Asking for a little help to extend my trip after @GXAustralia next year

I’m a Boss of Honor at the second GX Australia taking place in Sydney, 29 & 30 April, 2017! It’s my second time begin a guest of honor at a convention and will be my first time in Australia!

me-gxaus-boh

Donate help me spend some extra time in Sydney

GX Australia is covering my flight and hotel. So I’ve reduced my goal by half.

I’m my own boss, but being in charge of a non-profit means little money to spare aside from operating expenses and my Patreon doesn’t have enough wiggle room to save any extra money for a holiday.

Ideally, I’d love to be able to spend a little extra time there, since who knows when or if I’ll ever be able to get back to Australia!

So I’m just looking to raise $1500 USD which will be for additional nights in the hotel, so I can get a mini-holiday in before returning state-side.

When do I need the funds? Not for a couple of months now.

Thank you for helping out with this once in a lifetime chance.

MY @GaymerX East schedule!

gxeast

Not long until GaymerX East in NYC!  Here’s my panel schedule which is much lighter than it was at GX4!!

Saturday November 12th

1:oo pm: Gaming Journalism from an LGBTQ Perspective

TimesOUT the LGBTQIA affinity network for The New York Times would like to moderate a discussion about the LGBTQIA perspective in gaming journalism.

2:30 pm: How to Twitch Safely as  POC/LGBTQIA/Female ID’d streamer 

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

4:00 pm: Miss Representation

Women from diverse backgrounds discuss the terrible job that media does of representing us and others from marginalized backgrounds. We focus on discussing women, but we’ll discuss all genders, and sexualities.

Sunday November 13th

12:30 pm What Playing RPG’s Can Teach you About Yourself

Playing an RPG is a great way to explore someone else’s mindset for a few hours a week, but the characters we make can teach us about ourselves too. A bard might show you love helping people out, or a sorceress might help you realize you’re a woman.

2:00 pm Your Story Doesn’t Need Cis Straight White Dudes

Tired of hearing about how some setting has no one like you because “the lore?” Let’s talk about stories where people like you (or like someone else) get to be the default, and straight white cis men are rare or not even present for a change of pace!

I’m doing Extra Life with Team Outpost!

The stream team I’m on, N7 Outpost has an Extra Life team! My goal is $150  and our overall team goal is $1000

extralifebanner

Since I’ll be traveling on November 3rd – 5th, all my streams between now and then will be Extra Life Streams. I’ve added a command to give a link for donations and when I stream from PC I’ll be using the Extra Life overlay.

So if you can spare it, drop a couple bucks for a good cause!  or please share our team link/my link.

 

Hey y’all @GXAustralia 2017 KS needs a bit of love, just 3 days left!

Hey, hey you awesome person reading this post! Psst, come here. Did you know about GX Australia? That it’s returning in 2017 to Sydney? Well it is and the KS could use some love. They’re over the 50% point, but need to reach $60K AUD to roll over!

Full details in this very long post, but the long and short is:

Please donate even if you can’t attend, even a few dollars will help them reach the goal. If you have the means, you can also help someone else attend with the pay it forward option!

GX Australia 2017!

There’s just 3 Days left for the GX Australia Kickstarter to reach it’s goal of $60,000 to make the convention happen in 2017!!

BACK THIS PROJECT!

About this project

Want to spend an incredible weekend hanging out with the friendliest bunch of geeks you’ll ever meet? Are you passionate about video games, or dreamed of making one yourself? Do you like to cosplay? Or are you an avid fan of card or board games?

Well listen up, because we’ve got some great news for you!

GX AUSTRALIA IS RETURNING IN 2017!

After our first hugely successful event in February, 2016, we’re super excited to be able to bring the convention to Sydney again for a second year. At the debut convention, nearly eight hundred attendees trekked out to the Australian Technology Park for two days of geekery and fun. For our second year, we’re making awesome changes and taking on board requests, considerations, and feedback from the first event.

So here it is, GX Australia 2017! Lock in the 29th and 30th of April, 2017, because we’re going on an adventure!

If you didn’t make it out to GX Australia 2016, you missed a fabulous weekend full of tournaments, tabletop gaming, awesome and insightful panels and talks, and even an escape room! But that’s okay, because you’re getting a second chance in April 2017.

Photo courtesy of Jack Huddo.
Photo courtesy of Jack Huddo.

 

Wait, what's a GX thingy?
Wait, what’s a GX thingy?

GX Australia is the country’s most inclusive convention for video gamers, board gamers, tabletop and card gamers, cosplayers, comic book nerds, sci-fi film buffs — everything geeky and nerdy! It’s a weekend long celebration of what brings us all together in the first place. It’s a weekend where Star Trek and Star Wars fans can set aside their differences and make friends, where you’re appreciated and loved no matter what mana colour your Magic: The Gathering deck is, and where you’re accepted for who you are even if you prefer the PS4 to the Xbox One. It’s an event for you — yes you! — if you share in our vision that geekery and video games are for everyone.

Our first event was such a blast, and we’re dedicated to making sure Year Two is even better.

Didn’t come last year? Here’s some highlights of what you missed out on:

http://www.abc.net.au/tv/goodgame/stories/s4425185.htm

https://digitalwindow.co/2016/03/03/gx/

http://playwrite.com.au/gx-australia-and-safe-places-in-gaming/

http://www.sbs.com.au/topics/sexuality/article/2016/03/01/inside-australias-first-queer-gaming-convention

http://www.nerdvana.tv/nerd-gamer/gx-australia/

Image courtesy of Joshua Meadows.
Image courtesy of Joshua Meadows.

 

New venue!
New venue!

GX Australia 2017 will be taking place at the Sydney Showground! This venue is hugely experienced when it comes to video game events, hosting everything from Supanova to the EB Games Expo. We’re thrilled to be adding our name to their impressive roster, and the new venue comes with a tons of improvements over our old location:

  • Accessibility! While the ATP itself was fully accessible, unfortunately Redfern Station was not and this presented a challenge for our attendees with mobility considerations. Fortunately, there are lifts at the Olympic Park station and we’re only a short distance from the train. Further, this time around all of our event spaces are on the ground floor so there’s no fiddling about with lifts once you’re at the venue itself.
  • Bigger, but a better use of space! The ATP was an awesome venue, but given how large the complex was unfortunately we got spread out quite a lot — this gave the convention a very chill and relaxed feel, but you probably are surprised to know how many attendees we had! At the Sydney Showground, our convention space is fully enclosed and self-contained, meaning that it won’t be confusing or difficult to move between panels, or around the expo hall! All facilities and meeting areas  are within a short distance of each other, logically laid out and easy to find.
  • Air conditioning! Need we say more?
  • Lower costs! Because we aren’t holding the event around Mardi Gras this time, and because we’ve been able to secure more competitive pricing for hiring the venue, we’re able to pass savings on to attendees and bring the overall cost of tickets down as a result. While we gave away many tickets last time and remain committed to making GX Australia as accessible as possible, ultimately every ticket purchased ensures that we can run the event at its best and we’re happy that we’re able to bring costs down to make that easier for guests.
  • Streaming AND Recording! This was something we wanted to do last time around and while we were able to stream the Main Panel Room, panels didn’t get recorded. Thanks to Twitch, This time around we’re going to make sure that you can participate by watching panels online as they happen, or later on when convenient to your schedule.
  • Even MOAR diversity! Our biggest objective for Year Two was to make GX more diverse and representative. This is reflected across not only our amazing lineup of kickass Bosses of Honours, but the speakers we’re working with to develop incredible panels. Plus, due to our lower costs, we are able to splurge a bit more on helping people of colour and indigenous speakers to make it out to Sydney for the event.
  • 15+, or all ages with a parent or guardian! Another big commitment towards accessibility and access was to ensure the event could be open to people as young as possible. Like last year, you’re welcome to attend the event if you’re fifteen or older and have proof of age available. If you’re younger, just come with a parent or friend over 18 who will watch out for you!
Photo courtesy of Jack Huddo.
Photo courtesy of Jack Huddo.

 

What will be at GX Australia 2017?
What will be at GX Australia 2017?
  • Incredible guests! You can see our initial guests below, but trust, we have some even more amazing guests yet to announce! One of our favourite things about GX Australia was how accessible guests were, and our feedback from guests was how wonderful you all were. More of that!
  • Amazing panels! Last year we were lucky enough to host some absolutely incredible panels, and we intend to do the same again this year. Check out our schedule from last year to see what kind of awesome content you can expect in 2017! http://www.gxaustralia.com/panel-schedule/
  • Bigger tabletop space! This was hugely requested, and we’ve already started thinking about how we can make our tabletop section bigger, better and more exciting! With scheduled games, a library of games to choose from and brilliant hangout times, we can’t wait!
  • More games and experiences! We’ll have a play section this year with wonderful Australian, queer and diverse games, and plan on having some awesome physical group games to participate in!
  • An awesome show floor! We’re taking all of the incredible feedback from 2016 into account and making the show floor for 2017 more intimate, varied and fun!
  • Exciting VIP events! Based on this year, our VIP events next year will be TOTALLY MATHEMATICAL. We can’t wait to see you there!
What's at the Sydney Showground?
What’s at the Sydney Showground?

This historic venue hosts everything from the Easter Show to big events like Supanova. We’re super excited to be using them for GX, and think you’ll agree that our new location is a huge step up from our first year. We’re booking out space for panels, a return of our “GX Campfire” chillout space, plus rooms for meet & greets, media, and more!

Photo courtesy of Jack Huddo.
Photo courtesy of Jack Huddo.

 

Bosses of Honour!

We’re super excited to make the initial announcements of our incredible Bosses of Honour. These are some of the amazing people we’ll be featuring at GX Australia, and stay tuned since we’ll have more names to announce as our Kickstarter campaign progresses.

Added in Update #8 (Oct 21 2016):

Casey Conway
Casey Conway

 

Adam Koebel
Adam Koebel

Added in Update #5 (Oct 17 2016):

Tanya DePass

 

Felix Kramer

 

Brett Leavy

 

 Kickstarter launch Bosses:

Katherine Cross
Katherine Cross

 

Stephanie "Hex" Bendixsen
Stephanie “Hex” Bendixsen

 

Kim Allom
Kim Allom

 

Jordan Raskopoulos
Jordan Raskopoulos

 

Eve Beauregard
Eve Beauregard

 

Tim Cain
Tim Cain

 

Lucy O'Brien
Lucy O’Brien

 

Rae Johnston
Rae Johnston

 

Ken Wong
Ken Wong

 

Backer rewards!
Backer rewards!

Depending on your pledge, your support for GX Australia 2017 also includes a choice of the awesome games below! We massively appreciate the developers who have donated keys for us to give to our backers, and we hope you enjoy the games as well!

ALL THESE GAMES CAN BE YOURS!
ALL THESE GAMES CAN BE YOURS!
Photo courtesy of Jack Huddo.
Photo courtesy of Jack Huddo.

 

Stretch goals!
Stretch goals!

$60k will allow us to handle the costs involved in hosting the event, hiring furniture, and some other minor costs. If we surpass that, we’ll be able to extend the convention even further. Here’s how!

$65k – HOLY FOOD TRUCKS, BATMAN!

$70k – EXTRA BOSS OF HONOUR!

$75k – GX AUSTRALIA PARTY, with SWEET LIVE MUSIC!

??? – ??? We’ll get here when we do!

Why Sydney again?
Why Sydney again?

We’re eager to make GX Australia as accessible as possible. We’ve run extensive public polls both before the 2016 event even happened as well as after to see what factors encouraged or discouraged attendance, and it became resoundingly clear that most of our audience wants the event to remain in Sydney. We’re hoping that by holding it a little later in the year when the calendar is less full, we’ll be able to ensure people can afford to travel if they aren’t already nearby.

Image courtesy of Joshua Meadows.
Image courtesy of Joshua Meadows.

 

Let's do it!
Let’s do it!

In February 2016, we managed to bring GX to life with a small handful of volunteers, tons of support from the Australian indie scene, and awesome people like you. We want this convention to leave you feeling warm and fuzzy, energised and inspired, but most importantly loved and welcomed.

We can’t do the convention without you, so please spread this campaign far and wide; if you came to the first one, we hope to see you next year. If you didn’t make it before, we hope to meet you as a brand new friend!

Special Shoutouts

We’d like to make a special shoutout to Marcomatic, the creator of our fantastic logo and animated spiel, to Jack Huddo Photography for the brilliant photography from last year, and to Steph Westwood, who donated her time to create our amazing Kickstarter video!

Additionally, we’d like to thank ALL OF YOU for helping us make GX Australia 2016 happen last year. We literally couldn’t have done it without you, and we’re so excited to be able to do it all again for 2017!

Risks and challenges

While GX Australia 2016 took place to great success, we certainly did have some challenges! Our biggest was unexpected expenses and bills with regards to hiring the ATP that hadn’t been communicated to us early on.

To avoid that stress this time around, we’ve clearly and specifically sat down with the Sydney Showground to be as detailed as possible for our expenses and any additional costs. We’re confident that we won’t have unexpected bills sending us scrambling for cash, and our costs for running the convention have come down a lot from the final amount we had to spend just to book the ATP.

Contracts have been signed and the date is locked down. We’ve ensured that our space will feel comfortable if we have the same number of attendees as last time, but of course we’re eagerly hoping to smash that record!

As before, all of our rewards are digital and what physical items we do have are very limited so we aren’t spending funds on shipping or production.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

ICYMI, I’m a Boss of Honor at @GXAustralia!

me-gxaus-boh

About this project

Want to spend an incredible weekend hanging out with the friendliest bunch of geeks you’ll ever meet? Are you passionate about video games, or dreamed of making one yourself? Do you like to cosplay? Or are you an avid fan of card or board games?

Well listen up, because we’ve got some great news for you!

GX Australia 2017!
GX Australia 2017!

GX AUSTRALIA IS RETURNING IN 2017!

After our first hugely successful event in February, 2016, we’re super excited to be able to bring the convention to Sydney again for a second year. At the debut convention, nearly eight hundred attendees trekked out to the Australian Technology Park for two days of geekery and fun. For our second year, we’re making awesome changes and taking on board requests, considerations, and feedback from the first event.

So here it is, GX Australia 2017! Lock in the 29th and 30th of April, 2017, because we’re going on an adventure!

If you didn’t make it out to GX Australia 2016, you missed a fabulous weekend full of tournaments, tabletop gaming, awesome and insightful panels and talks, and even an escape room! But that’s okay, because you’re getting a second chance in April 2017.

GX Australia only has 8 days left on their Kickstarter and a little ways to go to be fully funded!

Please boost, and if you can donate. Even if you can’t go to Australia, you can help this great convention return to Sydney!

BACK THIS PROJECT

Hey I’m at @bigbadcon this weekend!

I’m pretty excited to go to Big Bad Con and get back to my tabletop roots y’all. I’m doing three panels, all with people I admire and love to collaborate with.

Also here is my ever useful and handy guide to interacting with me at conventions! Still 110% free 😛

Friday, October 14th

Real talk on Tabletop toxicity

4-6pm

Tabletop has a toxicity problem and it should be discussed, like adults in an open forum so we can move forward to fixing rather than having the same old is there a problem or not, it’s you not the community BS we see crop up over and over. Join our discussion for an open discussion on what to do. If you think there is no problem in the table top community and think this is the time for 101 discussion? This won’t be for you.

Saturday, October 15th

Destroying The Fake Geek Girl Fallacy

10am – 12pm

Tanya DePass, Donna Prior, and Jessica Price will tear apart the fallacy of the Fake Geek Girl. We’ll spend a bit of time on why this trope is harmful to women and to the gaming community at large. Panelists will be from a variety of backgrounds, experiences and knowledge of geekdom. Find out if it is ever ok to question someone’s geek cred.

Diversity in Gaming Discussion

2-3 pm

A discussion on why diversity in gaming is important and needed. This will be more of a conversation between Special Guest Tanya DePass of I Need Diverse Games alongside Katherine Cross, and participants.

Those attending should understand that this is not going to be a 101 conversation about diversity, i.e. “what is diversity?”. Participants should be there to discuss this topic in good faith with the speaker and other attendees.

Streaming schedule through 10/18

masquerada2

Time to get back to Masquerada! I’ll start at 10am CST hopefully until the end, take a little break and get back to Mafia III!

Mafia III_20161010222139
Mafia III

Join me at twitch.tv/cypheroftyr for more Masquerada: Songs and Shadows then really switching gears to Lincoln Clay in New Bordeaux after a break.

Then no stream on Thursday October 13th, or Saturday October 15th as I’ll be away at a convention. Regular stream schedule will resume on Tuesday, October 18th with more Mafia III

On Coming Out Day ~ Redux

This is becoming my annual Coming Out Day post. Have thinky thoughts on that whole coming out thing.

[These are tweets I sent out on October 11th, 2016, referencing Coming Out Day: 

Oh hey, it’s Coming Out day. I’m pretty out but I’ve got new folks here. I’m bisexual & proud of it. Even in my twitter profile. The only person I’ve not come out to is my mother and I never will. She doesn’t get it, and I don’t have the energy to deal with it.

To those who use today to come out, thank you for your courage & sharing yourself. Strength to you on pushing that closer door open. For those of you that can’t, be safe alright? There is no shame in keeping this part of yourself for you. Love & strength to you too.

Straight folks, don’t “come out” as allies. It’s disrespectful as hell to do that. Even more so today. Don’t do it. #ComingOutDay Lastly don’t out anyone. You could ruin their lives, get them killed. Coming out is a choice we make when/if we’re ready to.

If someone comes out to you, thank them. Be honoured they felt safe enough to share that with you. #NationalComingOutDay]

I’ve got mixed feelings about Coming Out Day. On the one hand, I understand it’s importance, the necessity for some to have this day. On the other, I almost feel like there’s a pressure to be out and proud or use the day as a springboard to come out if you’re not already.

What I don’t think a lot of people realize is that coming out, being out and staying out is a privilege. It’s brave, it’s costly but it’s a privilege. Being out is also dangerous for some of us. While it would be nice to come out of the closet, blowing the door off the hinges, having everything be awesome and nice… it’s often not the case.

Too many people, especially young people are told they are not worthy of human decency, love, affection because of their orientation. Too many are cast out from their homes, their lives torn apart for taking that step. For being true to themselves.

Too often our youth are driven to suicide, too often people don’t come out for fear of losing everything. Home, job, children, even their lives. It’s not easy to come out and have life just go on as it had been. Some people are forthright in their confusion, their disdain, anger, feelings of betrayal.

Others may slowly creep out of your life, unsure how to deal with you now that you’ve broken their nice little assumptions of you. Then there’s the hostility, the threats, the danger that the person you know isn’t who you thought they were. The way in which they avoid you, hurt you, make remarks that cut all the deeper because they know you have taken that leap to be open and honest with everyone in your life.

Coming out is a process that shifts with each time you do it. Each time you give that piece of yourself up to outer scrutiny. If you come out, it’ll be done many, many times for the rest of your life. There’s always new people, new situations, new reasons, ways to fling open that door again.

But there’s the flip side to all of this. For a lot of people, they just can’t come out. It will mean death, it will mean loss of all. There’s some people who don’t’ give a damn about being out. It’s their life, their business and no one needs to know.

I can respect that, and I can also respect those that have to come out. To be who you are in all ways to everyone around you. Neither way is wrong, or right or perfect, or deserving of ire.

Lastly, and this is something I want people to really remember. You don’t owe it to anyone to come out. You don’t owe the world, your family, your friends, anyone but you a reason to be out.

If you never tell a soul about your partner, never correct pronouns when someone asks about your husband or wife, it’s all good.

We all have the right to live our lives as we see fit. It’s not a competition, no one gets a fucking prize for being out nor do we get black marks for keeping our lives to ourselves.

So if you are using today to come out, I salute you. I am proud of you and I honor your bravery in doing so.

If you are pondering your orientation, thinking about today and using it as a way to come to terms with who you are, again…my hat’s off to you and I wish you well on your journey to wherever you land.

If today is a day that makes you cringe and hate the world and it’s ideas, I understand and hope it passes quickly and quietly for you.

If someone takes the risk to come out to you today, be a good friend. Don’t talk over them, just listen, don’t offer condolences, say it’s a phase, turn them away or tell them to get right with DEITY. It doesn’t work that way.

Don’t take someone’s act of bravery and turn into a moment to earn brownie points, or show just how tolerant you are.

Shut up, listen and when they are done talking? Give them a hug and thank them for taking that risk. Thank them for their bravery and their trust in you.


Originally published at cypheroftyr.tumblr.com.

ICYMI, I shared my #WorldMentalHealthDay story

(originally pulled together over at Medium.com from a tweet thread)

It’s #WorldMentalHealthDay and I want to share something with y’all. Hopefully I won’t regret this. I have depression and anxiety. Ever since losing my day job, it’s gotten worse. The stress of keeping @INeedDivGms afloat hasn’t helped.

A few years ago, I was on the edge and contemplated suicide. Obviously I didn’t but I was at that point. I don’t talk about it a lot because…I feel that people don’t get it. It makes them uncomfortable and they deflect quickly. I’m also an introvert despite what some people think. Going to conventions and being “on”, around people is exhausting.

There are plenty of days where I struggle to get out of bed, where I try to find a reason to bother. Sometimes I don’t. Other times I get, dust myself off and keep going but it’s hard when it seems there’s a void following you everywhere you go.

Comic by Sylvie Reuter, on depression

I also don’t talk about this much because I’ve failed at therapy, twice now. Did meds once because I had anxiety attacks. Also lost a “friend” when I opened up about my own journey with therapy. Grew up with idea that it was “white folks shit”.

Which I know is bullshit, now. Growing up? Not so much. It took a lot to try therapy. First attempt was terrible, second wasn’t bad but I never connected with her or any therapist. I’m cynical and felt like I was paying for a fake friend not help.

So yeah things are not always bright and happy behind the curtain. It’s hard to talk about without wondering who’ll turn away, fear is real. Anyway, that’s my #WorldMentalHealthDay ramble. Know you’re not alone, you’re important and loved by someone. ❤

I’m a guest at @BigBadCon next week!

I’m pretty excited to go to Big Bad Con next week and get back to my tabletop roots y’all. I’m doing three panels, all with people I admire and love to collaborate with.

Friday, October 14th

Real talk on Tabletop toxicity

4-6pm

Tabletop has a toxicity problem and it should be discussed, like adults in an open forum so we can move forward to fixing rather than having the same old is there a problem or not, it’s you not the community BS we see crop up over and over. Join our discussion for an open discussion on what to do. If you think there is no problem in the table top community and think this is the time for 101 discussion? This won’t be for you.

Saturday, October 15th

Destroying The Fake Geek Girl Fallacy

10am – 12pm

Tanya DePass, Donna Prior, and Jessica Price will tear apart the fallacy of the Fake Geek Girl. We’ll spend a bit of time on why this trope is harmful to women and to the gaming community at large. Panelists will be from a variety of backgrounds, experiences and knowledge of geekdom. Find out if it is ever ok to question someone’s geek cred.

Diversity in Gaming Discussion

2-3 pm

A discussion on why diversity in gaming is important and needed. This will be more of a conversation between Special Guest Tanya DePass of I Need Diverse Games alongside Katherine Cross, and participants.

Those attending should understand that this is not going to be a 101 conversation about diversity, i.e. “what is diversity?”. Participants should be there to discuss this topic in good faith with the speaker and other attendees.

.@INeedDivGms GDC Scholarship applications for 2017 are now open!

I Need Diverse Games

GDC 2017

We are happy to announce that our 2017 GDC Scholarship Applications are now open!

Applications will be accepted

October 1st – November 1st, 2016

I Need Diverse Games is excited to announce that in partnership with the Game Developers Conferencewe will be awarding 25 All Access passes to the 2017 Game Developers Conference, held February 27-March 3, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California. The GDC attracts over 26,000 attendees, and is the primary forum where game developers of all disciplines gather to exchange ideas and shape the future of the industry.

This conference features over 400 lectures, panels, tutorials and round-table discussions. The all-access pass provides entry to all 5 days of the event, including the IGF Festival, the Game Developer Choice Awards, all GDC sponsored mixers and parties, the Game Career Seminar and more.

I Need Diverse Games is dedicated to increasing diversity both in game…

View original post 83 more words

My Day 2 of @GaymerX aka I’m on ALL THE PANELS

gaymerx_yearfour_logo_web-768x684

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

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.

gaymerx_yearfour_logo_web-768x684

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!

aad-boldly-go-web-hero01-1

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

moon-hunters-is-brown-and-beautiful-body-image-1471446995-size_1000

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

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

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

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.

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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