3: Andrey Reznikov - "The Forgotten Founding Father: Noah Webster and His Dictionary"
Noah Webster today is mostly known – if known at all – as the compiler of the first American Dictionary of the English Language. Indeed, his dictionary is the most famous, but not his only creation. His spelling book, which sold millions of copies, created new spelling rules – rules we still use today. But that is not all. Even though Webster personally did not take part in writing of the US Constitution, his passionate political speeches and essays in support of the united country, during the time when the United States were anything but united – were a powerful influence in creating the real union of the first 13 states. Thus, he truly is the forgotten founding father – of the new country and its new culture, and his dictionary of American English is a testament to that.
10: Aaron Bauerly - "Grey Gaming: The Rise of the Antihero"
Beginning after World War I, and continuing after World War II, antihero protagonists have become an increasingly popular trope in modern media. Video games are no exception. Advances in computer and gaming technology have allowed for highly dynamic narratives that let the player participate in the swirling of light and dark, allowing the same protagonist to become a flawed hero, an antihero, an agent of retribution, or even a sympathetic villain. Join me in an examination of games in which player action and complex programming structures impact story and character development, often revolving around moral choice and ambiguity.
17: Christopher Landauer and Chris Fuchs: "Wizard, Fighter, Rogue RPG Design: Community Building Through Gaming"
Christopher Landauer is an Industrial Engineer by vocation (Stanford) and a Roleplaying Game Engineer by avocation. Engineers are typically tasked with building things, and together with Chris Fuchs, Christopher L. has spent the better part of the last decade building communities, building audiences, and building worlds in the Gaming space.
Chris “Savage Mommy” Fuchs is a proud Geek. He has been gaming since the late 90’s, Starting with 2nd Edition D&D and playing with the same gaming group for that entire time.
Between them they organize the Rocky Mountain Savages, the largest RPG group in the Mountain West and coordinate RPGs for the largest tabletop conventions in the same region. They host the Savage Cast, a popular podcast and appear on several other media properties which promote gaming and the game community.
They just released Buccaneer: Through Hell and High Water, their first RPG gaming book and have multiple other projects in the pipeline for publication. Chris L has also done creative work for Electronic Arts, one of the largest video game companies, was the first person to solve all the puzzles in Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code, and ran a treasure hunting forum with tens of thousands of active participants. If the first step of being a Geek means being honest and open about the things that excite you and the things that you love, the second step is finding ways to integrate those passions in to your life and career.
24: This Geek Speak has been moved to November 21.
31: Laura Colmenero-Chilberg - “Trick-or-Treating, Jack-o-Lanterns, and Feeding the Dead: How the Ancient Roots of Halloween Connect to Present Day”
Halloween! Costumes, trick-or-treating, candy corn, ghosts, and vampires! We are all familiar with our present-day Halloween practices, but where did this spooky holiday originate? In this Geek Speak, we will discover the ancient roots of this favorite holiday and follow its wandering path to present day. Come ready to peak behind the veil of Halloween!