Phoenix nerds, we know you don't need any more distraction than you already have, given you probably haven't stopped playing Pokemon Go for the last month. But you need places to walk while playing, right? And you need to find other trainers to play the game with and to drop lures for you, right? Well then, follow the trail of Pokestops to these 10 nerdy events around the Valley.
First Fridays at Unexpected: Art of Thrones
Game of Thrones season six is over, but the medieval fantasy continues with a highly unusual art gallery. On Friday, August 5, Unexpected will host a Thrones-themed showing for August's First Friday, displaying work based on ancient castles and knights from across the globe. Come dressed in period clothes or armor to take a picture at the "photo throne," and watch a live battle right on the scene. Unexpected will also be hosting greyhound adoptions. The event runs from 6 to 11 p.m. and is free to the public; shuttles to the gallery will run along Polk and Grand. For more information, visit the Facebook event.
Game On Expo 2016
Gamers of all stripes are bound to have a blast at Game On Expo 2016, the Valley's biggest video-game convention. Guests this year come from every branch of the industry, from voice actors like Steve Downes and Jen Taylor of the Halo series to game designers like Leisure Suit Larry creator Al Lowe to YouTube gamers such as ProJared and The Completionist. Attendees can buy games of all sorts at the vendor hall, play free arcade games, battle in a variety of tournaments, and attend panels. Oh, and it wouldn't be a con without cosplay, of course. The event runs from Friday through Sunday, August 5 through 7, at the Mesa Convention Center. General admission tickets for the full weekend cost $45, while daily tickets run between $15 and $25. To learn more and buy tickets before prices go up, visit the con's website.
Suicide Squad IMAX 3D Experience with the Phoenix Movie Bears
The Phoenix Movie Bears are the biggest LGBTQ film club in Arizona, focused on building a tolerant, all-inclusive environment for watching movies together. At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, August 10, the group will be hitting up an IMAX 3D showing of Suicide Squad at Harkins Arizona Mills. If you plan to see the film, which stars Will Smith, Jared Leto, and Margot Robbie, why not do it with a great group of movie fans? Simply attend the showing and look for people sporting T-shirts with the Movie Bears logo. To learn more, check out their website.
Meteor Madness 2016 with Dr. Sky
When was the last time you watched a meteor shower? Here's a chance to do it in style: with one of the leading personalities in astronomy and with free craft beer. Steve Kates, aka Dr. Sky, will host viewers for the biggest meteor shower of the year, the Perseids, at Lost Dutchman State Park right off the Superstition Mountains. The night begins at 8 p.m. with a free beer grotto sponsored by Lagunitas Brewing Company, including snacks and treats before Dr. Sky gives a presentation on meteor showers. Tickets to this portion of the event cost $20 per person. The remainder of the event — including a live radio show on Coast to Coast and the guided meteor shower viewing party — requires a camping pass at an additional $15 per site. This event takes place on Friday, August 12, and benefits the Lost Dutchman State Park. For tickets and more info, check out the Eventbrite page.
Cult Classics and Zia Records host great retro screenings every month, and at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 13, they will show Terminator 2 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the film's release. See the sci-fi action classic on the big screen again along with a room full of other fans. The screening will take place at Pollack Tempe Cinemas, and tickets start at $11 apiece, but attendees can also choose between a number of VIP packages that include themed T-shirts and posters. Learn more and buy tickets now at Brown Paper Tickets.
Tokusatsu Theater Presents: Heroes, Vampires & Anime!
This isn't your usual nerdy movie night. On Saturday, August 13, from 2 to 4 p.m., the folks with the long-running AZ film organization Tokusatsu Theater will host an afternoon filled with strange, obscure, and cheesy old-school Japanese anime and television. If you have a taste for low-budget special effects and over-the-top fight scenes, come see some footage you may never come across again. This event takes place at the National Comedy Theatre Phoenix in Mesa. Tickets are $10, and all ages will be admitted. To learn more, hit up the Facebook event.
Arizona Rollergirls Presents Saturday Night Live Roller Derby Action
As roller derby undergoes a popularity resurgence across the world, the Arizona Rollergirls are at the forefront of the Phoenix roller derby scene. Their next bout will take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 13, at the Broadway Rec Center in Mesa. Come to watch the women duke it out in an action-packed game, and enter to win a variety of raffle prizes. Tickets cost $10 online or $15 at the door, and children younger than 13 get in for free. To learn more and buy tickets, visit Brown Paper Tickets.
Adult Take-Over: Alien Party at i.d.e.a. Museum
Mesa's i.d.e.a. Museum is usually a great place for kids to learn and have fun, but they're hosting a 21+ only night on Friday, August 19, at 6 p.m. The sci-fi themed night includes a cash bar, a costume party, a dance floor with a live DJ, hands-on activities, and more. Attendees can also check out the museum's "Sci-Fi: Fantasy to Reality" exhibit to see art inspired by classic science-fiction stories. Cosplay is strongly encouraged. Tickets purchased online before August 15 cost $25 per person or $45 for a couple; if you buy tickets at the door, they're $30 and $55 respectively. For more information and to buy tickets, look to i.d.e.a. Museum's website.
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Saboten and AZPGC Pokemon Cosplay Party
Yes, of course there's a Pokemon event. Saboten and Arizona Pokémon Go Community will host this huge cosplay contest and group Pokemon Go play session on Saturday, August 20. The event kicks off at Bonus Round at 8 p.m.; attendees are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite Pokemon and trainers, and the cosplay contest winner will receive free passes to next month's Saboten Con. From there, the crowd will move throughout the city, hunting down Pokemon and taking on local gyms, while the event hosts drop lures all around the area. The event is free to attend and open to all ages. To learn more, hit up the Facebook event.
Chris Gall: NanoBots
Chris Gall created the DinoTrux children's books, now a Netflix show, but now he's introducing a new team of robotic heroes in the soon-to-be-released NanoBots. At 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 27, Gall will visit Changing Hands Bookstore to discuss the book and sign copies. Kids will love to hear the author discuss his work, and they'll learn something about nanotechnology in the process. This event is free to attend and takes place at the Tempe location of Changing Hands. To learn more and preorder your copy of NanoBots ($16.99), visit the Changing Hands website.