Ryan Morrison, a co-owner of Tiki Tiki Board Games, talks about South Jersey Geekfest April 15, 2017, and gives a tour of the Tiki Tiki shop in Woodbury and its retail "roommates." Carly Q. Romalino/ Staff photographer
Courier-Post reporter Carly Q. Romalino will report LIVE from South Jersey Geekfest at noon Saturday. Join the live feed at Facebook.com/courierpost.
WOODBURY HEIGHTS - Are you a geek or a nerd?
No matter how you identify, Tiki Tiki Board Games owner Ryan Morrison says the doors are open Saturday at South Jersey Geekfest, a Comic-Con-type show celebrating LARPers, cosplay, crossplay, geeks and nerds. The event continues until 5 p.m. at the Woodbury Heights Community Center, 741 Helen Ave.
(See the Geekfest glossary below for shortcuts to geekdom lingo.)
The board game shop, recently relocated to the former Polsky's storefront on Broad Street in Woodbury, hosts the event twice a year. This is the seventh Geekfest, Morrison said.
"There were no shows in Gloucester County," Morrison explained.
Morrison and his business partners are software developers who founded Tiki Tiki in 2011. The shop opened in its original location in Woodbury, carrying new and used board games, but soon added books, vinyl records, airsoft weapons, trading cards, Pokémon and geek memorabilia. At the corner of Broad and Barber, Tiki Tiki hosts nightly events, such as board game nights and yo-yo club.
But four years ago, Morrison said, the group looked to connect geeks and nerds in South Jersey.
Saturday's show puts 60 vendors in the 8,000-square-foot community center, with activities inside and outside.
The vendor space sold out in four days, with small businesses based in nerdiness clamoring to participate.
The Philly Handbell Ensemble, Tiki Tiki's Yo-Yo club, and other local acts will perform on a small stage in the center. Tables will be set up for board game players, and YouTube-famous South Jersey native James Rolfe – The Angry Video Game Nerd – will sign autographs.
"It's a micro version of Comic-Con that doesn't cost $100 to get in," Morrison said.
FILL UP:Free coffee at Wawa on Thursday
Admission is $8 for adults, with the price cut to $5 if visitors bring three to five non-perishable food items for the South Jersey Food Bank, or dress as their favorite comic book, video game or self-invented whimsical characters. Children under 10 are admitted free.
New to the geekdom game? Here's your first-timer's Geekfest glossary, according to certified "Dungeons and Dragons" cloak-wearing geek Ryan Morrison:
Geek – A person "super passionate about something outside of the limelight," Morrison said.
"The beauty of geekiness is, it's whatever you're passionate about. You can share it, and people don't judge you anymore," Morrison said.
"When I started playing 'Dungeons and Dragons' I couldn't tell anyone ... now I can walk around in a cloak."
Nerd – A person passionate about technology or science fiction.
Nerds, for example, use their geekiness to "control the internet," Morrison said.
"This geek culture is going to run the world if it's not already," he commented.
Cosplay – Costume play, or dressing up as a character from a movie, video game or comic book.
Cosplay is encouraged at Geekfest, with admission discounts offered all day for costumed visitors.
Morrison suggests keeping it as basic as possible your first time out.
"Work in regular attire, like Captain America on his day off, just a shield and a helmet," he said.
Crossplay – Cosplay, but the costume isn't limited to the player's gender.
Women can dress as male characters and vice versa, Morrison said, recalling a male Princess Leia who appeared at last year's Geekfest.
LARP – Live-action role playing, in which you act out your character in the game.
Mystic Realms, a South Jersey-based theater troupe, uses LARPing to create live-action, interactive shows. The group will appear at Geekfest, presenting its twisted carnival.
SCA – Society for the Creative Anachronism researches and re-creates the skills used in pre-17th-century Europe.
The group, wearing ornate costumes of steel and rattan, will also appear at Geekfest. (Fact: Morrison is a former member of the group.)