Further Elder Geek Thoughts: Maturity

Last column I explored how conventions were a place where the silly and the serious, the fun and the professional, combined. It was where you could cut loose – and then the inspiration could be channeled. It was where panels fanning over Sleepy Hollow* are then followed by workshops on writing. Conventions are a liminal space.

Serdar, my multitalented friend, noted in response that for many people, when they become a so-called adult, they often limit what they consider the fun they can have. Conventions are spaces where we can actually just like what we like, and are thus valued. Well, like what we like with the occasional stupid argument, but still.

That got me thinking about media and what is considered “age-appropriate materials” – and how such ideas are actually rather irrelevant, misguided, and confusing.

Because when we talk about what media is mature or not, suitable for adults or kids, it’s often meaningless. It’s assumptions without substance.

Assuming we have a grasp on what is “truly mature media” really is a bit immature . . .

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California Extreme – Looking Back, Looking Forward


Last year I found out about California Extreme, an event in the Bay Area where people get together to show off, discuss, and of course to play old video games and pinball machines over the course of two days. This has been running for 16 years, and its to my shame as a geek that I took so long to discover it.

So needless to say this year I went, if only because I felt a near-moral obligation to do so. This is pure applied geekery – a historical and social event that also contains some people who do or did make a living in involved industries, and a ton of hands-on experiences.

Here’s what I saw. Short form – it was great. But dive in longer – there’s a lot to share.

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Make It So: More Specific Career Panels

Awhile ago I spoke at Con-Volution, a new convention in the Bay Area (we are blessed with cons out here) that was very practically focused. It had a lot of panels examining things in depth, talking specific skills, and getting pretty deep into doing things. I of course took my usual career roadshow there becaus I’m me. You know me.

It also got me thinking. In depth panels? Skill-building workshops? People with career interests. Career Panels?  Hmmm . . .

Right now there’s a lot of separate skillsets you need to do your job search and career building properly. There’s also specific things you have to do to get your career going that are also separate skillsets – making a good resume, for instance. Conventions, which often have “effectively doing stuff” events could have workshops and panels that address these various elements and skillsets. Not just a resume panel here or a website workshop there – instead have as many as possible that cover all aspects of careers.

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