Can you believe that #GGC19 is barely two days away? In celebration of our launch, we’re rolling out our final Q&As. From the Women of NASA, to a sneak preview of our 2019 merch, we’ve still got some really exciting content to share with all of you.
Molly Brooks is one of our Featured Contributors and an absolute brilliant illustrator. Her comics are heartfelt and diverse—advocating more representation on the page and behind the pen. Her debut graphic novel, Sanity & Tallulah (October 2018) is a funny and smart story about best friends who must find their furry, adorable, and totally illegal science experiment. Chock-full of imaginative biology, tech, and engineering references, Sanity & Tallulah encourages experimentation and problem-solving. In the sequel, Sanity & Tallulah: Field Trip (October 2019), the dynamic duo are going on a field trip—to another planet! They get sucked into an adventure of intergalactic proportions when they’re pursued by a pirate and seek the aid of an accountant, a math hermit, and a group of mysterious beekeepers.
In preparation for her appearance at #GGC19, Molly did a Q&A with me about her influences, the importance of diversity, and of course, her furry office attendants!
In celebration of #GGC19 coming up in EIGHT DAYS, we have officially launched the Share Your World video series (produced by our new video team)! Tune in over the next week for clips highlighting various staffers & friends as they give you a little glimpse into what it’s like to be apart of their world.
Hope Nicholson is the owner of Winnipeg-based publisher Bedside Press, which focuses on publishing new and old stories from all cultures and walks of life. She was the curator of anthologies for Dark Horse comics including The Secret Loves of Geek Girls and was responsible for putting together the NYT #1 best-selling Angel Catbird trilogy. She is the editor of Moonshot vol. 1 & 2, an Indigenous comics anthology series, and the author of The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen which shines light on female characters forgotten by comics history.
In preparation for GeekGirlCon ’19, Hope did a Q&A with me about her press, the importance of diversity in comics and publishing, and her favorite superheroes. You can catch Hope on various panels at GGC, including From Brain to Bookstore Shelf on Saturday & Women in Comics on Sunday.
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!
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
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 generalis 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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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
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 email@example.com.