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.
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:
I have played video games since I was three years old, when my mother brought home an Apple IIe computer, and loaded up Pac-Man for me. From there, I went from playing a range of games like Tonk in the Land of Buddy-Bots and the Monkey Island series, to console titles such as Grand Theft Auto, Assassin’s Creed and Halo.
But here’s one thing I’ve noticed: my favorite games will, more often than not, have a protagonist that looks nothing like me. Where games have a single playable character, that playable character is likely to be a man. A white man. Maybe he has a beard, maybe not. He’s probably also straight–perhaps he also has a wife or child or someone close to him who’s died or been kidnapped at the start of the game as a plot device, and he’s probably armed with some sort of gun or melee weapon or both.
GeekGirlCon 2016 at Washington State Conference Center in Seattle, Washington. October 2016. Photo by James McDaniel.
Every year GeekGirlCon’s gaming team puts together an entire floor of wonder during our convention in downtown Seattle’s core.
But our passion for games doesn’t stop at just a weekend, and for all you tabletop lovers out there, we know the same goes for you.
GeekGirlCon partners with Girl Scouts of Western Washington throughout the year to run monthly events and. Gaming Event Coordinator Andy talked to several GeekGirlScout game masters about how you can level up roleplaying at your regular tabletop game.
I was raised a gamer, by a gamer. My dad, whose roots are strong and true from playing Dungeons & Dragons in the ‘80s, put a controller in my hands when I was barely old enough to build a comprehensive sentence (I’ve written about my youthful adoration for Zelda and its impact on my creativity numerous times before). Gaming has always been a big part of my life, even spanning into my professional career through writing fiction. Watching E3 conferences was a family affair, and we were always first in line whenever a new console dropped. Every member of my family was an active participant, except my mother, who took on a more passive role until recently. For the last 23 years, she’d watch us play everything. Cheekier titles like Mario Kart and other Nintendo classics like Zelda, more involved and darker titles like Square Enix’s Final Fantasy X, Bioshock, Skyrim—she watched us play them all.
Although she was a “backseat gamer” for the vast majority of my upbringing, she was always participating. Telling us where to go when we walked past an obvious story marker, giving suggestions on a tricky boss. She wasn’t holding the controller, directing whichever character we embodied, but because she had been there observing, taking it all in from beginning to end, she knew the ropes just as much as we did (sometimes even better).
Since moving to Washington, I’ve been able to spend more time with my family, a lot of which still revolves around playing video games since I’m actively involved in the industry. A few months back my mom finally asked, “Will you help me pick out my first game?” and I dropped everything and went to work.
This year at GeekGirlCon, get ready to demo the best new indie games coming out of the Seattle area. Seattle is already a great area for games, and the local indie game community is even better. When you demo an indie game at a con, chances are you’re playing right alongside an actual developer or designer for the game, so you’re sure to have an amazing, organic and meaningful interaction. The teams behind the games GeekGirlCon is highlighting this year are passionate about gaming and sharing their creations with you!
What were you doing when you were twelve? For many of us, we might have been pursuing our geeky interests, but the speakers at the Next Gen Geek Girls panel made me (and several other people in the audience) feel completely inadequate!
Introduced by Whitney Winn, the Next Gen Geek Girls at the panel were two twelve-year-olds, Maddie Messer and Rowan Trilling-Hansen. Both of them had deep-seated, wonderfully geeky interests: Rowan loves comics and Maddie –who I had the pleasure of interviewing for the GeekGirlCon blog last year—plays games on her phone.
Both of them made waves in 2015 when they addressed gender disparities in the representation of women in comics and games. Rowan wrote letter to DC for more women in comics and merchandise, and was featured on the Today Show. She said that she had loved comics for her whole life. However, her issue with the representation of female characters began when she got into the DC Chibi collection. Rowan showed the audience the packaging for the Chibis, which lists the ones that are available. Of the twelve characters, only two were women. “I just think it would be really nice if they would add more female characters to the set,” she explained to the panel. “When I was looking at the pamphlet I kept thinking something wasn’t right.”
Our gaming area may be located on the lower level of the Conference Center, but if you want dank, creepy, and dungeon-like, you’ll have to get your GM to take you on a dungeon crawl, because our basement is sure to be bustling. This is shaping up to be a banner year for gaming at GeekGirlCon—all your favorites are returning, along with many new events and goodies.
One of last year’s big highlights was the Paint ‘n’ Take miniatures event. Kids and adults alike loved picking out and painting their own miniatures (provided by the ever-generous Privateer Press). This year it’s scheduled for 10am-1pm on Saturday, so be sure to show up early before the miniatures run out.
Summertime is a time for vacations and relaxing, at least for the kids. At my house, it means more time to play games. A couple years ago, I posted about the games my kids were playing, but this year, my husband and I are also playing some new games.