Gamers, makers, and sci-fi fans unite! at Penguicon 2014

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As someone who makes it to about 20 events a year between open source conferences and science-fiction/fandom-type events, I feel qualified to describe Penguicon as a relatively unique event among its brethren, as it is a bit of both of those. It's also a music event, a gaming event, and a maker event. It's a little bit of all these interests that so often intersect, and this year's event, to be held May 2 - 4 in Southfield, MI, is fast approaching.

This year's guest of honor is Ernie Cline, author of Ready Player One, one of my favorite novels of the last few years. In fact, I included it on the summer reading list in 2012. Though not actually about open source or software, except as part of the storyline, I have often mentioned it in talks about the spread of open source principles in culture beyond software, as it was one of the first places I saw the term used in a context that was not explicitly about the openness of the software as well as in a way that I found confusing. (See that summer reading list post for more on that.)

Other guests include Cory Doctorow, founder of and author of quite a few things; Eva Galperin, the International Freedom of Expression Coordinator at the Electronic Frontier Foundation; and Erika Carlson, co-founder of the Detroit chapter of Girl Develop It.

Penguicon also has a "hack of honor," GameFace Labs' yet-to-be-named, Android based, fully wireless Virtual Reality (VR) headset prototype. If you haven't been keeping up with gaming news, I've just come back from Game Developers Conference, and from Sony to Oculus and everyone who wants in on it (hello, Facebook), it's all about VR right now. I'm looking forward to seeing what GameFace has come up with.

Of course, I'd be a bit remiss if I didn't plug my own session with my Raspberry Pi Hacks co-author, Tom Callaway. We'll be talking Pi, of course, showing you some fun projects, and if we're lucky (by which I mean I should stop writing now and start building), we'll be able to give you a sneak peek of our latest project, which I assure you embodies the Penguicon spirit of crossed interests. You might even say it's more than meets the eye.

Check out Penguicon's preview video below, and I hope to see you there!


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Ruth Suehle is the community leadership manager for Red Hat's Open Source and Standards team. She's co-author of Raspberry Pi Hacks (O'Reilly, December 2013) and a senior editor at GeekMom, a site for those who find their joy in both geekery and parenting.

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Truly a mash-up of collaboration

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