Nerd Culture

10 Nerdy Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This August

Here are 10 nerdy things to do this August in metro Phoenix,
 including Portal cosplay at the 2017 Game On Expo.
Here are 10 nerdy things to do this August in metro Phoenix, including Portal cosplay at the 2017 Game On Expo. Benjamin Leatherman
Attention fans of birds, big names, and game conventions: This August, Phoenix is hosting a number of nerd-friendly events welcoming to everyone from comedy fans and environmentalists to bookworms and joystick enthusiasts. Here's your guide to the geekery.

click to enlarge Vignette near the entrance to "Bird Cloud Island." - KORYN WOODWARD WASSON/PHOTO BY LYNN TRIMBLE
Vignette near the entrance to "Bird Cloud Island."
Koryn Woodward Wasson/Photo by Lynn Trimble
"Bird Cloud Island"
Artist Koryn Woodward Wasson's "Bird Cloud Island" is on view in The Gallery at Scottsdale Public Library through August 31. Presented by Scottsdale Public Art, the installation is a resort for artistic renditions of birds, but humans are welcome, too. Check out the Neato-Nido Nests, Early’s Diner, Jewel Pool, and the Good-Night Show at the Luna Club, bird-themed snacks and refreshments, and a workshop on making bird puppets, happening from 10 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 12. Other related events include the presentation “I’m a Harwood Steiger Addict” by Cynthia DeVillemarette at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 16, in the Civic Center Library Auditorium, and the "Bird Cloud Island" closing reception on Saturday, August 26. Everything is free. See more details at the Scottsdale Public Art website.

click to enlarge Discuss the book Culture as Weapon: The Art of Influence in Everyday Life by Nato Thompson during Lit Happy Hour at SMoCA. - DEREK SCHULTZ
Discuss the book Culture as Weapon: The Art of Influence in Everyday Life by Nato Thompson during Lit Happy Hour at SMoCA.
Derek Schultz
Lit Happy Hour: Culture as Weapon by Nato Thompson
SMoCA director and chief curator Sara Cochran will take center stage during Lit Happy Hour from 5:45 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 3. She'll discuss the book Culture as Weapon: The Art of Influence in Everyday Life by Nato Thompson, artistic director of the nonprofit Creative Time. Thompson's book “argues that culture is a powerful and direct force in democratic societies but also a battleground for the hearts and minds of each citizen.” Tickets are $7 through the SMoCA website.

click to enlarge Val Kilmer portrays “First American” Mark Twain at Stand Up Live. - COURTESY OF STAND UP LIVE
Val Kilmer portrays “First American” Mark Twain at Stand Up Live.
Courtesy of Stand Up Live
Val Kilmer Live: Cinema Twain
The dude who does a killer Jim Morrison and Doc Holliday presents a screening of his one-man play about “First American” Mark Twain in downtown Phoenix for Val Kilmer Live: Cinema Twain. Kilmer waxes Twainisms, whether political, family-based, or philosophical in general as he introduces a 90-minute Cinema Twain film – all followed by a Q&A. The 18-and-over show starts at 7 p.m. on Sunday, August 6, at Stand Up Live. Tickets are $30 at the Stand Up Live website.

click to enlarge Playing the original Super Mario Bros. at last year's Game On Expo. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Playing the original Super Mario Bros. at last year's Game On Expo.
Benjamin Leatherman
2017 Game On Expo
Billed as the Southwest’s largest gaming event of its kind, the annual Game On Expo is set to feature a free-play console and arcade area, gaming tournaments and tutorials, and a gaming auction. There will, of course, also be a massive vendor hall, live music, a huge cosplay contest, and special guests like voice actors Dave Fennoy, Melissa Hutchison, Patricia Summersett, and rapper Mega Ran. The 2017 Game On Expo runs Friday, August 11, to Sunday, August 13, at the Phoenix Convention Center. Membership ranges from $20 to $85. See the 2017 Game On Expo website for details.

EOS Discovery Day: Intermediate 202
Save it, Rex Manning. It’s EOS Discovery Day. Tempe Camera is hosting EOS Discovery Day: Intermediate 202. It's a three-hour creative photography class to showcase the more sophisticated features and advanced controls of an Electro-Optical System camera. The class will cover sharp image and focus techniques, a workflow in producing a final image, and advanced printing. The class runs from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, August 12. It's also free to attend, but there is limited space. Be sure to RSVP though the Facebook event.

Read on for more of the best geeky pursuits in August — including an evening with Steve Martin and Martin Short.
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Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.