"}
Words

Pacific NerdWest

Celebrating the geekier things in life

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Don’t be alarmed if you see a large group of people whacking each other with NERF bats in Maritime Heritage Park this weekend. Plus, you’ll want to remain calm if humans in costumes attempt to engage you on the sidewalk. It’s all part of Pacific NerdWest, a three-day celebration of the nerdier things in life. The event’s secretary, Joel O’Connor, filled us in on the particulars. 

Cascadia Weekly: Is there a difference between a geek and a nerd?
Joel O’Connor: There’s a lot of lighthearted debate on that issue, and everyone seems to have their own definitions.  Personally I think a nerd is someone with an unabashed passion, whereas a geek is a nerd who figured out a way to get paid for that passion. For example, I’m a comic book nerd, but a computer geek. But there will be people who disagree with me, and it’s all academic really.

CW: Can you still attend the event if you don’t consider yourself a nerd (or a geek)?
JO: Sure! But to be honest, I can’t think of many people who aren’t a nerd about something in their lives.

CW: What are some of the nerdy items that will be available at the Geek Auction?
JO: Well, we have a bunch of one-of-a-kind pieces of art and costume items like steampunk canes, a beautiful felt fez and a very cool multimedia recreation of a classic comic book cover. We also have some top-secret signed video-game memorabilia that we’re keeping close to our chest for now.

CW: There’s stuff happening all over Bellingham for Pacific NerdWest. Was it challenging to put it all together?
JO: Absolutely. But it was all the easier when we realized that we have such a great community at our disposal.

CW: What the heck is a “Live Action RPG?”
JO: With the help of some amazing people, we have created a two-day-long, town-wide Role Playing Game (RPG) where participants will be sent on quests, solve riddles, uncover treasures and battle monsters. We are stationing actors throughout town to be part of the game.

CW: What are you the most excited about for the event?
JO: What’s not to be excited about? We have some amazing vendors and artists at the Leopold Crystal Ballroom. I’m really looking forward to the RPG, and I know it’s going to be a great time. And finally, we have some great media guests—Neil Grayston, aka Fargo from the SyFy show Eureka!, as well as the people who created the web-series Hey Ash, Whacha Playin?—that I can’t wait to meet.

CW: What does the $20 entry fee get participants?
JO: It gets you entry into the vendor/artist area, the talks and panels, the retro-video game area, the foam sword fights, the NERF war, the town-wide RPG, the charity auction, tabletop gaming, and we’ve also arranged to have discounts at some after-hours clubs for all the over-21 crowd. That’s three days of fun for less than a movie, drink and popcorn.

CW: Why should people come to Pacific NerdWest?
JO: If you love comics, toys, sci-fi, fantasy, steampunk, costumes, art, movies, music, gaming, computers or anime, what better way to spend a weekend that with a bunch of likeminded people in beautiful downtown Bellingham?

SVCR Don McLean
More Words...
Beyond Protest
Kevin Ranker completes his sermon

Surveying the ashes of the November election, the normally ebullient and thoughtful senator from the islands was nearly speechless with despair.

“How could I have gotten this so wrong?” state Sen. Kevin Ranker asked himself. “Could it be that my beliefs about social justice and human…

more »
The Unsettlers
Nothing simple about it

Journalist Mark Sundeen’s previous book was about a man who has successfully lived without money for the past 15-plus years. The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today’s America is also a study of idealism and the struggle to live an authentic life.

Sundeen follows three…

more »
Black Water
After the coup

In the aftermath of a failed coup attempt, the military-led Indonesian government purged thousands upon thousands of communists, leftists and ethnic Chinese. Estimates range from 500,000 to 3 million massacred in all.

It has long been believed that the American C.I.A. was heavily…

more »
Events
Today
KMRE broadcaster receives citizen journalism award

5:00pm

17th annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival

10:00am|Whatcom County

Arsenic and Old Lace

7:00pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Into the Woods

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

New documentary focuses human rights film festival

7:52pm

Orchid Show and Sale

9:00am|Skagit Valley Gardens

Sedro-Woolley Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #43

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Kevin Ranker completes his sermon

1:00pm

Positive Blues

2:00pm|Nancy's Farm

Mock and Maher

3:00pm|Deming Library

Tartarus

4:00pm|Village Books

MBT Rovers Village Books
Tomorrow
KMRE broadcaster receives citizen journalism award

5:00pm

17th annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival

10:00am|Whatcom County

New documentary focuses human rights film festival

7:52pm

Winter Camping Basics

6:00pm|REI

Cuban Salsa

6:00pm|Bell Tower Studios

Bite of Blaine

6:00pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Pizza Party

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Rock & Gem Club Meeting

7:00pm|Bloedel Donovan Community Center

Rock and Gem Club Meeting

7:00pm|Bloedel Donovan Community Center

Swing Dance

8:00pm|Eagles Hall

Guffawingham

9:30pm|Green Frog

Northwood Steak and Crab Village Books
Tuesday
KMRE broadcaster receives citizen journalism award

5:00pm

17th annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival

10:00am|Whatcom County

New documentary focuses human rights film festival

7:52pm

Farm-to-Table Trade Meeting

8:30am|Bellingham Technical College

Community Preparedness

2:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Baker Backcountry Basics

6:00pm|REI

All-Paces Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Putting the kick in cross-country

6:00pm

Dressings, Sauces and Stocks

6:30pm|Ciao Thyme Commons

Prawn Particulars

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Tides

7:00pm|Village Books

Books on Tap

7:00pm|North Fork Brewery

see our complete calendar »

IGN Cascadia Bellingham Farmer’s Market Village Books Bellingham Technical College Northwood Steak and Crab Trove Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1