Southern-Fried Gameroom Expo Recap

southern fried gameroom expo
Disclaimer: We were provided free passes courtesy of SFGE. All opinions expressed are 100% our own. 

Celeste and I try to hit up as many conventions as we can in and around the Atlanta area.  This past Saturday, we got the opportunity to check out the Southern-Fried Gameroom Expo, held at the lovely Renaissance-Waverly Hotel (the home of Anime Weekend Atlanta) from June 10-12.  The SFGE is a little different from the usual conventions we’ve hit up in the past in that it is, first and foremost, a gaming convention.  I’m not the world’s most hardcore gamer, especially since tabletop RPGs have sort of elbowed them out of my heart to make room for themselves, but I still look back fondly on my days as a dedicated player.

southern fried gameroom expo

Hundreds of arcade games were on display and free to play when we visited SFGE. The main show floor felt very reminiscent of the mysterious, dimly-lit arcades of my youth.  Back then, before the spread of the internet and the rise of the nerd community, arcade halls like that were a sort of mecca for gamers and geeks of all shapes and sizes, so the feelings of nostalgia are very strong with me.  In this age where arcades have almost completely disappeared from the collective consciousness, it was nice to reconnect with those feelings, even if it was only for a little while. 

Pinball had a very strong representation at SFGE- I would wager that more than half of the machines we saw were pinball, with only a few repeats of the same model. There were quite a few Ghostbusters machines, shiny and new from what I understand, gathered for the purposes of a tournament for which I was absolutely not qualified.

I’m no pinball wizard by any stretch of the imagination, but I do enjoy a good round or two from time to time.  In fact, while touring the halls, one pinball machine in particular caught my eye: an old foe from days long past had risen from the depths, seeking revenge… 

southern fried gameroom expo godzilla pinball
southern fried gameroom expo

A grueling grudge match with Roland Emmerich’s late-nineties imposter monster ensued.  Alas, my pinball skills are a bit rusty, and GINO, with some help from conspirators Matthew Broderick and Jean Reno, won the day.  I intend to lick my wounds by rewatching a particular scene from Godzilla: Final Wars on repeat until I’m satisfied.


We stumbled across some of my favorite classic games, including Ghosts ‘n Goblins and Shadow Dancer, and Celeste and I got in quite a few rounds of Tekken 4 while we were at it.  It definitely scratched my itch for some retro gaming, but I was surprised there weren’t more fighting games on display, considering how competitive a scene Atlanta has.  Sure, there were a few MAME Arcade cabinets set up running some iteration of Street Fighter III or another and a Mortal Kombat 3 machine, but not a single Neo-Geo in sight!  Word to whoever provides the arcade cabinets for next year’s expo: I want to see some Fatal Fury and Metal Slug in there!  SNK represent! 

Other Atlanta conventions like DragonCon, Momocon, and AWA feature extensive dealer’s rooms and Artist’s Alleys, but that was not the case here at SFGE.  There were a few vendors set up, but nothing too elaborate.  A tabletop gaming area was also provided, though there was not a whole lot going on there when we checked it out; we might have simply missed the busy period.

There was more going on at SFGE than just games, of course.  An assortment of films were screened, including a number of gaming-related documentaries, but the highlight for me (considering I missed the actual showing) would have to be The Last Starfighter- a movie I loved as a kid and had nearly forgotten until it was brought up (over and over again) in Ernest Cline’s novels.  Lance Guest, Alex Rogan himself, was scheduled to appear for a Q&A as well.  That’s pretty awesome! 

southern fried gameroom expo
southern fried gameroom expo pinball

I was somewhat disheartened to learn that there was a wrestling show on Friday night.  I can’t keep missing these wrestling shows at conventions- I couldn’t get in to see DragonCon Wrestling last year, and now SFGE sneaks one past me.  There is no justice in this world!

There was not a whole lot of cosplay going on at SFGE, despite there being a Costume Contest that night.  I did spot an adorable Pac-Man and a few solid Final Fantasy cosplayers, but something tells me most people attending SFGE were there to play some games- an activity best done without thirty pounds of costume weighing one down.

So, the question begs- was SFGE fun?  Absolutely.  Considering the number of games available, there should be something there for anyone who considers themselves a gamer, old-school or new.  If you’re into that classic style of stand-up gaming, pinball in particular, you’d be out of your mind not to make time for this expo

Office Tour 2016


This is a post I've been wanting to share for quiet some time, but until recently my work space had always been tucked into the corner of my bedroom or living room. One of the biggest motivators for Budd and I moving into a larger apartment was so I could have a proper work space to work on various design and cosplay projects. Let's take a look!

sword of nerdom office tour

I finally have a huge table for cutting fabric that isn't my dining table. The table and picture ledges are both from Ikea, while the shelf I store my fabric stash in is from Target. Above the cutting board is my little galley where I can swap out art periodically. Some prints I current have up include a "Keepin' it Surreal"/Salvador Dali poster from an art exhibit in college, a few Furiosa prints (one from my absurdly talented friend Kiki), Camilla d'Errico's Iguana, Lady Mechanika, Rat Queens, and a silhouette by Charmaine Olivia

sword of nerdom office tour

My computer area is fairly small, but it suites my needs. I have a few additional prints and comic book art above my desk for inspiration. My main computer is a my laptop, but I often use a second monitor when I'm working on design projects or watching Netflix while I work. 

sword of nerdom office tour

My favorite figure in my entire collection is my Bishoujo Zatanna statue. I love the version of her outfit with the ruffled button up and thigh high boots (also my favorite version to cosplay.) I plan to get more figures from this line in the near future. 

sword of nerdom office tour bishoujo ztanna

Right next to my computer area is my sewing machine and a bookshelf where I store my patterns, muslin, and current projects which I have sorted into white plastic bins. I usually keep reference photos for cosplays above my sewing space. My computer table is from Ikea and the wood sewing table was given to me for free. I plan to paint it white one of these days. 

sword of nerdom office tour

Across the way is where I keep my dress form when not in use and another shelf (from Target) for storing various craft supplies. I keep more Charmaine Olivia silhouette's, prints, and a shelf with assorted nicknacks and masks that I've collected. 

sword of nerdom office tour
sword of nerdom office tour

I like to keep a few of my favorite art and comic books in my office as well. I also have a few books of poetry by Lang Leav, #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso, and some cosplay books. Cute tokidoki cactus friends adorn the top of the book pile. 

sword of nerdom office tour

I also collect Maneki-neko (Beckoning Cat) statues. One of my favorite is my droid Neko that I picked up from Criminal Records in Little Five-Points (neighborhood in Atlanta.) 

waving cat collection

Eventually I want to get a peg board on the wall behind my sewing machine to store all my sewing bits and such. A nicer office chair and rug are also additional I'd like to make in future. 

Tell me what you think about posts like these? Would you be interested in seeing a tour of our super nerdy apartment? Let me know! 

Craft Wondrous Item: Dark Brotherhood Note

skyrim dark brotherhood note

Have I ever mentioned that Skyrim was my gateway drug into video games? Needless to say it's one of my favorite video games that I still enjoy playing. Skyrim’s Dark Brotherhood quest line is one of the best and most infamous in the game, and it all begins with a mysterious note delivered to the Dragonborn that reads “We Know.” As a big fan of the Dark Brotherhood, I decided that a replica of that note might be something fun to create.

skyrim dark brotherhood

Here’s how to do it:


  • 8.5 x 11” white printer paper

  • Black & brown paint

  • Medium sized paintbrush

  • 3-4 bags of any black tea

  • Pen (something like a Micron or Faber Castell pen is best)


Step 1. Gather your supplies and make some tea (really).

Step 2: Boil some water in a small pot. Once the water reaching boiling point, throw in about 3 of your tea bags, let them boil for about 4-5 minutes, then remove from your stove top. Feel free to actually make yourself a cup of tea with one of the tea bags before using them to on your paper.

Step  3: Place a few layers of paper towels underneath your 8.5 x 11” paper to avoid making a mess. 

Step 4: Once your tea bags have cooled down you should begin to discolor your paper, using the bags like sponges. I recommend dropping them once or twice for a nice darker stain/splatter effect in some places. Be sure to thoroughly cover the entire paper. 

Step 5: Carefully remove your tea stained paper from the paper towels and folder it in half 3 times. The folded up paper should easily fit in your hand.

Step 6: Take a hairdryer and dry the paper. You can also take a hair straighter to add some extra stiffness. Use these appliances with caution.

Step 7: Use your dry paintbrush and dab a bit of brown paint around the outer corners and fold creases of the paper. This step adds some extra depth to the “parchment” look of your paper.

Step 8: Once you've dried the paper it’s time to get messy. Cover the palm and fingers of your right hand with black acrylic paint. Don’t apply too thin of a layer or the handprint won’t transfer onto your paper very well. Once you’ve covered your hand in the paint, press your hand onto the paper to leave a black handprint.

Step 9: The next to last step is to add the text “We know.” I recommend writing the text lightly with a pencil before using your pen to write the final version.

Step 10: Frame your lovely gift from your local Dark Brotherhood and hail Sithis.