“Hey Staffer, Whatcha Geekin’ About?” is a new monthly column highlighting the interests and hobbies of GeekGirlCon staffers and Board of Directors. Find out about what makes us tick, what excites us, and what we’re really like when we’re not trying to run a convention.
I may be alone in this (though I highly suspect I am not), but one of my favorite parts of attending a convention isn’t even the event itself—it’s the anticipation that builds for months and months beforehand. And, for something as near and dear to my heart as GeekGirlCon, something I know I can count on making time and plans for every year regardless of whatever else is going on in my life, I like to extend the duration of that anticipation period for as long as possible. I like to start preparations for the following year basically as soon as I emotionally recover from the con weekend.
Procuring passes as soon as possible is just one of my pre-con rituals, and I’ve found that it comes with a lot of logistical perks as well. This is no different with GeekGirlCon. Currently, two-day passes for GeekGirlCon ‘17 are 35 dollars and one-day passes are 20 dollars. (I realize I’m biased, but typing this out right now, I can’t help but marvel at what a steal that is.) However, on May 1—that is, 12:01 a.m. on May 1—that is all about to (slightly) change. Our first price increase will leave two-day passes at 45 dollars each and one-day passes at 30 dollars each. Kid passes (ages 6-12) will remain 10 dollars each throughout the increases, and littles (ages 0-5) can attend for free! GeekGirlCon is a family event, people! That is my point. Please bring your kids and your friends’ kids. They are the future and deserve to have things like GeekGirlCon in their lives.
I was raised a gamer, by a gamer. My dad, whose roots are strong and true from playing Dungeons & Dragons in the ‘80s, put a controller in my hands when I was barely old enough to build a comprehensive sentence (I’ve written about my youthful adoration for Zelda and its impact on my creativity numerous times before). Gaming has always been a big part of my life, even spanning into my professional career through writing fiction. Watching E3 conferences was a family affair, and we were always first in line whenever a new console dropped. Every member of my family was an active participant, except my mother, who took on a more passive role until recently. For the last 23 years, she’d watch us play everything. Cheekier titles like Mario Kart and other Nintendo classics like Zelda, more involved and darker titles like Square Enix’s Final Fantasy X, Bioshock, Skyrim—she watched us play them all.
Although she was a “backseat gamer” for the vast majority of my upbringing, she was always participating. Telling us where to go when we walked past an obvious story marker, giving suggestions on a tricky boss. She wasn’t holding the controller, directing whichever character we embodied, but because she had been there observing, taking it all in from beginning to end, she knew the ropes just as much as we did (sometimes even better).
Since moving to Washington, I’ve been able to spend more time with my family, a lot of which still revolves around playing video games since I’m actively involved in the industry. A few months back my mom finally asked, “Will you help me pick out my first game?” and I dropped everything and went to work.
‘Tis the season of socially relevant cinema, from Moonlight to Hidden Figures to Thirteen to I Am Not Your Negro. But, as always, it is the speculative fiction genre that distinguishes itself in its ability to package the sociopolitical ills of our present day into fantastic scenarios that entertain, spook, titillate, inspire, and fuel. While Get Out is much more overt, The Girl With All The Gifts is an artistically subtle tale of power, fear and exploitation.
Zombie fiction tends to have a common theme – the destruction of civilization sparked or exacerbated by the frailty of humanity. Centuries before George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) attempted to portray the relationship between race and fear through a zombie apocalypse, zombie mythos among western hemisphere Africans was a metaphor for racial oppression. While race may be deemphasized in recent zombie franchises (e.g. The Walking Dead, Resident Evil), zombie fiction continues to be a backdrop for dialogue on social power hierarchies.
We’ve all had that moment. You know the one where you hear a voice and stop in your tracks. Who is that? It’s on the tip of your tongue, if only you can remember… Wait… I know that voice!
GGD ‘16 was filled with incredible panels, but one of my favorites focused on some of entertainment’s most exciting women in voice over. The panelists included Ashly Burch (Borderlands 2, Life is Strange), Sarah Elmaleh (Gone Home, Call of Duty), Michele Morrow (Embers of War, Dragonstone), and Jennifer Paz (Steven Universe, Mulan). The panel was moderated by Amalia Larson.
By Samantha Lee Donaldson, a guest writer for GeekGirlCon
In 1992, only 21% of individuals coming from families with annual incomes of $25,000 or less qualified for admission to a four-year university, and only . 8% were minority graduates. Unfortunately, the numbers have not changed nearly enough in the last decade. However, with a significant increase in female college enrollment since the 1970s and the rise of women in technology, the ability to teach skills to students from low-income neighborhoods then can be utilized to help them succeed in life on a much larger scale is extremely enticing.
Therefore, when Eben Upton and a group of his colleagues at the University of Cambridge decided to create a cheap and efficient computer that could be used to show children the power of code and computer technology, the game was changed forever. Thus, the Raspberry Pi was born.
Do you have a stellar idea for a panel, or have you been working hard on developing your first tabletop game? Own a trendy DIY business, and have a great idea for a workshop? Never fear, it’s not too late to submit Programming Submissions for GeekGirlCon 2017!
Whether you and a small group are geared up with an idea for a panel, or you are an individual interested in being a panelist or moderator, we’re looking for mission-aligned panel ideas for #GGC17. We’re also accepting applications for performance and event submissions (such as musical performances, variety and game shows, and networking events), workshop submissions, and tabletop game host submissions.
Photo via Danny Ngan, GGC Flickr.
So make sure to mark your calendars, because the following forms are due on April 30th, 2017 at 11:59 PST:
Starts at 10 a.m. — Living Computers Museum + Labs in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood
Free for members, $12 admission
Dress up your doll and bring her to the museum for coding, gaming, prototyping, and more. Take a stroll through the exhibits or spend all your time tinkering in the Labs – it’s up to you! This event is open to all gender identities, but all programming workshops will be taught by women.
Starts at 2 p.m. — Living Computers Museum + Labs in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood
Free for members, $12 admission
Recreate the sequential thinking behind Ms. Pac-Man! Using MIT’s popular free programming platform, Scratch, boys and girls team up to write and debug scripts,learn basic coding rules and jargon, and use simple game theory to create a fun downloadable game they can play over and over again. Students 9+ years are welcome, no experience or technology needed.
By Samantha Lee Donaldson, a guest writer for GeekGirlCon
For many students across the globe coming from low-income households, trade school courses are their life, from the first day of kindergarten to their last day of high school. The skills gap remains a global problem even now. Instead, if these students were given the ability to learn more than the basics which allow them to only receive low-wage professions, they could reverse this trend and help create an economy that reflects a growing parity in no time.
Just as doctors must take the Hippocratic oath, educators are asked to take the educator’s oath. This oath says, “I promise to seek and support policies that promote quality in teaching and learning and to provide all engaged in education the opportunity to achieve excellence.” Despite this, children who come from low-income households are often neglected and the low-income schools they attend are seldom given the amenities necessary to train these children to change the world and their lives, even though studies suggest that the key to power in the workplace is education, especially for women. Therefore, when these children are provided with sub-par education, they are ultimately set up for failure from the start and not given the tools necessary to achieve their goals in life.