Worlds Apart Games

March 6th – March 12th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


So hey here’s a thing we just found out about recently despite ostensibly being a news source: due to a variety of circumstances both unforeseen and ultraforeseen the lovably local game shop co-op Worlds Apart Games is going to cease to exist soon. Like, by the end of March. So that’s a really unfortunate thing, right? It’s very important to our continued steadiness of mind that there exist Game Places in all Valley towns so that we have ample reason to go putter around somewhere should we find ourselves out and about.

The nice thing is that it seems like some very dedicated people of various stripes and interest categories are of the same opinion and working to figure out how to fill the void that will be left and with what to do the filling. Community game space? Event-hosting space? Something that lets a bunch of people play Magic the Gathering there really often seems like it could garner a decent amount of support.

Which is what they need! Support from you! Interested in playing a boardgame in Amherst that doesn’t involve being at someone’s house? Then go to their Facebook page and check out what’s up and head to their meetup at 5pm this Wednesday the 8th at The Works in Amherst to talk through things.

At a very minimum you’ll get to meet nice people and talk to them so that’s decent you know? Also maybe you’re independently wealthy and have a weird interest in sustaining a game shop in Amherst we don’t know our audience that well.

And finally check out NERDSummit.org! Again, if you’ve already seen it! The schedule’s up and it is going to be great and you should attend because it’ll be great and also full disclosure because they paid us money to tell you to attend so the more of you who attend the more obvious it becomes that giving us cash is met with great success and happiness. If you could carry signs or wear shirts saying “We came here because of the wonderful marketing of the folks at Valley Nerd Watch” we would appreciate it.

Have a lovely week, folks!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and 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:

Monday, March 6th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Makerspace Monday
A weekly group gathering to play with stuff, make art, and just generally create new things for the joy of it!
Wednesday, March 8th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM
Knitting Clinic
Neet help knitting? Get help knitting! Know how to knit real real nice? Knit real real nice and help out people who need help knitting! Somehwere in between nice nice and need help? Then enter the Cave of Shadows and brave the trials three for access to the knitting secrets or ask for some tips from fellow knitters!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Forbes Library Zine Club
ZINES! Zines across the nation! Zines in our veins! Zines for teens! Zines for monotremes! Zines for any and all who have access to cheap copiers! Learn how to create a zine and distribute it!
Friday, March 10th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Unidentified Woman an Exhibition by Jodi Colella
In this exhibit the artist takes headwear and photos so old they’re actually daguerreotypes from the collection of Historic Northampton and explores the role of headwear in indicating the class, status, and occupation of the wearer. Collela stitches together the past and future by colorfully exploring women whose names have been forgotten by history.
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Free Second Friday
Do you want to go to a great local art museum but also you don’t have $5? Go ahead and check out the Free Second Friday! It’s a ton of fun and is totally without cost. Though if you can drop a couple bucks in the donation bin that would be very nice.
Saturday, March 11th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Make Harry Potter Potion Bottles
Do you wish your life involved more slightly-sinister storage, Snape-style? Suffer no longer! You can create some neat distressed bottles and make them look just like Snape’s! And hey if you don’t care about pretending to be a magical folk you can just make neat antique bottles!

Board Games:

Friday, March 10th
Burger King Community Room [344 King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM
Tabletop Game Night
Board game meetup by the folks at the Pioneer Valley Geeks & Games at the Burger King! Bring a game if you want to share one or just play what other folks have brought! Beginners welcome, and there’s no better audience if you’ve got a game you’d really like to try!
Saturday, March 11th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Palmer Scholastic Chess Tournament
There are four sections, K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. It’s going to be a 4-round Swiss System and there are trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place! Entry is free but you should definitely bring a chess set and clock if you can and a bagged lunch if you want to eat!

Books:

Monday, March 6th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Poetry Discussion Group
A weekly poetry discussion group open to regulars and drop-ins! This week they’re going to discuss poems about Climate Change!
Wednesday, March 8th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Garry Brown Talk and Book Signing
Garry Brown will talk about the best stories he’s written over the past fifty-danged-nine years writing at Springfield newspapers which what the heck he has written an infinite amount we’re pretty sure. If we’re still writing these newsletters in fifty-nine years we’d just yell at people to give us a medal at any sort of signing.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Warm up with Kestrel Land Trust’s Love the Land Book Share
Grab a favorite read related to nature, land, or the nature of land and share it in an informal gathering! Heck you don’t even need to grab the book, just have a title and an author and a short bit about why you liked it and share it with the group! RSVP required but it is free! Email katy [at] kestreltrust [dot] org!
Thursday, March 9th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Ani Tuzman, The Temble of Love: A Novel of the Baal Shem Tov
In partnership with the Yiddish Book Center for an evening, the Odyssey will host a novel inspired by Rabbi Yisroel ben Eliezar, known as the Ball Shem Tov or the Good Master of the Name. Set in the 1700s Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth this reimagining of one of the most revered of history’s mystics allows readers to experience the timelessness and grace of unrestrained love! Which is pretty impressive for a novel, most of the ones we read just allow us to experience how cool lasers are.
Sunday, March 12th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Mohsin Hamid, Exit West
A love story, a magical realist story, a sci-fi story, a story about being a refugee… this book is a lot of things! Nadia and Saeed are young lovers thrust into an uncertain existence during a civil war and given the option to escape through a mysterious doorway. Emerging somewhere alien, they try to hold on to each other. It sounds like it’s worth a read! Buy it at Odyssey and get it signed!

Comic Books:

Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Comic Creator’s Jam
Are you a comicser? A comicilizer? Someone who makes artwork or writes stories and then slaps them together into a single thing? Hang out with a bunch of really nice creators who travel from near and like slightly less near but still pretty near to discuss the craft and business of comics! All it takes to get in is a $5 day pass that immediately becomes store credit!

Community:

Wednesday, March 8th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
National Women’s Strike
From the description: “In support of International Women’s Day, join the conversation after the demonstration on the Greenfield Town Common!”

Computers:

Monday, March 6th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM
One-on-one Tech Tutoring
Tech tutoring in English and Spanish! Register for an hour one-on-one session at least 24 hours in advance every weekday from 11:30am – 1:30pm or 4:30pm – 6:30pm! Sign up by calling 413-420-8118 or write to grivera [at] holyokelibrary [dot] org!
Tuesday, March 7th
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Northampton Webdive – After Work
Designers regular a coder nendezvous makers of web! It’s a good time to hang out and talk to folks who work on web-dev stuff and just generally have an alright time at a nice bar.
Thursday, March 9th
Cultivate and Nest [2 Bay Rd., Suite 100, Hadley, MA] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Hack for Western Mass Meetup
After a couple quick updates about ongoing projects, there will be a discussion about potential future options and then people are going to join teams and get hacking to make the community a bit better! It’s a really great group and they’re doing interesting stuff, you should join! Also dinner and drinks are on them so like there’s literally no reason to not go to this thing and say hi!
Friday, March 10th
North Amherst Library [8 Montague Rd, Amherst, MA 01002] at 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Drop-in Tech Support with PC Doctor Hank
PC Doctor Hank will put a stethoscope on your PC and diagnose what woes it! Hank knows what’s up with PC innards and is happy to help you understand it all!

Entertainment:

Thursday, March 9th
Franklin Patterson Main Lecture Hall at Hampshire College at 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
No More Talk About Us, Without Us!
The real women of the hit TV show and book “Orange is the New Black” discuss the reality of prison life and the way it feels to have people take a look at your own harrowing actual experiences though the lens of entertainment in a panel discussion that seems informative and necessary.
Saturday, March 11th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Doctor Who Club
Doctor Which is at it again with his scarfs! Free and open to all, snacks “strongly encouraged”! Watch some classic episodes of the show that’s endured for so long our parents were fans when they were our age!
Sunday, March 12th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM
“The Real Deal Purim-Shpil” with the Wandering Jew Players of the Congress for Jewish Culture
A musical mash-up featuring Purim plays, drinking songs, and general holiday cheer by great Yiddish writers including Sholem Aleichem, Itzik Manger, Moyshe Nadir, and more! It’s $8 for students, $10 for members, and $12 for general admission!

Kids:

Saturday, March 11th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Saturday Morning Kids Arts and Crafts
St. Patrick’s Day themed readings and arts and crafts! Make a Shamrock, or a pot of gold, or any of the innumerable items appropriate for children during this, the easiest holiday to make child-friendly!

Movies:

Tuesday, March 7th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM
GPL Teen Pizza and Movie Night
Join librarians Francesca and Steve for the delicious combination of pizza and a film, open to ages 12 and up!
Wednesday, March 8th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Which Way Home
This film tackles immigration issues by focusing on the youngest victims of the struggle to just exist in the world. The film follows some of the thousands of unaccompanied children from all over Latin America who fled from their homes as they attempt to make the trecharous journey across the US border.
Sunday, March 12th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Film Screening, “There Are Jews Here”
More than a million American Jews live in small towns around the country, and this movie explores people working ot keep the Jewish spirit alive in places like Laredo Texas and Dothan Alabama. It’s $4 for students, $6 for members, and $8 for everyone else!

Science:

Tuesday, March 7th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Diabetes: Our Journey to Improve Our Health
This week, you’ll learn about diabetes and the effects carbohydrates have on it! Anne Bernardin will educate you and share her success story, as well as recap the other lessons in case you’re just coming in this week!
Thursday, March 9th
Nacul Center [592 Main St., Amherst, MA] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
OEB Science Cafe: Is it hot in here? Thinking about the evolution of menopause.
With Dr Lynnette Sievert this cafe will explore the evolution of mopause and post-reproductive aging as a human trait! She’ll talk about how humans as individuals and different cultures deal with menopause and the fact that we’re as species that oulives our reproductive years!

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September 21st – September 27th

XMen150CoverThe Valley Nerd Watch!


First of all, Tuesday is National Voter Registration Day! You should definitely register to vote. It’s not that hard, and until you can enact your brilliant scheme to become ruler of this foolish planet it’s probably the most effective way to work your will on the nation. Remember to vote in small local elections! They seem unimportant right up until you realize some real jerk of a person is in charge of some vital local resource for another four years.

Second: Oh goodness TopatoCon! It’s here! It’s finally here! It’ll be so delightful. Lots of great people have come from all over to show you their wares and generally chat a bit. We highly recommend that if you have funds available, you purchase as much as you are able from people who produce art that you like. Not only is it helpful for things like making sure they can eat and live indoors, it also allows them to experience some relief from the crippling anxiety that can arise from doing a bunch of cons.

“Aaah.” they sigh contentedly as you leave their table “I made like, lots of money. I can relax.” Help these gentle artists achieve a state of relaxation, won’t you?

There are far too many people attending to list here, but suffice to say there will be a lot of great people you will enjoy. Anthony Clark is one of our favorites for instance, and local hero Joshua A.C. Newman will be there exhibiting his fabulous games.

Finally, we’re doing a fun thing! A Towerfall Tournament at The Quarters with the help of the nice folks at the Pioneer Valley Game Developers! It’s going to alter slightly based on the number of participants, but you can expect several pulse-pounding rounds of competitive arrowing each other to death!

What is Towerfall, you might ask? One of the best local competitive multiplayer games since Super Smash Bros is what! It’s a fast-paced one-hit-kill free-for-all single-screen deathmatch starring a colorful cast of pixelated pincushions! Not an expert? No worries! Come early and we’ll have a bit of freeplay practice to acquaint people with the basics. It’s also very, very simple to play. Sign up on our Facebook 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


All Interests:

Saturday, September 26th
Eastworks [116 Pleasant St., Easthampton, MA, 01027] at 10:00am – 6:00pm
Too much is going to be happening to really cover here but how about listening to the brilliant Evan Dahm talk about world-building? Why not check out neat old things with funny person host David Malki? Why not check out extremely cool person Kate Leth record one of her Kate or Die podcasts? There’s so much! That’s not even the exhibit hall, that’s just panels!
Sunday, September 27th
Eastworks [116 Pleasant St., Easthampton, MA, 01027] at 10:00am – 6:00pm
Gosh or you could see Kate Leth along with fellow awesome artists Jess Fink, Danielle Corsetto, and Spike discuss women, their bodies, and comics while being moderated by local nerd and author Emily Nagoski! Or head to a Comic Jam! Or a Game Jam! We’re so excited everyone it’s all happening!

Board Games:

Thursday, September 24th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Board Game Night: Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride is an award-winning classic about trying to control train routes across North America. Complete routes in complex patterns to gain the most points and wrest victory from your friends. Players of all experience are welcome, though children under 15 will be asked to play at the same table as their parents or with peers.

Books:

Monday, September 21st
Hooker Auditorium [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 6:00pm
Holly Black and Cassandra Clare: The Copper Gauntlet
Join the Odyssey Bookshop in welcoming these two wonderful authors and celebrating their latest collaboration! The second in the bestselling Magesterium series, it sounds pretty neat! Magic and the nature of good and evil and a healthy mistrust of authority figures.
Thursday, September 24th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 10:00am – 12:00pm
What’s Your Story? Memoir Writing Group
Memoirs! Everyone’s got memories, only a select few have memoirs. Join that elite group! Presidents, kings, the titans of our time… and you! This program explores memoirs in many forms and uses exercises to help spark memories and encourage writers to experiment!
Saturday, September 26th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Quidditch Club for Kids
Quidditch! The sweet science. The most dangerous game. The game where really, doesn’t the golden snitch basically invalidate most play? It seems difficult to balance. You can play the Muggle variant of Ground Quidditch and take Hogwarts Extension courses with Professor Minerva “Hardcastle McCormick” McGonagall!

Card Games:

Friday, September 25th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 11:59pm – 4:00am
Battle for Zendikar Midnight Pre-Release
A new 2-set block of Magic: the Gathering cards! Come check out new full art lands, brand new dual lands, and amazing Eldrazi! You know what they say about Eldrazi: “Their nature is ceaseless hunger”! Check out the latest MtG set a week before it goes on sale in a sealed deck tournament. Build the best 40-card deck you can, and compete for promo cards! It’s $27 in advance, $30 at the door!
Saturday, September 26th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Battle for Zendikar Saturday Pre-Release
Are you the sort of person who doesn’t want to stay up until four in the danged morning playing in a MtG tournament? Try doing it on a sunny Saturday afternoon instead! Grab lunch at the Roost first. Same as above, $27 in advance, $30 at the door.
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] 11:30am – 4:00pm
Battle For Zendikar Pre-Release Morning Slot
Battle for Zendikar! We think this means you’re battling in order to possess Zendikar, not that you’re a Zendikarian patriot attempting to promote the interests of Zendikar. That is, assuming Zendikar is a geographic area. This is a $25 sealed-deck tournament that includes a Pizza Lunch!
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Battle For Zendikar Pre-Release Evening Slot
Have something besides MtG to do in the morning? Try the evening! It is essentially the same except that everyone in this tournament has bargained with one of the fey folk to gain perception beyond mortal ken. Again, $25 sealed deck, and a Pizza Lunch dinner.
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00am – 10:00pm
Battle for Zendikar Pre-Release
Another one! Jeez. Well, this one has a few more details. It’s $25 to register for a four-round sealed tournament with free pizza as supplies last. Players with a 4-0 record get $50 in store credit in addition to lots of prize packs!
Sunday, September 27th
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] 11:30am – 4:00pm
Battle For Zendikar Pre-Release Morning Slot
Ah, you unlucky fool. You couldn’t make it on Saturday. Saturday was… well. It’s cruel to discuss it with you. You’ll never see the golden shores of that happy day. Again, a $25 sealed deck tournament with a Pizza Lunch brunch.
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Battle For Zendikar Pre-Release Evening Slot
This one is interesting, actually. For the final pre-release event they’ve secretly replaced all the cards with standard playing cards. Lets see you incinerate your foes when all you’ve got is a 1/1 Club! Again, $25 sealed deck tournament, with a Pizza Lunch second breakfast.
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00am – 10:00pm
Battle for Zendikar Pre-Release
Is the handsome guy in armor Zendikar? Are we battling for him? Possible for his hand in marriage? We’re really not certain what MtG lore is all about. Either way, yet another tournament with again a $25 entry fee plus a ton of prizes and free pizza. This is a busy weekend for people who play Magic!

Entertainment:

Thursday, September 24th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00pm
Cookies with a Curator
Stop by Forbes for some informal conversation and show and tell with also cookies that you can eat! This Thursday, see Lost Northampton with Dylan Gaffney. Lost Northampton consists of images of buildings and homes that are no longer standing, trapped in the mists of time. Professionals are on hand in case anything breaks out into our era during the viewing.
Friday, September 25th
Academy of Music [274 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:30pm
TopatoCon Presents: The Doubleclicks featuring Molly Lewis
Two excellent musical acts! The Doubleclicks sing stuff that’s often nerdy and comedy. They wrote the theme song for Cards Against Humanity, in defiance of the fact that why does a card game need a theme song. Molly Lewis won “Ukulele Video of the Year” from UkuleleHunt.com. She also sang to Stephen Fry a song she wrote about wanting to have his children. Fun stuff! Tickets are $15.
Sunday, September 27th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Avtivated Story Theatre
Two folktales from Eastern Europe will be presented! The Dragon of Krakow, from Poland and Something from Nothing, from the Jewish tradition. Apparently the Krakow dragon might be due to people finding some fossils that they mistook for Dragon bones! Neat! For Children 4-10 and their families.

RPGs:

Friday, September 25th
Chesterfield Scout Reservation [22 Sugar Hill Road, Chesterfield, MA] at 7:00pm
Magestry LARP Autumn Game 2
Live Action Role Playing! The most intense and interesting experience you’re likely to have playing an RPG! Magestry has just altered some rules to make things easier for new players, too! The fee is $30 for first-timers, including a Saturday dinner, and it’s free for volunteer staff! Email Info@Magestry.com to get a free account for the online character generator.
Saturday, September 25th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Public RPG: Pathfinder Pirates
Piracy, a life consisting primarily of exactly the things you do not want, plus scurvy. But not in fiction! In fiction, mostly you get to swash on a good day and buckle on a great day. We recommend playing a pirate whose sole motivation is to possess the most exciting warddrobe. New players are welcome to join at any session! Pre-made characters and dice are provided, and host Tim Shields knows what’s what.
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Public RPG: Mutants and Masterminds
Super-heroes! They’re great fun to observe, because their small interpersonal conflicts tend to lead inevitably to visually impressive brawls. Play one in a monthly RPG! New players are welcome, pre-made characters are provided. Hosted by the enigmatic and possibly super-powered Crispy/Nola.

Science:

Wednesday, September 23rd
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Science Cafe
Gut Feeling: A diverse and healthy microbiome, with Dr. Jeffrey Blanchard. Have you considered that you’ve got millions of tiny creatures living in you? Human gut bacteria outnumber your own cells ten to one! Life is a parade of horrors! These bacteria determine a lot about your and how you live. This cafe will explore how our lifestyle influences and is influenced by gut bacteria! Free and open to the public.

Video Games:

Friday, September 25th
The Quarters [8 Railroad St, Hadley, MA 01035] at 6:00pm
The VNW/PVGD Towerfall Tournament!
Towerfall! A great gem of a game that everyone loves or WILL love. Challenge your friends and some friendly strangers to a match, and win fabulous prizes! It costs $5 to enter, and two winners will split the entry fee pool 60/40. The two runners up will receive prizes as well! Be sure to sign up on the Facebook event!
Saturday, September 26th
Eastworks [116 Pleasant St., Easthampton, MA, 01027] at 10:00am
TopatoJAM!
Want to hang out at TopatoCon BUT ALSO make a game in a stunningly short period of time? You may! You must! TopatoJAM will let you do that! Open to developers of any skill level with a suggested $5 donation. You MUST REGISTER

August 31st – September 6th

XMen131CoverThe Valley Nerd Watch!


OH GOSH OH GOLLY IT’S ALMOST TIME

TOPATOCON! THE BIG EVENT! SEPTEMBER 26th – 27th

For real though we’re incredibly jazzed about TopatoCon, what fun it will be! Lots of nice artists and writers and designers and other creative types will be there hanging out with their wares. You can contribute directly to art you find enjoyable!

You can have that pleasant but kind of awkward conversation you have with a person you feel you know via their artistic output but who does not feel the same way about you! You might not be able to become fast friends with your idols, but it is still thrilling to have an opportunity to speak with them!

Also, guess what? Nerd Nite is the middle of the month this month! September 14th, put it in your calendar! It will be about cool artwork and implicit biases, you’ll like it. It will also have a shocking announcement! Your minds will collectively blow! If you only go to one Nerd Nite… please don’t do that, go to all the Nerd Nites they’re all fun.

Finally, if you are currently playing Rocket League – the excellent game about cars in hats with rocket engines playing soccer with a giant bomb – let us know! We’d love to play on a team with our wonderful readers.

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:

Sunday, September 6th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Sunday Heroclix!
Heroes that click! Heroes that fight! Also villains! Also just like, background characters at this point. BUT the point is here’s a miniatures game where you can make Wolvering team up with Venom to fight Shatterstar and Spiral, it’s awesome and you should give it a shot… bub! Hosted by Jaimie!

Books:

Friday, September 4th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Crafternoon: Book Bags!
Hey, you. Yeah, that’s right. Come over here. We here you like…. <__>… booooks. Yeaaaah. Yeah, you’re into books, we could tell. Well if you love books so danged much you sometimes have trouble carrying them home, head to forbes to get a library bag and then decorate it!

Card Games:

Tuesday, September 1st
Greenwood Park Senior Center [231 Maple Rd, Longmeadow, MA 01060] at 6:45pm
Longmeadow Cribbage Club
Some people at a senior center are looking for cribbage players! Cribbage is sort of like Magic the Gathering or Netrunner except it is considered classier because the pictures on the cards are more boring. And you don’t tap anything. Co-ed, 21+, call (413)848-2147!
Sunday, September 6th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00pm – 5:00pm
GPT Pittsburg – Modern
Alright we’re going to play Event Detective here. The only thing in this event description is a little gerblin with a lamp made of thorn vines. We assume this is Pittsburg, the Modern Gerblin. Your task is to play enough Magic the Gathering to make him happy again! Try to help out good old Pittsburg this Sunday!

Computers:

Tuesday, September 1st
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm
Northampton Webdive – After Work
Do you web-code? Do you gleam the cube? Hack the matrix? Are you Zero Cool? Well come meet up with other super cool um… phone phreakers? We’ve been putting up a false front everyone we got no clue about computers. If you do, meet up with fellow coders for a drink!

Entertainment:

Thursday, September 3rd
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Jones Library TRIVIA!
Mark “Harpo” Power has offered to host trivia on Thursdays now! Lovely! Do the Art Walk and then join everyone for a Trivia Night. Bring your friends and family if and ONLY if they will contribute to your team. If they aren’t trivia buffs, force them to wait in the car. Five people per team, $5-$10 suggested donation!
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Anime Club
Teens! Young adults! Anime fans! But we repeat ourselves. All cool teens and youngsters are anime fanatics. Meet to discuss and watch and read and enjoy anime and manga! It will be delightful.

Movies:

Wednesday, September 2nd
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:45 – 9:45
Beetlejuice on the Lawn
Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice is playing on the lawn! And beforehand, a band that plays unplugged movie soundtrack songs, the Super 8 Players, will be playing a short set. Bring snacks and a blanket and friends! We either accidentally put this in last week’s Nerd Watch or it got moved, we forget!

RPGs:

Thursday, September 3rd
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
RPG Club
Come hang out at the Palmer Library and play some sort of a Role-Playing Game with people who are nice! Create your own character or even characters! Describe their adventures until someone says “wait wait no roll a die first… okay yes continue”!
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Indie RPG Night: Night Witches
Indie RPG Night is a great way to play interesting games with wonderful people. And what an interesting game this time! Players take on the role of a member of the brave Night Witches, Russian female aviators in WW2 who flew 1920’s-era prop planes in some of the most daring missions of the war!
Friday, September 4th
Chesterfield Scout Reservation [22 Sugar Hill Road, Chesterfield, MA 01096]
The Market of the Moons
Two days of fun for the whole family inspired by fairies! Don’t worry, bring your kids to this fun LARP! It isn’t like fairies are know for child-theivery! They assure us they’re just going to have a fun camp, vend interesting materials, and lead people on a fun dungeon advenutre! Ten dollars gets you access for the entire weekend. Bring your own tent or sleep in a group cabin! Come dressed in costume! Definitely don’t worry about fae folk robbing you of your little lones!
Saturday, September 5th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Pathfinder Society
The brave and mysterious Pathfinder Society has come to Comics N’ More! They all work toward a single goal… for now! Who knows what plots the people pulling their strings have cooked up? Join up now to find out over the course of a long and eventful official adventuring season!
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Public RPG: D&D 5th Ed
Join the dark and mysterious Master of the Dungeon LEX MANDRAKE as he weaves his spell of mystery and adventure around and about the crenelations of your brains! This is a single-session spectacular hand crafted by the Comics N’ More staff! New players are welcome and pre-made characters are provided!
Sunday, September 6th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 10:30pm
Saga of the Icelanders RPG
Based on the popular, extensible, fun, and LOCAL Apocalypse World system by Vincent Baker, this game is all about managing to settle the harsh environs of Iceland in 874! Play a Norse settler dealing with honor, blood feuds, and harsh winters! Build a new society from scratch and write your own Saga this Sunday!

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!

THIS WEEK


Art:

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.

Books:

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!

Comics:

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.

Computers:

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!

Entertainment:

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!

Movies:

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
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!

RPGs:

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!

Science:

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.

A Brief Guide to Tabletop Day

Tabletop Day Guide!

TabletopDay

Saturday, April 11th (Today!)

Tomorrow is International Tabletop Day! Essentially an excuse to hold tabletop events, it’s a great time to get out there and play great games with interesting people!

Because our lucky readers live in a very nice place filled with very neat people, there are a ton of options for having a good Tabletop Day tomorrow!

This post is a brief rundown of what you can expect from each location tomorrow! I’ll answer all the basic questions you might have about each event space and some questions you might not even have known you had!

(more…)

March 16th – 22nd

VNWGameofThronesGameTTD

The Valley Nerd Watch!


In a town with 5 colleges and 500 grad students per square foot, it can get difficult keeping up with all the events in town that cater to the vaguely defined sub-cultural group we’ve decided to call nerds.

We’re here to help! We’ll let you know what trivia, gaming, science, comic, and just plain interesting events are happening in our fair Valley! Remember to tell them that the Nerd Watch sent you!

We’ve split it up like this:

Any one-off events around the Valley that are only happening this week, only happen a couple times a month, or any interesting updates to existing events will be in the Newsletter both here online and in your inbox.

Anything that happens on a fairly regular schedule every week will be moved to the “weekly events” portion of the website after it appears for the first time in the newsletter.

THIS WEEK


Board Games:

Sunday, March 22nd
Greenfield Games [228 Main St Greenfield, MA 01301]  at 1:00pm – 6:00pm
Star Trek Attack Wing: Resistance is Futile Month 3 Tournament
It’s finally time to bring the fight to the nefarious Borg! But first, you need to get to the danged Alpha Quadrant to attack them, and they’ve put a fleet in your way. Will you make it? Come play a miniatures combat game set in the Start Trek universe! The event costs $20 to attend, which gets you a booster pack plus prizes. It also gets you “fellowship and participation” which while lovely we feel it is our duty to report can be had for a lower price at many local drum circles.
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm
Heroclix!
Come play a fun little miniatures game that involves no painting or little metal bits or assembly or thousands of dollars. It’s also about making superheroes fight, which everyone knows is the ideal thought experiment for the distinguished person.

Books:

Monday, March 16th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton MA, 01060] at 7:00pm
Mystery Book Group
‘The Mystery Book Discussion Group meets monthly at the library for a casual discussion. New members are always welcome. Pick up a copy of this month’s discussion book at the library.’ We can’t tell if you’re too late or just on time to do this month’s discussion based on the description, but let’s assume you’re just on time. Wear a mask to the meeting, and reveal your true identity next month!

Card Games:

Holy moly, it’s a big weekend for Magic: The Gathering!
Friday, March 20th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 11:30pm – 4:00am
Dragons of Tarkir Pre-Release
Have a fun time playing casual games of Magic with the absolute brandy-brand-new cards from the Dragons of Tarkir, the third set in the Khans of Tarkir block! This late-night event will be an opportunity to test your mettle against the sort of people who decide to go to Magic events that last until four in the danged morning! It costs $26 in advance to attend, and $30 at the door. You get access to the new packs including nifty promo cards and foils!
Saturday, March 21st
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002]  at 12:00am – 10:00pm
Dragons of Tarkir Pre-Release
If you somehow did not get enough Magic at the Modern Myths event, come straight to this one! You can buy-in for $25 – $140, and pre-register to guarantee a seat. We’re going to come out and say it: we aren’t completely certain what you’re purchasing when you buy into these pre-release events. We’re going to say “starter packs of the new cards in varying quantities”???
Greenfield Games [228 Main St Greenfield, MA 01301] at 12:00am, 11:00am, and 5:00pm
Dragons of Tarkir Pre-Release
Oh thank goodness Greenfield Games explains it: ‘Entry fee will be $27 which will get you 4 packs of Dragons of Tarkir, 1 pack of Fate Reforged, and one seeded pack based on the which clan you pick. Events will be 3 rounds with prizes of 1 booster pack of the new set for every match you win and extra prizes for the top few places. ‘ The midnight event includes pizza!

Sunday, March 22nd

Greenfield Games [228 Main St Greenfield, MA 01301] at 1:00pm
Dragons of Tarkir Pre-Release
Magic! A game involving complicated combinations of cards!

Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002]  at 12:00am – 10:00pm

Dragons of Tarkir Pre-Release
Magic! The game of kings.
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 5:30pm
Dragons of Tarkir Pre-Release
Magic! Also the game of people who really enjoy fantasy art paired with short quotes and numbers.

Comics:

Thursday, March 19th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Queers in Comics & Games
Join hosts Melissa and Nick to discuss topics regarding representation of LGBTQA+ people in comics and gaming. March’s session will be about the GLAAD nominated comics Hawkeye, Lumberjanes, Memetic, Rat Queens, and Saga. Admission is $5 that you get back as store credit to use right away or save for later.

Computers:

Thursday, March 19th
Inresonance Inc [30 Industrial Dr East, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm
Western MA Drupal Meetup
Do you use Drupal? Do you want to use Drupal? Come meet with people who can help mentor you, come discuss technique with fellow professionals, or come offer support to people who want to learn!
Friday, March 20th
Packard’s Bar, Library Room [14 Masonic St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 8:00pm
Northampton Webdive After Dark
Hang out, drink, and talk to fellow web developers!

RPGs:

Monday, March 16th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 3:00pm
Dungeons and Dragons, 5th Edition
Come join the dungeoneering fun! Pre-rolled characters are provided! Pre-rolled dice, too!

Saturday, March 21st

Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Star Wars RPG
Modern Myths hosts sessions of the Fantasy Flight Star Wars roleplaying game, using rules from all the published sourcebooks. The game started in January, but you can stop by and we’re sure they’d be excited to write you into the adventure!
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 3:00pm
Pathfinder Pirates
Pirates! Managing to be kid-friendly and murderous at the same time, a dichotomy worth investigating whilst playing this fun Pathfinder ruleset! Again, characters and dice are provided!