m not sure I can tell you how excited I am about this.  It would be enough for me that Geek & Sundry packs a lot of what I want to watch in one neat little bundle.  As geeks, we have lived in a sort of “hunter/gatherer” phase when it comes to our internet viewing; the geek shows are definitely out there, but you had to forage for them.  I think Geek & Sundry represents the next stage, the “agricultural” stage of our geekdom.  We are cultivating our nerdiness, and we won’t have to travel as far afield to find it any more.

I also find the creation of this channel a bit of a validation for my long-held belief that the internet is the future of television viewing.  The nature of television, how it is viewed and how it is packaged and presented to us, is changing.  The portal by which many people experience small screen viewing is no longer the television receiver, but the computer.  I know people who don’t have, in the strictest sense, a television in their home; what they have is a 52″ monitor for their computer/game console.  And why not?  The computer is (legally or illegally) often the fastest way to access television content, and ease of use has played a big role in the changes to this medium.  And the major networks are slowly acknowledging this fact, if the number of television programs that can be viewed on websites is any indication.

But I never believed that the big push towards on-line programming was going to come from the networks.  I always new it was going to come from an Alpha Nerd among us.  Because on-line programming is inherently creator-friendly, in a way that the current network system can never be.  Simply put, it cuts out the middleman, allowing the creator to bring his/her creation directly to the viewers.  Thanks to the internet, if you have a camera, a website and an idea, you can put a show out.  Sometimes, as noted earlier, this results in bad (in all the many facets of that word) stuff getting in front of our eyes.  But the trade off is a wider range of shows to look at, and a greater chance that you’ll find the shows you want.

This puts some responsibility back on us, because we can’t afford to be as passive about what we support.  We have no networks to blame if a show doesn’t do well, because on-line our support (or lack of it) is direct.  If you love something on-line and want it to succeed, you need to get the word out.  You really have no excuse not to; if you dwell in the internet sea enough to watch programming here, I’d find it hard to believe you didn’t also have some form of Twitter, G+, Tumblr, Reddit, Facebook et al at your disposal.

Geek & Sundry launches its programming on April 2, 2012.  Mark that date, folks.  That date is when television changes forever.

(It should be noted that Chris Hardwick also announced the launch of his geek-centric YouTube channel, The Nerdist Channel, also launching on April 2nd.  I’ll write about them next week, but since I heard about Geek & Sundry first they got first billing.)

Opinions?  Thoughts?  Amusing tribble anecdotes?  Comments are just below…

*From the official press release on the Geek & Sundry site.