Author: Tara M. Clapper

Join The Geek Initiative Book Club on Goodreads

Naturally, our geeky community members love to talk about books. Books are many things to us: escape from the stress of the real world, educational material, or fiction that helps us cope with the reality of our current socio-political climate. Our club will read approximately one book per month (some may take more or less time, depending on page count and subject matter) and members will suggest and select the book for the following month. We show preference to works inexpensive or free to promote accessibility, while understanding that authors deserve to be paid for their work. Ready to...

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I’m Attending a Blockbuster LARP: 12 Ways I Budget to Make It Happen

If you’re at all familiar with the international LARP scene, you know that blockbuster LARPs are a big deal. You also know that due to insurance, high production value, and fair wage, they can also get really pricey – and that’s been a big point of discussion recently. I’ve been the underemployed Starbucks worker wondering if I’d ever afford a vacation, and now I make a wage that would be comfortable – except for the rising cost of healthcare here in the U.S., which can easily surpass my monthly car payment and even my rent. But LARP is important...

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23 Things You Should Know About LARPing with a Chronic Illness

LARPing with a chronic illness isn’t easy, especially when the symptoms start long before you even know what you’re dealing with. I remember the long car ride back from North Jersey. It was years before the car accident. There I was with a migraine, struggling not to throw up when I should have been celebrating my recent engagement. Chronic pain was in my life, but I was about to commit to help run a LARP and start a life with someone. I took my cue from a lot of other people: losing weight was as simple as doing what...

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Love, Longing, and Ancestry: Interview with ‘Kurt Seyit ve Şura’ Author Nermin Bezmen

If you’ve known it, you’re fortunate: a love that never ends, even when you’re torn apart by careers or distance or life circumstances – possibly even surviving the end of the relationship itself. This describes “Seyt and Shura” (“Kurt Seyit ve Şura”), a Turkish television drama exploring the lives of a Russian aristocrat and a Turkish soldier from Crimea loyal to the tsar. Set in 1916 and forward, the romantic historical drama begins in St. Petersburg (then Petrograd) and takes the viewer on a tumultuous journey to Alushta, Crimea all the way to British-occupied Istanbul. A few episodes in, I was...

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There’s a Wizard School in England: All About LARPing at Bothwell

Hey, LARPers and wannabe wizards: there’s a new wizard school in town – in England, specifically, and it’s called Bothwell School of Witchcraft. Spoiler alert: if you’re interested in falconry and able to be in England from August 11-13, 2017, this might be the LARP for you. Read on: For those new to this type of experience, LARP (live action role play, often known as LRP or live role play in the United Kingdom), provides participants with the chance to immersively portray a character in an agreedupon setting (in this case, wizard school) with a set of rules for play....

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Shuttering Our History: A Look at National Park Closures in Philadelphia

When you think about national parks in the United States, it’s likely you’re reminded of beautiful expanses like Yellowstone. However, our nation’s parks are various and inclusive of urban sites like Independence National Historical Park in Old City, Philadelphia. On March 14, 2017,’s Aubrey Whelan reported on the closures of two sites in this park: Ben Franklin’s Print Shop, and the Declaration House, in which Thomas Jefferson penned our famous national document, the Declaration of Independence. Whelan’s sources cite the incoming Trump budget cuts and related understaffing as the reasons for the shuttering, and also mentions the related...

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Exciting Changes and Announcements From The Geek Initiative

When I started The Geek Initiative nearly four years ago, I wanted to take a negative experience and turn it into something I needed: a space for and about women in geek culture. Since then, I’ve met so many new friends, contributors, readers, and supporters: the very people who have helped build and maintain this community. We have hosted panels at conventions; we have covered events as press; we have been asked for input as geek culture experts. We’re really damn mighty, and I’m extremely proud of us. Once upon a time, I pressed some buttons in a semi-reckless...

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Farewell, Ceara: How I Said Goodbye to My LARP Character

LARP (live action role play) provides participants to experience collaborative stories and emotion. During my time at Seventh Kingdom IGE (a fantasy boffer campaign LARP set in New Jersey, USA), I had the opportunity to play Ceara, a fairy-turned-mortal character. Over the course of five years, my LARP character Ceara changed from weaponless princess to fearless warrior. Ultimately, I decided to stop playing a combatant character for multiple reasons, the main one being my health. Due to chronic pain, it just wasn’t good for me to spend all weekend outdoors, let alone on a battlefield. However, I also didn’t...

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