Wiscon is coming and for the first time in many years I am just a panelist. Which I am relieved about.

Where is the F is all the F/F in Media?

Friday 4:00 – 5:15 pm University C

A group of femme-loving femmes discuss the overall lack of femme-love in media, with a focus on animated and TV media works. We’ll go over strong examples, weak queerbait examples, and what we really would like to see in F/F media going forward. This will be PoC-focused and PoC-heavy!

Sex and the Sim City: Romance ans Sex in Video Games 

Saturday 10 – 11:15 am Caucus

Lots of great video games include options for your player character to date. Let’s talk with gamers and game designers about these storylines and options–what works and what doesn’t? Which games give you good romance plots and which don’t? What would you like to see more of? What romantic representations do we need more of, from character creation to romantic storyline opportunities? Let’s talk game structure, limitations and opportunities for various types and styles of games, NPC identities, queer and trans representation (or lack thereof) for player characters, body types, age, polyamory, BDSM, and more!

Being POC in Tech

Saturday 1-2:15 pm Capitol B

Every year, another tech company releases a report showing how “committed” they are to creating a diverse workforce. Unfortunately, a report doesn’t prove the company took any actionable steps to ensure an inclusive and diverse environment. Let’s take a break from another report and ask actual POCs about their experiences in the tech industry.

Can We Please Have More Black Women in Lighter Films? 

Saturday 2:30 – 3:45 pm Conference 5

While we can find plenty of examples of Black women excelling in television comedy and some other light fare, we still don’t have many examples of Black women in film who get to lead comedies and romcoms. We had at least two exceptions with the theatrically released Girls Trip and the Netflix romcom The Incredible Jessica James. This panel will discuss films such as these and the need to see Black women at the center of more lighter fare in comedy and romcoms and not have to be relegated to tales that focus on our suffering.

Why Don’t you Play Mercy Like Every Other Girl?

Saturday 10:30 – 11:45 pm University B

Overwatch is a game in which the lore achieves a level of diversity that far exceeds the average game. The 26 playable heroes span the spectrums of gender, race, national origin, and sexuality. However, this year’s first season of the Overwatch League lacks a single woman among the players. Of the women that do play the game, there is an expectation that they will play Mercy or at least another support-class character. At the same time, Mercy-mains are looked down upon as lesser players. Why is there such a disconnect between the values exhibited by the lore of Overwatch and the behavior of its player base? How do we reverse these trends and get more women and non-binary players to the higher levels of play?

Mental Disability in Video Games

Sunday 10-11:15 am University B

Explore the way mental illness and neuroatypicality are portrayed in video games, including good representation, poor representation, and common tropes (e.g. the creepy asylum). We will also be discussing ways fans can advocate for better representation.

Why do Gender Neutral Things in Games Get Gendered as Masculine? 

Sunday 2:30 – 3:45 pm Conference 4

Watch a “let’s play” and you’ll soon see a lot of gamers gendering non-gendered things — humans with non-declared genders, fish, trees, basically anything or anyone that moves — as “guys” or “he”. NPCs in tabletop RPGs quickly get gendered as masculine if the GM doesn’t explicitly declare them otherwise (and a lot of GMs forget that non-masculine genders exist). A lot of gamers generally tend to fall into masculine-default mindsets while gaming. Why does this happen, and how do we stop it?