On Oscar night, the stars shine while the technical wizards who make them look like action heroes and monster slayers are squeezed into a five-minute montage. At the Grammys, rock stars hog the spotlight while the knob-twiddlers who cover up their missed notes remain in the shadows.
Eric Smith and Tim Quirino, co-founders of local blog Geekadelphia, devised the Philadelphia Geek Awards in 2011 to honor some of those behind-the-curtain talents. "You always hear about local establishments winning awards," says Smith. "What about the people building the marketing campaigns? You hear about games being honored at big conferences, but if the developers are local, why isn't anyone in the city recognizing them?"
On Friday night, those oversights will be remedied at the Geek Awards' second annual black-tie affair, where awards will be given for categories like Hacker, Viral Project and Indie Game Developer of the Year.
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Smith defines a geek as "someone who is incredibly passionate about a specific niche interest: Games. Comics. Science. Social Media." The Geek Awards nominees reflect local activity in each of those categories. Nominees range from the Philadelphia Opera Company for its "Pop-Up Opera" series to Philly Tech Week to NPR's "Fresh Air."
"Amazing things happen all the time in Philadelphia's geek community," says Quirino. "Most of the time they fall under the radar of mainstream news, and this is our way of making those achievements and initiatives known."
If you go
Philadelphia Geek Awards
Friday, 6:30 p.m.
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.