What is a Geek?

Words can have different meanings to different people. Geek has typically been used as an insult, but we don’t see it that way. So, I thought it might be helpful to define what it is we are referring to when referring to a Geek.

First, we will use terms Geek, Nerd, and even Dork, interchangeably in this organization. While all came from a place of negativity, we are wearing these terms as a badge of honor. We have worked many years to earn these titles and we embrace them with pride.

But why are we called these things? Why should we embrace them and feel proud to do so?

Merriam-Webster defines Dork as: “a person who behaves awkwardly around other people and usually has unstylish clothes, hair, etc.” Nerd: “a person who behaves awkwardly around other people and usually has unstylish clothes, hair, etc.” Or, “a person who is very interested in technical subjects, computers, etc.” And finally, Geek: “a person who is socially awkward and unpopular” Or “a usually intelligent person who does not fit in with other people.” Or, “a person who is very interested in and knows a lot about a particular field or activity.”

Textbook definitions can be so cruel. We don’t have “unstylish clothers, hair, etc.” We have a style all our own. We each have our own unique style. Some are more imaginative than others, but this does not make them “unstylish,” this makes them unique.

Textbook definitions can be somewhat accurate. “A person who is very interested in technical subjects, computers, etc.” Sure, a lot of us fit that description, myself included. “A person who is very interested in and knows a lot about a particular field or activity.” Well, duh.

Textbook definitions can oversimplify. “A person who is socially awkward and unpopular.” Sometimes, okay, A LOT of times, this is true. “A usually intelligent person who does not fit in with other people.” Well, at least they said we’re usually intelligent.

The textbook definitions make a lot of generalizations about who we are. Yes, we have unique ideas about style. And yes, we are usually obsessed with certain areas of interest. And sure, we don’t fit in with “normal” people a lot of the time.

But what the textbook misses is us. We do fit in with other people, just fine, if they share our passion! Are we awkward sometimes? Sure, but what do we care if the people we’re talking to love Star Wars, or D&D, or Anime, or Zombies, or whatever it is that we’re passionate about.

In my book, Geeks are people who are passionate. We love with abandon. We take great pride in the things we love. And we love to share those things with people that we know are also passionate.

In my book, everyone is a Geek. Though most of us are passionate about Geeky things, there are many Sports Geeks, many Fashion Geeks, many Political Geeks, and many Religion Geeks.

In my book, being a Geek is who I am. I am passionate about Science Fiction. I love spaceships, both real and imagined. I love movies and video games. I love to read. I love my wife. I love Geeks. I am passionate about the things that matter to me.

This is how I define Geek: “an individual that is full of love and passion.”

How do you define Geek?

Read More
The Future of GBG – Part 1

If you haven’t read it, please check out this article that sums up how Great Basin Geeks got started.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to sum up what Great Basin Geeks is, what it does, what its goals are, or why it exists. It’s not because there is no vision behind Great Basin Geeks, it’s the exact opposite. I have a lot of ideas of just what GBG can and should do and be. It’s my goal with this article to sum up some of the current ideas that I would like to see accomplished by GBG.

In the short term, I want to see Great Basin Geeks continue to grow. Not just for the sake of growth, but for the sake of continuing to connect people. One of the first goals of GBG was to get people together. I had virtually no friends and I was tired of that being the case. When we decided that we were going to invite people from the local community to our home for my birthday, we took a risk and hoped that there were other people that would want to hang out at a Star Wars themed party. It turned out that there were a lot of people that wanted to connect.

So we want to continue to grow. The more members we have, the more likely every member can make strong connections with others that share their passions.

To make it easier to connect, we are working to make the GBG website easier to use for connection. Facebook has been a great tool, but it has its limitations and following the posts that we’re interested in can be problematic at best. I know most members can’t follow the Facebook group all day and keep up with all the posts that are made. Because of that, things get missed. Posts that might interest you get buried rapidly.

Along those lines, we want to slowly transition over to the GBG website, where we can create posts for general information that concerns the whole group, and forum threads for more in depth conversation on more specific topics.

Also, with the in depth options on individual profiles, you can easily find other people that share your interests. For an example, you can view my profile here. In this way, if you want to connect with other Star Wars fans, you can search for Star Wars. If you want Anime fans, search for Anime. And so on.

We will also continue to improve the Directory and the Calendar on GreatBasinGeeks.com. With the Directory you can find local clubs, groups, and businesses that cater to Geeky interests. With the Calendar, you can find local events from one of the many game nights to local Cons.

This is just a summary of a few of the immediate plans for GBG. I will continue this in another article.

If you would like to get involved, help is always welcome! If you have ideas, please share them! My email is MFord@GreatBasinGeeks.com.

Read More
GBG Shirts are available!



Tees, tanks, women’s cut, and even hoodies are now available! Tees start at just $15! The above colors are just a small sample. You can see more here. If you are interested in ordering anything, please email me at MFord@GreatBasinGeeks.com

Read More
Sign Up Today! Free!

We’ve been promising it and it’s finally here! Create your FREE membership account and start sharing your passions! Simply click the REGISTER button above to get started.

Take a look at my profile to get an example of how easy it is: http://www.greatbasingeeks.com/members/mford/profile/

As you can see, I’m a Geek!

The profile is designed to be extremely flexible and let you express your passions and interests. Most of the fields are optional, but the more you fill out, the easier it is to connect! If you’re into Anime or Comic Books, RPGs or Zombies, share it!

Read More
Game On!: A Preview of the Second Annual RAGECon Tabletop (And More!) Gaming Convention

By: Christine E. Boston

Last year played host to the first Reno Area Gamers’ Extreme Convention (RAGECon), and while it was always intended to be an annual event its opening success solidified the convention’s legacy and persistence. Internet bloggers, reviewers, and the local gaming community at large have deemed RAGECon a “real con”, and organizer Jeff Jones could not be more thrilled or humbled. He was not only impressed by last year’s turn out, particularly as the con was only advertised locally, but also by the level of participation by attendees and assistance he received from northern Nevada’s gamer community. He commented that he continues to be impressed by that community as it is always friendly, welcoming, and entertaining, and it is this community that in part encourages and drives him to make a bigger and better RAGECon.

Jones and I sat down at Comic Kingdom, a favorite gaming hub for local Reno gamers, and discussed what was in store for the upcoming RAGECon, which will be hosted at The Nugget in Sparks, Nevada, through June 26-28, 2015. While the original RAGECon was hosted in downtown Reno, Jones explained that the change in venue was to meet the demands of last year’s participants, attendees, and vendors. The previous venue was disjointed and disconnected, leaving the gaming community fragmented, lost, and often times frustrated. The Nugget in Sparks offers a large enough space that the entire convention can be in the same place but also allows for division by movable partitions to allow everyone their own space to enjoy their own gaming niches-be it board games, RPGs, miniatures, and more. Plus, the location of The Nugget is optimal for those who want to get away from the convention (hey, it might happen) by providing easy access to movie theaters, restaurants, and more. Added bonuses of hosting RAGECon at The Nugget include free wi-fi access, cheaper hotel rooms ($69/night), and access to the vendor area without paying the convention admission fees.

Read More
Handmade By Droids

10656685_10202578038201915_36078658_n (1)

Handmade by Droids is owned and operated by Dennis and Ilana Murray. We have been partnering on a variety of creative projects for almost two decades, and we love to design and make things that make people happy. We are both Silicon Valley startup veterans. Dennis has done everything from restoring collectible cars, to law enforcement, to web design and project management for NASA. He worked a number of startups and founded the design firm Red Pill Media and served as its creative principal for a number of years. Ilana’s experience before the high-tech boom included a large, commercial silkscreening operation and working in a dental laboratory. She also did the startup circuit doing as a designer, technical writer, and managing high-tech customer service and support.

A few years ago, we started looking for a business that we could run without employees and without being in the Silicon Valley. We investigated a number of options, before starting Handmade by Droids — a business that allowed us to leverage our design skills and experience.

Now we sell our creations here on this website, and on the road at a variety of shows, including gun shows and steampunk events — mostly around Northern California and Nevada.

Our Shirts

We use a variety of printing techniques that best suit the different designs that we offer. Each type of transfer is rigorously tested by us before getting used on customer projects. We make them, wear them, wash them and beat the heck out of each of our printing methods to ensure the best quality transfer we can get. I guess the best way to put this is – we wear them so they better not suck.


Read More
Let’s Do Things
We organize themed bar crawls & fun runs in Reno, NV. Check ’em out at www.letsdothings.com & @crawlreno

To draw people out & connect them to each other & give them a chance to express themselves.

We focus on 3 things every event:
1. Create an epic adventure
2. Stretch people’s dollars
3. Boost our local economy

Company Overview

We throw some of the largest, wackiest bar crawls in the nation, in the most kickass place: Reno, NV. Our community parties harder, stays out longer & has the most fun while other cities sleep.


Read More
A great show for geeks!

If you like board games and you haven’t seen Tabletop, you’re missing out! With it’s third season now in production, Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day have created a show that brings people together to play some of the greatest board games around.

Read More
It’s Got Game: A Review of the Gamer Art (Art Show)

By: Christine E. Boston


If you search the Reno-Sparks area enough, you will either find yourself lost as I have many times, or your quest will end with a delightful bounty and pleasant surprises.  A suggested event by Michael Ford, organizer of the Great Basin Geeks Facebook group and website, led me to rich rewards that took the form of locally handmade art depicting a variety of video game characters, ranging from the traditional to the conceptual.


K.D. Empire, an independent shop located in Sparks, played host to the Gamer Art event that was put together by Eduardo V. Torres.  This art show featured the works of Torres, Summer Orr, and Tanya Marquez, whose hand drawn and painted illustrations depicted a variety of characters but were all based on a central theme: video games.  There were realistic depictions of Pokemon trainers with their captured pokemon to conceptual pieces featuring the Nurses of Silent Hill.  Some of the pieces were for sale and had actually sold, but most of the pieces were on display for appreciation of the artistic merit inherent in each piece.  The three young artists were also on hand to answer questions on the pieces and speak to parties interested in purchasing a piece or two.


[googlemap address=’433 Pyramid Way Sparks, NV 89431′ latlng=’39.5375,-119.753302′ zoom=’16’ style=” width=’100%’ height=’240′]

This art show is the second hosted at K.D. Empire, and Javy Gonzalez of K.D. Empire says that plans are in the works for many more, including a possible cosplay event and anime art show.  K.D. Empire currently runs a Cosplay Club and is associated with Gamer Beadz, an accessory store that specializes in gamer and geek products.  Individuals interested in learning more or participating in upcoming art shows, the Cosplay Club, or K.D. Empire should contact Javy Gonzalez at kdempire1@gmail.com or visit the store at 433 Pyramid Way in Sparks.

Read More
Merwin’s Game Shoppe: A Gamer’s Paradise

By: Christine E. Boston

Upon first entering Merwin’s Game Shoppe I was greeted by a cute and friendly gal who made me feel at home.  Going by the name of Missy, she was the first individual to greet me, running up to me with a huge grin and tail wags.  For those of you who are confused, Missy is a dog, and as I was later told, she is the store mascot who greets new and regular customers alike.


After my warm welcome, I found myself in a quaint store that has a dedicated following of gamers and is devoted to its client base.  Merwin’s Game Shoppe is dedicated to games of all kinds, ranging from board games to role playing games (RPGs), the latter of which dominates the inventory.  Individuals not seeking RPGs can find a variety of board and card games, in addition to miniatures for Star Trek to Heroclix and several more obscure varieties.  This store is exclusively targeted to gaming and gamers, making it a gamer’s paradise.


In addition to the gaming inventory available for sale, Merwin’s Game Shoppe goes one step further by providing space for gamers to play.  There are weekly tournaments for the YuGiOh and Magic cards games as well as for Heroclix miniatures.  Interested players need only pay $5 to enter into these tournaments.  Merwin’s also hosts game nights for those not interested in participating in tournaments as the Reno Area Tabletop Meetup group often hosts the Pathfinder Society at this venue.


Overall, Merwin’s Game Shoppe is a great place to go for new and seasoned gamers alike.  The vast inventory, friendly staff (including Missy), and weekly tournaments provide gamers everything that they may be looking for or never knew they wanted.  Be sure to stop by Merwin’s Game Shoppe (4104 Kietzke Lane in ​Reno) to get your gamer fix, or visit their Facebook Page (Merwin’s Game Shoppe) or Website (http://www.merwinsgameshoppe.com/) to learn more.   IMG_20140723_192128680 IMG_20140723_192135848_HDR

Read More