Top 10 – GeekOut UK Moments

So it has come, the final Top 10 of our existence as a geek social group. To those who aren’t aware, we’ll still have our Discord channel, where I hope to be able to share some geek positivity, but we’ll be no doubt more focused on video games on there. However, if you’re a geek of any description, come join us. Nevertheless, Joel and Timlah have been at work, sussing out what have been some of our Top 10 GeekOut UK Moments. We think we’ve come up with a fair list.

So it has come, the final Top 10 of our existence as a geek social group. To those who aren’t aware, we’ll still have our Discord channel, where I hope to be able to share some geek positivity, but we’ll be no doubt more focused on video games on there. However, if you’re a geek of any description, come join us. Nevertheless, Joel and Timlah have been at work, sussing out what have been some of our Top 10 GeekOut UK Moments. We think we’ve come up with a fair list.

Continue reading “Top 10 – GeekOut UK Moments”

Blogging – Why I dun did it

They say reflection is a form of mental processing, so when I think about it, it’s only logical that I would finally do an article on why I started to blog and why I think you might want to consider it too. Here’s why!

They say reflection is a form of mental processing, so when I think about it, it’s only logical that I would finally do an article on why I started to blog and why I think you might want to consider it too. After all, it’s not like I produce the highest quality of articles, but I’d like to think the topics I touch upon are at least vaguely interesting to someone out there. Except perhaps my personal cosplay posts, those are a whole different beast.

We’re going to go quickly into the history of this website, along with the future of the site and what I believe are some universal truths about blogging. Hopefully someone out there will benefit from this knowledge from an “insiders point of view”, so if you benefited from it in some way, just leave us a comment and let me know.

GOSWLightLogo

The money

What money?!

I know a lot of people actually start blogs with the intention of making a lot of money off of their free blogs. If you start with the intention of making money, let me tell you now: You may make a couple of quid, but you’re going to win no friends this way. I’m not sure about all of you out there, but I think the majority of you will agree with me that networking is one of the coolest things in the world.

If you don’t believe me, welcome to GeekOut South-West, a website built around the concept of having a geek social group. We exist: 450+ members of us. We have over 930 Twitter followers and rising. We have over 130 of you on Facebook too. We thank each and every one of you for every click, every like, every share you do of our little corner of the internet and don’t think that’s me just trying to appease our regular readers.

 

GeekOut Bristol - May 8th
GeekOut Bristol – May 8th

This is from the bottom of my heart – I honestly love seeing the, albeit small, sense of community we have here on this website… But more to the point, I love the community spirit of the greater blogosphere. Whilst all of this is great, it’s not why I started blogging, so now let’s go back and look into why I started blogging.

Ayacon Apocalypse 2013

Those of you who know the website well enough will be aware of the events of Ayacon, all the way back in 2013. This was when I first met Joel and this was actually a sort of prequel to the story of this website. Before this website… No, before Ayacon… I was really in a rut. There was nothing for geeks here in Bristol, not really. Now, suddenly, Bristol has exploded with geek activities and events… But let’s talk about this site.

When I begun, there was very little here in Bristol. The highly praised and much loved Bristol Video Game Social wasn’t a thing. Bristol Bad Film Club was still quite new, as they started around summer 2013 (to my knowledge). Other than this, we already had the amazing BristolCon… If I’m going to be brutally honest: Other than the Bath and Bristol RPG Meetup Group… There really wasn’t much else! I mean we had some cool shops, but that’s about it.

It was bleak, very bleak. So back in late 2013, I thought to myself that I would give myself a little bit of a run for my money. After Ayacon 2013, I needed to see more people so positive, so ready to allow themselves to be freely geeky and freely up for chatting to other geeky people. I attribute a lot of this to my fellow GeekOut writer, Joel… More on that shortly.

At Ayacon, I went with a costume that was so bad, I refuse to link to it. I say it was bad, but people somehow recognised it. So, clearly, something was right about it. The nicest thing was: People cared. They wanted to talk to me about the costume and the things I had made. They wanted to know how things were made. They wanted to know the cost. Everything. It wasn’t just one or two people: It was tens of people. A lot to me.

 

From humble beginnings...
From humble beginnings…

I knew these people had to exist in my home town of Bristol, so I thought to myself: How can I bring a convention feeling to the every day of Bristol, without running a full blown convention every single month? Simple: I had to form a social group.

Quotes from the Tabletop

Occasionally in life, you meet someone who far exceeds your expectations. Joel was this person and if he reads this, I hope you don’t feel so mushy about this post. Joel was a large part of why GeekOut South-West was even brought to life. I’ve told countless stories of this, but it bares repeating. One of our most important partner sites, Quotes from the Tabletop, is one of the pivotal points of this websites fledgling life.

When I met Joel, he was an incredibly enthusiastic individual who came literally rushing over to me and my friend Rob. I was wearing a shirt that I’m wearing as I write this post (don’t worry, I’ve washed it between then and now). It says: “I KNOW KARATE (And like 2 other Japanese words” I put a blonde wig in as my cosplay was completely destroyed… and I put a blue band around my head. Why? Because I was just having fun at the event and you know – it was funny to me.

Dice

When Joel rushed over to us, he wanted to chat to us about everything geeky and that to me was something I aspired to see more of. More positivity, more unification of a geekified world… So after I grabbed some details off of him, I bugged him day and night. No, really: I did. I bet he got fed up with having a little me bugging him whenever I felt like it. I set up the initial website of GeekOut… But never did I expect to get anywhere near the numbers that we received. The positivity of the scene alone was something I had always wanted to see.

I set the website up, I started to blog and when we got big enough: I asked Joel if he’d like to get involved. Interestingly, I think because of our friendship, he started to watch the website more and more. It was good to have a second pair of eyes, an ally, as it were, in my quest to bring a more geek front to the UK – Even if my initial reaction was to bring more of it to the south-west. Eventually, we’d like to expand and have more events happening across the UK… But this is a way off yet.

The point to take away from this is: You must always begin with a goal in mind. You need to have a reason to start a blog. Are you a gamer? Why not start a blog about your favourite video games and all of the really cool things you know about them that not everyone does? How about a writer? You need to have a blog about your upcoming releases! A blog can change someone for the better… So this begs the question:

How you can start blogging

This post focused on the life of GeekOut, which is more or less how I expected it to be, but I want to send you away with a positive lesson out of all of this. You’ll notice I’ve mentioned that I didn’t start this for money. I didn’t even think a site like this could make money (for the record, we’re currently not making money. A lot of expenses comes out of my own pocket!)

Don’t let costs of anything deter you. You don’t have to pay a penny to run a WordPress blog. In fact, it can even make you money for absolutely nothing if you really must earn money off of it. But what I want you to take away from this post is that you need to find a subject that not only are you passionate about, but you think others will be interested in too.

653166773dc88127bd3afe0b6dfe5ea7

A writer doesn’t usually write just for themselves… Although I’ve known a few writers write just because they enjoy writing. If you’re one of these people, do it. If you’re not one of these people who writes because they like to write, you don’t need to matter yourself too much. I don’t write for the sake of being a writer, I’m afraid to tell you all. I write because I believe people will read it… and people will come together, even if my writing isn’t the most riveting of prose written.

I hope you feel that you’re passionate about a subject enough to start writing. If you’re already a writer: Why did you start? Let’s talk about what makes someone a blogger, or a writer, and let’s share it with the world. Are you new to blogging and looking to other blogs for the first time? Share your experiences in the comments below, over on Twitter and Facebook.

Preparations for conventions

What a name for a title, right?!

Just me? Okay.

Just under 2 weeks

What am I blabbering on about now? Well, it’s just under 2 weeks until I am going to Kitacon: Invasion 2014. Why is it Invasion? I don’t know. Ayacon was Ayacon Apocalypse, so why shouldn’t this be Kitacon Invasion, right?

But no, seriously, with anime conventions in the UK, at least with the bigger ones that I’ve attended thus far, there appear to be themes. When I went to Ayacon Apocalypse, I chose Zidane Tribal as my costume of choice (I refuse to bring that image back up over here. If you’re that curious, check out some of the earliest “Cosplay posts”.

What sort of things do you take to a convention?

This varies.

For me, it’ll be the costume and some extras for the costume (Change of some of the basic clothing, etc). I’ll be taking my phone – So I can keep you all up to date, as well as a charger. I’ll take my 3DS, why? Because anime conventions seem to love the 3DS. Seriously. I’ll be bringing my Magic: The Gathering decks as well as my Cards Against Humanity and Zombie Fluxx set.

Sounds like a lot of stuff for just 3 nights and it is. But, there’s so much to do in such a short amount of time. I want to get out there and talk to as many fellow cosplayers, gamers, anime fans and spectators.

Brains?

Other things to take, include props, signs, anything that you think will get people to notice you and join you in your quest to meet fellow fans.

I want to see if I can speak to Ellen McLain, as that’d be great. I’m hoping to get a small object relating to Portal and get a signed piece.

What will happen to GeekOut South-West during the time I’m at Kitacon?

I’m thinking of doing some “Micro-posts”. These will be no more than 500 words, with a picture or two to highlight what is happening at this event. I want to share the event with all of you, in hopes that, if you’ve never taken the financial plunge to go to an anime or games convention, that you eventually pluck up the courage to do so.

The “Micro-Posts” will consist of some of the greatest cosplayers I have seen in the day, some of the panels I attend (Possibly footage, if my phone agrees to do so and the panels permit it!), the sort of foods we’re eating if it’s Japanese foods, etc.

I’ll fill you in on all of the highlights and even if there are some low points. I really hope there are no low points!

I’m going to be meeting up with Craig, Kim and Phil of 1001-up.com to talk geek, gaming, cosplay and hopefully play a game of Cards Against Humanity! I’ll put some of the best quotes up here if they agree to play the game! *PRE-WARNING – That game can get pretty offensive. I’ll be putting warnings on those posts!

Another piece of the puzzle

Well, since I’m slowly, but surely, uploading pieces of my costume, here’s the coat.

Edward Elric cloak/coat
Edward Elric cloak/coat

Pretty nice coat, huh?

That’s all for today, have a great rest of the week and I’ll be sharing more geek stuff throughout the week. Wednesday, as always, will have our Kickstarter Highlight of the week, this Friday will have a run down of the “Geek news” I’ve collected over the past 2 weeks.

Tomorrow, however: We review an anime. What one, you ask?

Possibly, one of the most influential animes ever made. Whether you like it or not, this anime influenced the whole of my generation.

I can’t wait to review it and share in the gripes that the whole world has with it, as well as praise it where it’s due.

One clue about it: Don’t let them look at the full moon!