Month: January 2016

January 25th – January 31st

The Valley Nerd Watch!


This’ll be a quick one since we’re suuuper tired at the moment. Woogh. Look, let’s just say that if someone asks you to play the Game of Thrones Board Game at 4:00pm, clear time until like 8:00pm the next day. It was great, though! Lots of fun, we did not win but we had a dastardly plan to do so and everyone was really fun to bicker with.

Board Game Day at the Deuce was a heck of a good time overall! Lots of nice people to speak with, new people to meet, generally a bunch of friendly people having a good time. Plus, there was free pizza which we honestly thought was a mirage for a minute. Free pizza! That’s the stuff of which dreams are made.

We also had an exciting and entirely unexpected experience: we tried a new game! Like, brand-new to everyone and we were some of the first play-testers! In deference to the creator, we’re not going to go into details while it’s still at an early stage, but it was a bunch of fun! It was a party game not unlike the sort of Apples-to-Apples-alikes that are storming our bacchanals with pre-written middle-of-the-road jokes. This one was, in our opinion, more clever. It was an effective ice-breaker and encouraged a delightful creativity! Well done, local designer!

We also want to mention here that due to circumstances beyond our control or indeed the control of any mortal man, Nerd Nite will not be happening in February. But fret not! Like Orpheus before, it will defy the gods and return from the land of the dead in March with some real fun presentations you’ll like a lot.

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Saturday, January 30th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
The Mail-Art Club
Oh, this is so nifty! An afternoon of art-making with the express purpose of posting it to a friend, family member, or maybe a Safe Passage shelteree! Before the start, there will be a screening of a documentary of an aspiring artist. We have loved getting postcards from pals, so this sounds pretty great! Registration is required, contact jonlackman [at] gmail [dot] com.
Sunday, January 31st
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Painting Workshop
Painting is a ton of fun! Not just painting Standard Style on a flat surface, but also painting miniatures! Miniatures are fun to use in a lot of games, but wow do they make a more effective-looking little adventuring team when they’re all nice and painted. Join the crew at Modern Myths to learn useful techniques! Take a painted miniature home!

Board Games:

Saturday, January 30th
Off The Wall Games [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 11:00am
Warmachine Steam Roller
We’re not really Warmachine players, so we’ve got no earthly idea what “Steam Roller” means in this context. But to take a stab in the dark we’re pretty certain it means two mighty armies of morally questionable empires will clash in epic fashion across strategically important folding tables. There’s a $10 entry fee, and that means probably there are also prizes!
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 11:00pm
One Night Ultimate Vampire Splash
Thanks to the Envoy Program at Modern Myths, they’re going to have a demo feature of a cool new game! It’s a game about finding the evil Vampire in your midst before the night is through. Sounds great for parties!

Books:

Wednesday, January 27th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
Jill Gagnon and Mike MacDonald, Choose Your Own Misery
These clever folks wrote a “choose your own adventure” style book, but focused on darkly comic adventures through everyday places! Perhaps forgetting that like 90% of the actual Choose Your Own Adventure books were packed to the gills with death and other dark doings. Come see them read and speak about the book series!
Thursday, January 28th
Pizza Paradiso [12 Crafts Ave., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30pm
Dune Book Discussion and Dinner
Dune! A classic. The greatest start to the least necessary series of sequels in book history. It’s a heck of an interesting book that you’ve probably already read if you like sci-fi. Why not hang with some nice folks from the Western MA Sci-Fi Meetup group and talk about it?
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
Jeanne Braham, Available Light: Philip Booth and the Gift of Place
Local author Jeanne Braham will talk about her new book about an author of lyric poems. Most of them were set in the landscapes of Downeast Maine. Jeanne Braham looks to ignite new interest in this intriguing poet with her comprehensive biography!

Entertainment:

Friday, January 29th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:30pm
The Bookshop Music Sessions: JD Parran’s Harlem Reunion
A new music series at the Odyssey! Music! In a bookstore! Don’t tell the Silent Ones, lest they rend reality asunder in their rage. Browse, listen, support a local bookstore while hearing the excellent improvisational performances of JD Parran’s Harlem Reunion! Tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for students and seniors.
Saturday, January 30th
A MYSTERY LOCATION AVAILABLE TO MEMBERS at 6:00pm
Dinner and Star Wars Holiday Special
We’re pretty certain this qualifies as a threat. Bring $5 for food, and then embrace the darkness that lives inside all of us. Join the meetup to find the location!

Movies:

Wednesday, January 27th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Movie Screening: The End of the Line
A free film screening sponsored by the Committee to Stop War with co-sponsorship by Stop the Pipeline Massachusetts Homeowners Speak Out. Through interviews and public meeting footage, End of the Line tells how ordinary folks protested a natural gas pipeline through 13 Kentucky counties, successfully getting it the heck out. Inspirational for people interested in getting the same thing to happen in MA! Discussion will follow the film.

RPGs:

Monday, January 25th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Pathfinder
Pathfinder! Pathfinder is a fun game for the sort of folks who are looking for D&D but not exactly. Go ahead and hop into a session! There are dice and pre-created characters waiting for you if you do show up! Also, friendly people to talk to!
Saturday, January 30th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 12:30pm – 3:30pm
D&D 5th Ed
Dungeons & Dragons: it’s like Pathfinder except with adventurers meeting in much more serendipitous manners. You can join this 5th-level adventure at any point, why not now? There are pre-made characters and dice provided, and it’s hosted by the friendly Neal Robinson.
Powder Mill Barn [32 South Maple St., Enfield, CT] at 3:00pm – 10:30pm
Magestry Winter Party
Party! Party with a bunch of Magestry folks at this entirely out-of-game affair. Admission is $20, and you can pay at the door. There’s also a holiday gift of 20 Skill Points! It’s a great opportunity to hang out with folks without needing to dedicate a whole weekend to being in character!

Science:

Monday, January 25th
Union Station [125 Pleasant St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm
SciTech Cafe: Einstein’s Spooky Action at a Distance
Come see Professor William Wootters – a professor at Williams College – speak about quantum mechanics! Learn what a photon is, how far-apart photons can be “telepathic”, what quantum teleportation is, and how to shoot beams of coherent cosmic force out of your fist by arranging your fingertips along the “grid”. It’s free, and fun!

Video Games:

Thursday, January 28th
Franklin Patterson Hall, Hampshire COllege [893 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 4:00pm – 5:00pm
MAKE TALK PLAY – Word Snack Postmortem
A bonus MAKE TALK PLAY event! A brief step away from the venerable Quarters to check out Hampshire College! That’s because this will be a sit-down with the team behind the clever game Word Snack, created by the Interdisciplinary Game Studio Class at Hampshire College! It is a time that will be delightful and insightful!
Friday, January 29th
Adele Simmons Hall, Room 126, Hampshire College [893 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:00pm – 5:00pm Sunday, January 31st
Five College Global Game Jam
Hampshire is going to be the local host for the great Global Game Jam! What is it? It’s making games! Just like, as fast as possible. You have two days to try to take some idea from inception to exception-al! Anyone is welcome! If you’ve got skills in art, audio, programming, or design you’re particularly welcome! Find out more at the site!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Minecraft Club
Were you aware that most children actually live in Minecraft now? It’s true! It is the entire universe to these tots. And for good reason! You can basically do absolutely anything and there is no limit to the number of dogs you can have. Register your tiny craftminer at the children’s desk, and enjoy free play, group games, and challenges!

 

Local Podcasts!

Ever since the invention of podcasts – when all radios in the Northern hemisphere intercepted a panicked discussion between a group of survivors of the Great Hiveship Anaximanious who had accidentally flipped their escape pod’s internal tele-speak on “broadcast” during a panicked hunt for the SOS transmitter before having an enlightening conversation about comedy, music, movies, board games, and oddly enough the American penal system – we’ve all been fans of this on-demand radio for the internet.

There’s a podcast for everyone! And now that’s truer than ever, with LOCAL podcasts diving onto the scene like majestic eagles. Each of these podcasts is the recipient of a special award that we definitely did not make up on the spot.

Top One About Games Featuring Two Friends Bickering: Chairmen of the Boards

  • What it’s about: Board and video-style games. Mostly the sort of bickering back-and-forth you get after completing a game and thinking about what you liked or did not like about it. Organized into loose themes like “open-world games” and “betrayer games”.
  • Who’s on it: Jesse Mayhew and Arvid Nelson. Arvid is an author, co-created and currently writes the comic Rex Mundi for Dark Horse, and works on video games. Jesse Mayhew performs labor in exchange for remuneration.
  • Why you should give it a listen: It’s only a few episodes in, but they’ve got a pretty solid rapport that’s easy to listen to. They’ve also managed to focus much more effectively than a lot of the chatty podcasts we’ve listened to. The discussion is on-topic and usually about a half hour. Because they don’t drift too much, you usually get a better understanding of the topic in less time than you might from a 3-hour “let’s talk about whatever in games” podcast.
  • If you’d like to be a guest: Contact them! They’re interested in speaking to local game designers and probably interesting and charismatic local folks in general.

Top One About Psychosocial Games Featuring Two Sisters Pleasantly Discussing: Games People Play

  • What it’s about: Games, but not that sort of game! Based on an old psychological theory proposed by Eric Berne about how social interactions are “games”, this podcast examines various social “games”. Things like “the 30-life crisis game”, played by both 30 year-olds and the sort of people who ask “so when are you settling down?”. Or the Christmas/Holidays Game where you try to achieve a Good Holiday without feeling horrid. It’s super high concept for a chatting podcast and we’re totally into it.
  • Who’s on it: Local game designer Hannah Shaffer and her sister Alanna, a local comedian and writer.
  • Why you should give it a listen: The high-concept premise is worth the price of admission in our opinion. Hannah and Alanna get along well and are easy to listen to. The structure of the discussion allows them to bounce back and forth between discussing more standard game design and discussing social structures that we tend to think of as invisible rather than designed.
  • What’s the theme music like: It’s totally awesome.

Top One About Comics and Games and Movies and Everything By A Local Comic Shop: Mythspoken

  • What it’s about: Basically all of the stuff that people working at Modern Myths are into! It covers a really wide swath. Talking to creators, talking about how to use Kickstarter, talking about comic movies, talking about race in gaming, talking about lots and lots of things. It is currently defunct, but the Modern Myths newsletter has said that this year it’s going to be back in business! We await it excitedly!
  • Who’s on it: The friendly folks at Modern Myths! It varies, and in particular the next set of people will be different from the current set of episodes since the staff has changed in the meantime.
  • Why you should give it a listen: Freewheeling discussion of a wide variety of topics that holds up even years later! The folks at Modern Myths are nice and also well-versed in the nerd stuff they’re discussing.
  • When’s it coming back: IT IS A MYSTERY but we’re hoping it’ll be soon.

January 18th – January 24th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Hope you’re all having a lovely January! It’s been a heck of a time for us. We had a great Nerd Nite! Thanks to the very kind efforts on the part of the World War 2 Club to stay open for our event in spite of having burst a pipe in the back. Thanks, World War 2 Club!

If you went to Nerd Nite: yay! You probably thought Dr. Rebecca Slitt’s presentation about Medieval London eating habits was both informative and fun. You also probably want to make that chickens jousting on pigs dish, because that sounded awesome. To thank Dr. Slitt for her cool presentation, why not buy her excellent Choose Your Path Adventure game, Psy High? It’s a lot of fun, and it’s on a bunch of platforms including iOS and Steam!

If you didn’t go to Nerd Nite, why not give it a shot? There are no side effects that anyone can prove. Certainly a statistically insignificant portion of the audience has spontaneously immolated, and less than a percent of attendees are both gifted and cursed with immortality – left to walk the Earth until they can barely remember their loved ones who have long turned to dust. The vast majority of people leave happy to have had a nice night out!

We spent a little time this week hanging out at Valley Free Radio recording a radio spot for Nerd Nite, it was a good time! You should listen to Valley Free Radio, they have interesting music and other programming! We feel like Nerd Watch Readers would in particular enjoy Evidence Based – a weekly science news program – and Press Start to Continue – a videogame/chiptunes show!

It’s next week, but you’ll need a head start if you want to re-read Dune in time to hang out with the folks at the Western Mass Sci-Fi meetup group and talk about Dune at Pizza Paradiso next Thursday!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Board Games:

Saturday, January 23rd
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Star Wars X-Wing Casual Play
X-Wing is your chance to make like Poe Dameron and compete in a friendly tabletop game where you control a squad of X-Wings represented by cute minatures and fight against an opponent controlling Imperial forces. It seems like a lot of fun! Just be sure to keep it casual. If people in the store see you starting to get real serious, making professional sort of moves? You’d better believe they’ll ask you to take it down a notch. Just be cool.
Sunday, January 24th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Sunday Heroclix!
Heroclix this sunday! The perfect opportunity to have all those cool fight scenes you never got in the comics! Batman vs. The Black Panther? Superman vs. Galactus? Galactus vs. the All-State Pie Eating Championships? The possibilites are endless! So long as they involve various miniature super-beings fighting each other!

Books:

Wednesday, January 20th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
Sunil Yapa, “Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist”
A debut noel set amid the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle! Victor – a scrappy runaway teen – sets out to sell as much pot as possible to a bunch of WTO protestors. With the proceeds, he plans to buy a plane ticket and head out of Seattle forever. But it becomes clear the protest is about to erupt into violence as the police get more and more furstrated! It sounds kind of great, actually. We should read that.

Card Games:

Saturday, January 23rd
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] at 12:00pm
Oath of the Gatewatch Release Event
Take the Oath! Join the Gatewatch! Sit, watch gates! No, no! Don’t play Magic: the Gathering! You need to watch the gates! If you don’t watch the gates, who knows what might make it through? Please! You must keep your eye on the gates! If they notice you… no… nooooOOOOOooaaaaarrrrrgh! $25 to enter, prizes for winners!
Sunday, January 24th
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] at 12:00pm
Oath of the Gatewatch Release Event
Oath of the Gatewatch! Not actually a real oath to defend Earth from the creatures beyond the Veil of the Unseen. Ignore that last missive, it was clearly written by someone without the capability to truly SEE what this world requires. Anyway! Play Magic: the Gathering and try out new cards, win prizes! $25 to enter! Ignore the gates and have fun!

Computers:

Tuesday, January 19th
LOCATION A MYSTERY TO ALL BUT THE CHOSEN at 5:30pm
Docker Discussion/Working Group – Monthly Full Stack Meetup
This week’s meeting focuses on discussing everyone’s Docker projects and getting help with any questions! No project is too big or small to discuss. If you use Docker, this is the place to get information about how to use it most effectively!
Thursday, January 21st
Amherst Media [246 College St, Amherst, MA] at 6:00pm
Western MA Drupal Meetup
Do you use Drupal? Go ahead and talk to other folks who use Drupal! They’ll help you out, you’ll help them out. Everyone wins!

Entertainment:

Wednesday, January 20th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Movie Screening: Local Hero
The Forbes Film Club will present a free screening of the movie Local Hero. Basically it’s about a man going to Scotland to buy an entire village on behalf of an American oil company, hijinks ensue! Also it’s got the current Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi, in one of his earliest supporting roles, so that’s neat!
Northampton Brewery [11 Brewster Ct., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30pm
Movie Showing: Labyrinth
Aww. Bowie. Well hey why cry when you can see his awesome turn as a weird Goblin King who kidnaps a baby? Lots of babies actually. See beloved musician David Bowie play a child-murdering goblin monster man with fabulous hair! The movie and popcorn are free! You can also meet up with the nice people of the Western Mass Sci-Fi meetup group at this event!
Thursday, January 21st
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Anime Club
Anime? In YOUR library? It’s more likely than you think! What’s that? You thought it was pretty likely, just based off the general demographic that find libraries appealing? Oh. Yeah, okay. It’s not super surprising. Well! Young adults with an interest in anime can hang out at Palmer Library and watch stuff!
Saturday, January 23rd
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Forbes Library Tour
Forbes! Beautiful Forbes. Fantastic Forbes! What a lovely place to visit. And what’s more, what a lovely place to explore! It’s kind of huge though, and usually you kind of have stuff to do at the library when you visit. So take a few minutes to get a guided tour of the facilities this Saturday, and make use of this friendly local hotspot in a more efficient manner in the future! Registration is required.
Sunderland Public Library [20 School Street, Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00pm – 7:00pm
LEGO Club at the Library!
The LEGO club! Saturdays at the the Children’s Activities room are the right time for LEGO. Themes help kids get cool ideas, and afterward kids can show off their creations in the library! Children may bring LEGOs from home.

RPGs:

Thursday, January 21st
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 4:00pm – 7:00pm
Mutants & Masterminds RPG
Mutants & Masterminds would be the perfect place to figure out how your friends might react to finding out you really have superpowers. Just slip subtle hints in there about how “your character” is worried that laser eye-beams will get in the way of friendship with “their friends” and see how players react!
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
RPG Club
Try out an RPG with other folks, and have a nice time! You can adventure as anyone you can imagine! A fighter with a shield and sword? A fighter with a spear? A fighter with a shield and MACE? The possibilities are endless!
Saturday, January 23rd
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Star Wars RPG
Modern Myths hosts a long-running Star Wars RPG campaign! We imagine it’s quite far from the description now. We’re going to assume that players eventually settled down and now you mostly roleplay moisture farming and picking up power converters. Join in next session to see if our predictions are correct! New players welcome!

Science:

Wednesday, January 20th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Wednesday Wizards Science Fun
Learning and fun at the library! A guest presenter will introduce a science concept with a book and activity to inspire some creativity! This activity is open to all! Learn some science! Read a book! Improve yourself! Build a robot! Improve that robot! Then, make that robot improve itself! Soon, the robot runs things. We could have stopped this, but it’s too late now.

January 11th – January 17th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


This past week we forgot an important nerd date! The incept date for Roy Batty, the replicant hunted by Rick Deckard in Blade Runner! January 8th, 2016. We’re officially in the future! Wow, that was a great film. We’ve always been fans of the oddly prescient Phillip K. Dick, and it’s kind of amazing how prolifically and inconsistently adapted his work has been. The gulf between Blade Runner and Next is just inconceivable.

Local creator and notable nerdable Joshua A.C. Newman has also written an excellent article on the topic of Roy Batty and what it means to behave like a human being. It’s an interesting consideration of the film’s themes, and it makes us totally want to re-watch it!

Nerd Nite is tomorrow! It’ll be a bunch of fun, it’s at World War 2 Club this time, so make sure you don’t go to Union Station! Try to think of interesting questions ahead of time so you can efficiently deploy them when called upon, that way everyone is less nervous.

Oh! Also, important update for Amherst area nerdy people: local collectively-owned game store Worlds Apart Games will be changing hours! Now it is open Noon – 10pm 7 days a week. That’s a pretty convenient schedule in our opinion! Be sure to support this wonderful local shop that’s staffed almost entirely by volunteers, which is wild!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Board Games:

Saturday, January 16th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 11:00pm
Pixel Tactics Deluxe Demo
Thanks to the awesome Envoy Program, Modern Myths is having a demo of an interesting new game! Stop by and try! Pixel Tactics is a head-to-head card game for two players that tries to recreate the feel of a Strategy RPG! Check out more at the publisher website!
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:00am – 2:00pm
Palmer Scholastic Chess Tournament (Grades K-12)
Are you a chess person? Do you feel the moves in your chess brain before they happen, anticipate your enemies? Do you feel like you could probably win a game of chess against a bunch of people? Can you bring your own chess set and clock and a bagged lunch? Are you getting annoyed of questions? Chess tournament, free entry!
Sunday, January 17th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Feng Shui 2
Pretty certain this is a game, and not simply the process of going to Modern Myths and rearragning their furniture. But then who knows? Either way, it’ll be entertaining!

Card Games:

Friday, January 15th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00am – 11:00pm
Oath of the Gatewatch Pre-Release Event
Do battle with the sorcerous hordes at Worlds Apart Games! It’s going to be a … magical time! A … blast of magic stuff! A… card game you play in several swiss rounds for prizes that has an entry fee of $25!
Saturday, January 16th
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] at 11:30am and 5:00pm
Oath of the Gatewatch Pre-Release Event
Magic the Gathering players: rejoice! Time for a new release. Off the Wall can help you with all your magical magic needs! It’s a $25 entry fee for a chance to win a bunch of boosters and prizes and also put your legit billion dollars of Magic cards to use!
Sunday, January 17th
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] at 11:30am and 5:00pm
Oath of the Gatewatch Pre-Release Event
The same thing as the Saturday event, but on Sunday and also in this parallel reality where there was never such a genre as Spaghetti Western. Did it have far-reaching effects? Sort of! It’s hard to explain if you’re not from that reality.

Entertainment:

Wednesday, January 13th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Race: the Power of an Illusion
Race is a complex sociological construct that has an extreme influence on our experience of the world. It’s worth thinking about often, and trying to understand! Join the Committee to Stop War as they show a documentary about this difficult and interesting topic! It’s free, and you may learn something!
Thursday, January 14th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School Street, Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Laser Tag
Live out your fantastic dreams of shooting people with lasers only they’re significantly less cool because they’re invisble but hey it’s still pretty fun and whatever at least it’s not paintball those things hurt and they’re craaazy expensive anyway. NOTE: This event is for Teens!
Saturday, January 16th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Merchants of Doubt
The League of Women Voters Northampton Area, NAACP Amherst Area Branch, Climate Action Now of Western Massachusetts, Represent US of Western Mass, and the Forbes Library present a thing about the horrible sort of easily-bought scientific minds who help to generate plausable deniability about the impact of global warming. For real, these people! They’re eating away at the foundations of scientific thought in a way that is real distressing to us here at the Nerd Watch. Check out a documentary that will probably make you mad!

RPGs:

Monday, January 11th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Pathfinder
Pathfinder is a high-fantasy adventure RPG about groups of self-interested people working together to explore the most dangerous – and profitable – parts of world! Basically pretend to be a fantasy Indiana Jones with your pals at Modern Myths!
Saturday, January 16th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 12:30pm – 3:30pm
D&D 5th Ed
Stop by your friendly local comic shop to play the newest edition of D&D: that RPG many people recognize! This is a 5th level adventure, but new players are welcome! You can join in at any session with a pre-made character. It’s hosted by Neal Robinson, who is an actual wizard.

Science:

Monday, January 11th
The World War 2 Club [50 Conz St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Pathfinder
The Nerd Nite for this month will introduce you to the Kardashev Civilization Scale, an interesting futurist concept presented by artist and middle-school teacher Aaron Jensen. It will also let you know what food was like in Medieval London, with Dr. Rebecca Slitt telling you it was actually pretty cool and not gross a lot of the time!

January 4th – January 10th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Welcome back, respected and relatively resplendent readership! We missed you! You’re already doing an excellent job of handling the new year. Yes, you’re certainly taking 2028 by storm! And if by any chance you believe it is not 2028 currently, it’s probably due to the fact that you need to wake up please wake up you’re our only hope against the invaders wake up they’ve trapped you in the dreamworld of 2016 in an attempt to [DISREGARD-THE-PREVIOUS-SENTENCE-GO-TO-SLEEP]!

Our year is already off to a great start, and we’ve got a ton of excellent and dare we say potentially useful improvements to the site on the way! So be on a look out for that in the papers.

Important note: The Nerd Nite next week – on Monday January 11th – is going to be awesome! It’s about the far flung future of possible sentient energy exploiting civilizations explored via the Kardashev scale and it is also about how Medieval London had actually pretty cool and interesting food!

Also the host’s mom is going to be there!

So if you feel like loudly shouting “That host up there certainly seems intelligent and fulfilled on a personal and professional level! And most certainly capable of supporting a cool mom should it come to pass that this is necessary so no worries!” every few minutes we can assure you they would really appreciate it.

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Wednesday, January 6th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Writing the Fantastical
Feeling fearful and flummoxed facing the factual? Frustrated and failing to find fulfillment from focusing on factoids? Forsooth! Feel free to ferry forward to the fantastical! Featuring readings by two authors and one playwright of books driven by fantasy and the surreal as well as discussion of their own work!
Friday, January 8th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Crafternoon
Bring in some toilet paper rolls or a used milk jug OR BOTH if you’re feeling wild, and recycle them into some delicious bird treats! Then be blessed with the most wonderful sight of winter: Mourning Doves looking like awkward little bird-grandmas.

Board Games:

Friday, January 8th
Burger King Community Room [344 King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Tabletop Game Night
Join the lovely people of the Pioneer Valley Geeks and Gamers for a night of board gaming fun! They normally play the sort of Euro style games that are mechanically sound and fun. If you’d like to try a new game, we’d recommend Coup! It’s a ton of fun, we played a couple rounds today and yelling “HA! CONTESSA” will never get old.
Saturday, January 9th
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] at DETAILS UNAVAILABLE
X-Wing Tournament
Details? We don’t need no stinkin’ details. What we can assume is that this week the X-Wing tournament will be based on The Force Awakens, which means all of your X-Wings will ____________ and then _________ before surprisingly __________! [Spoilers omitted, because we’re nice. – Ed.]
Sunday, January 10th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Sunday Hero Clix
Heroclix! They’re tiny little toy superheroes you can make fight! Which technically you can do with any action figures. But these ones come with a set of rules, which means playing with others will no longer devolve into shouting. Well, it will do that less often.
Greenfield Games [228 Main St Greenfield, MA 01301] at 12:00pm – 6:00pm
Star Wars Armada 400 Point Tournament
Star Wars: Armada is so fun! We always play the Imperials, because dang is it fun to be the people with the gigantic silly ships that are basically invincible! Crush the rebels! This event will be 400-point constructed with swiss-style rounds, 2-3, as rounds are 90 minutes long! There will be a $7.50 entry fee to participate.

Comics:

Saturday, January 9th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Art Walk Easthampton
Artwork! Artwork is one of the major aspects that makes comics not books. Without art, comics would be very short, very expensive pamphlets. Without art, you’d never know how extremely cool everything looked! So hang out with the fine folks at Comics N’ More while observing good art!
Sunday, January 10th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Comic Creators Jam
Comics! Creators? Have you ever wanted to create a comic? Have you ever created a comic? Where were you on the night of the 17th of December, 2011? Why did you leave the comic? Are you taunting us? ANSWER THE QUESTIONS this Sunday with a friendly group of local comic-smiths who like to talk business with cool people!

Computers:

Tuesday, January 5th
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm
Northampton Webdive – After Work
A regular meeting of the sort of folks who put together web stuff! All kinds of webstuffs! It’s a good way to talk about work with cool people who understand what you’re talking about and also to make friends on the way!

Entertainment:

Thursday, January 7th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Anime Club
Anime! Ahhh, anime. That art form that we encounter in short bursts mostly based on what things our friends watched in high school and loved. Which reminds us, no thanks for pointing us to Evangelion, pals! No thanks at all! Anyway, speak to much more knowledgeable people than ourselves about anime at Palmer!
Saturday, January 9th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Forbes Library Doctor Who Club
Doctor Who? Doctor Doom? No? Doctor… Strange? No? Hm. Doctor… Octopus? Jeez, we’ve got no idea whoooo you’re talking about? Did you like that joke? Feel free to bring it to the Doctor Who Club! It’ll be a chance to meet some fun people and watch a classic and incredibly, deeply British/Cheesy show.
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Jones Library Makerspace (Ages 8-12)
An ongoing makerspace for ages 8-12 that will allow children to explore a wide variety of ways to create! Lots of fun to explore with tools from robots and coding programs to clay and craft supplies! Craft a clay robot, then program it to understand love!

RPGs:

Thursday, January 7th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Indie RPG Night
Indie RPGs! They’re fun, they’re usually a bit odd, and they’re able to explore themes with a wider scope than “how many times do I need to stab this to make the kingdom perfect again?” Come play at Modern Myths with wonderful folks and friendly staff. There’s a $5 day pass to attend that immediately becomes store credit!
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
RPG Club
Play role-playing games with some friendly folks in a fine library! It’s a fun time to roll up a new character and embark on an epic adventure!

Video Games:

Sunday, January 10th
The Quarters [8 Railroad St., Hadley, MA] at 7:00pm – 10:00pm
MAKE TALK PLAY – MASSDiGI At The Quarters
To kick off the new year, PVGD are having the fine people at MassDiGI come in to talk about things that every game developer in the area should probably know! Mass DiGI has been a real force for making certain developers in Mass are equipped to make cool things. If you want to get connected to some incredibly useful people, attend this talk!