Philadelphia: The New Geek Mecca

Thanks to a link from Emily, I now know what I have long hoped and suspected: My city is well on its way to being the new geek mecca. The link that confirms this is Geekadelphia, a blog that is all things geeky and Philly rolled into one.

Sure, the greater Boston area has MIT (home of live action anime performances), Harvard (home of roflcon, the upcoming convention for humorous internet memes), Nerd Nite, and some decent comic stores and game stores. And yeah, I might have referred to Comic Con and Paris as “Geek Mecca” in conversation in the past. And heck, New York has more science get-togethers in bars, nerd nites, and other nerd groups than you can shake a stick at. I don’t mean to disparage their excellent geek offerings. I simply mean to give an appreciative nod to an up-and-comer in the world of urban geek culture.

Since I started reading Geekadelphia, I have been alerted to the existence of a neat-looking comic store in town, and what sounds like an interesting Make: Philly event I’ll be attending later today. These are, of course, in addition to other geeky staples of the city, such as the semi-frequent Harry-Potter-related happenings around the Penn museum and our University at large, a local Dorkbot chapter, and a “Philly Geek Night” mailing list—which I just realized as I write this seems to have an accompanying blog of its own. Two geek blogs for one city! Now that is something. And this is all in addition to a decent arcade and a variety of other comic and gaming stores (though I haven’t really seen a tabletop/hobbyist gaming store in along the Market-Frankford or trolly lines—suggestions?).

Also, how many cities have not just one, but two geek researchers in residence? I have not yet met Christina Dunbar-Hester, whose article “Geeks, Meta-geeks, and Gender Trouble: Activism, Identity, and Lower-power FM Radio” should be seeing publication soon. Some day, though, we will manage to be in this city at the same time, and I suspect nerdy field-research stories will ensue.

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