5 Things To Know Before Your First Time as DM

I’ll be honest, when I grew up, Dungeons & Dragons wasn’t a game that ever appealed to me. If had friends who played it, they kept it very secretive. So it wasn’t until I started working for Geek & Sundry that I started to learn more about the game. Honestly, it sounded cool. I loved Skyrim, and D&D felt like a game that was basically a tabletop version of that. Once Critical Role premiered and I got to watch the adventurers of Vox Machina do their thing, my desire to play was only strengthened. However, there was one specific role that appealed to me. While I loved watching the players unfurl the story before them and try to solve the puzzles put forth by Matt Mercer, I realized that I wanted to do what Matt does. I wanted to be a Dungeon Master.

The thing with games like Dungeons & Dragons is that there are so. many. rules. It’s an intimidating game to start from scratch, and it’s even scarier to decide you want to try being a DM when you’ve never played the game before. I decided I was only going to play if I could find a group of friends who were willing to explore the game with me. Finally, I found that group of friends, and tried out DMing a couple of times.

The learning curve for this game and being a DM is pretty steep, so even though I’m an extremely new DM (like SUPER green, y’all), there are a few, basic things that I have learned about kicking off your first run as Dungeon Master (illustrated with Critical Role gifs, because obviously).

Do your homework

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This is a big game. While you don’t need to be an expert at the game, as DM–especially if you’re playing with an entire group of D&D first-timers like I was–your friends will look to you for answers. There is no way you’ll know the game inside and out before you start your first game, but there are plenty of resources to make sure you have a strong enough grasp on the game to make you feel less shaky when your friends ask you a question about the game. Geek & Sundry has a lot of great resources for DMs of all skill levels, and there is a great YouTube series by DM-extraordinaire Matthew Colville that can also help you get started. There are lots of books you can buy that are good for a DM to have, but if you’re just trying on the game and role of DM for size, I wouldn’t recommend buying more than the Players’ Handbook and downloading basic rules from Wizards of the Coast.

Keep your first campaign simple

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The thing about D&D is that it’s a really long game. If you end up buying the D&D starter kit, there is a pre-made campaign included with the kit. That’s a great one, but it could take you quite a while to work through it. Still, the thought of writing your own campaign might really freak you out. So don’t feel like you have to create your own, crazy campaign for your first experience with D&D. Instead, let yourself use some pre-generated campaigns. Use the starter kit campaign if you want (knowing you probably won’t finish it in your first session), or use another pre-generated campaign like the one Matthew Colville introduces in his Running the Game series. Just don’t let using a pre-generated campaign be an excuse for you to not read the campaign ahead of time. You’ll want to know the story as well as you can, even though you get to read as you go. Trust me.

You’re gonna mess up…just know that now

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It doesn’t matter how prepared you are, you’re going to mess up, and that’s okay. The good news is that because you’re running the game, it is possible that you can simply roll with it and the players might not even know. But even if you mess up in a noticeable way, just be cool. This game has a lot of rules and nuances, and it will take a while before you feel like you’re a “good” DM.

You’re not going to be Matt Mercer, but that’s good!

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We don’t need two Matt Mercers in the world. While he’s a great DM, and it’s awesome to aspire to his passion for the game and his creativity, you won’t be him. Don’t make your bar of being a “good” DM to become Matt Mercer. You’re going to be your own style of Dungeon Master, and that’s what is going to make you awesome. It will take you some time to find your DM style (I’m definitely still finding mine), but remember that you’re playing a game with your friends. As long as you’re having fun and getting into the game as much as your buds, you’ll be as awesome to your group as Matt Mercer is to Vox Machina. This is even more true if you and your friends are all playing for the first time. None of you knows what to expect, so just have a fun time without trying to be someone else!

Your friends will do something you weren’t expecting

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Like I’ve said, I’m a very, very new DM, but each time I’ve played my friends have made choices that have surprised me. While you can’t help but try to anticipate their reactions to the story you set before them, it’s inevitable that they’ll look at the story and see a solution you weren’t expecting. That’s what makes this game cool! So while it may throw you for a loop, and you might have to think about the best way to make your universe interact with that unexpected choice made by your players, roll with it! So long as they play by the basic rules of your world, let them try it and see what happens. Be flexible and willing to adapt your story based on how your friends perceive the story, even if it catches you off guard. Besides, those are usually where the coolest in-games stories come from!

This game can be an intimidating one to start, and an even more intimidating one to run. So the best piece of advice I can give is to play with a bunch of friends that you trust, and who will give you the grace and the space to figure out what being a DM looks like to you. And though it’s totally cliché, the best advice to remember when running your first game is to have fun. It’s just a game, so if you get so stressed out that the game isn’t fun for you, it won’t be fun for your friends either. Things might be messy when you guys first start playing, but just let yourself keep learning, improving, and having fun.

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Have you been a DM before? What are some tips that you have for newbies? What tips do you have for new D&D players, DM or not? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

Confession: I Can’t Stand Mobile Games

If you’ve been around this site for long–or follow me on Twitter–you know that I write for Geek & Sundry, which means I spend a lot of time talking about one of the staples of that site, gaming. I loooove gaming, both tabletop and video games, and I love writing about it, too. It’s the best! So it’s been a bit hard for me to fully accept this reality about myself. I’ll talk about gaming all day long, but whenever the conversation gets to mobile gaming…

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You guys, I cannot stand most mobile games. If you were to grab my phone from me right now (please don’t do that), you’d find that I have loads of apps on my phone. Twitter, Insta, Facebook, credit card apps, IMDB, Duolingo…but I hardly have any games on my phone. Here are the games I have downloaded:

That’s all I’ve got, game-wise–and my “games” aren’t actually all games!!! Before you get judgey, let me say that my lack of mobile app gaming doesn’t come from a lack of trying. I’ve played Minecraft on my phone, I’ve tried Clash of Clans, I played the Walking Dead game with Daryl in it, I’ve tried puzzlers, I’ve tried it all. I just can’t get into it. At all.

Take Fallout Shelter, for instance. That’s the latest game that I’ve added to my phone (and, if I’m honest, I might take it off my phone soon). What makes Fallout 4 awesome is what an expansive, intricate world it is. Sure, I’m well aware that when I play Fallout I’m going to lose hours–maybe even the better part of a day–exploring the Wasteland. It’s inevitable.

big bang theory

I love it, and I’m fully in control (mostly anyway) of how long I spend in-game. But so many mobile games that are popular are such a constant time commitment. Clash of Clans felt like a stupid, part-time job that I’d have to pay to get good at, and Fallout Shelter is slowly driving me insane as I try to figure out how the hell I’m supposed to build a viable vault when I don’t have enough power and my dwellers keep boinking and getting pregnant in the living quarters. Then, to top it all off, sometimes Radroaches or Raiders attack and I have to drop whatever I’m doing to try to protect my dweller babies. I got a notification at midnight last night that I forgot about one of my dwellers as he was exploring the Wasteland, and I felt like I had to start up the app to get him back to the vault. It’s turning me into that horrible millennial cliche of being that chick who’s just glued to her phone 24/7.

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That’s the reason games like COD: Zombies, Plaugue, Inc, and Cow have stuck around on my phone. They’re games that stop when I close the app. They don’t ping me in the middle of the night, they don’t require care, feeding, and protection in the wee hours of the morning, and I don’t have to worry about forgetting them in a cruel, post-apocalyptic wilderness. It also doesn’t force me to solve some brain-bending puzzler when all I’m trying to do is calm myself down in the waiting room of a doctor or forget how hungry I am when I’m waiting for a table to open up at a restaurant. I like mobile games that are easy–FPS zombie game, a game where you find an invisible cow, or a game where you can infect the world with a killer virus, bacteria, or fungus as you have time. If I want to play an actual game that requires my full attention, I’m going to play it where I’m comfy on my couch, at home, looking at a big screen, where I can pour as long as I want into the game without zapping my iPhone 5c’s feeble little battery or worrying about getting interrupted when I’m smack in the middle of trying to save my vault from Raiders when I still don’t have any weapons or a firm grasp on how the game works…hypothetically, of course.

Maybe it’s because I’m getting old, but I prefer my gaming on a table or console–heck, even a tablet is better than a phone. I like using my phone for stuff that I can use when I want and leave it when I’m over it without having worry about the well being of some animated humans in a fictitious vault. Ultimately, I think that’s why most mobile games aren’t for me. It’s too small of a playing area, I hate wasting my battery on a game, and ultimately it requires that I be far more invested in the game than I’m capable of being. Just let me find a damn invisible cow. That’s more my mobile gaming speed.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go because another group of raiders attacked my vault as I was writing this. I’m not even kidding.

What do you think of mobile gaming? Do you think it’s fun or too much? If you like it, what are some of your favorite games? Tell me about them in the comments! 

Ways to Celebrate Halloween If You Hate Parties

I’m a pretty shy introvert. I like to stay in, hang out with a small group of friends rather than big groups, and I don’t mind being alone (I actually like it). But the thing is, I don’t live in an introvert’s paradise, so parties with people I hardly know and things like mingling with strangers is just a part of normal, human life–even if I suck at it.

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Still, it’s Halloween, so even if you’re like me and will be avoiding clubs and crowded parties, you still want to celebrate the spookiest day of the year, right? So I have a few options for your Halloween festivities that don’t include smashing yourself into a crowded club dealing with things like this:

clubs are the worst

*shudder*

Horror Movie Marathon

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Sure, you can marathon some of your favorite scary flicks by yourself, but this one is more fun with at least one other person by your side. Make some tasty movie snacks, order a pizza, wear something spooky but comfy, and settle in for a night of cinematic horror. You can marathon some of your favorite series (Saw, Scream, Exorcist, Friday the 13th, Halloween, or Nightmare on Elm Street), you can stick to one filmmaker like Alfred Hitchock, a specific type of monster, or keep it light with some campy, craptastic horror. If you really want to be jumpy, keep your porch light on to welcome trick or treaters.

Enjoy Your Burrito

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Chipotle annually participates in some Halloween festivities by encouraging burrito lovers to come in various costumes to get free or discounted burritos. For boorito season this year, if you add something unnecessary to your costume, you’ll get yourself a $3 burrito from 5 to close. Go by yourself, bring a friend or two, or be “that guy” and visit as many Chipotles as you can find in one, burrito-filled evening. You do you, bby.

Spooky Gaming Party

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Whether you’re playing a tabletop game like Betrayal at House on the Hill, a Call of Cthulu game, or the darkly hilarious Gloom or you delve into console games like Left 4 Dead, Until Dawn, or The Evil Within, making your Halloween a gaming night is the perfect way to stay in, hang out with a few buds (either IRL or virtually) and still celebrate the season of spoopy. Extra points if you play in costume. Extra, EXTRA points if you play alone in your home, online on your gaming console in costume.

Pass Out Candy to Trick-or-Treaters

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It can be really fun to hold up in your home, wear a low key costume, and pass out treats to local kiddos. You get to see the adorable costumes the neighbor-kids are wearing and participate in the magical fun of a little one experiencing Halloween, without having to walk outside in the cold and try to manage full bladders, tired feet, and cranky attitudes.

Take Someone Trick or Treating (or go yourself)

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I didn’t trick-or-treat as a kid, so when I was sixteen or seventeen, a bunch of my friends took me trick-or-treating for the first time. It was a last minute decision, so we didn’t have costumes prepped. We raided my friends closet and cobbled together “hillbilly” costumes. We decided to go out late, so our candy haul was mostly Bit-O-Honeys and Jawbreakers, but I had a blast. Trick-or-treating is the best, so whether you’re dressing up and going door to door or taking a kiddo out, trick-or-treating is a great, low-key way to celebrate Halloween.

How are you going to be celebrating Halloween? Do you prefer to go to Halloween parties, or do you do something else to celebrate? Let me know your holiday plans in the comments! 

Tabletop Monday: Star Realms

TAKE ME

Happy Monday, nerds! So let’s be honest, Mondays basically suck, so I’m starting a new, monthly post here on the blog called Tabletop Monday (obvs). I’ll be talking about the game that I’m obsessed with that month, and why you should play it! This month is all about the awesome, space-themed, deck-building game Star Realms.

I had never heard of Star Realms before the amazing Elizabeth at Oak & Oats sent the game to me for Christmas along with a freaking awesome planner I won from a drawing she held on her blog…

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…anyway, I got a chance to play the game over the weekend, and I have got to say that it was completely a blast. The game is incredibly compact, everything fitting into a pretty small box, but it is actually a surprisingly complex and addicting game.

star realmsI’ll be honest, when we first set out to play the game, the Hubs and I had a bit of a challenge understanding the rules. So, after reading the rules a few times, we turned to the iTunes app of the game, and went through the tutorial with the app. Seeing the game laid out in a live, tangible version always makes a lot more sense to us than reading a long list of rules. Star Realms also has a pretty thorough Youtube video that walks you through the game, if using an app isn’t your style.

Once we got a hang of the rules, we played a few rounds, and we had an absolute BLAST. After only a couple of games, I saw how complex and intricate the game could get, and how much strategy could be involved in playing. My other favorite part of this game is that it is designed to last about 20 minutes–though ours took a bit longer since we were learning–and it’s meant for two people to play.

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I love, love, love tabletop games, but so many of them are designed for at least three people. While that is perfect for a game night, it can be a bit of a bummer that you can’t play a game on any old night when it’s just you and your man hanging out at home. So I get really excited when I find a fun, engaging tabletop game that is made for two people to play. And if you aren’t a fan of physical games or you don’t have a permanent tabletop buddy, the game is, like I said before, available on iTunes and other digital formats. I love it when a really fun tabletop game is also made into a digital version so I can play it whenever or wherever the mood strikes me.

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I lost this game. Big time.

Star Realms is a must-have for anyone who loves deck-building games, or anyone who loves playing new, awesome games. Beyond just being fun, Star Realms is also a bit unique in that, unlike a lot of other deck-building games, this game is all about getting your opponent’s score down to zero rather than attempting to collect the most victory points. So it adds a bit of fun, overt competitiveness rather than trying to shrewdly, stealthily collect the most victory points. I’m all about overt competitiveness.

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In short, this game is awesome, and I highly recommend it. You can check out the Star Realms website to find out where you can get your own copy of the game, or how you can download the digital version if a physical game isn’t your style.

Have you played Star Realms? What did you think? What tabletop games are you obsessing over right now? What’s on your to-play list? Let me know in the comments!

Project-Nerd Post: Mojang Bought By Microsoft

Hey, guys! I’m at Project-Nerd again, talking about Microsoft buying Mojang. I hope y’all will join me over there! 

The rumor has been whirling around the gaming world for the past few days, and now it has been officially confirmed that Microsoft is purchasing Mojang for a cool $2.5 billion. Mojang is, of course, the company that is responsible for the mega-hit, insanely addictive video game, Minecraft.

Microsoft’s acquisition also signals the departure of Mojang’s creator, Notch (or Markus Persson), Mojang’s CEO Carl Manneh, and Jakob Porser. No word on the rest of the Mojang staff, or “Monjangstas”, but Notch said in a blog post published today he expects most of the staff will stay on with the company.

No word yet if Herobrine will be following Notch or Microsoft after the acquisition…

Read the rest over at Project-Nerd!

Project-Nerd Post: Blocktor Who!

I have a really exciting announcement! I’ve just signed on to be a news writer for the amazing nerdy website, Project-Nerd, and I am so excited!

http://project-nerd.com/

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Today, I’m over there talking about the announcement that came out yesterday from Microsoft, Mojang, and the BBC: Doctor Who skin packs are headed to Minecraft! I’m talking about it over at Project-Nerd, and I hope you’ll join me!

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…BBC, Microsoft, and Mojang have just announced that Xbox Minecraft players will soon be given access to Doctor Who skins. The plan is to continue releasing skin packs as time goes on. In the first pack, Minecrafters can look forward to seeing skins that will allow them to change their avatars to Capaldi’s newly-introduced Twelfth Doctor (we can debate if he is actually the twelfth later) as well as five other as-yet-unnamed Doctors, several well known companions, and some of the favorite villains from the show–yes, Daleks are included….read the rest over at Project-Nerd! 

 

Women in Geek: Christina Janke

Women in Geek Christina Janke

It’s my third post in the Women in Geek series. If you’ve missed my first two posts with Sarah Rodriguez and Lindsay Cummings, go here to check out their Women in Geek posts! Today I’m talking with the amazing Christina Janke; you might know her from places like Agents of Geek and Intro to Geek.

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What do you do in geek culture?

Currently I act as Editor in Chief and writer at Agents of Geek, an entertainment website (we branched out from Screen Invasion almost one year ago now) that highlights pretty much anything under the geek umbrella such as movies, tv shows, video games, books, cosplay, etc.

However, I first started creating my “geeky” presence 4 years ago as a regular member of a podcast my friends and I started called Shauncastic. It’s pretty much a bunch of friends getting together and talking about the things we love. A lot of the time it’s a love fest, but other times it a brutal barrage of disagreements…in a friendly way, of course. LOL.

From there, the founder of Shauncastic, Shaun Rosado, gave me my own segment titled Intro to Geek. Being the youngest and resident “new geek” in the cast, I was tasked with reviewing essential media in geek culture. This can be anywhere from movies like The Last Starfighter to 80’s arcade games like Tron. The goal of Intro to Geek is to “get myself learned” as well as convey to other new geeks whether or not it’s worth their time. Yes, there are stinkers that were once considered totally awesome and rad, but do not hold up at all.

Do you have a day job, or does this pay your bills?

I would totally love it if being a geek on the internet gave me some money to make a living! But for now, I work as an office manager at residential care facility for the mentally ill. My family owns it… Actually, they are the only people who would hire me after quitting the local movie theater. The job market isn’t fun, kiddies.

How did you get started in this?

I was always a little connected to the geek world growing up. I watched Star Trek: TNG every week with my dad, played video games whenever my head wasn’t stuck in a Harry Potter book or obsessing over Sailor Moon and Fushigi Yuugi, I read comic books off and on in college…but all of that was more or less a passing fancy. Excluding Sailor Moon, I never went any deeper than what I watched on TV or read in a book. My real plunge into “geekdom” didn’t start until 2010 while I was interning at a local newspaper.

I caught wind of a small comic book expo in my town. The paper wasn’t too interested in covering it, but I was curious enough to check it out anyway. There, I met people who would later become some of my closest friends — one of them being Shaun Rosado and his wife.

After that, I started hanging out at the local comic book shop on a weekly basis, and Shaun introduced me to Dungeons and Dragons, a level of nerdy I had once made fun of while I was in high school upon discovering that a friend of mine at the time played it. You can say Shaun was a gateway drug for pretty much everything I’m involved with now. I just love the community, freckles and all, that geekdom creates. Sure, we have our fair share of the occasional troll and butt-hurt fanatic, but that comes with any territory.

In college I studied English as a major with some emphasis in business writing and a bit of journalism. The two programs merged together after losing a couple key teachers and not enough interest from students, so I had to make due with what I had. I knew I love writing; I had a strong appreciation for the written word and the level of understanding one has to put herself through just to be able to convey a thought or emotion. However, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a writer even when I was already an English major, and an editor in school publications. It took a series of unfortunate events to make me realize that I, indeed, want to write for a living — I was homeless during my last semester in college, I could not find a job for a whole year after graduating, and one of my biggest mentors growing up, who supported my wanting to become a writer, died.

In 2012, Shaun had this bright idea to do a high quality calendar featuring geek women in cosplay. That whole story escalated pretty quickly as you’ll see in this documentary:

Soon I found myself hanging out with the likes of Satine Phoenix, Misti Dawn, Brooke “Dodger” Leigh, Jenna Busch, Sandy Bergeron, and Chloe Dykstra. Jenna in particular was/is a bit of an inspiration to me. She’s the kind of geek entertainment writer I aspire to be. She gets to interview celebrities face to face. Hell, she co-starred with Stan Lee on a YouTube channel at some point!

My getting started with Agents of Geek just sort of happened. My Intro to Geek blog caught the Jim Napier’s attention — he’s the founder and managing editor of AoG — and he offered me a writing position on Screen Invasion where AoG was housed at the time. I became Geek Editor the following month. After Jim and I broke off from Screen Invasion to start our own website, I took on the role as Editor in Chief. It all fell into my lap, in a way.

Do you have a goal you would like to achieve with Agents of Geek?

AoG kinda feels its like my baby now even though Jim is the one who started it all, who continues to handle the business side of things. Of course I want it to do well. We’ll never be on the same level as Polygon or IGN or The Mary Sue, because we’re barely a year old and we’re an independent company. My goal (right now) is to just have fun content people will want to read or watch, and to be one of those sites that people go to after they search through those other big sites. I’m working with some fantastic people, and I want as many people as we can get to notice the great work they do.

Who are some of your female geek role models, and why?

I already talked about Jenna Busch, she’s so fun and enthusiastic about what she does. She genuinely loves her job and it shows. I also like to think I channel Tina Fey as another great female writer who has made it in an industry of dominated by men. Most of the time, though, I think I’m emulating Liz Lemon more than anything else.

Do you encounter any negativity based on your gender or your appearance, or find that your readers are more critical of your opinions because you’re a woman? How do you handle, if you’ve encountered it at all, the negativity against women in geek?

So far I consider myself lucky that I don’t get as much vitriol as my other friends and peers. I attribute that mostly to the fact that I’m just not as known yet. That said, I’m not entirely without “criticism” from faceless trolls. A favorite story I like to tell people is when I played on the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer.

I don’t normally interact with other players in multiplayer; I already know what might be in store for me if the guys with microphones knew I was woman. One such gamer, however, found out I wasn’t born with a penis because he correctly translated my quirky yet feminine GamerTag. “Congrats, bro, you know a little German.” After that, he as his buddies ganged up against me, calling me names and making me feel like the most worthless female gamer ever. Never mind the fact I was sniping head shots left and right, making sure they didn’t get fragged. This went on non-stop for three waves. After that I had enough. I managed to attract a small horde of enemies over to where the douche bags holed themselves up. I stepped back and watched the carnage for a few seconds and then logged off. That how I handle things, LOL!

Another time, I had just got done talking about giving my five and six year old nieces their first comic books. Some troll on Twitter made it his mission to send death and rape threats directed at my nieces. That was probably the only time I lost it my mind on a troll. If words could be manifested into fists and then transported through the internet, I’d imagine that guy beaten to an unrecognizable pile of mush.

When I do see my friends come under fire for no particular reason other than the fact that she’s a woman with an opinion, I do get upset. Sometimes I take to Twitter and air out my frustrations, other times I get invited to join a podcast to talk about it.

What is the best thing about your line of geeky work?

My absolute favorite part is when I get to interview actors. I don’t get to do it often because a lot of the opportunities AoG gets are scheduled for the afternoon and I work during the day. But the ones I do get interview are so much fun. The highest profile celeb I interviewed is probably Jessica Chobot. Without meaning to, we talked for an hour. She’s so chatty, it was wonderful. My second favorite interview is with Steve Lund. He plays Nick Sorrentino on SyFy’s Bitten. We bonded over our love for Indiana Jones.

What would you say to someone who would look down on being a geek blogger/podcaster/vlogger? What do you find that is meaningful, special, and/or valuable about what you do?

This is where I become a hopeless romantic. Being a geek blogger/podcaster/vlogger is something I love doing. The community is so huge now, and a huge part of that is thanks to everyone’s willingness to share their passions with other people. Being a blogger, or whatever, gives us the opportunity to share our love of certain things with a lot of people all at once while trying to be as informative as we can. If I can make what I’m doing now into a paying career one day, then it’s definitely something worth fighting for. We geeks aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

There are lots of women out there who want to break into the geek industry, be it comics, gaming, writing, or fashion. What kind of advice do you have for them?

I’ll tell you what Jessica Chobot told me. It’s already so incredibly hard to get into any of these industries. You have to keep working, working, and working, improving yourself on where you think you’re lacking. Also network. you’ll have less of a chance making it anywhere if you don’t make yourself known to peers or higher. Putting yourself out there is a vulnerable feeling, but it’s necessary to get yourself out there and talk to people. Plus it doesn’t hurt to expand your horizons with other people in the same boat as you, trade little tips and the like.

There will be people trying to bring you down. You’ll just have to get thick skin and remember you’re doing what you love. And what do you do with things you love? Let it grow and expand.

What inspired you to start with Agents of Geek, and what is the coolest thing that you’ve experienced since you’ve started it?

AoG kind of fell on my lap thanks to Jim Napier noticing my enthusiasm online. It’s become a home to be myself and share all the cool things with the people I like and then some.

We’re only a year old now, so I think the coolest things are yet to come. So far, it’s getting to meet other bloggers and getting the confidence to converse with other writers and artists in the gaming and comic book industries.

Have you always felt at home being a part of and creating in the “geek culture” or “nerd culture”, or was it something you grew into?

I think because of Intro to Geek, I was kind of thrown into a part of nerd culture I never experienced before. I seemed to have taken a shine to it, obviously, and I suddenly find myself being invited to different podcasts, panels at conventions, etc. I don’t know when people started considering me a video game expert, but I like the sound of it. I’m going to hold on to that title for as long as I can. LOL.

What do you wish people knew about what you do? Are there common misconceptions about what it means to do what you do?

I face these types of questions all the time with just my uncle. He knows absolutely nothing about geek culture, science fiction, or fandoms in general. Come to think of it, my mom constantly wonders what I do even when she sees me doing it. I try to attribute my work as something they watch everyday. I’m equal parts the news, The Talk, Entertainment Tonight, and the E! Channel, but without all that boring celebrity gossip. I think they get it… LOL!

As for serious business types, well, I’m still learning. I’ve applied to a lot of firms, advertisers, papers, and publishers where I live. I even tried out for police academy at some point. They start turning up their noses once they find out I write about “kiddy stuff.” No joke, that’s a response I got from someone who rejected my application. It’s like no one in the “professional” world likes fun. Or imagination. I wouldn’t be surprised if all they read were inflated memoirs of a CEO or a former president.

Never mind that as JUST an editor and writer I organize and plan assignments and interviews, edit other people’s writing, make sure the website’s layout looks good and is in working order, cover major events, review movies/tv shows/books, network with people online, over the phone, face to face, learn some coding, consult, and work with advertisers. I know there’s more, but that’s all I can think of off the top of my head at the moment. The subject matter just happens to be something we’re passionate about, just like other writers and magazines like cooking, politics, and pretentious foreign art films.

Be sure to check out Agents of Geek and Intro to Geek if you haven’t done that yet. Stay tuned here for more amazing women in geek, and click on the pictures below to check out my interview with Sarah Rodriguez and Lindsay Cummings.

Women in Geek Lindsay Cummings Women in Geek  Sarah Rodriguez

Dying Light Trailer Released at Gamescom

Techland debuted a new trailer for their upcoming zombie game, Dying Light, at Gamescom, and I could not be more excited! I am absolutely obsessed with all things zombie-related, so this game is right up my alley. However, the gaming market is definitely not hurting for zombie games, with games like Left 4 Dead, Resident Evil, The Last of Us, Dead Island, and The Walking Dead doing a great job a representing zombies in the gaming world. While you can usually bet I’ll eat up a new zombie game, regardless of how crowded the market is, I actually think Dying Light has some cool, new stuff to offer:

1. Survivor By Day, Prey By Night

Basically, this is a gorey Minecraft (okay, not really, but that would be hilarious). By day, you are a survivor, collecting supplies and crafting weapons, but at night you have to fight of the hordes of zombies that are growing in strength as well as some creepy nocturnal creatures…

Read the rest of the post over at Nerdophiles! 

Spark: Second Teaser Released for New BioWare Game

Okay, BioWare. You’ve got my attention. I saw the first teaser for this new game, Nightmares, and I was intrigued. I signed up for the mailing list, and then promptly forgot that I had signed up–I do this frequently, which is why my email inbox is overrun with newsletters.

I digress…

It turns out signing up for that newsletter was a smart choice, because today I got notification the second teaser for Bioware’s yet-to-be-announced game was released today. Apart from assuming that this will be a horror game, and some internet speculation that this game will be called Shadow Realms, we don’t know too much about this new game. You can check out the game’s site, the creepy “You’ve Been Chosen” dot com, and find the teasers and other videos about never-ending nightmares and inner demons, however, there’s not any actual game info yet. I’m assuming it’s safe to bet that we’ll hear more about the game in the weeks to come, especially with Gamescom looming on the horizon. More info on this game can’t come soon enough. To say I’m and intrigued and excited about this game would be an understatement. This game looks freaky and weird, and I cannot wait to hear something official about what this game actually is. Hopefully that info will be coming in the next few weeks. For now, check out the newest teaser, Spark:

And if you haven’t seen the Nightmares teaser yet, you can watch that here, too:

Playstation and Xbox at E3

Hey guys! So I’ve got some pretty awesome news! I’ve signed on to be a contributor at the website Outright Geekery. They are an awesome site, and I’m stoked to write for them. My first post over there went live today. I hope you’ll join me over there! Here’s a preview of my post:

 

Let me be honest here: I don’t have an Xbox One or a Playstation 4. I’m still gaming with my Xbox 360. It’s not that I don’t want to update my gaming system, but since I definitely can’t shell out hundreds of dollars for every new gaming system that hits the shelves, I’ve been taking my time on deciding which console to buy next (besides the fact that all of my friends are equally broke, so we’re all still happily playing together on our Xbox 360s). Beside the price, my biggest concern in buying a new console is the games. After listening to the Sony and Microsoft presentations at E3, I’m actually starting to lean a lot more towards the Playstation than the Xbox One, mainly because of the Playstation-exclusive games that are being released. I’m not about to kip on over to the store to pick up a new console, you know, because BILLS and GROCERIES and RESPONSIBLE ADULT-TYPE STUFF. However, when I do finally procure the funds needed to get a new gaming console, here is what I’m thinking about…