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Friday Five – Questions from Social Media

June 28, 2013 5 comments

You know, we all do our best thinking in the shower. Okay, maybe that’s just me. Seriously, I suppose because I’m not distracted by the internets, the cats, or anything else. Just shampoo & soap, under a glorious shower of hot water. Damn. Now I want one right now. Anyway, I was trying to think of ways to kickstart my brain and make a new habit of blogging. I used to be quite prolific on LiveJournal, back in the days before Social Media. I really enjoyed writing and being part of a journaling community. While I still keep that old journal around, I never actually write in it. The only writing I do is for work, which doesn’t keep your personal writing on task. How could I start a new habit? Of course, it’s making lists. Lists and outlines about all the things I want to say.

Of course, my brain then hit an ADHD bump (as it is wont to do) and I started thinking about gaming. Making and playing games is fun! So how can I tie this together? Well, I can set personal achievements for myself and have rewards for hitting them. And how do I start? Because I love myself and I love to interact with people who love me AND who don’t, I just put it out there on Twitter & Facebook.

‘I am going to write a blog post tomorrow based on 5 questions I receive today. So, ask me anything!”

There. No way to talk myself out of it. On Twitter, I had a couple questions, but Facebook I had a lot. And a good amount of friendly trolling. Just to clear things up ahead of time, I AM NOT A HOBBIT. And that being said, it’s a good idea for a future blog. Why I am teased near and far about being a Hobbit.

It might have something to do with this picture.

It might have something to do with this picture.

At any rate, I picked out five questions between Twitter & Facebook. I’ll do a shout out for more questions again next week!

What advice would you give to someone who is hoping to move to the Seattle area to work in game development?

This is a tough one really, because “game development” is such a broad term. Since I know the person who asked it, I know it’s about video game development. I actually wouldn’t recommend people move to Seattle to work in game development. I recommend moving to Seattle because you want to live in Seattle. It’s expensive to live here, and there’s not as much opportunity as you might think. The locals pretty much LOVE LOVE LOVE their jobs here, so it takes a major layoff to have any openings at all. The few you do see around a lot are for contract work. While this may not seem bad to younger, single folk, being a contractor pretty much comes with zero benefits. This isn’t something specific to the games industry; it’s been that way in tech fields for the longest time. That being said, I love Seattle and I’m happy to be back. It wouldn’t have been as easy to move back here without the support network my husband and I have.

My advise? Make games. Make video games with your friends. Make them on your own. Attend game jams. Make board games. Make card games. JUST MAKE GAMES. It’s much easier to find other people to develop with in cities with a higher level of tech companies, sure. Seattle, Austin, Boston, and the like. But I’d never recommend moving to a city to /find/ work. If you’re good, and you get yourself out there, a company will MOVE YOU if they want you. However, not if you’re junior. Not if you’re QA or other entry level gigs. There are hundreds and hundreds of local people competing with you for those gigs. If you’re making and *launching*  your own games, no matter what kind, you’re gaining experience. And that’s what you need to do before you think about moving to a city for a job. If you’ve made the connections, if you turn your love of making games into an indie career, you’ll be able to transition. But don’t count on it. It might be more viable for you to just stay where you are and go indie.

This helps, too.

This helps, too.

Best and worst about the many places you have lived?

This one is difficult and I’m sure I’ll get many “But Donna, so-and-so is awesome! You just didn’t get to experience the awesome part!”. Really, best and worst is subjective and yes, I like & dislike places based on whatever I was doing in my life at the time. Maybe not fair to those cities, but hey. It’s all about me, right?

Favorite places:

  • Seattle – I love the gloomy weather. Seriously. When the sun is out, I would much rather stay indoors. Overcast? LET’S GO CAMPING OR SIT OUTSIDE AND DRINK BEER. Might be that it’s just a part of me, since I was born on the Oregon coast. I spent the first 9 years of my life living in Oregon & Washington. I moved back here, finally, in 2006. Went to Austin again for a year, and San Diego for a year and a half. I’m so very happy to be back here. As someone who has lived all over the place, I’ve always been of the mindset that “home is where the heart is” kinda crap. Well, until I moved here and felt perfectly welcome and at ease. I love being taken seriously as a gamer, as a beer geek, and have experienced less misogyny here than other places. Seattle still has a long way to go regarding race; I can only hope it’s getting better for everyone.
  • St. Croix – I lived briefly on the island of St. Croix in the mid-80s. I was a club DJ at the time, and I was sent down there to work a dance club called Hondo’s. I was there 4 months the first time and 2 months the second time. I really wish I had stayed; I kinda liked being away from the hustle & bustle of mainland life. It was easy to get away from the tourists, as the island isn’t the cruise ship stop like St. Thomas is. Sure there was a little, and the Navy dropped by every so often. Still, I could walk a couple of blocks away and have amazing food cooked by the Crucians. I could actually go for a genip and some roti right about now. 
  • Austin – Oh you quirky little town. I moved to Austin after spending a brief 8 months living in Alaska. I arrived and started working as a bartender/waiter (which is what I had been doing for years), and ended up getting work at Dell. That pretty much changed my life, as I hadn’t known a thing about technology. I discovered I was an excellent diagnostic tech, and LOVED working on hardware. I transitioned to Escalations, Facilities, internal web design, and worked on numerous projects (lol y2k). It kicked off my 14 years working in IT. But that’s not what I love about Austin. I loved that music, good music, was everywhere (mind you, there was a lot of shitty music, too). The food is amazing, the culture is sublime. The town is full of geeks, and is a liberal haven in a sea of conservative leanings. When Heatwave Interactive offered me a job, I was happy to go back to Austin. I was happy to see that a really large sustainable foodie culture had crown since I had last lived in Texas, along with a craft beer culture.

Least favorite places:

  • NoVA/MD/DC Metro – I have a lot of people I absolutely ADORE living out in that area. And the Maryland Renaissance Festival is the best fest, hands down. There are lots of place to game, to eat GREAT food. But I swear, there’s something about living that close to the nation’s Capital that makes for an interesting breed of people. Interesting in the not-so-exciting kind of way. I never seemed to really fit in, and I had some really hard times there. Some of it was my fault because I was a horrible person back then. Well, half horrible and half awesome. Moving away, however, helped me regain my awesomeness fully. I made a lot of bad decisions when I lived out there, and it seemed so stifling. It doesn’t take much to get out of the cities, however, to see some gorgeous land. I wish I had seen more of it.
  • Alaska – First, I’ll tell you the best. The Aurora Borealis in winter. After getting off work, joining coworkers outdoors, beers shoved into the snowbanks. We’d start a fire and huddle around, just looking up into the sky. It was magical. The downside? There’s not much else to do in winter but drink. Or do drugs. At least, if you’re poor like me, and all the other people who worked around me. I didn’t fit in very well, because well, I looked weird. And I had all these ideas about equality and not hating on the local Native population. The sheer amount of racism, sexism, and well, just…*hate* for everyone not like them? It was difficult. I realized I was drinking to deal with my pain (and sexual assaults). I scrapped up enough money for a bus ticket to Texas, and mom bought me an airline ticket to Seattle. I traveled to Austin on Greyhound from Seattle, stopping along the way to visit family. It was great to sober up.
  • I can’t think of a third. I’ve had ups and downs wherever I lived, but those two places were full of tragedy and terribleness.

What was the game that made you the tabletop dice roller you are today? I recently got into them so I’m curious to know.

Yay! This one came from my nephew, so I’m quite happy to go on an on about it. Btw, what are you playing? Want me to send you some stuff? I know, first one is free. Then you are HOOKED.

My story starts all the way back in high school (Grand Prairie, Texas), about 1981. I hung around with the other misfits, nerds, and drama people for the most part. And I never felt left out of anything until some of them picked up Dungeons & Dragons. I wanted to play, but was told “girls don’t play D&D”. Well, I knew nothing of game stores, or even how to find anything like this. I just stewed on it for a few years. Fast forward to 1989. I was living in San Antonio, bartending at Tony Roma’s. I was hanging out with my friend Ted, at a place called Ernie’s. It was the place where all the “river rats” (people who worked in the bars/restaurants who worked the river) hung out after work. ‘Hey, I’ve got some openings in my D&D group. Wanna play?”. I said, “Girls don’t play D&D”. He laughed and told me he had two other women in the group! He handed me The Crystal Shard, and said, “If you like this story, this is the world we’re playing in”. Of course, it was wonderful and I was hooked on the Forgotten Realms.

My first gaming book.

My first gaming book.

I came over to meet folks, make a character, and started to learn how to play. It was AMAZEBALLS. I created Aubrey Bloodmane, Ranger & follower of Sune. And we had a major campaign. I was in LOOOOOOVE. We later transitioned to 2nd Ed AD&D, but we ended up using a mishmash of the rules, because the STORY was the most important part. And, there was a lot of great lore coming out for the Forgotten Realms. I tried to get the gang to play Spelljammer, Dark Sun, and Maztica, but we always stayed in Faerun, playing in the various cities and settings. My favorite source book was Forgotten Realms Adventures, and not because there was a WOMAN IN FULL PLATE ON A WARHORSE on front.

Since then, I’ve played all sorts of games, from Shadowrun to Deadlands (OMG I LOVE DEADLANDS SO MUCH BLING BLING). I’ve played homespun adventures & worlds, but I’ve not ever had the same experience as I did on my very first campaign. Ted was a most excellent DM and I loved our games. We even had other “River rats” who would come by his house after work and *watch* us play, because we all got into character and built an amazing story.

This is why I love tabletop.

My 9 year old son wants to be a professional gamer. Advice?

First, we need to narrow down the question. Does this mean, someone that plays games competitively like in tournaments? Magic: The Gathering, Pokemon, or video games like Call of Duty and Starcraft? Or, do you mean /work/ in the games industry. These are two very very different things, making games and playing games. If it’s the former, I’d say, just don’t. It’s hard. It’s a very very hard life at times. Thousands of people try to be professional competitors. It’s no different from being a pro musician, pro chef, a pro golfer, or chess master. Very few people actually have the skill or mindset to do it. It takes a LOT of time. Here’s a quick look at some steps to think about for pro gaming.  The 10 Steps to Becoming a Professional Gamer.

If you’re talking about someone who makes games, all you need to do to become a professional game maker is…make games and then sell them. But really, you need to back up. Do you want to be an artist? Designer? Programmer? Engineer? Animator? Producer? There are so many jobs that fall under “game developer”. My advice? Be the best whatever it is you want to be. Because if you decide to be a game designer and hate writing and spreadsheets? You’ll *hate* it. Want to be a games programmer? Love programming. These skills will take you to all kinds of industries more stable, and that pay better. Sure, you get to make games, but you also have the same issues that anyone with a job will have. Working in games is no different, really, when working at a major publisher. You still have rules and corporate policies. And you are there for a job, not to play games all day. I think that’s one of the biggest takeaways for people who say they want to make games. You have to remember that this is a business.

All that being said, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. There are some amazing creative people I get to interact with every day, and as a Community Manager, I get to meet lots of people with a passion for the games we make.

What made you a beer connoisseur?

Good beer! Okay, I’ll take a step back. Just like I keep doing with everything else. When I was in high school, the drinking age was 18. And for the record, I’m not advocating underage drinking. It’s one of the stupidest thing I ever did when I was young. That said, I started drinking beer but I really hated it. I more enjoyed wine and hard liquor. I drank plenty of the top “American” beers* for years, but because it was all ‘WHOOOO DRINKING”. I figured that I’d never enjoy beer, but it was a cheap way to get a buzz back in the day. And then…I had my very first Anchor Steam. I realized beer didn’t have to taste like the stuff I had been drinking. I started drinking a lot of imports such as St. Pauli Girl Dark, Fuller’s London Pride, and Watney’s Red Barrel.

I later started working in the bar business when I was a DJ. I started learning more about imports and drank them when I could afford them. It wasn’t until I moved to Alaska and discovered Alaskan Brewing, that I realized that Americans were making great beer. That was 1991 and I was pretty much an Amber drinker. When I moved to Austin in 1992, I started hanging out with my now ex-husband at a place called JW Rovers in Round Rock. We decided to join the Beers Around the World club, which meant you had to drink 99 different beers on their extensive beer list. With over 200 different beers available and all the seasonal rotations, it was quite easy to do.

And I haven’t bought a regular “American” beer from the “Top 3” brands since then. My favourite styles are Imperial Stouts, Chocolate Porters, English Bitters, Belgian Quads, and I like to be smacked in the face with a SUPER SUPER HOPPY IPA. I don’t like sweet beers, and I’m fond of German Rauchbiers.

Hands down, my favorite beer, Ten Fidy

Hands down, my favorite beer, Ten Fidy.

So there you go. My first Friday Five. I’ll be asking for another round of questions next week.

*I use air quotes around “American” beers a lot, because the top three so-called “American Beers” are no longer American owned. Coors is Molson Coors, so it’s really half-American and half-Canadian. And that varies based on who you talk to. Miller is owned by British-owned SABMiller. “Bud and other AB beers are now owned by InBev in Belgium.

B is for Beer – #AtoZChallenge

April 2, 2013 5 comments

This is a post from 2011. Not much has changed for me in regards to beer. Okay, I take that back. I now officially a hop head after living in San Diego. My big love is still Imperial Stouts and nutty Porters. Enjoy!

I was watching a discussion happening on Twitter which I saw tweeted by @LadiesOCB. The topic? QUESTION: Do we need women targeted beer marketing campaigns? What is the right way to target women, if at all?

My first answer? Nope, we just need good beer to market to real beer drinkers, not pandering the same sexist ways.

A wee light bulb went off in my head and I realized I’m having the same argument about women and games. You don’t need to do anything special for women to play your games. JUST MAKE GOOD GAMES. If you make good games and respect your playerbase, women will play them. There’s nothing magical about attracting girls and women to your games.

The game goes for beer. IF you make GOOD beer, break out of your sexist adverts and don’t “dumb down” beer, women will drink it. Period. Respect your product, respect your audience, no matter who they are, and you will be successful. Sure, you won’t make as much money as the top three “American” beers. Craft brewers and indie game developers have a lot in common. They have passion for their product and they want to bring as many people into their world.


I think that products like Chick Beer, are sexist and stereotyping. Women do not need pink packaging and yet another dig about how we should all watch our weight. It’s sexist and insulting to women and to men. If your beer is good, then ALL people will drink it. This beer isn’t a beer for women /made/ by women. It’s a marketing idea that someone created. I mean, “Chick has Beer Cred. We are brewed in Wisconsin by the second-oldest, tenth-largest brewery in the United States.” As a beer geek, I know exactly who’s brewing it and why.

I admit, I am saying this without trying the beer. And I could tear the website claims up over and over because none of it is factual. That really isn’t my point. My original point was to write about how I felt about this sort of marketing and how it is damaging to women. It reminds me of all the times I’ve been told “Girls don’t play hardcore games”, “Women don’t get strategy” “Are you shopping for (insert man of your choice)?”.

Beer Tasting at work, along with MEGAFORCE

Instead of ranting more about all this, I’ll get back to my point. I’d love to interview and write about women who are gamers and beer drinkers. The women who play what they want because they like it. The women who drink Ryes, IPAs, Stouts, Porters…beer across the entire spectrum. There are many women homebrewers, too. I’d love to hear from them.

Negra Modelo and Poo, the card game

The Dani goes to Germany

December 10, 2012 1 comment

Unless you’re following me on the Facebooks or the Twitters, you have no idea that I just visited Germany. For that matter, a brief visit to France, and traveling in Switzerland. There’s a whole bunch of things happening in my life which have me lower than I’ve been in *years*. So, my good friend and colleague, Iain, brought me over for a visit!

You can see some of the photos I updated on  my public Flickr account. Apparently, I’ve hit my monthly upload limit so the rest will have to wait until January.

I had visions of writing a most excellent travel diary, but I have failed. I’ve got a cold right now, so I find that I don’t care. 🙂 I suppose I could share a bit of my favorite bits of the trip. First, Swiss Air is quite delightful. Such polite people, plus I had an empty seat next to me on the trip over. SCORE!

I arrived in Zurich, and waited for Iain to show up, so we could catch the 3 different trains we’d need to get to Villingen, where he lives. Coincidently, it is also where the game I work on, Bullet Run, is developed. Yes, I’m working on a First-Person Shooter game. I’ve found that even tho I’m crap at it, I have a lot of fun playing with the community. And they think I’m just as much of a dork as they are. Heck, my main leader in my community is a very funny Brony. At any rate, I’m digressing like a sick person. *WACHOOO*

I was happy that I had picked up a HYOOOOGE puffy down warm coat for the trip, because it was cold as cold balls. I was actually okay wandering about in a hoodie with layers of tights/socks. Until it RAINED AND SNOWED. Fuck it; it was big awkward bulky way-too large coat for the rest of the trip.

We pretty much spent the first couple of days just hanging out, listening to music, enjoying good beers (‘natch!) and foods. We played some board games; I gave him a copy of Flame Wars: The Card Game of Extreme Moderation, which I had backed on Kickstarter. I also left him my copy of Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre since I can easily get another copy here. He introduced me to Kamisado, which I immediately loved. He helped me order it at the LGS. He also helped me order Mord im Arosa, which I had played in Austin at my game meetup. One of the women brought it to the event; she picked it up at some sort of board game swap. And the person who had it originally, picked it up when they were in Essen for the big huge board game show.

Anyway, we also wandered around town looking at neat buildings/art. We went to the Franciscan Museum Villingen, specifically for the Magdalenenberg, the Iron Age chieftain’s grave. IT WAS SOOOO COOOL.

We also wandered over to the Acony office, where I could say hello to the devs I had already met, and meet the rest of the team developing Bullet Run.

Some of our other travels:

Stuttgart for the Die Wel der Kelten aka The World of the Celts. Centres of power – Treasures of art exhibit. It was AMAZING. Too bad we were not allowed to take photographs, as there were some stunning pieces. We also continued on looking at the rest of the museum, featuring the history of Baden-Württemberg. I also had my first tasty Glühwein. In the pouring rain. Whilst freezing.

Which lead to MORE Glühwein drinking after we missed our train back home.

Alsace, France. My goal was to see many more awesome Medieval buildings and check out the Christmas market. Oh, and drink some tasty, tasty Alsatian Beer.

You could say I found both. Okay, so Leffe is Belgian, but I did have a tasty Croque Monsieur sandwich!

Esslingen: We went here specifically to catch the Esslingen Medieval Christmas Market. It’s side by side with the regular Christmas Market, but much more interesting! Well, the most interesting is that it is actual Medieval reenactment, which is awesome. Music, shows, foods, and games. It was fantastic. Of course, more Glühwein and Schwartzbier!

I think I enjoyed this Market the most, being the history dork that I am. I captured lots of photos of the same buildings, because they were so beautiful. Rugged handsome men stoking fires was pretty awesome, too. 🙂 Rawr. The great part about doing all this with Iain is that he’s a reenactor history nerd, too, so I don’t have to explain /why/ I loved it so much.

After a heap load of touristing, it was nice to chill back at his place for the rest of the trip. There were so many fantastic moments, and I’ll treasure this trip forever. It was good to leave my stresses behind (which are many; some I’ll share this coming week) and get inspired and invigorated. Right now, I’m ill with a cold and drank way too much beer at game day. I’ll just leave you with one of my fave sights from Stuttgart.

Categories: Beer, Geek Culture, Main

Beer – Blogging from A to Z Challenge

April 4, 2012 1 comment

Why yes, to no one’s surprise, my “B” blog will be about…BEER.

I first started my foray into beer in high school. I know, who didn’t? Well, back then the drinking age in Texas was 18. I drank a LOT of the standard cheap beers, which I never did like.

I would find things like Anchor Steam, Fosters (back in the old big tin oil can days), Red Stripe, and the like. There wasn’t too much variety to be found in Texas…well…anywhere hardly at that point.

I pretty much stopped drinking beer and mostly drank cocktails. As I got older and my palate changed, I started trying something different. Guinness. I liked it much better than the pale ales & lagers from my younger days. Still, it wasn’t exactly what I wanted out of a beer.

Finally, more and more craft beer started showing up in Texas. Red Hook, Alaskan, Sierra Nevada, and more. This pub my ex and I used to hang out at called JW Rovers in Round Rock, had a “Drink your way around the World” or some such challenge. If you drank X amount of beers, you got into this great club. Name on the wall, special T-shirt, and events.

Holding a very special Victory Dark Intrigue

I won a major award! It's FRAGILE!

So we set out on a journey to explore every beer style we could manage to get our hands on. I decided I hated fruit beer (Sorry Pete’s Wicked) and loved Stouts (Thanks Red Hook for the now defunct Starbuck’s version of Double Black Stout). I fell in love with Belgian beer, and decided I just wasn’t up for Canadian beers. Okay, so I’ve changed my opinion on Canadian beers after spending 5 weeks in Montreal. ❤ Unibroue now. Same for the Griffon Red Ale by Brasserie McAuslan/McAuslan Brewing.

I digress. HOW I DIGRESS.

I’ve since discovered heaps of places to find information about craft beer on the internet. I’ve been lucky to live in hubs of good beer, both large independent brewers and small craft brewpubs. I discovered so many great beers while living in Seattle, and was gobsmacked by the craft brew culture which exploded in Austin over the last 10 years. (Hint: Look for Jester King in bottles. They’re definitely selling in SoCal right now.)

All my best outings are paired with beer. I enjoy sharing beer and teaching people about beer, just as I do board/card games. That’s why I’ve always been so passionate about my Board Game/Beer Geek meetups. Maybe you’ll join me at one and learn about great beer and fun games.

Hands down, my favorite beer, Ten Fidy

Hands down, my favorite beer, Ten Fidy.

Categories: Beer

[Beer] My Favorite Day of the Year!

November 3, 2011 Comments off

Why yes, I am enjoying Stout Day! Picked up my Untappd badge, too! I’m enjoying an Old Viscosity by Port Brewing, which is a mighty tasty beverage. I won’t even get into how amazing OLDER Viscosity is.

“Not your Dad’s Wimpy 30 Weight is how our original label used to describe this massive chewy and thick beer.

Code named by our brewers-”The Big Black Nasty,” this is monstrous dark ale is brewed to no particular style. Thick and sludgy like oil from the crankcase of a wheat threshing combine, Old Viscosity blurs the boundaries of Porter, Stout, Old Ale and Barleywines.”

What Stouts did you or are you drinking for Stout Day?

 

Untappd.com Stout Day Badge

Categories: Beer

Speak Out With Your Geek Out – Hosting Geeky Events

September 13, 2011 Comments off

I already know I failed my mission just a bit in regards to my recent claim. I promised to write a blog post each day of the week for Speak Out With Your Geek Out, but I failed. But I swear, I have a great reason! Why? I was hosting the Girl Geeks Of Austin Monday Board Games & Brews event! Each Monday night, we have a group of women who drop by the Black Star Co-Op. So, it’s actually combining numerous geek things. Board games, craft beer and sustainable/local foods. And it is a co-op! One of my birthday prezzies to myself will be to buy a membership there. Such fantastic people.

Games we play!

I’ve posted before about why I started the game night. I’m all about supporting ALL people playing games; I believe everyone can find the right games and great people to play with. The difficult part – If you don’t already play games with people, how do you meet people for games? How do you find games? Board games can get pretty expensive; it is hard to justify buying a game if you don’t know anyone who plays them.

I’m an organizer geek; a nexxus. I LOVE bringing people together to do amazing things. I love meeting new people when I host an event and watching people discovering new people. It cheers me to see people make friends, share their info and talk about planning exciting games, dinners or whatever with each other. I like turning people on to new games and new beers. I like to encourage women & girls to play games.

Great Divide Oak Aged Chocolate Imperial Stout

Back to my Board Game & Brews night. Many of the women who come to the game night have never played board games. Or they’ve done family games like Monopoly, Sorry, Scrabble. There is nothing wrong with these games; for many people it is the first taste of gaming & socialization. Yes, even with family!

But many want more. They’re interested in games they see around. They want to not be talked down to or ignored in a game store. They want to do something creative and they want to socialize with other like-minded geeky people. No matter your geeky bent, while you’re doing a geeky activity, you get to learn more about people. You get to meet others who grok (look it up) you.

I’m not great at teaching people to play games. I yawn when reading rules. I am best learning as I play, so I usually stick to pretty easy to explain games that I’ve played a lot. Or some casual card games. Fluxx, Poo, Apples to Apples & Guillotine and many others are easy to teach and easy to learn. Then there are some dice games like Zombie Dice, Cthulhu Dice and some board games like Tsuro and Dixit.

How do you get started with your own group? Meetup.com is fantastic to start in finding a group. Volunteer to host a meetup. Most meetup group owners are DELIGHTED to find more people to host events. I know I am; I can’t do everything and be everyone. As example, we have people who do fiber arts and I do not. So I encourage our fiber arts geeks to host their own meetup event on our same group page.

  • Pick a place you want to host an event. A shop, a pub, coffeeshop. Get to know the people working there so they know to expect you.
  • Choose how often and what day you want to do your event. It doesn’t have to be weekly like mine.
  • Get yourself into Social Media so you can advertise your event. Good thing about Meetup.com? You can do so much in it.
  • Show up. Even if no one does, show up. When I first started doing the Monday Steampunk Meetups at the Wayward Coffeehouse in Seattle, I was there at a small reserved table every week. Eventually, one or two would show. And as the word got out, more people showed. I kept up with advertising it on the local steampunk mailing list. Having our small group talk to others at the other local events & conventions, brought more people out. After a few months, there was anywhere from 10-20 people ever Monday. Stick to it and it will succeed.
  • Greet everyone. No matter what else is going on, remember you are doing this for a reason. Make sure everyone is welcome. When you have regular people, you can dub others to be greeters. No one should ever feel unwanted for a social geek event.
  • Have fun. If you’re not, no one else will. You may try and try again, but eventually you’ll get the hang out of it. Sure, epople will “Why don’t we meet on X side of town?” “Why can’t we ever do Y together?”. I always say, “GREAT IDEA! You can put something together and I’ll promote it. Unfortunately, I can’t take on another event, but I want to help you succeed.”. AND MEAN IT.

Hell, I’m Donna and I’m a Geeky Organizer.

Categories: Beer, Women Gamers

My thoughts on “Speak Out With Your Geek Out!”

September 3, 2011 2 comments

I’ve seen the “Speak Out With Your Geek Out” program fly around on Twitter & Facebook, but I hadn’t given it much thought. I promote “Read an RPG Book in Public” and “Read a Comic Book in Public” days, but I rarely actually participate. Mostly because I already do these on a regular basis. It never occurs to me that I would be ashamed or embarrassed at how people perceive my nerdiness; this is the key to feeling acceptance within yourself. You can’t control how others feel about your hobby. What you can do, by being confident in yourself and your hobbies, is bring others out of their shell.

This type of thinking isn’t limited just to gaming or comic pursuits. I find it in the beer geek hobby, too. Especially as a woman who enjoys VERY dark beer. I tend to strike up conversations about beer when I’m drinking something which isn’t seen as “normal for a lady”. It happens with my socks, too. Yes, sock collecting is a hobby. If you don’t believe me, check out Sock Dreams. All my favorite socks come from Sock it to Me.

I believe people are attracted to people who appear to be having fun. Whether the stripey socks, my weird glasses, my RPG books or a dark glass of beer, I always look like I am having a good time with the things I love. When you are passionate about something, in this case geek pursuits, it encourages others to explore their passions, too.

When I sat down to read the article Calling all Geeks: Post about Your Hobbies September 12th to the 16th I became excited about the project.

I then read Speak Out with Your Geek Out by Dorkland and In Which We Prepare to Speak Out… by Jess Hartley.

What struck me about it all, was the positive & passionate love for geek pursuits. This kept standing out to me:

 

SPEAK OUT WITH YOUR GEEK OUT

Sometime during the week of Monday, September 12th to Friday, September 16th post about what geeky hobby you love. Then, tell us why we should try it, too. Leave your fears (and edition wars) at the door. Forget about your latest rant. Tap into that well of positive energy and share in the excitement of all things geek. Let us invite those who would stereotype us to sit at our table and share our interests.

 

The only thing I would change about this would be the last line about stereotyping. I’d much rather focus on encouraging people to engage. If we are only doing this to do a “IN YOUR FACE” to people who would stereotype people with geek passions, it isn’t very helpful. Yes, I understand the message in the quote above. However, there are many geeks who might attempt to use this as a way of promoting “I’m Geekier Than Thou”. Which is also one of my pet peeves.

I think we SHOULD address the ugly side of geek elitism. But that is for another post.

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