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My NorWesCon 2017 Schedule!

March 7, 2017 Comments off

It’s that time again! Next month is NorWesCon, a lovely 4-day Sci-fi/Fantasy/Science/Fandom convention in Seattle. Rather, it’s in Sea-Tac, which is right next to our airport.  Their Guests of Honor are Ian McDonald (Author), Cory and Catska Ench (Artists), Ethan Siegel (Science), Nancy Kress (Toastmaster), and Angry Robot Books (Spotlight Publisher) represented by Marc Gascoigne and Mike Underwood. NWC is celebrating it’s 40th year.

Once again, they’ve invited me back as a Pro Panelist. I’ll be on a number of panels and workshops, plus we’ll have the OrcaCon table in the main hallway. We’ll be holding down the fort in the hotel bar again celebrating “NachosBeerCon”. Come say hello!

Thursday

The GameMaster’s Manifesto Podcast – Put Your Phone Down! (10:00pm – 11:00pm @ Cascade 11)
Jacob Osterhaus (M), Jeremy Zimmerman, Dylan Templar, Donna Prior

Bring your books and dice and join us for a live recording of “The GameMaster’s Manifesto” podcast! In this episode Jacob and Troy will be interviewing some of our gaming pros on the topic of how to deal with the technological world impinging upon game time. Facebooking at game, virtual tabletops and video games stealing players! Oh my! Can technology be used for good or is it simply incompatible with traditional tabletop?

Friday

Geek Identity and Geek Policing (10:00am – 11:00am @ Cascade 9)
Donna Prior (M), Sar Surmick, Sheye Anne Blaze

What is Geek Identity, Geek Policing and Gate Keeping? Why is it important when we’re staying active and proud of our fandoms to not dip into policing and gatekeeping? How do we bridge the age-gap in SF/F and include younger generations? We, all of us, nerds of all races, genders, orientations, and ages need to stop the gatekeeping and start building bridges.

Choosing the Right Game for My Group (11:00am – 12:00pm @ Cascade 7&8)
Ogre Whiteside (M), Donna Prior, Jeremy Zimmerman, Sar Surmick

You formed a group to play something, and then you finished it. Now what? One player doesn’t like Themed games, one player won’t Play co-operatives, and that player only likes things where they can hit something with their axe. How do you find the right game for your specific group of people? Come hear our panelists talk about different types of games and players and strategies to bring them together.

Internet and Real Life Trolls (12:00pm – 1:00pm @ Cascade 7&8)
Mickey Schulz (M), Donna Prior, Brenna Clarke Gray, J. F. High

From Doxxing to Cyber-bullying, to the people who just don’t think that being “PC” is important or has a place in SF/F. How does this affect the real people who are being subjected to mistreatment? What can we do take a stand against it? Should we and how should we?

Diversity in Media: Why is it important? (5:00pm – 6:00pm @ Evergreen 3&4)
Crystal Connor (M), Brenna Clarke Gray, Sheye Anne Blaze, Donna Prior

From heartbreaking videos of “The Doll Test” and both young children and adults who feel they can’t be accepted as they are – why is it important that our books, media, games, and cultures are diverse? Why isn’t the status quo good enough? The goal is to empower people of all stripes and diverse experiences, and to show characters and role models that help us all to feel like we can be a part of both that world and fandom.

Pop Culture and the Facebook Phenomenon (8:00pm – 9:00pm @ Cascade 9)
Brenna Clarke Gray (M), Donna Prior

Has Social Media changed how we look at Pop Culture? With Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumbler and Reddit…information, and the opinions of the screaming hordes, is at our fingertips quicker than it has been in the past. Is this a good or a bad thing?

Saturday

Video Games (10:00am – 11:00am @ Cascade 10)
Jonny Nero Action Hero (M), Donna Prior, Arinn Dembo, Veronica Hamilton

There are so many good games out there to play on different platforms. Is World of Warcraft still the top dog? Do I need a computer or can I just play on my phone? Lets look at the different games out there, which are the best for different kinds of players, and what is needed to play them.

Hosting a Game Event (1:00pm – 2:00pm @ Cascade 7&8)
Donna Prior (M), Jonny Nero Action Hero, Barry Wilson, David Shoemaker

Want to run a game day, House con, or console party? Need some tips and ideas about how to make this a fun venture instead of a giant headache? Come and discuss the ins and outs of community game organizing.

Sunday

Genre TV is Everywhere! (11:00am – 12:00pm  @Cascade 10)
David Fooden (M), Ogre Whiteside, Erik Scott de Bie, Donna Prior

With so many shows on TV and streaming networks, what should you be watching? Let’s discuss what’s currently on your TV, computer or portable device.

Crowd-Funding: The End of Capitalism? (12:00pm – 1:00pm @ Cascade 3&4)
Vandy H. Hall (M), David Fooden, Donna Prior

Whether it is games or movies or art or space vehicles or whatever, our community has embraced crowd-funding and achieved things a bank would have never financed. Is this the way of the future? What are the advantages? What are the pitfalls? Join the crowd as they talk about the giving and receiving of funding.

My BigBadCon Schedule!

September 11, 2016 Comments off

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I know, I am such a multitasker. I am watching the amazing Seattle Seahawks play handegg, while drinking craft beer and blogging about tabletop games. Okay, so maybe that just makes me a Seattleite.

I just posed my GaymerX 4 schedule, with some random bloggy bits. You can read that here. I’m pausing here and there, every time a Seahawks player does something awesome. This might take a while. CAWWW-CAAAAWWWW.

LET’S TALK ABOUT BIGBADCON.

This will be the first time I’ve been to BigBadCon. It’s an RPG convention, mostly, but has some amazing panels and some board/card games, too. I first heard about BigBadCon from Ryan Macklin  I saw him tweeting about it or something a while back (I have memory lost issues, for reals) and always wanted to go. A couple years later, I’m now attending as a Special Guest. I’ve really enjoyed following BBC and Sean Nitter, the host of BigBadCon. We’re Twitter pals, and I was so stoked to meet him at Gen Con this year. When he first asked if I would Special Guest, I was blown away. HELLO IMPOSTOR SYNDROME. When you think of making games, most people think about the writers and designers. A whole ton of people are involved, from layout designers, marketers, and many others who work behind the scenes in publishing. It warms my old lady heart to see so many conventions and organizers reaching out an including all people involved in game publishing.

As a convention organizer myself, I really love what Sean & company are doing and I hope that between us, OrcaCon and GaymerX, we can make the trifecta of safe, welcoming, and amazing conventions on the West Coast.

ANYWAY. You don’t want to hear me blather on. You want to know my schedule, right? WELL, HERE WE GO!

Friday:

4pm – 5pm: Real talk on Tabletop toxicity – 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:

10am – 12pm: Destroying The Fake Geek Girl Fallacy  Tanya DePass, Donna Prior, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, 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.

8pm- 10pm: The Arl’s Ransom – The Arl of Stenhold is hiring adventurers to escort his children home from an extended family visit in Denerim. The money’s good; what could go wrong? Based on the hugely popular video games, the Dragon Age RPG brings the excitement of BioWare’s rich fantasy world to the tabletop. This 2-hour game is an introduction to Green Ronin’s Dragon Age.

10m- 12am: The Arl’s Ransom – The Arl of Stenhold is hiring adventurers to escort his children home from an extended family visit in Denerim. The money’s good; what could go wrong? Based on the hugely popular video games, the Dragon Age RPG brings the excitement of BioWare’s rich fantasy world to the tabletop. This 2-hour game is an introduction to Green Ronin’s Dragon Age.

Sunday:

2pm – 4pm: Titansgrave: The Rust Wastes – Your characters will explore the mysterious Rust Wastes, a technological graveyard in the city-state of Nestora that promises grave danger and wondrous rewards. What secrets do the Rust Wastes hide? This 2-hour game is an introduction to Green Ronin’s Fantasy Age and Wil Wheaton’s world, Valkana, from his show “Titansgrave: Ashes of Valkana”.

4pm – 6pm: Titansgrave: The Rust Wastes – Your characters will explore the mysterious Rust Wastes, a technological graveyard in the city-state of Nestora that promises grave danger and wondrous rewards. What secrets do the Rust Wastes hide? This 2-hour game is an introduction to Green Ronin’s Fantasy Age and Wil Wheaton’s world, Valkana, from his show “Titansgrave: Ashes of Valkana”.

 

 

 

GX4 Schedule!

September 11, 2016 1 comment

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I’ve got some blog posts queued up, but haven’t gotten around to finish them. I’ve got drafts for Gen Con, Dragonflight, and PAX West. I planned on knocking them out, but picked up a nice 3-month contract for work, so I’m a bit behind. Maybe I will get them knocked out this week.

All that aside, I am also working on all the things I need to do for GaymerX 4 and BigBadCon.  This post will be all things GaymerX! As a Tabletop Boss of Honor, it’s important for me to be out and visible as a woman who works in the games industry. I have a unique perspective in that I work in both video games and tabletop games, plus I’m old. OLD OLD OLD. Well, for vidya that is, based on the comments from people who play video games. Queue Angry Old Lady shaking her cane. Which reminds me, I need to get a new cane. My current one is old like me.

Anyway, this isn’t for me to whinge about my age or my disabilities. I can do that any time. Today, I’m putting all my GX4 stuff in one place. I love these blog posts, because it actually helps ME stay organized. So…here we go! Note: These are my official duties. I will, of course, be at the VIP party and other things for BoH to do. Here’s the Sched link to my bio and events: https://gx4.sched.org/speaker/info1951

Friday:

12pm – 2pm: How to be a Game Master The most common reason given why not to run a game is, “I don’t know how.” This workshop will give you the tools and coaching so that you do know how.

4pm – 5pm: Navigating the Intersection of Videogames & Tabletop – This panel will look at the intersection between video games and pen & paper RPGs, and how to draw strength and learn from both sides.

7PM – 9PM: Titansgrave: The Rust Wastes – Explore the mysterious Rust Wastes, a technological graveyard in the city-state of Nestora that promises grave danger & wondrous rewards. Titansgrave is the new RPG setting created for Wil Wheaton’s RPG show, “Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana”.  This 2-hour game is an introduction to Green Ronin Publishing’s Fantasy AGE game system and the Titansgrave world.  Dice & characters will be provided. 

9PM – 11PM: Titansgrave: The Rust Wastes – Explore the mysterious Rust Wastes, a technological graveyard in the city-state of Nestora that promises grave danger & wondrous rewards. Titansgrave is the new RPG setting created for Wil Wheaton’s RPG show, “Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana”.  This 2-hour game is an introduction to Green Ronin Publishing’s Fantasy AGE game system and the Titansgrave world.  Dice & characters will be provided. 

Saturday: 

11am – 12pm – Queer as a Three-Sided Die: Tabletop Gaymers – Join our tabletop Bosses of Honor to talk about queer issues, themes, and experiences in the tabletop gaming hobby and industry. We want to hear from you!

4pm – 5pm – Manage Session Creating Inclusive Gaming Groups & Events – 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.

5pm – 6pm – Manage Session Gatekeeping & Geek Policing – 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.

Sunday: 

9am – 11am – The Arl’s Ransom The Arl of Stenhold is hiring adventurers to escort his children home from an extended family visit in Denerim. The money’s good; what could go wrong? Based on the hugely popular video games, the Dragon Age RPG brings the excitement of BioWare’s rich fantasy world to the tabletop. This 2-hour game is an introduction to Green Ronin’s Dragon Age. Dice & characters will be provided!

11am – 12pm – The Arl’s Ransom – The Arl of Stenhold is hiring adventurers to escort his children home from an extended family visit in Denerim. The money’s good; what could go wrong? Based on the hugely popular video games, the Dragon Age RPG brings the excitement of BioWare’s rich fantasy world to the tabletop. This 2-hour game is an introduction to Green Ronin’s Dragon Age. Dice & characters will be provided!

3:00pm – 4:00pm – Fans vs Creators: Is there a better way? – 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?”

 

 

 

 

All things Gen Con!

June 3, 2016 Comments off

I’m super duper excited about Gen Con this year, and not just because I was selected as one of the 2016 Industry Insiders. Okay that’s a big part of it.

I’m super honored to be chosen this year, and I look forward to meeting so many amazing people.

I’ll be doing my usual duties, working in the Green Ronin Publishing booth. Actually, I’ll be rocking the Geek & Sundry portion of the Gen Con booth. So stop by for some Critical Role and Titansgrave goodness. I’ll post more to my socials when I know exactly what we’re gonna be selling and doing with the team. So many secret plans! /evil *edit* Here’s everything Green Ronin and Geek & Sundry! 

Before I get into more Industry Insiders stuff, I want to first thank all the old and new volunteer GMs who are bringing 90+ RPG sessions to Gen Con! We’ll be running lots of Mutants & Masterminds, Titansgrave, Fantasy AGE, Dragon Age, Song of Ice & Fire RPG, DC Adventures, some Freeport Pathfinder, and even Ork! You can do a search for Green Ronin to see all the games we’ve submitted. *gleeee*

Back to the Industry Insiders! I’ll be on a few panels for the Seminars below. Signups are live, so go ahead and add it to your schedule.

Thursday:

SEM16100220  – ­ It’s A Jungle Out There: Safety For Gamers

Controversies over inclusivity & other issues have created a dangerous social media environment for gamers. Learn how to protect yourself online, help victims of harassment, & more.

Friday:

SEM16100219 – Inclusive Gaming: How To Host & Create A Safe & Welcoming Space For All – ICC : 241 (1pm-2pm)

Learn about creating a fun, welcoming, supportive environment for all gamers at your table, & about how to build rich, inclusive stories that your players will remember for years to come.

Saturday:

SEM16100225 – Making RPG Welcoming To New Players – ICC : 241 (10am-11am)

As the RPG & story gaming hobby grows, we need to know how to create a warm, inviting & safe atmosphere for new players. How do we do our best to make sure these players have fun & come back?

SEM16100231- Social Media & The Gaming Industry –  ICC : 240 (4pm-5pm)

Social media has changed the world, & gaming is no exception. Discussion on ways to improve your online presence, market yourself & your game to prospective clients & customers.

Sunday:

SEM16100226 – Raising Money To Publish Your Board Game – ICC : 241 (11am-12pm)

Confused about Kickstarter? Flummoxed about funding? We will discuss a number of different ways to fund your board game project beyond just crowdfunding, including related legal and business issues.

Still not enough to find me? Here’s where else I will be:

Wednesday:

  • Meeting Green Ronin GMs. I’ll be stationed outside the expo hall so my GMs can find me and get their badges, and whatever information. Look for my GR shirt and green hair. Come hang out with me from 1pm-7pm.
  • Dinner at the Claddaugh Pub. Dinner & GM badge handouts
  • Diana Jones Awards

Thursday:

  • Working in the Geek & Sundry area of the Green Ronin booth, with the exception of the seminar.
  • VIG Party

Friday:

  • G&S at Green Ronin again. I’ll be MIA from about 10am – noon, as I wrangle the Critical Role Q&A panel, which starts at 11am. It’s free, but you need a free ticket to attend. No generics accepted. Once the ticketed folks are sat, anyone can come in without a ticket, if there is room.
  • Playing Games with GR staff. Somewhere. Some time. I hope there is beer.

Saturday:

Sunday:

  • G&S at Green Ronin booth! Final seminar! Last hugs! Sales!
  • GR dinner and probably some drinks in there. Hah!

 

NorWesCon 2015 Schedule!

February 2, 2015 Comments off

It’s that time again, the time we all love! CONVENTION SEASON! I’ve got heaps of things going on with Emerald City ComicCon, GottaCon, NorWesCon, Gen Con, and more. But for right now, I wanted to get my NorWesCon schedule online so I can link it around. For the times I am not in a panel, I will be hosting the OrcaCon table in the Fan Table hallway. Other than that, I’ll be enjoying NachosBeerCon in the bar!

Thursday, April 2nd

Your Grandma’s a Gamer, Too – Cascade 7&8 5:00PM-6:00PM

The accessibility of games is increasing due to phones and tablets, so who is actually playing all these new games? Let’s talk about what is out there and how to find the good ones.
Donna Prior (M), Adrienne Carlson, Jonny Nero Action Hero

How to Give Good Panel – Cascade 12 6:00PM-7:00PM
Tips and tricks on being a good moderator, panelist, or presenter at a convention. What’s your job, really, when your name appears after a panel description in the program book? How do you keep it on-topic and interesting for the audience? And what do you do when some blowhard in the back row thinks they know more than you?
Margaret Organ-Kean (M), Donna Prior, Bart Kemper

Is Fandom More Diverse & Accepting? – Cascade 6 8:00PM-9:00PM
The idea that fandom and SF/F is more accepting and diverse is often bandied around. Is that true? How do we move beyond the oppressive tropes? And what can we do to be aware of creating a truly accepting environment?
Sheye Anne Blaze (M), Amber Clark, Maida ‘Mac’ Combs, Donna Prior

Friday, April 3rd

How are Games & Gamers Changing the World? – Cascade 9 12:00PM-1:00PM
A discussion about the rising sun of the gamer, and all the different ways that this generation who grew up on video games has changed with how the world works. This will cover both the good and the bad.
Donna Prior (M), Elizabeth Sampat, David J. Peterson, Jonny Nero Action Hero, C0splay

Building a Community – Cascade 9 1:00PM-2:00PM
You have a passion that you want to share with the world. You know there are other people out there with similar interests, but how do you find them? Share and learn tips on building your passion into a community.
Mike Robles (M), Tifa Robles, Donna Prior, G. Willow Wilson

GOH Q&A – Grand 3 3:00PM-4:00PM
An interview and Q&A session with Norwescon 38 Artist Guest of Honor Julie Dillon.
Julie Dillon, Donna Prior

The Future Belongs to Everyone – Cascade 5 8:00PM-9:00PM
Recognizing positive examples of race, gender, and sexual identity in popular media.
Dennis R. Upkins (M), Sheye Anne Blaze, Maida ‘Mac’ Combs, Donna Prior

Saturday, April 4th

Creating Inclusive Gaming Groups & Events – Cascade 10 5:00PM-6:00PM
Enjoy board games? Love the idea of painting miniatures? Want to know how to find inclusive groups for gaming? How do you create your own gaming meet-ups? Our panelists will give you tips on creating game groups, finding public game meet-ups, and enjoying gaming conventions as a newbie. Want to be a better organizer? We’ll work with you to build positivity in your current groups, how to find new players, and how to encourage their participation.
Donna Prior (M), Elizabeth Sampat, Gwen Yeh, Bijhan Valibeigi

Sunday, April 5th

The Geek Secret Handshake – Cascade 7&8 12:00PM-1:00PM
School, work and social environments sometimes make it hard to fly your geek flag as prominently as you might like. Get and share tips for recognizing kindred spirits without freaking the mundanes. (I have Opinions(TM) about the term “freaking the mundanes” and will certainly share it)
Mike Robles (M), Donna Prior, David Shoemaker, Michael G. Munz, Minim Calibre

Fandom in Daily Life – Cascade 3&4 2:00PM-3:00PM
Are you weird, geeky, or a total nerd, and proud of it? Do you express your fannishness in daily life, or do you tone it down for your day job? Come participate in a discussion and share how you show your fannish colors.
Victoria Shaffer (M), Donna Prior, Mike Robles, Jonny Nero Action Hero, Shubzilla

NorWesCon 2014 Panel Schedule!

March 23, 2014 Comments off

I can’t believe it’s already NorWesCon time again. I did not get to participate last year, so it will be good to see some of the changes which have occurred since my last visit. I’m very excited about the new anti-harassment policy and I hope to see less creepy behavior this year. I can’t say I have a love/hate relationship with NorWesCon any longer, as many folks involved are doing their best to keep their policy updated, and accepted feedback on it with grace.  There have always been heaps of things I’ve loved at NorWesCon, but some some things I’ve been pretty uncomfortable with. I’ve always enjoyed being invited as a pro-panelist, and they’ve always been super attentive and supportive.

I’m VERY pleased at a lot more focus on a more inclusive and & welcoming convention. I’ve always felt like such an outsider, as I’m not that much of a fandom gal, nor am I attending for the literary side of things. I’m kinda stuck in the middle sometimes, and every year, I debate throwing myself into the fray to try to create the change I want to see.

I love talking about games. I love talking to others about games. I love talking about working in the games industry, both from a video game and analog game point of view. I enjoy deep discussions about Star Wars, craft beer, social justice, and perfect nachos. I love getting a chance to see my peers in the industry, along with talking with excited fans. I love sitting down with beers & board games, or getting a game demo. I love the passion that a lot of people put into their hobbies.

This year, I’ve got 7 panels. Around those times, I plan on teaching lots of demo games of Green Ronin Publishing’s Love2Hate as possible. If you’re up for a game, you’ll most likely find me in the bar, enjoying NachosBeerCon. I’m happy to throw down a game at any time! I will also bring my Dragon Age RPG demo kit, if you are up for a 2-hour game over beers.

L2H

Gaming Cons: An Adventurer’s Guide
Thu 4:00pm-5:00pm Cascade 5
There are a lot of gaming conventions out there and they all have their own cultures and mores. Come find out what conventions there are and what they have to offer the adventurous gamer in you.
Ogre Whiteside (M), Julie Haehn, Jeremy Holcomb, Adam Koebel, Donna Prior

Nerding Out in the Pacific Northwest
Thur 6:00pm-7:00pm Cascade 6
Spending your Latinum: Who, what, when, how, and why?
Morgue Anne (M), Matt Hammond, MC-3PO of DeathStar, C0splay of DeathStar, Donna Prior

The “Panel” Panel
Thur 8:00pm-9:00pm Cascade 3&4 
Tips and tricks on being a good moderator, pro, or panelist at a convention. What’s your job, really, when your name appears after a panel description in a program book? How do you keep it on-topic and interesting for the audience? And what do you do when some blowhard in the back row thinks they know more than you?
Janna Silverstein (M), Janet Borkowski, Charles “Zan” Christensen, Nicole Dieker (Hello, The Future!), Donna Prior

Out of Game: Gaming Like Adults
Fri 9:00pm-10:00pm Cascade 10
Personal conflicts? Scheduling hassles? Trying to sort out what snacks to bring and who helps clean up afterwards? In game conflicts that brew into out of game unpleasantness? We should talk about this, and our panelists will.
Sar Surmick (M), Eric Cagle, Donna Prior, Bryan Syme, Ogre Whiteside

How Are Games and Gamers Changing the World?
Fri 10:00pm-11:00pm Cascade 10
A discussion about the rising sun of the gamer, and all the different ways that this generation who grew up on video games has changed with how the world works. This will cover both the good and the bad.
Hunter Mayer (M), Angel Leigh McCoy, Donna Prior, Gregory A. Wilson, Gwen Yeh

Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook, OH MY!
Sun 11:00am-Noon Cascade 3&4
Where do you get your fandom fixes? Every social media has it’s own culture. What’s different about the various social medias, and how do they interact within themselves and with each other in spreading fandom.
Jen K (M), Donna Prior, Jonny Nero Action Hero, Lola Watson

Creating & Building Inclusive Gaming Groups
Sun 1:00pm-2:00pm Cascade 5
Enjoy board games? Love the idea of painting miniatures? Want to know how to find inclusive groups for gaming? How do you create your own gaming meet-ups? Our panelists will give you tips on creating game groups, finding public game meet-ups, and enjoying gaming conventions as a newbie. Want to be a better organizer? We’ll work with you to build positivity in your current groups, how to find new players, and how to encourage their participation.
Donna Prior (M), Berry Sizemore, Ogre Whiteside

Friday Five – July 5th

July 5, 2013 1 comment

Hah! I remembered to post my Friday Five “Ask Me Anything”! The questions are coming in, so I’ll just get this started.

What do you think is the most misunderstood notion about Community work in the games industry?

That all we do is moderate forums & social media. While Community does these things, there is also so much more to the gig. There’s writing articles & content for the website, collecting community sentiments and reporting to Dev. You also work with fan sites, press, in-game and in-person events. You work closely with Brand, Legal, PR, Production, and a lot of time working with CS. And you definitely spend a lot of time in meetings. There are many layers of Community, with moderators, coordinators, assistant CM, and all, who corral different aspects of all the above. Your job in Community is to support both the player-base and the company’s best interests. You are a very public face, and while you get some amazing interactions, you are also on the receiving end of a lot of complaints, no matter who’s “fault” something might be.

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One of my pet peeves is that people think Community is easy. And that people don’t take it seriously as a career path. Oh, and that many companies themselves don’t understand the value of community building. The worst? People who want to be Community Managers because they think they can be a rock star. Your job is to help your TEAM and your players be rock stars.

What is with this Hobbit thing?

As I said in my previous blog post, I knew I’d be addressing this. It goes back to when I was working on Pirates of the Burning Sea. I was dating a lovely gent who lives in Australia. I flew over to visit him, and for my birthday, he booked us a trip to New Zealand. One of the stops on our drive around the north island was at Matamata so we could go on the Hobbiton movie set tour.

So beautiful, green, and rainy like Seattle!

So beautiful, green, and rainy like Seattle!

I posted pictures from the tour, including the one in my last blog, with me standing in a Hobbit hole doorway. The player remarked about my height, and that clearly, I was a Hobbit. That was in 2006 and I’ve been stuck with people making Hobbit comments about me all these years. I mean, I love good food, good beer, and I’m short. It kinda goes with the territory when yer a nerd.  So carry on, you dirty trolls. I don’t mind. BUT, I MUST CONTINUE TO INFORM YOU THAT I AM NOT A HOBBIT.

Do you prefer making up a new character using real paper rulebooks or electronic copies? The followup is: Real dice or electronic rollers/apps?\

I’m old school. I love hardcover rule books and I make characters with real dice.  When I was trying to understand D&D 4E, I used the D&D Insider char developer for my Swordmage. Mostly because I could have my spells in a easy to manage form. This was before the Power cards came out. But yeah, I never use .pdfs or other electronic versions. I never use dice rollers. I like pen, paper, pencils, & dice.

Which of your characters has been the most fun to role-play?

That’s a tough one, as I’ve had some great characters in Star Wars Galaxies and in my various tabletop RPG games. I think I’ll go with my main SWG character, Sti-fi Osp-ro. I created her on launch day, June 26, 2003. I spent the next many years creating the character behind the avatar. Like many of us playing, we were happy to be building our own stories in the SW world. Sti-fi changed professions as the battles with the Empire required a variety of skill sets. I started first as a Doctor, who enjoyed dancing in various Cantinas, helping those fighting the good fight feel relaxed so they could start healing properly. Later, “Stiffy” as her city-mates started calling her, became proficient with combat. She excelled in both wielding flamethrowers, and the Gaderiffi Baton. She enjoyed being outside so much, that she decided to take up hunting, as a way to support herself. She picked up some excellent rifle skills, and gained some tracking abilities. She’d spend weeks away from cities and towns, tracking creatures. Sometimes, she helped to camouflage merchants who needed to get to their harvesting machines in dangerous territory.

stiffy1

Sti-fi dancing with The Kreetles. Note the spiffy band outfits made by yours truly.

After being caught up in the war for a very long time, a huge change exploded throughout the Galaxy. It was so horrifying that she gave up any sort of combat at all. She decided to be a merchant & trader instead. She spent a lot of time with fabrics and notions, becoming a known Tailor. Her specialty was creating fashionable uniforms for pilots, musical groups, and dance troupes. When SWG shut down, she was in a great place. She was always considered a great friend, a leader of people, and loyal to the Rebellion. She was happily married to the scoundrel, Agis, and had forged many spiritual bonds with her compatriots from Ryloth.

Would you say that the culture of blogging as a whole has changed since the decline of Livejournal?

I’m not sure, really. I’ve never been hip to a culture of blogging. I’ve always felt that LJ = private (or public) journal and blog = specific topics, whether hobbies or theme. At least, that’s pretty much how I’ve used them. I’ve had an LJ since 2002, I think. I’ve had various blogs through the years; my original one was really just updates to my website. I didn’t think much about writing, other than having a place to document my renfaire travels.  I rarely post in my LJ any longer, as I’ve gone back to living in my head all the time. I really should post there more to get my more personal thoughts down. My blog is to mostly talk about what is important to me, gaming and community building. It’s mostly my experiences and thoughts, but it has more of a focus.

I don’t know if other people see it this way. I don’t actually read many blogs or journals.

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