Recap: GeekGirlCon 2011

GeekGirlCon was held in Seattle at the Seattle Centre from 8 – 9 October. They had over 2 000 attendees, which is actually quite good for a first-year con. From a logistical perspective, convention went pretty smoothly from my observation.

In general, as a women-friendly and women-focused convention, I thought it was great. It was great to have a space in which the vast majority of attendees were geeky women. It was great to have a space that was child-friendly, even though I never (ever) want children myself. They had a harassment policy and even a special email address to which you could report harassment, which is awesome. I met quite a few really cool women there and I’d like to see GeekGirlCon happen again.

I’d also like to see GeekGirlCon take their experiences from this year and learn from them, not only from a logistical perspective, but from a content perspective. For example, of the 12 special guests listed on their website, all of them were white unless I’m mistaken (and I could be). There should be more diversity.

In terms of panels I attended, it was kind of a mixed bag for me. Some of the most promising panels, ones that I wanted to attend, ones with star power and (internet) famous people, turned out to be really disappointing and head-desky, but conversely some panels that I attended on the spur-of-the-moment turned out to be very amazing and awesome. I guess it balanced out in the end.

The panels I moderated and spoke on went pretty well as a whole. The “Feminism, Race, and Geek Culture” panel went well and we got great feedback both at the show and on Twitter and the blogosphere (great write-ups here and here). I’m trying to get better at public speaking, and this was my first time moderating. There are some things I learned as a moderator and will consider moving forward, so it’s been a great learning experience for me. The panel on “Videogames, Feminism, and The Border House” also went pretty well, and we again got really positive feedback at the end, on Twitter, and elsewhere. In particular, members of the audience thanked us for not re-hashing super basic feminist concepts and for discussing issues in feminism and games culture at a more advanced level. That was gratifying.

If there is a GeekGirlCon next year, I would like to go and I will probably try to submit for panels again.