Next weekend kicks off a super busy month for me!

I’m doing sooo much stuff in April, but it’s cool and I’m excited even if I’m a little tired just thinking about it. That means streams will be sporadic and not on the usual Tues/Thurs/Saturday schedule.

Here’s what I’m up to starting next Friday:

April 1 & 2: Queerness and Games Conference  Los Angeles, CA

I’m doing three things!

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

2) Microtalks: Out of Sheer Spite

3) Facilitating a round-table on POC in the industry

April 8: GenVidCon, Gender and Videogames  Keynote speaker, San Jose, CA

April 12: Let’s Talk Gaming!  Montreal, CAN

April 17: Guest Lecturer at NCSU

April 18-20: East Coast Games Conference, Speaker in Career track. Raleigh, NC

April 21-23: C2E2, Panelist  Chicago, IL 

My panel schedule for C2E2

29 & 30 April: GX Australia, Boss of Honor , Sydney, Australia

.@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.

 

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

Doing all the things! March update [Reposted from Patreon]

Hi all,

First off thank you for your support this past month, I appreciate every single Patreon, from everyone at the $1 and up helped keep me housed, the cat fed, internet and electricity on so I can do this work.

So what have I been doing eh? A lot more streaming for one thing. I’m up to 3 times a week on my main, personal channel [twitch.tv/cypheroftyr] and 1x a week over at I Need Diverse Games. [twitch.tv/INeedDivGames] Much streaming, many hours with a controller in hand. I also made aDiscord server/community so if you want to hang out you can!

I set up a GameWisp subscription thinger on Twitch, but I’m not sure what to do to entice people to subscribe to me there. From what I understand it’s like Patreon for Twitch. You have levels, and people can sub starting at $3.99 a month up to whatever levels and rewards you put up.

I’ve also been prepping for GDC because it’s the first time I’m going with an All Access pass and having to be, I dunno I guess present and accounted for to make sure our #INeedDiverseGames scholarship recipients get there, have a good and educational time, etc. It’s a bit daunting to do this but it’s really gratifying to know that 25 people got to go to GDC via INDG! 😀

Still podcasting with a great lineup of guests in the coming month or so. Martin Sahlin from Unravel Game, Jamie Broadnax of Black Girl Nerds, Mel Fleming from Bioware who does localization, Elsa Henry who does game dev and is a GoH for OrcaCon 2017! I did get a better mic for podcasting and streaming, so improved quality for the win.

Also, thanks to the funding we got in January, I’m able to go to a lot more conventions this year. This personal patreon is strictly for living expenses, and the INDG Patreon + funding is for expenses there so no worries on that front about where you money is going.

Conventions I’ll be at this year [confirmed]:

  • PAX East – Doing two panels
  • Penguicon – Paneling, Featured Guest
  • Nebulas – Local, Doing panels
  • Podcast Movement – Local, attending only
  • DePaul Celebration of Star Trek – Local, Paneling
  • WisCon – Paneling, Guest of Honor Liaison, Programming Co-Chair
  • CONVergence – Paneling, Invited Guest

Unfortunately I won’t be at MidAmerica Con II aka Worldcon, because of money and uncertainty about where things will be later in the year.

Writing is the one thing I’ve failed at doing, especially posts for folks at the $10 level and up. Doing the prep for a lot of things has sucked up my time but I’ve also been stressed about …everything. It’s not an excuse, it’s what’s kept me from even fulfilling a couple paid writing things for publication.

I’m looking into alternative rewards for folks at the $10 level, so suggestions welcome. Its that or I need to put write rewards for Patreon on my calendar and not let it budge no matter what.

It’ll be a bit quiet here in the next couple of weeks as I prep for travel to SF for GDC, then spend a couple extra days crashing on a friends couch to have some downtime before I get back to Chicago and two conventions back to back in April, a lot of travel and socializing.

Thank you again, all of the support, kind words and signal boosts are appreciated ❤

Tanya

Think Galacticon 3 – With notable guests N.K. Jemisin & Adrienne Maree Brown!

Think Galactic is pleased to announce that Think Galacticon 3 is happening July 8-10 at Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL. Notable guests include Nebula-nominated author N.K. Jemisin as well as Adrienne Maree Brown, an activist with an impressive record of social justice advocacy and an interest in how science fiction can inform our ideas about social justice.

Think Galacticon, a project of the Think Galactic Reading Group and Collective, strives to create a space in which leftists and others can discuss politics and speculative fiction in an intelligent, engaging, and fun fashion. There will be multiple tracks of programming that seek to expand the boundaries of typical discussions. We want to explore issues of oppressive hierarchies, confronting topics of race, gender, sexuality, class and more. We are one of many groups that Wiscon has fostered and have a lot of great ideas for a thoughtful and challenging weekend of radical politics and fiction, so we hope to see you come!

It’s currently $40 for a regular membership and $35 for students until 3/31. The price will go up gradually until it is $55 at the door, so get your tickets now! The earlier you get the tickets the more you help us be able to pay for the upfront costs of running a con. It’s a win-win.

We also have youth memberships (ages 10-17) at a constant $25 and supporting memberships for those who cannot attend for $15. As always, you can donate however much you want to make this con happen.

Parents: We will again be having free childcare for children 9 and under, so please sign up your child(ren) for a free membership as well if you are a parent planning to attend.

You can read more about the con here: http://tgcon3.thinkgalactic.org

Programming is created from a bottom-up process much like Wiscon so please suggest a panel, workshop, or other activity/discussion you think we should consider. Here is our suggestion page:
http://tgcon3.thinkgalactic.org/programming/suggest-programming/

We hope to see you in July!
The Think Galacticon Concom