Tag Archives: skeptics

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 2012 Wrap-Up

This year at Gen Con was a blast, probably because I am gainfully employed, and could actually spend money this year…but I digress.

Be that as it may, it was also the best year for my presentations. I sold out ticket wise, had some really great questions form the audience, and I even learned a little about planning and will be adjusting accordingly.

First, the presentations!

This year I presented my usual introduction to Archaeology vs Pseudo-Archaeology, I changed things up a bit by takeing out the Ark and adding Piltdown Man. I also kept the 2012 break down in there just because this is the last year I can do it. I also added a bit more on the “why we belive” part since explanations about how we believe and why we belive has expanded and frankly it’s damn interesting.

The other bit I did was the “10 most not so puzzling ancient artifacts”. Granted, I still have two posts to do here on the blog, but I was able to get a wrap up done for Gen Con. Everyone seemed to like it, and I got some great Q&A afterwards, but I don’t think I got my point about skepticism across. I will have to work on that for next year.

Things I learned:

  1. It pays to know people who own a projector. Also, I probably want to get one of my own for next year.
  2. I really need to get hand-outs so I can cite my sources better and give people my contact information.
  3. I must register my events early next year so I don’t have a lecture that interferes with my gaming. I mean, I love talking about archaeology, but I also want to roll dice…just saying.

Also, the group who was Skeptical Gamers seems to have dried up and blow away. That really makes me sad. I had all these visions of us eventually getting a skeptical tracks like Dragon Con and bringing in skeptical gamers from all over to talk and then geek out over Flux or Catan, or even a pick up table top game.

Who knows, maybe I just need to put a call out for more skeptics next year, get more people involved and try to revive this on my own, or maybe I should keep it as a one woman show for now? IDK.

And yes, I did get to game, I played four great indy games, one of which I got recognized at by the GM. He apparently did some research on me and found out I was an archaeologist, and then ask me to use my powers for good. I got to say, I really enjoyed his game, he gave me the archaeologist character and then gave another guy a character inspired by Von Daniken. Hilarity ensued, plus it was an ego boost.

So next year I’ll be doing either two or three presentations, my usual Intro, possibly a revamp of the 10 Most, and then my new series “Who Really Discovered America?” People are probably not going to like the conclusion, so yay. I’ll also be scheduling them either early in the day or later in the evening, after the Dealer Hall closes. Maybe one of each to get a feel for things?

Anyway, I had a blast this year, and I’m already planning for next. Thanks everyone who came to see me talk, I do hope to see all of you next year too!