Meetup.com: Discover Your New Dungeon Mates and Drinking Buddies

It might be a sign that I'm getting older, but I've been avoiding the trendy social networking/news/imagery sites.  Pinterest, Tumblr, Plurk, Reddit...  I asked my geek guy to explain the differences to me.  It didn't work.

...BUT THEN, in a shocking twist, I discovered Meetup.com.  The site totally gets my stamp of approval.  Meetup users can create groups based on whatever they enjoy.  People join, start discussions, and then, well, meet up.  I think that's why I like the place.  Geeky interaction on Meetup results in face-to-face gatherings IN THE REAL WORLD.  Woo-hoo!

I shared a few words with Leane, one of the brains behind The Chicago Sci-Fi/Fantasy Meetup Group.  The goal of ChiSciFi, she says, "is pretty basic: get people together who like science fiction and fantasy stuff to make friends and do fun things."  The group mingles at the Mystic Celt on the first Tuesday of every month (this week!).   They also try to see a movie on the third Wednesday of every month.

Leane and I both appreciate one characteristic of Meetup groups: they aren't centered around dating.  "I think it gives people more opportunity to meet as friends," says Leane.  The focus is on the topic of  choice.  "Movies and television shows are the most talked about in general [at ChiSciFi]. If we're talking specific shows, well, Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, and pretty much anything that's currently being aired."

Whether you're introverted or extroverted, young or old, new to the city or just seeking new adventure, groups are waiting.  I've put together a list of local geek Meetups:

GENERAL/GENRE
The Chicago Sci-Fi/Fantasy Meetup Group
Chicago Fantasy, Speculative, and Science Fiction Community
Chicago Geek Girls
Naperville Freaks, Geeks, and Weirdos
Western Suburban Sci-Fi Book Club

FANDOMS
Chicago Doctor Who Meetup
Chicago Game of Thrones Meetup Group
The Illinois Jedi
Chicago Horror Meetup Group

VIDEO GAMES
Chicago Video Gamers Club
Chicago Dance Video Games Meetup Group
Chicago Starcraft Meetup Group

BOARD GAMES
Chicago Game Lovers
Saturday Strategy and Euro Boardgames
Bolingbrook Board Game Players
The Downers Grove Board Games Meetup Group
Evanston Social Game Meetup

COMICS
The Chicago Comic Book Meetup Group
The Edgewater Graphic Novel Book Club

RPG/TABLETOP/MINIATURES
RPG Chicago
The Chicago Area Dungeons & Dragons/RPG Meetup Group
Chicago Warhammer League
Aurora Dungeons and Dragons
Berwyn, IL Gamers Meetup Group
McHenry Dungeons and Dragons
The North Riverside Miniature Wargaming Meetup
Southwest Suburban RPG Gamers Meetup Group

CREATORS
Serious Game Developers of Chicago
The Chicago Experimental Game Development Meetup Group
Chicago Comic Creators

DATING
Dating for Nerds: Singles Parties and Social Events
Queer Nerds at Heart

...That's a HUGE start!  Now, all you have to do is sign up and say "Hello!"  Onward, geeks, to new RPG campaigns, gaming tournaments, and evenings out.  See you in the city!

 

Got a Meetup group to add to this list?  Comment below!

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