Are you a geeky parent? Do you have a child with geeky interests and tendencies? Then GeekGirlCon ‘14 is the place for your family! GeekGirlCon strives to be family-friendly, starting with the passes. The 12 & under crowd can attend at $10 for the entire weekend; 5 & under are free (but must be registered.)
Image courtesy of GeekGirlCon flickr
And what is there to do for these geeks-in-training?
The gaming floor is ever-popular with kids. With a wide variety of games and game types present, they’ll find something to enjoy. In addition to all the exciting games to try out, there’s a Paint ‘n’ Take miniatures painting session on Saturday morning from 10 am – noon.
“Imaginary Worlds for Kids” happens twice during the weekend! Saturday at 11 and Sunday at 3pm, you can bring your 10 and under to an interactive storytime for families, including a lively author reading, participatory creative and singing games, and a lot of faerie mischief. A seasoned and award‐winning spoken word artist and educator, Danika Dinsmore has performed at hundreds of events, from the Bumbershoot Arts Festival in Seattle, Washington, to the FaerieWorlds International Festival outside Eugene, Oregon. Imaginary Worlds will keep your kids buzzing with inspiration!
Bring your teen to learn all about representation in the books they (and you!) may be reading at “Diversity in Young Adult Fiction.” Representation is vital for people of all races, sexualities, gender identities, and abilities. According to Malinda Lo’s 2013 Diversity in YA website, only 15% of NYT Bestselling YA Books had people of color as main characters, and only 12% of books had LGBTQ main characters. This panel will examine the market today, what readers want versus the disconnect with publishers’ diversity, and what we can do to improve the number of diverse books for teens.
Image courtesy of Ryan Roehrich
We have parent-specific programming, too!
Are you a new mom or a mom-to-be? “Geek Girl Transformation to Geek Mom” is all for you! It goes without saying that everything changes when a baby arrives in your world. But for geek girls turned geek moms, there are some unique changes and challenges in store. Don’t worry—that’s what we’re here for! Join a panel full of geeky moms who know what it’s like to have your life, career, and identity turned joyfully upside down when you add kids to the crazy mix of your life.
Comics, games, and films tend to go the “less is more” route when it comes to representation. Often we only see one character of a racial, gender, or sexual minority. Even worse, some people aren’t represented in media at all. Kids grow up asking, “Where are the characters like me?” At “Why Isn’t Bilbo a Girl? Talking to Kids About Media Representation” you can have a thoughtful discussion regarding how we address this issue with kids—with an emphasis on constructive, positive, and educational answers for the kids who ask.
Lastly, for the parents of cosplayers, or cosplayers themselves who want tips on talking to their family, come to “Cosplay, Parenting, and the Word ‘Appropriate’.” Come discuss cosplay from the perspective of children, teens, and adults who cosplay as individuals and as families. This panel of parents and kids who cosplay will cover a range of topics: How to present cosplay to your parents? How to present cosplay to your kids (and not embarrass them)? How does a parent encourage their teen to express themselves, be body positive, and consider modesty? How do you discuss appropriation vs. appreciation? Deep topics, some advice, lots of discussion!
Most of the panel programming is all ages, so please bring your family to enjoy your favorite topic. And be sure to get your passes now!
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.”
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.
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!
Holidays are for the kids! Whether you have a geeky kid or are a geek who needs to buy for a kid, here’s your guide to geeky gifts for kids. Your guide writer here has kids ranging from baby to teen to buy for, and I’ve got some ideas for you.
We’ll start at the top: the teenager. Buying for teenagers is almost the toughest. They can be really picky and also pricey. First to ask, what is your teenager into? Mine is into cosplay. Here’s just a few:
Are you bringing your child, grandchild, niece, or nephew to GeekGirlCon ‘12 — or are you considering it?
We highly recommend you do. Last year, around 20 percent of all attendees were children under the age of 10. We are an extremely family-friend convention.
Unless specified, GeekGirlCon programming can be enjoyed by all ages (at parental discretion of course). However, some of our programming and events are particularly geared towards geeklings (or geekling-adjacent), their parental-types, and kids of all ages. And we wanted to be sure to call them out for you in one location — so check out some of these kid-focused panels and workshops below. Saturday
11:30 a.m – 12:20 p.m.
Making Science Fun (with NASA)! (RM204)
12:30 – 1:20 p.m.
From Jedi Princess to Sith Witch: An Exploration of Female Characters in Star Wars (RM204)
12:30 – 1:50 p.m.
Girls Leading the Robot Uprising: FIRST Robotics (RM303)
1:30 – 2:50 p.m.
Customizing My Little Ponies: Tips, Tricks, and a Basic How-To (RM202)
2:30 – 3:20 p.m.
A Family that Games Together… (RM205)
2:30 – 3:20 p.m.
Sporty Geek: How Roller Derby and Quidditch Are Changing the Game for Women (RM204)