Hey, Staffer! An Interview with Alyssa Askew

Alyssa, wearing a sweater with Darth Vader on it, and holding a stuffed Chewbacca toy and a bag of popcorn. (Source: Alyssa Askew)

New Year, New Staffer! We’re kicking off 2018 with an interview with Alyssa Askew, our Assistant Games Manager. Alyssa has been working with us since early last year, and works with our Manager of Gaming, Alyssa Jones. (Yes, there are two people working on our games team named Alyssa. What are the odds?) Here, she tells us about moving to Seattle, her love of Star Wars, and what it’s like to be a girl detective.


Who are you and what do you do at GeekGirlCon?

I’m Alyssa Askew and I am the Assistant Games Manager. I help the other Alyssa and the rest of the awesome Gaming team create Tabletop and Video Game content for the convention and beyond. My position fluctuates based on what Alyssa and the rest of the team need and I jump in to help wherever I can. This year that meant organizing some tournaments, coordinating signage, writing volunteer job descriptions, and having a whole lot of fun with the team!

What do you do for your day job, when you’re not being awesome as a GGC staffer?

I work in video games! I am currently working as an Administrative Assistant (aka Professional Organizer of things) at Big Fish Games and learning as much as possible about the production and creation of our games so I can continue to work towards my dream of producing games. On the side, I am producing an indie horror game with friends to hone those skills!

Sounds awesome! Tell me more about your indie game!
Horror games are not usually my jam (I spook easily!), but helping my friends get organized to make things is a lot of fun and they are super talented. Play throughs have been entertaining because I think I get even more frightened when I know what is about to happen in the game. I can’t wait to see how it shapes up.

Alyssa concentrates as she plays Centipede on an arcade machine. (Source: Alyssa Askew)

Have you always considered yourself a geek?

Oh, probably… When I was about 9, I wanted to have a Star Wars themed sleepover and watch the entire original trilogy in one night. I LOVE geeking out over themes. I invited all my friends over and decorated the living room. We got through half of Episode IV and my friends took over and we watched Titanic. I still hate that movie and I still love Star Wars so I guess I have always considered myself geeky.

Alyssa holding her super cute BB-8 mug! (Source: Alyssa Askew)

What sort of (geeky) things do you like to do in your spare time?

In case it wasn’t already evident, I love gaming! These days, you can most often find me playing Stardew Valley, Overwatch, and a variety of mobile games. When I can recruit friends or family, I love a good board game too.

I am also in my happy place while munching popcorn at the movies or curled up with a novel or comic book with tea (in a geeky and adorable BB8 mug).

What are you currently geeking out about?

Right this second, I am most excited for Black Panther to come out. It looks phenomenal and I’ve probably watched the trailer 30+ times. Spider-Man has been my favorite superhero since I was twelve, so I’m also looking forward to his starring role appearance in Infinity War and try my best not to think too much about Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse because December is so far away.

Gaming wise, I just purchased a bundle of twenty or so Nancy Drew games from Her Interactive and they are golden! I’ve been dedicating a fair amount of time to solving crimes as a teenage sleuth.

Girl detective games? That sounds awesome. Who would you recommend these to?
I think anyone who read Nancy Drew, watched Veronica Mars, or played detective of any sorts when they were young would enjoy the Nancy Drew series. I mean, who doesn’t want to solve crimes about haunted carousels or mysterious old clocks? They are easy to pick up and play without being hardcore, and while they are a bit silly sometimes, I’ve had a lot of fun with them.

Alyssa dressed as her character from the game Stardew Valley (Source: Alyssa Askew)

Okay, let’s talk about the org. How did you get involved with GeekGirlCon?

I moved to Seattle from Canada early last year and wanted to get involved and volunteer in some capacity straight away. Up in BC, my volunteer life was a huge part of who I was, and organizing STEM events for the Girl Guides of Canada was one of my favorite things to do. I had attended GeekGirlCon and kept checking the volunteer page because I love everything the org stands for, but was intimidated by most of the roles, having never organized a con before! When I saw the Assistant Manager of Gaming position I was really excited because it seemed like a great introduction to convention planning, I had the skill set, and also I really, really love games. I applied for the position and now I’m here!

What is your favorite thing about being a staffer for GeekGirlCon?

The wonderful humans I get to interact with as a result. Being in a new city is scary, but everyone in the org has welcomed me with open arms, taught me so much already, and made me feel at home. The Agents I got to work with at the GeekGirlCon last year were exceptional and their commitment to the convention is inspiring. I can’t wait to work with them again. Finally, our attendees are what make GeekGirlCon so special.

What were your thoughts on GeekGirlCon ‘17? Did you have a favorite moment?

I LOVED my experience at GeekGirlCon ‘17. The whole event was nothing less of magical and I was humbled to be a part of the staff organizing the convention. My favorite moment surrounding the con weekend actually happened virtually. Part way through the weekend, I was checking twitter and saw a friend say they were thinking of attending and asked if GeekGirlCon was a safe space for them. I let others answer, because I thought maybe I was a bit biased, and my friend ended up attending on Sunday! I got to say hello in the midst of running around, and they seemed to be having fun. My favorite moment came on Sunday, the attendees had left, we were cleaning up and winding down from a great weekend. I checked Twitter again and saw the same friend post about what a great time they had at GeekGirlCon ‘17, how glad they were that they attended, and that they definitely would be back next year. Seeing that post made my heart so happy. I love the space GeekGirlCon has created and am proud of how hard everyone is constantly working to make it truly safe and inclusive.

What are you looking forward to for GeekGirlCon in the future?

I can’t wait to see how GeekGirlCon continues to thrive in the coming years. I feel so lucky to be a part of the team and I know the wonderful people involved will make it better every year. I look forward to seeing how the programming changes and grows to be as inclusive and diverse as possible and I am excited about all the wonderful content that I’m sure we’ll line up for next year!


If you think you’d like to be like Alyssa and support GeekGirlCon all year around, check out our available volunteer staff positions!

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

A Huge Thank You from All of Us

Image source: @Trickstresscosplay

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.

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

10 Ultra-Nerdy Gifts For The Ultimate Star Wars Fan

Written by Guest Contributor Mike James.

The eighth edition of the Star Wars saga, The Last Jedi, is set to be released in December. So if you’ve got a Star Wars fan with a birthday coming up, why not treat them to a themed gift to ramp up the excitement even more? Here are ten super-geeky gifts to give to the Star Wars fan in your life.

Tauntaun Sleeping Bag

Who hasn’t dreamed of snoozing inside rotting corpse of a biped snow horse? This is the unfortunate fate that befalls everyone’s favourite moisture-farmer-turned-Jedi in The Empire Strikes Back. If you know a Star Wars fan who would love to recreate the experience, you can treat them to a Tauntaun sleeping bag. The attention to detail is superb; check out the lightsaber zip pull and printed entrails on the inside. Let’s just hope that haven’t been as meticulous in their work on the smell.


Wookie Hoodie

A plush Wookie hoodie seems like the ideal winter jacket. Chewbacca manages to stay pretty warm without the need for clothing, even on the ice planet of Hoth. It does seem doubtful, however, that the product is made using genuine Wookie fur.


Lightsaber Umbrella

How often do you get to shield yourself from the rain and make passers-by mistake you for the Dark Lord of the Sith? Now is your chance with the Darth Vader lightsaber umbrella.  


Captain Phasma Hot Toy

You probably remember Captain Phasma. This suave silver Stormtrooper was one of the major talking points in the trailer, but only received about two minutes of screen time in The Force Awakens. Still, the whole visual appearance is pretty striking and she will probably make further appearances. Any Star Wars super fan would love a Hot Toy model. If you’ve never heard of Hot Toys they are collectible figures that take realism to another level. There are a variety of Star Wars options available, but Phasma has to be one of the most impressive.

Darth Vader Pizza Cutter

This pizza cutter is in the shape of Darth Vader’s lightsaber. And while you won’t be slicing your pizza with a concentrated beam of red light, the cutter does have integrated sound effects – so you can almost imagine it. Just make sure you remove the pizza from the oven in time, otherwise it might come out a little on the Dark Side.


William Shakespeare’s Star Wars

Now you can enjoy the story of Star Wars in the vernacular of Shakespeare. Sadly, these were not written by The Bard himself although at least this means that he wasn’t responsible for the creation of Jar-Jar Binks.


Lightsaber Chopsticks

Add a dash of Star Wars to your chow mein by using these impressive light-up chopsticks. There are plenty of different options for you to choose from including Darth Vader’s sabre or Kylo Ren’s broadsword-style weapon. But maybe the best option is the glowing purple of Mace Windu’s lightsaber.


Kylo Ren Suitcase

How many times have you been at the luggage carousel at the airport and almost walked away with someone else’s possessions? Let’s face it – most suitcases look the same. That’s not a problem you’ll ever have again with this polycarbonate Kylo Ren model. There’s definitely something quite intimidating about the face of Kylo Ren staring at you from the front of a suitcase. You imagine it’s more than enough to scare away potential thieves.


Original ‘Revenge of the Jedi’ Poster

You might already know that the original name for the third instalment in the Star Wars saga was Revenge of the Jedi. The name was dropped in favour of Return of the Jedi because it was felt that the word ‘revenge’ was not something that should be associated with the Jedi. However, this title changed was decided after several thousand promotional posters had been printed.

Today, these original posters are real collector’s items. You’ve got to be pretty serious if you’re going to buy one though – genuine posters usually go for thousands of pounds.


Lightsaber Pen

If you’re not looking to splash that kind of cash, there are plenty of cheaper options to keep any Star Wars fan happy. These lightsaber pens are a great choice.



Mike James is an independent writer based in Brighton, UK, who specialises in nerdy stuff for work and geeky stuff for fun. When he’s not writing about cyber security or tech innovations, he loves Star Wars, Hot Toys and considers himself an avid Naughty Dog gamer.

Guest Contributor
“Rock On!”

Princess Leia: My First Feminist Icon

Princess Leia

For as long as I’ve been a fan of anything, I’ve been a fan of Star Wars. I have vivid memories of sitting on a friend’s couch watching The Empire Strikes Back and being completely immersed in the experience.

Princess Leia was my favorite character. She was a girl just like I was, and she was snarky, had great hair, and did everything the boys did. Years before I had ever heard of fanfiction, I was mentally writing elaborate adventures for Leia as she repeatedly saved the universe in increasingly spectacular (and improbable) ways.

Caitlin Foskey
“Rock On!”

December Geek About Town!

‘Tis the season! Here’s the last round of Geek About Town for 2016!


Thursday, December 1: MoPOP Campout Cinema: Die Hard

8:00pm (doors open 7:30pm), MoPOP (formerly EMP Museum), 325 5th Avenue N, Seattle, WA

Tickets $12 ($10 for members)

This event is 21+

It’s up to John McClane to save this office holiday party gone wrong in the Campout Cinema screening of Die Hard (1988).die_hard_poster

New York City officer John McClane is in town to visit his estranged wife and daughters on Christmas Eve. But when the holiday party his wife’s attending in the exclusive Nakatomi Corporation building is taken over by a group of terrorists, it’s up him to take on the villains and save the hostages from certain death.

Watch the film that launched Bruce Willis’ career as an action hero, and gave Alan Rickman his first starring role as Hans Gruber, the German leader of the group of thieves.

Tickets include admission to Infinite Worlds of Science Fictionwhere you can view artifacts from another Bruce Willis-led film: The Fifth Element.

For more ’80s-themed holiday fun (and a place to show off your ugly sweaters!), join us at Yippee-Ki-Yay Happy Hour (21+, free) before the screening for themed cocktails, old-school hip-hop, and clips from classic ’80s holiday films and TV.


Saturday, December 3: Rat City Rollergirls presents: Debutante Brawl

5:30pm-8pm, The Rat’s Nest, 19022 Aurora Ave N, Shoreline, WA

Tickets $20 adults, $15 for kids

Want to meet Rat City’s newest home team skaters? Check them out in the Debutante Brawl, a Rat City tradition where our newly drafted skaters go head to head to show you what they’ve got! This year, we’ll have two mashup teams: Grave Danger and the Sockit Wenches will join forces as the Danger Wenches, while DLF and the Throttle Rockets are combining to become the Rocket Liberation Front!

Doors open at 5:30 with our first whistle at 6pm. There will be a reception/meet and greet in the lobby to follow the bout; maybe you’ll find a new fan favorite!

Tickets are $20 and available online or at the door; kids 6-12 are $15.


Sunday, December 4: 15th Anniversary of Spirited Away

Check your local cinemas for screening times and ticket prices!


Sunday, December 4: Doctor Wholidays

6:30pm-11:30pm, MoPOP (formerly EMP Museum), 325 5th Avenue N. Seattle, WA 98109

Tickets $24 ($18 for members, $9 for kids under 15)

Time Lords big and small are welcome to join us for our annual celebration of BBC’s iconic series, Doctor Who. Don’t miss out on this yearly tradition including the famous holiday-themed TARDIS photo op, plus costume contest, Whovian bingo and trivia, screenings from Doctor Who Christmas specials, festive live music, Doctor dance party, family-friendly holiday activities, and drink specials that are sure to make you wibbly wobbly!

Tickets include admission into MoPOP’s Infinite Worlds of Science Fiction, which features the original Dalek and Cyberman used in the filming of classic Doctor Who episodes from the 1980s.


Tuesday, December 6: All Geeks, All Games at Mox Boarding House!

6:30-9:30pm, Mox Boarding House, 13310 BelRed Rd, Bellevue, WA

Our All Geeks, All Games events are growing in popularity!

Join GeekGirlCon and Mox Boarding House in Bellevue and help us continue to expand our community of diverse and inclusive gamers to the East Side!

Help us fill that beautiful Tournament Room with folks enjoying our favorite games in a safe and accepting atmosphere. Why mess with the headache of traffic when you can come and play games with us instead.

Staff from both organizations will be on hand to help facilitate gameplay for the shy to the extroverted, from the expert strategist to the board game neophyte. With a huge lending library of games on hand, there will be something for everyone!

As an added bonus, if you play a board game from their library and love it, you can buy a fresh copy for 20% off! How cool is that?!


Thursday, December 8: Seattle Human Rights Day: Jose Antonio Vargas


7:30pm (doors open 6:30pm), Thursday, December 8, 2016

Seattle First Baptist Church, 1111 Harvard Ave, Seattle, WA, 98122


This Human Rights Day celebration puts a spotlight on local organizations and initiatives who are making waves in the community, and places them in context with broader issues happening across America. This year’s program (the city’s 17th annual event!) features journalist, filmmaker, and immigrants’ rights activist Jose Antonio Vargas (White People) as the keynote speaker. An undocumented immigrant himself, Vargas, who also founded the Define American organization, has worked to elevate the conversation around immigration and citizenship in America.


Friday, December 9: GeekGirlCon Board Game Night at Wayward Coffeehouse!

7:00pm-10:45pm, 6417 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA

Do you love board games and enjoy teaching others how to play? Explore the board/card game hobby and meet folks happy to teach you their favorite board games! Come and play with folks who love playing games. And the best part about the GeekGirlCon game nights with our friends at Wayward? They are absolutely FREE with no cover charge!

Our group is inclusive and totally newbie-friendly. We play a wide range of modern board and card games as well as some classics. You might find CodenamesLove Letter, SplendorKing of Tokyo, Völuspá, slashAlien Frontiers, Locke & Key, Coup, Tokaido, SuperfightThe Resistance, Colt ExpressSkull and Roses, Settlers of Catan, 7 Wonders, Toc Toc Woodman, FLUXX and many more!

Bring a game with you or just bring yourself. Join GeekGirlCon staffers, make some new friends, play some games, and enjoy some delicious organic, fair trade, and shade-grown coffee.


Saturday, December 10: The Ada Party

10:00am-5:00pm, The Living Computer Museum, 2245 1st Ave S, Seattle, Washington 98134

Tickets $10

All-ages public event celebrating one of the first influencers in computing history, Ada Lovelace! Join us in our brand new interactive 1st floor space for birthday treats, presentations by leading ladies of the tech world, workshops for all ages, and a film screening of Code: Debugging the Gender Gap!


Saturday, December 10-Sunday, December 11: GeekCraft Expo

11:00pm-6:00pm, Seattle Center Pavilion, 305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA

GeekCraft Expo is a curated craft market specializing in handmade, “geek”-themed crafts of all kinds; clothing, accessories, toys, home decoration, furniture, art…if it’s geeky and made by hand, it can be found at a GeekCraft Expo. If you’d like to see some examples of what you can find at GeekCraft Expo, visit our photo gallery page.


Tuesday, December 13: Why do we vote the way we do? With Hanna Brooks Olsen

7:30PM, Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Public Room, Town Hall Seattle, 1119 Eighth Ave, Seattle, WA 98101


Why did you vote the way you did—and who helped you make your decision? Between fake Facebook news, the domination of cable news personalities, and the rapid shrinking of local media outlets, it’s harder than ever to figure out how we even feel about an issue. Often, we turn to trusted sources…like our friends and family. But what does that mean for our ballots?

Join Town Hall Scholar-in-Residence, policy wonk, and Seattlish co-founder Hanna Brooks Olsen for an original talk on the subject of trust and voting, followed by an interactive conversation about the role of the news, social media, and community spaces (like Town Hall!) in politics, both local and national.


Thursday, December 15: Star Wars: Rogue One Premiere: Cinerama

4:00pm-1:00am, Seattle Cinerama, 2100 4th Ave, Seattle, Washington 98121

Garrison Titan and Alpha Base return to entertain fans at The Cinerama!


Thursday, December 15: Star Wars: Rogue One Premiere: PacSci IMAX

4:00pm-1:00am, Pacific Science Center, 200 2nd Ave N, Seattle, Washington 98109

Garrison Titan roams the Pacific Science Center to entertain fans awaiting Rogue One in IMAX!


Wednesday, December 21: The Good Shubzilla Augustus B Heart Sic Ill Almond Roca Tom Hutch

8:00pm-12:00am, Substation, 645 NW 45th St, Seattle, Washington 98107

See GeekGirlCon’s very own merch manager/resident rap superstar, Shubz, in a live gig at Substation!


Friday, December 23: GeekGirlCon Board Game Night at Wayward Coffeehouse!

7:00pm-10:45pm, 6417 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA

Do you love board games and enjoy teaching others how to play? Explore the board/card game hobby and meet folks happy to teach you their favorite board games! Come and play with folks who love playing games. And the best part about the GeekGirlCon game nights with our friends at Wayward? They are absolutely FREE with no cover charge!

Our group is inclusive and totally newbie-friendly. We play a wide range of modern board and card games as well as some classics. You might find CodenamesLove Letter, SplendorKing of Tokyo, Völuspá, slashAlien Frontiers, Locke & Key, Coup, Tokaido, SuperfightThe Resistance, Colt ExpressSkull and Roses, Settlers of Catan, 7 Wonders, Toc Toc Woodman, FLUXX and many more!

Bring a game with you or just bring yourself. Join GeekGirlCon staffers, make some new friends, play some games, and enjoy some delicious organic, fair trade, and shade-grown coffee.


Tuesday, December 27: Jessica Bennett with Jeannie Yandel: Welcome to the ‘Feminist Fight Club’

7:30pm (doors open 6:30pm), Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Great Hall, Town Hall Seattle, 1119 8th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

Tickets $5

It was a fight club—but without the fighting and without the men. Every month the women would gather, sharing tips for how to tackle the ultimate workplace enemy: sexism. The first rule of the club was not to talk about the club—but the time has come to take it public. In her new book, Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual (for a Sexist Workplace), New York Times journalist and Seattle native Jessica Bennett blends research, personal examples, and playful exercises to create a modern-day field guide for navigating pervasive workplace sexism. In conversation with KUOW producer Jeannie Yandel, Bennett will discuss both overt and subtle sexism that persists, how she took inspiration from the trailblazing women who came before her, and the way that modern gender bias plays into everything from the wage gap to our presidential election.

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

September Geek About Town

Sad that summer is over? Get your geek on for the fall with these super September events!

Wednesday, September 9: Seattle Public Library “Directed by Women” film series: Little Women

1:00-3:15pm, Broadview Branch

From the website: Join us to enjoy “Little Women” as The Seattle Public library joins the Directed by Women global party this September! With their father fighting in the Civil War, Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy grow up with their mother. In spite of tragedies, the bonds of the close family hold even when men friends appear. Directed by Gillian Armstrong.

Thursday, September 10-Saturday, September 12: Star Trek: The Sexed Generation Burlesque

8:00pm, The Annex Theatre

From the press release: More debaucherous than a weekend on Riza, Star Trek: The Sexed Generation blasts off once again September 10-12th at Seattle’s Annex Theatre.  After a sold-out run in 2014, this fully scripted burlesque extravaganza is back with an all-new storyline, more beloved Starfleet characters, and sexy, space age striptease!

In this tale of lust, intrigue, and spandex bodysuits, what should be a routine mission for the USS Enterprise takes an unexpected turn after passing too closely to a strange wormhole in space. Trapped in time and unable to return home, Captain Picard, Commander Riker, and the rest of the crew must turn to some unexpected allies in order to unravel the mystery.

Written, produced, and performed by lifelong Star Trek fans, Sexed Generation is both a celebration of the show’s unique place in the sci-fi pantheon and a loving critique of its quirks. Featuring Seattle burlesque stars and seasoned thespians, Star Trek: The Sexed Generation is so over the top, it’s out of this world.

Friday, September 11: GeekGirlCon Board Games Night at Wayward Coffeehouse

From the Meetup page: “Do you love board games and enjoy teaching others how to play? Explore the board/card game hobby and meet folks happy to teach you their favorite board games! No pressure though, you can just come and play with folks who love playing games. And the best part about the GeekGirlCon game nights with our friends at Wayward? They are absolutely FREE with no cover charge!

Our group is inclusive and totally newbie-friendly. We play a wide range of modern board and card games as well as some classics. You might find King of Tokyo, Völuspá, Alien Frontiers, Locke & Key, Coup, Tokaido, The Resistance, Skull and Roses,Settlers of Catan, 7 Wonders, Toc Toc Woodman, FLUXX and many more!

Bring a game with you or just bring yourself. Join GeekGirlCon staffers, make some new friends, play some games, and enjoy some delicious organic, fair trade, and shade-grown coffee.

There are also local pastries and vegetarian/vegan treats, if you get hungry during all that gameplay. Their pastries are delivered daily from local vendors including donuts from Mighty-O Donuts, croissants from Le Fournil Patisserie, bagels from Blazing Bagels, and the rest of their tasty treats provided by Little Rae’s All Natural Bakery. There are even GF cookies from WOW Bakery!”

Saturday, September 12: Beginning Stage Puppeteering

1-3pm, $45 pre-reg/$55 day-of

In this fun, dynamic class, you’ll learn the foundations of good stage puppetry – focus, physical commitment and basic puppet operation. Seattle-based puppeteer Rachel Jackson will teach you how to make your puppet seem alive and connect with your audience. You’ll get lots of hands-on time with professional arm-and-rod puppets plus a simple practice puppet to take home so you can keep working on your skills.

Sunday, September 13: Seattle Public Library “Directed by Women” film series: Desert Flower

2:00-4:30pm, Douglass-Truth Branch

From the website: Join us to enjoy “Desert Flower” as The Seattle Public library joins the Directed by Women global party this September! “Desert Flower” tells the real-life story of Waris Dirie, a poor girl who flees an arranged marriage in Somalia, winds up in London and becomes one of the world’s most recognizable supermodels, who also speaks out against female genital mutilation. Directed by Sherry Hormann.

Monday, September 14: Seattle Public Library “Directed by Women” film series: Monsoon Wedding

6:00-8:00pm, University Branch

From the website: Join us to enjoy “Monsoon Wedding” as The Seattle Public library joins the Directed by Women global party this September! Part comedy, part drama and part romance, this charming film about a very chaotic Indian wedding won the prestigious Golden Lion Award at the 2001 Venice Film Festival. In English and Hindi with English subtitles. Directed by Mira Nair


Saturday, September 19-Sunday, September 20: Seattle Retro Gaming Expo

From the website: Seattle Retro Gaming Expo is back and ready for it’s annual expo!! This year SRGE is partnering with the Living Computer Museum to bring you both console and vintage computing fun! This September 19th and 20th, video game collectors, retailers, and enthusiasts will descend upon the Emerald City for SRGE 2015.

SRGE 2015 will also feature an exciting panel lineup with topic including collecting, industry insights and more! SRGE will release more information as the show approaches via http://www.facebook.com/SeattleRetro and http://www.twitter.com/SeattleRetro.
The Freeplay room is open to all attendees, and features over 1200 games, including NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast and more, All free to play ! In addition, there will be consoles from every generation (not currently in production) with games, challenges, contests, and more included with your badge!
Seattle Retro Gaming is dedicated to strengthening the local retro gaming community. We have partnered with Ninkasi Brewing and the EMP to bring retro gaming events to Seattle. In addition, the last Tuesday of every month SRGE is sponsoring the QUESTION BLOCK Video Game Trivia Night at the Wilde Rover in Kirkland. Details for these events and more can be found at www.SeattleRetro.org.

Saturday, September 19-Sunday, September 20: Seattle Mini Maker Faire

10:00am-5:00pm, $15 for a 1 day pass online, $20 at the door

From the website: Try out the latest, greatest inventions by over 80 makers from across the region at a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness—and a celebration of the maker movement: people not just hungry to talk about the next big thing, but to make it!

Over the course of the weekend, guests are invited to get their hands dirty and try out amazing projects through exhibits, hands-on activities, demonstrations, and talks that blend art, engineering, science, and technology. It’s a vibrant gathering of innovative minds, and the perfect opportunity to learn as well as share.

Monday, September 21: Jane McGonigal: Gaming Your Way to Better Health

7:30pm, Town Hall Seattle, tickets $5

From the website: In 2009, game designer Jane McGonigal’s life suddenly changed when she suffered a debilitating concussion. SuperBetter is her story of recovery–how she used her skills to create a game to help her recover–and how this personal project turned into a national plan to assist the recovery of others. Based on scientific research into the beneficial properties of playing games, her program became a research study with the National Institutes of Health and, more than 400,000 people later, it continues to help others. She’ll describe her experiences–how she overcame ill health through gaming–and explain why, in order to live a “happier, braver, more resilient life,” we all need to adopt a “gameful” mindset. Whether it’s Pacman, soccer, or a crossword puzzle, she’ll explain how to use any games we encounter to control attention, strengthen relationships, and self-motivate.

Friday, September 25: GeekGirlCon Board Games Night at Wayward Coffeehouse

From the Meetup page: “Do you love board games and enjoy teaching others how to play? Explore the board/card game hobby and meet folks happy to teach you their favorite board games! No pressure though, you can just come and play with folks who love playing games. And the best part about the GeekGirlCon game nights with our friends at Wayward? They are absolutely FREE with no cover charge!

Our group is inclusive and totally newbie-friendly. We play a wide range of modern board and card games as well as some classics. You might find King of Tokyo, Völuspá, Alien Frontiers, Locke & Key, Coup, Tokaido, The Resistance, Skull and Roses,Settlers of Catan, 7 Wonders, Toc Toc Woodman, FLUXX and many more!

Bring a game with you or just bring yourself. Join GeekGirlCon staffers, make some new friends, play some games, and enjoy some delicious organic, fair trade, and shade-grown coffee.

There are also local pastries and vegetarian/vegan treats, if you get hungry during all that gameplay. Their pastries are delivered daily from local vendors including donuts from Mighty-O Donuts, croissants from Le Fournil Patisserie, bagels from Blazing Bagels, and the rest of their tasty treats provided by Little Rae’s All Natural Bakery. There are even GF cookies from WOW Bakery!”

Saturday, September 26: Star Wars: The Party Strikes Back

EMP Museum, 7:00pm-11:00pm

Tickets $30 general public, $25 EMP members, $20 youth, free for children 4 and under

From the website: EMP invites you to join us for the closing party of Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen: Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume. Explore the exhibition before it leaves EMP, and enjoy galactic games and light saber duels, drink specials, Padawans costume march, and a dance party of Yub Nub proportions. Attendees are encouraged to arrive in costume and pay tribute to their favorite characters across the Galactic Empire. Do. Or do not. There is no try. You’re our only hope.

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

Geek Elders Speak – The Recap

By GeekGirlCon Copy Writer Sarah “SG-1” Grant

I wanted to go to this panel because Jamala Henderson was the moderator, and I love her voice and her presence. She and I met for the first time at the premiere of Captain America: The Winter Soldier this year, and now I’m part of a group of Marvel enthusiasts that shares awesome upcoming Marvel things with each other.

I also wanted to go to this panel because I am a little bit of a history geek. Not about every aspect of history, but the history of fandom is definitely something that sparked an interest. I know MY history with fandom, and I love hearing other people’s histories as well–and this panel was the ultimate history of women in fandom.

Geek Elders

Linda Deneroff, Tish Wells, Susan Matthews, Jamala Henderson, Maggie Nowakowska

The speakers in the panel were four women with various connections to the beginnings of fandom: Linda Deneroff, Susan Matthews, Maggie Nowakowska, and Tish Wells. Each of these women was involved in the beginnings of media and print fandom in the 60s and 70s, primarily around Star Trek and Star Wars. They each spoke about the first books they read that got them into science fiction–everything from Freddie and the Space Ship to Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot to the novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Jamala asked the panelists what they loved about those early science fiction books they read. Susan said, “It was a new world where anything could happen, but there wasn’t any magic!” Linda was struck by the commonalities between what she was learning to read and the advent of the United States space program. Maggie read all the kids’ science fiction books available in her local library, and then moved onto the adult books (which is just what I did!). Tish spoke briefly about an author named Hugh Walters and how she read every book he wrote.

The conversation moved from books to fandom, and how the women got started in media fandom, specifically. All four of them had the same response: Star Trek. They saw the show, then worked on Star Trek fanzines, attended Star Trek conventions, joined Star Trek discussion groups, and cosplayed the characters they liked, whether they were men or women. There wasn’t anything special about a woman dressed as Han Solo or Luke Skywalker; they wore what they wanted to wear.

Having fandom in their lives inspired all four of the panelists in different ways. Susan began writing her own fiction in about 1978, but often kept it to herself. She published her first novel in 1997. Linda was inspired to take up photography, as well as publishing and traveling. Maggie started helping to publish fanzines–most of which were written, typed, mimeographed, and compiled (all by hand) to be sent around the country. Tish said fandom became part of her life as a journalist as she wrote her first published piece on a WorldCon; that piece got her a job, which sent her to Los Angeles for a Star Wars costume exhibit, at which she met and interviewed George Lucas!

All of them said they “found their ‘selves’” in fandom; there was a huge community linked to fandoms and conventions. They encouraged each other to do what they loved, it was powerful enough to keep them doing it. They told stories of women whose husbands wouldn’t allow them to attend science fiction conventions because their husbands “needed them home to cook their meals”. One woman apparently put together fanzines in her car, because her husband wouldn’t allow them in the house. There was even a woman they knew who was institutionalized! Her husband thought that the things she was doing and wanted to do around fandom were literally insane. This sounds like something out of the nineteenth century, or maybe even the early twentieth century; but these happened in the 1970s and 1980s, here in the United States.

Each of these four women have learned very powerful things in their lives through fandom.

  1. Community is powerful.
  2. Sisterhood is powerful.
  3. Whatever it is, you can do it.

I left this “Geek Elders Speak” panel with tears in my eyes, a lump in my throat, and the determination to learn more about the history of women in fandom. I know my history, and I knew about some of the early fanzines; I was even part of a correspondence fiction club called The Third Fleet out of California where we made our own characters, took Starfleet ranks, and were placed on “ships” (groups of other writers) to write stories with our characters and fellow “shipmates”. But nothing I did when I got into fandom prepared me to hear Maggie, Susan, Linda, and Tish speak about their experiences. I’m proud to be part of their ranks, years later, and thinking of ways to do some of the kinds of things they did: building and fostering community, mentoring each other (both in life and fandom), and making sure that what they did–how they built and fostered the communities we have today–continues to grow.

The info sheet for The Third Fleet Academy

The info sheet for The Third Fleet Academy

If you were at the “Geek Elders Speak” panel at GeekGirlCon ‘14, what impressed you the most about the panelists? How did YOU come to fandom? And if there was one thing you could do to help others in our community and build their fandom experiences, what would that be?

And guess what: you can already get your tickets for GeekGirlCon ‘15! We’ve sold out entirely two years in a row, and next year is our fifth anniversary. Don’t miss it!

Below is a bibliography of some of the books and publications mentioned and discussed by the panelists; Maggie Nowakowska forwarded it to GeekGirlCon so we could share it with anyone who wants the information, and to learn more about early media fandom.

Space Cat, Ruthven Todd (orig. 1952)  For the young girls in your life. This was the very first book I took out of the library when I was in 1st grade.

Star Trek Lives!, Jacqueline Lichtenberg (1975)  A classic, written by a media fan, that allowed many women to discover Star Trek fandom. If you’ve ever wondered how Trek fandom came to be an grew so powerful, this is a good book to read.

Textual Poachers: Television Fans & Participatory Culture, Henry Jenkins (1992)  An excellent resource for tracking the early media fanzine phenomena, including the early copyright conflicts; mentions some fan writers by name.

Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth, Camille Bacon-Smith (1992)  A frank discussion of how fandom developed socially in the 1980s. The author participated in fandom herself and describes the ways a fandom supported and challenged women in the 1980s. IMO, Bacon-Smith nails the problems that often arise between those who made up the “first fandom” of a favorite series and the “second fandom,” made up of those who join later, bringing different, often conflicting interpretations to the mix.

Science Fiction Audiences: Watching Doctor Who and Star Trek, John Tulliock and Henry Jenkins (1995)  Follow up the Textual Poachers, with a tighter focus on Whovians and Trekkers.

Boldly Writing: A Trekker Fan and Zine History, 1967-1987. Joan Marie Verba (1996)  A year-by-year review of Star Trek fandom by someone who was there. If  you want to travel the years of fandom vicariously, this is the book for you. All the people who paved the way for media fandom, all the social and fanzine developments, are here.

Fan Phenomena series: Star Trek, Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Batman,  Twin Peaks, Doctor Who, Supernatural, Sherlock Holmes, Jane Austin, The Hunger Games, Various editors (2013) England brings us a series of books about many of the world-wide media fandoms that have developed over the years.

“Fangirls Flying High,” Tricia Barr, article on women in SW fandom, Star Wars Insider Issue 151 (Aug/Sept 2014)

How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, Chris Taylor (2014)  An excellent history about how Star Wars, and Star Wars fandom took media fandom mainstream and made Star Wars the phenomenon that it is. Deeply researched, this book will take you into the heart of the Star Wars experience.

**Also, you can help make the paperback version better. The Star Wars fandom that Taylor describes is made up of boys and men. Taylor wants to know more about the women of Star Wars fandom. Read the book and when you review it, ask for more coverage of all the girls and women who love Star Wars! Tell Taylor about all of us who love Star Wars now and have for years.**

Sarah Grant
“Rock On!”

Star Wars at GeekGirlCon ’14

Written by author Trisha Barr.

In a piece here last year, I shared how community building is an effective way to deter bullying and gatekeeping. One of the reasons I am so passionate about supporting GeekGirlCon is the sense of inclusiveness and welcome that is evident the moment you enter the venue. In the three years I have attended, I have made important connections with members of the geek community. Sometimes I have gained a new geek friend or ally; GeekGirlCon gave me the opportunity to meet Ashley Eckstein, who invited me to be a contributor in her own fangirl community-building venture, Her Universe’s Fangirl of the Day. Last year’s connections started me down a wonderful journey that resulted in a feature article in Star Wars Insider Issue #151, where I had chance to mention GeekGirlCon.

Fangirls GGC SW Panel

Panelists from the 2013 Star Wars panel: Linda Hansen-Raj, Amy Ratcliffe, Meg Humphrey, Lisa Granshaw and Tricia Barr, plus panel attendees.
Photo by Joanne Perrault/FANgirl Blog


Star Wars Insider #151 cover

Star Wars Insider #151 Image source: Star Wars Insider

As an advocate for female fans of Star Wars, I have always known women loved the franchise and have sought ways to highlight their contributions. Greg Kubie, who markets Star Wars Books for Random House, had sent along an introduction to journalist Tish Wells. She and I spent over an hour in a corner of the convention hall chatting about Star Wars, the dynamics of the fandom, and her experience interviewing George Lucas. Later that day Tish introduced me to a few more longtime fans, including Maggie Nowakowska, who has been a fan academic, fanfic writer, and fanzine contributor since the late 1970s. Maggie and I exchanged contact information after she recollected an old fanzine piece that wondered where all the men were in Star Wars fandom. Considering the common perception of the state of today’s fandom, it was a piece of Star Wars history that definitely interested me.

Corresponding with Maggie – each email was marked with fantastic looks back at fandom before the internet – was like reading a history of fandom. I decided to ask Maggie to share her memories as part of an oral history project. Shortly after the recording was made, I was solicited to write a piece on fangirls for Star Wars Insider magazine. The Force seemed to be guiding me in a direction, and Maggie’s journey as a Star Wars fangirl became the focal point of that piece. Star Wars Insider Issue #151 included several pieces featuring the contribution of women to the franchise, including Lisa Granshaw’s article on geek couture. Lisa will be joining me on the panel “Fangirls Find the Force: Star Wars, from Episode VII and Beyond” at GeekGirlCon this year, where we will talk about the franchise and how we can participate in shaping its future.

You can listen to Maggie Nowakowska’s oral history on my podcast Fangirl Chat. She will also be participating in the GeekGirlCon panel “Geek Elders Speak: How Media Fandom Empowered Women in the 60s, 70s, and 80s” where I am sure she share some more wonderful stories.

Tricia Barr discusses Star Wars, fandom, and strong female characters at FANgirl Blog. Her novel WYNDEwon the Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/ Fantasy/Horror Ebook in the 2014 Independent Publisher Awards. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com. For updates on all things FANgirl, follow @FANgirlcantina on Twitter.

Guest Contributor
“Rock On!”

Science of Tatooine: Water

Written by Adrienne M. Roehrich, Manager of Editorial Services

In the Star Wars Universe, Tatooine is a desert planet with two suns.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary(1) a desert is

1a :  arid land with usually sparse vegetation; especially :  such land having a very warm climate and receiving less than 25 centimeters (10 inches) of sporadic rainfall annually

b :  an area of water apparently devoid of life

Clearly, definition b is not in effect for Tatooine, as there is megafauna. Merriam-Webster Dictionary(2) defines megafauna as:

1:  animals (as bears, bison, or mammoths) of particularly large size

2:  fauna consisting of individuals large enough to be visible to the naked eye

On Tatooine, there are krayt dragon, rancor, sarlaccs, dewbacks, banthas, among other animals. Our understanding of life requires water. On a planet with less than 10 inches of sporadic rainfall annually, how do such big animals get their water?

We have to move outside of Universe canon to consider water on Tatooine. (Canon, as of the summer of 2014, has been declared to only include the six movies to date and the Clone Wars television series.) So, there is little to go on. Some of the books, outside of canon, discussed Tatooine as a planet much like earth with large oceans that was altered by an alien race. Whether a planet with suns such as Tatooine could have the described oceans, is another article. However, it does help with how the animal-life could have evolved. Another question arises: in such a change of climate, how did these animals adapt? (Peruse the carnival for an answer to this question!)

One possible source of water includes the very dry atmosphere. Water vapor occurs in the atmosphere, even those above deserts. Relative humidity varies from region to region. On a planet entirely desert, this could be true as well. Not all deserts have the same atmospheric humidity.

Moisture Vaporator. Source: Star Wars Wiki.

Luke Skywalker is introduced on the moisture farm of his aunt and uncle. These moisture farms use a technology called moisture vaporators. Moisture vaporators condense water out of the atmosphere using cooling rods. This works much like a cold beverage getting condensation on the outside of it on a hot day. Water vapor from the atmosphere comes into contact with a cooler surface and condenses. In a fairly humid region, this will happen at temperatures near current temperatures. However, in the desert, the temperature at which the water will condense is lower. Once condensed, the water flows down the rod into a water storage tank. Clearly having working vaporators is a matter of survival for humanoids on Tatooine. Indeed, a moisture farm is necessary to provide water to bigger cities. No wonder Owen Lars requires a droid with translation skills.

“What I really need is a droid that understands the binary language of moisture vaporators.”

“Vaporators? Sir, my first job was programming binary loadlifters—very similar to your vaporators in most respects.”

from A New Hope

Purchase of the droids. Image source.

Another possible source of water on this desert planet is aquifers. Aquifers are a water-bearing stratum of permeable rock, sand, or gravel(3). Aquifers are often linked to rivers. With the evident geology of Tatooine in the various movies, one can guess that at one point there were rivers flowing on Tatooine. In fact, the Sahara Desert on Earth, has seasonal and intermittent rivers, lending credibility to the possibility of the same on Tatooine. Some of the cities on Tatooine could also get water piped in from existing aquifers in the region.

“Aquifer en” by Hans Hillewaert – en:Image:Schematic aquifer xsection usgs cir1186.png. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Obviously, the non-humanoid animals are not using these moisture farms to gather water out of the atmosphere, nor are they digging their way down to the potential aquifers. So how are they getting their water? What other sources could they get for water?

Animals that have evolved to survive and thrive in desert climates may not need to consume water the way we think. Many desert animals retain water using methods such as burrowing into moist soil, and some do not excrete it the way mammals do. Often, due to water retention and evolution to need less water, they are able to get all the water they need through the vegetation (or animals) they eat. As we can see from the aquifer diagram, it is these underground sources of water that lead to the small oasis of vegetation. In addition, groundwater will come to the surface to create little pools, which animals can gather at to consume water.

Sources of water on this desert planet may be sparse but they exist.

Be sure to visit all the posts in this Science Carnival!



1. “Desert.” Merriam-Webster.com. Accessed July 20, 2014. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/desert.

2. “Megafauna.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 20 July 2014. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/megafauna>.

3. “Aquifer.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 21 July 2014. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aquifer>.

4. Desert USA http://www.desertusa.com/survive.html

Adrienne Roehrich
“Rock On!”

Star Wars Day

Written by Meg Humphrey, Programming Project Manager

This post originally appeared on May 4, 2014 at Have You Nerd

May Fourth has become the official Star Wars holiday over the last few years. As a Star Wars Fan since I was old enough to comprehend what a movie was, you’d think that it would be my favorite day of the year (outside of holidays where I get presents, of course). This is where I’ll admit that, for a little bit, I was a Star Wars hipster in the way where I really disliked the idea of “May the Fourth.” Suddenly Facebook would be blowing up with posts “May the Fourth be with you!” and I would get unreasonably angry. I would think “You’re not a Star Wars fan! Luke Skywalker isn’t lame! You haven’t cried while reading the X-Wing series or the Jedi Academy Trilogy! You don’t collect any of the toys! CG YODA IS NOT BETTER THAN CRAZY PUPPET YODA! Stop pretending!” Then I realized that I was part of the problem; I was acting as a gatekeeper to my fandom. I needed to cut it out and I did. I’ll never again forget that Star Wars touches uncountable lives in many different ways and there’s no one true way to be a fan.

Star Wars Celebration VI Attendees

Repeat after me: Star Wars is for everyone. Casual fans, die hard fans, fans who started with The Clone Wars, fans who saw A New Hope opening night in 1977, fans who hate the prequels, fans who love the EU (now the “Legends” books), old people, young people, girls and boys (and any gender outside or in between), Sith, Jedi, Wookiees, Trandoshans, Bith, Ewoks, politicians, pilots, and every other being in the galaxy. Star Wars is for you (and for me) and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

On the whole, Star Wars fans are beautiful. We’re eager to make friends and connections, to talk about our speculations and feelings, and to just enjoy the vast universe that is being set before us. You’ll find people with different opinions than you, but we’ll try to discuss them rationally and without hurting each other’s feelings (we just sometimes have strong opinions). I’ve done Star Wars Panel at Sakura-Con for the last seven years and I’m forever grateful for the friends I’ve made there and the stories from audience members about the goodness that Star Wars has brought to their lives.

Audience at “We’re Doomed!: A Star Wars Panel” at Sakura-Con 2014

Is the fandom perfect? No. As much as I’m accepted and respected by others, there’s still people who insinuate that my Rebel Alliance and Jedi Council tattoos aren’t real and I couldn’t possibly know as much about Star Wars as them because I’m a woman. Are there things I wish were different about Star Wars? Of course. My voice joined others with the concern of the lack of female representation after the Episode VII core cast announcement. But we stick with it, because our love ofStar Wars is too great, and we are determined to make it better, more inclusive, and more fun for everyone.

So go ahead and get your Wookiee Cookies and Han Burgers ready for your Machete order marathon (or in my case – a showing of the Ewok Adventure and the Caravan of Courage)! Fill Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with your makeship Leia bun head bands and your hand crafted stormtrooper armor! Celebrate the Force as it surrounds us and binds us as the luminous beings we are!


And, as ever, may the Force be with you.



Guest Contributor
“Rock On!”

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