Panel Preview: Calling All Gamers!

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The player character from the upcoming Animal Crossing Horizons picks some red tulips and stuffs them in her pocket. Gif via Giphy.

You may have heard that our gaming floor is powering up for the 2019 convention (…and if not, take a look at all the new things you can expect!) From tabletop to console, we’ve got you covered—but there are even more opportunities to engage with what you love. From passionate industry veterans to adoring fans, GeekGirlCon is hosting a variety of gaming-centric panels and presentations this year. Whether you’re an aspiring dev looking for a little inspiration, interested in DMing, or curious to find your next favorite title, there’s bound to be something for everyone.

Here are a few panels that our gamers and geeks can look forward to at #GGC19:

Grab Your Tea and Slippers: Why Cozy Games are the Next Big Thing
The idea of playing wholesome games has become more prominent and normalized. From Animal Crossing to Calico, games are allowing players to take a break and enjoy a calmer side of life—while also providing more opportunities for inclusivity! Let’s get comfy and discuss why these cozy games are an upcoming force in the industry, our favorites, and why we shouldn’t hide the fact we want peaceful titles to enjoy!

Indigo Boock
“Rock On!”

Interpreter Requests for #GGC19

We want to make sure that GeekGirlCon is an accessible and welcoming environment for the Deaf community. To make sure that you are supported,  we will be taking requests to have the panels that you’re interested in interpreted! 

Our 2019 programming lineup just went live on our website—if there’s something you’re particularly interested in, let us know! We’ll be accepting requests through October 30. Please note that all requests will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis, so make sure to submit your requests early. All inquiries and questions should be sent directly to julie@geekgirlcon.com.

We’ll see you next month at the con!



If you’d like more information on accessibility at GeekGirlCon or would like to provide us feedback on how we can improve, visit our website or contact us at info@geekgirlcon.com.

Indigo Boock
“Rock On!”

Happy Birthday, Nobody Hates You: A Q&A with The Doubleclicks

The Doubleclicks are a folk-pop music group comprised of sibling duo, Laser Malena-Webber and Aubrey Turner. Powered up by their love of cats, they write & produce songs that anyone can sing-along to. 

Their music is heartwarming and a great deal of fun, a pleasant breakaway from the worries of life⁠. It can also be remarkably cathartic, simply reminding us that it’s okay to have a bad day. Anxiety is very real—but we’re also not alone. They sing about queer identity and belonging, cats and everyday superheroes. It’s music that we can all relate to, truly, and even I was caught off guard by how much I empathize with their lyrics. 

In anticipation of their shows at GeekGirlCon this November, The Doubleclicks did a Q&A with me about their influences growing up, some of their favorite performances, and what they’re currently geeking out about!

Indigo Boock
“Rock On!”

A Q&A with #GGC19 Featured Contributor, Tanya DePass

It is our pleasure to introduce our first Featured Contributor for GeekGirlCon 2019: Tanya DePass!

I had the opportunity to meet Tanya earlier this March during Women’s Month on the Nerdy Venom’s podcast, where we chatted about diversity in the gaming industry. A truly inspiring woman to listen to, Tanya is the founder of I Need Diverse Games, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization. Passionate about encouraging diversification across all of gaming⁠—from development to representation on screen to the community itself⁠—Tanya strives to make gaming more inclusive for everyone.

Her work with I Need Diverse Games is just the beginning: her writing has been featured in many publications, including Uncanny Magazine, Polygon, Wiscon Chronicles, Vice Gaming, Paste Games, and Mic. She has contributed to publications for Green Ronin, Paizo, and Monte Cook Games; was the editor for Game Devs and Others: Tales from the Margins (2018); and contributed to The Advanced Game Narrative Toolbox (2019). An avid streamer, Tanya is a partnered variety streamer on Twitch with a focus on single player RPG’s. She’s also a cast member on the Rivals of Waterdeep actual play show; every Sunday at 10am Pacific/12pm Central on twitch.tv/dnd. In addition to all this, she’s also the programming and diversity coordinator for OrcaCon and GaymerX.

Leading up to the convention this November, Tanya helped us put together a Q&A about her career and the importance of diversity in games.

Why gaming? What got you started in the field?
It was all a happy accident, hitting on a note at the right time, and right place when #INeedDiverseGames hashtag hit twitter.

What was it like starting a movement and then creating and directing an org to highlight diversity in gaming?
I never thought of it as starting a movement, that wasn’t my intent when I angrily tweeted around 6 am before work a few years ago. The formation of the non-profit was intentional, to keep the momentum going and give us a vehicle to do the work. It was a lot of work, a lot of stress (still) and worry that I’m doing enough.

It’s been about three years since you founded the non-profit for I Need Diverse Games. What changes, if any, have you seen in the gaming industry since you started, and what would you say are the biggest or most pressing changes that still need to be made?
A very slow burn towards more POC in games, more women as lead characters or just existing in games. We need to have characters that are neurodivergent, that are disabled and not tropes or stereotypes. Games have to get away from mental illness as a reason for villainy.

What did your priorities/goals for the org start as? Have they evolved?
To be a resource, to be a hub for folks looking to do better in inclusion for all games, and projects. For instance, if someone needs a diversity consultation; if we can’t provide it then I’d love to be able to refer them out to someone else. The other goal is to be a point of access for folks to get into the industry. Things have evolved over the years as I realize what is feasible, what’s not as a small org and what we can do with the resources we have.

What would you say to people who are frustrated by systemic problems they see in media or other industries but feel like they don’t have the money, power, or audience to make an impact?
Speak up, do it in a productive way when you see a stereotype in a game, or film or other media. By productive I mean use methods for feedback, don’t scream at devs on twitter, or speak over marginalized folks who are already talking about these issues. Amplify, don’t trample. Screaming at developers won’t do anything but likely earn you a block or mute. If more players, especially folks who don’t have an audience speak up, it will show developers that people do care about these issues.

How do you measure success both with the org and within your own life?
Hah, I’m not there yet with the organization. We’re not in a position to fund people, or hire folks to do a lot of the work that needs to be done, or even rent a physical space. For my own life, it would be having enough money in my account to not worry if I had a sudden expense hit, like a medical issue or not having to think too hard on what I can spend on groceries. It may sound shallow, but when you aren’t worried about keeping the lights on, food in the fridge, etc? You can focus on other things.

What are your favorite individuals/orgs to support?
So many, goodness. Definitely AbleGamers; a percentage of any money I make as a Humble Bundle partner benefits them. Anykey, who are focused on good conduct in eSports and inclusion. DungeonCommander, a force for so much good in the tabletop space for POC, queer and non-binary folks. GaymerX & OrcaCon (Disclosure: I volunteer for both organizations conference doing programming and inclusion), Dirtbagboyfriend, a great non-binary artist in Seattle, Tales from the Mists is another actual play D&D show that has women, poc and non-binary folks on it. Everyone (else) who’s on Rivals of Waterdeep, the actual play D&D show I’m on Sundays on twitch.tv/dnd, MegaRan, Sammus Music, Mike Eagle, the NPC Collective, Shubzilla; and one of my favorite people ever and amazing author; NK Jemisin. That’s by no means an exhaustive list but we only have so much space here!

How do you explain the reach of gaming (and therefore the importance of diversity in the industry) to non-gamers?
I liken it to films and books, especially when I can’t go to the movies now without seeing a commercial for a game, or seeing big names playing, sharing, streaming and voicing them. I remind them it’s a world wide industry; still growing and learning, but still touching on so many places and bringing us stories that aren’t even possible in other forms of media. They can be used to teach and more, and are far more than mere toys.

What are some of the biggest/most derailing misconceptions folks have about games? About your work specifically?
About games in general is that they are for kids and teens, that you grow up and out of gaming and this goes for all games, including tabletop; and that mobile games don’t count. Also that games have no value. About my work, people assume I only care about black folks, women and queer issues. They don’t ask, or they base it strictly off my identity being what I must care about and nothing else.

What challenges are you currently facing in terms of the org’s work/growth? How can the GeekGirlCon community support you best?
Resources, money and being in a position to hire even part time staff. The best way to support is our Patreon (patreon.com/ineeddivgms) Otherwise, if people donate with convention passes, then also funds to help people attend. We can also take donations at PayPal.me/INeedDiverseGames.

What are your favorite games? Other favorite media?
Single player, RPG’s are my favorite video games with Dragon Age II being my favorite game ever. The Division 2 has been taking up a lot of my gaming & streaming time, along with Magic the Gathering Arena. I don’t have a lot of other favorite media because I don’t have cable anymore and am way behind on new music, tv, etc. I have been really digging Daveed Diggs library of work, and I’m re-reading NK Jemisin’s Hundred Thousand Kingdom’s trilogy.

Why are physical gatherings such as GeekGirlCon important to this work? Why is this a space you want to show up in?
For those that can afford to make it to an event like GGC, or PAX or OrcaCon; it’s important to find community in person. To make those connections that sometimes start online stronger and to find new friends at panels, or in game rooms. Sometimes you can start community in these spaces and the can grow online afterward. I want to show up because too often I hear people say that they don’t see people like them at events like these. Too often, can I count on two hands; maybe a couple times over the people of color at events focused on gaming. Being present and visible is part of inclusion.

Outside of gaming, what else are you currently passionate about?
Sleep, lots of sleep and my cat Genki.

If you’re interested in learning more about Tanya and the other spectacular guests that are joining us for #GGC19, buy your passes online today! We’ll see you November 16th & 17th at the Conference Center at the WSCC.


Books Mentioned:
The Advanced Game Narrative Toolbox
Game Devs & Others: Tales from the Margins

Indigo Boock
“Rock On!”

Get Inspired, Plan Your Panel For #GGC19!

Panels are one of my all time favorite aspects of the con. It’s a chance to indulge in conversation about my favorite fandoms and stay aware of the current happenings in my industry. It gives me the opportunity to hear stories that I otherwise may not get the chance to—or even meet people that I otherwise wouldn’t. Panels are not only a great way to learn, but they’re a great way to connect.

In anticipation for GeekGirlCon ’19, I asked my team to write small pitches for panels that they’d like to see at GeekGirlCon. Since our deadline for panel submissions is coming up at the end of the month, you never know what might inspire your next great idea!

Caitlin

Title // Putting the A in LGBTQIA+

Description // What is the asexuality spectrum? What is it like being asexual and/or aromantic? How do these identities fit into the LGBTQ community? Do aces have sex? This panel of asexuals and aromantics would provide a frank discussion of these lesser-known identities and what it’s like to be aro/ace in an allosexual world.

Title // A Talk with Ijeoma Oluo

Description // From her writings on race to her opinions on makeup brands and application, Ijeoma Oluo embodies so much of the GGC spirit. I would love to bring her in as a featured contributor, if we could make it happen.

Hanna

Title // The Good, the Bad, and the 13 Reasons Why: Depictions of Mental Health in Media

Description // From Crazy Ex-Girlfriend to Lady Dynamite to (yes) 13 Reasons Why, television shows often seek to portray characters struggling with their mental health, but the degree to which these depictions are successful varies wildly. Join our panelists for a discussion of both the most polarizing and the most effective depictions of mental illness on TV, as well as an exploration of themes of stigma, romanticization, and relatability.

Title // Choose Your Own Adventure: The Creative Possibilities of Fanfiction

Description // Whether you’re a veteran writer with hundreds of fics under your belt (or published to your Archive of Our Own account); are just beginning to dabble in the world of AUs, headcanons, and ships; or are a complete novice, you’re welcome at this panel exploring the world of fanfiction! As proud fanfiction writers and readers, we’ll be discussing the freedom, creativity, and radical possibilities inherent in fanfiction as a genre, and how “choosing your own adventure” by writing fanfic has the power to expand, enhance, and subvert the media we love.

Kalyna

Title // ?Zankoku…? (ahem) the Power of Anime Openings and Endings

Description // Have you ever watched an anime simply because it had great opening animation? Do you know only the first 1:25-2 minutes of a catchy Jpop tune? This panel is for you! Discuss the history of anime openings and endings, how they’ve changed throughout the years, and (of course) watch a few clips of our favorites.

Title // Reboots, Remakes, and Nostalgia

Description // Twilight Zone. Fruits Basket. Aladdin. Hellboy. Men in Black. Final Fantasy X. What do all of these cultural icons have in common? They’re all getting remade for today’s audiences. Join us as we explore the deja-vu filled world of reboots. Are we in an age of remakes, or have we seen this pattern before? How does the process of remaking a movie differ from porting a video game, or a new storyline in comics? In the end, what audience do these reboots target — new audiences, or nostalgic fans?

Indigo Boock
“Rock On!”

GiveBIG Today!

Today is the day!

GiveBig is an annual day of giving in Seattle. Hosted this year by 501 Commons, GiveBig supports local nonprofit organizations. GeekGirlCon is participating again this year to help raise funds for the 2019 convention on November 16 & 17.

We wouldn’t be able to host the convention each year without your support. We are a community, and we are all extremely passionate about GeekGirlCon’s mission to create a welcoming, safe environment for people of all backgrounds, colors, sexualities, and genders. Everyone should be able to tell their story, and we want to hear yours.

By donating to GeekGirlCon, you are supporting this mission. You are enabling us to create that space, and we couldn’t do it without the support of our community.

You can follow along on social media and return to this post for live updates. We’ll also be livestreaming every hour throughout the day starting at 8 a.m. PST on Facebook.

Current Total From 30 Donors: $14,203 of $10,000 Goal

last updated May 9 at 9:30 a.m.

To learn more about GeekGirlCon, take a look at our mission statement and read some staffer testimonials.

Thank you for Giving BIG and showing continued support for GeekGirlCon!


Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for live updates throughout the day. You can give your gift online today. If you are interested in becoming anindividual or corporate sponsor for GeekGirlCon, check out our sponsor benefits and reach out to us at sponsorship@geekgirlcon.com.

Indigo Boock
“Rock On!”

GiveBIG to GeekGirlCon May 8th

For the last few years GeekGirlCon has participated in GiveBIG, an annual day of giving in Seattle. Hosted this year by 501 Commons, GiveBIG is a single-day online fundraiser for local non-profit organizations. Starting today, April 23rd, you can schedule your gift to GeekGirlCon before GiveBIG happens in two weeks on May 8th!

As a volunteer-run organization, everyone at GeekGirlCon is extremely passionate about our mission: to create a safe and encouraging space for all people regardless of color, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Our staff embodies this message and we strive make sure that our community is welcoming to all. Everyone at GeekGirlCon has a unique perspective, and we all support this organization because we believe that the world can do better. From STEM to gaming, the arts and popular culture, no one should go without their story being told. Whether you’re a fan, creator, scientist, or a gamer, we can all come together to celebrate our common interests while also celebrating what makes us unique. No two geeks are alike, after all.

But, beyond the dedication of our staff we couldn’t host the convention each year without your support. Individual donations by our community and sponsors give us the ability to organize the best possible event that we can. Your support allows us to bring more panels, events, Featured Contributors, exhibitors, and so much more to the con each year.  

This November, we’ll be hosting our biggest convention to date and we simply could not do this without you.

Over the next couple of weeks stay tuned as we ramp up for the big day. We want to tell you our story—and we want to hear yours, too! Why do you support GeekGirlCon?

Schedule your gift today by visiting us at https://www.givebig2019.org/geekgirlcon, and join us May 8th for a day of community and giving.

Indigo Boock
“Rock On!”

Embracing My Femininity as a Gamer with Love Nikki

I’ve been a pretty avid gamer for a long time—I mean, heck, writing for games is what I chose to do with my life. However, had you told me that I was going to advocate for a dress-up game a little over a year ago, I would have laughed. Hard. But, here we are.

This week is my one-year anniversary playing Love Nikki, a shamelessly feminine dress-up game. You may have seen some horribly inaccurate advertisements over the last year or so posing the game as a girly, quirky dating simulator, but, I swear, don’t let those sway you. The narrative is young, but has quite a bit of depth packed into an app—there’s character death! In a FASHION GAME! I dig it.

The primary mechanic and purpose of LN is to utilize your wardrobe to “battle” against other players and NPCs in styling contests. Each article of clothing or accessory has a specific attribute that gives you more points. Some of these attributes are as standard as preppy, rock, or bohemian, while other attributes are more unique, paying homage to various eras of Chinese clothing (a nod to the game’s origin). There are also Associations, which are much like guilds or clans in other popular MMOs. Association members work together to complete unique suits and other hands-on activities. Overall, it’s actually very engaging, and at minimum, it gives you a short checklist of things to do while drinking your morning coffee.

It’s a great deal of fun and pleasantly progressive—but that’s not all it fulfills for me. LN goes beyond just being a fun game.

I started playing LN back in April. This was a really hard period of time. I’d just started seeing the cracks in my relationship,  was coping with some frustrating career progression, and was about to step into a fit of depression that would carry me well into the fall. Late one night while I was fighting off a bout of insomnia, I was watching a video by Sharla in Japan that was sponsored by the developers and showcased the game. The art was cute, and I’m pretty easy to hook with a good aesthetic, but I was in a gnarly funk, and it seemed like it would be a far better distraction than just passively watching a random video online. So I downloaded it and gave the game a go.

Indigo Boock
“Rock On!”

The #GGC18 Photo Booth

Feeling the mid-winter blues? My fellow Seattlites are thrilled that the worst of our weather is (hopefully) behind us, but I’ve got something to warm up this chilly afternoon: did you know that the photo booth pictures from #GGC18 are up on our Flickr?

Taken by photographer and GGC veteran Sayed Alamy, there’s no better time than now to find inspiration for your next cosplay or get yourself a little hyped for this upcoming November.

I was feeling a little under the weather this week, but scrolling through these photos did wonders for my mood. Here are some of my favorites (with absolutely no bias towards my favorite characters, I swear!) Plus, I don’t think there’s anything cuter than a mini cosplayer. Prove me wrong.

Indigo Boock
“Rock On!”

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