Last weekend I got to experience the magic of GeekGirlCon. The Seattle-based event is only in its second year, but is already gaining popularity. PR Manager Susie Rantz reveals that this weekend drew crowds of around 3,000 on each day of the con.
So what exactly is GeekGirlCon? It’s a convention aimed at bringing together women to celebrate achievements in science, the arts, gaming and various other “geeky” fields. The idea for the convention came about after a panel about geek girls at SDCC in 2010.
Guests at the 2012 GeekGirlCon included Jane Espenson, a woman who has written some of my favourite episodes of television; Purple Reign Seattle’s own costumed superhero who also heads up a domestic abuse advocacy program; The Guild’s Teal Sherer who is working on her new web series My Gimpy Life, and Gail Simone a writer who has worked on such major DC titles as Wonder Woman and Bird’s of Prey. Panels at the con included “female character design in modern comics” and “the myth of the female gamer.”
I have to admit, as much as I was delighted to attend GeekGirlCon, I have never felt marginalised as a girl. The guys I know are fairly evolved and like the fact that I can quote Aliens and have ambitions to build a TARDIS. I never felt the need to make IGP about being a girl because my experience has always been welcoming. I don’t even particularly consider myself a feminist, so I didn’t know what to expect of my time at GeekGirlCon.
Having experienced GeekGirlCon all I can say is it’s inspiring. In some ways, it reminded me of one of those job fair’s you had to go to at school, albeit a really cool job fair featuring jobs that you would happily do for free.
In the Geekgirl Connections room, I got to chat with Ashley Eckstein who plays Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and pick her brains about running a web business (Eckstein also runs the uber cool Her Universe site which sells clothing and accessories for scifi lovin’ girls) and working in voice over. At the next table over, were people from NASA’s outreach program which was created to get kids interested in maths and science.
On Saturday female high school students involved in the FIRST robotics program ran a panel discussing how they discovered a passion for science. While Sunday had a panel with a group of women talking about their experience in the video gaming industry and how you too can go about getting a career in the industry.
Not to say that GeekGirlCon is only about inspiring women to achieve more. There was plenty of fun to be had elsewhere at the con.
Saturday Jane Espenson and the cast of Husbands premièred the first episode of season 2 of the hit web series Husbands. Vixy & Tony, Molly Lewis and The Doubleclicks could be found performing around the con and at a concert on Saturday night.
The lower level of the convention hall featured tons of gaming and even a mask making workshop. Oh yes, and there was also a “Once More with Feeling” sing-along.
I can honestly say I had a ton of fun at GeekGirlCon. The organisers did a fabulous job running the convention, especially given the fact the attendance numbers nearly doubled this year. The staff was all super friendly.
It was a welcoming environment, not just for women, but for the entire family. Can’t wait until next year!