Tag Archives: Gen Con

Gen Con Wrap-Up: Archaeology, Skeptics, and Nerddom.

I had a great time at Gen Con this year. I got to play lots of great games, met some really cool people, got to glimpse Wil Wheaton, and re-launched the Skeptical Gamers. With all of the great costumes, the huge balloon Cthulhu, the balloon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, The Zombie Walk, Five Year Mission, Cardhalla, the scavenger hunt, and the massive maze that is the dealer floor, I had to narrow things down a bit. So let’s break down the event some shall we?

Cthulhu, He’s eating my mind! Ai! Ai!

Archy Talks at Gen Con

This year I gave two talks, one was my basic Archaeology vs Psuedoarchaeology and the other was Archy vs Ancient Aliens. I probably wont be giving the basic talk again. I had a really low turn out for that one. Not sure if it was because it was on Thursday, or that people were confused because Gen Con moved my room around twice and didn’t list it in the guide book, or if people are just tired of hearing it. Either way, I’m kinda board with it and I want to do different topics next year anyway. I can only really commit to two talks if I want to have any time to play myself, so, we’ll box this one up for a while. 

The  Archy vs Ancient Aliens did really well, more like what I’m used to. Also the 12pm time slot seems to be good for everyone since it’s kinda in-between game slot times and lunch. The new projector I bought works well, except that it wont connect to my small laptop and I didn’t find that out till I got to the con. Learned that the hard way, other than that little snafu everything went great. 


Reintroducing The Skeptical Gamers. 

Some of you might remember back when I started talking at Gen Con I was with a group named the Skeptical Gamers for about a year. It was a good group of people who were interested in creating a skeptical track for Indy. We had people discussing cargo cults, general skepticism and such. It went over really well, but most of the members had life changes that forced the group to close in 2012.  Well, I’ve talked to the original creator of the group and I’ve got permission to restart the group!

This year at my talks I gave a recruiting shout-out to anyone who might be interested in doing something skeptical for next year. I got a pretty good response, more than I expected. So I’ve got some folks to talk to and a website to re-vamp and then we’ll be in full swing. If you think you might be interested in helping out next year, send me an email at archyfantasies@gmail.com.


Games and Groups You Should Check Out. 

Like I said earlier, I played some great games and watched some awesome shows this year. I highly recommend a few:

Dorks in Dungeons player group, with the tallest dwarf ever who worships the sun.

Dorks in Dungeons – this was a fantastic improve group who are completely making fun of gaming. Seriously, they were the funniest show I saw all weekend and completely worth the time. They are native to New Hampshire, so if you live up there check them out. They really encourage audience participation and love interacting, and it’s funny. Also, they have a Keytar Dragon, nuff said. 


The Keytar Dragon, rocking the Lame away.



Live Action Cthulhu , specifically Kettle of Fish‘s rendition of “Charlie Chonka and the Fudge Refinery”. It’s pretty much what it sounded like. I got to play one of the Parents, and well, it’s Cthulhu so you’re not really supposed to live, but as per the movie each child was picked off one by one, and we all pretty much died in the end. But my Ian, who’s such a bright boy, made it out alive, along withe the child who was apparently a clone on Hitler. The rest of us died in an elaborate ritual that allowed Chonka to continue his immortal life body-hopping from his dying body to the youthful body of an unsuspecting child. It’s Cthulhu, it’s not meant to be happy, but it was fun and the guy playing Chonka was simply perfect and amazing. Also, the players who got to play the Tcho-Tcho’s (the Oopa-lumas) did a really great job of singing and being extra creepy. 

Sixcess Core by Harsh Realities ran a fantastic game as always, and I highly recommend their table top system if you’re looking form something new and versatile. Plus the creators and the GM’s a supper friendly. I had a great time playing Steampunk in Space and running away from Flesh-bots who wanted to make me part of the living ship. Check out their store for their core book and keep an eye out for their upcoming Kickstaters. 

I played a few other things too, they were fun, but these were defiantly the top. 


School starts today and I am back at the O’l grind stone. Someday I will be done will all of this, and be better off for it. Until then, I must survive this test that is Grad School.

And Now Some Pictures of the event. 


Men with Horse Heads. I got nothing.
Men with Horse Heads. I got nothing.
The Sea of Nerd, the ocean of Geek.
The Sea of Nerd, the ocean of Geek.
Five Year Mission opened the festivals Wednesday night. They Rock!
Five Year Mission opened the festivals Wednesday night. They Rock!
Spidy senses Zombies.
Spidy senses Zombies.
Balloon Raphael
Balloon Raphael
Cardhalla raised over $4,000 for Big Brother's Big Sisters this year.
Cardhalla raised over $4,000 for Big Brother’s Big Sisters this year.
Brain Burgers, Yum.
Brain Burgers, Yum.
Zombie Hogan. Oh yah brotha.
Zombie Hogan. Oh yah brotha.
A Giant Rabbit pulling a Man out of a Hat doing card tricks.
A Giant Rabbit pulling a Man out of a Hat doing card tricks.

Gen Con, Gen Gone!

Gen Con is happening now, you can still catch my Friday rant about aliens if you’re in town. 

So far the con has been awesome, and I am having a blast. I should have some great pictures after the con that I will share. 

In the mean time, check out these two geeky podcasts I just got introduced to. 


Nerd Poker – were we follow a group of adults playing D&D, and the hilarity that ensues



Welcome to Night Vale. – where we are introduced to the desert town of Night Vale and all the creepy, creepy things that happen there.

If you’re at Gen Con, come say hi, if you’re not, man you’re missing out. 

Enjoy the weekend, I’m gone gaming. 

Mound Builders, Staying Cool, and Gen Con!!! Weekly Roundup for 7/12/13.

Hey Everyone! I’m back! Seriously.

As you all probably know, I just spent a lovely six weeks living in a very small dorm room and digging out at the Angel Mounds Site in Evansville, Indiana. This was a great experience, and it’s not over yet. I am currently working on a project involving interpreting the Magnetometer data from the site. I’m already knee deep in the Lit Review, and it hit me a about a week after I got back, this cycle of Lit Reviews is pretty much how my life is going to be until I retire. So Woo. Actually I’m pretty excited about it. It’s nice to put my education to work, and it’s even better having it tie into my GIS focus.

While I was there I had my first legit encounter with a Native American Representative group. The Woodland Alliance came out to see us after a rather uniformed and unflattering article made it into the local paper in Evansville. I’ll hold off my usual rant against lazy reporting and bad media practices. However, my group was on the receiving end of this debacle this time, which was rather unpleasant.

The Woodland Alliance folks were alright; they came out to talk with our Supervisors a few times, and made suggestions about how to interpret some of our findings.  I’m not sure how I feel about the whole thing really; I was surprised that they hadn’t been notified about the dig in the first place, especially since it was a state park. Secondly, I was uncomfortable with communication that occurred between our groups once we were face to face. It seemed kind of strained, and exclusive. Thirdly, because of the article, there was a lot of misunderstanding as to what was and wasn’t found at the site, and what we were doing out there. Also, I don’t completely understand the reasons behind some of the requests the Woodland Alliance made of us; fortunately, it wasn’t up to me to make the final decision. Still, it was a good experience to have, I’ve learned quite a bit from it, and I look forward to using that in future encounters.

But I’m back in my own home, and I think I have this Lit Review thing down. I’m back in my office, and well, I feel slightly more energized about archaeology all over again.

That said, let’s look at what’s coming up for ye ’ol ArchyFantasies!

The Mysterious Mound Builders.

While I was out at the mounds, I learned that the mounds hadn’t always been attributed to early Native peoples.  Which is entirely not surprising, considering the times. However, as I did a little digging into the history of the study of the Mound Builders, I found that even today some people still don’t attribute the mounds to early native peoples. So, I decide to take up this challenge and see if I can set some facts straight. Look for posts in this series in the near future.

CRM Archaeology Podcast and Staying Cool

Chris Webster, with Dig Tech, podcast is still going strong. I haven’t been on in a while, but don’t let that stop you from listing. This last week the group talked about how to stay safe in the heat while working in the field and why Per Deium is paid the way it is sometimes. It’s a great podcast with a great discussion group and fun rants. Go subscribe if you haven’t yet.

Also, Bill White over at Succint Reserch made a great PDF on how to stay cool while digging.

ArchyFantasies Podcast

My own Podcast is in the works. Currently, I have selected intro music and have almost settled on a format. Look for it in August or September. I will be having a Q&A section, so if you have any questions you’d like me to try and answer, go ahead and email them to too me ArchyFantasies@gmail.com.  Be sure to put ‘Podcast’ or ‘Question’ in the Subject line, just to help me out. You can tweet them to me to @archyfantasies on Twitter.

Last but not Least!


I will be at GenCon for the third year in a row! *Yay! Fanfare and all that!*

I’m giving two talks this year, I’m experimenting with Noon times, so brown bag it if you want too.

SEM1341415 Archaeology Vs Pseudo-Archaeology – Friday, August 15th at 12:00 pm

–        Ever wonder what Archaeologists really do in the first place? Or what Cult Science is? Come find out with your friendly neighborhood Archaeologist. We’ll examine this & much more! (This is my regular intro talk, but I’ve changed things up a bit if you still want to come.)

SEM1341416 Archy Vs. Ancient Aliens – Saturday, August 16th at 12:00 PM

–       Ancient Aliens is one of the History Channel’s most popular shows, but how accurate is it really? We’ll examine some of the recent claims from the show and discuss how factual they really are. (This one is for my advanced audience.)

Oddly enough, even though I don’t charge for this, it always ‘sells-out’, which really makes my weekend. Maybe if I can get enough people registered, they’ll quit putting me in the furthest room from the convention center? It could happen.

Anyway, hope you’re all as glad to see me back as I am to be back, and I hope to see a good number of you at GenCon this year. Don’t forget to send me questions for the Podcast, and go listen to the CRM Archaeology Podcast for a look at what I do for a living.

The Con Plague got me!

Trust me, I’ve got a whole bunch of stuff to go over from Gen Con, and I really will post. First however, I have to get over my Con-plague and get my notes in order.

One thing I will say is that I have a few new things to add to the pages here. One bit is describing Cult Science, the other is going over the reasons why we still believe in weird things (like my dice rolling poorly to spite me).

Also, I’d like to go over my first few day in Grad school, because, hey, I want to brag.

So just let me get to where I can breath properly again and I will fill everyone in.

BTW, Thanks to everyone who came to see me talk, you guys rocked! You make me keep my game fresh, and get me thinking about things differently then I normally would. See you all next year hopefully!