August 17th – August 23rd

XMen24BackThe Valley Nerd Watch!

So we’re still not completely certain if any of our readers have Steam accounts, but we’re pretty excited to recommend you play a computer game! Invisible, Inc. is a really fun game about stealthily robbing places around the world in order to save your super-secret spy organization. It’s kind of like playing a much more serious version of Archer. Part of the fun is that you tend to triumph against odds that seem impossible, even on the beginner difficulty!

Let us know on the Facebook page or on our Twitter account whether or not you actually play video games! If you do, we might be thinking of putting together something fun like a Towerfall or a Nidhogg get-together!

So are you all as excited about TopatoCon as we are? Because we’re REALLY EXCITED! There are a huge number of really neat exhibitors! You’ll definitely find something of interest to you! Including, of course, a lot of locals who are doing various cool things.

Read the TopatoCon code of conduct to know how to conduct yourself at the con! It boils down to: be cool, please.

And finally, we think they’re still looking for volunteers! If you want to pitch in, just use this form.

As always, be sure to check out the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And the book club list!



Wednesday, August 19th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Teen Creative Writing
Are you a budding novelist? A poet who DOES know it? Also a teen? The creative writing group meets to work on a variety of writing activities and share their work together as they feel comfortable. Facilitated by Bridget, and snacks are provided!
Friday, August 21st
Platinum Pony [0 Cottage St, Easthampton, Massachusetts 01027] at 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Dr Sketchy’s
A body-positive cabaret figure-drawing session! Hone your craft while hanging out and having fun! Bring your own supplies, get some drinks and delicious foods, sketch some cool models, and even enter for a chance to win prizes from FOE, Topatoco, and Oh My Sensuality Shop!

Board Games:

Saturday, August 22nd
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] at All Day
Cook Out With the 131
There will be miniature game demos, there will be some open play, and there will be a chance to meet and greet with the community! What fun. Good place to be if you’re looking for people with whom to play miniatures battling games!
Sunday, August 23rd
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Sunday Heroclix
Hosted by Jaimie! You can hang out and play this cute miniatures battling game where you bash all the various heroes and villains of Marvel and DC and Dark Horse and WIldstorm and… comic people just in general! Try a team of alternate versions of a single character! Maybe Captain Marvel.
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Sunday Board Games
Stop by the store and play some board games! Games provided, or you can bring your own! We recommend Pandemic, that’s a fun time. Oh, or we’ve been looking forward to trying out the XCOM board game, it seems neat! Don’t bring Diplomacy.


Wednesday, August 19th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:00pm – 4:45pm
Teen Advisory Board
Teens! Take as much control as possible of your local institutions as early as possible. We hate to break this to you, but things aren’t looking great and older people are all pretty much just banking on having croaked right as it gets really bad. The TAB meets regularly to discuss books, plan library events, and improve programming at the library!
Thursday, August 20th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Discussion of Go Set a Watchman with Prof. Barry O’Connell
Join the nice folks at Jones for a lively discussion of Harper Lee’s new book, the sequel to that one book you probably read oh it’s just a little thing called… TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD? The conversation will be led by Barry O’Connell, James E. Ostendarp Professor of English, Emeritus, at Amherst College. Oh those weren’t three people that was a title that makes more sense. Refreshments will be served.

Card Games:

Thursday, August 20th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at All Day
From the Vault Angels Pre-Order
We’re going to straight-up admit we do not know what this is. What vault? Why angels? What even are the particulars of the afterlife in Magic: The Gathering? When you play the game is the implication that everyone dies when you put a card in the Graveyard? Still, buy some new cards for $67.50 – $75.00!
Friday, August 21st
Greenfield Games [228 Main St Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00pm
Magic the Gathering August Friday Night Magic
All month long at Greenfield Games, you can play Friday Night Magic! Two tournaments with two fun formats: Standard and Modern. There are Swiss pairings of 3 to 4 rounds, and a $5 entry fee. There are lots of prizes!


Thursday, August 20th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Queers in Comics and Games Discussion
This is a really great discussion group! Fun times with kind people who talk about interesting things. You can always count on an interesting recommendation and a lot of very thoughtful discussion of LGBTQIA+ representation in comics and games. Admission is a $5 day pass that becomes store credit immediately.


Thursday, August 20th
Amherst Media [246 College St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Western MA Drupal Meetup
Meet fellow Drupal developers and trade secrets! Develop handshakes! Join together, bound by unknowable, gossamer threads. Thrumming, potent, sing new worlds into existence. Drinks generally to follow at a place TBD at the meetup!
Friday, August 21st
Packard’s Bar – Library Room [14 Masonic St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 8:00pm
Northampton Webdive – After Dark
A regular meetup of coders, web designers, web… just web-type people. It’s a great time to meet up with other developers and get some advice, or just hang out and develop friendships with people who understand your frustrations and triumphs!


Tuesday, August 18th
Divas [492 Pleasant St #3, Northampton, MA 01060] at 10:00pm – 1:00am
Games Geeks and Cosplay
You heard them! It’s a fun time with some DJs spinning chip tunes dance hits because when you’re nerdy you actually cannot process music that doesn’t sound like an old video game we think. There’s going to be some vendors with neat stuff, video games, and it’s a Game of Thrones theme! Dress in costume! IT’s 21+ and there’s an $8 cover.
Thursday, August 20th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School Street, Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Laser Tag in the Library!
Kids grades 5th – 8th should sign up and come to the library to play laser tag in the library! Act out zombie-apocalypse fantasies in a fun setting! With ray guns.
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Anime Club
Anime and manga are fun times that a lot of people enjoy. Hang out with these people and watch, read, discuss, and enjoy these art forms! Open to teens and young adults ages 14 and up. Though the Young Adults part suggests a ceiling? We’ll say 14-24? We’re not really certain when Young Adult ends. If it feels weird, pull the ripcord!


Wednesday, August 19th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Ex Machina in the Community Room
A cool movie! Or so we’ve heard. We haven’t actually seen it, and we’d like to! This is a chance to see it, so we’re excited about that. We’ve heard good things about Ex Machina, even heard it compared favorably to Blade Runner!
Saturday, August 22nd
MYSTERY LOCATION [Must join the meetup to find out!] at 6:00pm
Akira! A real awesome incredibly influential anime that people are big into for good reasons. It’s a beautiful cyberpunk vision of the future, one of the best animated movies of all time. Please bring $5 to defray the cost of food! Join the meetup to find out where this neat event is happening!


Thursday, August 20th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
RPG Club
Create a character! Explore their adventures! Explore their mind! Really get in there deep and think about what it would be like to be that person! No! No wait, too far! You’re all the way in! You’re tumbling through the Space Between and being reborn in the world of the RPG you were playing! All ages welcome, no experience necessary.
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Public RPG: Pathfinder Pirates
Stop by the shop to adventure on the high seas! This is a 5th-level game, but new players are totally welcome! You can join at any time and you’ll get tossed a pre-made character and some dice! It’s hosted by Tim Shields, a very nice person. You’ll like it! Play as a Parrot Elemental if you can. That’s just a swarm of parrots in the form of a person.
Saturday, August 22nd
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Pathfinder Society
Play in an official Pathfinder Society game! If you get to a high enough level in the game, the Last Starfighter clause kicks in and you’re drawn into a mystical world of adventure! That’s how it is at all official RPG events, it’s why you see people disappear in a twinkle of mystical light so often!
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Star Wars RPG
Star Wars! Wars in the Stars! Technically, we suppose all wars take place in the stars. We’re pretty excited about the Rogue One announcement, it seems like it might be a pretty cool film. If you are the sort of person who also gets excited about Star Wars, play the RPG at Modern Myths!


Wednesday, August 19th
River Valley Market [330 North King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Free Picnic Presentation/Stealth Science Cafe?
So there’s a free picnic presentation series at River Valley Market, it seems fun! The current week looks like it’s in the general Nerd Watch sphere of interest because it has Skye Long and Laura Doubleday presenting, two of the people who organize the OEB Science Cafes! Though it doesn’t say what they’ll be presenting.
Friday, August 21st
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at All Day
Free Fun Friday
Learn about an interesting local celebrity at a museum! Become more historically literate, and all at no cost to yourself.
Saturday, August 22nd
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00pm
Caleb Cooley Dickinson: Eccentric, Lunatic, or Something Else?
W. Michael Ryan will speak at Historic Northampton about Caleb Cooley Dickinson! Kind of always assumed that the hospital was named after two people! He was a Hatfield farmer who left his $100,000 estate to build a hospital in Northampton. His kids tried to prove he was mentally unfit so they could get the money! Sounds like a heck of a story.

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