GeekGirlCon ‘13: Games and Programming for Kids and Parents

by Adrienne M. Roehrich, Manager of Editorial Services

I am often asked, “But is GeekGirlCon okay for kids?” As an involved member of the GeekGirlCon community, and a mom, I always answer with an enthusiastic “YES!”

One of the most family-friendly aspects of GeekGirlCon is the gaming floor. At GeekGirlCon ‘11, we spent hours at the Steve Jackson Games table playing Munchkin and learning new versions of the game. Steve Jackson games appeared at GeekGirlCon ‘12 and returns to GeekGirlCon ‘13. They produce over a hundred varieties of board, card, and dice games with geeky twists.

Look for Bhaloidam Adventure, a game designed to help you tell stories; Cheapass Games, a company that has been making affordable games for almost two decades; Green Ronin Publishing; Paizo, who will be running one-hour demos of The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game; Story Games, presenting several of their peer-to-peer tabletop RPGs; Valor, a game for those at least in their teens and older meant to increase performance in both combat and challenge for in-game characters; and Wizards of the Coast, to give your dungeon crawling skills a workout.

Game designer Keith Baker will be talking about games and running demos all weekend. So check out The Doom That Came To Atlantic City and get an early peek at his latest game, Phoenix: Nine Deaths. Kenny Owens will guide you through playing “staple” board games, such as Settlers of Catan, and helping you figure out other games you’ve always wanted to learn.

Want to have your own figurine for game play? You can attend the workshop to “Learn to Paint Miniatures and Take One Home!” Privateer Press is sponsoring this workshop in room LL1 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. Stop on by to paint your own miniature to add as a part of your own tabletop and board game play, and you’ll have a fantastic GeekGirlCon ‘13 souvenir!

Other workshops include LARPing and designing a tabletop RPG in an hour! Don’t know how to LARP? First, attend the session to learn the basics of live action role-playing by LARP Master Shoshana Kessock, then spend a couple hours putting your new skills to use. Want to expand your RPG library? Andy Munich is there to help new players and seasoned campaigners learn and play a variety of games.

My family has also enjoyed the Game Lending Library. GeekGirlCon ‘13 has loads of board and card games for you to try. We found a bunch of new games we later added to our board game collection by playing some of these generously loaned games.

Don’t miss the EA/PopCap Games console game room, generously repeating their hosting the console room during GeekGirlCon ‘13. You and your family can enjoy EA and Popcap games on XBOX 360 and iPads. This year, a raffle benefiting a local Seattle charity with a mission to encourage girls to pursue STEM education and careers can benefit you with some marvelous prizes. Consult your Strategy Guide to learn more.

Not to mention all the panels on game-related topics, such as “Women in Gaming, Female Characters in Game Design,” “Let’s Make a Game Right Now,” “20 years of MYST,” “You Should Make Games!,” “Yuri Anime/Manga Battle!,” “Writing for Role-Playing Games,” “How to Build Inclusive & Welcoming Gaming Communities,” “Gaming and Comics Panel,” “The Family Who Games Together,” and “#1REASONWHY,” among others. Please note that not all the panels listed here are necessarily family-friendly.

But wait, there’s more! Gaming isn’t the only thing you can do with your family. While our science programming is for all ages (so a great spot for families), bring your kids to out “Edible Astronomy” panel, “Ask the Astronomers,” and “Making Science Fun: For girls, Boys, and Everyone.”

Finally, don’t miss stopping by the DIY Science Zone!

Other programming exists for your kids. Your teens may want to learn about strong female characters in young adult literature, or your cosplaying kid may want to get an intro to costume craft and cosplay, or your comic-enthusiast child may want to learn about keeping girls real in comics, or your Star Wars fan may want to learn about all the opportunities for all the ways to enjoy their favorite galaxy far, far away.

The EMP Museum is a fantastic place to take your family! Attend “Witches, Princesses, and Warrior Maidens,” a panel discussion about their exhibit “Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic.”

Want to connect with other parents—whether you, your kids, or all of you are geeks? We’ve got programming for you, too. Attend a workshop called “You and Your Connected Kid” about safety, privacy, identity, and plagiarism, while being media-positive and encouraging use of social media. “The Family Who Games Together” is a panel to talk with you about being a multi-generational gaming family.

Maybe your kids aren’t interested in panels. The Exhibitor Hall and Artist Alley offer fun and engagement. And your kids will not want to miss all the cosplay. In fact, the Zelda family will attest to the fun of cosplaying together! And your kids will not want to miss all the cosplay. At GeekGirlCon ’12, the Zelda Family, the Darth Vader Princess (Darth Makenna), the little Wonder Woman, the robot, and every other outfit left us “ooo”-ing and “aww”-ing. These young children are truly our future, so thank you for encouraging them to ask questions, think critically, and believe in themselves.

So come on out to GeekGirlCon ‘13 for your gaming interests, a safe place for your family, and all your geeky indulgences! Children under 5 are free and ages 6-10 are only $5! Get your passes now, pick them up Friday afternoon (so your children need not wait in line), and bring your family to a weekend of geekery they won’t want to miss!

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Adrienne Roehrich
“Rock On!”

Adrienne Roehrich

Former GeekGirlCon Manager of Editorial Services, current Guest Contributor.

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