Ahead: Penny Arcade Expo East 2012

Next week, I’m headed to PAX East in Boston, Massachusetts from 6th – 8th April. Work-wise, it’s going to be a low-key convention for me. My company does not have a presence on the show floor and we’re not having any events outside of a couple of panels. I’d already planned on going to PAX East months ago, regardless of whether work would send me there. I’m not speaking on any panels, so there’s that pressure off. I’m quite looking forward to having some downtime at a videogame convention. I’ll actually get to see things!

Miss Representation Film Screening and Panel Discussion

This week, I’ll be attending a screening of the documentary film, Miss Representation, and speaking on a post-film panel discussion. Here are the event details:

Miss Representation – Presented by Women’s Funding Alliance in partnership with Reel Grrls, GeekGirlCon, and SIFF. Join us on November 30th for a special screening of this compelling new film that exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America.

This 90-minute documentary identifies huge gaps in the mainstream media’s portrayals and depictions of women and how the limited images actually lead to fewer women in positions of influence and power in our society. Miss Representation is essential viewing for anyone bombarded with images and memes from mainstream media (ergo, that means everyone needs see this documentary).

Visit MissRepresentation.org and take the pledge to help end sexism. Then, make sure you secure your tickets for the screening:

Wednesday, November 30th
Doors open at 6:00PM, show at 7:00 PM
Uptown Theater (Lower Queen Anne neighborhood, 511 Queen Ann Ave. N)
Click here to buy tickets: $10, $5 for SIFF members

Stay after the film for a panel discussion on the images of women in the media: how it currently stands and how to change it. Panelists include:

  • Regina Buenaobra – Community Manager at ArenaNet and Editor at The Border House blog
  • Dr. Amy Peloff – Assistant Director of Comparative History of Ideas at University of Washington
  • Jen Stuller – Ink-Stained Amazon Author and Programming Director at GeekGirlCon
  • Malory Graham – Executive Director at Reel Grrls

Moderators:

  • Sara Reyerson – Director of Grant Programs at Women’s Funding Alliance
  • Lummy – Student at Reel Grrls

I haven’t seen the film yet, so I’ll be providing my insight based upon my initial impressions. It should be an interesting discussion, so if you’re in the Seattle area and free on Wednesday, do stop by. If you can’t make it, watch the trailer, check out the film’s website, and see if you can attend a screening in your area.

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.