On this rainy, gloomy Saturday, my sister — in town for a little while from southern California — joined me, Ian, and Benji on a trip to MoPOP (http://www.mopop.org/).

I’d never gone inside the building, despite having seen it lots of times, and I found myself unexpectedly delighted by its architectural whimsy. Yes, it’s ridiculous and pretentious, and not exactly what I’d qualify as beautiful. But it’s fun. Benji wants his room clad in organically curved reflective metal panels now.

We visited a good number of exhibits:

  • The special collection, a Minecraft exhibit that struck me more like an extended ad for the glories if Minecraft, and which completely glossed over the fact that disgusting porn, political nutjobs, and other unsavory elements populate a huge portion of the Minecraft world online;
  • The Sound Lab, where I could have spent a lot more time going through the tutorial on how to play the bass;
  • The Indie Games exhibit where we played various games made locally by small game studios;
  • The Sci-Fi collection, which was fine;
  • The Fantasy section, where a three-question quiz established that I was “The Witch” character archetype, and where I immensely enjoyed seeing items like Inigo Montoya’s sword; and
  • A completely new exhibit on tattoos, which I found fascinating but which proved a little adult for Benji (I’m looking at you, role of tattoos in burlesque, sailor tattoos of sexy ladies, and tattoos that explore sexuality and gender).

The Fantasy section had, in my opinion, the coolest interior design, with a secret tunnel you could crawl through, a dragon, and an enormous tree trunk covered in metal scales containing exhibit items. They also had straw, or something like straw, scattered on the floor, a common fantasy pub trope.

After all that, Benji tried out the playground but the climbing was too hard for him and he felt really upset. So we went home.

Overall I think we all had a good time and held it together well, so I’m calling it a successful outing.

Benji could hardly contain his excitement at the Minecraft exhibit.
Ian rocking in the Sound Lab.
Trying out an indie game.
Colleen and Benji “discover an asteroid” in the Sci-Fi area.
Of course we end up in the fantasy area.
Oh, yes, I came along too.

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