The nominees for the fourth annual Philadelphia Geek Awards
have officially been announced -- there are 38 of them, spread across more than a dozen categories.
And at precisely 8 p.m. on the evening of August 16, the show will commence at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
. Roughly 400 audience members will be introduced to some of the city's most inspirational and unusual passion projects, many of the extremely geeky sort: comic books, mobile video games, YouTube videos, and odd art and science projects, to name a few.
Come evening's end, one of three nominees will be crowned Philadelphia's Geek of the Year, an honor that in 2013 went to Dan Ueda, who ran the robotics program at Central High School .
All told, the upcoming 2014 Geek Awards are shaping up to be the ultimate celebration of an obsessive subculture that has grown exponentially.
"It isn't really a subculture anymore," says Drexel's Jill Sybesma, the event's organizer. "It's just culture."
The Geek Awards began back in 2011 when Geekadelphia
co-founders Eric Smith and Tim Quirino approached Sybesma with the idea to create an award that would match their geeky site.
"The city really didn't have anything that encompassed all its geeky projects," she recalls.
Indeed, many of this year's nominees are not bold-faced names from the science or tech scenes. The creators of an enormous Rube Goldberg machine
, for instance, are up for a 2014 award, as is an artist
who creates and installs fake street signs.
"We say that it doesn't matter what you're geeky about," Sybesma explains.
"Just that there's more people doing this now."
Tickets go on sale August 1 at phillygeekawards.com.
Writer: Dan Eldridge
Source: Jill Sybesma, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University