For the first time ever, I had the opportunity to attend Geek Girl Con and it was everything I hoped it would be. I’ve never seen such a joyous celebration of geek-dom with a broad range of cosplay, gender expression, and family attendance. All of the little kids dressed up as their favorite characters just about made my ovaries explode with cuteness. And the artists! Oh my gosh, I have so many new favorite vendors, and I’ve included a list of my favorites below.
There were a couple of other standout events I wanted to give a shoutout to. First of all, I was privileged to be chosen as a model for the fashion show on Saturday night and it was wonderful seeing the broad range of sizes, ages, and skin colors that were represented between the five designers. If you want to see the designer I modeled for, check out the Geek Girl Fashion Show – Haute Geek Catwalk Video!
Second was a panel on inclusivity in table top role playing games. The panelists were Jaden Emme, Lauren Karp, Jessica Lanzillo, Kristine Hassell, and Nicole Jekich. We stopped by one of the panelist’s booths after the fact to chat and she was awesome (Nicole Jekich for Daily Magic) and we traded some tips and gossip. The main gist of the panel for those of you who couldn’t attend: Tabletop gaming comes from a very male-centric genesis and has a lot of problematic features. The best way to combat this and create a welcoming space is to be conscious of your choices as a game master/dungeon master/story teller, and to make sure the way in which you are running the games is conducive to accommodating any quirks and limitations your players may have as well as making sure the game is a safe space where everyone is having fun. Some specific tips I walked away with:
- Create math cheat sheets/short cuts for anyone who struggles with the math heavy portions of RPGs
- Use an X-card that is available for players to utilize whenever they become uncomfortable with something that is happening at the table in order for the DM to address it and rewind. Turns out we’d been doing this already with shop bells, though those are normally used at our table when we just want someone to stop describing something gross.
- Banning phones/tablets at the table if people aren’t paying attention to each other, also limiting people’s talking time during rounds if someone is an over-talker.
- Confront your usage of traditionally problematic characters/races such as the Drow. In safe spaces, work on subverting their traditionally colonial presentation.
- To assist people with possible physical impediments do things like call out all dice rolls rather than depending on the table to be able to see them. Also color-coding dice for new players or players who have trouble distinguishing shapes.
- Make sure to have a large range of representation in your miniatures and reference images. Use resources like Medieval POC, Deviantart, and Writing with Color tumblr to help expand your references.
Also, with impeccable timing, this article appeared on Tor’s blog today: “Where are all the women?” which explores the absences of women in speculative fiction roles.
And the shopping list you’ve all been waiting for: Favorite Vendor List!
- Haute Geek is run by two fabulous sisters who create the art and make the skirts. I modeled the Heroes skirt and purchased These Are Our Voyages for myself!
- The other vendors in the fashion show that I desperately want to purchase from: Little Petal, Jordandene, Elhoffer, and Booty and the Geek
- We bought five pieces of art from Monkey Minion Press, including this one:
- GeekStar Costuming has the best flashy acrylic jewelry and I bought a set of earrings and a necklace of shiny silver bat’leths! If you need me to tell you what those are, we can’t be friends…
- Boutique Academia has gorgeous and affordably priced science and math jewelry. Definitely need to order some…
- Women Write About Comics is a fantastic blog about…well…it’s pretty self explanatory, though it’s expanded beyond its initial mission and also has an awesome goat-themed journal called Bleating Heart Press. I can’t get over that pun!
- Razorgirl Press is local and awesome and had some quite excellent books up for sale.