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The Great Debate: Gaming, Health, and Tips To Try Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Date a Geek Girl

Working Out With The Wii Fit!

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Table Of Contents:

Top 10 Things You Must Bring to a Convention

Page 4

Working Out With the Wii Fit

Page 5

The Great Debate:Gaming,Health,and Tips To Try

Page 6

Game Review: Folklore

Page 7

Dungeon Masterpiece Theater

Page 8

PICTORIAL - JOSS

Page 9-11

CONVENTION REVIEW: ACEN 2010

Page 12-13

PICTORIAL - KRIZIE

Page 14-19

KRIZIE CENTERFOLD

Page 16-17

Insights by Senna

Page 20

PICTORIAL - KASSANDRA

Page 21-23

Addressing Stereotypes

Page 24-25

Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Date a Geek Girl PICTORIAL - NINJA

Page 26 Page 27-29

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D20 Girls Magazine Editor in Chief: Sara Barlow - sbarlow@d20girls.com

Top 10 Things You Must Bring to a Convention (No Exceptions)

Publisher: OGO Publications, Inc Creative Director: Sara Barlow - sbarlow@d20girls.com Director of Photography: Kristina Jacobsen - KrissieJ@d20girls.com Feature Editor: Kristina Jacobsen - KrissieJ@d20girls.com Art Director:

Photo Editor: Kristina Jacobsen - KrissieJ@d20girls.com Advertising Director:

Public Relations:

1. An open mind. There is no doubt that the halls will be filled with a load of, well, characters. Some may make you laugh, and others may make you want to throw babies. But it's best not to let one raindrop spoil your entire parade, yes? 2. A sense of humor! Self-explanatory. Anyone who goes to a convention NOT expecting to giggle at least once is in for a rude awakening. 3. Your hotel room key, because... that's just embarrassing.

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General Counsel: James B. Reese III 35 E Gay St. STE 220 Columbus, OH 43215 P: 614.462.0290 jreese@reeseattorneys.com Webmaster: Jack Stewart - jrstewart@ogopublications.com

Contributors Cecelia Rice Kristin Moutrey Roberta “Bobbi” Weth Kelsey „Joss‟ Benoit Lucy Marie Smith

4. A water bottle! It's important to keep hydrated, especially at a summer convention. Plus, you never know when you'll be charged an arm and a leg for a mere bottle of water. 5. Extra cash, because no one wants to see your wibbly face when you're wandering around a dealer's room. And don't even think about doing tricks in the hallway for spare change. 6. If you're cosplaying, you should bring at least one comfortable change of clothes for those times you just don't feel like shaking it for the camera. 7. Soap,... 8. ...shampoo,... 9. ...deodorant,... 10. ..and your toothbrush. Good personal hygiene is MANDATORY at conventions, no matter how old you are! If we can smell you from a mile away, we will probably run. At the end of the day (literally), hygiene is the most important thing of all. Makes for friendly times. :)

Senna Butter Tem

By: Lucy Ma rie Smith

E. Foley D20 Girls Magazine is published 4 times per year. Manufactured and Published in the United States of America, the Editor welcomes submissions from all sources. D20 Girls Magazine & The D20 Girls Project is a Copyright of OGO Publications. Products named in these pages are trade names, or trademarks of their respective companies. The publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of the advertisement. The publishers liability for other errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is limited to republication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue or the refund of any monies paid for the advertisement.


Working Out With the Wii Fit

Ok

, so I confess that the “Gamer” part of my Gamer Girl title is not from video games. I grew up without them because my parents were convinced I would never do homework if I had them. Instead I became an obsessive reader and rarely did my homework anyway. The only gaming system we had was a used PS2 when I was 17 because my parents got tired of me hanging out at an arcade at all hours just to play DDR. But recently we purchased a Wii © with the Wii Fit Plus © kit. It is kind of an alien way to work out at least for me but it is pretty fun actually. The game is animated pretty well, except for the trainers. Those are pale monstrosities that make Edward Cullen‟s alabaster skin look natural! The Mii‟s are cute and can be pretty fun to watch while you‟re working and the games are interesting and don‟t really feel like the drain of going to a gym. I have taken a lot of fitness classes while I‟ve been in school because college is not a healthy lifestyle choice. Seriously living off ramen and energy drinks, getting no sleep and being inside all day in classes and studying is not good for you. It‟s a miracle anyone survives. So I do know Yoga, Pilates and Calisthenics pretty well and if you try to follow the directions for the exercises the scoring system is a pretty good judge of how hard you are working. The little Wii platform avatar is cute and pretty fun but it can also be kind of a pain. This brings me to my main issue with the game. The fitness evaluation is based off of body mass index or BMI. This is a measurement that has been proven wrong time and time again because different people‟s bodies are composed differently. While I am not healthy yet I should not have to weight the same as my chain smoking sister with no hips or chest just because we are the same height. I use her as an example because the Wii says she is a perfectly healthy weight and that I am not. When she and I use the program it is encouraging to her while downright nasty to me. While this is meant as motivation it is mostly just annoying and makes it rather unpleasant to play. Also, the game derides you if you miss even a single day of work no matter how much you add to the activity log. This is honestly the opposite of encouragement. I stick with it anyway and just try to scroll through the text as quickly as possible but I can see how to some it would be a serious issue. In closing, it is a good workout and the games are genuinely fun. Just try to ignore the body test portion in general and keep at it as much as you can. I won‟t say that it‟s enough on it‟s own to get you in shape but it is a really great start.

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The Great Debate: Gaming, Health, and Tips To Try Remember the Magnavox Odyssey or Atari's Pong? Gaming consoles has evolved and rapidly advanced ever since their releases in the 1970s, with companies like Sega, Nintendo, and Sony that were quick to follow. The rapid growth in arcade and video gaming grabbed the attention of consumers, especially the youth who embraced them readily. However, for years the debate over gaming and its effects on youth culture has been greatly divided due to the explosion of gaming consoles and the content which many argue is negatively influencing to the gaming communities. No longer do we need to create face-to-face relationships in our lives because social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, and online gaming provide us with these opportunities. “ It takes my mind off of annoying things and people, and I can just focus on it alone.”, says Sonia E. of Lansing, MI. “I also like it because I don't actually have to communicate with anyone to get through the game (Oblivion).” Opponents of these drastic changes in the way we interact and use our time have challenged the creators, retailers, and consumers of gaming industry. One of the strongest concerns that has been raised is the influence of game content on today's youth. Explicit violence and sexuality have become prevalent in games such as Grand Theft Auto and Halo, both of which have been extremely successful. Many are worried that these games encourage similar behavior in players and numerous studies have been made into these issues. While defendants argue that these video games can serve as a good source of releasing negative emotions a recent study by the American Psychological Association found that those who played more violent games were more likely to engage in aggressive behavior. On top of possible psychological issues are the physical side effects from an excess amount of time spent gaming. “I spend anywhere from an hour to seven hours, if I get the chance.” The avid gamer on average spends about 11 hours per week playing. Therefore, Repetitive Strain Injuries are common due to the interactive nature of most games, even when using a controller and sitting down. Sprained wrists or arms can seem somewhat harmless but continuing to use it anyway won't help it heal. Your local drug stores are packed with resources for muscle pain, sprains, much more. The $5.00 wrist brace you buy will be worth it and still allow you to game. Symptoms of fatigue are quick to develop when neglecting sleep or meals and hardly notice until your cell phone tells you it's 3:00AM. Whenever you injure yourself or are about to nod off it's usually a sign that stopping is the best course of action. Perhaps one of the most common stereotypes about gamers is that they are overweight shut-ins but, although it is not entirely true, many gamers do not stay active enough. While you may be leveling up and growing stronger your

body is not going to get those 60 minutes a day of intensive exercise. Here are some tips to keep yourself healthy and ready to game: Use Moderation: Yes, you could stay up all night playing Grand Theft Auto: Vice City but try and limit your game time. 3-4 hours max. per day may seem scarce but you have work in the morning and bills to pay. Also, remember to separate your gaming mode from your reality. This may seem obvious but it is not okay to buy a hooker, hijack a car, and shoot policemen. Take Breaks: When playing any game you tend to get so into the game that the hours fly by and before you know it you missed dinner. Fruits are delicious and easy to grab in between games. Take a 10 minute break every couple of hours to relax, have a snack, and recharge for your next raid. Eat Well: Pizza and pop every day for lunch and dinner is going to make you sick, not to mention it gets old very fast. Downing three cans of Monster is also a horrible idea and your dentist is not going to be pleased. Eat a balanced meal of whole grains, vegetables, and protein with a lots of water. Dehydration and caffeine overdoses never end well. Get To Sleep: Being sleep deprived is horrible for your body and the fatigue will not be merciful. The average adult needs at least 6-7 hours of sleep per night, so save your game and enjoy rather than rush through it! You don't want to miss a good storyline. Stay In Touch: Don't forget about your family and friends! Chatting on XBOX Live or Facebook is not the same as getting coffee with a friend or dinner with your family. Remember to spend time with loved ones and go meet other gamers. Check your local library to see what's going on or ask around at conventions. There's almost always an anime or gaming club to join. Anyone up for a friendly game of Mario Cart? Stay Active: It's tempting to laze around on the computer or playing through the entire Final Fantasy VII in one day but fit in that 60 minutes of exercise per day. This doesn't mean walking up stairs or walking around the block. Rigorous exercises like jogging and running are great to get your heart started and body working. After all, that Cloud cosplay isn't going to look very convincing without some muscle. Lastly, have fun! Gaming should be fun and give you a good challenge. Puzzle, skill, and strategy games can help sharpen your mind and keep your brain thinking. If running isn't your thing try playing Dance Dance Revolution, it's a great workout and improves your balance and coordination! A good game can help relieve stress and have a fun time with friends, or even your opponents! There are so many benefits to gain, so get gaming! Article by

Butter


Game Review: Folklore

Released: October 2007 Genre: Action/Adventure RPG Rating: T for Teen (mild language) Platforms: Playstation 3 Only Players: 1 My overall grade: B+*

(*rated 3.7 on a 1-5 scale by Cheat CC and 9.0 on a 1-10 scale by the readers of IGN) In the small, Cliffside village of Doolin, Ireland, mysterious things have been happening. You play as one of 2 main characters: both with extremely unique storylines. Ellen, 22 year-old orphaned student, goes to Doolin to discover herself after receiving a strange letter from her deceased mother. A skeptical reporter for a local occult magazine, Keats gets a strange phone call from a woman regarding fairies in Doolin and decides to investigate for himself. Follow boh characters for double the gaming experience! The story grabs you from the moment the game loads and continues to keep your attention, if you're okay with a slower-paced game and a lot of reading. It's a very intense story: so make sure you have a day to dedicate to playing this game as you will want to finish it in one sitting. The graphics are decent for a 3 year-old-game: nothing comparable to the new final fantasy, but definitely some of the better graphics I've seen. With over 100 different types of “Folks� (the intriguing creatures inhabiting the Netherworld), souls to be stolen, and a mystery to figure out, this is an amazing game that will grab your attention for hours! Definitely worth the money if you don't already own it. Go play now and find out what happens to Ellen or Keats in the mysterious town of Doolin!

By: Cecelia Rice


Dungeon Masterpiece Theater - By Joss Looking for a great nerd flick but have no idea which ones are good? Search no further! Now all of your nerdy gamer movie reviews can now be found here in DungeonMasterpiece Theater. As a nerdy gamer chick and a person that loves a good movie (or riffing on bad ones) it‟s my goal to help other nerds and gamers by giving reviews of movies, good and bad, that are relevant to our interests. So check back to find out if the nerd movie you are about to watch is actually worth watching. The Gamers, a short film by Dead Gentlemen Productions, tells the adventures of one tabletop gaming group during finals week at college. The Party consists of Newmoon the Archer, Nimble the Rogue, Rogar the Barbarian, Ambrose/Magellan the mage, and Mark the Red as the absentee player, on a date with his girlfriend that doesn‟t game (I wonder what that must be like). The movie follows the characters on their quest to rescue the princess and stop the maleficent being known only as „The Shadow‟. The film simultaneously follows the players as they roll dice and joke around using their very own unique rule set. The players continually get a little too rowdy and get reamed by a girl on their floor studying for finals. She is the only female in the movie, and while initially her anti-gamer stance struck a nerve with me (being a girl gamer), I later realized that so many girls are a lot like her and her character is rather realistic. I have to say I really like this movie. It has the best and worst parts of just about every group I have ever gamed with. So many scenarios in the movie are things I think every table top gamer has experienced at one point or another. For example, while at the Inn, instead of progressing the storyline or asking around for information Rogar only wants to see if Dwarven ale will get him drunk, and Nimble the rogue steals a tavern customers pants only because he can. He then sneak attacks an enemy with a heavy siege weapon, but of course it‟s in the rules. When the party reaches a river Ambrose the Mage has to be reminded of a „paralyzing fear of water‟ making it impossible for him to cross. As the party tries to knock him out to get him across the river someone rolls a little too well and accidentally kills him, the remaining characters bury him only to gain „piety points‟ and then divvy up his gear. When the party crosses blades with a group of bandits under „The Shadows‟ employ all hope seems lost, but then Mark the Red appears from his date just in time to save the day. With the arrival of Mark the player, Mark the character switches suddenly from just standing there idly and goes into a berserker rage, foaming at the mouth and killing most of the bandits. Then he promptly leaves again to meet his girlfriend for “coffee”. This causes our players to reflect on what having a girlfriend must be like, and leaves his character to return to its catatonic state. Much like any real game critical success and failures at just the right (or wrong) time have a very realistic impact on the game. For example after the bandit attack in the woods the leader tries to make a run for it and Newmoon the Archer rolls a twenty making an incredible and humorous shot. I find the film makers attention to detail refreshing, adding little nuances to the movie that only gamers will notice, but things that most gamers can appreciate. The films climax is one such nuance, I won‟t give too much away but I will say it is memorable and ends the film on a great note. This is a short film running 48 minutes, and it obviously did not have a big Hollywood budget. That said I think the production staff did a remarkable job with the resources they had and created a rather realistic fantasy world. While hilarious, I think most of the jokes would simply go over the heads of non-table top gamers. But I really believe anyone that has played a table-top role playing game would find this movie very enjoyable. As a side note, when I emailed Dead Gentlemen Productions with some questions I had about the film, they responded to me very quickly, and were super nice! All in all I think this movie is more than worth the watch for table top RPG players old and new. In the next installment of Dungeon Masterpiece Theater I will review the web series There Will be Brawl, a dark, gritty look at the Mushroom Kingdom.


Hi! I'm Joss your friendly neighborhood D20 Girl. I am a 'Jack-of-all-Nerdoms but master of none.' Video games, Comic books, Costuming and Tabletop Gaming are just a few of those amazing little things I enjoy. When asked to do a photo-shoot for the debut issue of our magazine, I jumped at the chance to do a shoot at my favorite local comic book shop "The Bookery"- where I was planning to pick up a couple new issues anyway. I had such a blast getting to run around in the display windows and pretend I was a miniature in the sub-basement game room. I also got to work with my favorite photographer Krissie (who happens to be our featured model this issue) and completely geek out with her all day. So all in all outside of having a great day and making a couple new friends, I got the chance to get some really cool stuff. Now go look at my pictures and I hope you enjoy them just as much as I enjoyed my day shooting them!


Photoshoot location courtesy of: The Bookery 16 West Main St

Fairborn, OH 45324

www.bookeryfantasy.com


A

nime Central (ACEN) is the biggest anime convention featured in Chicago. This year marked ACEN's 13 th anniversary and celebrated with a theme of all things spooky and scary in Japanese pop culture. It was held May 14th-16th at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center and the adjoining Hyatt Regency O’Hare. The convention has started to spread to other hotels in the vicinity - such as Embassy Suites - to house the ongoing events of one crazy weekend. ACEN hosts an unforgettable con, and is pushing 20,000 fans in attendance. Did I mention this convention has events 24 hours a day? Yes, at any given time, you can get your otaku on. Panels of all varieties were held - from the educational cooking class to the raunchy 18+ hentai video rooms. A new feature that ACEN had for this year was a “scheduler application” that you can find on their website (acen.org). The amount of things to plan out and do at the con can get very overwhelming, and with this program you can drag and drop events onto a schedule. You can then print it out on a handy chart along with the time and room number the event will be at. This is ten times easier than having to go through a program book in your hotel room, circling the events you want to go to, and forgetting half of them. It’s a must-do for anybody thinking of attending ACEN. In collaboration with FUNiACEN hosted four of the currently popular series, shi (Black Star), Narumi Tayama (Soul), and Kaori Nacited to attend ACEN; for time visiting America. Over Eater” panel as well as auto-

mation and Media Factory, Japanese voice actors from the “Soul Eater”: Yumiko Kobayakahira (Patty), Kouki Uchizuka (Tsubaki). All were very exsome of them it was their first the weekend, they hosted a “Soul graph sessions.

The musical guest of honor this year was the dark-electronic duo of Aural Vampire. Aural Vampire consists of Exo-Chika, a blonde Japanese songstress sporting vampire fangs, and Raveman, a masked DJ. They performed two shows over the weekend and held autograph sessions. Their CD, “Zoltank”, was available for purchase, giving fans a chance to buy the CD that is not available internationally yet. Aural Vampire also offered the fans a unique opportunity to be on stage with them during their Saturday concert. A contest held on ACEN’s website picked 7 lucky zombies to dance on stage with Aural Vampire during the show, while all other contestants got the privilege of being front row. Hardcore Synergy and the Soap Bubble are ACEN's two biggest rave parties and are surely not to be missed. They take place on Friday and Saturday night respectively with Japanese and local DJs spinning all night. Luckily, I walked right into Hardcore Synergy, no line at all. The line this year for the Soap Bubble, however, went out the door and wrapped around a nearby parking lot. If you’re looking to swing some glowsticks, be sure to get in line early or they


might burn out by the time you reach the door. Saturday, the lovely ladies of lolita strutted their stuff on the catwalk for ACEN's Khaotic Koutoure fashion show. Khaotic Kouture hosts fashion from all kinds of sub-culture: lolita, J-punk, visual kei, cyber, steampunk, and decora. Models of the fashion show either showcased their own outfits or had one assigned to them. The show is not limited to professional models- guys and girls of all shapes, sizes, and color are invited to be a part of this event and rock the runway with their unique style. ACEN's cosplaying attendees always seem to top themselves every year. Cosplay at ACEN has certainly seemed to branch out since my first year attending in 2007. It’s not strictly anime characters. At any given moment you could pass by Power Rangers, Doctor Who, or even some Gotham City Sirens. One of the crowd favorites this year was a pixilated Cloud from Final Fantasy. Nothing like wowing the crowd with mad cardboard skills! Soul Eater cosplayers were close to outnumbering the Naruto ones this year, with yours truly cosplaying Blair! You were hard-pressed to not see Dr. Stein, Maka, or Death the Kid running by. The amount of Death Note cosplayers has definitely dwindled down to a handful, compared to the last two years of ACEN where you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting one. Looks like everybody’s off to the next big thing in anime. Thinking of going to ACEN yourself? Lucky you, there isn’t a better anime celebration around the Midwest! As a 4year veteran of ACEN, there are some things I must pass on as advice to new attendees: PRE-REGISTER FOR YOUR BADGE. Unless you want to spend half the day in line to get your badge, please, preregister online and have your badge mailed to you. It ends up being cheaper the earlier you order it, so you’re saving yourself time and money! Cosplayers planning on dressing up on Friday - get to the convention on Thursday. Yes, it’s an extra night you would have to pay for, but the ease of prepping for cosplay in the comfort of your own room is indispensable. Check-in for every hotel around the convention center is 3pm. This means you’ll have to find a bathroom somewhere to get ready in, and drag your stuff back out to your car before you can go have fun at the con. Trust me, just pay for the extra night. Get spending money before you go. The dealers’ room is generally a cash-only area. Very few vendors can do credit card transactions. Everybody tends to forget to bring cash, and you’ll find yourself standing in an ATM line that’s 20 people deep. By Saturday a lot of the ATMs in the convention center end up getting tapped out. ACEN 2011 is set for May 20-22nd at the same location. Check the website (acen.org) every so often, you never know when the room block for the hotels will be open, or when a contest is going to pop up. ACEN 2010 was a blast for all, and 2011 can only get better.

: By ey w vie utr Re n Mo sti Kri


Insights by Senna As a career LARPer, I've never had much use for chucking dice. I've watched my friends play, and while there is a lot of reward stimulus from the hack-and-slash, kill-the-critter-get-the-thing mode of play, I haven't seen where the roleplay aspect comes in when everyone lounges around a table. Then I got an invite to an AD&D 4th Ed game. Even outside of the tabletop circuit, I've heard the newest installment of the legendary series was causing a lot of ripples. Curious as to what all the fuss was about, I allowed my friends to roll me up an Elven Ranger and stepped up to the map. During our first pregame, the guys – all veteran Dungeons and Dragons players – spent a while going over the rules: what has changed and what would be familiar. Most of the chatter was lost on me, as I had no previous basis of comparison. Even so, these boys knew how to make use of the tools of their trade. The first thing I was handed, along with my character sheet and a sturdy pencil, were Power Cards. These depicted my character's different skills (attacks, spells, and quick-reference modifiers) along with my weapons and gear and their corresponding information. Our cards were custom-made for our game, based on those available through D&D Insider's Character Builder. They also contained pictures of each character's race on the back and both crunchy and fluff text copied from the core book. These cards provided me with an organizable index of most of my character sheet statistics at my fingertips. The Power Cards were my most useful tool in joining the game quickly by helping me outline and strategize my moves. Each turn, I was allowed one Standard Action, one Minor Action, and one Move action (though I could substitute a Standard Action for a Minor or Move). My Power Cards told me the Action Cost of each skill or item and how often I could use it, whether it was At-Will, once per Encounter, or once Daily. The Power Cards allowed me to lay out a visible plan of attack while waiting for my turn (which streamlined combat), and I could put “spent” skills face-down to avoid confusion. Our physical props consisted of Dungeons &Dragons miniatures, Alea Tools magnetic markers, and a large Chessex Battle Mat. Our DM sketched key sites onto the Mat before game and provided representations of our enemies on the board (be it a cropped picture, a like-sized miniature or, in a pinch, a salt shaker). The colorful magnetic markers were invaluable for tracking status effects, spells, and marks during encounters. With all of this at our disposal, I was ready to dive into the system. I can't follow the crunch text of core books, but learning through game play was thankfully easy. Choose my action, roll the dice, check the Power Card for the appropriate modifier, add and go. Plus, with the high damage output of first an Elven Ranger and later a Human Rogue, I got the unexpected reward sensation I craved as bad guys caved before my various projectiles. Somewhere in all of this, I found my chance to role-play. The party found its rhythm in battles, but had to work out its kinks in personalities. We allowed ourselves to share, expand, comfort, and disagree, and still found good reason to choose to be heroes together. We grew to be an inherently Good-aligned party, becoming most apparent when we refused to abandon an NPC that the DM considered dispensable. Furthermore, our party developed bonds and inter-party signals. After being unexpectedly teleported in two separate battles, my character insisted on the shouted call-sign “BAMF” before anyone moved her again. The main reason I had such a good first experience with this game was undoubtedly the group I shared it with. They knew the system and were able to steer me through it, and we were fortunate enough to have exactly the right kind of rules lawyer: the kind who visits the forums asking every rules question imaginable, and will offer clarification or advice when needed, but understands that story comes before rules. The DM insists on a post-mortem at the end of all of his games – everyone gets a chance to say what worked, what didn't, what they want to see more and less of in the future. He prepares his sessions and writes up chronicle synopses to a degree that I haven't exhibited since college. His due diligence makes the stories come alive, and taught me what I was missing out on when I wrote of tabletops as mere brutish battling. I've been in a few campaigns outside of my golden group, and the system has proved time and again to be an easy pick-up for all while providing sustenance for any number of game settings or moods. Despite grumblings about the differences from older editions (again, I stress I have no basis of comparison to work from) the 4th installment of the Dungeons and Dragons franchise is accessible and entertaining, overall a great introductory game for new players. Shopping List: Dungeons & Dragons Core Books: $34.95 each Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures packs: $10.99-$21.99 One-Inch Ultimate Neo Game Master Pack with carrying case and 100 assorted markers from Alea Tools - $74.99 One-Inch Neo-Markers supplement packs from Alea Tools: $7.49-$14.99 Double-Sided Vinyl Battle Mat from Chessex: $22.98-$119.98 By: Water-soluble overhead projection markers: $1.95 and up

Senna


Addressing Stereotypes thought very highly of the project for multiple reasons. The most important aspect of it that I saw however was the beauty and variety of the girls involved. Of course, it should seem obvious that a group of models would be beautiful, but take a look at the media's portrayal of the geeks and gamers of the world. To the media - and therefore those who take the media's word as the truth (AKA the majority of mainstream society), it is not obvious that a female nerd could be attractive or worth having a conversation with. Why? It seems odd to me these are the stereotypes projected when half the people who now work to produce any sort of media are somewhat geeky themselves. The stereotypes: Most often, these "gamer" girls are overly clumsy, socially awkward to extreme levels, unkempt and greasy, and either have braces or jagged teeth. They are shut-ins who shun life outside the virtual world. They have little to no social interaction IRL.

World of Warcraft's release was like the second

By Tem Since the word "geek" came to be, it has been a synonym for a multitude of other names: nerd, gamer, dork, dweeb, loser. The kids lucky enough to have one of these titles while in school have been picked on, kicked around, and put down since the beginning of their schoolyard days. These names, for the most part, have been badges of shame, scarlet letters representing social isolation and unpopularity. However, with the dawn of the computer age, more people are taking on the "geek" title on their own as a badge of honor rather than a badge of shame. It now means financial mobility and job security. In today's economy, it pays to be intelligent. When I first joined the D20 Girls community, I

coming, only after DnD. Geek rage while playing video games has become viral worthy. These geeks function on a mix of Mountain Dew, energy drinks, microwave pizza, and Pocky. Living arrangements tend to either be in a shared apartment (or flat, whatever) or in Mom's basement. A young geek's greatest dream? To be popular and hang with the "cool" kids. The more mature individuals long to have a hot boyfriend they might never have. It is only when someone more popular is involved when these girls transform into the "beautiful swan". The scenario for male geeks is very similar, but may involve more physical bullying whereas female geeks undergo more psychological warfare. Why does female geek progression work this way? What do these stereotypes hold so much power, despite the current upward mobility of nerds? Looking for answers, I did what any good geek would do: I turned to the internet. On one site, a woman was listing why she pre-


ferred to date nerds over other guys. Her reasons were stereotypical at best, but what really caught my eye was one user comment in particular. One (presumably male) troll flamed her, insisting that nerds could never take her to Paris, drive her around in nice cars, or wrap her in his "manly" arms. The rest of the comments on the site turned from the article to "correcting" the flamer. This man's comment and the following replies made me realize several things about why stereotypes about geeks exist. First, let's focus the jealousy focused on nerds. I am sure most dorky kids heard, "oh, he's just jealous about how smart you are!" at some point in time from parents or a teacher. Incredulous looks abound, right? However, I believe that there might have been some merit in that statement: maybe not in the early years of geekery, maybe not even in high school or college. Following the latest boom in technology, video games, and the internet over the last ten years, I imagine many people started getting nervous about what the future might hold. Even now, as people of high intelligence are getting paid more and factories are closing down, that makes many people nervous. If you spent your entire high school and college career barely getting by, what does that mean for you when you go out into the thick of it? Furthermore, the aforementioned flamer made me realize there are always going to be people with huge egos. I now believe a portion of geek stereotypes come from the "anything-you-cando-I-can-do-better" feeling it lends to people. Gamers might have intelligence, but they have a -5 in charisma and have a bad habit of rolling 1s! It feeds the ego if someone with less than average intelligence but good looks is told "you look good and are popular, so you can get far in life". Why wouldn't the media try to feed that to its audience? Which leads me to my third notion: a lot of geeks I know do not keep up with popular fashions and instead make their own styles; handmade clothes, t-shirts from favorite web com-

ics, thrift store jeans. When fashion is such a "must" in school, if you don't have that expensive (yet ugly) pair of sheepskin boots, you suddenly become uncool. Also, buying outside popular fashions and mainstream stores makes little contribution to the market economy. But if the media can tell viewers, "buy this and you won't be picked on", then geeks become an easy target. It's not easy to offend a demographic if the demographic isn't present in the market. So, quick recap for those who weren't paying attention (TLDR): Gamers = stereotypes because 1. jealousy, 2. egos, 3. lack of interest in mainstream fashion. Now, I am not saying all geeks are uninterested in fashion (this IS a modeling project, after all) or are all computer whizzes (I myself am definitely more literary smart than computer smart), nor am I saying all these stereotypes are wholly bad. I am extremely klutzy, cuss out my video games when I die or have to restart a dungeon, and I have a good amount of internet friends. In RL, I have another friend who fits a lot of the stereotypes I have listed. That does not make her any less beautiful or fun to be around. The issue is when these stereotypes are applied to the entire group. Now, the D20 Girls Project is doing its best to overcome stereotypes and present an image of a variety of different girls. On the Facebook page, it states "The D20 girls try to promote a very positive image of female gamers, we aren't Barbie dolls, we don't come in one size, and we don't come in one shape... We are Gamers, and yes, Girls Game Too!". While I believe the line about being Barbie dolls meant body structure, I think it is also could mean personalities. Just because one is a gamer, a geek, a nerd, a dork, etc., does not mean one has to fit into a specific mold! I think people need to start realizing this, mainstream society and geeks alike. Who needs stereotypes? It takes the fun out of meeting someone if you already have a preconceived notion about who they are. Go out and do something about it. We are. ;) ~Live Long and Prosper~


Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Date a Geek Girl 10. She has traumatic memories from her K-12 education, 5. Geek girls come in all shapes and sizes from pixie to or rather, the social interactions from her years beWillendorf goddess. Their hair is spikey, bobbed, fore college. Your irrational fear of public bathrooms down to their waist, or in braids. They are not slaves is not so irrational to her. to fashion, but march to the beat of their own drummer, even if that drummer demands they wear shirts 9. She’s smart, maybe even smarter than you. When she with jokes about counting in binary. sees the string of acronyms after your name in your sig file, she gets excited. Conversely, she’ll taunt you 4. She’ll love you for your smarts, and if those smarts net when her string is longer. you a lot of cash, that’s just the icing on the cake. (Everyone knows a really good cake doesn’t need ic8. She won’t look at you like you have two heads when ing!) Her intentions are to find a lifemate, not a lifeyou complain about bandwidth, when you scream at line. Besides, she’s smart enough to make her own foryour computer, when you’ve taken apart your Xbox, tune. when you start sewing a costume to wear at GenCon… 3. She loves to learn about anything and everything, so life and love are never vanilla. Nuff said? 7. She understands your nutritional needs. She bakes cookies and orders pizza for D&D nights. When 2. Her friends are other geek girls, who you can set up you’re playing WoW, she’ll cut your dinner into bitewith your geek friends. Not only will you be a hero, sized pieces so you can eat and heal the main tank siall those geeks would make a great WoW guild or multaneously. D&D group! 6. If she doesn’t share your obsession with Star Wars, she 1. If you’re a geek guy, she’ll trust you. If you’re a reguat least understands it. The idea of a room wallpalar guy, she has eyes and ears everywhere and when pered with figurines intrigues her and she’ll pick up a she dumps you, you’ll know why. You won’t be sure of lightsaber to battle you to determine who takes out how she figured it out, but if I told you, she wouldn’t the garbage. be able to do it again. -E. Foley of Geek's Dream Girl (geeksdreamgirl.com)


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