GeekGirlCon Blog

Come Work for Us!

Source: flickr. Description: A picture of a Help Wanted sign in a window.

Love GeekGirlCon? Want to get more involved? Enjoy working with amazing people? If so, click on over to our Volunteer page and take a peek at our current year-round staff openings. GeekGirlCon is powered by volunteers, and we are looking for some great people to help us continue to grow and support the GGC community.

Source: Giphy. Description: a gif of a parrot wiggling its head around in a circle.

Source: Giphy. Description: a gif of a parrot wiggling its head around in a circle.

Three of our top needs at the moment are for the roles of Senior Designer, Director of Internal Operations, and Volunteer Manager, but we also have other openings available if none of those are your cup of tea. We’re also looking to grow our copy team, so if you love writing, geek out about grammar, and want to be part of GGC’s greatest team ever (I may be just slightly biased) take a peek at our Copywriter role.

Source: Giphy. Description: a parrot walking and then hopping across a table with stick-figure arms drawn on to make it look like he's celebrating as he hops.

Source: Giphy. Description: a gif of a parrot walking and then hopping across a table with stick-figure arms drawn on to make it look like he’s celebrating as he hops.

Being a GeekGirlCon staff member means being part of a collaborative, diverse, out-of-the-box team; getting to have a tangible impact on the geeky community; and getting to help build something incredible. I’ve been on staff for almost a year now, and it’s been a fun, motivating, challenging, and rewarding opportunity to support and give back to an organization that is doing great things for girls, women, and geeks around the world.

Source: Giphy. Description: A cockatoo headbanging with a lot of enthusiasm.

Source: Giphy. Description: a gif of a cockatoo headbanging with a lot of enthusiasm.

So, check out our current openings, see if any of them speak to you, and, if so, send in an application. I’d love to meet you at the next staff meeting!

Caitlin Foskey
“Rock On!”

Killing Eve is Everything You Need and More

Hello friends, blog readers, geeks far and wide! Today we are gathered here to celebrate a very important show. A show that is so insistently tense that it might as well be mainlining adrenaline directly into my veins. A show that represents relationships between women in all their strange and amazing multiplicity and complexity. A show that is smart and funny and idiosyncratic and bold. A show that, above all, provides a showcase for the brilliance of Sandra Oh, an actor so gifted that every tilt of her head conveys ten different emotions.

(Image Description: A gif of Eve and Villanelle lying in bed together, fully clothed. Villanelle cradles a gun and has a bloody lip. The caption says “Are you gonna kill me,” and represents lines spoken by Eve. Source: Giphy)

The show is Killing Eve, and as you can see, I’m only slightly excited about it. Based on the Codename Villanelle novella series by Luke Jennings, and adapted by the inimitable Phoebe Waller-Bridge (the mastermind behind the brilliant Fleabag and Crashing), Killing Eve follows the intersecting lives of two women who are each enmeshed in a plot to pursue each other. Sandra Oh’s Eve is an American transplant living in London, a bored MI-5 officer who has outgrown her role and whose innate curiosity and intellect ensure that she will always crave something more than the cozy, tidy life she has constructed for herself. Portrayed by Jodie Comer (equally amazing in a diametrically opposite way in the groundbreaking series My Mad Fat Diary), Villanelle, on the other hand, is an immensely talented assassin and diagnosed psychopath with a mysterious backstory. When Eve catches onto Villanelle’s trail of seemingly disconnected kills, she finds herself propelled down a quest to apprehend one mercurial, enigmatic, highly dangerous, and absolutely irresistible target –  Villanelle – who, in turn, becomes equally obsessed with her dogged pursuer.

(Image Description: A gif of standing in her apartment with a bloody lip. The caption says “I think about you too.” Source: Giphy)

There is nothing easy in the relationship that develops between Eve and Villanelle. Fraught from its inception, stretched to the brink my their actions, it still manages to spark with a kind of palpable energy. Scenes with the two of them are kinetic and electrified, as impossible to pin down as they are to resist. Just as Eve and Villanelle cannot resist their mutual obsession, so too is the viewer implicated in their mesmerizing dynamic, unwilling to look away even when we know we should.

(Image Description: A gif of Eve and Villanelle. Eve looks terrified and holds a toilet brush out towards Villanelle in self defense. Source: Giphy)

It is important to note that, from its very first episodes, the show has been wholeheartedly embraced by the queer community. Deftly sidestepping the pitfalls of queerbaiting, homonormativity, and (perhaps counterintuitively) queer demonization that so often befall mainstream television, Killing Eve presents a central relationship that is unmistakably queer even as it defies easy categorization. Stripped of the trappings of a traditional onscreen relationship, the show still manages to depict a red-hot core of infatuation that not only gives what could have been a stale cat-and-mouse game a palpably fresh urgency, but also expands the possibilities of what queer representation in television (and beyond) can look like: intimate, thrilling, complex, and provocative.

(Image Description: A gif of Villanelle chewing and holding up a sandwich. The caption say “That is massively poignant.” Source: Giphy)

If you, like me, geek out about queer representation, about espionage, about people with British accents typing very quickly on keyboards and referencing CC-TV, or about Sandra Oh being the lead in one of the best TV series of our time, please allow Killing Eve to change your life. You won’t regret it.

(Image Description: A gif of Eve pleading with another character whose face isn’t shown. The caption says “I have to find her.” Source: Giphy)

Hanna Hupp
“Rock On!”

Eight Reasons to Watch Sense8

Just to keep you all updated, I am a changed woman. And it all happened last Friday when the series finale of Sense8 premiered.

If you’re unfamiliar with the show, it’s a Netflix original that first premiered in 2015. Loosely, it’s about a species of human, Sensates, who are intensely telepathically linked with each other. More than anything else, this premise is a tool that allows the creators to write interlocking stories about eight strangers who, upon finding themselves linked and the prospective victims of vicious scientific testing, find out just how vital their newly amplified sense of empathy can be.

I’ve never been able to get a clear sense of just how large the Sense8 fandom is. Most people I ask haven’t watched it and don’t have immediate plans to. I myself only sat down to watch the first episode after a direct and imploring recommendation from a close friend, and I don’t remember it being on my radar before that. Maybe this means the show’s marketing team didn’t do the greatest job. Maybe it means the cast wasn’t high profile enough to garner the attention the show needed. Regardless, this just-too-small viewership has led, ultimately, to the cancellation of the show.

We’ve known about this impending end for a while now. In fact, this final episode was publicized as a last-ditch attempt to tie up the action before the show officially ended. And, let me tell you, it was perfect. It was everything we wanted and needed. More than anything else, it made me sad that more people hadn’t experienced this beautiful, glorious show. So, to commemorate this ending, I offer you eight spoiler-free reasons why you should consider watching Sense8 because if I’m sure of anything, it’s that this story deserved more attention than it got.

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

E3 Press Conferences Show (Some) Diversity in Gaming (Sort Of)

It’s E3 week! The Electronic Entertainment Expo–or E3 for short–is one of the biggest events on the gaming calendar, with developers and publishers showing their latest and greatest upcoming releases. As a huge gaming nerd, I’ve been following it pretty closely, so I’m going to share my thoughts with you.

Obviously there’s a lot of gaming content, and I’m not going have time to go into all of the games that were announced. That said, there have been a couple of common threads:

  • As games move more to a “games as a service” (rather than single release games), a lot of game titles are trying to reflect that they’ll be around for all posterity, leading to such title names as Halo Unlimited, Doom Eternal, Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, and Super Meat Boy Forever. Because if anything survives the impending apocalypse, it’ll be video games.
  • So many games are coming to Nintendo Switch! Super Smash Bros., Fortnite Battle Royale, Super Mario Party, Overcooked 2, and Fallout Shelter were announced on that platform, for example, and some of those are playable right now. If there’s one thing to take away from E3 so far, it’s to go buy a Switch. I’m surprised at how many non-Nintendo games got announced as being ported over, but the future of gaming is there for when you want to play on the go.
  • While a lot of the big titles involved shooting things (aliens, zombies, other combatants) in the face, I thought that the offerings from smaller, indie studios offered a bigger range of types of gameplay, such as Ori and the Will of the Wisps, We Happy Few, and Unravel Two. I have to say that I am super excited about Unravel Two; it’s so wholesome that it basically brought me to tears when I watched it at the EA conference.

More generally, there has been recent moves to improve diversity and representation in games and the games industry, and I was also looking out for ways that that was demonstrated at E3. While I felt like there was increased representation in the games that were shown, the overwhelming majority of presenters at the conferences were still white men.

So, I rewatched all the press conferences and tracked some data. Here’s a breakdown of the major press conferences, by demographic:

Note: for the purposes of gathering this data, I included Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Elijah Wood in the Ubisoft presentation, and did not include the two translators for the Nintendo treehouse presentation (both were men).

Of the 77 presenters, there were a total of zero women of color. Everyone also presented as able-bodied.

What this tells me is that–where the presenters are ostensibly representative of a particular game’s leadership–the leaders of the largest game publishers, gaming consoles, and game titles are still overwhelming white and male. Of course, for each title there are only a very limited number of presenters that have to represent the studio, but those are commonly the studio or project leaders. I also don’t believe that any presenter or company was doing this intentionally or maliciously. But (to quote a recent speaker at a disability and gaming bootcamp), if you do not intentionally, deliberately, proactively include, you will unintentionally exclude. I think that’s what happened here. Despite its recent moves for diversity and inclusion, the people who determine the future and direction in which the industry moves are still homogenous. 

Having said that, the games themselves seemed to show a openness to including players from underrepresented groups, with much clearer steps towards diversity and inclusion. I’m still trying to stick to my resolution to play games that do not have a grizzled white male protagonist (which makes me relieved that I can pick the gender of my character for the upcoming Assassin’s Creed game), and the offerings announced gave me some pretty decent options for the rest of 2018 and beyond.

For female representation, I felt that there were several games that stepped up to the (very low) bar of having a female protagonist. For example, Gears of War 5’s main character is female, and the Tomb Raider franchise continues having a female playable character. Battlefield V recently stirred up a small controversy for merely putting a woman on the cover of a game about World War II. (Spoiler alert: there were numerous women who participated in the war.) Wolfenstein Youngblood offered us not one, but two, female protagonists.

I was excited enough when it was announced that in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey that you could finally pick the gender of your assassin and romance anyone in the game, but then The Last of Us 2 one-upped that for even greater LGBT representation:

That said, all of the female characters mentioned here (except for Kassandra in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey) are white women. Apart from games with character creation (such as Fallout 76, Beyond Good and Evil 2, and Anthem), representation for women of color was maddeningly scarce. I mean, there were more attempts at putting a female skin on previously male characters, such as Super Smash Bros offering a female version of pikachu and Cuphead having a playable female drinking vessel(?), than there were actual playable characters that were actually women of color.

So, I can appreciate that the games industry is trying to be more inclusive and there are going to be baby steps–a LOT of them. But even though this handful of games I’ve mentioned here are trying to broaden representation, the real test of what counts as progress for me will be how these games evolve their communities to make them more accommodating and inclusive. Making people of color and women feel represented will likely get new players into fanbases, but the gaming communities and how they are included will be what makes them stay. We’ll have to see how that plays out, but I want to hopeful that we’re moving in the right direction. I want us to live in a world where people can play what they love without judgement. We deserve as much.

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

The Geek Girl’s Guide to Job Search Survival

Source: Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/132053576@N03/18721001439/in/photostream/

Recently, I made a change in my professional life. After working as a freelance copywriter and editor for nine years, I decided I needed a break from unpredictable workloads, feast-or-famine bank statements, and marketing myself as much as I marketed my clients. Job hunting, especially in a field where there are plenty of workers and not nearly as many jobs, can be a soul-sucking experience, so I wanted to share some tips and tricks that got me through it.

Source: Giphy. Description: a gif of Leslie Knope saying

Source: Giphy. Description: a gif of Leslie Knope saying “Everything hurts and I’m dying.”

Caitlin Foskey
“Rock On!”

There’s Still Time To Volunteer At GeekGirlCon ’18!

As we move into the summer months, we get that much closer to GeekGirlCon ‘18. Our staff is busy organizing and planning a stellar weekend that we’ll get to share with you October 27 and 28—and there’s still time for you to help!

We are still accepting Agent applications for GeekGirlCon ‘18. Our Agents do a plethora of things at the convention, from tech and AV support to photography and ASL interpretation.

If you’re interested in working as an Agent over the weekend of the convention, there are a couple requirements that you have to meet:

  • You must be available to work for a minimum of two shifts that are 4-5 hours each between the two days of the convention.
  • You must be at least 16 years of age.

…and, of course, you must bring a ton of enthusiasm!

Without our team of Agents that volunteer their time to help us host the convention each fall, there wouldn’t be a GeekGirlCon. Our Agents keep GeekGirlCon a well-oiled machine, and we couldn’t do it without them. The deadline to submit your New Agent Application form is August 15 at 10 p.m. PST. We won’t review applications until the deadline has passed, but stay tuned and get ready for the convention this fall!

Indigo Boock
“Rock On!”

On Solo and Our First Impressions

As you’ve probably noticed (or are feeling yourself), reactions to Solo, the newest installment in the Star Wars film franchise, are, to put it simply, mixed. If you’re looking for a general consensus, the closest you’re going to get is a noncommittal “it wasn’t great, but it also wasn’t horrible.”

From Black Nerd Problem’s assertion that it’s fun if you’re not expecting a good origin story to The Atlantic’s claim that its difference from the other films is what makes it refreshing, everyone seems to have gotten something different out of it.

In trying to organize my own thoughts and feelings about it, I asked some fellow GeekGirlCon staff members about their first impressions. Unsurprisingly, it seems our responses were as mixed as those of the fandom at large. Here’s a selection of some of my favorite reactions. I know that reading about what everyone else has been thinking has been good for my excitable fangirl heart, and I hope it will be for yours too.

And please beware of spoilers!

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

Geek About Town: June

Can you believe that it’s already June, lovely blog readers?! The sun is shining, summer is officially in the air, and we’re on the hunt for geekiest, most awesome events the Seattle area has to offer. For my fellow queer geeks, June is an especially important time for celebrating pride all month long throughout our wonderful city and beyond! Movies, trivia, parades, meetups, and more abound in the coming month, so take a look at what’s coming up and mark your calendars!

 

Image Description: A gif of a group of people walking in the street during a pride parade. Source: Giphy

 

Friday, June 1st: Upstream Music Festival

  • 7:00pm – 1:00am
  • Zócalo
    224 Occidental Ave S., Seattle, Washington 98104
  • Tickets
  • Upstream Music Fest + Summit is a three day music fest where attendees can discover a diverse lineup of acclaimed national and international artists performing alongside 200+ rising stars from the Northwest and beyond. Our open campus in the heart of Seattle’s historic arts and entertainment neighborhood allows for serendipitous moments for fans and musicians alike, and our variety of ticket options means you can curate your perfect weekend of music.

 

Friday, June 1st: June’s Funko Swap & Meetup

  • 6:00pm – 8:00pm
  • Comics Dungeon
    319 NE 45th St, Seattle, Washington 98105
  • Hey Seattle area friends! Our first Friday pop swap continues!

    Come meet up with other fanatics and bring your Funko pops you’d like to swap*! Attend the event to get 20% off on all Funko items in the store.

    *Please note: It is prohibited to sell your own pops in the store, trading only please.
     

Friday, June 1st: Stem: Science Uncorked

  • 7:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Pacific Science Center
    200 2nd Ave N, Seattle, Washington 98109
  • Tickets
  • Enjoy an evening of unlimited tastes from some of Washington’s finest wineries while learning the science behind the vines.

 

Image Description: A gif of the character Olivia Pope from the TV series “Scandal” pouring herself a glass of wine while her friend looks on in disapproval. Source: Giphy

 

Saturday, June 2nd: Sailor Moon Cosplay Tea Party

  • 4:00pm – 8:00pm
  • Friday Afternoon
    4228 Stone Way N, Seattle, Washington 98103
  • We are planning a super fun, everyone-friendly Sailor Moon Cosplay Tea! The theme for this event is set, but we will be hosting a number of Cosplay Teas with varying themes in future. You’ll have lots of chances to bust out those cosplays you work so hard to perfect and sip tea with friends!

    This is a free event to attend and we will be sampling out exclusive teas for you to try and purchase as you like. We also plan to have a photo booth setup for you to strike a pose with your fellow scouts!

 

Thursday, June 7th: Pride Family Fun at MOHAI

  • 10:00am – 8:00pm
  • MUSEUM OF HISTORY & INDUSTRY (MOHAI)
    860 Terry Ave N, Seattle WA, 98109
  • Celebrate Pride Month at MOHAI!

    On this Free First Thursday, MOHAI offers a special welcome to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) families. Make crafts and cozy up in our reading corner for storytime with LGBTQ-themed books. Enjoy screenings of local queer films with Three Dollar Bill Cinema and live performances by Youth Speaks poets, plus connect with community groups and resources.

    On the first Thursday of each month, general admission to MOHAI’s permanent exhibits is free all day long! Free admission includes: True Northwest: The Seattle Journey and the Bezos Center for Innovation.

    Seattle on the Spot: The Photographs of Al Smith exhibit price: $8 adults; $6 student/senior/military.

 

Friday, June 8th: Ultimate Travel Trivia Event

  • 6:00pm – 9:00pm
  • Hostelling International at the American Hotel
    520 S King St, Seattle, Washington 98104
  • Tickets
  • So, you’re a traveller, eh? Join us for The Ultimate Travel Trivia! Share your knowledge and win fun prizes while engaging and learning about how to travel more sustainably in Seattle and beyond! A great opportunity to connect and meet like-minded people!

 

Friday, June 8th – Sunday, June 10th: 2018 Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show

  • 8:00pm – 12:00am
  • Greater Tacoma Convention Center
    1500 Commerce, Tacoma, Washington 98402
  • Tickets
  • The 2018 Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show takes place June 8th-10th at the Tacoma Convention Center in Washington State! The show features:

    -Over 400 pinball and arcade machines on free play!
    -Guest speakers from the pinball and arcade industry!
    -Seminars on collecting, playing and fixing games!
    -Kid’s Zone with games specifically geared towards younger aged children!
    -5 pinball tournaments, compete for national rankings, money, prizes and pride!
    -Play the latest pinball and arcade games on the market, we also usually debut a few new games before you’ve seen them anywhere else!
    -Play homebrewed pinball and arcade games, neat one of a kind games people have built and bring out for you to check out and play!
    -Win your own game! Along with merch and lots of daily prizes, each day of the show you can win your own full-sized pinball or arcade game!
    -Cosplay and costumes, arcade tournaments, beer and food onsite, and much more!

    This is our 11th annual show, find out why so many people consider this one of the best shows in the world. Over 100 volunteers help put on this yearly non-profit show. The profits go towards education and charity, this year we will be giving away 3 college scholarships, stay tuned for details.

 

Friday, June 8th: GeekGirlCon Board Game Night at Wayward Coffeehouse!

  • 7pm – 10:45pm
  • Wayward Coffeehouse
  • 6417 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115
  • Do you love board games and enjoy teaching others how to play? Explore the board/card game hobby and meet folks happy to teach you their favorite board games! Come and play with folks who love playing games. And the best part about the GeekGirlCon (http://www.geekgirlcon.com/) game nights with our friends at Wayward (http://www.waywardcoffee.com/)? They are absolutely FREE with no cover charge!

 

Saturday, June 9th: Volunteer Park Pride Festival

  • 12:00pm – 7:00pm
  • Volunteer Park
    1247 15th Ave E, Seattle, Washington 98102
  • Join us for the annual Volunteer Park Pride Festival (formerly known as the Pride Family Picnic) on Saturday, June 9th, 2018 from 12noon-7pm! The Volunteer Park Pride Festival is a chance for family and friends to come together in one of Seattle’s iconic parks and celebrate our amazing LGBTQ community. As in years past, the event will be FREE and ALL-AGES, and there will be LIVE MUSIC, BEER GARDEN, FOOD TRUCKS, CRAFT BOOTHS, AND MORE!

    2018 VOLUNTEER PARK PRIDE FEST MUSICAL LINE-UP:
    Desi Valentine
    *Special Surprise Guest* – To be announced SOON!
    DoNormaal
    Little Bandit
    Fruit Juice
    Betsy Olson
    DJ Toya B

    Now, more than ever, it’s important to have conversations about the impact of the new administration to the LGBTQ community, so we’re inviting community leaders, partners, and organizers to speak throughout the event. We’ll also have non-profit organizations from our community and Seattle Pride Sponsors who make this and the Seattle Pride Parade possible.

 

Sunday, June 10th: Furry 5K for Seattle Animal Shelter

  • 10:00am – 2:00pm
  • Seward Park Audubon Center
    5902 Lake Washington Blvd S, Seattle, Washington 98118
  • Join us at the 19th Annual Furry 5K for the Seattle Animal Shelter. When you register please join team Giving Paws Project. We will all meet prior to the start time for Walking at 11:40a.

    If your not able to join us for the walk but still want to donate please visit www.furry5k.com to Day Nate online. This year there is also a donation drive of items needed for the Vet side of the Shelter. I will post an update with the Wish List and will collect any items prior to event if cannot attend.

    This event is always fun and it raises money for our Seattle Animal Shelter

 

Image Description: A gif of corgis running on grass towards the camera. Source: Giphy

 

Tuesday, June 12th: Offbeat Ada’s: Ellen Forney

  • 6:00pm – 8:00pm
  • The Lab at Ada’s
    425 15th Ave E, Seattle, Washington 98112
  • Tickets
  • Offbeat Bride author Ariel Meadow Stallings hosts a discussion with local cartoonist, author, and legend Ellen Forney – Cartoonist about her new book, Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice From My Bipolar Life, a manual of self-care tools and techniques learned from the front lines of bipolar life (Fantagraphics, May 2018). The two authors and friends will dig deep into how Ellen’s advice for maintaining emotional stability in the face of mood disorders is relevant to all of us trying to maintain stability in unstable times. Don’t be fooled: this event will be lighthearted and hilarious.

    About the author:

    Cartoonist Ellen Forney is the author of bestselling graphic memoir, Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me, and collaborated on the National Book Award-winning novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

    Ellen curated a traveling exhibition about comics and health for the National Library of Medicine, “Graphic Medicine: Ill-Conceived & Well-Drawn,” on display at Seattle’s Central Public Library from May 21–June 30. As a visual artist, she was selected to create two permanent large-scale murals for Seattle’s Capitol Hill light rail station. She was awarded residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and Civitella Ranieri, and teaches comics at Cornish College of the Arts.


    Guaranteed seat: $10
    Guaranteed seat AND a copy of the book: $25

    21+ with ID
    6:00pm Doors
    6:30pm to 8:00pm Program and Q&A

 

Thursday, June 14th: Hecklevision: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992 Edition!)

  • 8:00pm
  • Central Cinema
    1411 21st Ave. Seattle WA 98122 US
  • Five years before the amazing TV series hit the air, Joss Whedon watched his film script get staked through this heart with the big screen horror-comedy starring Kristy Swanson and Luke Perry. LUKE PERRY! Also starring Donald Sutherland, Rutger Hauer, Paul Reubens (Pee-Wee!), Hilary Swank, and David Arquette.

 

Image Description: A gif of the character Buffy and her fellow cheerleaders performing a cheer. The caption says “Our goose is totally loose.” Source: Giphy

 

Friday, June 15th: Crosscut Trivia Obscura and Bingo Night

  • 6:30pm – 8:30pm
  • Peddler Brewing Company
    1514 NW Leary Way, Seattle, Washington 98107
  • Do you know the name of the mummy that resides in Ye Olde Curiosity Shop? How about who built the Fremont Troll? Or what nickname JP Patches was commonly known by?

    Learn about these facts and much more at Crosscut’s Trivia Obscura and Bingo night, a partnership between Crosscut, Atlas Obscura Society Seattle, and Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI)!

    Join hosts Knute Berger from Crosscut, Jared Steed from Atlas Obscura Society Seattle, and Sondra Snyder of MOHAI as they guide you through the weird and wonderful world of Washington state while you vie for fabulous prizes and the title of Trivia Obscura Champion! Come for the trivia, but stay for the bingo, featuring even more local oddities, landmarks, and prizes!

 

Saturday, June 16th: BookMarked Seattle Showcase at MOHAI

  • 12:00pm – 4:00pm
  • MUSEUM OF HISTORY & INDUSTRY (MOHAI)
    860 Terry Ave N, Seattle WA, 98109
  • Celebrate the launch of BookMarked Seattle and emerging young writers from the Seattle metro area!

    Join teens from around the city as we reflect on Seattle’s diverse stories. Participate in book discussions, make art, hear selected works from the BookMarked Seattle writing competition, and more. Hosted by the MOHAI Youth Advisors.

    Don’t forget! TeenTix members receive $5 admission.

 

Saturday, June 16th: Latinx Nerds Meetup

  • 6:00pm
  • Friday Afternoon
    4228 Stone Way N, Seattle, Washington 98103
  • Monthly meetup for Latinx nerds to foster community, play games and make friends over tea and pan dulce!

 

Saturday, June 16th: Zinzi Clemmons: What We Lose

  • 7:00pm – 9:00pm
  • Elliott Bay Book Company
    1521 10th Ave, Seattle, Washington 98122
  • We are delighted to finally have novelist Zinzi Clemmons here—her debut novel, What We Lose (newly in paper, Penguin Random House), was one of 2017’s most lauded novels (forget the debut part), cited as a Best Book of the Year by Vogue, NPR, Elle, Esquire, Buzzfeed, The San Francisco Chronicle, Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post, The A.V. Club, The Root, Harper’s Bazaar, Paste, Bustle, Kirkus Reviews, Electric Literature, LitHub, The New York Post, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and Bust. And praised by many others, as well.

    “The narrator of What We Lose navigates the many registers of grief, love and injustice, moving between the death of her mother and the birth of her son, as well as an America of blacks and whites and a South Africa of Coloreds. What an intricate mapping of inner and outer geographies! Clemmons’s prose is rhythmically exact and acutely moving. No experience is left unexamined or unimagined.” —Margo Jefferson.

    “Zinzi Clemmons’ first book heralds the work of a new writer with a true and lasting voice—one that is just right for our complicated millennium. Bright and filled with shadows, humor, and trenchant insights into what it means to have a heart divided by different cultures, What We Lose is a win, just right for the ages.” —Hilton Als.

    Zinzi Clemmons was also a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree.

 

Saturday, June 16th: Screening of “Gaming in Color” (2014)

  • 3:00pm – 4:30pm
  • Living Computers: Museum + Labs
    2245 1st Avenue South, Seattle, Washington 98134
  • We’re kicking off PRIDE with a screening of the documentary Gaming in Color. This Kickstarter-funded film focuses on LGBTQ issues in video games, gaymer culture, and the rise of queer themes in gaming.

    NR | Included with Admission

    ____________________

    From the Gaming in Color website:

    “Diverse queer themes in game storylines and characters are an anomaly in the mainstream video game industry, and LGBTQ gamers have a higher chance of being mistreated in social games. Gaming In Color explores how the community culture is shifting and the industry is diversifying, helping with queer visibility and acceptance of an LGBTQ presence.

    Almost every gamer will relate to the concept of seeking solace in a video game. Hope for sanctuary guides their escape into a virtual universe where they can be anything they want to be. For many, however, choosing to be true to themselves becomes an open invitation for hatred. This multiplies for those who are marginalized people, including people of color, women, and members of the LGBTQ community. Toxic cultures that breed violence and vitriol hide behind a industry that undervalues the innovation of its audience. GAMING IN COLOR crusades for anyone who believes that the pixelated world can be a better place for everyone, no matter who they are or what they love.

    A lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or otherwise queer gamer has a higher chance of being mistreated in a social game. The power dynamics of a male-dominated geek society tips against them. Further, diverse queer themes in game storylines and characters are an anomaly in the mainstream video game industry. However, the gaming community is far more colorful than one may expect. Gaming In Color shows that there is a full spectrum of gamers picking up their controller to play.

    This feature documentary explores the queer side of gaming culture and the game industry’s LGBTQ presence. The queer geek community is taking huge steps forward in being recognized on a worldwide industry scale. At the same time, more popular mainstream and indie games are featuring a greater amount of queer characters than ever before, helping with visibility and acceptance. There’s a long road ahead and tons of aspects that desperately need improvement, but the video games universe will continue to mature and diversify both in its community culture and industry only if we elevate the conversation about inclusion and respecting one another – not in spite of our gay geekiness, but because of it!”

 

Wednesday, June 20th: The Totally Gay Sing Along

  • 8:00pm
    Central Cinema
    1411 21st Ave. Seattle WA 98122 US
  • It’s the 2018 edition of the best damn weekday party you’ll go to all June. We celebrate Pride month with the return of a favorite Sing Along that features divas, camp classics, new tunes, hunks, foot stompers, rump shakers and every video is certified TOTALLY GAY! Plus, the Sing Along’s original host Jason is in the building to lead the fun.

 

Thursday, June 21st: Roxane Gay: Not That Bad

  • 7:00pm – 9:00pm
  • University Temple United Methodist Church, Seattle
    1415 NE 43rd St, Seattle, Washington 98105
  • Tickets
  • Your ticket includes a copy of Not That Bad

    About the Book:

    In this valuable and revealing anthology, cultural critic and bestselling author Roxane Gay collects original and previously published pieces that address what it means to live in a world where women have to measure the harassment, violence, and aggression they face, and where they are routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronized, mocked, shamed, gaslit, insulted, bullied for speaking out. Contributions include essays from established and up-and-coming writers, performers, and critics, including actors Ally Sheedy and Gabrielle Union and writers Amy Jo Burns, Lyz Lenz, Claire Schwartz, and Bob
    Shacochis. Covering a wide range of topics and experiences, from an exploration of the rape epidemic embedded in the refugee crisis to first-person accounts of child molestation, this collection is often deeply personal and is always unflinchingly honest. Like Rebecca Solnits Men Explain Things to Me, Not That Bad will resonate with every reader, saying something in totality that we cannot say alone.

    Searing and heartbreakingly candid, this provocative collection both reflects the world we live in and offers a call to arms insisting that not that bad must no longer be good enough.

    About the Author:

    Roxane Gay is the author of the essay collection Bad Feminist, which was a New York Times bestseller; the novel An Untamed State, a finalist for the Dayton Peace Prize; and the short story collections Difficult Women and Ayiti. A contributing opinion writer to the New York Times, she has also written for Time, McSweeneys, the Virginia Quarterly Review, the Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The Rumpus, Bookforum, and Salon. Her fiction has also been selected for The Best American Short Stories 2012, The Best American Mystery Stories 2014, and other anthologies. She is the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel. She lives in Lafayette, Indiana, and sometimes Los Angeles.

 

 

Image Description: A gif of Roxane Gay giving a talk. The caption states “These days, I look at how women are treated the world over, and anger, in particular, seems like a perfectly reasonable response.” Source: Giphy

 

Friday, June 22nd – Sunday, June 24th: 59th Annual Northwest Great Books Weekend Event

  • Seattle Pacific University
    3307 3rd Ave W, Seattle, Washington 98119
  • Tickets
  • Please join us for the 59th Annual Northwest Great Books Weekend Event! All books are pre-read by the Board and chosen for the ability to sustain a rousing two hour discussion. Special effort is given to find pieces with: cultural diversity, different genres ie, plays, fiction, non-fiction, and pieces that have or will stand the test of time. Whether you’re a seasoned Great Books member or you are just thinking of joining-everyone is welcome. Many of our titles have included classics and prize winning authors, but (in true Great Books fashion) we do not limit our selections based solely on book sales or as defined by others as classics. We are excited to present the four readings of our next June 22-24 event:

    As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner 9780679732259
    Passing by Nella Larsen 9780142437278
    Being Mortal bu Atul Gawande 9781250076229
    Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks 9780143121077
    ISBN are provided for those that choose to purchase books separately. Please purchase the specified books above, makes it much easier to refer to page numbers!

 

Thursday, June 21st: Renee Simms: Meet Behind Mars

  • 7:00pm – 9:00pm
  • Elliott Bay Book Company
    1521 10th Ave, Seattle, Washington 98122
  • Up from Tacoma (which she has written glowingly about), where she teaches African American Studies at the University of Puget Sound is fiction writer Renee Simms, with a true gem of a debut book of stories, Meet Behind Mars (Wayne State University Press).

    “Renee Simms’s Meet Behind Mars is an eclectic, emotionally rich, funny, quirky, and grounded debut from a fresh voice. It is truly a pleasure to spend time among such a diverse roster of African American characters in settings ranging from Katrina-devastated New Orleans to the South China Sea. In these fictions that are, by turns, realist, fabulist, and satirical, women and men search out life’s meaning through work, sex, travel, and family in finely observed moments full of quiet urgency.” —Asali Solomon.

    “Renee Simms is an incredible storyteller gifted with both wit and wisdom. She’s not afraid of the hard questions, yet this work brims with hope and heart. Meet Behind Mars marks an exciting debut of a vibrant new voice in American literature.” —Tayari Jones.

 

Friday, June 22nd: GeekGirlCon Board Game Night at Wayward Coffeehouse!

  • 7pm – 10:45pm
  • Wayward Coffeehouse
  • 6417 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115
  • Do you love board games and enjoy teaching others how to play? Explore the board/card game hobby and meet folks happy to teach you their favorite board games! Come and play with folks who love playing games. And the best part about the GeekGirlCon (http://www.geekgirlcon.com/) game nights with our friends at Wayward (http://www.waywardcoffee.com/)? They are absolutely FREE with no cover charge!

 

Friday, June 22nd – Sunday, June 24th: ACE Comic Con Seattle

  • 8:00pm – 11:30pm
  • CenturyLink Field
    800 Occidental Ave S, Seattle, Washington 98134
  • Tickets
  • ACE Comic Con is coming to Seattle, WA June 22-23-24! We are bringing 3 of your favorite #Avengers, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Tom Holland and many more for an unforgettable weekend at the WaMu Theater & CenturyLink Field Event Center. As if that wasn’t enough, we will also have 60+ of the top comic writers & artists in the industry, 100+ curated vendors & exhibitors, and 30+ hours of panel programming across multiple stages!

    More guests will be announced shortly, so make sure to keep following us right here for up-to-the-minute updates.

    General Admission tickets start at $46 (photo ops, autographs, and VIP packages are available for an additional cost).

    INFO AND TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE VIA www.aceuniverse.com!

    ***Up to 2 Kids (10 & under) get in FREE when accompanied by a paid adult***

    1-Day Friday General Admission is $46

    1-Day Saturday General Admission is $56

    1-Day Sunday General Admission is $56

    3-Day Weekend General Admission is $96

 

Image Description: A gif of the character Scarlet Witch from the Avengers film series, using her magic during an action scene. Source: Giphy

 

Saturday, June 23rd – Sunday, June 24th: Queer Geeks and Gamers

  • Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center
    305 Harrison Street, Seattle, Washington 98109
  • Our 2nd Annual Queer Geeks and Gamers event features board games, console games, panels, comics, cosplay contests, exhibitors, and more! FREE FOR ALL. Beer garden for 21+.

    Open 12-6pm Saturday 6/23
    Open 12-7pm Sunday 6/24

    Come one, come all to QGG 2.0!

    Sponsored in part by Living Computers Museum.

 

Sunday, June 24th: Seattle Pride Parade 2018

  • 11:00am – 3:00pm
  • Westlake Park
    401 Pine St, Seattle, Washington 98101
  • Join us for the 44th annual Seattle Pride Parade!

    This event is free and open to the public. No tickets are necessary.

 

Image Description: A gif of a group of children wearing tutus and walking during a pride parade. Source: Giphy

 

Saturday, June 30th – Sunday, July 1st: Washington State Toy and Geek Fest

  • 9:00am
  • Washington State Fair
    110 9th Ave SW, Puyallup, Washington 98371
  • Tickets
  • An event to bring new and vintage toys, comic books, video games, movies, celebrities, and anything pop culture together under one roof for a fun weekend in Pierce County. June 30 – July 1, 2018

    An event that the whole family can enjoy:

    Vintage and Modern Toys | Collectibles | Comic Books | Photo Ops | Panels | Star Wars Characters and Vehicles | Kids Zone | Costume and Trivia Contests | LEGO | Military Vehicles | Transformers | Artists | Video Games | Table Games | Movie Props | Authors | Anime | Exhibits | Celebrities from Television and Movies

Image Description: A gif of actor Ellen Page waving a rainbow pride flag. Source: Giphy

 

Hanna Hupp
“Rock On!”

On the Unreliability of Brains: A Story about my Concussion

Hi, I’m Jo, and I have a brain injury.

Let me backtrack a bit. In January this year, I was at my weekly roller derby scrimmage when I took a hit and fell. Roller derby is a full contact sport, so it’s reasonable to expect hard hits, bumps, and falls. (In fact, one of the first things new skaters are taught in derby is how to fall safely.) However, this was one of those weird hits where I ended up flat on my back. My head hit the track, which is laid over solid concrete. I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I do remember that there was a meaty sounding noise when my head hit the ground. Thankfully, I was wearing a helmet, but the helmet didn’t prevent the impact; it only reduced it.

I felt fine at the time, and didn’t think anything was wrong until the referee skated over to see if I was okay, and then told me to see our athletic trainer. There’s a relatively standard concussion test–shining a light in my eyes, asking things like what the date is, counting backwards, and so on. I barely passed, but I passed the test, so I thought I was okay.

A concussion is a type of brain injury where, to be completely unscientific, impact with your head causes your brain to jiggle inside your skull. As a result of the movement, brain cells can get stretched or damaged, which affects your neural pathways, and chemical changes can occur. This manifests in a variety of ways and can vary between individuals.

Image description: a simulation of what happens to a brain in a concussion. A hand slaps an open skull, causing the brain to wobble.

About three days later, I started getting symptoms. First it was headaches, especially when it was bright outside, or when I was looking at a computer, phone, or TV screen. Then sometimes things would be out of focus at the periphery of my vision. I found it hard to concentrate. I was irritable and anxious, and my sleep quality went down. I couldn’t leave the house unless it was nighttime because driving required too much brain processing, and walking outdoors during the day hurt my eyes and my head.

I’d also forget things. Sure, sometimes, being forgetful can be funny, in a “ha ha, I’m looking for my glasses and they’re actually on my face” sort of way, and then there’s being forgetful like when you leave a pan on the stove and almost burn down your house. (I set the smoke detectors off at my house twice in the first month of my concussion that way.) After that, my partner had to prep my food or leave me leftovers. For most of my life I’d been blessed with having a pretty good memory, so being unable to remember things like the names of your childhood pet or even what you had for lunch the previous day was pretty concerning.

I think that seeing my brain fail me in ways where I had previously been able to trust it was the worst part about having a concussion. I’m a highly academic and analytic person, and a lot of my identity is tied up in using my brain.  The other thing about concussions is that it can increase the risk of getting Alzheimer’s later in life. There’s something scary about not knowing if my memory will go, and when, and how, especially if it comes with the risk of forgetting who your loved ones are–or who yourself are–somewhere down the line. But, maybe that’s me overthinking it.

But, there are ways to mend. The main treatment for concussions is to rest your brain–basically, this involved avoiding things that were mentally stimulating, getting lots of sleep, and just… not thinking about things. I spent a lot of time lying in a dark room, listening to podcasts on my phone. This was mostly fine if I could cue up the podcast playlist in advance, because looking at the phone screen would make my head hurt. Sometimes when people on podcasts said “s” sounds at a particular timbre I’d get a headache. For someone who thrives on tech and video games, not being able to interact with digital media was hard. I also had to learn how to zone out. It sounds counterintuitive, but I had to use guided meditation apps to help structure my thoughts (or lack thereof) when I was relaxing my brain.

Image description: Pie chart of concussions by sport. Football, boys ice hockey, and boys lacrosse are the primary sources of concussions depicted. Source.

Roller derby is still a relatively new sport, so there’s not a lot of data about the occurrence of head injuries. Incidentally, there’s not a lot about concussions in women’s sports at all—the majority of sports-related head injuries occur in male-dominated sports: football, ice hockey, and lacrosse. It’s hard to extrapolate from the experience of a male footballer twice my size and half my age to understand what my body is doing when it recovers, so a lot of it is guesswork: I’d turn the lights on and see if that bothered me. Then I’d try looking at a phone. And maybe do multitasking. Maybe I’d do jumping jacks and see if I felt like throwing up. Or I’d try some sudoku of various difficulties. And then I’d use those to track improvements.

Recovery was–and is–slow. I imagine a lot of it is making sure my brain can reforge its neural pathways, and I don’t know what needs fixing until I discover it does. I’m mostly back to normal and I have more good days than bad, so that’s promising. Occasionally I still have days where things will set it off. About two months ago (so, almost three months after I initially had a concussion), I was watching Altered Carbon and noticed that I’d have a headache from some of the visual effects, especially if accompanied by screen shakes. It made me nauseous for an entire day.

One of the scenes from Altered Carbon that didn’t make me feel great was this one where Takeshi gets spammed with advertising on his ocular implant.
Description: an upward panning of a futuristic city interrupted by garish neon signage

Sometimes I’ll forget something and wonder if I’m really forgetful or if it’s caused by the concussion. For most part though, I feel fine. I don’t know whether I can go back to normal or even what “normal” means anymore, but it’s something I’m working through and will continue to work through. I’m hopeful that I’ll get better, more adaptive, and stronger brain out of it.

 

Author’s note: This is not intended to substitute for medical advice as concussion symptoms can manifest differently across individuals. If you have questions about how to treat and manage your symptoms, see your doctor.

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

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