An Interview with Briana Lawrence

This blog post was originally published as part of the Featured Fatty series on PNW Fattitude; cross-posted with permission from the author and interviewer, Kristine Hassell.

 

Greetings readers, it’s new feature time with our fantastic featured fatty, Briana Lawrence, also known as Brichibi Cosplays. Welcome Briana!

Thanks so much for having me!

Let’s begin with an origin story. Tell us a little about yourself so our readers get an idea of who you are and how you got into cosplay.

Let’s dim the lights and have an epic city backdrop as I tell the tale of Brichibi Cosplays! [laughs]

Deal! The lights are dimmed! Let’s do this!

So I’ve been a geek ever since the Nintendo was a thing, and I mean the original NES. I’ve been playing video games since I was six, then I got into anime when I was ten thanks to a little something called Vampire Hunter D. I also grew up with a dad who collected comic books, and a mom who sat me down to watch all the Star Wars movies (episodes 4 – 6 at the time) because she felt I absolutely HAD to know who Luke Skywalker was.

Guest Contributor
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Double Others: GeekGirlCon ’14 panel recap

Written by GeekGirlCon Manager of Editorial Services Winter Downs.

The “Double Others” panel was one of the highlights of my weekend at GeekGirlCon ‘14. In case you couldn’t make it, here’s a recap of its exploration of the depiction of non-humans in genre fiction.

Our panelists defined the “double other” as a character in genre fiction who is both a person of color and non-human–alien, vampire, werewolf, mutant, etc. They called on the audience to list some examples and got a variety of replies: Worf and Tuvok from Star Trek; Gamora, Drax, and Blade from the Marvel comics and movies; Lister and Cat from Red Dwarf; Tara from True Blood; the entire werewolf clan from Twilight.

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Ask GeekGirlCon: What is your favorite tabletop game?

Hi readers!

Did you know that today is International TableTop Day? Find a game to celebrate with this installment of Ask GeekGirlCon: What is your favorite tabletop game?

Betrayal at the House on the Hill

Betrayal at the House on the Hill

“My favorite tabletop game is Betrayal at the House on the Hill published by Avalon Games. Every time you play this game, there is a different scenario. You build the game board as you go, and every time a different set of circumstances triggers the big bad Haunt. There are dozens of endings to this game and I’ve never seen the same one twice. I remember the first time I played I was beyond intimidated because my friend had to pull out his giant binder of endings and I thought it was the rule book. Even though the game varies so much, it’s still easy to learn and easy to play. And did I mention everyone has the chance to randomly become a traitor? What’s more fun then turning on your friends half way through the game because you’ve lost your sanity and turned evil?” – Jex Ballard, Volunteer Program Manager

Tokaido

Tokaido

“We play a lot of games in our house but my favourite game to play would be Antoine Bauza’s Tokaido. Tokaido is simple, relaxing game where you and fellow players travel along from Tokyo to Edo on the famous Tokaido.

This is a simple game with point to point movement where each player chooses a traveler at random to travel one of the most magnificent roads of Japan. During your journey, you will buy souvenirs, eat amazing meals, visit temples, meet new people, and see gorgeous vistas all as you travel the East sea road.” – Kristine Hassell, Twitter Administrator

Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game

Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game

“It is so hard to choose a favorite! Right now, I would say it is Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game. I had a lot of doubts when I picked up the game, as I have played many bad games based on TV shows or movies. Battlestar Galactica is a rare board game that is not just a lot of fun, it also remains true to the show. You really feel as though you are playing a character on Battlestar Galactica. While the game is mostly cooperative, one or more players are secretly cylons or cylon sympathizers working against the human crew. There is a lot of bluffing, deception, and deduction. This makes it fun to play over and over!” – Susie Rantz, Manager of Public Relations

Your turn, folks! What’s your favorite tabletop game? Any suggestions on what to play next?

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Ask GGC: What was your favorite childhood video game?

Here’s today’s Geek Fact of the Day: The Sims launched on February 4, 2000. Happy Birthday to The Sims!

In honor of this nostalgic video game many of us played growing up (or still play today), we asked GeekGirlCon staff members to share their favorite video game from childhood. Check out some of their answers.

Elevator Action NES Cover

Elevator Action NES Cover

“Choosing only one game was really hard for me as I have so many good memories of game time growing up. However, there is one little known game that I always come back to partly because I played it so much and partly because almost no one has ever heard of it. It’s Elevator Action. In this 1983 NES classic you’re a thief trying to get into the hotel, steal the goods, and get to your getaway car (using the elaborate elevator system, of course) without getting shot by the good guys or squished by one of the many elevators. It’s partly puzzle, partly reactionary, and mostly just plain fun! There’s nothing better then hearing that short few notes that said you made it to the car and you’re headed to the next level!” – Jex Ballard, Manager of Volunteer Administration

Torin's Passage

Torin’s Passage

“My brother and I LOVED Torin’s Passage. It’s a point-and-click PC game, and you play Torin, who’s on a quest to rescue his family from an evil sorceress called Lycentia. Torin travels to the “lands below” to worlds beneath the surface of the nested planet, through colossus crystal columns called phenocrysts. He is aided by a purple cat-like creature called Boogle, which is able to change itself into a variety of shapes. It’s got lots of fun puzzles (some of which were pretty hard for a children’s game), but the best part was the humor. The game was designed for parents to play with their kids, so a lot of the jokes went over my head as a child, but they are hilarious now. BRB, searching Ebay for Torin’s Passage…” – Amber Dawn Bushnell, Designer

Classic Frogger

Classic Frogger

“Frogger! At the end of every semester when I was in Catholic grade school, we had a school party day at the local roller rink, Rollero. I never had very good balance with wheels on my feet (I still don’t), so I spent most of my time–and lots of quarters!–in the little video arcade room. There was Donkey Kong, some ridiculous shooting ducks game, Ms Pac-Man (also a favorite), and then there was Frogger! For some reason I loved being the little green frog dashing across all those lanes of traffic. I wasn’t terribly good at it–we only went twice a year, plus a birthday party here and there–but I just loved it. Play the game here.” – Sarah Grant, Copywriter

Classic Centipede

Classic Centipede

“The game was simple: one button, one 2 ¼” trackball.* Me versus one determined centipede! I would play that game for an indeterminate amount of time on a pair of quarters at our local arcade. Once I played before a high school volleyball match and I played so long, that the next day, I had to hit the ball with my left hand because my right was so sore. If I see the game, I’ll get a nostalgic twinge and dig for quarters in my wallet so I can play.

“The coolest thing is that several years ago, I learned that the game was designed by Dona Bailey, one of the few female game programmers in the industry.

*The same size as a billiard ball.” – Kristine Hassell, Twitter Administrator

The Magic Map!

The Magic Map!

“When I was a kid, I bought King’s Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow at my neighbor’s garage sale (for 25 cents!). It quickly became my favorite game of all time. As a kid, it was thrilling to use the game’s magic map and discover some seriously awesome lands. I loved that Sierra incorporated stories like Wonderland (the Isle of Wonder), Beauty and the Beast (Isle of the Beast), and Theseus and the Minotaur (Isle of the Sacred Mountain). Both my sister and I played through King’s VI many, many times – frequently as a team. I sincerely hope a King’s Quest reboot is on its way!” – Stephanie Little, Web Administrator

“Mine was Where in Space is Carmen Sandiego? One of my earliest memories of DOS games. My dad was a total astronomy enthusiast and just sat me down with this and I was hooked, engaged by the graphics and enthralled with researching V.I.L.E. operatives, planets, and moons. Since I love space, this definitely stood out for me more than any of the other games in the series. The imagination behind the dossiers was particularly impressive. I remember reading that thing more than a few times, for sure. A few years ago I wanted to play it again to see how it held up but there’s next to nothing on the Internet about that installment of the Carmen Sandiego series. Definitely the best one, too.” – Kathryn Storm, UX Designer

So readers, what’s your favorite childhood video game?

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Ask GGC: What is your geeky New Year’s resolution?

Hello and Happy New Year, readers!

It’s another year and another 365 days for geekery and nerdiness! When asking the GeekGirlCon Staff what their geeky resolutions for 2013 are; here’s what some of them said:

This would be a great cosplay!

“I have two geeky resolutions this year. My first resolution is to attend a convention that I am not volunteering at in any way. For most this may sound easy, but I work a lot of cons, so it’s more difficult than it seems. My second resolution is to cosplay at least once this year. Maybe I’ll dress up as Illyria, even if it’s just from the neck up.” – Jex Ballard, Manager of Volunteer Administration

These two adorable creatures are already into Kristine’s goals for 2013.

“I don’t so much believe in making resolutions just because it’s a new year. I DO believe in continuing to treat people as I wish to be treated, making healthier choices in life, and lastly being true to myself so I can be happy. There’s also the matter of planning a honeymoon this year… Happy New Year’s everyone! Thanks for making GeekGirlCon a reality and see you in 2013!” – Kristine Hassell, Twitter Administrator

A fantastically decorated page.

“My resolution this year… well, one of a couple, actually… is to start writing things down. This includes everything from tasks at work, to outings with friends, to starting up an altered journal so that I can note day-to-day activities, movies, good and bad times, everything that I possibly can! That, along with the usual of eating better, more exercise, just generally treating myself better — this should keep me busy.” – Kris Panchyk, Exhibitor Services Manager

I’m right there with you.

”Save Community from cancellation and get Dan Harmon back on the show. Should be easy enough, right?” – Abby Reinheart, Manager of Hospitality and Transportation

So what say you, readers? What is your geeky resolution for 2013?

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Ask GGC: What was your most memorable gift?

Hi folks! In this installment of Ask GGC, we asked our staff members about the most memorable gifts they’ve received. Read up on what some of them had to say:

“My first pet, a baby black and white kitten I named Domino! I asked for a cat (from Santa) when I was seven and decided to test Santa’s reality by putting my christmas list in a neighbor’s mailbox down the street (instead of my own where my parents could find it!) I never mentioned wanting a kitten to my parents, and I wanted one SO badly … and it turns out the neighbors found my letter and brought it back to my parents the next day. So Christmas morning, I woke up to a little black and white ball of fur under my neck! It was seriously one of the most magical moments from my childhood! I was convinced Santa was real!” – LB Chambers, Manager of Fundraising

Sarah’s gift: a talking Dalek!

“I dated a very nice guy several years back, and he was pretty good with gifts. For my birthday, he got me a pair of sterling silver earrings with pretty purple stones, and a gift card to Barnes and Noble — both right on the money. The best gift he ever got me came wrapped in the newspaper — comic section, of course. I opened as we were driving to dinner, and I remember bursting into delighted laughter. He got me a talking Dalek from Doctor Who — black case, flashing lights, rollers underneath it. When I hit the button it croaked out, ‘Exterminate the Doctor!’ and ‘Obey! Obey!’” – Sarah Grant, Copywriter

You can’t go wrong with Snoopy!

“One year, I asked Santa to bring me everything Snoopy … which were my exact words. ‘Bring me everything Snoopy!’ My mother saved all the letters, so there’s tangible proof. Among the avalanche of Snoopy memorabilia, two items tie for some of my most memorable gifts. There was the super-cool Snoopy snow cone machine that my cousins always wanted to use during the summer. It was a lot of work for a little treat! And I loved my Snoopy soap dispenser. The contraption attached to the counter with a suction cup, and it used a weird granular dry soap that looked like dry laundry detergent.” – Kristine Hassell, Twitter Administrator

“My most memorable gift was a Super Nintendo from my dad that was bundled with Donkey Kong Country when it first came out. We didn’t have much money growing up, so any kind of gift more than $50 wasn’t something I could hope for. My Pa and I used to play on the NES together (he’d ALWAYS AND FOREVER beat me at Tetris) so he thought of it as an investment in family time. My SNES still works perfectly, and I marathon Donkey Kong every so often!” – Meg Humphrey, Assistant Volunteer Coordinator

Stephanie and her boyfriend, Robert, celebrating after completing a half-marathon.

“My awesome boyfriend spoiled me on my birthday! He bought tickets for Wicked and got me a Camelback — complimenting my geeky and sporty interests.” – Stephanie Little, Web Administrator

Thanks, Staff! Readers, what was your most memorable gift?

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Ask GGC: How have you benefited from your time at GeekGirlCon?

Hey readers! Shubz here with another installment of Ask GGC. We asked our staff how their time with GeekGirlCon made a difference for them in their lives outside of our organization. Here’s what they had to say:

Kristine Hassell

“I’ve started getting back into comics and science, two avenues of geekdom that I enjoyed when I was younger, but fell to the wayside when I discovered RPGs, video games, and anime. I’ve also become more vocal when I find things offensively misogynistic or racist. As a female Filipino-American nerd, it’s important to speak up about these things. Being on staff has stepped up my game on many fronts including how to succinctly convey my thoughts in 140 characters or less when needed without textspeak abbreviations! Grammar nerds FTW!” – Kristine Hassell, Twitter Administrator

Erica striking a pose at GeekGirlCon 2012

“I’ve been an idealist for most of life, and the world has in many ways tried to stop me from believing in the ability to change the world. GeekGirlCon has really proven that through community momentum, we can change the world. When we first started planning for GeekGirlCon ’11, we would’ve been happy if 400 people showed up; but instead we had almost 2,000. And even more for GeekGirlCon ’12. We’ve inspired people, helped build new skills and interests, and fostered women-positive geeky community. We can be the change in the world.” – Erica McGillivray, Director of Marketing

Left to Right: Shubz Blalack, Tammy Vince Cruz, Raye Abellar

“GeekGirlCon changed my life. It opened my eyes, my mind, and best of all, my heart, to an amazing community all working towards a sincere goal. Admittedly, GeekGirlCon consumed me; it consumed my time, my energy, and my life – but it’s all been worth it. I’ve worked with remarkable people, many of which I would consider good friends. Beyond that, the rad folks I’ve had the chance to meet along the way, reinforced that genuine people do exist, and they support what you believe in.

GeekGirlCon pushed me to work my butt off. I’ve produced some of my best pieces for GeekGirlCon. While giving me that challenge, it’s resulted in a rejuvenated design portfolio. I’ve definitely forced myself to learn a lot of better habits when it came to my work – learning communication is vital, especially leading my own team, and overall organization is detrimental to making things run smoothly. I was known as a mute when I was a kid, but helping lead meetings and represent GeekGirlCon helped build my self-confidence, and improve my own public speaking and interaction skills. A lot of these skills I’ve applied to my day job and personal life, and it makes me feel all sorts of awesomely weird – like I’ve definitely stepped full fledge into “grown up” territory. And I’m quite happy with that.

– Tammy Vince Cruz, Manager of Design

Susie and Stephanie cosplaying it up as Hawkgirl and Starbuck, respectively

“Working at GeekGirlCon opened my eyes in so many ways. It opened my eyes to the hundreds of geeky things out there I didn’t even know existed. It opened my eyes to the fantastic community of geeky women and their amazing supporters. And it opened my eyes to the fact that GeekGirlCon is still a needed organization — there are too many people out there who still feel mistreated, misrepresented, and misunderstood. GeekGirlCon staff members bring a range of personalities to the table, which has given me the opportunity to learn and grow in ways I never expected. It has seriously been a gift to be on this staff.” – Susie Rantz, PR Manager

GeekGirlCon is currently looking for enthusiastic and driven individuals to join our staff and continue to make a difference with us. Could that be you? Check out our Open Staff Positions for more information.

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Ask GGC: What’s your favorite part about being on staff?

Hiya, readers! For this edition of Ask GeekGirlCon, we asked our staff what their favorite part of being on staff was. Here is what some of them shared:

Kristine on the GeekGirlCon clock giving you the updates from the Twitterverse!

“Joss Whedon once said that he was a great believer in ‘found families,’ and I really lucked out with the family that I found in GeekGirlCon. I don’t have to explain my current nerd obsession or be apprehensive about my fandoms — they just get it and then share their own! My co-workers are smart, witty, and all-around amazing people that never cease to inspire me and crack me up. I less-than-three you all.” – Kristine Hassell, Twitter Administrator

Erica with the Chicks Dig Comics Panel geeking out and sharing in camaraderie

“I love being part of GeekGirlCon’s staff because I truly do believe we can change the world or, at least, geekdom. We’ve created a wonderful space for celebrating geeky women of all stripes. The best reward for being on staff is the smiles on our event-goers faces; seeing amazing cosplay; meeting creators, shakers, and makers; and hearing all the incredible stories. We’ve helped women (and our allies) get new jobs, build skill sets, make new friends, and just generally have a safe space to gather.” – Erica McGillivray, Marketing Director and President

Great minds think alike! Melanie with another Princess Peach cosplayer

“My favorite part is being able to look back on GeekGirlCon ‘12 and know I totally made some little geeky girl’s day. :D” – Melanie Werts, Customer Service Coordinator

Are you interested in joining the ranks of our staff? Check out our Open Staff Positions!

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