April 25th – May 1st

The Valley Nerd Watch!

This week in nerd-related stuff: we’re jealous of anyone who got to check out PaxEast because we like being in gigantic stuffy rooms full of blooming, buzzing confusion. Also, the Indie Megabooth stuff is always fascinating!

We’d also like to draw your attention to a few interesting local things! In addition to the ones below. You know what we mean. First of all: the Kickstarter for Noirlandia by local creators Make Big Things has been rolling along all week, blasting through stretch goals like a slug through the shoulder of a detective who never meant to get this deep into the weeds but sure as hell ain’t gonna give up until someone answers for what happened to that poor kid.

What is Noirlandia? It’s first of all the second in what is now definitely a series of RPGs with -landia as a suffix, following after the last effort by Make Big Things called “Questlandia”, which is just great! Second of all it’s an RPG about being a noir detective in a strange, hostile city.

Your characters will fight for answers and question their principles. After 3-4 hours, you’ll have either found the truth, or lost the chance forever.

Noirlandia doesn’t have a game master, so nobody knows the answers in advance—your mystery will be created and solved at the table.

Finding the answers doesn’t mean you win. Dying doesn’t mean you lose. It’s not about justice, it’s about what you’re willing to give up to get it. It’s just another day in Noirlandia…

It sounds lovely, and you can still get some sweet prizes in addition to supporting the publishing by pledging support to their Kickstarter now!

Also, we want to draw attention to this interesting series of posts about game design by local creator Rebecca Slitt over at Choice of Games. It covers how she went about writing her newest release “First Year Demons”, and what challenges that presented. Her posts cover how and why the project got started as an attempt to teach cultural literacy through interactive fiction, what setting was chosen and how she dealt with writing about a culture with which she had little experience, and what it meant to make an educational game rather than a strictly story-focused one.

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! Make sure to Submit an Event if you want people to hear about it!



Tuesday, April 26th
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Miller Lecture – Candice Breitz: From A to B and Back Again
Candice Breitz is a Berlin-based artist who’s well know for her moving image installations that explore pop culture and contemporary identity. She’ll speak about her work!

Board Games:

Saturday, April 30th
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell St., Hadley, MA 01035] at 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Dark Age Tournament
For a paltry $10 you can get in on this 750-point battle royale! If they get at least 24 folks in the game, this event will be officially sanctioned as a March to Immortality, and the winner will get a free ticket to Gencon! That’s something you can’t put a price on! Oh wait no it’s about $90 or so.
Sunday, May 1st
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Sunday Heroclix!
Heros! Clicking! What more could you possibly ask for in a game? We recommend making a team based around people with Dr. in their name. Dr. Fate, Dr. Strange, Dr. Doom, Dr. Octopus, Dr. Sivana… lots of support for higher education in the superhero universe.


Thursday, April 28th
Packards [14 Masonic St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM
Sci-fi Novellas Book Discussion and Dinner
Two novellas are the topic of discussion, ‘On a Red Station Drifting’ by Aliette de Bodard, and ‘True Names’ by Vernor Vinge. The meetup will take place in the Packard’s Library Room, and it’s expected that people attending will order a meal. To get one of the 12 slots available, check out the meetup page


Thursday, April 28th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Anime Club
Anime! Anime is animation that you and ME and watch, hence Anime. Hang out with some fellow fans in beautiful Palmer!
Saturday, April 30th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Eating New England: Key Foods of the Commonwealth
Rob Cox, head of Special Collections and University Archives at UMass Amherst, will give an illustrated talk about the development of some of the signature foods of New England! He’s written a bunch of books, he seems pretty smart and well-researched, and he’ll give you insight into how our local cuisine developed and what it tells us about New England’s history and culture.
Sunday, May 1st
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Open House
A bunch of events, all free and open to the publc! Including: The 2016 Melinda Rosenblatt Lecture: “Is There Such a Thing as Jewish Literature?”, Oral History Films, a tour of the world’s first Yiddish museum, and general merrymaking!


Monday, April 25th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Big Night
For the first part of the Food Film Series, Sunderland Public Library will be showing Big Night, a charming movie starring Tony Shalhoub and Stanley Tucci as put-upon owners of a failing Italian restaurant trying to get back on track with one big event night with a celebrity!
Wednesday, April 27th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
A documentary about a wide array of permaculture projects! What’s permaculture? Kind of trying to live without actively destroying the area in which you live, we’ think. Ideally, helping the natural world rather than hurting it! An interesting concept, sounds like it will be neat to see some examples of it working out! Free, handicap accessible, and hosted by the Northampton Committee to Stop Wars!
Saturday, April 30th
MYSTERY LOCATION at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Strange Frame showing and Cookout
Come hang out with folks from the Western Mass Sci-Fi Meetup Group, watch a frankly weird looking animated movie with an all-star cast! Bring something to toss on the grill or something to drink! In order to find out where to go, join the meetup group!


Thursday, April 28th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
RPG Club
Dance the dance that makes the world with a bunch of nice folks in Palmer! Maybe make an Elf, have that elf use a bow to shoot Orcs? Maybe later on you can play upcoming Valley-Created game Noirlandia! That looks like it’ll be fun.
Friday, April 29th
Chesterfield Scout Reservation [22 Sugar Hill Rd., Chesterfield, MA] at 7:00 PM to 12:00 AM
Magestry LARP 2016 Spring Season – Game 2
Magestry! Spring returns to Elmerton, bringing new diseases and a strange fungus. The war between the Shadows and the candidates for their Queen means new villains are in store, and Dreamweaver Hearkin maintains a firm grip on the dreams of Elmerton! Elmerton frankly seems like an awful place to live. Come be a part of an amazing roleplaying experience as a player or a volunteer! Check out more at Magestry.com!
Saturday, April 30th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Call of Cthulhu
Have you ever wanted to play a game where basically the best thing that can happen to your character is that they claw out their own eyeballs? This is the game for you! It’s going to be 6 sessions of organized play with local GM Tegan presiding over the horrorific consequences of your foolish meddling.


Monday, April 25th
Union Station [125 Pleasant St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Moneyball Revisited: Sabermetrics Today
What is sabermetrics? How is sabermetrics being used by MLB teams? What is your quest? What are some open questions in Sabermetrics? What is the average air speed of an unladen swallow? Answer all these questions and more with Professor of Data Sciences Ben Baumer from Smith College at the SciTech Cafe!
Tuesday, April 26th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM
Getting Started with Genealogy
Genealogy is basically the process of looking for evidence that you weren’t flash-grown in a vat and released upon an unsuspecting world. This is a beginner class that will help you figure out how to look into your past using library resources!
Wednesday, April 27th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
The Geology of the Connecticut Valley: 600 Million Years of History as Told Through its Rocks
The Meadow City Conservation Coalition is sponsoring an illustrated talk about rocks! There are going to be specimens available for viewing, too! The speakers will be Dr. Harry Sharbaugh, a guide at Historic Deerfield with expertise in the natural history of the area as well as Steven Winters, an Assistant Professor of Earth Science at Holyoke Community College!

Video Games:

Monday, April 25th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Minecraft Group
Not into clubs? More into groups? Well give that Minecraft CLUB down the page a pass and hang out in the Minecraft Group! It’s got Minecraft and it’s got other human beings to play with, a recipe for a great time!
Friday, April 29th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Minecraft Club
Registration is both limited and required for the 15 scant spots in this club for miners who craft! It’s got free play, group games, challenges, and MineCrafts, which we though was obvious given the name!
Sunday, May 1st
The Quarters [8 Railroad St., Hadley, MA] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
MAKE TALK PLAY – Mike Levine on Augmented Reality
Local hero Mike Levine of the game studio HappyGiant is back for another round! He’s going to show off some of his work in AR games and showcase his latest project: a board game/collectible card game/digital game all in one! It’s going to be a blast!

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