Since 1972, Metro Detroit Gamers has been a staple in the area for everything gaming. From WW2 war games to modern sci-fi board games and everything in between, it can be found at an MDG event. At WinterCon 2017 this was no different. Games were abundant and the gamers even more so, and just as their website boasts, they hold one thing above all else, having fun!
The group’s core of players has expanded over the last few years as the hobby has picked up. Even though these players have been around since the beginning, they were incredibly welcoming to the new blood. With gamers from young to old, and with tastes from classical to modern everyone could find a game to enjoy and learn.
The con itself also offered up raffle tickets for playing games that allowed you to pull from their prize table, which was full of both popular games and hidden gems. Play a game, get a ticket, win a game. Sounds like a win-win to me!
Tucked into private rooms, tabletop RPGs were spinning tales of adventure, horror, and heroism with a number of games being played. Stumbling into a group getting their Classic Dungeon Crawl on made me want to sit down and roll up a character.
All in all the event was a wonderful time and all those who enjoy games of any kind should add WinterCon to their calendars because they won’t regret joining this crowd.
Photos by Krista, article by Rob, and edited by Austin
View the rest of our pictures from the event below!
I have to say that I’m loving this new movement where museums have late night events to keep the community involved. This is my third After Dark event and I continue to have a great time. I am a big fan of the natural sciences, so anything held at Cranbrook is going to be on my must list. Since we’re only a few days away from Valentine’s Day, this event was focused on the science of love.
All of the CIS (Cranbrook Institute of Science) After Dark events start at 7pm and include a cash bar. Love After Dark had a selection of appetizers you could purchase, including spring rolls, shrimp cocktail, and strawberry and chocolate mousse drumsticks that were made right in front of you. I’m probably the worst food critic ever because I love all food, but everything I sampled tasted fantastic.
Except for the food and drinks, every single other activity was free, which made the night a lot more fun. We were there for a few hours and still missed a few things. Once you had your drink in hand and were exploring the museum, there was plenty to do. The first station we walked by was the “atmospheric hug”. It’s was strange as it sounds. You sit down in a giant, thick trash bag and they suck all the air out so you can experience what it feels like to sit in a vacuum. A lot of the more claustrophobic members of the group gave an immediate “hell no” but I’ll try anything once. It was weird and a little awkward and an experience I’ll never forget. I think my smile in this picture says it all.
From there we found the “Cupid Target Practice” station where you shoot some arrows towards a sheet with a target. One of my favorite things about this activity was that it was the right amount of “hard”. I’ve never fired a bow before in my life and after three failures, I was able to hit the target. Our more experienced members, Chris, was able to get it on his second try.
Right next to that was “Lyrical Love”, a trivia game where a group of people (four in the group I was in) are played a snippet of a music video and you have to pick the song. I was so sure I was going to win this and Motor City Geek’s Austin totally stole my win from me. But if he didn’t like pop culture as much as I do, we probably wouldn’t be friends. At least it was close!
The next section was right up my wheelhouse. Sex. (Because I’m a romance writer… obviously…) Local clinical psychologist and author, Dr. Myrtle C. Means, gave a brief discussion about sex in modern relationships. Dr. Means was a very eloquent speaker and it was fascinating to hear a public discussion about a topic that can become embarrassing fast. Dr. Means also wrote a pretty awesome sounding book that was complied after a clinical study where she talked to hundreds of couples about their single most pleasurable experience and put it all into one easy to digest recipe. Click here to check out her book!
There were a lot of other notable activities. The museum had 14 hearts hidden throughout the museum and if you found one, you’d be entered to win a prize. (Chris and I both found one. Sadly we didn’t win…) There was a presentation given by anthropologist Cameron Wood about the clothing and accessories around the world that can lead to some horizontal relations.
There were some folks there from Pets and Things Reptile Emporium that had some snakes and lizards for the crowd to hang out with. There was also and X rated spider demonstration that turned a few heads.
Another unexpected highlight for me was the Taboo game. There were about 20 different envelopes filled with taboo ideas hanging from the ceiling. The dirty words were obviously the most fun…
Overall, we had a blast. The crowd wasn’t that big which was a shame. I really hope Cranbrook will put more money and time into the marketing of these events. I think that if more people knew there was something so cool right in their back yard, they’d be thrilled. I also want to give a special shout out to John and Sarah. No, not the Terminator duo, but the awesome employees at Cranbrook who made our night extra special. Everything is better when the people behind the scenes have a passion and enthusiasm for the combination of science and fun!
Article and photos by Mallory, Austin, Melissa, and Chris.
Our gallery of photos from the event
Midwinter Pleasure Faire 2017 – Recap
I was beyond excited when I heard about the Midwinter Pleasure Faire. A ren fest? Indoors? During the dead of winter? This is the first year ever for the Midwinter Pleasure Faire, so I didn’t go in expecting it to be as established as other fests. I just wanted to go have fun and it’s safe to say it was a lot of fun. The Midwinter Pleasure Faire was held in the special events section of the Gibraltar Trade Center in Mount Clemens. This location worried me a bit. Half the fun of the outdoor fests is the ambiance of being out in the middle of the woods indulging in a fantasy life. What were they going to do to transform an empty warehouse into a fantasy land? An excellent fire breather helps!
While the illusion wasn’t perfect, I didn’t get an empty warehouse vibe. There was an actual jousting field made out of sand that was brought in by the truckload. The Knights of the Black Rose put on a great show.
There was also near constant (sometimes overlapping) music that added to the atmosphere.
And, of course, the awesome costumes worn by the attendees.
There was also a good mix of vendors there. An exceptionally large booth was set up selling kilts, there were some period piece clothes, swords, rocks to keep your whiskey cold, soaps, candles, graphic t-shirts, leather bound journals and a lot of other staples of the renaissance festival circuits.
Notable moments included the always entertaining pickle vendor,
the drumming/bagpipes group Pictus,
the outlandish Washing Well Wenches,
real life Shrek,
and stirring performances by the Flint Scottish Pipe Band.
Next year (and I do hope they do this event next year) I’d like to see a few more vendors. Also, even though the music was essential to the atmosphere, sometimes there were so many going at once they seemed to drown each other out. Since all the acts were pretty impressive, that was a shame. These are small things considering this was the first year for the event. Congratulations to the folks running the event on having a successful first year.
We went to have fun and we smiled almost the entire time we were there. The Midwinter Pleasure Faire left us wanting more which, in the end, is a compliment and the main complaint. Can’t wait to see it bigger and better next year!
Pictures and article by Melissa, Mallory, and Austin.
What is an escape room?
An escape room is a life size puzzle game. A group of people are locked in a room and must follow clues and hints to escape. The earliest ones were opened about ten years ago and they have been exploding in popularity. Motor City Geek was invited to take a behind-the-scenes tour of one of Escape Room-Zone in Farmington Hills.
When we arrived, we were met by the manager, Sean. He was, frankly, an amazing guide. His enthusiasm for the rooms was palpable and made the whole experience incredible.
He started us out in the first room that was built, the Mad Scientist room. Because we want to go back and experience it, we were careful to avoid spoilers. Sean gave us a demonstration of a few of the surprises (including lighting). The best way I can think of to describe these rooms is that it’s almost like an “I SPY” page in real life. I saw a lot of interesting and unexpected items from which you have to chose the important ones, helping you to solve logical, physical, and investigative puzzles.
From there we saw the Haunted Room. This is the recommended “date room” because it’s smaller, darker and more intimate. Once again I can’t give spoilers, but I think there might be a moment or two I’d scream out loud in this room! That might be because I’m a wimp, but I was excited by some of the surprises.
There’s a more kid-friendly puzzle room that you escape by playing your favorite childhood games. But the kid room got a whole lot cooler when Sean showed us the hidden door that led to…
The Bank Heist room! As a former teller at Chase, I’d like to think I’d rock this one, but as a teller, I never had to deal with bombs 😉 And yes, there are bombs.
Probably the coolest room there was the Prison Break room. This was a more complex room and it was complete with an isolation cell, group cell (yes, you ARE shackled to start off with) and another section we couldn’t see for spoiler purposes.
They are apparently building another room, museum themed, that allows up to 30(!) people to experience the escape room craze at once.
Worst part? I’m a scaredy cat. I’d probably scream. Multiple times. Best part? The building is haunted by a ghost named Lisa. Her origins are murky, but she’s been known to move items around while the staff is alone in the building. While Sean told us the story of Lisa a light in the room turned off by itself! He promises he didn’t do it… come investigate for yourself.
Escape Room-Zone is open 7 days a week. Located next to Zap Zone. Click here to book your escape room experience. Use code FB5NOW for $5 off! Locations in Farmington Hills, Canton, and Waterford.
Article by Mallory Crowe – Romance Author
Michigan Science Center After Dark: Vintage Video Games III
Motor City Geek went retro last night. The Michigan Science Center held their third After Dark: Vintage Video Games. Tickets were $15 to get in the door which included one drink ticket and unlimited play time at the 20+ vintage games. The arcade games were provided by Offworld Arcade.
The geeks were out in full force. The same event in July sold out and this one seemed just as popular. Before the doors even opened there was a line outside the MSC. The games were spread out over two levels and each level had a cash bar serving beer and liquor (The drinks were Mario themed. I tried the Princess Peach for… research purposes.)
Even if you weren’t into gaming, there was plenty to keep you entertained. From pixel art perler bead tables so you could bring your favorite characters to life or exploring the awesome Michigan Science Center exhibits with a drink in hand. (And who hasn’t ever wanted to do that?)
Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters Detroit answered the call for fun. They brought with them their own Ectomobile, a collection of console Ghostbusters games and The Real Ghostbusters arcade game! To top it all off they had their own Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and were more than happy to take photos with anyone and everyone!
Motor City Gaming also did a live podcast at the event (including a few giveaways).
Worst part of the night? There were waits to play games. The unfortunate side effect of the event being popular. But with so many options, most people could just hop to another cabinet and enjoy another game while they waited.
Best part of the night? I loved everything Ghostbuster related.
Overall verdict? I didn’t know what to expect when I walked in but was pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere and variety of activities provided. This was an affordable way to spend a really fun Thursday night and learn some science facts along the way!
Event review by Mallory Crowe – Romance Author
List of games provided by Offworld Arcade
Track and Field
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Atari Video Pinball
Super Smash Bros
Atari 2600 Games