Panel Preview: Calling All Gamers!

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The player character from the upcoming Animal Crossing Horizons picks some red tulips and stuffs them in her pocket. Gif via Giphy.

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!

Indigo Boock
“Rock On!”

Interpreter Requests for #GGC19

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 julie@geekgirlcon.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 info@geekgirlcon.com.

Indigo Boock
“Rock On!”

Q&A with Featured Contributor Aiden Thomas

If you like YA novels; paranormal romances; gay, trans, and latinx protagonists; #ownvoices books; and/or authors who are breaking new ground in an industry that’s been been around for centuries, you’re going to want to make time in your GeekGirlCon’19 schedule to see, hear from, and maybe even meet Aiden Thomas (@aidenschmaiden on Twitter and Instagram).

Image description: Headshot of Aiden Thomas. They’re smiling at the camera while seated on a black leather sofa in front of a brick wall.

Aiden is the author of two upcoming novels: Cemetery Boys, a Dia de Muertos paranormal romance about Yadriel (a gay, trans brujo) who accidentally summons the wrong ghost (July 2020), and Lost in the Never Woods, a dark sequel to, and reimagining of, the classic Peter Pan story (January 2021).

Keep reading to learn more about Aiden, their books, and what superpower they’d pick if they had the option to!

Caitlin Foskey
“Rock On!”

Happy Birthday, Nobody Hates You: A Q&A with The Doubleclicks

The Doubleclicks are a folk-pop music group comprised of sibling duo, Laser Malena-Webber and Aubrey Turner. Powered up by their love of cats, they write & produce songs that anyone can sing-along to. 

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!

Indigo Boock
“Rock On!”

The Game Floor Powers Up at GeekGirlCon 2019

Yes, yes we do!
Description: A young man wearing a microphone headset and a sweatshirt featuring a cat asks “We’re gonnavdo some cool stuff. Want to be in?
Image courtesy of Giphy

For those of you who love to play all kinds of games when attending a Con, I have some great news for you! This year the game floor at GeekGirlCon will be expanding! We will be featuring both video games and tabletop games on the third floor of the convention center.

Rebecca Anglesey
“Rock On!”

Join Us for a Pop Culture Trivia Fundraiser This Saturday

It’s time to grab your squad and brush up on your trivia skills to win fabulous prizes! Join us this Saturday at Mox Boarding House in Bellevue for some ultra-fun trivia that has the added bonus of supporting GeekGirlCon! It’s not too late to get a sweet deal on advanced tickets.

Description: Buffy sarcastically apologizes for a pop culture reference.
Image courtesy of Gihpy

Here are the important details:


Where: Mox Boarding House in Bellevue

When: This Saturday, August 24th from 2-4 pm

Tickets: $7 per person for trivia if you order in advance or $10 at the door; kids under 12 play for free

Prizes: First place: VIP passes to GeekGirlCon 2019, Second place: weekend passes to GeekGirlCon 2019, Third place: Super awesome mystery prize!

There can be up to six players to a team. No worries if you are a solo player; we can help you find a team to play with or you can be a team of one. Kids are welcome to come and play, and we will have special activities for kids who don’t want to participate in trivia.

Come show off your mad pop culture knowledge and trivia skills! We can’t wait to see you there.

Description: A masked character informs us that the correct answer was “Beef”
Image courtesy of Giphy

Rebecca Anglesey
“Rock On!”

Featured Contributor Paula Burrows Shares Her World

Following her introduction as another of our GeekGirlCon ‘19 Featured Contributors, we asked Paula Burrows to share a little bit about her world in another installment of our Q&A series.

[Image Description: Selfie of Paula. She is looking into the camera and smiling. She is wearing a black top.]

Paula’s acting credentials include TV series such as The Dangers of Online Dating and Unspeakable, but I was introduced to her work as the voice of Rayla, a Moonshadow elf from the animated series The Dragon Prince on Netflix. In this fantasy series, Rayla joins two human princes in trying to save their world from war. Paula’s performance gives Rayla a full range of emotion—serious one minute and dripping with sarcasm the next. Paula’s vocal prowess really makes Rayla’s story believable.

Read on to find out what her absolute dream role is, what stories she loves, and most importantly, which Hogwarts House she belongs to!

Kalyna Durbak
“Rock On!”

A Q&A with #GGC19 Featured Contributor, Tanya DePass

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 general is 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.


Books Mentioned:
The Advanced Game Narrative Toolbox
Game Devs & Others: Tales from the Margins

Indigo Boock
“Rock On!”

Support Hands-On Geekery: Back the DIY Science Zone

Although November may still feel far off, GeekGirlCon ’19 is fast approaching. Help us get ready by supporting one of the coolest and most unique pieces of GGC programming: the DIY Science Zone!

For those who haven’t experienced it, the DIY Science Zone is a place were geeks of all ages can get hands-on and do experiments one-on-one or in small groups under the guidance of top scientists. Your donations will help us stock enough supplies and bring in enough field experts to ensure that everyone who wants to participate is able to join in the geeky fun.

We want to make this year our greatest yet, and we need your help. So, strap on your safety goggles, pull up your neoprene gloves, and let’s make some science happen!

Bill Nye, wearing safety goggles, throws his hands out dramatically while a light flashes off-screen and a caption appears that reads “Science!!!” Source: Giphy.

Caitlin Foskey
“Rock On!”

Get Inspired, Plan Your Panel For #GGC19!

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!

Caitlin

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.

Hanna

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.

Kalyna

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?

Indigo Boock
“Rock On!”

Join The Discussion #GeekGirlCon

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