About ‘father’s day’ for me…

This was my post last year for father’s day. Not much has changed, well that’s not true. I’m even more bitter about the day and the non-stop nagging from social media, adverts etc extolling me to show dad I CARE by spending money.

I wish someone would make an honest card line for folks who have a shit time on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, other hallmark days that try to do more of guilting you into showing affection by spending money than by actually caring for a parent or grandparent.

Still angry and I doubt that will change.

The random musings of a 1973 Original

This was originally posted 12 years ago on my Livejournal, and I’ve copied the text over since that blog is pretty locked down, if you went to the post here; it’s even password protected.

Not much has changed since writing this post so long ago in terms of father’s day and how I feel about it. It’s always going  to be a hard day for me I guess. I still snarl at the father’s day adverts that slip by my filters cause of witty phrasing, or terms that weren’t around when I set those filters in place.

It’s hard to see the love I missed out on, the reminder that I was never to have that paternal figure in my life. Instead I got a person who I met in passing, and now have forgotten, same as he forgot me forty-three years ago.

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I’m editing an anthology!

I can finally share the news I’ve been sitting on for a while! 
I’m super excited to announce that I’ve been asked to edit a collection of essays from marginalized game developers and folks adjacent to the industry by CRC Press. The book will be available in 2018, exact date to be determined. 

Submission information will be available soon. 

To get an idea what type of stories have been published in a similar work by CRC check out Women in Game Development: Breaking the Glass Level Cap edited by Jennifer Brandes Hepler

Thank you to Jennifer Hepler for the chance to work on this anthology and thinking of me as someone to trust with this. 
I’m looking forward to reading your stories and as the book takes shape, a release date is confirmed and the cover is finalized, I’ll be sharing with you over the coming months.

Today is the last day to apply to speak at @AlterConf Chicago for June 10th!

I Need Diverse Games

AlterConf is a traveling conference series that provides safe opportunities for marginalized people and those who support them in the tech and gaming industries. By highlighting the powerful voices and positive initiatives of local community members, we build hope and strengthen the community’s resolve to create safer spaces for everyone.

The conferences go beyond the limited definitions and basic discussions of diversity to create a deeper, more nuanced conversation. Each conference features a wide range of speakers delivering critical analyses of tech and gaming culture and presenting their vision for what our community can be.

We invite you to join us as we work toward a more inclusive future.

Apply to Speak – Deadline is May 20th!

Other ways to participate:

Photograph, sketchnote, or blog about the event. No professional experience required! You’ll receive an honorarium and credit for your work on the AlterConf site.

Make an impact…

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My @WisconSF3 schedule for #Wiscon41

So many panels, much moderation, oh Andraste kick me in the ass now. But if you wanna see the whole shebang, here’s the full Wiscon Schedule [Grid format] Panel moderators are denoted with [M] below.

Destroying the Mythos Around Female Gamers and Games for Women

Friday 2:30 pm University B / Ann Lemay, Ceri Young, KJ, Tanya DePass [M] & Kate Lansky Panel Hashtag: #FemaleGameWriters

There is a continuing false perception that video games are thoroughly dominated by male gamers and male developers. However data disproves this fallacy. This panel will discuss the actual demographics of gaming, and how to buck the idea of “appealing” to women with old stereotypes and tropes. I.E women are all casuals, and games like FFXV with an all male cast supposedly appeal to women for a change. We’ll also look at how narrative can drive an audience to or away from a game series such as Mass Effect, Dragon Age, etc.

Queer Eye for Sci-Fi Friday 4:00 pm Assembly Panel Hashtag: #QueerEyeForSciFi

Mark Oshiro [M], Jennifer Cross, Tanya DePass, & Suzanne Walker

There is a long and complex history of queerness in science fiction, from queer-coded villains in pulp novels to the more diverse spectrum of characterization in the last decade. Join panelists as they discuss the history of queerness within the genre, both the good and the bad.

Finn is Not Your Son Saturday 12:00 am Assembly Panel Hashtag #FinnIsNot

Mark Oshiro [M] Tanya DePass, Maia Mrkvicka

Characters of color are often reduced to the background, de-centered even when they have a prominent place in a film, game, book, etc. There’s a trend of calling characters “my problematic son” or “my helpless child.” When applied to characters of color that are already pushed to the side, this turns to a trope of infantalizing non-white characters. How do we stop this? How can we talk about characters of color without calling them children?

You Can’t Force Load A Canon Saturday 8:30 am Caucus Panel Hashtag: #NoForceloadCanon

Tanya DePass [M], Sunny Moraine, Mark Oshiro, Saathi P.

Let’s have a discussion about fan entitlement across all forms of media. It isn’t just limited to games. Why are some fans this way? Does it harm a fandom when fans go beyond head canon into demanding their ship become canon? (Inspired by this post: http://tmirai.tumblr.com/post/155653724789/rant-on-fan-entitlement-shipping)

Following and Friendship: Social Media Etiquette for Fans

Saturday 10:00 am Capitol A Panel Hashtag: #SocMedFanEtiquette

Tanya DePass [M], Michi Trota, Caitlin Rosberg, Kelly Sue DeConnick

When our faves share their thoughts and give us a peek into their personal lives, it’s enticing to engage as much as possible, but when we’re one of their thousands of followers and they’re likely to receive several notifications at once, where should we draw the line? As creators and creatives, the tenuous balance between being approachable and setting boundaries can take a huge emotional toll on us. How do we encourage fan interaction while holding a reasonable amount of space for ourselves to exist as humans? This panel will explore the nuances of being an inclusive, friendly internet community while still being respectful of the privacy and dignity of people with large public platforms.

There is No ‘Ideas Guy’: Actual Jobs in the Video Game Industry Sat. 7:30 pm Conf. 1

Tanya DePass [M], Maurice Broaddus, Ann Lemay, Ceri Young Panel Hashtag: #JobsInVideoGames

People from a wide variety of career paths collaborate to make video games, including producers, programmers, directors, artists, and writers. However, the mythic ‘Ideas Guy’—the lone visionary genius at the center of a project—simply doesn’t exist. In this panel, video game developers will discuss their jobs and other jobs in the industry—and offer an inside look at how games are made.

F*ck You Pay Me: Equally Compensating Marginalized Creators Sunday 1:00 pm  Caucus

Jennifer Cross [M], Ariela Housman, Suzuanne Walker  Panel Hashtag: #FckYouPayMe

“Do It for the exposure! Aren’t you just grateful to have this opportunity?” Too often, marginalized creators are thrown these aphorisms as compensation for their hard work and creativity instead of receiving financial compensation for their endeavors like their privileged counterparts. In this panel, we’ll discuss the importance and obligation of equal compensation for equal work. We’ll also discuss the benefit of outreach, and how that’s led to opening geek culture markets to creators and consumers who don’t look or think like the “good ol’ boys.”

When Fandom Ain’t Fun: A Frank Talk by QPOC Sunday 2:30 pm Assembly

Mark Oshiro [M], Jennifer Cross, Katherine Cross, Tanya D Panel Hashtag: #WhenFandomAintFun

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.

Decentering Whiteness in Fandom Sunday 10:00 pm University C

Tanya DePass [M], Mark Oshiro, K. Tempest Bradford

A more in-depth look at how whiteness is always the focus in fandom, fan works in particular. How POC characters are forgotten, written out, killed off by fandom so their white faves who do no more than glance at each other can be together in fanon bliss. How do we de-center the narratives built around minor white characters and problematic faves versus existing POC characters? A hard topic and not for those who think this doesn’t happen.

When the faux oppressed whine, they look ridiculous

Originally posted on Patreon on 8 May, 2017

So, there’s been a lot of whining online by older white dudes about how conventions, especially geek and nerd centered ones are no longer welcoming to them. How do they come to these conclusions? Because of the Guests of Honor asking for their safety to be considered, for their to be codes of conduct, and procedures in place in case they are harassed at the event.

I mean how dare these things like safe spaces, or Codes of Conduct impinge on their good time right? This rant has been bubbling forth since the latest convention fuckery happened with OdysseyCon’s GoH Monica V. stepping down due to a known harasser not just being on concom, but named her GoH liaison.

It also resurfaced due to some epic, poor me, the SJW’s have taken over MY convention crying about this years Penguicon. This trash heap of a whinge is titled “make penguicon great again.” Here’s a donotlink connection  to it so I don’t give it any more clicks than I had to in order to get the link.

It’s not like OP is alone, because another what about the poor white men thread was posted to the Penguicon forums. Again, a donotlink connection  to avoid giving this ridiculousness any more traffic than needed to nab the link.

Let’s examine this though, and think about how so many white dudes, and frankly older white women (see Wiscon chatter post Frenkel FINALLY getting a lifetime ban from the convention) immediately go to; I’m no longer welcome here, I can’t do and say what I want anymore so this isn’t my home any longer.

Problem is, many fans who aren’t white, or straight id’ing, or neurotypical have felt like it’s there home at all. We’ve often felt like the guest a friend brought that is tolerated at best, given shady hostility and clear signs to leave, or at worst flat out told to go and build our own house, preferably where the unwilling host can pretend we don’t exist. Until they decide that us building that house of our own somehow excludes them and they demand entry because it’s not fair!

Well, life ain’t fair y’all. Conventions have a problem, well a lot of them but the prevalent ones are as follows:

Harassers are often allowed to flourish in convention spaces: Case in point; look how long it took Frenkel to get booted from Wiscon. How is he is still welcome in other con spaces. How he is somehow on the concom of Odyssey Con. How people rallied around him when accusations came to light with the usual but he never did that to me, or he’s a good guy, this is a witch hunt, etc. Now we’re seeing this again with OdysseyCon.

There’s no Code of Conduct or Anti-Harassment policy in place: This made me think of the Montreal International Games Summit (MIGS). A friend posted about how there’s no CoC [which has changed AFAIK] but the pushback was ridiculous. Also, the idea that merely having a CoC means that there will be complaints when none existed before. News, there are always complaints, there are always things that happen but without a CoC or anti-harassment policy & enforcement of it, no one is going to come forward. Hell sometimes there is one and people come forward, and nothing happens. See Mark Oshiro’s accounting of his horrific experience at ConQuest if you think this is not a thing that happens.  That’s just one very public example.

Cons having a quiet room, or safe spaces for POC/LGBTQIA/Neuro-divergent is seen as pandering, etc: The very idea that one room, out of a whole convention is set aside for folks to take a break, get some needed me time or to decompress after a hard panel is seen as pandering to some SJW agenda or taking away space from others. You have the whole fucking convention to yourself. Let people have one room damn. It’s not always done well or right when it starts, I mean the first year I went to Wiscon, the POC safe space might as well have been a walk by zoo with how people tried to come and gawk. It’s better now but its fucked up that there are still people who will whine about it being needed/wanted by attendees.

A convention starts up that is targeted to/created by a marginalized group: Often when POC/LGBTQIA etc get fed up and DO start their own thing, we get the whining about being excluded. Um, what? I mean when GaymerX started up, when FlameCon and HavenCon started and focused on LGBTQIA gamers, comics folks, other nerdery there was the decrying of leaving straight people out. When BlerdCon, Universal Fan Con and other POC centric cons got going, again the what about white people screeds started up?

Well newsflash, if all convention spaces were welcoming, if I could go to PAX and actually see more than a handful of POC at one spot, if I could feel safe being out except in the diversity lounge, then oh maybe, just maybe I would not feel like a space dedicated to being a POC, LGBTQIA fan of things was needed. If I could get panels accepted talking about these issues and not have the people who already are on board be the ones at these panels it would be great.

If I could attend a con and not hear slurs from the open gaming area, or have a tabletop session where someone thinks before they say something insensitive or doesn’t try to have a slaver class in the game it would be fabulous. But that’s not how things are now, it’s not like fandom, geek/nerd spaces are all that welcoming to anyone who isn’t assumed default.

This isn’t a new thing either, the discussion of making fandoms and conventions more welcoming, kicking out harassers, those that don’t understand that cosplay isn’t consent, that a convention isn’t their personal playground simply for the price of admission and whatever they want to do and say goes because of the 5 Geek Social Fallacies and because of the idea that if we’re in a space for geeks, nerds etc that we are all one happy nerdy family.

Untrue, and the ways in which people respond to micro aggressions, the racism, homo/bi/transphobia in these spaces shows that we are still happy to divide ourselves among these lines. That the lie of being nerds in a pile that all loooove the same thing falls apart upon further examination. That fine thread  holding it together is frayed, it is fragile and the merest puff of air will make it snap to show the ugly truth to conventions and other spaces that we don’t want to admit.

The fact that cons are now on board with Codes of Conduct, Cosplay is not Consent posters, having an actual anti-harassment policy & acting upon it isn’t a bad thing as these windbags would make it out to be. What’s happening is that conventions are FINALLY getting with the times and the old, bitter, unwilling to change guard doesn’t want this to happen. Because they have never personally been affected by harassment or assault or unwanted touches, they think that the con is moving against them.

Which circles back to the beginning of my post. Why these kinds of people are wrong as fucking wrong can be in thinking they are somehow unwanted or laughably unsafe. That in so many words, often too many they are asking that the very space they value sooo much becomes a safe space for unsafe, unwanted behaviors. That the boys club shut its doors to everyone but people like them so they can reclaim the good old days of when things weren’t political or had an agenda.

Newsflash, SFF, games, movies, media all of it has always been political or had an agenda. It’s not always in your face but these things don’t exist in a vacuum and if you think SFF was never political, well I don’t know what to tell you. Conventions are places to have those discussions, to also come together as this supposed happy family of nerds about X thing. But if all aren’t welcome, then it’s not fun anymore.

If I can’t go to a con without wondering what will happen on a panel I’m on, or if someone will try and touch my hair, or touch me in general and not have it acted upon by the concom, then that space is not safe for me or others like me. This crying over an imaginary loss of power is just …egregious when those traditionally without power or a place in fandom are just now feeling comfortable in these spaces, that are still predominately white and male and cis focused.

It’s an uneasy space to navigate, but the fact that cons are doing the work to make it less hostile, albeit slowly and often clumsily means we all can get to enjoy these spaces. If you want to whine about your imaginary perfect con no longer existing, and declare you wont’ come back? Ok bye, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

We’ll remain and have a better time for your absence.

https://patreon.com/cypheroftyr

 

Listen to me trying out #TorgEternity by @USNAGames on @OneShotRPG!

So I have been getting back into tabletop lately and with that came a chance to help test out Torg Eternity, by USNA Games! We recorded a session for One Shot RPG, which you can check out on the One Shot site, i.e a game in four parts.

Check out USNA Games on twitter and online: https://t.co/Qe4ALjKM5Z  

James hosts Eric Simon and some friends to preview Torg Eternity which will be up on Kickstarter soon.

After earth has been invaded by a host of hostile dimensions a braves group of heroes has banded together across timelines and realities to defend humanity: The Storm Knights. Thier resistance to extradimensional influence is small yet determined.

Recently a group of their operatives went missing in the domain of the tyrannical Cyber Pope. Command has put together a colourful crew of operatives to tray and rescue their missing team.

TORG: ETERNITY
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Torg Eternity Part 1: After earth has been invaded by a host of hostile dimensions a braves group of heroes has banded together across timelines and realities to defend humanity: The Storm Knights. Thier resistance to extradimensional influence is small yet determined.

Recently a group of their operatives went missing in the domain of the tyrannical Cyber Pope. Command has put together a colourful crew of operatives to tray and rescue their missing team.

Torg Eternity Part 2After a slightly rocky demon-summoning start to their covert search and rescue mission, our Storm Knights head further into the domain of The Cyber Pope to gather information and allies.

Torg Eternity Part 3: The storm Knights go on a wild chase through the domain of the dreaded Cyber Pope. What should be a simple task grows drastically out of control as ill-timed failed rolls compound. Will our knights make it to their safe house in time, or will the game take a drastic turn?

Torg Eternity Part 4: All that stands between our Storm Knights and rescuing their comrades is an army of police, cyber papacy drones, and a massive holographic angel with a flaming sword. It actually doesn’t seem so insignificant when I lay it all out there. Well, let’s hope they don’t all unexpectedly die!

Heading down to @C2E2 later! Who’s around?

My 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], LethalJugular 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 [M], Me, Michi Trota, Mikki Kendalland Mary Anne Mohanraj

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

Up next for me, @ecgconf

ECGC17

Why stereotypes and tropes are not representation of the “Other”

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Tuesday April 18th 

We’ve all seen and played games where People of Color (POC) are often stereotypes, or LGBTQIA characters are one-dimensional, and other identities don’t even get to exist for long. These portrayals are often flattened versions of what could have been a great character that added to the narrative of a story or the characters relationship to the world, the player and other characters. Using examples both good and bad, I’ll talk about why it’s better to do the hard work of fleshing out your characters rather than giving us flattened versions to play with.

Women in Gaming Tell All – Panel

6:15 pm -7:15 pm – Tuesday April 18th 

Panelists:
Heather Albano
Scarlett Dangerfield
Gina Grahame
Tanya DePass
Gabriela Aveiro

Women in Gaming is a trendy and important topic in the gaming industry. During this panel discussion, we will explore how the field is changing and will hear the personal success stories of five women working in gaming.

Sponsored by the Consulate General of Canada, this panel seeks to inspire the audience and encourage women to embrace all roles in the gaming industry. There are no limits to how far women can go and no assumptions on what positions they’re supposed to take on. Come hear five successful women speak about their work that is actively changing and improving the gaming industry for gender equality. This will be a panel discussion with Heather Albano, Scarlett Dangerfield, Gina Grahame, Tanya DePass and Gabriela Aveiro.

ICYMI – I was interviewed over at @FPSWeekly!

INDG Youtube Banner

Banner image courtesy of: alamarri.tumblr.com

INTERVIEW WITH TANYA DEPASS

ACTIVIST, WRITER, DIVERSITY LIASION

Tanya DePass is the founder and Director of I Need Diverse Games, a lifelong Chicagoan, founder and Editor In Chief of the Fresh Out of Tokens podcast and she’s also the Diversity Liaison for GaymerX.

bio-blogbio-blogbio-twitterbio-blog

Listen on SoundCloud!

Full transcript after the jump

Continue reading “ICYMI – I was interviewed over at @FPSWeekly!”

Hey Montreal friends, Let’s Talk Gaming!

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Join the Canada Science and Technology Museum and the Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG) lab for an evening of thought-provoking discussions about representation in video games.

Invited speakers from academia and the gaming industry will explore gender, culture, and race in video games, and some interesting movements working to improve representation. The session will end with light refreshments, networking opportunities, and game testing.

Get a ticket at EventBrite!

Date and Time

Wed, 12 April 2017

6:30 PM – 9:30 PM SST

Add to Calendar

Location

Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex EV Building – Concordia University

1515 rue Sainte-Catherine O

EV 1.605

Montreal, QC H3G 2W1

Canada

Speakers*

Only Human: Why Games Need to Stop the Othering of POC as Exotic

Tanya DePass, Founder of I Need Diverse Games

Dismantling Games Culture with Tea Parties

Rebecca Cohen-Palacios, Co-Founder of Pixelles Montreal

Feminist Resistance in Video Games: The Case of Alt Games (in French)

Pascale Thériault, Ph.D student at Université de Montréal’s Art History and Film Studies department, Co-Founder of Groupe Féministe Vidéoludique

Representation Runs Code-Deep

Rilla Khaled, Associate Professor, Department of Design and Computation Arts, Concordia University

*Presentations are in English or French with bilingual slides. The Q+A session will be bilingual.

Let’s Talk Gaming! is dedicated to providing a harassment-free event experience for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, or religion. You can also refer to TAG lab’s Safe Space Policy.

 

ICYMI – I was interviewed about @INeedDivGms by the @chicagotribune!

I Need Diverse Games works to give minorities and women a louder voice in gaming

Amina Elahi Amina ElahiContact ReporterBlue Sky Innovation

An Xbox. Two PlayStations. A gaming PC. A Nintendo 3DS. These are the tools of a gamer’s kit, but this is no ordinary gamer. This is a gamer looking to shake up the system.

Tanya DePass is the director and founder of I Need Diverse Games, a Chicago-based nonprofit dedicated to helping underrepresented people gain visibility and access in the gaming industry. She takes donations and partners with conferences to get free passes for minority and female attendees.

The diverse presence could benefit attendees individually — through education and networking opportunities — while also helping the larger gaming scene by introducing more and different voices into the conversation, said DePass, 43.

“I’ve been gaming for a long time. … I am tired of not seeing myself in this media,” she said. “Games are old enough to where we should be beyond the same scruffy white dude as the protagonist or tired racial stereotypes or tropes.”

Most of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization’s funding comes from donations through Patreon, though DePass ran a GoFundMe campaign earlier this month as a stopgap measure.

DePass, who previously worked at DePaul University and the Illinois Institute of Technology, started down this path in mid-2014 with a hashtag. She said she was up early and upset that Ubisoft, the maker of “Assassin’s Creed,” said it was too much work to animate women. (Later that year, the Gamergate controversy exploded online.) Her tweet gained traction and eventually led to a blog and speaking engagements and now the nonprofit, which she’s been running full-time since August.

I Need Diverse Games has given free passes or financial assistance to dozens of applicants, she said. DePass worked with the Game Developers Conference in 2016 and 2017 to get two batches of 25 all-access passes, worth about $1,600 apiece, through the conference’s scholarship program. She also secured three passes for Alterconf, which is coming to Chicago in June and focuses on inclusivity in tech and gaming. Two of those passes are already gone, she said.

DePass said it can be hard for some gamers to attend even conferences with lower price tags because the costs of travel and housing can be prohibitive. She said I Need Diverse Games sometimes gives beneficiaries $100 or so to help cover such costs.

She said the presence of non-white, non-male attendees at conferences is sometimes limited to diversity efforts or panels that end up focusing on how hard it is to be a woman in gaming rather than discussing that woman’s work. Instead, she wants to see underrepresented groups discussing trends and issues in the industry at large.

“If I walk into a room and I see the same … people on the same panel, it tells me you’re not trying,” DePass said. “There are plenty of non-white, non-dudes, queer people, non-binary, et cetera, that can talk about the same issues.”

The topics of conversation don’t have to change, but the voices involved should, she said.

DePass said most of the people she sees at gaming conferences or events are white men, but that she knows people with different identities who also have a passion for the industry.

Nearly half of American adults play video games, with about about one in 10 people considering themselves gamers, a Pew Research Center survey found in 2015. But overall, men were twice as likely as women to refer to themselves as gamers, and 60 percent of respondents thought most people who play video games are men.

Attitudes toward gaming also differed by race and ethnicity. Black respondents were more likely to have positive views about video games, compared to whites and Hispanics, according to Pew. But Hispanics as a group were most likely to call themselves gamers, and whites were the most likely to consider video games a waste of time, the report said.

Rejon Taylor-Foster, a 22-year-old year game developer and a senior at Becker College in Worchester, Mass., said he attended the Game Developers Conference this February for the first time with the help of I Need Diverse Games. He said DePass got him a pass, while the conference gave him a food stipend. Without that support, he said he wouldn’t have been able to attend.

“I was mostly interested in going because I wanted to learn,” he said. “With GDC I (could) go and meet the people that literally inspire who I’ve become over the years.”

He said attending the conference allowed him to connect with others in the industry, and to learn from them.

For aspiring developers without resources or support, going to conferences can give them the confidence to pursue work in that realm, he said. That, in turn, can affect the industry or surrounding culture.

“If you exist in the space, then you can kind of control that space and mold it for not only yourself, but others just like you,” he said. “With I Need Diverse Games, that’s definitely something they’re doing.”

aelahi@chicagotribune.com
Twitter @aminamania

Catch @qgcon panels via Livestream this weekend!

Folks are always asking me if panels will be streamed when I go to conventions and conferences. Well luck is with you, as Queerness and Games Conference has you covered! They have two twitch channels:

twitch.tv/qgcon

twitch.tv/qgcon2

If you want to catch a specific speaker over the weekend, the schedule is below. Remember all times are in PDT (Pacific Daylight Savings Time) so -2 hours from CDT, -3 hours from EDT, -1 hour from MDT.

Saturday, 4/1

10:00 am – 11:00 am

Opening session: “Queerness and Video Games Today” – 2017 QGCon Organizers – SCI 106

11:15 am – 12:30 pm

Panel: “Getting Games Made (Right)” – moderator Adam Sulzdorf-Liszkiewicz – SCI 106
– Ashley Brown, “Cultural Differences in Creating and Financing a Serious Game for Sexual Health Project”
– Mo Cohen, “Navigating Self Care While Making Queer Quest
– Tanya DePass, “Gaming as POC: Where the Industry Has Failed Us, Where It Hasn’t and What to Hope For”

Panel: “Consent and Control in and around Gaming” – moderator Josef Nguyen – SCI 108
– Stephanie Boluk, “Feminist Killjoys and Magic Circle Jerks
– Josef Nguyen, “Reframing Consent through Debates on Control in Games”
– Amanda Phillips, “Unruly Bodies: The Queer Physics of Fumblecore”

Workshop:Making the LGBTQ Games Archive” – Adrienne Shaw, Alayna Cole, Evan Lauteria, Christopher Persaud – SCI 206

12:30 pm – 1:00 pm

Break (light lunch provided for speakers and volunteers in SCI 201)

1:00 pm – 2:15 pm

Panel: “Games and Community” – moderator Andreas Kratky – SCI 106
– Evan Conway, “Proud Labor: the Visual, Material, and Social Branding of a Queer Gaming Community”
– Amanda Cullen, “Who Watches the Overwatchmen? A Digital Ethnographic Case Study of Queer Overwatch Fans”
– Kate Ringland, “Minecraft as a Site of Sociality for Autistic Youth”

Post Mortems: “Making Queer Games” – moderator Archie Prakash – SCI 108
– Josie Noronha, “Consideration In Your Core: A robo-tea! Postmortem”
– Yifat Shaik, “Humor on Behalf of the Ridiculous”
– Kara Stone, “Ritual of the Moon Post-Mortem: Queer Narratives, Mental Health, and Time”

Workshop: “Creating Positive Queer Characters” – Michael Wilde – SCI 206

Round table: “People of Color in Game Development and Community” – facilitator Tanya DePass – SCI L114

2:30 pm – 3:45 pm

Design KEYNOTE: John Epler, introduced by Jasmine Aguilar – SCI 106

“The Privilege of Default: Unconscious Biases in AAA Games”

4:00 pm – 5:15 pm

Panel: “Queer Movements through Space and Time” – moderator Alenda Chang – SCI 106
– Maureen Engel, “Go Queer: A Ludic, Locative Media Experiment”
– Miguel Penabella, “The Politics of Driving Queerly: Policing Movement and Urban Spaces in Roundabout
– Lisa Yamasaki, “Playing Queerness in Life Is Strange

Open microtalks: You! Any and all attendees are invited to sign up to speak for 5 minutes on the topic of their choice. – SCI 108

Workshop: “Pedagogy for Social Change” – Irene Chien, Jen Malkowski, Jane Pinckard – SCI 206

Workshop: “Make a Zine with the L.A. Zine Fest” – Rhea Tepp and Kenzo Martinez, L. A. Zine Fest – SCI L114

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Micro-talk session: “Out of Sheer Spite” – Kris Ligman, Tanya DePass, Innes McKendrick, Zoe Quinn, Dietrich “Squinky,” Squinkifer, Carli Velocci – SCI 106

Post Mortems: “Queer Game Creation” – moderator Gordon Bellamy – SCI 108
– J.C. Holder, “Jamming Along to Game Jams: An ILU Game Jam Post-Mortem”
– Emilia Yang, Downtown Browns: Diversifying Interactive Media and Mapping Oppression”

Info Session: “Getting into Queer Game Studies” – Bonnie “Beaux” Ruberg, Teddy Diana Pozo, Whitney Pow, Claudia Lo – SCI 206

Sunday, 4/2

10:00 am – 11:00 am

Post Mortems: “Gender, Identity, and Game Design” – moderator Allison Comrie – SCI 106
– Michael Annetta and Erin Reynolds, Nevermind Post-Mortem: How a Cis Team Approached a Trans Story”
– Steve Cha, “Design as Drag: Performing Identity via Autobiographical Game Design”

Talk: “Orcs and Bowsers and Bara, Oh My: The Complicated Case of Monstrous Queer Male Bodies,” Todd Harper – SCI 108

Round Table: “Invisible Gender and Sexual Identities in the Queer Community” – moderated by Dietrich “Squinky” Squinkifer – SCI 206

11:15 am – 12:30pm

Academic KEYNOTE: T. L. Taylor – SCI 106

“Play as Transformative Work”

12:30 – 1:00pm

Break (light lunch provided for speakers and volunteers – SCI 201)

1:00 pm – 2:15 pm

Panel: “Representation and Character Creation” – moderator Melinda Stang – SCI 106
– Dan Gardner and Josh Tanenbaum, “Charting Performative Possibilities in Games: A Large-Scale Census of Characters and Representation”
– Rebecca Stimson, “Beautiful Monsters: Building Space for Queer Gaming in Monster Factory”
– Aaron Trammell and Nicole Crenshaw, “The Damsel and The Courtesan: A History of Gendered Game Design”

Panel: “How Queerness (and its Intersectional Themes) have Shaped our Experiences as Student Game Developers,” Ryan Bobell, Jocelyn Kim, Heather Robertson – moderator Margaret Moser – SCI 108

Workshop: “Imagining LGBTQ History through Games: A Game Design Workshop in Collaboration with the ONE Archives” – Loni Shibuyama and Chelsea Howe – SCI 206

2:30 pm – 3:45 pm

Panel: “Identity and Resistance” – moderator Richard Lemarchand – SCI 106
– Gabriela Aveiro-Ojeda, “Resistance through Play: Latinx Indigenous Culture”
– Niamh Schönherr, “Cute Games: Using Icelandic Krútt Music to Understand Revolution and Resistance in Alt/Queer Games”

Panel: “Academic Perspectives on Development, Industry, and Code” – moderator Derek Burrill – SCI 108
– Eric Freedman, “Engineering Queerness in the Game Development Pipeline”
– Aleah Kiley, Cheerleaders and Martyrs: Feminists and Queer Women in the Indie Industry
– Claudia Lo, “How RimWorld‘s Code Defines Strict Gender Roles”

Workshop: Supporting Queer Students as Game Makers & in Games Studies in the Age of Trump, Amanda Phillips, Alexandrina Agloro, Rachel Burton, Jezz Lucena, Hong-An Wu, Klew Williams, Josef Nguyen – SCI 206

4:00 pm – 5:15 pm

Panel: “New Queer Perspectives” – moderator Vicki Callahan – SCI 106
– Emily Marlow, “Subverting the Heteronormative (?) Jesus in Video Games”
– Kaelan Doyle Myerscough, “I’m Taking Care of You: Pharmercy and Sensation in Video Game Romance”
– Whitney Pow, “I’m sure your woman-arms will be able to lift it: Queering affect, interface and phenomenologies of privilege in Anna Anthropy’s Realistic Female First-Person Shooter

Panel: “Queer Design” – moderator Virginia Kuhn – SCI 108
– Matthew Balousek, “Racist Bridges and Smelly Horses: What Is a Queer Game?”
– Heidi McDonald, “Don’t Fear the Queer: Audiences Are Ready”
– Klew Williams, “Trojan Horse Narratives: Sneaking in Queer Stories”

Workshop: “Diversity Backwards and Forwards” – Sarah Schoemann – SCI 206

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Closing Session: The Future of Queerness and Games2017 QGCon Organizers – SCI 106

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

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], LethalJugular 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!

dnd-podcast

 

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!

blacks-in-gaming-event-gdc

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

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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.

 

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

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

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.

happy hacker fam WD2.jpg

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

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…

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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.