These are the stories that went with each slide....
Rise of the Geek Family
1. Steampunk gadget
Steampunk is my passion. It is a beautiful, imaginative genre and community. Simply put, it is a blend of old and new with a twist of science fiction. Over the past 4 years of living my passion through Steampunk Canada and Steampunk Ottawa I have discovered that I have layers... to quote Shrek – like an onion. I am a geek onion.
2. Group of mature geeks
...and I’m not alone, there are many other, let’s say, mature geeks within the steampunk community, in Ottawa, across Canada and around the world. We are the ones who grew up listening to alternative music, exploring new art, reading comic books and Tolkien, watching Star Wars, Hammer films and Godzilla, and playing D&D in the basement.
3. Group of young geeks/arty types
Young, fun, creative geeks – this is what you see in the newpaper and online today. They are the biggest market in the world, and some of my favourite people. Open minded, interested in new creations and old history, their art and activities are based on their favourite geek passions.
The one thing that binds these communities of young and mature geeks, are their families.
4. 1950’s nuclear family
But not this type of family. Not the 1950’s mom, pop, Judy and Billy family where Dad is the boss, mom is the cook, and the kids never talk back. The world has changed a lot since then and the family dynamic is very different today. One part of the 1950's family that has almost disappeared is family time. This concept is still important today, and geek families are giving family time a new twist.
5. Our steampunk family
Geek families have the best time. This is my family. Steampunk led to our mutual love of all aspects of geekdom. Our girls love dressing up and knowing they can be whatever they want – lady, mechanic, airship pirate. It sparked their imaginations and we let them run with it. Heck, we all did. Still today we attend steampunk events together, even as far as the UK.
6. Our zombie family
...and it’s not just steampunk activities we do together. We love to explore and enjoy many aspects of the geek community in Ottawa. We love to participate in the annual Zombie Walk. We watch Red Drawf, Big Bang Theory, anything by Joss Whedon and lots more. We enjoy playing boardgames and video games and...
...with part of our extended family, friends Edain and Marc, we have D&D Sundays. A great way to teach our children survival techniques, negotiation and diplomacy. We also have separate geek interests and we cheerfully support each other. My youngest loves Minecraft, my husband loves miniature war gaming, and my oldest loves Homestuck. So much so that she started the fundraiser The Can Town Project.
8. Sarah Cooper and family
...and we are not alone, Sarah Cooper and her family are a fantastic example of a geek family. Sarah says... Steampunk for us has become some of the main fibers that weave this family together... it's part of almost everything for us. It is WONDERFUL to have a 'family safe' activity we can all be involved in. There is something for each of us, yet it is all together.
9. Chemistry Day
Everyone is eager for the next activity to come around that they can attend together. The education that has come from this is a parent's dream come true: history, morals, etiquette and thriftiness. Steampunk and Firefly gadgets got Sarah Cooper's boys interested in Science. Sarah and her husband Greg took it a step further and gave them an introduction into real science at Chemistry day at the University of Ottawa.
10. Our youngest geek
Daphne is the progeny of a funky, fun mom and a huge board game loving dad. Her mom, Caroline says... my hope is that she never feels bound to follow a particular path because of sex-scripted expectations. If she wants to dress up like superman, it's superman and not supergirl. That's a hope that stretches into all aspects of her life, not just the geeky ones.
Meredith and Ingrid are two amazing girls.... Meredith says...For me, having geekiness in common brings the family closer together. At this stage in our lives when we're all starting to go different directions, planning group cosplays is another way of keeping in touch; family trips are more appealing with stops at geeky landmarks; Sunday dinner can be followed with rewatching Firefly.
12. Kelly Orange and daughter Meagan
This is the first event Kelly and Meagan attended together.... Kelly says.... We enjoy the mother/daughter time and dressing up/acting out in behaviours/personalities we don't/can't do in real life. We love space/science fiction, supernatural and comics....enjoying it together as a family is an activity we are able to do in a time where getting any time with our kids is few and far between.
13. Jessica and family
This is Jessica Kelly, baby Sonny, Adam and her stepdaughter Kyla, at a recent Fan Expo, Jessica says being a geek family is great because.... It brings us together. There is always a point of common interest. My husband and I get to share what we grew up with and get to talk about the moralities of the stories, why the heroes are heroes...and that yes, girls can kick butt. We can use almost any of it as a learning tool.
14. Barb and Family
Bob and Barb had just purchased new Netbooks and thought it would be fun to hook up together on Facebook while being in such close proximity. Their son Justin dug out four pairs of 3D glasses to add to their "Geek family" look. Barb says.... It was hysterical! It was simply a moment in time for us to let go and do something silly together. The best part was chatting to each other online as we sat there with our elbows nearly touching.
15. Dee Taonax and NevaR
Dee says... NevaR and I dress up as often as we can. Now that we are both interested in COSplay events, as well as numerous other things we can do here in Ottawa, the opportunities to be a 'dynamic duo' are endless. Being a single mum has taught me to be more than just a parental figure, it has taught me to be a friend as much as I can so that NevaR is comfortable coming to me with issues when there is nowhere else for him to turn.
16. Pauline Blackwell
This is Pauline Blackwell's husband Darrell and son Ryan. Pauline says...We had a lot of fun building this sculpture. I usually come up with one large sculpture a year, and I can always count on my husband and my son to assist me in any way. We get together a lot to attend conventions, wearing steampunk or in my son and his girlfriend's case, whatever he dreams up next.
17. Jason and Mae
This is Jason and his fiance Mae, both artists. Halloween is their favourite holiday because they can let their inner geek out. Mae says... Geek is a title that I gladly accept and I am glad I have someone equally odd by my side. He fits my soul like a hand around an X-box controller. We love horror, sci fi, games, animation, and all things obscure and a little odd, and in our mutual weirdness we are a work of geeky art in motion!
18. Brothers Cameron and Trevor Jones
Their dad Jamie Jones says....Right about Cameron's 14th birthday he was diagnosed with Cancer. While undergoing treatment at CHEO we found that they had playrooms with very basic board games. Cameron and I decided we wanted to donate a couple of good games to CHEO. Board game friends like Ottawa Game Summit and Board Game Geek asked if they could donate too and it snowballed to over 80 games.
19. Mixed group with old and young
There are other families that are close due to shared activities, including sports and 4H clubs (remember those), but I think that geek families are the most imaginative, inclusive, and fun. The “mature” geeks are teaching the young ones to be proud, creative and to show it off. Larger groups like Steampunk Canada, the Whovians and 501st Canada have a mutual appreciation for each other and this has brought all members, young and old, together to build bigger families and communities.
20. Sebbal and Luna
As more and more young geeks out there find each other, get hitched and raise their geek families you can be sure that it will be the Geeks who inherit the earth…. Because the family that geeks together does much more than just stay together. They have one hell of a good time.
I was invited to speak at the 7th installation of Pecha Kucha Ottawa on December 4th, 2012. I decided to speak about some of my favourite people and how they are bringing family time back.... with a twist. Pecha Kucha is a presentation methodology in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each. You tell your story with the slideshow. It's fast and furious and a lot of fun!
This was my presentation....RISE OF THE GEEK FAMILY
I want to thank all the lovely families that shared their photos and stories with me. You are a wonderful and special group of people. HUZZAH!