As we hope is abundantly apparent, we value and prioritize diverse perspectives here at GeekGirlCon. At the con, this is reflected in our programming, which consists almost entirely of panels, workshops, and events that are created and hosted by community members. However, throughout the off-season, the content we produce is limited to the collection of voices that comprise our marketing staff. And while it’s a great staff, it’s also small. We have volunteered to help usher content through the GeekGirlCon pipeline, but we shouldn’t have a monopoly on the creation of the content itself. This is where you come in.
Even more than writing our own posts, GeekGirlCon’s Copy Team (that’s us, the blog people) is responsible for ensuring that the blog is a complete reflection of our broader community. It’s a job that involves many steps, and one of those is seeking out much-needed guest contributors. Writing for us in a guest capacity is cool because it requires a less serious time commitment than being a staff member does, but it still gets you involved in our year-round work.
For this pre-con season, we’re particularly interested in takes on diversity among content creators. As a viewer, what differences do you see between media that involves diverse perspectives integrally behind-the-scenes and those that don’t?Are you a creator yourself? How is your perspective key to the stories you create? Do you have ideas about how we, as a community, can demand the representation we deserve? If you have answers (fully-fledged or not!), we want to hear from you.
Our staff are working hard behind the scenes to make sure that we make #GGC18 the biggest and best convention that we’ve ever organized!
One old reliable we’ve had for our convention has been our program booklet. In the past, our program books have been printed, hard copy guides with maps, lists of schedules, featured contributor biographies and all the nifty information you need to get the most out of your con weekend.
It looks something like this:
Image: A pair of hands holding the GeekGirlCon program book
Last year, in addition to our physical booklets we also had a digital program guide that was pretty popular. And this year, we’re thinking about focusing primarily on the digital program guide, which you would get in the form of an app. For those of you who like a tactile guide that you can hold and read, never fear! To accompany the digital program guide, we’ll also be designing a physical poster that you will receive at admission. Information included on the backside of this poster would be a streamlined version of our panel schedules, maps, highlighted panel information and events information. (We’re still in the process of designing the poster.)
Going digital has its pros and cons, and we’d like to pick your brains for your thoughts on whether you’d prefer a program book, or a digital app to get your information. There are environmental, practical, and technical considerations. But, ultimately, we want to do what’s best for our community–YOU.
Image: a GeekGirlCon attendee reads on a digital device
So, we’re hoping you can help us make that decision! What format would you like to see your programming information in? We’ve put together this survey in order to help us figure out whether or not you would be interested in seeing our program guide go primarily digital. We value your opinion.
I should be fanning myself, really, as I recollect Fryda Wolff’s Q&A at GeekGirlCon ‘17. So buckle up guys, because I’m about to reiterate why her panel was one of my absolute favorites at the convention, and how Fryda easily became one of my top girl crushes of all time (nice and snug between Maggie Stiefvater and Danai Gurira).
GeekGirlCon was Fryda’s first ever convention as a voice actor, and we couldn’t have felt more honored or humble to have her with us. She was a force to be reckoned with, whose voice didn’t demand but immediately earned my absolute attention when I first heard her speak during the Voice of a Hero panel the day before. Her confidence was intoxicating, and made live-tweeting her panel almost impossible, as nearly everything she said was a quote that could be used to inspire the masses. She was truly amazing, and was eager to share her experience getting started in gaming and how that got her into voice acting.
While Fryda began her voiceover journey in 2013, that’s not where her career in gaming started.
She graduated high school a year early, in fact, the week she turned 17. She wanted to be a campaign manager back then, and didn’t have a clue how far from that she’d end up (although it did play a pretty big role in how she got there).
Even though Fryda ended up in the gaming industry, it wasn’t until high school when she got her first PC. She then dubbed herself a PC gamer, and got really into Blizzard (because I swear, all us cool kids started our Blizzard phase when we should have been studying). The interest sort of sparked from there, she really loved to game. “This is what happens when you don’t let your kids do things,” Fryda joked. Gaming wasn’t something she did a lot growing up, so the infatuation was serve. It was fun and exciting.
…and then it just happened.
Sony was hosting an event in Vegas, Fryda’s home town. The event was supposed to host about a thousand people, but unfortunately the venue could barely hold two hundred and fifty. She put that prior interest in campaign management to work and did something about it. She started organizing people, and eventually ushered those who couldn’t get in to all meet at a nearby GameWorks.
Long story short, someone from Sony hunted her down and nonchalantly asked “do you want a job?”
Spring has officially sprung, dear blog readers! And that means flowers popping up, bursts of sun to up those depleted vitamin D levels, and, most importantly, plenty of amazing events coming up! Here’s a look at what’s happening this month. Get ready to mark your calendars for movies, meetups, and talks galore!
Image Description: A gif of Alice from the animated movie “Alice in Wonderland” lying in a field of grass as daisies blow in the breeze above her. Source: Giphy.
Join us on March 31st for an inspiring afternoon with students from Shanti Bhavan and Director of Operations, Ajit George. Shanti Bhavan, a school in Southern India, caters exclusively to children from India’s lowest socioeconomic class and is the subject of the recent documentary Daughters of Destiny. The event kicks off at 12:00 p.m. with a light lunch. Shree and Visali, Glamour Woman of the Year in 2014, will share their stories and the impact that Shanti Bhavan has had on their lives. Guests are invited to stay for a special screening of Daughters of Destiny, which tells how the unique educational model of Shanti Bhavan equips its students to break out of the cycle of poverty. The only educational program of its kind, Shanti Bhavan offers 17 years of rigorous academics, leadership development and professional guidance completely free of charge. The school’s graduates have a 100% university acceptance rate, work at Fortune 500 companies and contribute 20-50% of their salaries to their families and communities – helping end the poverty that has trapped India’s poorest communities for generations. This is a free event but donations are welcome. Visit shantibhavanchildren.org to learn more about the school and ways you can get involved.
(*Note: okay, so this is obviously not quite April, but WHAT a great event!)
While the concept of a temporally-bound reading challenge is one I find very alluring, actually finishing one is a success I’ve never personally experienced. This year, in an effort to prioritize both reading and sustainable self-care, I’m working on setting myself some more manageable, bite-sized challenges.
If you’re interested in joining me, here’s what I propose: a three-book seasonal reading challenge to usher in the spring. The more I think about it, the more I’m not only excited about the selections I’ve made, but also about the real possibility that this is a challenge I can and will finish. I want to imbue these next few months and reads with as much meaning and springtime symbolism as I can, and I’ve devised these challenge parameters with that goal in mind. Follow along for the three challenges (one per month of spring) I’ve set for myself and the books I’m thinking about reading to fulfill them.
[Image Description: A black background behind an illustration of a gold pentacle design interlaced with leaves and flowers. A white banner along the bottom reads, “Spring equinox.”] Source: Pinterest
Being a Disney fan can be tough sometimes. Despite the countless hours I’ve spent rewatching “Moana” and belting out the entire “Mulan” soundtrack, it’s impossible to ignore the many, many ways in which Disney films – as well as all the other aspects of the massive capitalistic juggernaut that is the Disney corporation – have been incredibly problematic, normalizing sexism, racism, and other forms of oppressive bigotry. For many of us, Disney is an omnipresent influence throughout our lives, representing all that is beautiful, nostalgic, and hopeful, while simultaneously perpetuating harmful messages and stereotypes.
Given this dilemma, I couldn’t wait to sit in on the Dissecting Disney: Race, Gender, Sexuality in Children’s Films panel from this past year’s Con. Led by Dr. Arielle Wetzel, a lecturer in Writing Studies at the University of Washington Tacoma, and an amazing group of her students both past and present, this in-depth, thoughtful panel addressed how we can still love Disney films while finding them problematic, analyzing films such as “Zootopia,” “Moana,” “The Lion King,” and many more through a critical, intersectional lens.
The panelists began by introducing themselves and their geeky, Disney-related interests. At UW-Tacoma, Dr. Wetzel has taught a variety of pop culture topics, including television, warrior women, Disney, and Mr. Robot. She was joined by Theo Calhoun, an Ethnic, Gender, Labor studies major who enjoys film and board games; Larissa Bokoni, a recent UW-Tacoma Communication major graduate who is also a French translator and MAC makeup artist; Kiona Jones, a graduate student in the Master of Social work program at UW-Tacoma and an intern with the Children’s Administration; Ashley Primer, a recent Art, Media, and Culture graduate from UW-Tacoma and former intern at the Destiny City Film Festival; and Joshua “Rocky” Marks, a Psychology major at UW-Tacoma who is also a semi-professional voice actor who has had a few roles in audiobooks, games, and animation.
Now, without further ado, let’s dive into the panel itself!
Image Description: The character Wendy Darling from the film “Peter Pan” jumps off the plank of Captain Hook’s pirate ship. Source: Giphy.
Once again, we’ve partnered up with Hotel Max to bring an awesome deal for all you con-goers*!
If you’re planning to stay in town for GeekGirlCon this October 27-28, we have a group rate especially for our convention attendees. For just $169 per night, you get a spacious modern hotel room with a king size bed, free wifi, waived facilities fees, and additional amenities! And, if you want to be extra fancy, valet parking is only an additional $30.
Image: Map of Seattle outlining the path from the Washington State Convention Center to Hotel Max.
Hotel Max is just a safe, short jaunt down to the Conference Center at the Washington State Convention Center, so you’ll be able to be in the city right when the convention opens, and you’ll have a place to keep your cosplay in pristine condition, or store all your Artist Alley swag. And even after our convention doors close, you can continue getting your geek on with various events around the city, or just chilling in your hotel room and watching your favorite TV series.
A Hotel Max hotel room showing a large bed with red and white bedding, and a gray couch in the foreground
And, bonus! One of the reasons why we’re so excited to partner with Hotel Max again is that Hotel Max supports our organizational mission–for every room night that gets booked, we get a $5.00 rebate! So you can make your dollar go further in supporting our organization, and also be right onsite for the convention! It’s a win-win situation, if you think about it.
To get in on this awesome deal, book online or contact Hotel Max on +1 866.833.6299 and make sure you mention that you want to book with the GeekGirlCon 18 rate. The group rate is good for October 25 through October 29.
Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling: Representation of Asians in Film, TV, and Gaming was the first con panel I ever attended, so when I heard they were bringing it back for a fourth edition, I was thrilled.
This year’s #GGCPandas included archeologist-turned-illustrator-and-costume-designer Meris Mullaley, former Japan-based sports journalist and current writer, baker, and cosplayer Tony Loiseleur, GGC Twitter Administrator and self-proclaimed media binger Kristine Hassell, blogger and gamer Sonja Marcus, and former Virginia Tech professor and current video game creator and GGC Manager of Editorial Services JC Lau.
Since the convention ended last October, the GeekGirlCon staff have been busy planning. Planning what we want this year’s convention to be, what we want to be. Even though we’ve got quite some time until #GGC18 commences October 27th, we’re excited to start sharing everything that we’ve put together.
And the time is finally here. Passes for GeekGirlCon ‘18 are available right now.