TONIGHT: Fight Hate. Drink Geek Cocktails with Bellydancing Super Mario

Raks Geek: Ready Player Two

Friday, March 24 at 8pm (Doors at 7:30pm)
Uptown Underground
4707 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL
Ages 21+

TONIGHT: Join firespinning Mortal Kombat fighters, bellydancing Wookiees, and a sword-wielding Sephiroth!

Raks Geek presents an unforgettable night of nerdiness and dancing paying homage to The Last Starfighter, Final Fantasy, Super Mario Bros, Star Wars, Bioshock Infinte, Lemmings, Batman, and more. We’ll even have specially-crafted geek cocktails!

Tickets will be available at the door. Don’t miss out!

GET YOUR TICKETS

A portion of proceeds from this show will go to I Need Diverse Games.

The first 70 attendees also get free goody bags from Cards Against Humanity!

My updated @C2E2 schedule!

The 2017 C2E2 schedule is finally live! So here’s an updated and accurate schedule of panels I’ll be on with links.

You Have Died From Exposure: The Importance Of Compensating Geeky Marginalized Creators

Jennifer Cross [M], Michi Trota, Suzanne Walker, Charlie Hawkins

April 21, 6:45 – 7:45 pm S405a

“Do It for the Exposure!” “Aren’t you just grateful to have this opportunity?” Too often, marginalized creators are thrown these adages as compensation for their hard work and creativity in lieu of financial redress like their privileged counterparts. We will be discussing the importance of equal compensation for equal work, the benefit of outreach, and how it’s led to opening the geek culture markets for creators & consumers who don’t look like or think in “mainstream”.

Behind The Parable And The Power: A Celebration Of The Black Women Creators Of The ‘Verse

Jennifer Cross [M], Mikki Kendall, Keidra Chaney

April 22, 4:15-5:15pm S405a

The ladies from A Black Nerd Girl’s Journey and More Than Warriors And Weather Witches are back! This year, we’re going to celebrate the black women behind the pages and productions of our favorite stories from the ‘Verse. We will laud the history of their influence, analyze how far we still need to go, and hopefully hear from the audience how their favorite black women creators have inspired them to pursue their own geeky paths.

How to Twitch safely as a POC/LGBTQIA/Female ID’d Streamer

Tanya DePass [M], Brandon Stennis UGRGaming and Coco_The_Louder

April 22, 5:15 – 6:15 pm, S503

Streaming on Twitch can be fun, but it can also be perilous for some of us. This panel will bring you some tips and tricks such as using bots, human mods and other methods to make your experience as stress free as possible.

Reblog, Retweet, Resist! Hashtag Movement and Fan Activism

Presented by Racebending.com with Gabriel Canada, Michi Trota, Mikki Kendall and me

April 22, 1:30 – 2:30 pm Room S405b

You reblog, retweet and resist! Social media has transformed pop culture fans into popular movements through fan activism and Hashtag campaigns

On #IWD2017

A collation of tweets I did on #IWD17 aka International Women’s Day

For support women out here doing hard work, keeping things going. Say thank you not just today but often. Appreciate their hustle. Realize that women need support every day, not just on this “designated” day to say thanks. Support their Patreons, send $$ their way. The hustle doesn’t end, the work never stops. Especially with what we’re having to live with as an admin in the US. Support all women.

Support the women who aren’t on everyone’s fave list, donate to their causes. Boost their work, say their names. Give them love too. This is important, don’t throw other women under the bus. Don’t hold up your fave as the be all, end all of doing it right. Everyone does things differently, support folks on how they are doing their work. Not on terms you wanna set. Collaborate, share the light.

So give the women in your life love, honor and strength daily. Take that load from them, it’s appreciated. Also support them with $$. To end the thread, reply with your Patreon, Go Fund Me, Kickstarter so I can share them out! Everyday should be

 

My @C2E2 Schedule!

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April 21

You Have Died From Exposure: The Importance Of Compensating Geeky Marginalized Creators Jennifer Cross [M], Michi Trota, Suzanne Walker, Ariela Housman

“Do It for the Exposure!” “Aren’t you just grateful to have this opportunity?” Too often, marginalized creators are thrown these adages as compensation for their hard work and creativity in lieu of financial redress like their privileged counterparts. We will be discussing the importance of equal compensation for equal work, the benefit of outreach, and how it’s led to opening the geek culture markets for creators & consumers who don’t look like or think in “mainstream”.

April 22

 Behind The Parable And The Power: A Celebration Of The Black Women Creators Of The ‘Verse Jennifer Cross [M], Mikki Kendall, Keidra Chaney

The ladies from A Black Nerd Girl’s Journey and More Than Warriors And Weather Witches are back! This year, we’re going to celebrate the black women behind the pages and productions of our favorite stories from the ‘Verse. We will laud the history of their influence, analyze how far we still need to go, and hopefully hear from the audience how their favorite black women creators have inspired them to pursue their own geeky paths.

4:15 pm Room S405a

How to Twitch safely as a POC/LGBTQIA/Female ID’d Streamer with Brandon Stennis UGRGaming and Coco_The_Louder

5:15 pm Room S503

April 23 

Reblog, Retweet, Resist! Hashtag Movement and Fan Activism presented by Racebending.com with Gabriel Canada, Michi Trota, Mikki Kendall and me

1:30 pm Room S405b

Almost time for @Official_GDC! Here’s all the things I’m up to

Here’s things what I am doing at GDC & Adjacent spaces!

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Monday – Attending the Gaming Accessibility Conference! #GAConf

About the conference:

Disability is a mismatch between a person and their environment, resulting in barriers performing day-to-day tasks, including gaming. These barriers are often unnecessary. Accessibility simply means avoiding those unnecessary barriers. This often means reinforcing how information is communicated, and offering players some flexibility, both of which often translate into a better experience for all players.

Understanding and implementation of these principles has been growing at an exponential rate, making 2017 a perfect opportunity to take stock and exchange experiences and expertise.

Attendees can expect a wide range of topics from all sectors of the industry – indie to AAA, academia to accessibility specialists – and leave with inspiration, new contacts, and practical knowledge of how to ensure their vision is able to reach as wide a range of players as possible, so no player is unnecessarily excluded from the access to culture, recreation and socialising that gaming brings.

Tuesday – Going to panels and I’ll be on the One Life Left & Gamasutra Live stream at 1:15 PST! Check it out at twitch.tv/gamasutra

Wednesday – LGBTQIA in Gaming lunch sponsored by Xbox  and going to talks.

Thursday – ALL THE THINGS! Attending the Women in Games lunch sponsored by Xbox, then I’m co-facilitating  a Roundtable for Diversity Advocates & Community Organizers with Rebecca Cohen-Palacios of Pixelles!! my first time speaking at GDC!!!

Then I’m attending and speaking at the Blacks in Gaming Green Room event sponsored by Xbox, hosted by Kahlief Adams of Spawn on Me podcast.

Friday – I may just collapse in a heap after such a full week, but there are talks I wanna see and take notes on!

I leave omfg why did I ever book a flight so fucking early on Saturday morning but I am trying to change my flight to a decent human hour. If I can’t oh well.After a few days home, I head for Boston and PAX East on March 9th.

Remember no livetweeting of talks this year, sorry but not. It’s too stressful, and I don’t need to be harassed on twitter when I’m trying to enjoy a talk.

.@WISCONSF3 41 PANEL SIGN-UP & INTEREST SURVEY IS OPEN! DEADLINE is MARCH 13

snagged from today’s post on the Wiscon blog

Programming

Panel Surveys are open until March 13. Now’s the chance to give YOUR feedback on what panels will run during WisCon 41. The survey is a big part on how programming is decided every year! If you want to more about how panel programming, please view this post for a quick overview.

WisCon programming is divided into separate tracks which group related concepts together in order to facilitate interesting and complex discussions. The current list of tracks are below:

  • Feminism and Other Social Change Movements
  • Power, Privilege, and Oppression
  • Spirituality, Organized Religion and Politics
  • Science and Technology
  • The Craft and Business of Writing
  • Reading, Viewing, and Critiquing Science Fiction
  • Fandom as a Way of Life
  • Gaming

You will need to a WisCon account in order to view the survey. If you don’t have an account, create one at the Create Your Account page. For those with an account already created, go to Log in to My Account page.

Once you’re logged into your account, you can choose your panel interests on the panel sign up and attendance interest form!

For your convenience, we also provide a full list of proposed panel items. You may wish to open this link in a separate tab or window for ease of reference.

Questions/Concerns/Feedback can be sent to program@wiscon.info.

Thank you for your continued attendance, feedback, and support of WisCon as we finalize programming for this year.

ICYMI – I was on @Wizards_dnd to talk about diversity, D&D and more!

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TANYA DEPASS ON CREATING D&D CHARACTERS

Tanya DePass (@cypheroftyr) has played D&D for years and she brings her experience in talking about diversity in gaming to creating D&D characters and her shared love of Dragon Age 2 with Greg Tito. Lore You Should Know – Matt Sernett (@Sernett) and Chris Perkins (@ChrisPerkinsDND) discuss the iconic Tomb of Horrors adventure in Tales from the Yawning Portal. Plus, guest host Bart Carroll joins the podcast to talk about Dragon+.

Here’s a guide to when each segment on the podcast begins:

00:00 – Intro with Greg Tito and Bart Carroll

05:35 – Lore You Should Know – Today’s Topic: Tomb of Horrors

20:37 – Interview with Tanya DePass

01:13:08 – Outro with Greg and Bart

Take a listen!

My @PAX East Schedule

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It’s that time of year again, for shenanigans in Boston! Here’s my panel schedule and for the first time, I Need Diverse Games will be in the Diversity Lounge!

Why It’s Awesome Being an LGBTQ Ally

Friday March 10th,  8pm Arachnid Theatre

2017 with a new goal: bringing folks together and speaking on the importance of being an LGBTQ ally. With a straight ally moderating and a panel touching on all bases of the LGBTQ spectrum, this panel hopes to educate, motivate and answer all questions the community may have.

PANELISTS:

Tatjana Vejnovic [Contributing Editor, The Koalition], Johnathan Gibbs [Founder, Edugaytion], Sarah LeBoeuf [Writer, Freelancer], Sabriel Mastin [Social Media Manager, Overbuff], Amanda Farough [Writer & Editor, Freelancer], Tanya C. DePass [Freelance Game Critic & Diversity Consultant, I Need Diverse Games]

Inner Demons: Anxiety and Depression in Gamers

Sunday, March 12th, 11:00 am Arachnid Theatre

Anxiety and depression are inner demons you can’t always vanquish, but you can learn to keep them at bay. You are not alone in this fight! Join tabletop game designer Brian Liberge as he and industry guests share their mental health stories and strategies to beat them back.

PANELISTS:

Brian A. Liberge [Tabletop Game Designer, Beer Star Games], Ashley Barry [Writer/Podcaster, Hyrule Hyrulia], Kaitlyn Chantry [Writer, Freelance], Tanya DePass [Director, I Need Diverse Games]

How to Broadcast Safely as a POC/LGBTQIA/Female ID’d Streamer

Sunday, March 12th 12:30 pm Arachid Theatre

Streaming on Twitch can be fun, but it can also be perilous for some of us. This panel will bring you some tips and tricks such as using bots, human mods and other methods to make your experience as stress free as possible.

PANELISTS:

Brandon Stennis [Community Manager, XSplit], Nikki-Colette Manzie [Community Outreach Coordinator, Gamers Outreach], Adam Koebel [GM In Residence, Roll20.net], Tanya DePass [Director, I Need Diverse Games]

Win Tickets to @C2E2 April 21-23, 2017!

This is closing soon! Get your name in for a chance at a 3-Day @c2e2 ticket! Giveaway closes Feb 20th.

I Need Diverse Games

Attention I Need Diverse Games community!

C2E2_Logo_Square.jpg

We’ve got two 3-Day Tickets to give away to the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo thanks to a generous donation from ReedPOP & C2E2!

To be eligible:

  •  You must be able to attend for the weekend April 21-23, 2017

  • You must be at least 18 years old as of the event

  • Open to US residents only

How to enter:

Fill out the form and we’ll draw two winners at random on February 20th. Winners will be contacted by ReedPOP to have their tickets mailed to them prior to the event.

View original post

Not today Satan for @ChuckWendig’s flash fiction challenge

Not Today, Satan

Hell was a busy place ever since November 9th 2016. Lots of damnation, sudden death, other rather grim requests from North America, a few from around the globe, but mostly from people who wished any and all manner of early demise upon the PEOTUS. Many of these requests came from people who couldn’t believe what they’d woken up to.

Satan was rarely idle after things went to Hell, almost literally after the unlikely win by a bully even he would have no truck with. He’d taken a moment to read some of the missives again, wondering what was possible, what wasn’t. A rather fun one caught his eye as his assistant scurried in to leave lunch for him and get back to checking in damned souls.

“Please, let him get hit by a car, or for his jet to fall out of the sky. Maybe some of that fake gold plating in his penthouse will poison him!” was one enthusiastic please from somewhere around Chicago.

“Hmm, that has promise but his sycophants will blame it on liberals and maybe kick off another war that I simply don’t have time for.” Another plea for help, anything caught his eye, this one from a teen somewhere in rural America.

“Ok, I know I shouldn’t be asking you for favors but I can’t live here anymore. This isn’t ok, I can’t take the gloating. Please make this not be real, please make the news that he won a really, really bad nightmare? Please? My parents love Pence and I don’t want to be sent away! Please, take my soul, anything but make this not true!” Satan frowned at the letter, the desperation of a young human, one who was willing to bargain with him for a re-do. He sat it aside in the read later pile, which was thankfully short.

Most missives were easily burned after a quick perusal, most too fantastical even for his powers, or worse things even HE, Prince of Lies would not resort to for anything. Even Satan had a limit, which some people needed to realize. Though he pondered how soon the incoming figurehead would usurp that title from him. Soon he’d be the Bann or Lies or maybe just open a boutique of lies, really good ones that weren’t as transparent as the ones peddled by the incoming POTUS.

Another inquiry caught his attention, and soon he had filled another bin of requests to be scorched, most half-assed pleas made in a moment of duress that he knew the requester didn’t mean, ones that would be reneged on if he’d bothered to answer. That wasn’t his business either, to get fools out from under the weight of their hubris. Despite what many thought he didn’t make deals often, or without a great price paid to him. So many thought he’d take any deal offered even if he got the short end of the stick.

Souls were easy currency, they were nothing in the economy of Hell and thus useless to offer up to him. Service, being an agent of His will in the world, now that had a chance of getting his attention. Sadly, many thought the evil that mankind did was all in His name, easily swayed by the power they thought he would toss around so easily.

The truth was some people were just damned evil, and not his brand of evil. Not his preferred type of it he would say. That included someone who petitioned him almost weekly for more power, more ability to corrupt his fellows. Except Fannon didn’t need his help, he’d done a bang up job all on his own with his fake news agency, the lies he’d spun to gormless fools that ate up his every word as truth that would get them the women, the power, everything they thought was their due.

Fannon’s requests got more and more outlandish until one landed on his desk that made even HIM feel unclean after reading the scrawls, stained with whiskey and something else that the fool thought would help his plea be heard. It wasn’t an actual letter, hand addressed to Satan, it was a transcription from one of the imps charged with putting requests made to HIM into a tangible thing to read, file, destroy or on his whims, acted upon. They capture the desperation of thought perfectly in tattered paper, dark reds, blues and blacks, stains mimicking the darkness of the soul that brought forth such a request for his consideration.

It was the burnt edges, the dark rings that stank of cheap whiskey and the shaky scrawl begging such horror if only he would help Fannon secure his power in the White House, power he knew was not truly his that the demon lord incinerated it with a thought and left for his rooms, eager for a bath, good drink and a romp with a succubus to cleanse that from his mind.

He hung a sign on the door before locking it, simply stating “Not today, Satan. Not today”

I’m part of the Fireside chats happening at the Blacks in Gaming event during @Official_GDC

If you’ll be at GDC, I’m speaking at the Blacks in Gaming event, sponsored by Xbox! details and RSVP link in this post. Excited to have Kahlief Adams host this event and chat with him again!

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Xbox is once again proud to partner with the Blacks in Gaming (BiG) organization to host the 12th annual BiG Green Room during the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco . Join us to connect & network with other game creators, developers, writers, artists, and more. Enjoy private listening sessions with industry veterans as they share insights from their work on popular games and gaming technology. We look forward to seeing you there!

Register on Eventbrite today!

FIRESIDE CHATS

Hosted by:
Kahlief Adams
Host, Spawn on Me Podcast
Kahlief was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. As an avid technophile and lover of all things videogames, he set his career path in the direction of a life making games until he found out his arch nemesis, “Math,” had other plans in store. So instead of making the next Tetris, he found himself writing and talking about games on his website The Spawn Point Blog and The Spawn On Me podcast.

Kahlief and the Spawn On Me podcast have been featured on Fast Company, Black Enterprise, Kotaku, IGN & Gamespot for their discussions around race, politics, and people of color in the videogame industry.

Featuring:

Tanya DePass
Founder & Director, I Need Diverse Games
Tanya DePass is the founder and Director of I Need Diverse Games, a not-for-profit foundation based in Chicago, that is dedicated to better diversification of all aspects of gaming. I Need Diverse Games serves the community by supporting marginalized developers attend the Game Developer Conference by participating in the GDC Scholarship program, helps assist attendance at other industry events, and is seeking partnership with organizations and initiatives.

Tanya is a lifelong Chicagoan who loves everything about gaming, #INeedDiverseGames spawn point, and wants to make it better and more inclusive for everyone. She’s the founder and Editor In Chief of Fresh Out of Tokens podcast where games culture is discussed and viewed through a lense of feminism, intersectionality and diversity. She’s also the Diversity Liaison for GaymerX and often speaks on issues of diversity, feminism, race, intersectionality & other topics at multiple conventions throughout the year. Her writing about games and games critique appears in Uncanny Magazine, Polygon, Wiscon Chronicles, Vice Gaming, Paste Games and other publications.

Gordon Bellamy
Visiting Scholar, University of Southern California
Advisor, The Wave VR
Previously, Gordon served as Chair of the Board of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) as well as the Executive Director of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS), the game industry’s trade organization. Gordon has also worked at Tencent, THQ, Activision subsidiary Z-AXIS, and Electronic Arts, where he was named the company’s Rookie of the Year for his work on the best-selling Madden Football franchise. He was recently honored by Nickelodeon for his lifetime of contributions to the video game craft.

Gordon develops strategic business partnerships with video game publishers, social media developers, and technology partners. He earned a BA degree from Harvard College in engineering, where he was also a John Harvard scholar and an AT&T/Bell Labs Engineering scholar.

Trammell Ray Isaac
Art Director, BossKey Productions
Trammell is currently an Art Director at BossKey Productions in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is gearing up for the release of “Lawbreakers”. Also known as T-Ray, he started his career as an animator on Blood and Magic and as the lead artist on Fallout and Fallout 2. Among other things, he is responsible for designing the Vault Boy in Fallout. He has worked at Sony Online Entertainment as art director on the original Planetside series and on PlanetSide 2 at Daybreak Games. In 2005 he joined Obsidian Entertainment, where he worked on Neverwinter Nights 2 as lead artist. After leaving Obsidian, he joined 3DRealms to work on Duke Nukem Forever in 2006.

Craig Campbell
Director of Talent Acquisition, Microsoft
Craig is the current Director of Talent Acquisition for the Microsoft Windows Devices Group, which includes product groups such as Xbox, Surface and Hololens, to name a few. In his current role, he leads the strategic direction and execution to connect the dots between business priorities and talent priorities that put his business partners in scoring position.

With more than 15 years of experience with companies including Amazon, Dolby Laboratories, Starbucks and MGMMIRAGE, Craigs diverse range of experience has allowed him to develop a strong recruiting acumen, grounded in data driven insight and inclusive hiring sensibilities.

Favorite Game: Currently working on the development of party game called “That’s My Jam!”

My @anomalycon schedule!

One of my other guest gigs this year is at the final Anomalycon held in Denver, CO March 17-19, 2017. If you’re able to join for this great con, it would be awesome. Really affordable steam punk y’all. Come through. Registration is still open. 

Long schedule is long, so it goes under the cut.

Continue reading “My @anomalycon schedule!”

My @qgcon schedule!

I’m excited to give a talk at this year’s Queer Games Conference in LA!

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Gaming as POC: Where the Industry Has Failed Us, Where It Hasn’t and What to Hope For

Abstract:

The games industry has not done POC players, or characters well since the first square smacked a paddle in Pong. As the industry has grown, non white characters have been left behind, or left out entirely. From being absent in genres outside of sports and first person shooters; the gaming landscape has been very pale outside of 2016, where we finally get three black leading men.

However, the reception to the three whole black leads we’ve gotten in games has shown that while the industry has slowly begun to join the rest of us in realizing they are not just leaving money on the table, they are ignoring a large part of their player base that is clamoring for representation from smaller indie studios all the way to AAA blockbusters.

I’ll examine who’s playing games, and dissect responses to the very slow creep towards more diversity by looking at Hangar 13’s Mafia III, UbiSoft’s Watchdogs 2 and EA’s Battlefield 1; how they represent POC and attempt to find out why we’re just getting black men as leads in some franchises, but not women of color, LGBTQIA or other marginalized identities in the lead role.

11:15 AM 1 April, 2017

Micro-talk: Out of Sheer Spite

Abstract:

The title “Out of Sheer Spite” is meant to evoke a line from Maria Bamford’s stand-up routine: “If you stay alive for no other reason at all please do it for spite.” It’s intended to capture not only the feelings of hopelessness that often accompany being a queer person in games (or anywhere) but also the frustration and anger that many of us transmute into motivation to keep going.

In this session of micro-talks, speakers are invited to interpret the theme in any way they like. Coping strategies, abstract musings on the long arc of human history, personal narratives, etc. Speakers include: Kris Ligman, Aevee Bee, Innes McKendrick, Zoe Quinn, Dietrich “Squinky” Squinkifer, and Carli Velocci

5:30 PM 1 April, 2017

Fire and Flow at #ORDCamp 2017

One thing I was really looking forward to at my first #ORDCamp was learning to firespin, taught by Michi Trota!  She gave us basics and let those who felt comfortable doing so try it out. Photos by Anne Petersen, Under Creative Commons License (some rights reserved) pictured;me solo and me with Mikki Kendall.

Quick video taken on my phone by Caitlin Rosberg:

Announcing our 2017 @Official_GDC Scholarship recipients!

Congrats to all our @INeedDivGms Scholarship awardees!

I Need Diverse Games

We had a lot of applications this year and it was a lot of hard decisions but please congratulate our 2017 Scholarship Awardees. Thank you to Meggan Scavio and GDC for continuing the Scholarship program which gives 25 All Access Passes to the Game Developers Conference to organizations so they can assist with getting more people to GDC for a week of professional development.

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  • Nuha Alkadi
  • Rachel Bazelais
  • Richard Bottoms
  • Wren Brier
  • Diana Chaudron
  • Kate Dollarhyde
  • Charlotte Ellett
  • Colin Grant
  • Ariana Green
  • Jennifer Johnson
  • Crysta Frost
  • Masha Lepire
  • Joseph Lu
  • Trushitha Narla
  • Linda Nguyen
  • Lorien Smyer
  • Rejon Taylor-Foster
  • Jessica Tompkins
  • J. Tuason
  • Andrada Tudor
  • Jenny Xu
  • JC Lau
  • Taylor Ambrosio Wood
  • Dante Douglas
  • Rachel Hwang

Thank you to our review committee:

  • Tanya DePass
  • Bianca J. Anderson
  • Rami Ismail
  • Jane Ng
  • Glenn White

View original post

ICYMI – I hung out with the @_MediaMavens podcast to talk up Dragon Age!

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Listen to “Alistair and Cullen Fanfic” – Ep #21 on the Media Mavens site // Download the MP3

 

Today’s Topics:

We invited Tanya DePass of I Need Diverse Games and the Fresh Out of Tokens Podcast to chat with us about Dragon Age and answer a whole lot of listener questions.

Guest and Topic Intro (00:01:19)

A brief intro to our guest, Tanya DePass along with the non-profit she created, I Need Diverse Games . If you’re interested in supporting I Need Diverse Games or Tanya you can do so on Patreon.

What we’ve been up to (00:07:28)

Tanya (@cypheroftyr)

  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Skyrim Special Edition
  • Watch Dogs 2
  • Hip Hop Evolution
  • NK Jemisin’s The Fifth Season

Riley (@kaleri_)

  • Overwatch
  • Heroes of the Storm
  • Descendents of the Sun
  • Rogue One
  • Princess Mononoke
  • The Weeknd Starboy album
  • It’s Our Turn Podcast

Pam (@jasyla_)

  • Dead Rising 4
  • Epistory: Typing Chronicles
  • Black Closet
  • The Ghost Girl in the Corner

Dragon Age (00:28: 05)

  • What is Dragon Age?
  • How did we get into Dragon Age?
  • How the series progresses
  • Templars vs Mages
  • Thoughts in representation of PoC in DA? The character creator is certainly getting better but the only NPCs of color seem to be human (unless I’m misremembering). Why not dwarves and elves? @The_Doc_Webb
  • Tanya’s article on representation in Dragon Age
  • Which secondary character have you been the most sad not to be able to smooch? @mk_patter
  • Varic writes books. Mordin sings in plays. What hobbies or side jobs do you envision your other DA and ME buds having? @OrkChop
  • Best party composition for entertaining banter? Love the party members snarking at each other while we’re roaming around! @thornmallow
  • DA is a series with really high stakes and where humanity (unlike in Mass Effect) is not that special. Do you appreciate that about it? @MtoAllPro
  • Is there a moment in any DA that always makes you cringe (for any reason) playing through it? @TimpoAdante
  • DA:O’s Deep Roads, “A good way to spend an afternoon” or “Is there an end to this”? What did you think? @estelliaslair
  • In your mind are the Wardens good guys, bad guys, neither, and why? I see them more as a necessary evil than anything else. Thus why my warden was super evil and a jerk. @MtoAllPro
  • Are you disappointed that we never get to experience the Warden’s adventures in DA:I (as seen in Leliana quests)? @estelliaslair
  • Is the Inquisition set to be good for later games or will it be corrupted like the Wardens, Templar, Circles and every other organization. @MtoAllPro
  • Which DA do you feel has the best story? Does it also have the best characters? @TimpoAdante
  • Most bittersweet romance? My vote is for a devout Inquisitor romancing Cassandra as she becomes Divine. @The_Doc_Webb

If you’ve got any feedback, questions, people or topics you’d like to hear on future episodes of the show, you can reach out at MediaMavensCast@gmail.com or on Twitter @_MediaMavens. If you like the show, please give us a review on iTunes or Stitcher.

Music: Vivacity by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 Licensehttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

.@OrcaCon is in a few days!

Ahhh it’s finally almost here! OrcaCon is this weekend in Everett, WA! It’s my first time being a Guest of Honor and I’m super excited. 

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Here’s my schedule:

Friday, January 13th, 2017

AVOIDING RACE FAIL AT YOUR TABLE – 8:00 PM

A brief primer aimed at players in case they want to RP a character outside their experience. (I’m moderating)

Saturday January 14th, 2017

IT’S OK TO NOT UNDERSTAND: IGNORANCE CAN BE CURED 12:00 PM

A lot of designers, GMs, and players feel uncomfortable with issues about sexuality, inclusivity, and anything else that goes past their world view or experience level. Let’s talk about how to help people learn, and more importantly, feel comfortable about what they don’t know or understand.

BEYOND THE 101: A DISCUSSION OF DIVERSITY IN GAMING – 7:00 PM

We know diversity is an issue in gaming, so let’s move beyond the 101 and talk about some practical ways we as a community can move from theory into action. (I’m moderating)

GENUINE REPRESENTATION: RESPECTING CULTURAL IDENTITY – 9:00 PM

The topic of Cultural Appropriation and Minority Representation is a daunting subject to broach. But it is a worthy discussion to have. With people’s identities at stake, emotions can run high and it is easy to get disheartened. This panel discusses what it means to be a writer in these times of heightened cultural awareness.

Creators walk a thin line, they have to balance their vision to the potential offense of others. But we don’t have to sacrifice artistic freedom in the process. How do we represent culture genuinely? And how that is distinct from an “accurate” representation? We will discuss the answers to these questions, as well as talk about what approach Warding Circle took when developing Mysteries of the Yōkai as a group of non-Japanese creators.

Sunday January 15th, 2017 

TWITCH 101 AND STREAMING SAFELY – 1:00 PM

Streaming on Twitch can be fun, but it can also be perilous for some of us. This panel will bring you some tips and tricks such as using bots, human mods and other methods to make your experience as stress free as possible.

 

Streaming slump

Not what you think, I’m not quitting! But I have been really unhappy with my streams of late. I’ve either had a lot of fail with what I’m playing, unable to get past missions or having a lot of technical problems that led to me stopping the stream prematurely.

I don’t know what it is lately, but I’ve been really bad at games when I’m on cast. The exception being getting past a Watch Dogs 2 mission I’d been stuck on for a while that I finally get through on Saturday’s stream.

Otherwise, I’ve been really bad at things. Got wrecked by a Mantis Shrimp in the Noodle quest in FFXV. It was a few levels higher but that was ridiculous. Couldn’t get past some other stuff in the game so it was really frustrating. Last time I touched Mafia III on stream I got killed repeatedly in the same mission.  Same with today’s cast of the Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone DLC. Came close to defeating a boss, if by close you meant getting about 30% of it’s health whittled away.

It’s really annoying and I’m sure not fun for the folks watching to see me fail over and over again. If it is fun for them? I really don’t want that in my stream, that’s not my jam and I’m not out here to entertain people by failing.

So I dunno what to do about streaming lately. More and more it’s becoming a thing that could go really well, or really badly and I hate being someone who winds up quitting out on games or rage quitting a mission after failing several times. So IDK if I need a break, maybe using my upcoming travel as a reason to take a few days off, but I actually like streaming and miss it when I’m not on because of the community.

What do stream fam, what do?

Diversity and Being – Part 1: Aspiring

Thanks for the post!

Eric the Unabridged

This will be a two-part exploration on writing diverse characters. This first part focuses more on the need for such characters and how we should approach them as audience members. The second part will dig into how I address this as a writer and game designer, including how this approach helps me to write “for” rather than “about.”

Tanya DePass of I Need Diverse Games reminded us just yesterday of the tired and stupid argument against diversity that there is somehow a zero-sum game of aspirational hero characters in movies, games, comics, etc. That somehow making more A-list properties with characters that are women, or black, or gay, or (heaven forbid) all of the above will take heroes away from straight white males.

Tanya’s post dismantles this complaint pretty handily, so I don’t need to add anything to that. But there’s another side of this that I want to…

View original post 676 more words

My @OrcaCon schedule!

Here’s the panels I will be for OrcaCon next January 13-15, 2017. It’s my first Guest of Honor gig and I’m excited and nervous for it.

Friday, January 13th, 2017

Avoiding Race Fail at your Table – 8:00 pm

A brief primer aimed at players in case they want to RP a character outside their experience. (I’m moderating)

Saturday January 14th, 2017

It’s OK to Not Understand: Ignorance Can Be Cured  12:00 pm

A lot of designers, GMs, and players feel uncomfortable with issues about sexuality, inclusivity, and anything else that goes past their world view or experience level. Let’s talk about how to help people learn, and more importantly, feel comfortable about what they don’t know or understand.

Beyond the 101: A Discussion of Diversity in Gaming – 7:00 pm

We know diversity is an issue in gaming, so let’s move beyond the 101 and talk about some practical ways we as a community can move from theory into action. (I’m moderating)

Genuine Representation: Respecting Cultural Identity – 9:00 pm

The topic of Cultural Appropriation and Minority Representation is a daunting subject to broach. But it is a worthy discussion to have. With people’s identities at stake, emotions can run high and it is easy to get disheartened. This panel discusses what it means to be a writer in these times of heightened cultural awareness.

Creators walk a thin line, they have to balance their vision to the potential offense of others. But we don’t have to sacrifice artistic freedom in the process. How do we represent culture genuinely? And how that is distinct from an “accurate” representation? We will discuss the answers to these questions, as well as talk about what approach Warding Circle took when developing Mysteries of the Yōkai as a group of non-Japanese creators.

Sunday January 15th, 2017 

Twitch 101 and Streaming Safely – 1:00 pm

Streaming on Twitch can be fun, but it can also be perilous for some of us. This panel will bring you some tips and tricks such as using bots, human mods and other methods to make your experience as stress free as possible.

 

A review of my year in writing

On occasion folks pay me to write for them! Here’s some of my faves from 2016 in no particular order:

Ride or Die: Mafia III Review – Ontological Geek 

Ghost Busters is still Haunted by Negative Racial Tropes – Polygon

Where do we find Community as Gamers? – Uncanny Magazine

Racism in Watch Dogs 2 is Subtle, and that’s how it won me over – Polygon

The Developer of Moon Hunters Explains how Diversity Shaped the Game – Vice

On occasion I write stuff for fun, or because I’ve got many thoughts on the topic:

Review – Women in Game Development: Breaking the Glass Level Cap – I Need Diverse Games

Thoughts on Diversity, Conventions and Costs – Medium

Twitch Etiquette – Some things I’ve Learned – Medium

You can keep up with my writings on Medium, my site or more than likely over on Twitter, where a lot of my thoughts start off and get reshuffled into a more cohesive thing on Medium.

If you like the stuff I write outside of freelance games pieces, you can support my work on Patreon for as little as $1 a month.

 

https://patreon.com/cypheroftyr
patreon.com/cypheroftyr

Some holiday gratitude…

It’s Xmas eve still pretty early so I wanna give a little love & thanks to y’all. This is the extent of my holiday spirit by the way.

To my stream fam, everyone who comes by regularly, lurks or just drops in occasionally thank you. Big thanks to my mod squad!

Thanks to all you lovely twitter followers. Hate followers can get in the sea tho’

Thank you to my supporters! Without you I wouldn’t have a roof over my head this past year. Genki says thanks too!

genki-122016

Thank you to everyone who got me a Ko-Fi, graced me with Paypal donations or gifted me with games & Amazon goodies.

Thanks to everyone who took an article pitch from me this year. Thanks to those who didn’t, keeps me on my toes & humble.

Thank you to board member fam. Y’all are the best & I’m lucky to know & work with y’all. Some of the coolest folks I know.

Thanks to everyone who believed in me, the work of as I struggled the past year to make it viable & keep going.

Thanks to everyone who listened to this past year. Thank you to all our amazing guests we had in 2016!

Thank you to everyone who had me on their podcast or interviewed me about my work. It makes me a bit giddy when y’all wanna talk to me 😍

Thanks to all the folks who brought me out to speak on diversity & gaming at your orgs & schools.

Thanks to for inviting me to be a Guest of Honor at next month! So excited for the convention.

Thanks to for inviting me to be a Boss of Honor at in April! First time going to Australia!

Thanks to everyone who supported in any way. It means we’re still here & doing the work. Thank you so much!

Also big thanks to all who formed the Board of Directors for I Need Diverse Games once we became a non-profit.

Thank you to everyone who I met at conventions this year. Thank you for the kind words & hugs & your thanks. Means a lot to me.

Thanks to my family. Thanks for bringing me on to the staff & seeing things get better each year.

Thanks to everyone who agreed to be on a panel with me this past year. It’s been wild AF getting to panel with such cool people.

My talk at @UbisoftMTL !!

Ubisoft Montreal Diversity Tuesdays

I had a chance to speak at Ubisoft’s Montreal studio last month. They were kind enough to get me a copy of the video so here you go! Here’s the deck I used, in PDF format. Note the YouTube link is unlisted.

It makes me really happy that they gave me a chance to come and speak on short notice. Big shout out to UbiGabe for making it happen and being a great host during the day spent there.

I hope this leads to more opportunities to visit with studios and talk about why diversity and inclusion is not just important, or needed but vital in the industry.

On the expectation of free labor to diversify your spaces

[Copy/Pasted from an early AM twitter vent this morning 12/21/16]

I’m in a mood, and I’m irritated. I want to talk about value of work, specifically diversity work & people’s expectation of free labor. So I’m lucky, and in a good position where sometimes people come out the gate with what are your rates & fees? This does not always happen though, don’t get excited. Like I said I’m in a good position.

However…there’s the pervasive idea that we should provide our expertise, our skills and knowledge for little or no pay. How about no? A lot of places want to be seen as progressive, diverse and doing the right thing but they don’t want to invest time & resources. Or they think it’s as simple as invite a few brown folks and a queer person, give them top billing one year & we’ve done it! Uh no.

web-analytics-my-1-if-you-built-it-they-will-come

See, we can see right through that bullshit. Especially when your convention committee doesn’t change, your policies don’t change. You can’t put the current hyper visible POC in your field up as your diversity! And expect us to flock to your event. Again, we see you.

Here’s my main gripe though. Reaching out to people to get help but not offering compensation at the same time.

It’s always “Let’s have a coffee, let me buy you lunch and pick your brain…”

This isn’t about greed either. This is about valuing someone enough to “pick their brain” but not enough to pay them.This is doubly true when you expect someone to help with event they may attend but won’t offer some kind of comps or payment.  Helping the community is great, but it doesn’t negate the value of that persons time.

Even asking someone to take the time to chat with you, have an email exchange or Skype call should be considered work.I think it comes down to people not seeing it as “real” work. Also, acting as if someone asking for compensation is wrong? Or insinuating they don’t actually care because they wanna eat?

Nah, we all got bills and if you want my time & expertise? FU Pay Me. Nobody expects teachers to work for free, or other laborers so why us? Because a lot of the work is emotional labor. To unfuck the ways that events and orgs have failed on representation is a lot hard work y’all. So stop asking for free labor under the guise of doing better. Improvement takes effort, time and money. Investment not hollow promises.

When you ask someone on how to do better, ask what their preferred compensation method is. Fucking pay people for their time.

fuckyoupaymeartprintfromgeekcalligraphycom

 Fuck You Pay Me available from Geek Calligraphy, purchase one for your workspace!

Last thing, think real hard on how you react to black Womens, lgbtqia & other folks asking to be paid vs whites.Look at all the extra shit people want from us to prove we’re worth the time, effort & money to support. Look at how angry people get when we dare to say our time & knowledge is valuable. Y’all have seen it, people bring accused of running scams, that we should help for $0.

However, white folks come up with the weirdest shit for a kickstarter or crowd funding that overfunds but we can’t make the minimum.So if I’m bitter? It’s with damn good reason. Tired of being told the work is valuable, needed but when we ask for help? Support is nil. TL;DR, stop asking people for free work. Value our skills enough to offer payment when asking for said work. Exposure kills, it’s not money, not valid currency anywhere.

It’s not the first time I’ve talked about this. It probably won’t be the last either. As long as people continue to undervalue, or assume no value for the hard work that is required to achieve better representation, more diversity and make it stick; we’ll keep having this damn go round and around until people get it.

Other writings I’ve done on this topic & related issues: 

You Wanna Diversify huh? That’s Nice, Pay Us

On paying black women for the work we do and the ways people accuse us of cashing in

Thoughts on diversity, conventions & cost

Emotional Labor, OT edition for POC, LGBTIQIA & others — Fandom edition

My #PodcastSetup, Updated!

So ages ago I posted my Podcast set up,and recently someone asked me for a link. Which made me realize I haven’t updated this since I upgraded equipment! So here’s what I use now.

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MicBlue Yeti Pro, with Blue Radius Shock Mount II, on Rode Pro-Swivel Boom Arm (can be mounted with C-Clamp or through desk, kit comes with both type of mounts) Pictured but not used for podcasting are my Logitech G933 Surround Sound Headset. I use those for streaming on PC/PS4/XB1

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Sennheiser CX-300 ii in-ear noise canceling earbuds (ordered via Dell but also available at most electronics retailers)

We ask each person to record their own audio track in Audacity, in Mono at the default value of 44100 Hz, and we usually meet over Skype. David mixes all the audio for those sessions.

On occasion, we’ve used Ringr, which records the audio for both sides of the call; and mixes it into an MP3 for downloading. There is a free 30 day trial, Basic for $7.99 a month and Premimu for $18.99 a month. The only downside to Ringr is that for now, it can only support a two person call. We’ve also got an affiliate link so you can get Ringr for 25% off.

RINGR

If you need a service that supports multiple people per call, Zencastr could be an option. Our podcast fam Spawn On Me has been using it. 

As for hosting, we use simplecast.fm, which has been pretty good. Only $12 a month for hosting. You can post date episodes so it’s great if you might be traveling or away from a computer when you normally post episodes.

Marking a year of…changes.

Today is the 1 year anniversary of getting canned from my day job. At 1 pm this day last year, I was in tears, unsure about everything. I’d not been back one day from GX3, before I got that call to come into a conference room. Where I was given a bullshit reason & let go.  When I say BS, I mean ex-boss tried to reach back 3 years to justify her actions. If I’d been that bad an employee for that long…wouldn’t I have been gone long before that? Even if she thought she had given me so many chances, or whatever lie she told herself to justify what she did.

No one would let someone in my position screw up that long term & still have a job. Also who cans someone 10 days before xmas? But yeah, I was in tears in a cab that I shouldn’t have gotten but I wasn’t thinking clearly. Was too angry & frankly? Hurt.  It also didn’t help that I’d just got back from a trip, didn’t have a lot of extra money & due to timing? My last check was for 6 days. I had to go through a bunch of hoops with unemployment too. It took a month but finally got that going.

No lie, though I was gonna be homeless once unemployment ran out or before. Those two weeks right after we’re pretty bad.Worse than I let on in public that’s for sure. But y’all came through. People who believed in my work helped me out. Always grateful. I looked for work for a while before I realized I could try to do full time. It had become a second job anyway.

So I did the thing, and it’s worked. Somehow, it’s worked. Patreon is covering rent & a couple bills. Been very lucky to have travel paid.It’s been hard and I’ve wanted to quit so many times over the past year. So many. But I’m still here. I’ll stay here too cause I’m ornery and it’s been too much work put in to give up. Long as I can I’ll fight.

Thank you, every single one of you who’ve held me up when I’ve fallen or stumbled. Who’ve been a voice of reason when I was lost. Thanks to those who pushed against me. Can’t grow without a bit of pain or misstepping. Not perfect & I’m doing the best I can. Thanks to anyone who’s invited me to panel with them or accepted an invite from me to join a panel with me. To anyone who’s taken a pitch and published me.

Thanks to all my Patrons, those who’ve sent some much needed funds my way in the clutch. Or bought me a ko-fi. Thanks for a year of support that I would haven’t thought possible before. For tears, laughter & friendships made & lost.

Thank you. Here’s to another year. Thanks y’all, I mean it from my heart 💜💜

Last call to contribute to our @Official_GDC travel fundraiser for our scholars!

Sharing this here too in case folks don’t follow INDG’s site.

I Need Diverse Games

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So this is the second year that I Need Diverse Games has been part of the GDC Scholarship program! We got 25 all access passes to the Game Developer Conference February 27 – March 3, 2017 in San Francisco, US.

While we’re ecstatic to be a part of this program, we are a small organization that cannot give monetary support to our All Access Pass recipients to travel to and from the conference.  Ideally we’d like to offer $500 – $1000 per recipient travel stipends to ease the cost burden going to San Francisco for a week long conference will entail.

All funds raised will go to our recipients based upon need stated on the scholarship application. We’re doing this fundraiser since we don’t yet have sponsorships for our organization and don’t want pass recipients to miss out if travel funding is a deal breaker.

So we humbly ask you…

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Signal Boosting Black Women & NB work!

So this post is to highlight the work of black women & non-binary folks since some people out there want to act as if we’re not doing anything out here.

Allie Bustion is a fledgling tabletop game designer and illustrator working to create inclusive games and supplementary materials (like character portraits). Current projects are a Prohibition era urban fantasy game, translating the Wicked + the Divine to tabletop, and a Twitch-integrated game inspired by Westworld. You can support and watch development at patreon.com/madpierrot, watch streams 3 times a week at twitch.tv/yumi_mads, or just look at some art at madpierrot.tumblr.com and alliebustion.com.

Mikki Kendall AKA Karnythia is on Patreon: Hi, I’m Mikki Kendall. I write. A lot. Most of what you’ll see me write is non fiction. My byline has appeared on a lot of sites. From Washington Post to Salon to the Guardian to Time to Ebony…my non fiction work gets around. It shows up in comics, books, on Twitter, and even on TV and radio. What you might not know is that I also write fiction. My work has appeared in FiresideRevelator, and I’ve even posted a couple of stories on Medium. I love writing fiction, but I have always struggled with the idea that it wasn’t really work.


Yvvy – Timecube: I am a Black femme making games about all kinds of things. You can find my work at Timecube on itch.io. I’ve been on VICEnews for my game Easy Level Life, which showed up in pastemagazine, themarysue, and killscreen, and I’ve also made a small Prince game to honor his passing.

@mmmusings: I have been writing Poldark fanfiction (all hosted on Ao3, which is down right now) for the past year and am now working on an original story called The Townhouse. I’ve a Patreon site — https://www.patreon.com/mmmusewrites — with details about the work.

Declan Sloane is a young, up-and-coming actor establishing a career in Dublin. Marjorie Maddox is a world-renowned jewelry designer in town for a conference. A chance encounter between the two at a local billiards club broadens horizons and changes lives forever.   A multi-chaptered erotic exploration into desire, sex, boundaries and love. Explicit.  
Junae Benne: Curls + Controllers I am Junae Benne – THE Natural Hair Gamer. I am video game journalist and natural hair enthusiasts. I want to produce bomb content and attend conventions to create representation for the Black Girl Gamer community. It’s so important for me to encourage women of colour to show their geek side.
Thumbstick Mafia: A safe space and community for black women in gaming. Thumbstick Mafia is a partial solution; yes, things have gotten better but we’ve got a long ways to go – in the mean time, what are we going to do about it? I envision TM as a support system and network for black and woc. women in gaming.
Black Girl Gamers: A online community where Black Girl Gamers can unite! No profile pics, no admittance!  [Closed FB Group]

If you have requested, and have not been admitted please check your message REQUESTS.
Keep it sisterly. Feel free to share anything gaming related, self promote. Any questions just ask!  Twitter: @Official_BGG Twitch BlackGirlGamers

On the value of black women’s work

So yesterday I couldn’t sleep and twitterpated all over about the Safetypin box and the reactions to it. Notably that some dude bro who didn’t know anything about the creators (Leslie Mac and Marissa Johnson)

I collated those over on Medium for anyone who wants to peep  that first. On paying black women for the work we do and the ways people accuse us of cashing in

Today, I had more twitterations on the idea that Safetypinbox HAD to be a 501 c 3 charity or people felt uncomfortable with where the money was going. IE These two black women can’t be trusted. Those thoughts and some more to follow because I am fed the entire fuck up with how people want the benefits without realizing the human cost behind it. What follows are my tweets c/p from 12/6/2016.

I keep seeing people throw out that *should* be a 501(c)(3) charity. Because that gives *them* comfort somehow. Let’s talk.

One, if this was charity work then fine. It’s a service however. Says so right on the website.

spb-not-a-charity

Go read it over, then come back.

Two, do any of these people talking about how easy it is to become a 501(c)(3) know anything about the process? At all? Guessing that’s a no. If you have to file the 1023 form, (30 pages long btw)have the $400 or $850 filing fee & get it done quickly? 180 day window for decision.If you qualify for 1023 EZ filing? Still $275 & 180 day decision window. So it’s not easy to start a charity. But that’s not the issue here.

The real issue is two black women have done the same thing white activists are lauded for & y’all mad.

They are putting a dollar value on the free emotional labor that people expect of black women all day, every day. I should just start posting the requests to pick my brain, get a cup of coffee to get a read on something I get re: games diversity. Y’all expect black women especially to do this heavy lifting for the good of the community, for free cause it’s better for all.

Fuck that

It’s unsurprising to see who has some shit to say in the face of black women going fuck you, pay me for my time & knowledge. Like people who go follow black women, expect to be educated & have their ignorance lifted but won’t drop a tip or support their Patreons. Out here treating us like Hazel, like we’re supposed to hold your fucking hand & let you sip from the Chalice of Wokeness for free!

Nah, we all gotta live. Stop devaluing our labor, our knowledge & expecting a handout to rise beyond your ignorance. Google is free y’all. So stop acting like we’re asking for too much when we say pay up for that time you asked us for. We value our work, our expertise. Since you asked for our help? You must value it too. So put your money where your mouth is or be quiet.

I salute you y’all for getting that money

That said, I had the usual rando’s and well, actually’s roll through my TL. Once I was properly up and about, I had a few thoughts on the people who follow me on various sites, say they learn from me etc. Yet, people don’t value work all the same. Even had someone who inferred I was saying pay me to tweet.

I got nothing to say about that except that added 2+2 and got yarn. If anyone following me thinks that’s where I was going, then leave now. Ain’t nobody said pay me to tweet. For those curious I said the following:

So I’m up and I been thinking. Remember when I asked people why they follow me? Realize what the majority of answers were? To recap: Because they learn something, because they get a POV unlike their own. I.E they get value from my tweets.

Or the articles I write and share here, or the collated, nicely bundled and edited twitterpations I put out on Medium. Still with me? I have over 6700 followers (for now, watch I drop some after this tweet). Some are bots that will drop off & don’t count. Let’s be generous and say 1500 are not real accounts that haven’t dropped off. That leaves over 5500 people reading what I have to say daily.

If half those folks dropped a donation or even supported my Patreon at $1 each? I’d be A-OK. But I guess there’s a line for some. Ok. Same for other black women on here & other platforms. People listen but they ghost out when we pass the hat or ask to be compensated. [this is where some people got stuck and probably thought I was saying pay me to tweet. Which I wasn’t but whatever]

I’m mad but I’m also tired, tired of the expectation of free labor from some. Not everyone does this but it happens too often.

Here’s the thing, no one is obligated to do a damn thing. Ain’t nobody gotta follow me, or donate or support me on Patreon. Point was it would be great if the same people who say they learn from what I say, who say they enjoy my work and consider the other things I do off twitter to be important would throw some coins my way.

It’s been almost a year since I lost my day job, just 9 days away from that anniversary so I’m probably noticing this more keenly than usual. But I’m real tired of black women’s work not being valued. For POC/LGBTQIA/Disabled/Neurodivergent folks to have the burden of free emotional labor dropped on them but when they ask for compensation? Then they’re greedy, not helpful, scamming… it goes on and on.

Just tired and full of thoughts that needed to get out. Consider what you are asking when you ask us for that coffee chat, a quick lunch or a few minutes of our time. The cost is usually higher than what you think.

 

 

Excited to visit University of Oregon this week!

It’s my last speaking gig where I have to travel in 2016! Excited to visit with Edmond Chang at his campus.

Keywords for Video Game Studies: Diversity

 

Speaker series

Date: November 30, 2016
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm

“Why Diversity and Intentional Inclusion Is Needed in Our Games” with Tanya DePass

A brief talk followed by Q&A with students, staff and faculty on why diversity and inclusion in video games and tabletop is not just important but vital to keeping the genre alive.  From Street Fighter to Mafia III, games are slowly getting better about who’s in the lead, who lives, who dies and who’s story is told; but it’s still moving at a snails pace.  This talk will go into why representation is important for the player base that is not reflected in advertising, or who we see as the “industry” versus who is actually making, playing and researching games.  The history of why #INeedDiverseGames, where it started, where it’s going and why it’s important to bring diversity of race, gender, sexuality and ability to the table along with the latest killing everyone simulator will be threaded throughout the talk.

Tanya DePass is the founder and Director of I Need Diverse Games, a not-for-profit foundation based in Chicago, that is dedicated to better diversification of all aspects of gaming.  She’s also the founder and Editor In Chief of  Fresh Out of Tokens podcast where games culture is discussed and viewed through a lense of feminism, intersectionality and diversity. She’s also the Diversity Liaison for GaymerX and often speaks on issues of diversity, feminism, race, intersectionality and other topics at multiple conventions throughout the year. Her writing about games and games critique appears in Uncanny Magazine, Polygon, Wiscon Chronicles, Vice Gaming, Paste Games and other publications.

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Series made possible by Women’s and Gender Studies, English, Environmental Studies, the Center for the Study of Women in Society, the New Media and Culture Certificate program, the LGBTQIA Scholars Academic Residence Community, LGBT Education Support Services, UO Housing, the UO Residence Hall Association. and UO Think.Play.
Contact Dr. Edmond Y. Chang for more information at echang@uoregon.edu.

Long stream to celebrate 800 + Twitch Followers on Saturday 11/26

So tomorrow is gonna be Ubisoft Saturday at chez Cypher on twitch! I’ve hit 830+ followers so I promised a long stream (12 hours total) to celebrate. Thanks to Escoblades at Ubisoft Montreal, I’ve got two Evie figures to give away.

evie-figure

Obviously, you’ll have to be OK with giving me your address, and if you’re international I might need a little help with postage.

I’ll also have a Deluxe Edition of Dragon Age Inquisition for PS4 to give away on stream as well. Again, you’ll have to be cool with me having an address to ship it to, since it’s a physical copy, never opened.

The first half of the stream will be Watch Dogs 2 for 5-6 hours, a short break to swap games.

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I’ll finish up with Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, both played on #PS4

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So join me at 10 am CST, twitch.tv/cypheroftyr for celebratory shenanigans

MY @GaymerX East schedule!

Here’s my @gaymerx East schedule if you’re here this weekend!

The random musings of a 1973 Original

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Not long until GaymerX East in NYC!  Here’s my panel schedule which is much lighter than it was at GX4!!

Saturday November 12th

1:oo pm: Gaming Journalism from an LGBTQ Perspective

TimesOUT the LGBTQIA affinity network for The New York Times would like to moderate a discussion about the LGBTQIA perspective in gaming journalism.

2:30 pm: How to Twitch Safely as  POC/LGBTQIA/Female ID’d streamer 

Streaming on Twitch can be fun, but it can also be perilous for some of us. This panel will bring you some tips and tricks such as using bots, human mods and other methods to make your experience as stress free as possible.

4:00 pm: Miss Representation

Women from diverse backgrounds discuss the terrible job that media does of representing us and others from marginalized backgrounds. We focus on discussing women, but we’ll discuss all genders, and sexualities.

Sunday November 13th

12:30 pm What Playing RPG’s…

View original post 111 more words

November Streaming updates!

Ok, so I’m doing a LOT of travel in November, so it’s gonna throw my streaming schedule off this month.  However I hit a milestone! So gotta figure out what to do to celebrate it.

800-followers-on-twitch

Games I am playing on stream right now:

  • Mafia III – PS4
  • CIV VI
  • Skyrim: Special Edition
  • Witcher 3 (replay to get a better build and level up for DLC)

As far as my November stream schedule here’s what I know I’ll be doing:

Thursday 11/3 & Saturday 11/5 – No streaming due to travel

Tuesday 11/8 – Streaming, post voting US Election time TBA. Either Mafia III Skyrim:SE on PC

Thursday 11/10-Wednesday 11/23 – No streaming at all as I’ll be in NYC and Montreal.

Thursday 11/24 – No stream due to Thanksgiving holiday

Saturday 11/26 – Long stream to celebrate 800 Twitch followers! I’ll put a twitter poll up closer to the date. Maybe even a 12 hour stream!

Tuesday 11/29 – Shorter stream due to travel the next day, Time and Game TBD

December is up in the air due to holidays and such.

Follow over at twitch.tv/cypheroftyr!

 

 

Asking for a little help to extend my trip after @GXAustralia next year

I’m a Boss of Honor at the second GX Australia taking place in Sydney, 29 & 30 April, 2017! It’s my second time begin a guest of honor at a convention and will be my first time in Australia!

me-gxaus-boh

Donate help me spend some extra time in Sydney

GX Australia is covering my flight and hotel. So I’ve reduced my goal by half.

I’m my own boss, but being in charge of a non-profit means little money to spare aside from operating expenses and my Patreon doesn’t have enough wiggle room to save any extra money for a holiday.

Ideally, I’d love to be able to spend a little extra time there, since who knows when or if I’ll ever be able to get back to Australia!

So I’m just looking to raise $1500 USD which will be for additional nights in the hotel, so I can get a mini-holiday in before returning state-side.

When do I need the funds? Not for a couple of months now.

Thank you for helping out with this once in a lifetime chance.

MY @GaymerX East schedule!

gxeast

Not long until GaymerX East in NYC!  Here’s my panel schedule which is much lighter than it was at GX4!!

Saturday November 12th

1:oo pm: Gaming Journalism from an LGBTQ Perspective

TimesOUT the LGBTQIA affinity network for The New York Times would like to moderate a discussion about the LGBTQIA perspective in gaming journalism.

2:30 pm: How to Twitch Safely as  POC/LGBTQIA/Female ID’d streamer 

Streaming on Twitch can be fun, but it can also be perilous for some of us. This panel will bring you some tips and tricks such as using bots, human mods and other methods to make your experience as stress free as possible.

4:00 pm: Miss Representation

Women from diverse backgrounds discuss the terrible job that media does of representing us and others from marginalized backgrounds. We focus on discussing women, but we’ll discuss all genders, and sexualities.

Sunday November 13th

12:30 pm What Playing RPG’s Can Teach you About Yourself

Playing an RPG is a great way to explore someone else’s mindset for a few hours a week, but the characters we make can teach us about ourselves too. A bard might show you love helping people out, or a sorceress might help you realize you’re a woman.

2:00 pm Your Story Doesn’t Need Cis Straight White Dudes

Tired of hearing about how some setting has no one like you because “the lore?” Let’s talk about stories where people like you (or like someone else) get to be the default, and straight white cis men are rare or not even present for a change of pace!

I’m doing Extra Life with Team Outpost!

The stream team I’m on, N7 Outpost has an Extra Life team! My goal is $150  and our overall team goal is $1000

extralifebanner

Since I’ll be traveling on November 3rd – 5th, all my streams between now and then will be Extra Life Streams. I’ve added a command to give a link for donations and when I stream from PC I’ll be using the Extra Life overlay.

So if you can spare it, drop a couple bucks for a good cause!  or please share our team link/my link.

 

Hey y’all @GXAustralia 2017 KS needs a bit of love, just 3 days left!

Hey, hey you awesome person reading this post! Psst, come here. Did you know about GX Australia? That it’s returning in 2017 to Sydney? Well it is and the KS could use some love. They’re over the 50% point, but need to reach $60K AUD to roll over!

Full details in this very long post, but the long and short is:

Please donate even if you can’t attend, even a few dollars will help them reach the goal. If you have the means, you can also help someone else attend with the pay it forward option!

GX Australia 2017!

There’s just 3 Days left for the GX Australia Kickstarter to reach it’s goal of $60,000 to make the convention happen in 2017!!

BACK THIS PROJECT!

About this project

Want to spend an incredible weekend hanging out with the friendliest bunch of geeks you’ll ever meet? Are you passionate about video games, or dreamed of making one yourself? Do you like to cosplay? Or are you an avid fan of card or board games?

Well listen up, because we’ve got some great news for you!

GX AUSTRALIA IS RETURNING IN 2017!

After our first hugely successful event in February, 2016, we’re super excited to be able to bring the convention to Sydney again for a second year. At the debut convention, nearly eight hundred attendees trekked out to the Australian Technology Park for two days of geekery and fun. For our second year, we’re making awesome changes and taking on board requests, considerations, and feedback from the first event.

So here it is, GX Australia 2017! Lock in the 29th and 30th of April, 2017, because we’re going on an adventure!

If you didn’t make it out to GX Australia 2016, you missed a fabulous weekend full of tournaments, tabletop gaming, awesome and insightful panels and talks, and even an escape room! But that’s okay, because you’re getting a second chance in April 2017.

Photo courtesy of Jack Huddo.
Photo courtesy of Jack Huddo.

 

Wait, what's a GX thingy?
Wait, what’s a GX thingy?

GX Australia is the country’s most inclusive convention for video gamers, board gamers, tabletop and card gamers, cosplayers, comic book nerds, sci-fi film buffs — everything geeky and nerdy! It’s a weekend long celebration of what brings us all together in the first place. It’s a weekend where Star Trek and Star Wars fans can set aside their differences and make friends, where you’re appreciated and loved no matter what mana colour your Magic: The Gathering deck is, and where you’re accepted for who you are even if you prefer the PS4 to the Xbox One. It’s an event for you — yes you! — if you share in our vision that geekery and video games are for everyone.

Our first event was such a blast, and we’re dedicated to making sure Year Two is even better.

Didn’t come last year? Here’s some highlights of what you missed out on:

http://www.abc.net.au/tv/goodgame/stories/s4425185.htm

https://digitalwindow.co/2016/03/03/gx/

http://playwrite.com.au/gx-australia-and-safe-places-in-gaming/

http://www.sbs.com.au/topics/sexuality/article/2016/03/01/inside-australias-first-queer-gaming-convention

http://www.nerdvana.tv/nerd-gamer/gx-australia/

Image courtesy of Joshua Meadows.
Image courtesy of Joshua Meadows.

 

New venue!
New venue!

GX Australia 2017 will be taking place at the Sydney Showground! This venue is hugely experienced when it comes to video game events, hosting everything from Supanova to the EB Games Expo. We’re thrilled to be adding our name to their impressive roster, and the new venue comes with a tons of improvements over our old location:

  • Accessibility! While the ATP itself was fully accessible, unfortunately Redfern Station was not and this presented a challenge for our attendees with mobility considerations. Fortunately, there are lifts at the Olympic Park station and we’re only a short distance from the train. Further, this time around all of our event spaces are on the ground floor so there’s no fiddling about with lifts once you’re at the venue itself.
  • Bigger, but a better use of space! The ATP was an awesome venue, but given how large the complex was unfortunately we got spread out quite a lot — this gave the convention a very chill and relaxed feel, but you probably are surprised to know how many attendees we had! At the Sydney Showground, our convention space is fully enclosed and self-contained, meaning that it won’t be confusing or difficult to move between panels, or around the expo hall! All facilities and meeting areas  are within a short distance of each other, logically laid out and easy to find.
  • Air conditioning! Need we say more?
  • Lower costs! Because we aren’t holding the event around Mardi Gras this time, and because we’ve been able to secure more competitive pricing for hiring the venue, we’re able to pass savings on to attendees and bring the overall cost of tickets down as a result. While we gave away many tickets last time and remain committed to making GX Australia as accessible as possible, ultimately every ticket purchased ensures that we can run the event at its best and we’re happy that we’re able to bring costs down to make that easier for guests.
  • Streaming AND Recording! This was something we wanted to do last time around and while we were able to stream the Main Panel Room, panels didn’t get recorded. Thanks to Twitch, This time around we’re going to make sure that you can participate by watching panels online as they happen, or later on when convenient to your schedule.
  • Even MOAR diversity! Our biggest objective for Year Two was to make GX more diverse and representative. This is reflected across not only our amazing lineup of kickass Bosses of Honours, but the speakers we’re working with to develop incredible panels. Plus, due to our lower costs, we are able to splurge a bit more on helping people of colour and indigenous speakers to make it out to Sydney for the event.
  • 15+, or all ages with a parent or guardian! Another big commitment towards accessibility and access was to ensure the event could be open to people as young as possible. Like last year, you’re welcome to attend the event if you’re fifteen or older and have proof of age available. If you’re younger, just come with a parent or friend over 18 who will watch out for you!
Photo courtesy of Jack Huddo.
Photo courtesy of Jack Huddo.

 

What will be at GX Australia 2017?
What will be at GX Australia 2017?
  • Incredible guests! You can see our initial guests below, but trust, we have some even more amazing guests yet to announce! One of our favourite things about GX Australia was how accessible guests were, and our feedback from guests was how wonderful you all were. More of that!
  • Amazing panels! Last year we were lucky enough to host some absolutely incredible panels, and we intend to do the same again this year. Check out our schedule from last year to see what kind of awesome content you can expect in 2017! http://www.gxaustralia.com/panel-schedule/
  • Bigger tabletop space! This was hugely requested, and we’ve already started thinking about how we can make our tabletop section bigger, better and more exciting! With scheduled games, a library of games to choose from and brilliant hangout times, we can’t wait!
  • More games and experiences! We’ll have a play section this year with wonderful Australian, queer and diverse games, and plan on having some awesome physical group games to participate in!
  • An awesome show floor! We’re taking all of the incredible feedback from 2016 into account and making the show floor for 2017 more intimate, varied and fun!
  • Exciting VIP events! Based on this year, our VIP events next year will be TOTALLY MATHEMATICAL. We can’t wait to see you there!
What's at the Sydney Showground?
What’s at the Sydney Showground?

This historic venue hosts everything from the Easter Show to big events like Supanova. We’re super excited to be using them for GX, and think you’ll agree that our new location is a huge step up from our first year. We’re booking out space for panels, a return of our “GX Campfire” chillout space, plus rooms for meet & greets, media, and more!

Photo courtesy of Jack Huddo.
Photo courtesy of Jack Huddo.

 

Bosses of Honour!

We’re super excited to make the initial announcements of our incredible Bosses of Honour. These are some of the amazing people we’ll be featuring at GX Australia, and stay tuned since we’ll have more names to announce as our Kickstarter campaign progresses.

Added in Update #8 (Oct 21 2016):

Casey Conway
Casey Conway

 

Adam Koebel
Adam Koebel

Added in Update #5 (Oct 17 2016):

Tanya DePass

 

Felix Kramer

 

Brett Leavy

 

 Kickstarter launch Bosses:

Katherine Cross
Katherine Cross

 

Stephanie "Hex" Bendixsen
Stephanie “Hex” Bendixsen

 

Kim Allom
Kim Allom

 

Jordan Raskopoulos
Jordan Raskopoulos

 

Eve Beauregard
Eve Beauregard

 

Tim Cain
Tim Cain

 

Lucy O'Brien
Lucy O’Brien

 

Rae Johnston
Rae Johnston

 

Ken Wong
Ken Wong

 

Backer rewards!
Backer rewards!

Depending on your pledge, your support for GX Australia 2017 also includes a choice of the awesome games below! We massively appreciate the developers who have donated keys for us to give to our backers, and we hope you enjoy the games as well!

ALL THESE GAMES CAN BE YOURS!
ALL THESE GAMES CAN BE YOURS!
Photo courtesy of Jack Huddo.
Photo courtesy of Jack Huddo.

 

Stretch goals!
Stretch goals!

$60k will allow us to handle the costs involved in hosting the event, hiring furniture, and some other minor costs. If we surpass that, we’ll be able to extend the convention even further. Here’s how!

$65k – HOLY FOOD TRUCKS, BATMAN!

$70k – EXTRA BOSS OF HONOUR!

$75k – GX AUSTRALIA PARTY, with SWEET LIVE MUSIC!

??? – ??? We’ll get here when we do!

Why Sydney again?
Why Sydney again?

We’re eager to make GX Australia as accessible as possible. We’ve run extensive public polls both before the 2016 event even happened as well as after to see what factors encouraged or discouraged attendance, and it became resoundingly clear that most of our audience wants the event to remain in Sydney. We’re hoping that by holding it a little later in the year when the calendar is less full, we’ll be able to ensure people can afford to travel if they aren’t already nearby.

Image courtesy of Joshua Meadows.
Image courtesy of Joshua Meadows.

 

Let's do it!
Let’s do it!

In February 2016, we managed to bring GX to life with a small handful of volunteers, tons of support from the Australian indie scene, and awesome people like you. We want this convention to leave you feeling warm and fuzzy, energised and inspired, but most importantly loved and welcomed.

We can’t do the convention without you, so please spread this campaign far and wide; if you came to the first one, we hope to see you next year. If you didn’t make it before, we hope to meet you as a brand new friend!

Special Shoutouts

We’d like to make a special shoutout to Marcomatic, the creator of our fantastic logo and animated spiel, to Jack Huddo Photography for the brilliant photography from last year, and to Steph Westwood, who donated her time to create our amazing Kickstarter video!

Additionally, we’d like to thank ALL OF YOU for helping us make GX Australia 2016 happen last year. We literally couldn’t have done it without you, and we’re so excited to be able to do it all again for 2017!

Risks and challenges

While GX Australia 2016 took place to great success, we certainly did have some challenges! Our biggest was unexpected expenses and bills with regards to hiring the ATP that hadn’t been communicated to us early on.

To avoid that stress this time around, we’ve clearly and specifically sat down with the Sydney Showground to be as detailed as possible for our expenses and any additional costs. We’re confident that we won’t have unexpected bills sending us scrambling for cash, and our costs for running the convention have come down a lot from the final amount we had to spend just to book the ATP.

Contracts have been signed and the date is locked down. We’ve ensured that our space will feel comfortable if we have the same number of attendees as last time, but of course we’re eagerly hoping to smash that record!

As before, all of our rewards are digital and what physical items we do have are very limited so we aren’t spending funds on shipping or production.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

ICYMI, I’m a Boss of Honor at @GXAustralia!

me-gxaus-boh

About this project

Want to spend an incredible weekend hanging out with the friendliest bunch of geeks you’ll ever meet? Are you passionate about video games, or dreamed of making one yourself? Do you like to cosplay? Or are you an avid fan of card or board games?

Well listen up, because we’ve got some great news for you!

GX Australia 2017!
GX Australia 2017!

GX AUSTRALIA IS RETURNING IN 2017!

After our first hugely successful event in February, 2016, we’re super excited to be able to bring the convention to Sydney again for a second year. At the debut convention, nearly eight hundred attendees trekked out to the Australian Technology Park for two days of geekery and fun. For our second year, we’re making awesome changes and taking on board requests, considerations, and feedback from the first event.

So here it is, GX Australia 2017! Lock in the 29th and 30th of April, 2017, because we’re going on an adventure!

If you didn’t make it out to GX Australia 2016, you missed a fabulous weekend full of tournaments, tabletop gaming, awesome and insightful panels and talks, and even an escape room! But that’s okay, because you’re getting a second chance in April 2017.

GX Australia only has 8 days left on their Kickstarter and a little ways to go to be fully funded!

Please boost, and if you can donate. Even if you can’t go to Australia, you can help this great convention return to Sydney!

BACK THIS PROJECT

Hey I’m at @bigbadcon this weekend!

I’m pretty excited to go to Big Bad Con and get back to my tabletop roots y’all. I’m doing three panels, all with people I admire and love to collaborate with.

Also here is my ever useful and handy guide to interacting with me at conventions! Still 110% free 😛

Friday, October 14th

Real talk on Tabletop toxicity

4-6pm

Tabletop has a toxicity problem and it should be discussed, like adults in an open forum so we can move forward to fixing rather than having the same old is there a problem or not, it’s you not the community BS we see crop up over and over. Join our discussion for an open discussion on what to do. If you think there is no problem in the table top community and think this is the time for 101 discussion? This won’t be for you.

Saturday, October 15th

Destroying The Fake Geek Girl Fallacy

10am – 12pm

Tanya DePass, Donna Prior, and Jessica Price will tear apart the fallacy of the Fake Geek Girl. We’ll spend a bit of time on why this trope is harmful to women and to the gaming community at large. Panelists will be from a variety of backgrounds, experiences and knowledge of geekdom. Find out if it is ever ok to question someone’s geek cred.

Diversity in Gaming Discussion

2-3 pm

A discussion on why diversity in gaming is important and needed. This will be more of a conversation between Special Guest Tanya DePass of I Need Diverse Games alongside Katherine Cross, and participants.

Those attending should understand that this is not going to be a 101 conversation about diversity, i.e. “what is diversity?”. Participants should be there to discuss this topic in good faith with the speaker and other attendees.

Streaming schedule through 10/18

masquerada2

Time to get back to Masquerada! I’ll start at 10am CST hopefully until the end, take a little break and get back to Mafia III!

Mafia III_20161010222139
Mafia III

Join me at twitch.tv/cypheroftyr for more Masquerada: Songs and Shadows then really switching gears to Lincoln Clay in New Bordeaux after a break.

Then no stream on Thursday October 13th, or Saturday October 15th as I’ll be away at a convention. Regular stream schedule will resume on Tuesday, October 18th with more Mafia III

On Coming Out Day ~ Redux

This is becoming my annual Coming Out Day post. Have thinky thoughts on that whole coming out thing.

[These are tweets I sent out on October 11th, 2016, referencing Coming Out Day: 

Oh hey, it’s Coming Out day. I’m pretty out but I’ve got new folks here. I’m bisexual & proud of it. Even in my twitter profile. The only person I’ve not come out to is my mother and I never will. She doesn’t get it, and I don’t have the energy to deal with it.

To those who use today to come out, thank you for your courage & sharing yourself. Strength to you on pushing that closer door open. For those of you that can’t, be safe alright? There is no shame in keeping this part of yourself for you. Love & strength to you too.

Straight folks, don’t “come out” as allies. It’s disrespectful as hell to do that. Even more so today. Don’t do it. #ComingOutDay Lastly don’t out anyone. You could ruin their lives, get them killed. Coming out is a choice we make when/if we’re ready to.

If someone comes out to you, thank them. Be honoured they felt safe enough to share that with you. #NationalComingOutDay]

I’ve got mixed feelings about Coming Out Day. On the one hand, I understand it’s importance, the necessity for some to have this day. On the other, I almost feel like there’s a pressure to be out and proud or use the day as a springboard to come out if you’re not already.

What I don’t think a lot of people realize is that coming out, being out and staying out is a privilege. It’s brave, it’s costly but it’s a privilege. Being out is also dangerous for some of us. While it would be nice to come out of the closet, blowing the door off the hinges, having everything be awesome and nice… it’s often not the case.

Too many people, especially young people are told they are not worthy of human decency, love, affection because of their orientation. Too many are cast out from their homes, their lives torn apart for taking that step. For being true to themselves.

Too often our youth are driven to suicide, too often people don’t come out for fear of losing everything. Home, job, children, even their lives. It’s not easy to come out and have life just go on as it had been. Some people are forthright in their confusion, their disdain, anger, feelings of betrayal.

Others may slowly creep out of your life, unsure how to deal with you now that you’ve broken their nice little assumptions of you. Then there’s the hostility, the threats, the danger that the person you know isn’t who you thought they were. The way in which they avoid you, hurt you, make remarks that cut all the deeper because they know you have taken that leap to be open and honest with everyone in your life.

Coming out is a process that shifts with each time you do it. Each time you give that piece of yourself up to outer scrutiny. If you come out, it’ll be done many, many times for the rest of your life. There’s always new people, new situations, new reasons, ways to fling open that door again.

But there’s the flip side to all of this. For a lot of people, they just can’t come out. It will mean death, it will mean loss of all. There’s some people who don’t’ give a damn about being out. It’s their life, their business and no one needs to know.

I can respect that, and I can also respect those that have to come out. To be who you are in all ways to everyone around you. Neither way is wrong, or right or perfect, or deserving of ire.

Lastly, and this is something I want people to really remember. You don’t owe it to anyone to come out. You don’t owe the world, your family, your friends, anyone but you a reason to be out.

If you never tell a soul about your partner, never correct pronouns when someone asks about your husband or wife, it’s all good.

We all have the right to live our lives as we see fit. It’s not a competition, no one gets a fucking prize for being out nor do we get black marks for keeping our lives to ourselves.

So if you are using today to come out, I salute you. I am proud of you and I honor your bravery in doing so.

If you are pondering your orientation, thinking about today and using it as a way to come to terms with who you are, again…my hat’s off to you and I wish you well on your journey to wherever you land.

If today is a day that makes you cringe and hate the world and it’s ideas, I understand and hope it passes quickly and quietly for you.

If someone takes the risk to come out to you today, be a good friend. Don’t talk over them, just listen, don’t offer condolences, say it’s a phase, turn them away or tell them to get right with DEITY. It doesn’t work that way.

Don’t take someone’s act of bravery and turn into a moment to earn brownie points, or show just how tolerant you are.

Shut up, listen and when they are done talking? Give them a hug and thank them for taking that risk. Thank them for their bravery and their trust in you.


Originally published at cypheroftyr.tumblr.com.

ICYMI, I shared my #WorldMentalHealthDay story

(originally pulled together over at Medium.com from a tweet thread)

It’s #WorldMentalHealthDay and I want to share something with y’all. Hopefully I won’t regret this. I have depression and anxiety. Ever since losing my day job, it’s gotten worse. The stress of keeping @INeedDivGms afloat hasn’t helped.

A few years ago, I was on the edge and contemplated suicide. Obviously I didn’t but I was at that point. I don’t talk about it a lot because…I feel that people don’t get it. It makes them uncomfortable and they deflect quickly. I’m also an introvert despite what some people think. Going to conventions and being “on”, around people is exhausting.

There are plenty of days where I struggle to get out of bed, where I try to find a reason to bother. Sometimes I don’t. Other times I get, dust myself off and keep going but it’s hard when it seems there’s a void following you everywhere you go.

Comic by Sylvie Reuter, on depression

I also don’t talk about this much because I’ve failed at therapy, twice now. Did meds once because I had anxiety attacks. Also lost a “friend” when I opened up about my own journey with therapy. Grew up with idea that it was “white folks shit”.

Which I know is bullshit, now. Growing up? Not so much. It took a lot to try therapy. First attempt was terrible, second wasn’t bad but I never connected with her or any therapist. I’m cynical and felt like I was paying for a fake friend not help.

So yeah things are not always bright and happy behind the curtain. It’s hard to talk about without wondering who’ll turn away, fear is real. Anyway, that’s my #WorldMentalHealthDay ramble. Know you’re not alone, you’re important and loved by someone. ❤

I’m a guest at @BigBadCon next week!

I’m pretty excited to go to Big Bad Con next week and get back to my tabletop roots y’all. I’m doing three panels, all with people I admire and love to collaborate with.

Friday, October 14th

Real talk on Tabletop toxicity

4-6pm

Tabletop has a toxicity problem and it should be discussed, like adults in an open forum so we can move forward to fixing rather than having the same old is there a problem or not, it’s you not the community BS we see crop up over and over. Join our discussion for an open discussion on what to do. If you think there is no problem in the table top community and think this is the time for 101 discussion? This won’t be for you.

Saturday, October 15th

Destroying The Fake Geek Girl Fallacy

10am – 12pm

Tanya DePass, Donna Prior, and Jessica Price will tear apart the fallacy of the Fake Geek Girl. We’ll spend a bit of time on why this trope is harmful to women and to the gaming community at large. Panelists will be from a variety of backgrounds, experiences and knowledge of geekdom. Find out if it is ever ok to question someone’s geek cred.

Diversity in Gaming Discussion

2-3 pm

A discussion on why diversity in gaming is important and needed. This will be more of a conversation between Special Guest Tanya DePass of I Need Diverse Games alongside Katherine Cross, and participants.

Those attending should understand that this is not going to be a 101 conversation about diversity, i.e. “what is diversity?”. Participants should be there to discuss this topic in good faith with the speaker and other attendees.

.@INeedDivGms GDC Scholarship applications for 2017 are now open!

I Need Diverse Games

GDC 2017

We are happy to announce that our 2017 GDC Scholarship Applications are now open!

Applications will be accepted

October 1st – November 1st, 2016

I Need Diverse Games is excited to announce that in partnership with the Game Developers Conferencewe will be awarding 25 All Access passes to the 2017 Game Developers Conference, held February 27-March 3, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California. The GDC attracts over 26,000 attendees, and is the primary forum where game developers of all disciplines gather to exchange ideas and shape the future of the industry.

This conference features over 400 lectures, panels, tutorials and round-table discussions. The all-access pass provides entry to all 5 days of the event, including the IGF Festival, the Game Developer Choice Awards, all GDC sponsored mixers and parties, the Game Career Seminar and more.

I Need Diverse Games is dedicated to increasing diversity both in game…

View original post 83 more words

My Day 2 of @GaymerX aka I’m on ALL THE PANELS

gaymerx_yearfour_logo_web-768x684

Saturday, October 1

When Fandom Ain’t Fun – A Frank Talk by QPOC 12:00 pm Panels Room B

Queer fans of color are often left out, pushed out and talked over in our chosen fandoms. A lot of times the discourse becomes more about hurt feelings than actually listening to those affected by the racism and racist actions.

(Unofficial description: SALTIEST PANEL EVER)

Panelists: Bianca Anderson, Katherine Cross, D.J Kirkland, Rokashi Edwards, and I’m moderating.

Playing With Pride 2:00 pm Panels Room B

Join us for a group discussion on coming out, finding community, creating avatars, hosting inclusive events, & more. The conversation will also feature video clips of diverse LGBTQ gamers sharing their stories from across the country.

Panelists: Matthew Baume (Moderating), D.J Kirkland, Lauren Comp, and me

Creating Inclusive Gaming Groups & Events 4:00 pm Panels Room A

Want to know how to find inclusive groups for gaming? How do you create your own gaming meet-ups? Many game groups play in public, but they’re not welcoming.

You need anti-harassment policies, a game host welcoming the new players, and relationship building with the business owner. You can do it! Our panelists will give you tips on creating safe & welcoming spaces for new players in public places.

Panelists: Joseph Carriker, Donna Prior, Jessica Price, and me

Gatekeeping and Geek Policing  5:00 pm Panels Room B

Geek policing and gate-keeping happens when someone shows interest in something of the nerdy persuasion, and “true fans” chase them away or “cred check”, especially towards marginalized groups.

You’re not a REAL geek if you don’t like Firefly” “FEMALES don’t like strategy games” “OMG WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU LOVE 4TH EDITION, IT SUCKS”. These are all examples of gatekeeping & geek policing.

Panelists: Donna Prior and Tanya DePass (moderating)

How to Twitch Safely as a POC/LGBTQIA/Female ID’d Streamer 6:00 pm Panels Room C

Streaming on Twitch can be fun, but it can also be perilous for some of us. This panel will bring you some tips and tricks such as using bots, human mods and other methods to make your experience as stress free as possible.

Panelists: Simply Undrea, D.J Kirkland, Carolyn Petit and I’m moderating

A reminder of why I’m on @Patreon

Hi y’all, just a quick post on why I’m on Patreon, and why support to do the work of I Need Diverse Games non-profit without a day job is important. I was working a full time, very demanding job for the first year and some months of #INeedDiverseGames going from a viral hashtag, to a community that grew quickly thanks to many of you.

However, I was burning out fast; and while it was a huge blow to lose my main source of income when I lost my day job in December 2015, that allowed me the freedom to pursue this work full time, and with a lot of support of people who didn’t give up on me I’m able to do this but it’s still a struggle. As of this post I’m at about 1200 a month which covers rent and a couple bills.

As I explain below, ideally a monthly patronage of about $2-$3K a month would help me do all this work, not have to fret about literally keeping the lights on, or the internet paid which I need in order to do this work.

If I could hit my next goal of $1,750 a month, which isn’t that far from my current level of patronage, I could breathe easier next month.

Some perks you get include early access to episodes of Fresh Out of Tokens podcast before the general public, updates on what I’m doing regarding I Need Diverse Games, blog posts (which will resume more regularly after fall conventions are done) and now a Patreon only Discord channel on my server.

So please consider supporting my work so I can continue to run the I Need Diverse Games non-profit, have the flexibility to attend conventions and write for places such as Vice and Polygon when they take pitches. Unvarnished truth is that if I have to go back to a regular 9-5 job? INDG will die because it’s not in a place to be handed off, and with almost two years of work under the bridge, it’s got a lot of potential to grow. Being here instead of in cubicle hell means I have the time, I just need the support.

Thank you for reading, sharing and supporting ❤

I Need Diverse Games is my full time job thanks to being abruptly let go from my previous employer in December 2015, but also because I Need Diverse Games has become a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization as of August 13th, 2016. Because of this change, I’m dedicating all my time and resources available, but doing this doesn’t generate a lot of money to keep the lights on, pay for miscellaneous things that you need daily. In fact, keeping I Need Diverse Games afloat would cost me what little I had to spare when I was employed.

To survive, pay my rent and keep fed, along with the cat, etc I need to ideally pull in $2000 a month, but to truly have all bills paid, be able to attend conventions, etc I need to hit a goal of about $3K a month. I outlined this in a recent post on my blog, and I’ve copied some of that below.
Ideally I would need at least $2000 – $3000 a month coming in to cover the following:
Rent $950 a month
Bills, including internet, electricity, cooking gas, etc. ($650)
Pet costs ($125)
Groceries ($300)
Transit costs ($100 a month, unlimited rides on CTA)
INDG related Travel & Doing cost of business expenses (which could also be pulled from INDG for specific reasons/conventions)

If you can help me support myself while I do this work it would be great. Thank you in advance for any help you can give so I can continue to do this full time. Please note, that there is a separate Patreon for I Need Diverse Games, found at patreon.com/INeedDivGms