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]

Survived my first(?) PAX West (cross post from Patreon)

PAXWest

(originally posted on 6 September on my Patreon)

So I did the thing, all the things at PAX West this year. Apparently it’s the first year it’s being called West instead of Prime in an official capacity. So I was on six panels! Four of them in one day and survived. if I ever, ever say that kind of thing again, check me and remind me how it’s a bad idea. Remind me of how damned exhausted I was on that first night of PAX and could barely put one foot in front of another by the end of the ay.

Overall panels I was on went well, we had surprisingly great numbers for all of them, even our panel on making the case for diversity with data. I assumed that at a gamer/nerd convention anything with data in it wouldn’t draw a crowd but happily, I was wrong! We got great questions too!

There’s only audio for one panel I was on, Git Gud Ally, thanks to Bryce Johnson, who co-moderated with me. The lovelyStormka uploaded our deck so you can get our tips and such. That was the last panel for me on Sunday, and we had a great time.

I know folks live tweeted some panels I was on, if they could get a signal. A lot of those rooms had no reception or really spotty if you moved a hair to the left or right you lost 4G or WiFi.

Our table at the Diversity Lounge went well, we made some loot thanks to having the game dev Barbie to raffle off and some people just being generous. That was a good thing that came from me being on so many panels I think. A lot of people seeing the work, hearing about I Need Diverse Games so much over the weekend. Also realizing we’re a non-profit seemed to get a lot of connections made too.

On a personal note it was nice to see some of the Bioware folks again, I got to panel with Patrick Weekes, and see Eplerj, Mel Fleming, met Cam Harris (former Bioware) and a lot of community of folks I knew only via twitter. Got to see Sa Roux in her fabulous Tal-Vashoth Inquisitor cosplay and tweeted it out! 

I was able to periscope one panel I attended, Playing with Pride by Matt Baume and James Morris,  Great to see their work progress, loving the documentary. I also tried to meld into the floor during sections where I was shown.

Still working on that being known thing. One last, sweet thing before I tie up this post. Three young folks came up to me after the last panel I was on Friday night and said they were glad to see me on it. That they were worried about it being kind of bro’ish because of the title. But they told me that because they saw my name, it would be ok. That the panel would be good. That’s so humbling, and heartwarming.

It also reminded me that you never know what impact you, your work and your words have on people. I have never been to PAX West in my life, yet these three folks who came to PAX, and saw my name felt good about coming to panels I was on! So yeah, that made me very happy and humbled all at the same time.

Now to relax today before a full day of meetings and then I go home for three weeks then GaymerX 4 in Santa Clara!

Final @PAX West schedule!

PAXWest

Here’s my final panel schedule for PAX West, which is next week! EEP!

If you don’t see me running around from panel to panel, then I’ll be at the I Need Diverse Games table in the Diversity Lounge.

Diversity Lounge PAX West

As always, have a handy, 100% free guide to interacting with me in meat space at conventions. https://cypheroftyr.com/cypherinteractionguide/ 

Friday September 2nd, 12:30 pm Sasquatch Theatre

Ask the Game Masters

Tell incredible stories. Host amazing games. Strike fear in the hearts of players. Veteran game professionals Tanya DePass (I Need Diverse Games), Amanda Hamon-Kunz (Pathfinder RPG), Ryan Macklin (Dresden Files, Fate), Rodney Thompson (Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars Saga Edition), and F. Wesley Schneider (Pathfinder RPG) answer all your tabletop roleplaying game questions and share tips for taking your game to the next level.

Panelists include:

  • F. Wesley Schneider [Editor-in-Chief, Paizo Inc]
  • Amanda Hamon-Kunz [Developer, Paizo Inc]
  • Tanya DePass [Creator, I Need Diverse Games]
  • Rodney Thompson [Senior Designer, Bungie]
  • Ryan Macklin [Indie Creator, The Ryan Macklin]

 

Friday, September 2nd 4:30 pm Chipmunk Theatre

Challenging Assumptions about Diversity with Data

Gaming has a problem with being inclusive and with diversity. While industry is working on it, discussion can generate an ideological divide. We will start to move beyond this with good, hard data: demographics, how often people have unwelcoming experiences, what impacts that has, and how people have made change. We will involve the audience to check our collective assumptions and see what quantitative empirical evidence says about diversity in gaming and about how to improve inclusivity.

Panelists include:

  • Tanya DePass [Founder, INeedDiverseGames]
  • Trevor Murdock [Founder, Planeswalkers for Diversity]
  • Glenn White [Director of Marketing Infrastructure , EA Games]
  • Matt Baume [Host, Sewers of Paris Podcast]
  • Aurora Walker [Instructor, Ladies Learning Code]
  • Cherisse Miranda

 

Friday September 2nd 7:30 pm Sphinx Theatre

Get your politics out of our games!

We think of video games as an escape from political campaigns and presidential elections, but games have a long history of reflecting the world around us. Come join Aevee Bee (ZEAL), Austin Walker (Giant Bomb), Katie Williams (PC Gamer) Tanya DePass (I Need Diverse Games, Fresh Out Of Tokens), and Zach Alexander (Games and Food) as we discuss the history and future of politics in games.

Panelists include:

  • Tanya DePass [Freelance critic and diversity consultant, #INeedDiverseGames]
  • Austin Walker [Editor, Giant Bomb]
  • Aevee Bee [Editor-In-Chief, ZEAL]
  • Katie Williams [Freelance Journalist, Critic]
  • Zachary Alexander [N/A, N/A]

 

Friday, September 2nd 9:30 pm Chicken Theatre

Sexy or Stupid? The Great Video Game Sex Scene Debate – NSFW Content, 18+ PANEL

Sensual, smutty, or silly? Video game sex scenes are often one or the other… or even all three! Come join a group of game industry professionals as they dim the lights, play some smooth jazz, and offer their expert critique on a few of gaming’s more explicit moments. Then cast your vote for what’s hot and what’s not! DISCLAIMER: actual panel may not involve dim lights or smooth jazz. (Want something a bit more innocent? Check out our companion panel on romance scenes in games)
Panelists:

  • Michelle Clough [Co-Founder, Writer, Editor, IGDA Romance and Sexuality SIG]
  • Chris Avellone [Writer, Designer, Freelance]
  • AJ Glasser [n/a, Facebook]
  • Tanya DePass [Founder, Community Organizer, I Need Diverse Games]
  • Matt Baume [Writer, Filmmaker, Freelance]

 

Saturday, September 2nd 2:00 pm Hippogriff Theatre

Making and Promoting Non-Traditional Characters in Games

Games are finally starting to reflect their diverse players with more types of characters, scenarios, and approaches to gameplay. Whether it’s writing a one-eyed pansexual bull and his trans lieutenant; featuring non-white main characters; showcasing the female option in marketing; creating an entire cast caught in a web of gender, sexuality, and ability; acquiring unusual indie titles; or keeping the conversation going; it’s crucial. Hear from those who did it and how they’ll do it again.

Panelists:

  • Patrick Weekes [Lead Writer, BioWare]
  • Hilary Heskett Shapiro [Sr. Brand Manager, Bethesda Softworks]
  • Miellyn Fitzwater Barrows [Creative Director, Gorgeous Robot]
  • Arden Ripley [Writer/Developer, Date or Die]
  • Steve Gee [Senior Manager, Developer Relations, Adult Swim Games]
  • Tanya DePass [Freelance critic and diversity consultant, #INeedDiverseGames]

 

Sunday September 4th, 4:00 pm Chipmunk Theatre

Git Gud, Ally

Ever wonder how to create and play games your way and still be an awesome ally? Is this even a thing? In this panel, we discuss the awesomeness that is our gaming community and unpack what it means to make it inclusive. What are we doing well and where do we need work? We’ll look at these questions and how it benefits everyone. To follow with a #realtalk Q&A.

Panelists:

  • Tanya DePass [Freelance critic and diversity consultant, #INeedDiverseGames]
  • Kathryn Storm [Interaction Designer, Xbox]
  • Bryce Johnson [Interaction Designer, Microsoft]
  • John Porter [PhD candidate, Human Centered Design and Engineering, UW, UW]

Stream update for week of June 27, 2016

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Just one stream this week, as I’ll be away at a convention again. The awesome Vahn J gifted me with The Talos Principle on steam, so I’ll be streaming it on Tuesday June 28th approx 7pm CDT. This will be a totally blind playthrough, never seen a stream of it or much game play.

After that, streaming will resume on Tuesday, July 5th with game TBD, or perhaps more Talos Principle depending on where I get with it. Mass Effect will resume once I figure out what I did to the game by modding it so I could use a controller on PC.

A delayed update on that #PAXEast Sexism in Gaming panel

So, this post came to my attention after I was already away from my computer for the last day of PAX. I (nor I’m guessing many who attended this panel) were aware the young lady on the panel is so young. She is all of 15 or 16, and as I said in many tweets this morning, that panel should NOT have run. Or if it did, then a responsible adult should have moderated.

Andrearitsu apparently spoke with the girl on the panel and posted the following to tumblr:

I spoke directly to the girl in charge of Nerds Want Equality:
I spoke to the girl in charge of the now defunct Nerds Want Equality to get clarification on just what was said and what happened at PAX.

First of all, the girl in question is 16 years old and had not held a panel prior, so she was nervous. She was also unprepared for questions pertaining to LGBTQIA+ issues since her panel was intended to focus on cis sexism since that’s what she knew about from experience.

She was asked about a trans character from a game that she hadn’t heard about and when the question “should we see more trans representation i games?” arrived, so did her mistake.

She meant to say that it’s not something that she think is going to happen any time soon since we’re still dealing with basic sexism in video games, but in her nervous state she messed up and said that we shouldn’t see it at all because of the basic sexism, rather than just talking about what to expect in our current gaming community.

I then asked her about the comment that was made by her group later in the day, which she admitted to having written. I explained what was transphobic about it and why the harassment she have been receiving, as wrong as it was, likely originated from it.

She told me that she felt bad about that statement, as it was something she had written when she was angry and upset over the hateful comments she was getting over a misunderstood statement. She apologized over it, stating that she felt like an asshole having written what she did.

She’s not well educated on trans issues, she thought she was but admits that she was wrong in thinking so. She started her group in order to help people who had suffered the shit she had in games and realizes now she went in over her head.

She has deleted the Nerds Wants Equality Facebook page, she’s not going to go back into activism for a while, as she feels she wasn’t ready for it after what went down in the last 24 hours.

I don’t think she’s a bad person, she’s just a nervous teenager who happened to misspeak and then had the world fall down on her. She said things that were wrong, but she owned up to them and she was eager to listen when I explained what she had said that was wrong.

For the sake of her privacy I’m not going to post the actual conversation we had, but rather I’ll stick to this summary as well as my original write-up on Twitter.

Which was lovely of her to do, however andrearitsu was not at the panel, at PAX at all.  Nor is she in the US, she’s in the UK. In her tweets to me, she insisted that teens running such panels was commonplace at cons she attends. Not in the US it’s not, unless it’s a youth track at a convention and an adult usually moderates. Here’s my reply.

This is all well and good, however she and her co-panelists still applied to speak, were not prepared and there was a gender imbalance on a panel about sexism in gaming, with all white panelists from a group that only existed on facebook. Rather than stepping back and learning from it, she deleted the FB group, after going so far as claiming all the posts were photoshopped from the now deleted FB group in a blind panic.

There should have been better review of panel submission and planned content (not just for them, I mean there was a panel called The Real Waifu’s of Twitch running as well) so this could have been avoided. If the panel was allowed to run, there should have been a moderator, assigned by PAX or someone to move the discussion along.

All that said, she and her co-panelists hopefully will grow from this rather than omg the Internet is meen knee-jerk response seen in the deleted posts.

So that’s the update and many others have had opinions on this whole thing. People are also ignoring the two male co-panelists in their responses to this wreck of a panel.

TL;DR the panel needed adult supervision, PAX clearly doesn’t carefully vet the panel submissions, this girl got backhanded by the internet, reacted as a 16 year old would and now is probably going to hide from the world for a bit.

 

First #PAXEast, Day 0

Pax_east_logo-660x340My first day here was a 90/10 split of awesome and awful. My flight was on time, pleasant folks to share my row with, a lot of folks on the flight were also going to PAX, also first time attendees. Ran into Jes S who was on the same flight as me along with her partner. We even landed early!

I was snagged by the lovely Sabriality, got checked in, scooped up Katherine C. and made our way to get badges. I ran into UGRGaming and his folks, so we bummed around with them, had drinks and whatnot before we split up.

I finally got to meet ChachiBobinks & MightyGregDoge for dinner-dinner, and then my 10% awful part of the day kicked off. I’d copped an invite to a pre-party by IGN, so I was going to get a cab. Again things were going great until the hotel concierge told me to smile when I requested he hail a cab. Which is his job. (link goes to my tweets on this, which I’ll not re-hash here. Read if you want my unpleasant reaction) 

I went to the party, discovered the networking convention party thing isn’t for me and returned to the hotel, where I had further thoughts on the smile for me thing. (again, links to a shorter pondering on this smile for me think)

Now I’m up early cause I just came back to the hotel and flopped pretty early out of annoyance and joint pain. Time for some coffee and Aleve since I’m early as usual but I’m not sure I want to pay hotel prices for breakfast, assuming something is open.

Today is expo hall, seeing folks on panels and trying to maybe meet with people after things are over for the day. None of the evening options at the convention are really interesting me.

If you’re interested, follow my PAX East shenanigans over on my twitter. @cypheroftyr