Meet a GeekDad: Jonathan Liu

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JLiu-games

He’s the guy who makes sure our “i”s are dotted, “t”s are crossed, and verbs and subjects agree. At least he tries to–it’s a big job. Meet our Senior Editor, Jonathan Liu.

Tell us about your family.  

My wife is a family doctor and public health advocate–she pays the bills so I can be a stay-at-home dad, and I take care of the kids so she can pursue her passion for better health for both individuals and communities. I’ve got three daughters: one’s in middle school, one’s in elementary school, and one is still in diapers. The two older girls play roller derby, which is awesome, and I can tell the youngest can’t wait until she can zoom around on skates, too.

What makes you a geek? 

I’ve always loved reading and learning about lots of different things, but sometimes I feel that I have too many interests to dive as deeply into any given one. I learn pretty quickly and am always interested in finding ways to do things more efficiently and keep things organized if I can.

What do you do when you’re not writing and editing at GeekDad? 

GeekDad is my primary hobby, honestly–but of course writing for GeekDad incorporates playing games and reading books, so that works out pretty nicely. I also do the bulk of the household stuff: grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, shuttling kids to school and activities, and so forth. I play games any chance I get, and I watch snippets of TV shows while I’m folding laundry (so it takes me a week or so to watch an hour-long show).

How did you get involved in GeekDad? 

A few years back when Ken put out the call for new writers, I had just moved to Tribune, a tiny town in western Kansas. I was ready for a creative outlet and thought it would be fun to give it a shot. At the time, there weren’t any other writers who were stay-at-home dads, and not a lot of people writing about board games, so I thought I could contribute a bit in those areas. A while later, I got promoted to Senior Editor–mostly because I’m a grammar nerd and I kept finding things that needed to be fixed. As editor, I get to swoop in and enforce style guide rules and stamp out typos. I know, it’s an incredibly glamorous job.

Do you write anywhere else?

Not much. I did try writing for a couple of other blogs at times but most of what I write fits in the realm of GeekDad so I like it here.

Do you have a favorite geeky pursuit? 

Primarily board games and books. I started getting into the modern wave of tabletop games about ten years ago thanks to some friends (including fellow GeekDad Erik Wecks), and once I started down that rabbit hole I’ve never stopped falling. I’ll try just about any type of board game once, and I can–and often do–talk about board games for hours. I love reading, too. Our dining room is also our library (and my office), and I love being surrounded by books all the time. But I missed a lot of the geek touchstones in popular culture. There are plenty of fan favorite shows I’ve never seen, or video games I haven’t played, and I tend to be a late adopter when it comes to technology. I’m definitely more of an analog geek.

Desert Island list: Book. Movie. Comic. Television show. Video game. Tabletop game.

Oh, man. I’m terrible at picking favorites. I’m the guy who will spend a couple hours at the store, gift card in hand, and then walk out not having bought anything because I couldn’t decide yet. I think for tabletop game I could pick Carcassonne, but other than that I don’t know. I tend to try lots of different things once rather than the same thing over and over again.

If we see you at a convention, you’re most likely to be… 

Playing games and staying up way too late.

Star Wars or Star Trek?

Uh, Firefly? Honestly, I like both, but I’m not deeply into either. I’ve seen the Star Wars films, most of the Star Trek films, but haven’t watched as many of the Star Trek TV shows, whether TOS or Enterprise or any of the others, so I have a passing familiarity with both worlds but I wouldn’t call myself an expert on either.

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