Dragon*Con or bust: Fans arrive in Atlanta
Steve Rifenberick, 47, has merged his love of "Star Wars" and Tennessee football with his Darth Vol costume.
August 31st, 2012
05:55 PM ET

Dragon*Con or bust: Fans arrive in Atlanta

For geeks like me, Labor Day weekend is “the most wonderful time of the year” where Whovians, Trekkies, Star Wars fans, LARPers, gamers, Steampunk enthusiasts, aliens, zombies, vampires, fairies, and comic book heroes all mingle in one massive, 5-hotel-spanning nerd diorama.

Dragon*Con has started and this is my seventh year attending the Atlanta, Georgia fan festival extraordinaire.

As I checked into the Marriott Marquis hotel on Thursday at 12:30 in the afternoon, the air was already electrified. Luggage carts filled to the brim with suitcases and trunks were whizzing about the lobby, each carrying what was surely an amazing costume inspired by science fiction, fantasy, anime, video games or comic book franchises.

Later that afternoon, many Dragon*Con attendees could no longer hold back their excitement, and were already parading around the hotels in their costumes. I saw con-goers in guises from G.I. Joe, Star Trek and Doctor Who well before 5:00 PM.

While many Americans hit their backyards and gas grills over the long holiday, hundreds of thousands of people pour into downtown Atlanta instead. You see, Dragon*Con is not the only celebration in town. The swarms of college football fans also flood the same hotels, food courts, and restaurants as Dragon*Con attendees for the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game (http://www.chick-fil-akickoffgame.com/).

And the Thursday night before Labor Day weekend they all arrive at the same time. FULL POST

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Broadway geeks out behind the scenes
Times Square looks infinitely deeper when viewed through geek glasses.
June 7th, 2012
04:44 PM ET

Broadway geeks out behind the scenes

Broadway performers appear in approximately 416 shows per year – often while singing and dancing simultaneously. Repeatedly. For over two hours. No director yells “Cut!” if someone misses an entrance or an actor flubs a line. No editing occurs if the pace is too slow or continuity is interrupted.

What you’re actually witnessing when you’re watching a Broadway show are people who possess the passion many of us geeks are known for.

Broadway is a specialized niche of geekery. In addition to identifying as “theater geeks,” many of those involved in Broadway are also “geeks” in other ways - technologically, humor-wise and through self-identification as oddballs and underdogs.

Some say the Tony Awards, which are being held this weekend, are not so different from the celebration of San Diego Comic-Con. With so many like-minded geeks in one place, there's bound to be a pun or two.

FULL POST

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Where past meets present meets future: My weekend with the steampunks
The participants of S.T.E.A.M.Fest show off their best costumes and gadgets.
April 19th, 2012
04:13 PM ET

Where past meets present meets future: My weekend with the steampunks

I am the first to classify myself as a geek. I wear the moniker as a badge of honor, rather than one of shame.

Yet, at times I do find myself embarrassed, not because of my geekiness, but rather because my geekiness is both limited and selective. I will eagerly discuss the reboot of “The Best Show of All Time,” also know as “Battlestar Galactica;" Han absolutely shot first; I aim to misbehave. I enjoy “dressing up” as a zombie; I have a soft spot for sweet transvestites from Transsexual, Transylvania; I call my boyfriend “my Dark Knight.”

But I can’t say much about about Bioshock or Skyrim – video games, right? – or “Akira,” or most other anime. Every year, at Dragon*Con, when I get nearly overrun by throngs outfitted in goggles, petticoats and pocket watches or waving mechanical arms, legs and weaponry, I simply snap photos in awe.

I don’t “get” steampunk.

This is where S.T.E.A.M.Fest 2012 comes in.

FULL POST

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Quest for a princess rescues kids
January 5th, 2012
06:29 PM ET

Quest for a princess rescues kids

In 1986, a game that would come to be known as "The Legend of Zelda" was released in Japan. It followed a boy named Link as he fought battles and solved puzzles in the land of Hyrule, as he attempted to collect the eight fragments of the Triforce of Wisdom in order to rescue the Princess Zelda from the evil Ganon.

Who would have guessed, 25 years later, that the little game about a boy, his sword and his efforts to save a princess would also save other boys and girls from depression and boredom as they, too, fight the biggest battle of their young lives?

A handful of students from Georgia Tech did.

From December 17-21, 2011, 'GT' also stood  for "Game Tech," as six college-age students converged in an Acworth, Georgia, basement to unite for one noble cause: To play eight Zelda games for however long donations kept them going, all to benefit charity. FULL POST

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The woman who made riding dragons possible
November 23rd, 2011
09:28 AM ET

The woman who made riding dragons possible

Many of us have dreamed about riding on the backs of dragons, exploring exotic lands and vanquishing foes. But author Anne McCaffrey brought those mere dreams to vivid life when she created the fictional world of Pern back in 1967.

Anne McCaffrey died Monday from a stroke at her house in Ireland. She was 85.

McCaffrey wrote over 100 books in her illustrious career, many with her son, Todd. The 23rd installment of the Pern series is set to arrive next year.

Her fanbase spanned all ages and nationalities, and up until earlier this month, she remained active on her blog, responding to fans’ questions and letters.

But now, it is the blogosphere’s turn to pay homage to the woman who influenced science-fiction and fantasy and the way we view our bodies, our minds, and our world. Here’s what some have had to say: FULL POST

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