Did you know that today is International TableTop Day? Find a game to celebrate with this installment of Ask GeekGirlCon: What is your favorite tabletop game?
Betrayal at the House on the Hill
“My favorite tabletop game is Betrayal at the House on the Hill published by Avalon Games. Every time you play this game, there is a different scenario. You build the game board as you go, and every time a different set of circumstances triggers the big bad Haunt. There are dozens of endings to this game and I’ve never seen the same one twice. I remember the first time I played I was beyond intimidated because my friend had to pull out his giant binder of endings and I thought it was the rule book. Even though the game varies so much, it’s still easy to learn and easy to play. And did I mention everyone has the chance to randomly become a traitor? What’s more fun then turning on your friends half way through the game because you’ve lost your sanity and turned evil?” – Jex Ballard, Volunteer Program Manager
“We play a lot of games in our house but my favourite game to play would be Antoine Bauza’s Tokaido. Tokaido is simple, relaxing game where you and fellow players travel along from Tokyo to Edo on the famous Tokaido.
This is a simple game with point to point movement where each player chooses a traveler at random to travel one of the most magnificent roads of Japan. During your journey, you will buy souvenirs, eat amazing meals, visit temples, meet new people, and see gorgeous vistas all as you travel the East sea road.” – Kristine Hassell, Twitter Administrator
Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game
“It is so hard to choose a favorite! Right now, I would say it is Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game. I had a lot of doubts when I picked up the game, as I have played many bad games based on TV shows or movies. Battlestar Galactica is a rare board game that is not just a lot of fun, it also remains true to the show. You really feel as though you are playing a character on Battlestar Galactica. While the game is mostly cooperative, one or more players are secretly cylons or cylon sympathizers working against the human crew. There is a lot of bluffing, deception, and deduction. This makes it fun to play over and over!” – Susie Rantz, Manager of Public Relations
Your turn, folks! What’s your favorite tabletop game? Any suggestions on what to play next?
Hey readers! Shubz here with another installment of Ask GGC. We asked our staff how their time with GeekGirlCon made a difference for them in their lives outside of our organization. Here’s what they had to say:
“I’ve started getting back into comics and science, two avenues of geekdom that I enjoyed when I was younger, but fell to the wayside when I discovered RPGs, video games, and anime. I’ve also become more vocal when I find things offensively misogynistic or racist. As a female Filipino-American nerd, it’s important to speak up about these things. Being on staff has stepped up my game on many fronts including how to succinctly convey my thoughts in 140 characters or less when needed without textspeak abbreviations! Grammar nerds FTW!” – Kristine Hassell, Twitter Administrator
Erica striking a pose at GeekGirlCon 2012
“I’ve been an idealist for most of life, and the world has in many ways tried to stop me from believing in the ability to change the world. GeekGirlCon has really proven that through community momentum, we can change the world. When we first started planning for GeekGirlCon ’11, we would’ve been happy if 400 people showed up; but instead we had almost 2,000. And even more for GeekGirlCon ’12. We’ve inspired people, helped build new skills and interests, and fostered women-positive geeky community. We can be the change in the world.” – Erica McGillivray, Director of Marketing
Left to Right: Shubz Blalack, Tammy Vince Cruz, Raye Abellar
“GeekGirlCon changed my life. It opened my eyes, my mind, and best of all, my heart, to an amazing community all working towards a sincere goal. Admittedly, GeekGirlCon consumed me; it consumed my time, my energy, and my life – but it’s all been worth it. I’ve worked with remarkable people, many of which I would consider good friends. Beyond that, the rad folks I’ve had the chance to meet along the way, reinforced that genuine people do exist, and they support what you believe in.
GeekGirlCon pushed me to work my butt off. I’ve produced some of my best pieces for GeekGirlCon. While giving me that challenge, it’s resulted in a rejuvenated design portfolio. I’ve definitely forced myself to learn a lot of better habits when it came to my work – learning communication is vital, especially leading my own team, and overall organization is detrimental to making things run smoothly. I was known as a mute when I was a kid, but helping lead meetings and represent GeekGirlCon helped build my self-confidence, and improve my own public speaking and interaction skills. A lot of these skills I’ve applied to my day job and personal life, and it makes me feel all sorts of awesomely weird – like I’ve definitely stepped full fledge into “grown up” territory. And I’m quite happy with that.
– Tammy Vince Cruz, Manager of Design
Susie and Stephanie cosplaying it up as Hawkgirl and Starbuck, respectively
“Working at GeekGirlCon opened my eyes in so many ways. It opened my eyes to the hundreds of geeky things out there I didn’t even know existed. It opened my eyes to the fantastic community of geeky women and their amazing supporters. And it opened my eyes to the fact that GeekGirlCon is still a needed organization — there are too many people out there who still feel mistreated, misrepresented, and misunderstood. GeekGirlCon staff members bring a range of personalities to the table, which has given me the opportunity to learn and grow in ways I never expected. It has seriously been a gift to be on this staff.” – Susie Rantz, PR Manager
GeekGirlCon is currently looking for enthusiastic and driven individuals to join our staff and continue to make a difference with us. Could that be you? Check out our Open Staff Positions for more information.
These are just a few of the things I “geek out” over.
For those scratching your heads, these are stats used in baseball, football, and soccer—stats I analyze while playing fantasy football or rooting for my favorite players and teams.
You see, I grew up wanting to play basketball like Gary “The Glove” Payton. I will never forget that night, during the magical season of 1995, when Ken Griffey Jr. rounded third base and scored the game-winning run to beat the Yankees. Or being live at the Rose Bowl to watch Brandi Chastain tear off her jersey when the U.S. Women’s Soccer team won the World Cup.
And I am not a crier, but this song makes me tear up.
If it wasn’t clear already, let me say it loud and proud: I love sports. I love feeling a part of a team, a part of a culture that spans the world. I love that a sport can empower girls to feel strong, to feel in control, to feel limitless.
But it amazes me when those in the geek community put sports down, as if you cannot be into “geeky” things and love sports at the same time. Perhaps it is because the jocks from our younger years were the meanest to us. I’m not sure, but I hear it again and again—little jabs or snide comments to feel above those who enjoy sports.
As a “geek girl” and “sports girl,” I find this sad. Particularly because the same mistreatment of women and girls found in geekdom occurs in sports as well. Let me give you some examples of the common themes I hear in both worlds.
Girls can’t be “real” sports fans. (Girls can’t be “real” geeks.)
Girls don’t know how to play fantasy football. (Girls suck at playing video games.)
Girls’ sports are boring; they don’t sell. (Movies with strong female leads don’t sell.)
Let me infuse these statements with a few facts.
Fact: The U.S. women’s victory over Japan in the gold medal soccer game at the London Olympics attracted 4.35 million viewers, a record for the NBC Sports Network. An additional 1.5 million streamed the event live online, a high for any Olympic event.
Fact: Female participation in high school sports has increased 979% since Title IX passed in 1972.
Women and girls can be sports fans. They can play sports. They can also like Doctor Who, Star Trek, video games, and coding.
Case in point: This gymnast from Mexico, who performed an Olympic floor routine to the Legend of Zelda theme song. A lifelong gamer and an athlete.
It’s time to move on from the stereotype that women can’t like comics AND cricket, Buffy AND basketball, or Hellboy AND hockey. And it’s time to stop arguing that women can’t be “real” geeks or sports fans.
I know I have fellow sports geeks out there. So tell me, what’s your favorite sports team?
Hi everyone! With the new school year starting, we asked our GeekGirlCon staff what their favorite school subject was. Here’s what some of them have shared:
Jex Ballard, Volunteer Coordinator and Board Secretary: “My favorite subject in school was always math. I was a founding member of my elementary school’s math team, where we traveled all across Washington state competing against other schools. The best part was that Friday practices were game days where we played games like Set, Pylos, and any other game that enhanced our mental ability.”
An accurate depiction of Kris belting out a sweet tune.
Kris Panchyk, Vendor Coordinator: “My favorite subject through high school and college would definitely have to be choir. I was lucky to have stumbled into a fantastic group of people in high school, and musically we were AWESOME. It’s carried over into a love of music now and getting involved with local choirs.”
Ellen Ripley and Buffy (photo from EW.com)
Susie Rantz, PR Manager: “Geez, it’s hard to pick a favorite subject, because I feel I was a completely different person in high school than I was in middle school, and was yet another person in college. I will say the class I enjoyed the most was “Action Heroines in Contemporary Cinema.” We got to examine powerful female action heros, which meant watching Alien, Terminator 2, Buffy, Thelma and Louise, and more! I realized there were many more complex action heroines than I expected — and made me want to search for even more!”
What about you? What was or is your favorite subject in school?
Hey everyone! Shubz here with your monthly installment of Geek of the Month! Let’s learn a little more about our awesome PR Manager, Susie!
Susie as Hawkgirl and Stephanie as Starbuck (Photo: GuyEatsOctopus.com)
Name: Susie Rantz Occupation: Account Supervisor at GMMB, a communications and advertising company that works for nonprofits, government programs, and companies doing amazing things to improve lives across the world. Position in GeekGirlCon: PR Manager
1: What are you geeky about right now?
Right now, I can’t get enough of Game of Thrones. That “Blackwater” episode? So amazing. I also am exploring video game development, and more specifically the Unity 3D game engine, and am really digging the Princeless comic books.
2: How did you find out about GeekGirlCon?
A Facebook friend posted about an event GeekGirlCon was hosting. After further investigation, I thought the organization sounded amazing. So far, working for GeekGirlCon has exceeded my expectations.
3: Why did you choose to get involved with GeekGirlCon?
I chose to get involved because I loved GeekGirlCon’s mission to support people in exploring who they are and what they love. There is a lot of negativity right now in the world. People see things as black and white, liberal and conservative, wrong and right, etc. I wanted to be part of an organization that tore down these walls that separate us, that opened its arms to anyone.
4: How do you incorporate your geekiness into your everyday work/life?
I’ve never really thought about NOT incorporating geekiness into everyday life. 🙂 In my day job, I get to work with a range of people using technology to improve lives around the world. At lot of the time, I use my love for web programming and social media to do this. Outside of work, I recently built a website for my dad’s flight instruction company in Eastern Washington and am currently sketching out plans to build a video game. Finally, I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction books as I’m currently working on a young adult novel; reading great books is the best form of homework!
5: What’s the best thing about being a geek?
There is so much out there in the world for geeks. The fastest-growing careers in the United States are in science, technology, and engineering. Video games continue to evolve, with many being used in education and cause-related advocacy. Being a geek can be an incredibly empowering thing — for women, girls, boys, men, everyone. And, on top of all that, you get to explore worlds where a black man can be captain of a ship, or a woman can be the leader of a country, with no questions asked.
Thanks for all your awesome work, Susie! Readers, it’s your turn for us to get to know a bit about you – How do you incorporate being a geek into your everyday life?