Hey, Staffer! An Interview with Alyssa Askew

Alyssa, wearing a sweater with Darth Vader on it, and holding a stuffed Chewbacca toy and a bag of popcorn. (Source: Alyssa Askew)

New Year, New Staffer! We’re kicking off 2018 with an interview with Alyssa Askew, our Assistant Games Manager. Alyssa has been working with us since early last year, and works with our Manager of Gaming, Alyssa Jones. (Yes, there are two people working on our games team named Alyssa. What are the odds?) Here, she tells us about moving to Seattle, her love of Star Wars, and what it’s like to be a girl detective.

 

Who are you and what do you do at GeekGirlCon?

I’m Alyssa Askew and I am the Assistant Games Manager. I help the other Alyssa and the rest of the awesome Gaming team create Tabletop and Video Game content for the convention and beyond. My position fluctuates based on what Alyssa and the rest of the team need and I jump in to help wherever I can. This year that meant organizing some tournaments, coordinating signage, writing volunteer job descriptions, and having a whole lot of fun with the team!

What do you do for your day job, when you’re not being awesome as a GGC staffer?

I work in video games! I am currently working as an Administrative Assistant (aka Professional Organizer of things) at Big Fish Games and learning as much as possible about the production and creation of our games so I can continue to work towards my dream of producing games. On the side, I am producing an indie horror game with friends to hone those skills!

Sounds awesome! Tell me more about your indie game!
Horror games are not usually my jam (I spook easily!), but helping my friends get organized to make things is a lot of fun and they are super talented. Play throughs have been entertaining because I think I get even more frightened when I know what is about to happen in the game. I can’t wait to see how it shapes up.

Alyssa concentrates as she plays Centipede on an arcade machine. (Source: Alyssa Askew)

Have you always considered yourself a geek?

Oh, probably… When I was about 9, I wanted to have a Star Wars themed sleepover and watch the entire original trilogy in one night. I LOVE geeking out over themes. I invited all my friends over and decorated the living room. We got through half of Episode IV and my friends took over and we watched Titanic. I still hate that movie and I still love Star Wars so I guess I have always considered myself geeky.

Alyssa holding her super cute BB-8 mug! (Source: Alyssa Askew)

What sort of (geeky) things do you like to do in your spare time?

In case it wasn’t already evident, I love gaming! These days, you can most often find me playing Stardew Valley, Overwatch, and a variety of mobile games. When I can recruit friends or family, I love a good board game too.

I am also in my happy place while munching popcorn at the movies or curled up with a novel or comic book with tea (in a geeky and adorable BB8 mug).

What are you currently geeking out about?

Right this second, I am most excited for Black Panther to come out. It looks phenomenal and I’ve probably watched the trailer 30+ times. Spider-Man has been my favorite superhero since I was twelve, so I’m also looking forward to his starring role appearance in Infinity War and try my best not to think too much about Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse because December is so far away.

Gaming wise, I just purchased a bundle of twenty or so Nancy Drew games from Her Interactive and they are golden! I’ve been dedicating a fair amount of time to solving crimes as a teenage sleuth.

Girl detective games? That sounds awesome. Who would you recommend these to?
I think anyone who read Nancy Drew, watched Veronica Mars, or played detective of any sorts when they were young would enjoy the Nancy Drew series. I mean, who doesn’t want to solve crimes about haunted carousels or mysterious old clocks? They are easy to pick up and play without being hardcore, and while they are a bit silly sometimes, I’ve had a lot of fun with them.

Alyssa dressed as her character from the game Stardew Valley (Source: Alyssa Askew)

Okay, let’s talk about the org. How did you get involved with GeekGirlCon?

I moved to Seattle from Canada early last year and wanted to get involved and volunteer in some capacity straight away. Up in BC, my volunteer life was a huge part of who I was, and organizing STEM events for the Girl Guides of Canada was one of my favorite things to do. I had attended GeekGirlCon and kept checking the volunteer page because I love everything the org stands for, but was intimidated by most of the roles, having never organized a con before! When I saw the Assistant Manager of Gaming position I was really excited because it seemed like a great introduction to convention planning, I had the skill set, and also I really, really love games. I applied for the position and now I’m here!

What is your favorite thing about being a staffer for GeekGirlCon?

The wonderful humans I get to interact with as a result. Being in a new city is scary, but everyone in the org has welcomed me with open arms, taught me so much already, and made me feel at home. The Agents I got to work with at the GeekGirlCon last year were exceptional and their commitment to the convention is inspiring. I can’t wait to work with them again. Finally, our attendees are what make GeekGirlCon so special.

What were your thoughts on GeekGirlCon ‘17? Did you have a favorite moment?

I LOVED my experience at GeekGirlCon ‘17. The whole event was nothing less of magical and I was humbled to be a part of the staff organizing the convention. My favorite moment surrounding the con weekend actually happened virtually. Part way through the weekend, I was checking twitter and saw a friend say they were thinking of attending and asked if GeekGirlCon was a safe space for them. I let others answer, because I thought maybe I was a bit biased, and my friend ended up attending on Sunday! I got to say hello in the midst of running around, and they seemed to be having fun. My favorite moment came on Sunday, the attendees had left, we were cleaning up and winding down from a great weekend. I checked Twitter again and saw the same friend post about what a great time they had at GeekGirlCon ‘17, how glad they were that they attended, and that they definitely would be back next year. Seeing that post made my heart so happy. I love the space GeekGirlCon has created and am proud of how hard everyone is constantly working to make it truly safe and inclusive.

What are you looking forward to for GeekGirlCon in the future?

I can’t wait to see how GeekGirlCon continues to thrive in the coming years. I feel so lucky to be a part of the team and I know the wonderful people involved will make it better every year. I look forward to seeing how the programming changes and grows to be as inclusive and diverse as possible and I am excited about all the wonderful content that I’m sure we’ll line up for next year!

 

If you think you’d like to be like Alyssa and support GeekGirlCon all year around, check out our available volunteer staff positions!

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

Hey, Staffer, Whatcha Geekin’ Out About? An Interview with Andrew Chan

Image description: Andrew Chan wearing a glowing Iron Man hand.

Here’s one last Hey, Staffer interview for the year. Meet Andrew Chan! Andrew is our merchandise assistant but also spends a lot of time dabbling with cool technology, fighting with lightsabers, and watching his favorite scifi shows! We ask him about what it’s like to be a Trekkie, technobabble, and the lengths he will go to for a good geek convention.

 

Who are you and what do you do at GeekGirlCon?

I’m Andrew and I help Shubz run the merchandise department. This includes climbing through stacks of boxes in storage to count our inventory, ordering new stuff, processing online orders (and getting the online store running), and helping set up and run the merch booth during the con. I’ve also taken over as an interim sysadmin running the internal infrastructure.

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

In Which G. Willow Wilson Talks About Identity, and I Try Not to Fangirl Too Much

Let me get the obvious out of the way first: I’m a fan of G. Willow Wilson’s work. Her storytelling finesse, and experiences as being at the intersection of several identities speaks to me. I recently saw her in conversation with KUOW’s Jamala Henderson as part of Humanities Washington’s speaker series, talking about identity, the comics industry, and of course, Ms. Marvel. Part of the flyer for the event introduced Willow (the G is silent) thusly: G. Willow Wilson lies at the epicenter of multiple fault lines of American identity.

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

Panel Recap: Making Games that Bring People Together

Playing Magic: The Gathering at GeekGirlCon 16

One of my favorite things about gaming is that it is transformative: you get to become someone (or something) else: you can be a warrior mouse, an anthropomorphic mushroom, a dragon, or anything else that the game setting allows for.

You can also become a new friend to someone who shares the same passions for games that you do.

There are plenty of stories about players creating groups to play together, forming real-life relationships, or whose lives evolve because of the game and the people they’ve met playing it. This year, at GeekGirlCon, I got to sit in on a panel with Featured Contributor Elaine Chase, who has a direct hand in influencing people’s lives in this way.

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

Before She Ignites Brings Dragons Back to YA

Written by Guest Contributor Marissa Brantley

Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows is doing the good work of bringing dragons back in the lives of YA readers. Have we had a good dragon series since Eragon? I don’t thinks so. Even better, the main character is a woman of color who struggles with mental illness, while still getting’ it done.

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

A Huge Thank You from All of Us

Image source: @Trickstresscosplay

One of the hardest things about GeekGirlCon is that point on Sunday night when you realize that the con is coming to its inevitable conclusion. It’s such a bittersweet moment, but it’s also a good time to reflect on the cultural phenomenon that is GeekGirlCon.

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

Ready Player One: Gaming Highlights for GeekGirlCon ’17

I love games, and I think that one of my favorite places at GeekGirlCon is on the Gaming Floor. It’s a big, open space and lends itself to all sorts of game-related content, be it board games to check out, a walk-up RPG area, console games, and more! Here are some of the cool things that will be happening in games over GeekGirlCon weekend:

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

Panel Highlight: Truth, Justice, and the American Way

This year has been a challenging one for most of us who follow politics. From the Women’s March to the March for Science to the numerous Black Lives Matter Marches, activism and getting involved in political action has been increasingly prevalent in our everyday lives.

How we understand politics is also pervasive throughout pop culture and the media we consume, and this is reflected in several of the panels that will be presented at GeekGirlCon ‘17. Even if you’ve never written political slogans on a square of cardboard, nor marched in the street, there’s a place for you to start learning about how your can take what you’re passionate about and transform it into effective activism.

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

Early Bird Pricing Ends 8/31: Don’t Miss Out!

Deciding to go to a convention is no small task. You have to plan your days, decide on your cosplay, and figure out what art and swag you want to buy.

But even before that, you have to decide who you’re going to the con with!

That’s why if you’ve been on the fence about coming to GeekGirlCon, you need to finish reading this blog post and jump online to buy your passes. I didn’t plan to write this as a listicle, but here are four reasons why you should do that right now:

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

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Thanks to the GeekGirlCon GeekGirlCon Super Sponsors

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