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Interviews | March 17, 2014

Shawn Donley: IMG Peter Stark: The Powells.com Interview



Peter StarkIt's hard to believe that 200 years ago, the Pacific Northwest was one of the most remote and isolated regions in the world. In 1810, four years... Continue »
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Customer Comments

Praxagora has commented on (2) products.

Steampunk Gear, Gadgets, and Gizmos: A Maker's Guide to Creating Modern Artifacts by Thomas Willeford
Steampunk Gear, Gadgets, and Gizmos: A Maker's Guide to Creating Modern Artifacts

Praxagora, July 15, 2012

Willeford provides a wonderful analysis of the entire process of DIY costuming within the Steampunk genre (what he calls subculture). Beginning with a definition of exactly what Steampunk is, how it functions, and ways to jump start your own imagination. He provides a wonderful breakdown of where to find pieces, what you might need and how to begin the process of re purposing items. Willeford does a fantastic job of differentiating what tools are required for a project and which are time savers. All of the projects in the book are designed to be completed with tools that most people would already have available. The projects themselves range from the most basic flight goggles to the most complex "Replacement Arm with Gatling Gun." But each project is well explained with step by step instructions each accompanied by detailed photographs. Interspersed among these are tips, notes and cautions. All of this is tied together with Willeford's wonderfully engaging prose and slightly dark/sarcastic humor.




Final Thought: Definitely a great book. Even if you are not interested in the actually making these projects, Willeford's writing style and passion for his subject is engaging and wonderfully entertaining.
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Leaving Mundania: Inside the Transformative World of Live Action Role-Playing Games by Lizzie Stark
Leaving Mundania: Inside the Transformative World of Live Action Role-Playing Games

Praxagora, July 6, 2012

Leaving Mundania is a fabulously written ethnographic study of the "transformative world of Live Action Role-Playing games." (LARP) Larping has long been a misunderstood subset of the geek community, looked down upon by both normals and other geeks alike. Stark takes this premise and provides a wonderfully well written study of the community as it exists and the reasons why members would participate. The ethnography is engaging and interesting to both insiders and outsiders. Stark's treatment of the topic is respectful and non-derogatory, while acknowledging the sometimes surreal aspects of the world which she is studying. She provides a rich and detailed look at the various aspects of larping in both the US and abroad, while taking the reader on a journey of discovery about larping in general, and her own experience in particular. All in all I thoroughly recommend Leaving Mundania to fans of both Geekdom and general anthropological ethnography.
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