Philly Geek Awards – Best. Party. Ever.

The Annual Philadelphia Geek Awards were this weekend, and they lived up to their reputation as one of the best parties in Philadelphia.

The Philly Geek Awards Team. Photo by Nathaniel Dobson, permission courtesy of Geekadelphia & Eric Smith.
The Philly Geek Awards Team. Photo by Nathaniel Dobson, permission courtesy of Geekadelphia & Eric Smith.

Hosted by the venerable Geekadelphia, the Philadelphia Geek Awards honor projects in thirteen categories, including: comics, film, artists, games, science, social media, startups, web, events, and more. They culminate with the Geek of the Year award, which this year went to Ather Sharif, founder of the accessibility research lab EvoX.

Read more about the Philly Geek Awards 2015 winners and nominees.

“Planning for the Philly Geek Awards kicks off in the beginning of the year,” says Eric Smith, co-founder of the event, who also announced a $2,000 grant for geeky activities in conjunction with the City of Philadelphia that night. “There’s a lot to plot out. Who will we talk to about sponsors? How many presenters? When do we want to announce nominees? Media partners? Design for the awards? Theme? The list goes on. A lot of time goes into a 4 hour event, but we love it.”

This year’s theme was Back to the Future, and the awards featured a countdown timer, an internal light show, and a hoverboard logo.

Fran Wilde and William Stallwell present the Games Award. Photo Credit Fran Wilde
Fran Wilde and William Stallwell present the Games Award. Photo Credit Fran Wilde

I was honored to be asked to co-present the Games Award with William Stallwood, founder of Cipher Prime. We weren’t as cool as Joel Hodgson (squeeee MST3K4EVA) and his lovely assistant Jason from the Black Tribbles, and we didn’t sing the nominees like the operatic Karina Kacala (seriously, following her was HARD), but we made it through and got to celebrate three great games developed in Philadelphia, including the winner: social meta-card game, Pretense, the mass-transit LARP, Soulfill, and the really-hard-to-say-on-stage-in-public without cursing (and also really fun) ClusterPuck99.

Here are some more photos from the event, brilliantly hosted by the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia! (If you’re in town next year, be sure to get a ticket to next year’s party.)

Fran Wilde writes science fiction and fantasy. Her first novel, Updraft (Tor, 2015) is called 'Soaring' by Publishers' Weekly and Barnes & Noble SFF blog, while NPR Books says it was "one of the most original fantasy novels I've read this year." Her next novel, Cloudbound releases in September. Fran's short stories appear at Asimov's, Nature, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Tor.com. She writes for publications including The Washington Post, SFSignal, Tor.com, Clarkesworld, iO9.com, and GeekMom.com/GeekDad.com. She can also program digital minions, tie most of the sailor's knot board, and re-load a fountain pen without spattering herself with ink (usually). She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and their tween-minecraft fanatic / book addict / budding Scratch programmer.