Catching Up With Past Philly Geek Awards Winners

Today, the sixth annual Philly Geek Awards will once again celebrate the best of this city’s prodigious nerd community — which includes everyone from video gamers to scientists to urbanists and more. We caught up with five past award-winners to see what they’re currently up to.

Photography, from left: Jamie J. Moon; Maria Qualtieri; Jonathan Dubrowski; Guthrie: Brittany Walker.

Photo credits: Jamie J. Moon; Maria Qualtieri; Jonathan Dubrowski; Guthrie: Brittany Walker.

Frank Lee

Award: 2013 Hacker of the Year and Geek Story of the Year Award-Winner
After setting the Guinness World Record for Largest Architectural Videogame Display—Tetris on the side of the 29-story Cira Centre — the Drexel prof wants to push the boundaries of “community gaming” even more. Lee is crafting “War of the Worlds: Philadelphia,” a cooperative gameplay project that aims to bring 10,000 Philadelphians together in 2018 to protect the city from an alien attack.

Nicole Angemi

Award: 2015 Social Media Project of the Year
Now approaching 900,000 followers on her controversial Instagram (Angemi documents organs dissected during autopsies), this local pathologists’ assistant is on her way to a second viral success: a new Instagram project titled “beforelifeafterdeath” showcasing genetic traits. Angemi’s social media fame has led to guest-lecturing (at the Mütter Museum, among other places) and a merchandise line of autopsy-themed pins, t-shirts and hoodies.

Jason Richardson

Award: 2014 Geek of the Year and Streaming Project of the Year Award-Winner with the Black Tribbles
When he’s not putting together J1-Con, the city’s biggest anime convention, this Philly native is busy developing a series of projects aimed at the comics-loving and tech-savvy communities, including geek-culture news site J1 Studios (which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year) and J1Up, a Web show set to launch this month on YouTube.

Will Stallwood

Award: 2011 Outstanding Achievement to the Philadelphia Indie Game Scene
Improbable as it sounds, 32-year-old Stallwood is one of the old hands in the video-game scene. Since garnering acclaim for the visually intoxicating music-rhythm game Pulse, which was named iPad Game of the Week by Apple in 2011, Stallwood and his company, Cipher Prime, have created several more titles, including an arcade-style game called Tailwind that recently had a limited release.

Georgia Guthrie

Award: 2012 Hacker of the Year
A fixture in Philly maker spaces for nearly a decade, Guthrie remains dedicated to one of her oldest projects, “the Hacktory,” a workshop space where technology is repurposed in creative ways. (A recent workshop taught students to generate poetry through computer programming.) The Hacktory is on track to provide 280 hours of out-of-school programming in 2016. Her accomplishments got Guthrie invited to the White House in August.

Published as “Talk Nerdy to Me” in the October 2016 issue of Philadelphia magazine.