Let’s Talk Pokémon!

Pokémon is celebrating its 20th Anniversary!

That fact really puts my age into perspective, but I will say that I’m impressed that Pokémon continues to resonate with kids today. It has been a very successful franchise, and actually holds onto a special place in my heart.

Pokémon wasn’t just a game to me. From the moment that I discovered The Official Pokémon Handbook at my school’s book fair, I couldn’t quench my thirst for it. I was eight years old. I read that book over and over again — memorizing everything that I could about the Pokémon. Back in those days, I could tell you anything you wanted to know about the first 150 Pokémon.

Pokémon did play the biggest factor in my development into a solo gamer. I had always been Player 2 to an older brother that owned all the consoles, but Pokémon changed all that for me. When my parents bought me Pokémon Blue for Christmas it came with my very own Gameboy Color. Thinking back on all of that, it gave me the freedom to finally game on my own!

I have to admit that this anniversary has me feeling very nostalgic. In the spirit of said nostalgia, I’ve decided to challenge anyone who reads this!

The Challenge

Find the BEST picture of your all time favorite Pokémon and post it in the comments below! Have fun walking down memory lane!

I’ll start.

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My Gaming Nostalgia

Ever really think about what it was in your life that really shaped you into the gamer that you are today? Can you remember the moment? I was recently asked these questions, and it really got me thinking.

I have to admit that it’s very difficult for me to remember one specific instance that really shaped me into the gamer that I am today. If I had to choose, there are two periods of my life that stand out.

First let me say that I’ve played video games since before I can remember, and before that I was an infant lying on the floor watching my older brother play them. (Trust me, there are home videos.) You might think that this makes it hard for me to pinpoint a time that changed me as a gamer, but it really isn’t. You see, I was always Player 2 early on. My parents decided video games were my brother’s thing. He received the systems and games as gifts, and since they were his I was only allowed to play when he wanted me to.

A big turning point for me as a gamer was when I received a Gameboy Color and Pokémon Blue for Christmas. I didn’t realize until much later that the Gameboy was my first game system, and that Pokémon was my first truly solo gaming experience. Of course, I didn’t know this at the time. I was too engrossed with actually playing Pokémon. There is even a picture of me at about seven years old curled in my dad’s old grey lounger with my head hung over my new Gameboy. I’m sure my family didn’t get to visit much with me during the time I spent adventuring through Pokémon.

Everyone might be surprised that the most influential moment of my early gaming life was a time that I wasn’t even playing the game 90% of the time. I was watching my brother play through a specific game, and he would let me play the mini-games or do miscellaneous things in the game but never the story. That game was Final Fantasy VII.  I’ll never forget the summer that he got that game. I don’t even think that we really knew how popular the game was, but we literally spent the entire summer playing it. I say we because I was so engrossed by it. The story, the graphics, the gameplay; I always wanted to play, but I settled for the mostly watching. I couldn’t get enough.

This was the summer that we snacked instead of really eating. My diet consisted of nachos, Pizza Rolls, Bagel Bites, and delicious popsicles. I can honestly say that this was when we starting choosing what we now call gamer food. That is, the food that is chosen for ease and convenience. I’m also pretty sure we never changed out of our pajama’s either.

I digress. Final Fantasy VII wasn’t the first in the Final Fantasy series that I had seen, but it was the first that I got to experience more. It was the game that got me hooked on the series, and since I’ve become quite an avid fan. That game, easy snacks, and comfy clothes made up a summer that shaped me the most as a gamer. I found my niche and my passion within the gaming world, and I haven’t turned back since.

It’s nice to look back on those moments, and it was even nicer to share them with everyone. It really makes you think about the things that make you feel nostalgic. I can’t take the credit though. A representative from a company called Man Crates sent me a request to see if I was interested in writing about those key ingredients that shaped me as a gamer.

For those of you that don’t know what Man Crates are, you should — Shame on you. Haha, I’m just kidding. They’re essentially crates that contain a bundle of quality goods for any man in your life. I’m not talking about cheap colognes, ties, socks, and boxers. They also have a new offering where they cover a gift card in concrete to be smashed open by your man — No, I’m not kidding. This company really represents Go Big or Go Home, in my opinion.

Did I mention that all the macho goods come in a wooden crate? Yes, you have to use a crowbar to get these bad boys open. I feel like that’s a manly gift in itself. Give him a wooden crate, a crow bar, and watch as he gets to show off his strength by opening it.

So if that sounds like something you would gift to someone, click their logo below!

 

Man Crates Store

Classic Game Fest 2015 – Austin, TX

For those of you who don’t yet know what Classic Game Fest is, it is one of the largest retro gaming conventions in the country!  It’s a 2-day celebration featuring classic video games, retro game tournaments, costume contests, live video game music, and tons of video game/ merchandise vendors.

I’d like to start off by mentioning what happened as my boyfriend and I were walking to the convention hall. On our way to the front doors, we walked past a lot of people who were leaving for the day. One father with his little son was passing us when he stopped and asked if we had preordered our wristbands. We hadn’t, and so he pulled off his wrist band and gave it to us!

Now, these wristbands were only $20 for two days, but it made me super happy nonetheless! That meant we only had to pay for my boyfriend’s wristband and we were in.

Once inside, I had the attention span of a fly. Everywhere you looked there was something to grab your attention. I was pulled this way to look at t-shirts, and that way to look at handmade creations. All of these were video game related, of course! Oh, the money I could’ve spent at this place, haha.

I did purchase a couple of things from vendors inside.

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This adorable Navi!

Created by: The Gnarly Garden.

Chelsea Powers creates custom sculpture and ceramic art, so go buy something gnarly!

Here are other goodies of hers:

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This original art of Zelda!

Purchased from: Shark Robot.

They have original geek art on t-shirts, posters, bags, ect.

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My convention goodies!

PS: I purchased an 2XL in a woman’s t-shirt and it barely fits. Really, CGF, really?

You can find all sorts of geekery at this convention. Just take a look at these other Vendors!

Vendors weren’t the only great thing about CGF. They had several different Classic Video Games available to play, and they had a few tournaments going on. Super Smash Bro’s, Mortal Kombat, and Killer Instincts were among those tournaments, and they projected these up on the walls for everyone to watch.

Of course, there was a Costume Contest!

What was my favorite thing about CGF? The live Video Game Musicians that played on the stage!

Unfortunately, I only saw two. The first was when we first got there and was Descendents of Eldrick. They played rock versions of different video game songs, and they were awesome. We listened to a few songs at the stage and then jammed out as we walked around checking out all the vendors.

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The second artist was David Erick Ramos, a youtuber who plays ocarinas. We actually hung around and grabbed seats to hear him perform. I’m definitely glad I did! He is very talented, and plays everything from video game music to his own original pieces. It was really mesmerizing to listen to.

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Here is his YouTube channel: David Erick Ramos

I have to give major kudos to my boyfriend who isn’t into video games but went with me anyway. He survived 4 hours in an overcrowded convention where his girlfriend dragged him here and there due to her temporary overexcited ADD. He also didn’t make fun of me as I talked to him about things that sounded like they were in a different language. Gamer lingo, FTW!

Needless to say, Classic Game Fest was a blast! If you have a chance to go, then go. You won’t regret it!

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Geeky Crafts: Perler Beads

All of you know by now that I’m a geek. What you may not be aware of is that I also love to make things!

Yay, crafting!

I do a lot of painting, some sketching, Perler Bead sprites, and I’m learning to crochet. If you followed me when I wrote on Geeky ‘n Girly, you may recall my post stating that I was going to be doing Perler Beads. I even went as far as to create an Etsy for it and try to sell them. Well, that didn’t go so well but that didn’t stop me from selling them locally and just making them for fun.

Most geeks/nerds are familiar with Perler Beads. If you aren’t, they’re basically beads that you put together into a pattern on a pegboard and then you melt them together to make images.

For geeks, perlers are the perfect recreation of the old school video game sprites that we love! In truth, it has become so popular that there are perler patterns for just about anything is available. Simply google perler bead patterns or hit up Pinterest. Trust me, my perler patterns have their very own board on Pinterest.

Perlers are a lot of fun and can be easy or highly complicated. I tend to prefer the simpler sprites that are nostagic for me, but I’ve also made some of the more cutesy types.

What to Buy:

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Most of these items can be found at Hobby Lobby/Michaels and you’re local Walmart.

Beads – These can be sorted or mixed. I recommend both since it gives you a variety. Then when you figure out which colors you really want to use, you can go back for the individual packs.

Peg Boards – Definitely buy the ones you can interlink in case you want to go big with your creations.

Wax Papers – This is a must. Don’t apply heat directly to the beads or you’ll have a mess.

Masking Tape – The thicker, the better! This is used to remove your completed sprite from the peg boards.

Clothes Iron– You’ll need one if you don’t have one to melt the beads.

Toothpicks – Or something similar to puncture holes in the masking tape to prevent air bubbles.*

How To – Steps:

  1. Look up a pattern or make it up! Again, you can find patterns online by googling or using Pinterest.
  2. Place beads on the pegboard in the pattern.
  3. Apply masking tape to the completed pattern so that it covers every bead.
  4. Take something flat like a credit card and press the tape against the beads to assure they stick.
  5. Use a toothpick or pen to puncture a few of the beads’ holes.
  6. Life the tape with beads stuck off of the peg boards.
  7. Set the pattern with the beads facing down.
  8. Take your peg board and line the pegs with the holes you’ve already made. Press down until the pegs puncture the rest of the beads’ holes.
  9. Flip the pattern over with beads facing up.
  10. Cover with wax paper.
  11. Apply iron in circular motions using an even amount of pressure until beads appear wet through the paper.
  12. When beads are melted, leave wax paper and set something flat and heavy on top so that the sprite doesn’t warp while cooling. A thick book or two will work.
  13. Wait 10-15 minutes before removing the heavy item, wax paper, and tape.
  14. Done!

Tips for Beginners:

  • Turn on your iron while you’re putting your pattern together. It helps to save time.
  • Don’t iron the beaded pattern while it sits on the plastic peg boards. The heat will warp the boards!
  • *Be sure to puncture holes through the tape to allow air to escape. If not, you’ll create air pockets that will cause the holes to enlarge when you melt the beads.
  • To get rid of all holes and create a flat sprite, use extra but even pressure when ironing until you see the beads melt together completely into tiny squares. Don’t iron for too long or you’ll seriously flatten them out!
  • Don’t use wax paper that’s been folded, or if you do, don’t put the creases on top of the beads. When you iron them, you’ll actually iron on the crease which will create an indentation on your sprite!
  • Have Patience! Perler Beads require a good amount of time and patience depending on what you’re trying to make. There will be times that you bump it, knock it, and otherwise mess it up. The good news is that it can be fixed!

If you’re a picture or video person as far as instructions go, there are many websites and videos to be found on how to make Perler Bead sprites.

The only thing I recommend is to pay attention to the tips above. They were hard learned lessons!

Now for the fun part! Below are some of the sprites that I’ve made so far.

Happy Perlering!

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Geeks Get Fit!

You may be under the assumption (or not) that geeks aren’t fit people — That they sit around with their video games, comics, and/or books doing nothing most of the time.

Wrong!

There are actually a lot of fit geeks and quite a community of them. From dedicated cosplayers to geeks that live the healthy life, there are so many resources for you should you want to join them!

One such resource is Nerd Fitness. (Clicky!)

The creator, Steve, has put together an awesome website with a blog, forum, his own set of resources, and finally, the Nerd Fitness Academy. The NF Academy is where it’s at, ladies and gentleman. Imagine you could gain experience and level up by doing quests that apply to your real life and that’s what this academy is. You pay a one-time fee and have full access to all of the website’s features for life. This includes a 100% money-back guarantee.

There are even several Tumblr pages dedicated to geek fitness such as:

GeekFitnessNet

CosplayandFitness

LevelUpNerd

NerdGirlFit

Also, let’s not forget blogs! 😀

One of my favorites is the blog: Geek Fitness

Geek Fitness is the blog linked to the first tumblr above, but if you like to read as well as appreciate pictures, then the blog version is for you!

And, a blogspot: Geek Fitness Network

Beyond that, geeks have quite a collection of work out attire available to them! If you followed me on Geeky ‘n Girly, you may remember me mentioning Look Human – Which has a huge selection of geeky work out clothes that include some of my favorites:

Trust me when I say that I have a huge list of work out tanks, shirts, and sweatshirts that I want, no need, to buy. Haha.

Why do I need them? Why am I jabbering on about geek fitness? Well, because I am a geek with my health on my mind. I’m not the type to diet and exercise just to reach a goal and then stop. I’m currently in the midst of making an entire lifestyle change as well as doing a walk-to-run exercise program. — And this is coming from a girl that didn’t play sports, disliked gym, and was relieved that marching band took the place of gym in high school!

So be prepared for more fitness posts as I track my progress and try to encourage other geeks to get fit too!

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