We call ourselves the Chicago Nerd Social Club because we believe nerds are pretty social people. Consider the days of the BBS. Nerds created environments to meet new people, share ideas and socialize. We game together, talk about fandoms, share cosplay tips and ideas – whether we’re in meatspace or online. We embrace our nerdy identities because they’re an integral part of who we are, and in many cases, have brought us professional success, friendships and happy relationships. What better reason is there to gather than to celebrate being a bunch of big old nerds, sharing our passions and knowledge for the things we love?
Who gets to be a nerd (or geek, or dork, etc.)? CNSC believes it’s anyone who wants to be, regardless of ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion or political affiliation. Whether you’re a hardcore fan, a casual gamer or a newbie who can’t tell Klingon from Quenya, all are welcome! We create fun, inclusive, safe spaces that are open to nerds from all walks of life and all levels of fandom – neither abusive language nor harassment of any kind are tolerated. If following Wheaton’s Law doesn’t appeal to you, as a wise old Jedi once said, “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”
The Chicago Nerd Social Club hosts a number of nerd-friendly events. Some are purely social: casual get-togethers at a bar, trips to the movies, gaming nights. Others are informational in nature: local museum outings, introductions to new technologies, and comic book swap nights. Most events are free or as inexpensive as we can make them. So join us at our next event!
Jeff is the co-founder of the Chicago Nerd Social Club and currently serves as the group’s president. Jeff counts comic books, role-playing games, programming and photography among his nerd badges. Jeff is also the host of the CNSC Podcast. When he’s not running CNSC events you can find him on Twitter as @DarkAndNerdy. If the stars align, you may even see an occasional post at AllThingsDork.com.
Anne runs the Chicago Nerds book club, the longest-running regularly-scheduled CNSC event, along with Paul Callan. She has served as president for both her college’s SF/F association and Pumping Station: One, Chicago’s largest hackerspace. In her spare time, she enjoys taking photos, reading, making things, backing Kickstarters and other crowdsourced endeavors, and nerding out over Star Trek, Doctor Who, Community, Buffy, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, Vikings, Denmark and the Danish language, geology, museums, open source/culture and copyleft, intersectionality, gadgets and old-school pen-and-paper RPGs (in no particular order).
Paul Callan was born and raised in Chicago and loves everything the city has to offer, in the daytime he fixes computers and takes photographs. When he is not busy teaching his son the ways of the Force or why Batman is so awesome, he co-moderates the CNSC Book Club with Anne Peterson. Paul can be found on twitter @zero1 where shares his love of movies, tv and comics and coffee.
As a professional, Gordon Dymowski consults with nonprofits and small businesses on building their communities through social media; by night, however, maintains his nerdy interests through organizing Net2Chi and the Chicago Doctor Who Meetup Group, and also serves as staff for November’s Chicago TARDIS Convention. He is also a writer/blogger, focusing on comics and popular culture on his blog Blog This, Pal!, Comic Related, Chicago Now, and The Baker Street Blog. Gordon also co-hosts the weekly Zone 4 podcast, which focuses on a variety of comic, television, and other nerdy interests. You can find him on Twitter @gordondym
Jamie is a graphic designer and web developer obsessed with community building. She established AnimeChicago in 2006, a journalism project promoting local events and organizations, which has since evolved into an anime club for the city at large. Jamie is also an avid craft beer nerd, long-time X-Phile, and self-proclaimed WordPress theme guru. When not participating in design or anime-related endeavors, she can be found in the indie video game scene admiring their craft. Follow @spacedragon for rants on all the nerdy things.
Michi Trota is a firespinning geek fiend who was raised on a steady diet of 80s cartoons, anime, and sci-fi/fantasy literature and soundtracks. She has a Simpsons quote for every occasion, always bags and boards her comics, and refuses to acknowledge the existence of a fourth Indiana Jones movie. Discussions about geek culture, feminism and intersectionality are guaranteed to get her talking for hours – she’s organized several discussion panels at conventions such as C2E2 and Wizard World Chicago, and has been a re-occurring guest on Loot the Room. She’s an organizer for the Chicago Full Moon Jams, performs with the Raks Geek showcase, and blogs about geekery, food, fire and anything else that catches her fancy at www.geekmelange.com. You can follow her on Twitter @GeekMelange.