#howIwidow love token

ra-son projects: ¡geekeria!

This imagery connected my childhood to Dave's.
This imagery connected my childhood to Dave’s.

When Dave and I worked on projects together, we called them “Ra-Son” projects. Over the years, this has encompassed everything from lego-furniture, to social media icons, to games, and blogger personality quizzes.

This particular project was a labor of love, designed especially as a gift for you all.  I wasn’t going to revive it because the memories were so strong, but then I thought– it was your present.   Hiding it away would be darn rude, and it’s the sort of behavior that would make Dave raise one of his eyebrows at me.

So here it is, once again, with explanations:

Lotería is a Latin game-of-chance.

It is much like bingo– but instead of ping pong balls, there is a deck of cards, and instead of numbers, there are images on a card. Every image has a name and an assigned number.  Every player gets a board (called a “tabla”). The board features a 4×4 grid, and your goal is to get all the images in whatever pattern the caller decides (vertical, horizontal, diagonal, squared, etc).

The caller randomly pulls cards from a deck, and reads their name, or a clue about them. If you have the corresponding image on your tabla, you put a bean or small rock on it.

If you get the pre-designated 4 in a row, you shout “Loteria!”.  Your winning 4 are confirmed, and then you’re declared a winner and you get to claim a prize. Sometimes everyone plays for a dollar, sometimes people bring white elephant gifts.  It can be a high stakes game.  I know one or two abuelitas who take it super seriously.

Call El Diablito, Call El Diablito, Call it Or ELSE!
Call El Diablito, Call El Diablito, Call it Or ELSE!

There’s a number assigned to each image, probably to ease confusion– but the number is rarely used because the images are so very iconic.

During one of our late nights, Dave and I made our own version of this game because the culture of it was so fiercely woven into our early childhoods.  Our own version plays on the heavily image-based theme, except integrates our love of geek life.

We call it ¡Geekeria!

Obviously we have no copyright privileges for any of these characters, but we made everything ourselves and had a blast doing so.  It was a very peaceful night of creating, and a very strong memory for me.  I know loteria is not necessarily part of your culture, but it was our way of saying “Thanks for being a part of our family.”

That gratitude is as true today as it was the day we created this for you.

Download the Tablas

Download the Cards

You can browse the images below, or download the files above.  Then, just print and play.  I hope you enjoy it, or at least the idea of it.  If you have any questions– just let me know.

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Are there any meaningful games in your childhood or culture? Are you a geek? 

(Also, if you’re the sort who likes to play and romp and spin, you might be interested in participating in the #GoPlay challenge over at NerdInTheBrain. There’s still time!)


    1. Oh it’s a great game. It’s truly all-ages friendly, and it’s really easy to raise the stakes to keep grown ups interested. I like games where you can play at many different levels. 🙂 Thank you, Juliette. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Arati. The way we see it, our community fueled us with love and fun, and so when that fun-love had byproducts like games– it’s only right to bring it back to the community. One wouldn’t exist without the other– This, because that. ❤


  1. I remember the first time y’all spoke about this and geeking out over the cards then. Awesome!

    I just remember I had a perpetual Uno game going on with my brother for a few years; think tens of thousands into the scores. Growing up in the country without power during snow storms would do that to ya 😀


  2. It’s funny, I was recently cleaning up boxes full of memorabilia and I found a letter to Santa Claus that I must have wrote when I was 6 or 7. I asked for a Hot Wheel and some Glow Gob (I loved Glow Gob) and a Buzzy Buzzy Buzz Buzz. Ahh, the simple pleasures. 🙂 Harlon

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing this. The cards are beautiful and I love the thought of you working together on them, as a gift to us!

    I remember our family playing card games together. I know we played hearts and canasta. I don’t remember what else. I felt so grown when my parents let us play with them.


  4. I loved this post before, (yes, or is this déjà vu?) it’s so clever how accurate they are and how much you convey simply from a circle . Loved them then, love them again. 🙂

    I am geekish, though who is Max and Harvey Birdman? For childhood faves, I probably would have included the Fraggles and Mr Snuffleupagus! And the Count, everyone LOVES to count. Mwahhahaha! And Cookie Monster, because everyone loves cookies. And Ernie and Bert…

    I still love playing cards and board games, I’m particularly fond of a game my grandparents taught me called New Market, but I guess my love of the game is as much about my memory of them. xx


  5. I’m a huge fan of many things, mostly books but a few films etc. I’m a huge geek – a Girl Who Reads. There’s a category on my blog called fandoms, for goodness sake! 😛 And a large list of the fandoms I’m in (many, many, many….)
    I can also give a few quotes from things I’ve read/ heard of/ even if I didn’t particularly like them enough for them to be in my fandoms pile. My blog tagline is a case in point. Pop culture ftw.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Woot for geeking! And hurrah for being a Girl Who Reads (I’m assuming you’ve read rosemarie urquico’s piece on that?). When this blog started, all the menus at the top of this theme were “Geek” related. “Science geek, math geek, pop geek, mythos geek”, etc etc… it was insane and overwhelming and beautiful. I loved it but eventually the categories got the best of me. 😀 *high five for geeking*

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I need to do more geeky posts. It’s funny, I can do plenty of social justice stuff, but exposing geekiness is harder at times in such a public space. *High fives back.* But if you look at the post where I describe my geekiness, you uncover my secret, 😛
        I was thinking actually of that YouTube video, “I Like A Girl Who Reads”, though I have heard of rosemarie urquico and read her mini-essay.


  6. P.S. I can get quite philosophical about the fandom experience and how ‘real life’ connects with it. Books were my escape at school as a kid. My primary school was not a good place to be obviously nerdy and unable to hide it.
    Ah well. That happens. Thank goodness for fiction!
    We played board games and things….monopoly was a favourite. And Uno!


    1. I couldn’t leave out Grover! 🙂 I did, however, leave out Farscape, which is my most favorite of everything– perhaps because it IS my favorite. 🙂

      And yep, Dave and his blasted eyebrow. He never needed to say anything…. I could hear that eyebrow clear ‘cross a crowded room! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person


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