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.

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]


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.

Ahead: Emerald City Comicon 2013

I will be speaking on a panel at Emerald City Comicon, which is taking place in Seattle from 1 – 3 March:

Looking Past the Target Audience: Gender, Race, and Geek Identity Politics

Sunday, March 3
Room: 2AB
Start: 1:00 PM
End: 1:55 PM

This year, the geek community’s strained relationship with diversity came to a head. Conflicts over exclusion, and identity politics, and what makes a “real” geek have exploded into the mainstream media. Creators, curators, community leaders, and critics on the front lines examine the fight over geek identity and barriers to diversity in geek communities and media; and propose concrete steps toward a diverse and inclusive geek culture. Join industry leaders Rachel Edidin, Cheryl Lynn Eaton, David Brothers, Andy Khouri, Regina Buenaobra, Sarah Kuhn and Kate Welch as they discuss this hot button issue.

This should be an interesting and challenging experience, considering the scope of what we want to cover, the size of the panel, and the audience, who are probably going to be mostly comic book fans.

Ahead: GeekGirlCon 2012

I’ll be speaking on a panel at GeekGirlCon in Seattle, taking place from 11- 12 August:

Saturday, 11 August 2012, 1:30 PM – 2:20 PM 

“Go Make Me A Sandwich”: Barriers to Women’s Participation in Online and Fan Spaces – RM301/302

How many times have you read “get back in the kitchen” or “go make me a sandwich” in comments on a YouTube video starring or made by women? Or have you experienced the frustrations of simply being female on Xbox LIVE? Panelists discuss obstacles to women’s participation in online spaces, illustrate places of resistance, and provide tips to combat and improve gender dynamics online.

Presented by Anita Sarkeesian, Maile Martinez, Lila Kitaeff, Regina Buenaobra, Grace (gtz), Colette Vogele

I’ve also put together a game writing workshop, which I’ll be introducing, starring three members of ArenaNet staff:

Saturday, 11 August 2012, 11:00AM – 12:00PM 

Workshop: Tricks of the Trade: Writing in Guild Wars 2 – Room LL2

In this workshop, veteran game industry professionals from ArenaNet will discuss how to design good characters and stories for video games. Join lore and continuity designer Ree Soesbee, writer Angel Leigh McCoy, and game designer Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda as they explore what makes characters interesting, how to populate a world with diverse and engaging NPCs, how to avoid stereotypes and clichés, the fundamentals of story design, and other aspects of writing in video games. They will use their experience creating the world of the upcoming massively-multiplayer role-playing game Guild Wars 2 to help illustrate their points. If you’re interesting in discovering what it’s like to be a writer or content designer at an MMORPG studio or would like to hear more about writing games at ArenaNet, this workshop is for you!

GeekGirlCon’s mission:

GeekGirlCon celebrates and honors the legacy of women contributing to science and technology; comics, arts, and literature; and game play and game design by connecting geeky women world-wide and creating community to foster continued growth of women in geek culture through events.

I’m looking forward to the second GeekGirlCon. I’m excited about speaking on the same panel as Anita, who I met at GeekGirlCon last year.