I spent this past weekend up in Seattle for GeekGirlCon. Let me summarize the weekend for you: Ah-ma-zing.
It all started on Saturday morning with my own panel, We Are Fandom, Hear Us Roar. Since the panel was inspired by how social media has allowed fans to connect with each other and with show runners more than ever before, it was largely open discussion. Just like how we are active participants in our fandoms, I wanted the audience to be active participants in the panel. It went pretty well, I was able to get it done first thing so that I could sit back and enjoy the rest of the con, and life was good.
I spent the next few hours wandering around the Exhibition Hall and Artists Alley. I do have to say that both were a lot smaller than I had hoped. Then again, my only previous con experience was at SDCC and D23, and GGC is definitely a much smaller convention.
Still, I a managed to acquire some pretty amazing stuff, including a print from Monkey Minion Press and some makeup from Espionage Cosmetics. I also chatted with Erika Rae Heins, an illustrator who does beautiful work based on Tolkien.
I attended the “Female Characters in Game Design” panel later that afternoon featuring a whole host of awesome ladies, including Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency. The panel covered a lot of the usual, including the common archetypes of women and the portrayal of body types in video games.
My favorite part of the day was the media meet-and-greet at the Raygun Lounge. Not only did I get to kick back with some cool people (shout outs to Bree of Geek My Life and Travis from Talking Comics), I got to do it at an awesome location. That had nerdy tabletop games. And mead. Really, what more could one possibly ask for?
Sunday morning was marked by a lot of wandering around. I worked my way through the Geek Girl Connections section, an area where companies in STEM and entertainment met with congoers to discuss what it was like to work in their respective areas and offer those interested some advice on the application process. During this time I attended one of the career-based mini panels. This one was about boosting your social media presence and how to break into the world of blogging. The panel featured Amber Osborne (aka Miss Destructo) and Lauren Stigerts. Even though it wasn’t one of the big panels of the con, I think it was my favorite one. Definitely felt like I learned a lot in a short amount of time.
“Life as a Lone Wolf” was all about how to become a successful freelancer. Though it was originally supposed to be moderated by Jessica Merizan, in a moment of what we were reassured was sheer brilliance, Bonnie Burton took over as moderator. And by Bonnie, we really mean her puppets. The panel was insightful and also happened to be hilarious. At one point, Chewy the puppet started to get naked. This could only happen at Geek Girl Con.
I also attended the “It’s Not Too Dangerous To Go Alone” panel, which focused on how to motivate yourself to take that thing you love (writing, music, art, etc.) and turn it into a career. While it didn’t feature as many tips on how to get yourself to stick to a plan as I would have liked, it was still very inspiring.
The final panel I attended was all about women in YouTube. It featured three of the ladies from Geek & Sundry, including Kiri Callaghan, Jenni Powell, and Sarah Rodriguez. The panel also included Holly Conrad, Jessica Merizan, and Margaret Dunlap. When Jenni Powell ran in the room just in the nick of time, most of the audience agreed that we wouldn’t have minded her being late so long as she won her Magic: The Gathering game (the panel was held in a lower level room right by all the game tables, you see). The panelists were energetic and lovely and highly quotable. #GetIntoEachOthersSubs is now a thing.
Afterwards, I headed up to catch the tail end of the 80’s sing-a-long. Total Eclipse of the Heart was a thing that happened – people got surprisingly into it. The ceremony ended with a short but sweet song from the Doubleclicks all about not having to prove our geekiness to anyone.
Overall, Geek Girl Con has been my favorite convention so far. Sure, it may not be crawling with celebs like the bigger cons, but it has tons of wonderful women ( like Jane. Freakin. Espenson.) and a strong sense of camaraderie. Plus, GGC doesn’t discriminate – there were tons of people there of all ages, sizes, and gender identities. Definitely the most socially aware con of the ones I’ve attended. If GGC14 isn’t on your radar yet, it should be.
And now, the cosplay!