GeekGirlCon 2013


GeekGirlCon 2013 Wrap-Up

I am sitting here in my little office still recovering from GeekGirlCon. This year, which is the convention’s third year, was again at the Conference Centre across the street from Washington State Convention Centre in downtown Seattle. Once again, the show was expertly run. Not too many crowds. Volunteers were everywhere and always helpful. If you don’t like cons because they are just too crowded and unruly, GeekGirlCon is a breath of fresh air.

I loved watching all the cos players, although I didn’t get too many pics. Too busy running around. However, I know there are some wonderful images out there from GGC. Just while waiting to pick up my press pass, I saw a wonderful little girl in a Galadriel costume. There were superheroes, a few Katniss Everdeens and some fantastic Skyrim cosplay.

While wandering the convention floor, I ran into a full-size remote control Dalek, got to see Denise Crosby and Amber Benson, and stopped for a chat about boardgames with Angela from The Doubleclicks (watch for a full-interview with her later). Thanks to the unflappable Susie Rantz, I was even able to sit down with Jane Espenson for a last minute group interview, which will be up next week.

The connections room, which is like a mini-career fair, had booths from companies such as Amazon, Digi Pen and Reel Grrls. The DIY science zone featured a team of GeekGirlCon scientists there to offer demonstrations and explanations. Attendees got to learn how DNA extraction works, and about finding latent fingerprints with ninhydrin.

Jane Espenson GeekGirlCon

I attended several wonderful panels, beginning with Witches, Princesses, and Warrior Maidens: Exploring the Archetypes of Women in Fantasy. The panel featured the organizers behind the latest EMP exhibit Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic which I reviewed a few months ago. Joining them on the panel was author Robin Hobb and television writer Jane Espenson. It was very interesting to hear about the work that went into creating this particular exhibit. It also created some interesting discussions such as where do you draw the line between archetype and stereotype? I also liked learning how certain archetypes can be found more often in science fiction versus fantasy and the idea that the damsel in distress doesn’t always have to be a woman. In Buffy, according to Espenson, it was often Xander.

Skyrim Cosplay GeekGirlCon

Later, I attended back-to-back panels. The first was on Female Characters in Game Design. As a burgeoning video game voice talent, this panel particularly interested me. The panel featured a number of women working in the video game industry. The discussion was about creating well-rounded female characters. They talked about video games that have done it well, and what people in the industry can do to get more lead female characters. Given that nearly half of all gamers are female, the general consensus is that it no longer makes any sense to primarily market to guys.

The second panel I attended was purely based on my interest as a writer, and what I went through working on Shatterer and now my newest novel. The panel was called Playing God: What it Takes to Create a Universe. The gamer in me was delighted to see that Karin and Patrick Weekes were on the panel. They work for Bioware and I absolutely love the world-building in both Dragon Age and Mass Effect. This was another enjoyable panel with some incites into world-building and their process in particular, although I think I would like to have seen something that went even further in terms of how to go about creating an entirely new universe.

After GeekGirlCon WebMonkey Rob and I headed down to the Raygun Lounge for a mixer where we ended up getting roped into playing Betrayal at House on the Hill-badly. I’d say almost half the time we were playing the game wrong, but it was still a fun introduction to the game and a nice way to chill after a long day on the convention floor. Can’t wait for next year!