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A nerdy-fun time at AZ ASSIST Gaming Day in Tempe

Posted by on April 27, 2012 – 9:36 am

AZ ASSIST, a Tempe-based nonprofit organization that helps teens and young adults with autism, will host a Gaming Day event this Saturday in connection with Autism Awareness & Acceptance Month. It will be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at their East Valley location, 2150 E. Southern Ave., Tempe.

Among the attractions, Amazing Arizona Comics creator and Nerdvana contributor Russ Kazmierczak Jr. will be doing sketches from noon to 2 p.m. The first person to mention Nerdvana will get an exclusive, oversized Amazing Arizona Comics framed page!

Other activities include board gaming, card games, all-day anime, Dungeons & Dragons, a LEGO contest, steampunk LARPing, video games, cosplay raffles and more. Costumes are encouraged, with lockers available (BYOL). Get a full list of the fun offerings (and ways you can help) at AZ ASSIST’s website and at Best Of East Valley runner-up blogger Jonathan Simon’s Lightning Octopus.

Tickets to the event are just $5 (not including raffle tickets and refreshments sold on-site).

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  • http://www.azassist.com Cinder McDonald

    There are many events ABOUT people with autism (how many walks are there?) but hardly any events BY and FOR them.

    We had a great time on Sat. People came together and there were many wonderful moments. Here are a few of them. We sang and danced with Allison, a shy teenager with an angelic voice. Anthony saved the day for our photographer when a SD card failed – he figured out how to recover the lost photos. Jess showed her sketches of original characters with artist Russ Kazmierczak Jr, who honored her by drawing one of her characters. Garret planned and ran the card gaming room, the busiest room of the day, winning the respect of every volunteer he worked with. Amber created an amazing Lego bat which was proportionate and articulated, down to the dew claws. Everyone was saying, “If you do this again next year, I want to be here.”

    I knew many of our young people enjoyed gaming, but had difficulties attending events and cons because of sensory issues and other issues related to autism. I wanted to bring a bit of the magic to them, I wanted them to have an opportunity to experience the the excitement, the acceptance, the camaraderie and the sense of adventure. Teens/young adults were rather surprised to find out that there were adults who enjoyed the things they did and volunteers were impressed by the teens/young adults.

    Thanks to everyone who gave their energy and time to this event and a shout out to local businesses, artists and groups who helped out: Bookmans, Show Time Cards and Games, FallOut Games, Gotham City Comics, Game Depot, Greg Ham, Russ Kazmierczak Jr, the AZ Ghostbusters, the Zelda group, Amtgard, Men in Black and AZ Furs.