Ahead: Emerald City Comicon 2014

I will be speaking on a panel at Emerald City Comicon, which is taking place in Seattle from 28 – 30 March:

Looking Past the Target Audience

Friday, March 28
Looking Past the Target Audience
Room: HALL D (602-603)
Time: 3:40PM – 4:30PM

The world is a politicized place and the geek community is no exception. Join us as we look at how gender and race are portrayed in geek culture. Creators, curators, community leaders and critics on the front lines of this issue examine the fight over geek identity and the barriers to diversity in geek communities and media. The discussion will include proposed steps toward a diverse and inclusive geek culture. Panelists include Rachel Edidin, Cheryl Lynn Eaton, Regina Buenaobra, G. Willow Wilson, Scotty Iseri, Andy Khouri, and Sfe M.

After the success of last year’s panel, Rachel Edidin has turned it into a recurring panel at other geeky/fandom conventions, with different panelists depending on interest and who is free. “Looking Past the Target Audience” is also a blog.

Ahead: Penny Arcade Expo 2013

I will be speaking at a panel at the upcoming Penny Arcade Expo. The convention is happening from 30 August – 2 September in Seattle.

This panel has a lot of super smart industry professionals on it, and they will be primarily be focusing on things that people can do in the creative process to create compelling content without blindly falling into tropes. I’ll be interjecting with my thoughts and opinions here and there, but mainly I’ll be moderating and attempting to keep things on track.

Everything We Know Is Sexist. Now What?

Once upon a time in gaming, damsels were always in distress and fighting dudes rescued them. But the gaming audience has changed. As demand increases for characters as diverse as the new player base, the games industry struggles to catch up. Writers and designers feel pressured to craft fresh, compelling stories that speak to a wider audience, but are often challenged by personal blind spots, professional culture, and business demands. Our panel of veteran writers and designers will look beyond blame and gender swapping to share their experiences-good, bad, and hilarious-of trying to break free from cliched thinking. Whether you’re an industry hopeful or a thinking gamer, you won’t want to miss this talk about the future of storytelling.

PANELISTS:
Regina Buenaobra [Community Manager, ArenaNet], Anna Megill [Narrative Designer, Airtight Games], Cameron Harris [Editor & Story Consultant, Freelance], Jessica Price [Project Manager, Paizo Publishing], John Sutherland [Writer, VidGameStory], Matthew Moore [Game Designer, ArenaNet], Tom Abernathy [Narrative Designer/Writer, Freelance]

WOLFMAN THEATRE – SATURDAY 8/31 10:30AM – 11:30AM

My hope is that this panel will give people in the audience things to think about and that any aspiring writers and designers have action items to incorporate into their work now and in the future.

Guild Wars 2: Year One

Today is the anniversary of the launch of Guild Wars 2. It’s been an incredible year for ArenaNet. We’ve hit a ton of milestones, including 3.5 million games sold, which earned us the title of  fastest-selling MMO game  in history. Guild Wars 2 is the most regularly updated MMO game right now, with an average of only 18.9 days between each game release. Other MMO games release content a couple times a year or every few years, so Guild Wars 2‘s schedule is unique in this sector of the games industry. This rapid pace is a challenging environment in which to work, but it’s also been a lot of fun working with a great bunch of people. I’m looking forward to the next year, the years ahead, and the challenges they will bring.