A reminder of why I’m on @Patreon

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for reading, sharing and supporting ❤

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

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

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

My @GaymerX 4 Schedule

My updated #GX4 Schedule for next week’s convention, which is less than a week away! :O

The random musings of a 1973 Original

Unless something changes in the next two weeks, here’s my schedule.

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Friday September 30

Podcasting for a Gamer Audience5:00 pm Panels Room B

Podcasts are as varied as the wind, but what about those of us who want to address other gamers? You’ll get some basic how to start a podcast tips, then more focus on crafting your podcast for a gaming audience.

Panelists: Laura Kate Dale & Jim Sterling* , I’m moderating

Saturday, October 1

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

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

(Unofficial description: SALTIEST PANEL EVER)

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

Playing…

View original post 407 more words

I’m fed up

I thought about writing out my thoughts on all the killings and shootings of our people instead of a long thread of tweets. However, I’m not doing that for two reasons.

One) it’s like the second I talk about one person’s murder by cops, another occurs in hours if not days and it’s exhausting emotionally, physically to wake up to the same news, same situation, same cycle of victim blaming of the newly murdered and sympathy for the killer in blue.

Two) When I share my thoughts, my pain without fail someone takes it as some academic lesson, some object lesson on racism instead of hearing out their friends pain about another black life taken. They share it as a lesson to other white friends who don’t get it. My pain is not a soundbite, it’s not a handy lesson to pass around to show how woke you are.

It also happens without fail someone will whitesplain back what I’ve said or try to play devil’s advocate when I speak from my heart. That usually happens more on twitter than here but it’s irritating and hurtful that people who follow me would rather turn someone’s very real hurt into an academic circle jerk on whether the things I’ve said are valid because they don’t see it in their lives.

I’ve got filters upon filters on Facebook, and a private, locked twitter. That’s where I’ll be having a lot of these conversations or venting going forward because my pain over more black murders isn’t there for people who don’t get it and thank me for sharing on breath, yet continue to be clueless and hurtful in the next.

A few Twitch Streamers I recommend you follow

For whatever my two cents is on folks to follow 😛

SimplyUndrea, variety streamer on PS4 Friday – Sunday 11am PST – ?? with special streams. Follow her on twitter to keep up with her schedule.

UGRGaming, variety streamer, lots of horror, Resident Evil. Follow on twitter for his schedule.

SpawnOnMe, Twitch channel by the Spawn on Me crew, follow on twitter for stream announcements.

LSeekrL, variety streamer sometimes with Destiny or other games. Follow on twitter for stream announcements. Also, check out Thumb Stick Mafia

TheWoundGod, variety streamer, sometimes with Destiny or other FPS, mostly on XB1. Also check out GATSpod!

ThePhenomQQ, variety PC streamer currently playing through the Witcher 3 follow on twitter for his schedule

Stephenkil, variety PC streamer on Mondays and Wednesdays, follow on twitter for what he’s playing. Usually it’s the Long Dark on Mondays, a Telltale title on Wednesdays.

Mike_Laidlaw, Wednesdays and Saturdays, occasional extra streams on the weekend or week nights. Indie game on Saturday, lately Persona 4 Golden on Wednesdays. Follow on twitter for a bunch of stuff and stream announcements.

Pokeyoureyesoutgames, Ed and Lola are partnered variety streamers who stream six days a week, with just taking Wednesdays off.

femfreq, Thursdays at 6pm PST, a variety of things and sometimes with devs as guests or other streamers. (I and simplyundrea mod at this channel too)

ehlien, variety from PC, XB1 and PS4. Some sports, some Overwatch or other FPS games. Also game dev podcast along with theFiddzz

TheFiddzz, variety from PC, XB1 and PS4. Some sports, some Overwatch or other FPS games. Also game dev podcast along with ehlien

DJSpectre, variety PC streamer. Some horror, some indie. Follow on twitter for his schedule

GameWithNikkivariety streamer, PC. Currently replaying DAO headcanon edition

Pringtellamostly Mass Effect, Dragon Age and sometimes Assassin’s Creed. Part of the N7 Outpost

Coco_The_Louder, dance and creative streamer. Check twitter for schedule

Streaming @MasqueradaGame today

The fine folks who made Masquerada were kind enough to share the build they showed at PAX West with me, so to celebrate the return of my voice and excitement over passing the 700 follower mark on Twitch, I’ll be doing two games today.

First, Masquerada: Songs and Shadows at 11:00 am CST through finishing it

masquerada2

Then some more FenQuisition!

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I’ll figure out what I’m doing to mark 700+ Twitch followers before I head off for GaymerX!

 

I consulted on Paper Drumpf and I’d like you to try it out #indiegamedev

I was approached to be a consultant on Paper Drumpf by Buchanan productions a little while ago. I admit I had a split second of hmm, what’s this then? When I got the DM.

However, the game isn’t simply a LOL Trump sucks, quick and easy game to run through in a few minutes. It’s satire but it’s smart satire that has a message about choices, hard ones that shape a person throughout their life, and through a job that changes everything about them.

It’s not kind to any of the candidates but it’s not an endorsement of anyone either. It’s an exercise that made me think about choice, the choices facing the country I live in come November and beyond. It’s about one staffer who gets to see the dark underbelly of politics, and who has to know when to make the right call versus the easy one.

 

Don’t take my word for it, check out this trailer then continue on, but first trigger warnings:

THIS GAME IS A SATIRE. THE CHARACTERS DEPICTED IN THIS GAME ARE WORKS OF FICTION, DEPICTING EVENTS THAT ARE NOT REAL AND NEVER HAPPENED. NAMES, CHARACTERS, PLACES, AND INCIDENTS ARE THE PRODUCTS OF THE AUTHOR’S IMAGINATION AND ARE USED FICTITIOUSLY. OBVIOUSLY NONE OF THIS COULD EVER POSSIBLY HAPPEN, THAT WOULD BE RIDICULOUS.

WARNING: Depending on your choices, this game can contain scenes depicting implied physical threat, online harassment, and characters with homophobic, misogynistic, and/or Islamophobic views.

The game isn’t easy, especially if you choose the option to play as a black character. It’s…reflective of some truths in our world for black people encountering law enforcement. I suggest you try that path first, before re-rolling with the white character.

So give it a try, it’s free but if you can spare $5 the devs (including me!) would appreciate it. You’ll also get the great soundtrack which really helped set the tone of each scene as I played through it.

Download Paper Drumpf – Name your own price

“Why shouldn’t a president serve himself?”

Welcome to PAPER DRUMPF, a game about two fictional presidential candidates (Daffy Drumpf and Killary Blinton) vying for the nation’s votes in the week before election day 2016. You play as Abigail Thoreau, one of many campaign managers working for Drumpf.

The goal? Make America Win Again.

  • Eleven chapters of a combined 1-3 hours length, with save points for you to take a break between each chapter.
  • Choice-based text adventure with original art and music, developed using Inkle Studio’s ‘Ink’ scripting language and Elias’s adaptive music technology.
  • Your choices will affect the fate of America and your character’s future.
  • An immersive story putting you up against the police, protestors, a nice guy, cold call recipients, and other key threats facing America.
  • Featuring the latest in anti-tunnel-from-Mexico-through-the-wall technology and blast-processing*

* May not actually feature either of these things.

Whilst PAPER DRUMPF is being released for free, please consider supporting us by paying the suggested $5 tier or more to help support the decidedly not-free development of this game and those like it!

In return, you will receive:

  • a high-quality downloadable copy of Seb Peters’ fantastic soundtrack [due to be uploaded within a week or two, so check back soon for your copy]
  • karma / universal good-will for paying for something you enjoy!
  • a free copy of a much longer, paid-for game in a few months, either with a Steam Key or itch.io copy depending on how our Steam Greenlight goes! Think of this game as an early access copy, my friends.

If you enjoy PAPER DRUMPF, vote for our longer anthology, 2016: GAME OF THE YEAR, on Steam Greenlight now!

If you play this and like it and would like to see more from the team then please give it a Yes vote on Steam Greenlight and comment. I’m over there keeping an eye on things as well as the Musician Seb Peters.

DIRECTOR/WRITER: Greg Buchanan (@gregbuchanan)
MUSIC: Seb Peters (@soundofseb)
PROGRAMMING: Matt Nichols (@pollkem)
ART: Adam Coburn (@curbychup)

CONSULTANT: Tanya DePass (@cypheroftyr)
BUCHANAN PRODUCTIONS TITLE ANIMATION: Rex Smeal (@rexsmeal)

 

My @GaymerX 4 Schedule

Unless something changes in the next two weeks, here’s my schedule.

gaymerx_yearfour_logo_web-768x684

Friday September 30

 

Podcasting for a Gamer Audience 5:00 pm Panels Room B

Podcasts are as varied as the wind, but what about those of us who want to address other gamers? You’ll get some basic how to start a podcast tips, then more focus on crafting your podcast for a gaming audience.

Panelists: Laura Kate Dale & Jim Sterling* , I’m moderating

Saturday, October 1

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

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

(Unofficial description: SALTIEST PANEL EVER)

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

Playing With Pride 2:00 pm Panels Room B

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gatekeeping and Geek Policing  5:00 pm Panels Room B

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

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

Panelists: Donna Prior and Tanya DePass (moderating)

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

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

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

Sunday, October 2

Fans Vs Creators: Is there a better way? 2:00 pm Panels Room B

Whether we’re talking about the 100, Ghostbusters, or your favorite video game series, there’s a sense that fandom spaces have become armed camps rather than spaces for discussion. Creators are suddenly backed against a wall feeling as if they must now justify their choices. Is that justification truly necessary? Where does the line exist between listening to one’s audience and caving to their demands? Is there such a thing as a ‘good fan’ and a ‘bad fan’, and how does one walk that line in order to participate in a healthy conversation with creators about things like representation? Is that even possible anymore?”

Panelists: Crystal Frasier, David Gaider (Moderating), Donna Prior, Katherine Cross and me

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

PAXWest

(originally posted on 6 September on my Patreon)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My next thing is Adler After Dark, where I’m talking up Star Trek!

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I’m happy and excited to be speaking about a series that informed my life really heavily, gave me a love of science and showed me that a black woman could be more than a side character when I was a child.

The event is sold out, so I hope you got a ticket! I’ll be talking about Trek with Michi Trota, Matt Peters who I’m proud to be on the Board of the Chicago Nerd Social Club with, and Mary Anne Mohanraj at the Adler Planetarium, and we’ll Boldy Go on Thursday, September 15th

WHAT IS ADLER AFTER DARK?

Exclusively for adults 21+, this evening offers you open access, unlimited shows, and unique entertainment every third Thursday of the month from 6:00 pm10:00 pm.With themes that change every month, Adler After Dark is never the same event twice. Reinvent your Adler experience every month with friends, family, or that special someone on a date they’ll never forget!


Calling all Starfleet personnel, Klingons and Borg! Don’t miss the Boldly Go Costume Contest on September 15. Entries will be judged on overall quality, screen accuracy, and most creative. No need to enter the contest if you don’t want—any and all Trek costumes encouraged.

Need some Adler After Dark costume inspiration? Check out some of our photo albums of past AAD attendees! 

SEPTEMBER 15: BOLDLY GO

Fifty years ago, Captain James T. Kirk and his intrepid crew of the USS Enterprise set out on a 5-year mission, to boldly going where no man—no one—had ever gone before.

Celebrate fifty years of Tribbles, Klingons, Phasers, and Warp Drive, only at Adler After Dark: Boldly Go this fall! Enjoy a Romulan Ale from Ten Forward over the musical stylings of Five Year Mission, or check out the science behind Star Trek with hands-on programs exploring tractor beams, cloaking devices, replicators and more. Whether you’re a Picard or Kirk fan, challenge your fellow Trekkers in a no-holds-barred Team Trivia game, visit the bridge of the Enterprise in our Space Visualization Lab, or check out talks on the cultural impact of Trek and how the shows and movies impacted the lives and work of real scientists.  Explore brave new worlds and geek out over one of the seminal sci-fi franchises of our time only at Adler After Dark! 

Engage!

Semi-infrequent reminders of how to support my work

Hey y’all! Here is a handy post on how you can support my work. A lot of people say they love what I do, and want me to keep doing it, but hey bills don’t pay themselves, Comcast won’t wait for their money and the cat needs kibble, I need food, y’all know how it goes.

The straight up, no bullshit thing is; if I have to go back to a regular 9-5 gig then I Need Diverse Games will die off. I cannot maintain that work, do conventions and other things with a regular gig AND do the level of work for INDG that I am now and have it still be a thing I am proud of, that I got to where it is now along with friends and supporters. There’s a separate patreon for I Need Diverse Games, but this post is about ways to keep a roof over my head so I can continue to do this full time.

Luckily, there’s a few ways to help keep me afloat.

               patreon_logo_black Patreon – patreon.com/cypheroftyr

Why I’m on Patreon:

#INeedDiverseGames is my full time job thanks to being abruptly let go from my previous employer in December 2015. I’m dedicating all my time and resources available, but doing this doesn’t generate a lot of money, it usually costs me what little I had to spare when I was employed. To survive, pay my rent and keep fed, along with the cat, etc I need to ideally pull in at least $2000 a month, but to truly have all bills paid, be able to attend conventions, etc I need to hit a goal of about $3K a month. I outlined this in a recent post on my blog, and I’ve copied some of that below.

Ideally I would need at least $2000 – $3000 a month coming in to cover the following:
Rent $925 a month [Goes up to $950 on October 1st]
Bills, including internet, electricity, cooking gas, etc. ($650)
Pet costs ($125)
Groceries ($300)
Transit costs ($100 a month, unlimited rides on CTA)
INDG related Travel & Doing cost of business expenses (which could also be pulled from INDG for specific reasons/conventions)

If you can help me support myself while I do this work it would be great. Thank you in advance for any help you can give so I can continue to do this full time.

I’ve got a decent social media presence, almost 5900 followers on twitter, over 1500 on tumblr, the I Need Diverse Games tumblr has over 7K followers. If even half my twitter followers pledged $1 a month, I could do this without worrying too much about money and keeping a roof over my head.
Maybe you’re thinking a monthly commitment to $X in support isn’t your thing, you can’t but you still want to help? I’ve got a paypal.me button (and no shame) if you’ve got some loot in your pocket that would help out I can give it a good home.
paypal me logo
paypal.me/cypheroftyr

 

Lastly, I like to write! I’ve written quite a bit and if you’re in a position to pay for articles, opinion pieces or maybe need some diversity consulting done, that’s another way to help support & keep me working! I also go to conventions, and if you have a local con and/or a way to get me to a not-so local event, you can send that info to me via this page on my site.

 

Final @PAX West schedule!

PAXWest

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

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

Diversity Lounge PAX West

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

Friday September 2nd, 12:30 pm Sasquatch Theatre

Ask the Game Masters

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

Panelists include:

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

 

Friday, September 2nd 4:30 pm Chipmunk Theatre

Challenging Assumptions about Diversity with Data

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

Panelists include:

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

 

Friday September 2nd 7:30 pm Sphinx Theatre

Get your politics out of our games!

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

Panelists include:

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

 

Friday, September 2nd 9:30 pm Chicken Theatre

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

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

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

 

Saturday, September 2nd 2:00 pm Hippogriff Theatre

Making and Promoting Non-Traditional Characters in Games

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

Panelists:

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

 

Sunday September 4th, 4:00 pm Chipmunk Theatre

Git Gud, Ally

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

Panelists:

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

ICYMI – I got to interview @tanyaxshort for @ViceGaming about Moon Hunters

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When I first played Kitfox Games’s Moon Hunters, it reminded me of the 16-bit games I’d grown up with, RPGs where you had to run for your life from wildlife, or duck into caves to find treasure, or save up to buy the best weapon in the game.

But while I loved RPGs from a young age, characters who looked like me didn’t exist. If I was lucky, I might get a NPC that was a sort of ambiguous, video-game brown—not explicitly black but (probably) not white. Unlike those games of my youth, though, Moon Hunters has both playable characters and NPC’s that are unmistakably people of color. Best of all, there’s no exoticization or fetishization of these characters, and no unnecessary explanation for why they’re there. They just are.

That prompted me to ask developer Tanya X. Short a few questions about the game’s diversity, guiding mythology and the reaction it received from the gaming community.

VICE: So you can choose from four different character classes at the start of Moon Hunters. My first time playing through the game, I chose the Witch, and was happy to find that she was a woman of color. I did have a moment when I thought, Why is the witch a WOC, why are we always the exotic or the mystic? But her character is well done, clothed pragmatically, has an interesting backstory that fits with the mythology you build up as you play. Did you have any concerns with how her character could be received since she’s a witch and uses blood magic?

Tanya X. Short: We were briefly concerned about fundamentalists being upset about a few things [like blood magic] in the game, but we figured we could probably handle a little criticism on that front. After all, we at least tried to be inspired by aspects of of ancient Assyrian and Sumerian traditions—we weren’t literally glorifying demon-worship and necromancy, unlike, say, Diablo. There are a few themes you could say were not just pre-Biblical but maybe even anti-biblical, but they’re fairly subtle and (I like to think) reasoned.

I did worry about the Witch (since she’s a woman of color) being perceived as some kind of throwback stereotype of a vodun priestess or something, but we didn’t really have to change much about her, honestly—she was always a spear-wielding, defined character in her own right, not a reference or callback. It probably helps that she’s not the only person of color around.

Read the rest over at Vice.com 

Oops, never shared my Podcast Movement thoughts, here you go

I posted this for my Patrons a while ago but never cross posted this here. Since it came up on a podcasting panel I did recently, I was reminded to post it publicly. Enjoy!

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So I attended Podcast Movement in Chicago last week and it was … a thing. I only went because they had a payment plan for registration and it was in my city. I can tell you that I wouldn’t travel for this convention and I definitely would not pay what they ask for registration costs.

It wasn’t that the session titles were bad, but for the money (I got the early bird rate but it was still over $300) there weren’t a lot of vendors, some of the panels/talks were not so hot. There was one that was a thinly veiled pitch for the speakers services, but it wasn’t anything I didn’t know.

I mean, maybe some people need common sense before they need lessons on how to be a good podcast guest, but the ‘advice’ she was giving was very 101, like promote the episode when it airs, talk up the show you’re going to be on, come prepared to record, make sure you give the hosts your full attention!

Who doesn’t know such basic stuff? The thing that baffled me the most by her talk was the advice of go write a book to be a podcast guest. I repeat, her advice was go write a book to be on a podcast. That just kind of made me want to walk out. Yes, let’s spend time writing books to be on a podcast.

Let’s be honest, getting to guest on a podcast is not like being on a network tv show or likely something that will make or break your career. Yeah it’s cool, it’s fun but let’s be real here. There are very few shows with enough reach to make you better known.

The other thing that bugged me was that a lot of the ‘experts’ on these panels or giving talks were folks who have corporate backing or had money to spare and acted as if they had such a damn hard time getting where they are. There was no practical advice for small podcasters really.

Just mostly white dudes and white women talking about their corporate sponsored shows that struggled oh-so-much. There was only one diversity panel, and it was almost derailed by the first audience question, or I should say rant. One of the panelists made the very salient point that ok, we’re having this panel and what then?

It was refreshing to hear that from someone on a diversity panel, but the audience member who came back to that point for his ‘question’ went on a whole other level with his ranting about how it means nothing in the end. So that happened 😐

Bad panels, talks and lack of representation aside there were some cool things about going. I got to meet Godfrey of Gamertag Radio, see Cicero H of Spawn on Me again and meet a lot of other cool podcasters. There was good networking to be had and that has some value but not $300+ worth IMHO.

So yeah, if I could ever get a speaker gig (HAHAHAHA) for this and it comes back to Chicago, I may return to it once it’s grown into itself more. For a three year old convention it was slick and pretty but very, very shallow at the end of two and a half days.

I’ll be at @BitBashChicago and #ChiNerdFest this weekend!

I’ll be around Bit Bash Chicago as a volunteer on Saturday, August 13th! If you haven’t gotten a ticket yet you can snip $5 off with code INeedDiverseGames5 when you buy a ticket online.

BitBash

Learn more at BitBashChicago.com

2016’s event includes a selection of games created by Chicago developers, games dealing with socially relevant issues, and a selection of games that deal with often taboo topics for the 18+ audience. We’ve also got C418 (Minecraft) and Chipzel (Super Hexagon) as part of our amazing music line up.

You can check out the full list of games here: bitbashchicago.com, and also feel free to watch our trailer for a taste of the festival: https://vimeo.com/173723080

Sunday, August 14th, I’ll be at #ChiNerdFest for the first time!

Chicago Nerd Comedy Festival

Come see me talk about podcasting, I’ll talk up Fresh Out of Tokens & podcasting 101 along with Aaron Amendola of the Geek Show, James D’Amato of One Shot RPG and Cody Melcher of Tomefoolery at 5pm, Theatre 773

You should come earlier for the great comedy and other panels going on with some really cool folks that I recommend you see on stage. Best of all? These are free panels, so come on through, get some good information and see awesome folks.

4:00-5:00 pm LGBTQ+ in Nerd Culture & Media Panel moderated by Cody Melcher – Jackson Bird, Brittany Meyer, Devon Maggie
6:00-7:00 pm Building Communities moderated by Jackson Bird – Matt Peters, Michi Trota, Tamara Lynn Chambers

Announcement: I’ve joined @GenieCast!

I’ve been doing more and more consulting about Diversity issues, Podcasting and other topics; now you can sign up and get that content via GenieCast! Announcement/press release below.

Professional speaker and author, Tanya DePass has joined the Geniecast marketplace to deliver Diversity Consulting & Podcasting expertise to global audiences. Geniecast is the world’s largest online marketplace of thought leaders, speakers, experts and consultants, all available via live, two-way video broadcast.

The Geniecast marketplace has almost 1,000 different programs led by more than 800 “Genies” who are experts in a variety of topics ranging from customer service and business best practices to leadership and other trending industry topics. Genies include individuals who are members of the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame and speakers who were named to Inc.com’s list of Great Leadership Speakers for Your Next Conference. Former Yahoo! Executive Tim Sanders, sales guru Jack Daly and New York Times best-selling author Dan Buettner are among the Genies available on Geniecast.com. With Geniecast, education, board meetings and business development become more affordable and accessible.

Tanya is offering several programs on Geniecast including: Why Diversity Done Right is Important to your Clients and Podcasting 101 Learn more at Geniecast.com

About Tanya DePass

Tanya DePass 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 EIC of @OutofTokensCast, the Diversity Liaison for GaymerX and often speaks on issues of diversity, feminism, race, intersectionality & other topics at conventions.

The mission and purpose of her community, I Need Diverse Games:

-Provide a safe space for gamers of color and of any other marginalized identities (including race, gender, sexual orientation, neurodiversity, disability etc)

-Provide a safe space to promote the work of creators in the gaming industry, including journalists, developers, artists that are marginalized and would otherwise go unheard.

-To encourage and defend diversity in all forms of gaming, and most importantly, make sure it is done right by creating conversations that invite both critique and praise for the art of gaming.

 

ICYMI – We had @GeekMelange stop in for a visit!

outoftokenscast

We discuss Uncanny & Unbelievable X-Factor of GeekMelange, along with representation or the lack of it, conventions and fire spinning among other things.

Listen on Fresh Out of Tokens // Download the MP3

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We have tees, and other items in the #INeedDiverseGames spreadshirt shop. We’re splitting the profits 50/50 with @Chachibobinks. There’s a blog to compliment the show! Follow us at outoftokenscast.com If you have questions, compliments, hate mail feel free to drop a note there as well. You can also @ us on twitter; @OutOfTokensCast or email us freshoutoftokens@gmail.com.

Musical accompaniment for Fresh Out of Tokens is provided by Mike Moody. You can hear more of her work at: http://soundcloud.com/mikemoody-1

Questions for Michi:

@ShareefJackson: Asian American issues tend to be downplayed in national conversation. What can we do as allies to help give these issues the attention they need?

@GuerricHache: As a Filipina, how to…

View original post 207 more words

Registration now open for @orcacon! I’m a Guest of Honor

I’m super, super excited for OrcaCon next January! This will be my first time being a guest of honor at a convention and it’s all about gaming and diversity!! So if you can make it, I’d love to see you there! ❤

There’s so many cool GoH’s too! Check out this line up and come get your gaming geek on with us!

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Standard Memberships:
OrcaCon Memberships are $55.00 for a Standard 3-Day Membership and $45.00 for children 7-17 years of age. These prices will continue until December, when we cut off online sales or if we sell out. We plan on selling 3-day Memberships at the door for $65.00 adult / $45 child. If we do not sell out before December, we will be offering single day Memberships. We’ll have more information later in the year regarding day passes.

VIP Memberships:
Our VIP Memberships are $250.00 each. VIP Membership holders will get special VIP badges, ribbons, an OrcaCon T-shirt, a pair of OrcaCon dice, an OrcaCon Swag bag full of games and other surprises. Plus, you also have access to the VIP Lounge & Green Room, which is specifically for you to hang out, grab a snack, and mingle with our Guests of Honor and Special Guests.

Children memberships (Ages 7-12):

Children age 6 and under receive a complimentary membership with their family, and will still require a badge. If the memberships you purchase are for attendees under the age of 18, you will be required to bring the OrcaCon Parental Authorization form. Please refer to our Minors Policy.

Memberships are subject to acceptance and adherence to OrcaCon Convention Policies and our Anti-Harassment Policy. Memberships are not allowed to be transferred or sold and are non-refundable. Registered Members are entitled to attend all three days of OrcaCon 2017.

Picking up your Membership badge

Registration will be located inside the Holiday Inn Downtown Everett lobby. When you enter the hotel, take a left and you will see Registration. Badges can be picked up at any time during open Registration hours. We do not mail badges. Valid government-issued photo identification is required for all adults. There will be no exceptions. This does not include school IDs. Minors do not need to have photo identification. However, they must have a signed Parental Permission form in hand, a registered adult member with them, and their registered adult must have a valid government-issued photo ID with them in order to pickup a minor badge.

Children’s Badges

Adults can pick up badges for their minors without their minors being present. Please make sure you have the appropriate Parental Permission Form(s) with you when you come to Registration. Parental Permission Forms are required for all minors that are attending with anyone other than their legal guardian. All Minors MUST have a legal adult attending with them, and on premises at all times.

If you have any further questions, or would like more information or clarification on anything, please email our Registration Team at registration@orcacon.org and we would be happy to assist you!

We look forward to seeing you at the convention!

ICYMI – I wrote about Ghostbusters, tropes & missing discourse for @Polygon

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Ghostbusters is still haunted by negative racial tropes

What the movie got wrong

Opinion – By Tanya D.

I remember the original Ghostbusters movie. I was a teenager when it was released, and I saw it in the theater. It was fantastic for a little nerdling like me to see science and cool stuff and people who won through smarts rather than brute force.

Ernie Hudson’s Winston Zeddemore wasn’t a scientist. He wasn’t one of the smart guys who saved folks. That’s what bothered me when I saw the first film the most: seeing a black person on screen, but not seeing them be fully part of the story. We’ve gotten the same old tropes 30 years later, and it’s still a problem. This is why I’m not cheering the reboot with the same unbridled glee as other folks.

THIS IS A TREND

The original Ghostbusters wasn’t an anomaly in this sense. I never got to see myself as the scientist, the geek or the nerd, except by proxy of a token black dude that tagged along with the other guys in movies. Black girls and women weren’t there unless they happened to be the mom, girlfriend, sister, cousin or random neighbor of the token black dude. I grew up, but the media I watched didn’t.

Read the rest on Polygon

Review – Women in Game Development – Breaking the Glass Level Cap

I had a chance to review Women in Game Development, and I’m happy I had a chance to do so. Thanks again to everyone who contributed and to Jennifer Brandes Hepler for editing this wonderful book!

I Need Diverse Games

WIGD Cover

Women in Game Development

Breaking the Glass Level Cap

Edited by Jennifer Brandes Helpler

Disclosure: I have had the chance to collaborate with many of the women who contributed to this book. Either by writing for them, collaborating with them on projects, having them as a guest on my podcast, or paneling with them at conventions. Prior knowledge of their work has not influenced my opinion of the book. ~ TCD

July 19, 2016

By T. DePass

This book is required reading, not just for young women who might be entertaining the idea of entering the games industry. So often the narrative of women in games is framed around the abuse and harassment they have received in the last couple of years from the public and the industry; but this book puts them back in the narrative.

We get to hear their stories direct from them, unfiltered to know how…

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No streaming this week, have some FenQuisitor instead

Remember, no streaming this week due to some paying work coming my way! So, have some FenQuisitor meeting Hawke in this run of it. I needed to get rid of the Skyhold armor mod that was making all my Inquisitor’s have the same recoloured version of Calpernia’s armor:

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I got rid of that one and the next mod in line loaded up which is a grey and green chainmail outfit for elves, modeled after Fenris’ DA2 armor. So enjoy a bit of playing around in chargen for Hawke & meeting her.

 

For those that may be interested, here are my DA Keep choices for this playthrough:

Continue reading “No streaming this week, have some FenQuisitor instead”

Why do we have abuse reporting on social media again?

[Post collated from some tweets originally posted on July 17th, 2016]

TW: Racial Slurs

So I reported the guy who followed me on YT and has a video titled Fuck Niggers uploaded. Only 1 of 2 that are on the page. This is what I got from YT Safety & Abuse. Who sees something wrong with this?

YT Useless response

Someone has a racial slur and hateful video on their site, another user follows proper channels to report and that’s the answer?  So tell me again why these sites have a report function of they aren’t doing anything with it? Average user reports, we get this BS.

If a celeb or someone who’s more well known or here’s the more likely factor; someone who makes them money complains? That channel would probably have been gone in hours. I make nothing from YouTube so there’s no impetus there.  I don’t get them revenue, so no impetus to actually assist. So nice to know that following proper channels gets you somewhere. Oh wait

Useless responses like this from sites Safety & Abuse department are jokes. I get the same bullshit type of reply on tumblr. They often add in the oh so useful, just don’t look! Like I went out looking for abuse to have in my in-box or reblogs. Usually on tumblr, Twitter and often YT harassers don’t follow then start in or the drive by one-offs are worse at times.

So the ‘advice’ of don’t look is kind of moot when I wasn’t following them to begin with. Big part of why I’ll never feel 100% safe. Considering the timestamp on the email from YT, a human probably didn’t look at my complaint. Or they set a timer for response email.TL;DR the system for reporting harassment and hate doesn’t work and actually it makes no difference.

So thanks for nothing YT.

Streaming update for July 16 – 24th

Hey y’all, streaming will be a bit disrupted after today’s DAI stream due to getting some paying work sent my way. Project will take up all of next week so no stream next Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday is iffy pending where I am in this project.

July 16th there will be more romancing of Sera by Herah Adaar! We’re able to unlock the Temple of Mythal in this playthrough, and there’s a whole lot of war table missions to clear off as well.

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The stream will start a bit later than my usual weekend streams, which will be around 3pm CDT on twitch.tv/cypheroftyr I’ll try to make it a longer stream since I won’t be on for most of next week.

.@GaymerX Call for programming submissions from our POC community members!

Reminder – Four Days left to submit panels or talks and @GaymerX wants to hear from our POC community members! ❤

I Need Diverse Games

Call for more programming submissions from our POC community members!

Only Four Days left to submit programming!

Hi!

I’m putting on my Diversity Liaison hat before I start waving at you for a moment of your time. GaymerX 4 is coming up this fall and programming suggestions are open until July 1st. Convention content comes from the community. We want and need more POC on panels that are NOT just about diversity.

We know there’s a great community of game makers, podcasters, cosplayers, artists, musicians and more who should submit programming items for GX4! There’s more to our stories than being a marginalized identity within another marginalized identity.

We love games, all facets of making them. So bring your knowledge to GX4 and let’s make this year better for representation across all programming and events September 30 – October 2nd

DSC_3878Hello one and all! Thank you for being as excited…

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PAX West Panels, oh my

PAX West Panel approvals are in and these are the ones that I’ll be on!

PAXWest

Friday September 2nd, 12:30 pm Sasquatch Theatre

Ask the Game Masters

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

Panelists include:

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

Friday, September 2nd 4:30 pm Chipmunk Theatre

Challenging Assumptions about Diversity with Data

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

Panelists include:

  • Tanya DePass [Founder, INeedDiverseGames]
  • Trevor Murdock [Founder, Planeswalkers for Diversity]
  • Glenn White [Director of Marketing Infrastructure , EA Games]
  • Matt Baume [Host, Sewers of Paris Podcast]

 

Friday September 2nd 7:30 pm Sphinx Theatre

Get your politics out of our games!

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

Panelists include:

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

 

Friday, September 2nd 9:30 pm Chicken Theatre

Sexy or Stupid? The Great Video Game Sex Scene Debate

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

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

 

Saturday, September 2nd 2:00 pm

Making and Promoting Non-Traditional Characters in Games

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

Panelists include:

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

Sunday September 4th, Chipmunk Theatre

Git Gud, Ally

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

Panelists include:

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

Long stream to celebrate 600 @Twitch followers!

600 Twitch followers

So I hit the 600 follower mark right before I headed off to CONvergence, and have to celebrate it. I am going to do a longer stream on Tuesday, July 12th of some PC games.

I’ll probably start with something easy that I can play and talk at the same time. So nothing new where I’ll have to pay a lot of attention to dialogue, game play etc.I’ll also have the donation box up since things are not so great on the money front lately. If you can/want to donate during the stream you can do so at my twitch alerts donation link

Join me at 12pm CST at twitch.tv/cypheroftyr for a chill, AMA type stream of a few different games. Maybe DA2, maybe some Skyrim, IDK. But the fun will start at noon on Tuesday, July 12th!

 

 

Double damn…

So, the letter from IDES confirming I’ve used up my 26 weeks of unemployment came while I was away at CONvergence. The whole extension program was done as of 2013, and my state is in a fine mess when it comes to money, ie we have none. There’s been no budget for a year, and state workers are being laid off left and right due to the budget shortfall.

So this leaves me in a quandry. I’ve not found steady employment since being let go of said day job. A couple writing things here and there, a contract thing that hasn’t yet given me an assignment so I can’t plan on that for reliable income.

Thanks to signal boosting and what not my Patreon is a bit over $1200 a month but that will cover rent and 1, maybe 2 bills. It’s not enough to cover groceries, pet food, transit etc. I’ve got it all laid out on my “Why I’m on Patreon” page. I might make a video, once I don’t look like I crawled out from under a rock after a twenty year nap.

So right now, I’m looking into updating my resume for more games stuff, seeking out paid writing and consulting; and pushing my Patreon more. Also considering cashing out my 403B for a cushion.

So right now, I really don’t know what to do, I’m tapped out more than a little bit and am kind of stuck.

Well, shit

So I guess I’m at the end of my unemployment benefits as of this week. I certified, did my due diligence and today only got paid out one week of unemployment instead of two as expected. I got no warning letter that hey, your benefits are ending soon, I wasn’t warned that I was at the end when I logged in to certify on Monday. The payment history even says I was paid for two weeks, but I wasn’t.

This is spectacularly bad timing as I leave for a convention tomorrow and I have to pay for a hotel room and the usual con expenses. I’ve got a bit in savings but it’s not going to carry me for long. I can’t even call IDES until 8:30am CDT to find out what’s up or if I can get an extension on benefits.

So I’m going to be in a bit of a money panic until I find out if I can extend my unemployment benefits at all. Considering my state hasn’t had a budget in almost a year, I am not hopeful of that happening. Worst case scenario, I cash out my 403B, but that means a trip back to effin past work place to get the paperwork.

For now, I’m putting my Patreon back out there, especially since a new month is right around the corner. If I can’t get an extension on unemployment benefits, or find something even part time, I’m up the creek without a paddle. So if you can signal boost, or spare even $1 a month, I’d greatly appreciate it.

patreon.com/cypheroftyr

Why Tanya DePass is on Patreon

#INeedDiverseGames is my full time job thanks to being abruptly let go from my previous employer in December 2015. I’m dedicating all my time and resources available, but doing this doesn’t generate a lot of money, it usually costs me what little I had to spare when I was employed. To survive, pay my rent and keep fed, along with the cat, etc I need to ideally pull in at least $2000 a month, but to truly have all bills paid, be able to attend conventions, etc I need to hit a goal of about $3K a month.I outlined this in a recent post on my blog, and I’ve copied some of that below.

Ideally I would need at least $2000 – $3000 a month coming in to cover the following:

Rent $925 a month [Goes up October 1st]

Bills, including internet, electricity, cooking gas, etc. ($650)

Pet costs ($125)

Groceries ($300)

Transit costs ($100 a month, unlimited rides on CTA)

INDG related Travel & Doing cost of business expenses (which could also be pulled from INDG for specific reasons/conventions)

If you can help me support myself while I do this work it would be great. Thank you in advance for any help you can give so I can continue to do this full time.


Upcoming Convention Shenanigans…

I’m finally slowing down, a bit on the convention circuit. In a couple of days I’ll be on my way to CONvergence with GeekMelange & JesseLex for a few days of fandom, friends and tomfoolery.

If you like seeing me on panels, or hey just want to see what these are about, here’s a link to my CONvergence panel schedule.  You can follow along via twitter, @cypheroftyr and the official convention hashtag is #cvg2016

I get back for a couple days rest, then Podcast Movement! I’m going mostly because it’s in my city and I don’t have to travel far, pay for a hotel or anything like that. It’s also going to be awesome to go to a convention and not be a panelist. Excited to go and learn from folks, learn more stuff to make Fresh Out of Tokens better for y’all.

That’s it until September 2nd when I head to Seattle for PAX West; where #INeedDiverseGames will join the Diversity Lounge and (hopefully!) I’ll be on panels for  stuff besides diversity 101 chat. I get a couple weeks off, then off I go back to the west coast for GaymerX 4 in Santa Clara.

I’ve got a week or so till I head back to Cali for Big Bad Con where I’m a Special Guest and I’ll be doing some panels, and hanging out with cool folks. Super excited for a panel on the Fake Geek Girl fallacy I proposed.

That will pretty much round out 2016 for my convention attendance, and I start it all over again in 2017 with OrcaCon and my first Guest of Honor gig! ❤

Stream update for week of June 27, 2016

taloscat

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

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

ICYMI, We celebrated our one year anniversary with @sammusmusic!

This was one of my favorite episodes to record, so grateful for Sammus’ music and her presence.

A huge, huge thank you to LC for introducing me to her music via the Heroine’s Journey Podcast.

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Sammus the Rapper came through to talk about her music, being a black nerdy girl, the importance of representation in games & in other media. We had a wonderful, candid and amazing conversation to help celebrate our one year mark.

Listen on Fresh Out of Tokens // Download the MP3

TW: Racial slurs used when we discuss an article in the show, so there is a warning at that point, and if you want to fast forward, you should do so for your own comfort.

We have tees, and other items in the #INeedDiverseGames spreadshirt shop. We’re splitting the profits 50/50 with @Chachibobinks. There’s a blog to compliment the show outoftokenscast.com If you have questions, compliments, hate mail feel free to drop a note there as well. You can also @ us on twitter; @OutOfTokensCast or email us freshoutoftokens@gmail.com.

Musical accompaniment for Fresh Out of Tokens is…

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My @ConvergenceCON Schedule

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So next week (OMG how did the time fly?!) I will be an Invited Guest at CONVergence! I’ve got a light schedule of panels (thank you Sigrid & Programming!) but I’ll be there Thursday (6/30) – Monday (7/4) and these are the panels I’ll be on:

Resetting the Default – Friday July 1, 12:30 pm, Edina

Diversity (or lack thereof) can be painful and messy. In movies, games, TV, etc., what are some successful examples of getting away from the default white male character? Panelists: Michi Trota, Tanya DePass (mod), Briana Lawrence, Jonathan Palmer, Trisha Lynn

Token for your Thoughts – Saturday July 2, 11:00 am, Atrium 6

There’s a fine line between diverse representation and tokenism, but where is that line? The panel discusses how to make inclusion of non-white/non-male characters substantive, and whether highlighting diversity bolsters or undermines the effort. Panelists: Tanya DePass, Jonathan Palmer, Mark Oshiro, Ytasha Womack, Rob Callahan (mod)

Your Online Persona – Saturday July 2, 3:30 pm, Atrium 7

Does your online persona affect your book or art sales? What are some basic principles for creators to craft a persona that is both genuine and audience friendly? Panelists: Adam J. Whitlatch, Kavin Senapathy, Melissa Olson, Tanya DePass, Tactical Pinup (mod)

One on One with Cam Banks – Sunday July 3, 2:00 pm Plaza 1

A One on One conversation with Cam Banks, RPG Director at Atlas Games.

If you want to meet up for coffee or a meal, a twitter DM will likely be the best way to get me, or just @’ing me on there. My twitter is @cypheroftyr, and if we know each other well enough that you have my #, then text me.

As always, here’s a 110% free guide to interacting with me at conventions, now a handy page on my site.

 

To Halamshiral we go!

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Finally Halamshiral for real this time on stream! 11:00 am CST, all of the Winter Palace with Sera, Dorian, & Blackwall as my party along with Herah Adaar.

So I have questions; Obviously siding with Briala will probably net me massive disapproval cause she’s an elf. But what about Celene and Gaspard?  Neither would give approval I’m thinking?

Also letting Celene live probably nets disapproval. I’m not a fan of Gaspard either.  So it seems like all the options for Orlais will give you problems with Sera there and after.

Either way, I’m gonna struggle with court approval as a Vashoth Inquisitor and find out what happens with a romanced Sera at the Winter Palace.

twitch.tv/cypheroftyr

About ‘father’s day’ for me…

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.

Continue reading “About ‘father’s day’ for me…”

June Update – xposted from Patreon

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Hey y’all,  hope everyone is well out there. First off thanks for the support especially those who stayed around through the ups and downs of end of May/beginning of June. Support was close to $1200 a month, then dipped dramatically after signal boosting some other folks, which I can’t control but it’s really saddening to have support yanked from me for merely linking to others work.

So what have I been up to? Too much actually 😦

March, April and May were pretty non-stop including PAX East, Penguicon, Wiscon, a local Star Trek pop culture conference, speaking at a class at my alma mater along with Jenn C, paneling at the Science Fiction Writers Association  (SFWA) conference in Chicago and the Chicago Video Game Law Summit; also in Chicago.

Thankfully June is much quieter, with just CONVergence at the end of the month, and Podcast Movement at the first weekend of July and I’m pretty much done with conventions until PAX Prime in September, Praise Andraste.

There’s been other stuff going on, least of which is some severe burnout, thus the slowing to a crawl progress on a lot of things I’m doing. I put out a call for help on the #INeedDiverseGames side and have gotten some offers which I need to reply to this week.

ICYMI, one article I did put up here and eventually out in the gen population of my social media is So You Want to Describe a POC Character?

So what’s coming in June on here in terms of writing and such? Not sure actually, I’ve been really struggling with that lately even when given a topic. I’m working on a paid piece so that’s taking my focus a bit.  I’m trying to do more original video content, but that’s a steeper learning curve than I expected 😦

So if you’re supporting at the $10 level and above, drop requests below and now that I am not so omgwtf I just need  ten naps busy I should be able to write something if not by the end of June, then definitely in July.

So that’s what’s up with me and life right now. To be frank, I’m burned out at both ends but I’m muddling through and without everyone’s support I couldn’t keep a roof over my head for the last six months. So thank you, thank you for your continued support.

It means the world to me and is literally keeping me safe, dry and housed.

*Header image by Alamarri on tumblr. Please give her a shout and if you need artwork done, she’s lovely.

Twitter stats are kind of interesting…

On accident I clicked on my Twitter engagement thinger while poking around… and found some interesting stats* for my main account, cypheroftyr.

These are my overall engagements for the last 28 days, as of today (June 6th)

my twitter analytics cypheroftyr June 6th

 

This shows stats according to “Lifestyle” not sure what metrics twitter uses for this but it’s kind of interesting.

lifestyle twitter cypheroftyr June 6th

This last one I got a screencap of is my audience based on interests and occupation. Not a whole lot of surprises in this considering who I follow and among those who follow me.

occupation interests cypheroftyr June 6th

 

I won’t post this stuff often, but I found it kind of neat and interesting.

stats* = I am horrible at stats, like I had to take it 5 times in university to scrape a passing grade. So the fact that I got sucked into analyzing this data is kind of hilarious.

Stream schedule for week of June 6th

Tuesdays (Until I finish the trilogy and ME2/ME3 DLC’s)

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Currently playing Mass Effect, Steam edition with Tanya Shepard, Vanguard.

12:00 pm CST – TBD (as I play I might stream for just a couple hours, I might go longer, but not past 5:00 pm CST)

Thursday June 9th, 2016

Sassybot Studios – Fragments of Him 1:00 pm CST – Completion of Game

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Saturday, June 11th, 2016 2:00 pm CST – TBD

Desperately Seeking Sera – Halamshiral with Herah Adaar

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These streams are on twitch.tv/cypheroftyr

VOD’s uploaded to YouTube within a few hours of stream end

Burning Out: Self-Care Tips for Creative Minds

Great tips from our friends at @Femhype. Burnout is a serious issue with folks, and this came right on time. ❤

FemHype

Dragon Age

“It’s easy to fall prey to the myth that a good creator is an unhealthy and haggard one. Nothing is further from the truth.” @Finickii

Before I started freelancing, I thought the career path sounded very glamourous. You make your own hours, work from wherever you want, and even decide which projects to take on. (Spoiler alert: it’s definitely not that easy.) As it turns out, you also have to be the one to motivate yourself to work, which can be particularly difficult when you’re struggling with intrusive thoughts and plenty of self-doubt. And when you’re freelancing as a journalist? It can be even harder to parse through all of the reactions to any piece you might publish.

Recently, I spoke at PAX East alongside a few super stellar women in the industry, and we touched on the subject of burnout a bit. Our panel, “How I Got Into Games Journalism,”…

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Can y’all believe @OutOfTokensCast is almost a year old!

It’s been nearly a year since our little gaming podcast, Fresh Out of Tokens was released out in the wild for folks. For a show that started on a whim and a $50 mic, and Skype mp3 recorder, put together in 8 hours, we’ve done pretty good eh? So if you’ve enjoyed the show, have had a fond memory of an episode, if any guests have touched you or you have thoughts on how this first year has gone, send us a note at freshoutoftokens@gmail.com 

We’re pretty stoked to have Sammus on with us to celebrate the one year mark. So we hope you come along with us for another year, and enjoy the ride.

Our one year anniversary is coming up! Tell us what your favourite episodes are, or or who a favorite guest was. Email us at freshoutoftokens at gmail or @ us on twitter by 1 June.

Here’s our very first episode, released on 10 June 2015.

Prism Shells, Tres Witchers and E3 Predications! With Chris Algoo of Brooklyn Gamery as our first guest.

We’re also super, super excited to announce that our guest for our one year anniversary episode will be Sammus Music!

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My @WisconSF3 schedule

Have one handy guide to interacting with me at conventions, totally 110% free of charge.😛

Overall I am pretty friendly but I do not like strangers touching me, especially my hair. If you try to pet my hair or touch my locs without express permission or invitation it will not end well for you. So just don’t, especially if you like having fingers.

Revision: Due to the incident (being filmed w/o my consent with intent to intimidate) at PAX East, I am even more twitchy about interaction with people I don’t know at conventions.

If we are twitter/tumblr/online friends but have not met offline, feel free to say hello and if you ask first I’ll likely give you a hug/want a hug. I’m actually quiet and introverted in meat space so if you see me fleeing for a quiet space, it’s not  you I am just feeling overwhelmed and need some quiet time. I have a terrible memory so if we have met just once or twice at previous events I might not remember you immediately, please don’t be offended.

I like to take photos, but I will always ask permission before taking them and again before posting them on tumblr, twitter, Instagram, flickr etc. I don’t mind being in photos, but ask me first before posting them online.

Here’s my Wiscon 40 schedule, full panel schedule is up online.

Friday, May 27th

HeQuisitor, SheQuisitor, TheyQuisitor: The Queer Gaming Experience 

Saturday, May 28th

Podcasts for Beginners

Sunday, May 29th

Women Can Be Evil Too

There’s No Such Thing as Aging Out of Fandom

I Need Diverse Games, Year 2

Queer Eye for Sci Fi

Guest of Honor Speeches & Desert Salon (Introducing Nalo)

Monday, May 30th

This Is Not a Petting Zoo: An Introspective Look into Black Women’s Hair

Patreon round up as it nears the beginning of June

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Hey y’all, I want to share the love for other Patreon creators that you may not be aware of. This is a combination of the two signal boosting posts I did over April and May, along with some new names.

Repeating this caveat , because well people. I took in names and suggests from all over my social networks. I’m sure that means there will be someone listed below that you may not particularly like or feel deserves support. Well too bad, this isn’t high school and I’m not here for infighting, If you see someone you don’t care for, there’s a simple solution… don’t support their work.

I do not, under any circumstances want messages, DM’s, etc with OH MY GOD HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT HER/THEM/HIM! This is a post to boost others work and help others get their work seen via the little bit of social capital I have.   The list is long, so it’s under a cut.

Continue reading “Patreon round up as it nears the beginning of June”

Better Twitch TV Emotes are all live!

The awesome Becka Liz did emotes for my Twitch channel!

 

These are all on Better Twitch TV, and if you’re using this add in (Chrome and Firefox) you can use them too in your Twitch stream!

cypherYAY cypherYAY

cypherWUT cypherWUT

cypherSHINY cypherSHINY

cypherLOVE cypherLOVE

cypherGRR cypherGRR

How Emote Sharing Works

Emote sharing allows other channels to use emotes you have uploaded to BetterTTV. When sharing is enabled on your emote, another user can come to the sharing page, locate the emote, and enable it in their channel.

Steps to share your emotes:

  1. Click on one of your emotes below
  2. Check the “Let others use this emote in their channel” box.
  3. Hit the “Update” button.
  4. Your emote is now on the sharing page for people to use
    • You can also link people directly to your emote. Just copy the URL in your address bar to share.

Steps to use an emote in your channel:

  1. Click on one of the recently shared emotes below or search by channel name
  2. Hit the “Use in my Channel” button
  3. The emote can now be used in your channel
    • You must refresh your chat for BetterTTV to notice the change.

So you want to describe a POC character…

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Ok, so I get asked for advice and my thoughts on a lot of things relating to diversity and representation. Lately I’ve been getting asked about the proper/authentic/least offensive way to describe or write POC characters.

There’s been a tumblr post going around about not using food as descriptors for non-white characters. Some people don’t understand why this offensive and a racist action. There’s so much to unpack in why you shouldn’t use food words as a descriptor of POC characters, that this could be a long post; but here’s trying after a disclaimer.

DISCLAIMER: I do not claim to speak for all POC, all black people, all women. This post is informed both by my personal experiences as a US born and raised black woman who has spent a lot of time discussing, writing about, talking about race, feminism and representation. Do not take this post as your get out of fuckery free card, with the claim a black woman said X so it’s ok! I will not be happy with you at all and woe unto you if you do this and try to use my words as a pass to be wrong.

Take my words as you will, understand that I, as a marginalized person have experiences that you (privileged folks reading this) do not. This is not a time or a place for well, actually in the comments. Nor is it the time or place for countering with your one black friend said Y in response to my Z. So with all that being said, here we go.

So I often get asked about describing POC accurately, authentically and the like.  What follows is an excerpt of an inquiry, with no names attached as the net can be vicious. But I wanted an example. This is a great question, it wasn’t worded in a way that screams EDUCATE ME, (well not to me, but YMMV)

“…on the description of skin color/tone while avoiding anything that might end up being racist. For example, some sites I’ve checked have said to stay away from food related analogies (“caramel colored skin” for example) while others have said that describing it that way is fine. In the absence of using food related descriptors (unless that’s acceptable) what WOULD be acceptable? Or should you always stick to literal colors?”

So let’s break this down. First and foremost, do NOT describe people of colour with food words. Just no, not coffee, caramel, cafe au lait, chocolate, cinnamon, or other descriptors such as that. Let’s leave dusky off that list too, or tanned. We’re not tanned, sun kissed, toasted. We’re lovely, lovely shades of brown, you can use that word as a descriptor.

Why not you ask? I mean people like food right? Well, let me tell you a thing.

Well, to describe People of Color, going forward referenced as POC, emphasis on the PEOPLE part, at the least it is othering non-white characters in your narrative, and at the worst, you are fetishizing non-white characters by giving them exotic descriptors that don’t tell you anything about them besides they remind you of a favorite desert or your am cuppa.

It’s tied in to the dehumanization of people of color in media, in life and history. If you can imagine for a moment,   (assuming you are not a POC and reading this post) how would you feel if you were always described as milky, mayonnaise, mashed potato, and other kinds of food words as stand-in’s for your skin colour? You wouldn’t would you?

I know some white people get bent out of shape when described with such words, even as inoffensive as ‘mayo’. I mean mayo isn’t a great condiment, but no one has died from being called mayo-white. So consider the weight of words, the cultural ramifications tied to describing a POC as sinful as cinnamon, luscious as dark chocolate, or worse, tying food descriptors to moments of intimacy in a work.

I’ve seen too many people describe fair skinned POC (assuming they actually are writing them as a POC) as lapped up like cafe au lait, devoured like a chocolate bar, etc etc. Just stop. Additionally, it’s tired, it’s cliched and shows me you can’t play with words well enough to come up with a new way to describe people. It’s laziness, and if you as a writer can’t come up with something better, it makes me wonder about the rest of your word crafting.

Secondly, there are plenty of ways to describe POC with words like brown, dark brown, light brown, sandy brown, so many words that can be used to describe us that don’t need to be related to food, again it’s delicious but we’re not edible. We’re people, people! That would like some depth in our descriptions.  We’re not coffee brown either, considering coffee can be had from a milky white with enough extra cream to a very, very, dark black. We also don’t taste or smell like chocolate, coffee, or cinnamon. No person does, even if they work in a coffee factory with a chocolate shoppe across the way.

Third, and it might seem repetitive but this is important. Do the work, look to authors you feel have done character description well and learn from how they do it. Look up resources on writing the other, especially if you get a second or hell a third set of eyes on your work and get feedback on the descriptions. Or use Google, it’s there for a reason. It’s a SEARCH engine, so search things. Keep a dictionary and thesaurus bookmarked for your use.

That doesn’t mean use 10 dollar words and three paragraphs to lovingly attempt a non-racist description of your POC characters. A few words will always do instead of purple, flowy, overdone prose.  Lastly, ask a POC to review your work. If you don’t have any POC friends that’s another matter for a different post. But if you don’t have someone you can trust to review your work? Pay someone to do so, because this is one of those free emotional labor things we often get asked to do.

Speaking of resources, here’s a few to get you started:

10 Great Resources for Writing Cross Culturally (which has it’s own listing of good resources)

Relevant to this post: Writing with Color Tumblr: Description Guide, Part I – Food descriptions

Writing with Color tumblr: Description Guide, Part II – Describing Skin Tone

Writing the Other: A Practical Approach- Nisi Shawl & Cynthia Ward

Writing the Other workshops – Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford Brownpaper tickets. Check their sites for up to date schedule and availability

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Support the work of POC, bi, trans, non-binary, other LGBTQIA folks signal boosting edition

Cross Posted from my Patreon, where it originally appeared on 9 May 2016.

Another signal boost post, this time to focus on the works of POC, Bi, non-binary, trans and other marginalized creators. Re-using my caveat from my women’s work post because it is what it is. I lost some of my own Patreon support after that post, so oh well.

Caveat , because well people. I took in names and suggests from all over my social networks. I’m sure that means there will be someone listed below that you may not particularly like or feel deserves support. Well too bad, this isn’t high school and I’m not here for infighting, If you see someone you don’t care for, there’s a simple solution… don’t support their work. 

I do not, under any circumstances want messages, DM’s, etc with OH MY GOD HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT HER/THEM/HIM! This is a post to boost others work and help others get their work seen via the little bit of social capital I have.  

Not Patreon:

Mel Fox: makes a zine about identity and grief after a divorce –

Bi’s of Colour:  

http://bisofcolour.tumblr.com/ 

Tauriq Moosa: Tip Jar

http://freethoughtblogs.com/indelible/2015/10/06/tip-jar/

IsaJennie

Radically inclusive Disabled activist w/ against all oppression.

Creator of 

  

Riley

https://www.youcaring.com/my-own-and-other-similar-projects-527012

Fund Better Tech/Fundclub

http://joinfundclub.com/

Patreon: 

Rex Magnus

https://www.patreon.com/rexmagnus?ty=h

Nino Cipri

https://www.patreon.com/ninocipri?ty=c

MakoFury

https://www.patreon.com/Makofury?ty=h

Sydney/BeautifulDad10

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2302765&u=2302765&ty=h 

Arkady Rose

https://www.patreon.com/arkady?ty=c

Davy Shirley –

Keffy

https://www.patreon.com/keffy?ty=c

Tab Kimpton –

Dina/Petite Mistress

https://www.patreon.com/dinadraws?ty=h

Lynne Triplett –

Harry Bentley –

Asheville Blade

https://www.patreon.com/AvlBlade?ty=h

Silvyen –

Nia King

https://www.patreon.com/artactivistnia?ty=h

Amy Letts –

Christian Beranek –

Alex Herberling –

Erika Moen –

Sfe –

Christine Smith –

Kat Tanaka Okopnik

https://www.patreon.com/ktokopnik?ty=h

Rose Lemberg

https://www.patreon.com/roselemberg?ty=h

Next week is @WisconSF3!

Time for another convention! This time it’s my annual trip to Madison, WI for WisCon. It’s also the 40th anniversary this year. So I’m on a lot of panels, still a programming Co-Chair and adding on GoH liaison duties for Nalo Hopkinson.

Full public schedule is online

Friday, May 27th

HeQuisitor, SheQuisitor, TheyQuisitor: The Queer Gaming Experience 

Saturday, May 28th

Podcasts for Beginners

Sunday, May 29th

Women Can Be Evil Too

There’s No Such Thing as Aging Out of Fandom

I Need Diverse Games, Year 2

Queer Eye for Sci Fi

Guest of Honor Speeches & Desert Salon (Introducing Nalo)

Monday, May 30th

This Is Not a Petting Zoo: An Introspective Look into Black Women’s Hair

 

 

I’m going to be a guest at @BigBadCon!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1157274964/big-bad-con-2016/widget/video.html

So, I was invited to be a guest at Big Bad Con and their Kickstarter is not just live but doing damned well! They’ve already blown their stretch goals out of the water, one of which was having me there 😀

There’s still time to back the conventions Kickstarter and see what new stretch goals are added before it ends on June 2nd!

Update #3 May 4 2016

Tanya, Jason, James, and more!

In just two days, we’ve blasted through another three stretch goals. I’m so excited we’re going to have these wonderful people at the con running stellar events!

Tanya DePass will be hosting panels on:

  • Diversity in Gaming
  • The Fake Geek Girl Fallacy
  • Toxicity in Tabletop

Jason Morningstar will be running these amazing events:

  • Panels for both Big Bad Teens and adults!
  • The Grand Warren: a multi-table multi-warren game of the Warren with over-arching threats affecting all the rabbits in the field!
  • Apportionment, a diplomatic parlor larp (the sequel to Sirai: Civil War)
  • A deep dark cobwebby game of The Skeletons late at night

James Mendez Hodes will be running sessions of these awesome games at the con:

  • AfroFuture
  • Katanas & Trenchcoats
  • Shinobigami

ICYMI – How can we find Community as Gamers? – @UncannyMagazine

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ICYMI, I’ve got an article in the May/June 2016 issue of Uncanny Magazine! You can read it in full at uncannymagazine.com!

Gorgeous Cover art: “Bubbles and Blast Off” by Galen Dara

Here’s a snippet for you, please check out the rest on the site!

Community is a word that doesn’t always come to mind when one talks about gaming. When you ask what gaming is like these days, you’ll get a variety of answers. Sharing a knowing smile when you see someone else in a Mass Effect N7 hoodie, or catching a glimpse of a Legend of Zelda Triforce necklace, reminds you that you’re not alone. Sometimes, you may get a not–so–welcoming look like Oh, you’re one of those people, when someone notices the pretty necklace you’re wearing and you tell them it’s from your favorite game.

You can also support Uncanny by subscribing, supporting them on Patreon, the Uncanny Magazine store; and they’ve got a page where you can support contributors to this great issue!

Uncanny is also nominated for a Hugo Award for best Semi-Prozine!

Re-edited episode of Games Critique as POC, Ep. #3

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Original Shownotes:

Our fabulous guests! Katherine Cross, our dapper scholastic games critiquer extraordinaire whose work appears in Feministing and Gamasutra, next we have Tauriq Moosa, who loves the Witcher 3 while giving it a critical side eye, is wicked smart and writes for Polygon, Guardian, Daily Beast, Mary Sue, an and quite a few other places. Last but certainly not least, we have Austin Walker, who recently joined Giant Bomb, congrats on the newish gig! Apologies in advance for some audio issues. Technology turned on us mid-recording so there’s been some editorial finagling done to bring you this episode.

Articles:

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Next up on the convention go-round, SFWA Nebula Conference

nebulaspostcardfront20161-360x257 For the first time ever, even with the Nebula’s being in my back yard, I’ll be paneling at the SFWA Nebula conference.

Thanks to Mary Robinette-Kowal for inviting me to attend and be on panels this year.

Schedule below, and I’ll be wandering around all three days as well. I have panels on Thursday and Friday

Thursday, May 12th, 3:00 pm

The Future of Racism

The past’s virulent racism against the Irish has now faded to linguistic artifacts like “paddy wagon” and “red-headed stepchild.” What traces will present-day racism leave behind, and what new forms of racism will emerge?

Jennifer Cross [M], Me, Liz Argall, Michael R. Underwood

Friday, May 13th

Social Medial Puzzle Pieces 11:00 am

There are approximately 12 billion social media sites, blogging platforms, and other online tools that someone, at some time or another, has told writers they must be on or must be involved in. How do you avoid letting social posting tke over your life? There are tools that make automatic cross-posting easy and/or give you the flexibility to set up multiple updates and schedule them. Learn which of these tools is most effective, best practices for cross-posting, and what behaviors to avoid.

Tanya DePass [M], Mikki Kendall, Shane Halbach, Althea Kontis

Podcasting for Writers 4:00 pm

Have you been asked to be a guest on a podcast? Appearing on popular podcasts is a powerful marketing asset, especially if you sound as good as the hosts. Which tools do you need to sound your best when calling in via Skype, Google Hangouts, or over the phone? And if you’re interested in starting your own podcast, what should you use to record, edit, and distribute?

Tanya DePass [M], K. Tempest Bradford, Kate Baker, Tina Connolly

 

Streaming update

Sadly, no stream tomorrow Saturday May 7th. I’ll be at #TrekDePaul all day.

I’ll do a brief make up stream probably Sunday morning or Monday during the day. Also, thoughts on what to play since I beat Unravel?

  • Dark Souls Sucking Tuesdays once I finish Fragments of Him?
  • FenQuisition (if I ever get my game installed on PC and modded again that is)
  • Seeking Sera on Saturdays or move to Sundays since I keep having stuff on Saturday lately?
  • Beyond Eyes (XB1)
  • AC: Syndicate (I have it on PS4 and XB1)
  • Fallout 4 (PC or PS4)
  • Replay Mass Effect (on PC, assuming that’s not broken too with this Origin issue)
  • Dragon Age II
  • Uncharted Collection (PS4)

Oh and there’s emotes now! If you have Better Twitch TV you can use the following emotes. Art by Becka Liz (commission her!)

emotes woo

  • cypherYAY
  • cypherGRR
  • cypherLOVE
  • cypherSHINY
  • cypherWUT (still pending review from BTTV)