As I mentioned in Some reasons I’m looking forwards to PAX East, my friends and I have been making angry birds to play with at PAX East this weekend. I finally took some pictures and hopefully you can indulge me in sharing my glee over my geeky creations:
We’re hopping to play some line games with random strangers and toss some into crowds to see what happens. If you’re looking to spot me or my companions at PAX east, we’ll have a few of these pinned to the outside of our bags, and we’ll be goofing off with them when we’ve got time to spare waiting for concerts and such.
I made my own patterns for these because I wanted smaller simpler ones so I could make plenty of birds before the con, and I’m hoping to write up these easy angry bird patterns to share when I’ve got time to take a few in-progress photos to go with them. But if you’re dying to make your own Angry Birds right now, I highly recommend you check out Itsy Bitsy Spider’s patterns (ravelry link) The red bird pattern is free, and the rest are only a few dollars each.
And if you’re going to be at PAX east and want to be all crafty, apparently there’s a stitch and b*tch going on on Saturday 1:30-3pm in the handheld lounge. How fun is that?
And before I finish this post… here’s more pictures of my angry birds! That’s not even all of them, just the ones that happen to be in my house right now. I can’t wait to see what it looks like when we have them all together.
A few Penny Arcade fans with little grasp of basic human decency and even less grasp of basic grammar and spelling have really been making for an unpleasant week. The last linkspam has related links if you’re curious. It’s not pretty.
BUT… I actually have tickets for PAX East. I decided to go long before this whole debacle because I’ve enjoyed PAX prime in the past, and a friend of mine has had an incredibly rough year so a bunch of us planned the trip partially as a present to her. She’s much more important to me than a bunch of jerks are, so backing out is not an option for me.
Rather than let the actions of a few people ruin something I enjoy, I’m going to step away from that part of things and talk about why I’m still excited about the trip.
- Jane McGonigal is a keynote speaker! She’s done some amazing work on gaming and how it can be used to make more real-world impact, and when I was still teaching game design, I’d often talk about her work with my students. She’s an awesome female game designer and an inspiring speaker. I’ve watched her TED talk, and I’m totally stoked about seeing her keynote.
- Angry Birds! My friend and I have been crocheting angry birds and greedy pigs from the game Angry Birds to use for playing line games with strangers. We’ll set up some structures with the pigs and offer up birds to knock them over. Or maybe we’ll just make angry bird noises and toss them into crowd to see what happens (we’re hoping to have a bunch to give away!) Line games are a real feature at PAX, since you do spend a lot of time waiting in line, and in previous years my group has had a ball meeting strangers next to us in line and playing DS games or just chatting. Honestly, I’m not usually a fan of waiting, but it makes a break from the noisier show floor and a great excuse to meet people who are at least interested in the same panel.
- Okay, I’m not done with the Angry Birds thing yet. Check out this partially finished amigurumi cutie I made while hashing out a pattern for smaller birds!
Not so angry bird amigurumi
He’s too little to be angry!
Actually, I’ve been having way too much fun making geeky amigurumi lately. Check out kirby’s epic yarn yawn and the lemmings I made for my mother (who is totally a hardcore gamer when it comes to Lemmings.) And I even mailed a friend a bob-omb. (“Can I have your new address?” “Are you going to send me a bomb?”) I tend to wing it a lot when making things, but Nerdigurumi is a great place to start if you want geeky patterns.
- Awesome friends! I’ve got a nicely-sized gang of friends going, so if I’m feeling shy I don’t have to talk to anyone I don’t know. I’m particularly looking forwards to vacationing with this year’s party, and I expect those of us travelling together will have a total blast in transit too.
- Concerts! With geeky music! I love live music, but often shows are marred by drunken morons. However, on top of not allowing booth babes, PAX also has all-ages evening shows all ages so there’s no booze. Yeay for feeling safer and not having to deal with drunks who bash into me! Plus thanks to the popularity of music games, you can’t beat a gamer crowd for ability to clap in time and sing in tune. (It totally freaked me out the first time I heard everyone *actually* clapping in unison.) And I’m still amused by the Nintendo DSes being used in place of lighters/cell phones:
Rock show DS
- New games! I love getting to try new demos and poke around games I maybe wouldn’t have tried except that there happened to be a controller free. I often wind up with some beta keys to share, too, so I can do things like check out the big lego massively multiplayer game in my own time and even with friends. And it’s not just computer and console games: I love walking into the board game rooms and immediately having someone flag us down to try something out. “You’ve got to try this game! It’s called ‘We didn’t playtest this at all!'” (turns out it’s a fun, quick, if exceptionally silly card game!)
- Swag! I got a dozen T-shirts at PAX prime in 2010, and some of them even fit me beautifully! Other favourites include posters, fun buttons, cute plushies and even an amazing artbook from the Guild Wars 2 team. Last time I brought back a paper zombie cone (from Plants Vs Zombies) to give to a young girl who I know loved the game.
safety cones plus zombie safety cones
- Costumes and gamer geek wear! We probably aren’t going to have any big costumes ourselves this year, but it’s a great excuse to wear goofy hats, and I love seeing what other people have done. Check out the koopa backpack I made for last time:
Incomplete winged koopa backpack
It’s neat to see people showing the world what games they enjoy.
So there’s a few reasons and I’m feeling better already. Anyone got any upcoming events you’re excited about? Anyone planning to go to the first GirlGeekCon in the fall which promises to be a potential alternative for women who (understandably) might prefer to give PAX a miss? Anyone been making neat amigurumi or other geeky toys and want to share? Let me know.
NOTE: I’m really serious about wanting this post to be about fun stuff: a unicorn chaser to this week for me. So please, you want to be negative, try another post. The latest linkspam may be an appropriate place for such things. They will not be published on this post.
I knit. Sometimes I crochet, and sometimes I sew, but mostly, lately, I knit. My Nanna taught me when I was a kid, and I’ve done it on and off ever since.
Sometimes people look at me funny for liking textile crafts, as if it were a strangely un-reconstructed 50s housewife sort of thing to be into. I disagree, but let’s save that for some other time.
Instead, have some geeky things made out of string:
- Crocheted coral reef.
- Woolly Thoughts publish patterns for mathematically-inspired afghans, cushions, and more.
- On a similar note, the book Making Mathematics With Needlework: 10 Papers and 10 Projects.
- A hat shaped like the Tardis, R2D2, or of course the classic Jayne hat.
- Space invaders socks.
- Binary scarf — knit your own message in ASCII, or use Unicode for a wider shawl, I suppose.
- Tetris baby blanket.
- Captain Capacitor: “Heâ€™s ready to save the day with his superhuman energy storing capabilities.”
- Kara Thrace sweater.
- Stargate dishcloth or Star Trek potholders.
- The Museum of Scientifically Accurate Brain Art including a knitted brain. “While our artists make every effort to insure accuracy, we cannot accept responsibility for the consequences of using fabric brain art as a guide for functional magnetic resonance imaging, trans-cranial magnetic stimulation, neurosurgery, or single-neuron recording.”
Got any more to add to the list?