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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.

It’s time! Extra Life 2016

November 3, 2016 Comments off

This is the 3rd time I am participating in Extra Life, the 24-hour gaming marathon to support Children’s Hospitals around the country. Extra Life unites thousands of players around the world in a 24 hour gaming marathon to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Since its inception in 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $22 million for local CMN Hospitals

As I’m in the Seattle area, I’m supporting the Seattle Children’s Hospital. Last year was super fun, but I had a whole team of folks taking turns for Team En Masse. We did really well, with so many of the TERA Online players showing up to be supportive. We played a little bit of TERA and a whole bunch of indie games. It was a hoot! This year, I’m on my own, but I might cheat and host other team member’s streams when I can. Heck, maybe I can get Barry to play a game in my place when I’ve petered out.

Donate here: http://www.extra-life.org/participant/Danicia

I’ve been setting up my Twitch page, so I’ve got the proper bots and whatnot. I’m pretty new to streaming on my own versus having all the fancy equipment in game studios, so it might just look like ass. And I’m okay with that, as I’m doing this for charity. Folks can make fun of my noob set up all they want.

SO! The good part! I’ll be streaming starting on Saturday, at Noon and streaming until Noon on Sunday. Find my stream here: https://www.twitch.tv/danicia You don’t need a Twitch account to watch, but you will if you want to take part in the chatter!

So, Donna, what games are you playing? That’s a GREAT question! Here’s a partial list of games I hope to play, mostly all from my Steam Library. Check out my profile and ask for a game on my list! I might just play that, too!

Tentative Game List:

Plus, I plan on playing a few MMOs while I am at it. Join me in-game:

Whew, that’s a LOT of games, but hey, I’ve got 24 hours to fill and some of these are short games.

So! Please join me on Twitch to see me play video games badly. And if you can, please consider donating to my Extra Life fundraising page.

Thank you for supporting me and supporting Children’s Hospital!

 

 

 

 

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?”

 

 

 

 

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

IGDA Board 2015 Statement

January 28, 2015 Comments off

After reading a criticism regarding the IGDA Board of Directors selection for the four current openings, I remembered that I had meant to put my statement here on my blog.  The criticism of the election was regarding the lack of diversity; there isn’t a single woman up for election.  I am not sure how many women were nominated, but I did nominate myself. I am a firm believer in the saying, “Be the change you want to see”, so I took a stab at running for the board. Below is the statement I submitted. I also had two interviews via voice/phone, but ultimately was not selected.


 

My name is Donna Prior and I humbly submit my nomination for the IGDA Board of Directors. I have been in the game industry for 7 years working in Community Management for both digital and analog games. I have worked for independent studios such as Flying Lab Software and Heatwave Interactive, and also for AAA studios like SOE and Bioware. I am a frequent speaker at PAX, Gen Con, and other conventions presenting on community building, making safe and inclusive spaces, and mentoring.

My passion for community building is why I wish to foster the professional community within the IGDA. I have a deep love of transparency and supporting volunteers who dedicate their time and passion to game development.

With that in mind, these topics are my focus.

Community – Developers are beginning to see the value of strong communities, within the industry and their players. As a Community Management professional, I am able to bring feedback from Chapters, SIGs, and individuals to the Board.

Transparency – There is a gross misunderstanding of what the IGDA is and how it can support the developer community. We need more transparency to highlight the work of the IGDA and open up public feedback channels. Non-members should understand the work of the staff and the hundreds of volunteers running SIGs and Chapters. The reputation of the IGDA hasn’t always been positive, and showing the work of the IGDA regularly would be extremely helpful in underscoring the organization’s benefits.

Volunteers -. I’ve volunteered in the GDC Conference Associates program for four years, the last two as CA Staff. I manage the GM Volunteer program for Green Ronin Publishing and created my own volunteer-run games convention, OrcaCon. Volunteers are the backbone of the IGDA and there should be better recognition and support for what they do. We need to provide better training of chapters and SIGs leaders and make it easier for people to get involved. There are amazing people doing incredibly important work within the IGDA and we need to make sure they are valued.

In these things, I believe I am the best candidate. The IGDA needs Board Members who will listen: to advocate, to support, and to inspire. As a Community Manager, I know how to do this.

You can find me here:

Thank you for your consideration.

Donna Prior
Founder IGDA Community Management SIG
GDC 2015 Community Management Summit Advisory Board
GDC Conference Associate
GDC Conference Associate Staff

My PAX 2013 Schedule

August 28, 2013 Comments off

Another PAX is upon us, and as usual, there is SO MUCH going on and I’ll never get to do and see it all. That being said, I have a pretty light schedule this year. PAX actually kicks off for me on Thursday, as I’m leading up a Community Panel at PAXDev! Thursday night is the private Community Managers Group event, which is the best gathering of all the video game Community Managers together in one spot.

For PAX Prime, here’s how to find me:

Friday: I’ll most likely be at the Green Ronin booth, Room 208. I’ll probably be randomly tweeting about Dragon Age RPG demos. I’ve got dice, pre-generated characters, and pencils! You just need to give me 2 hours of your time.

paxgw2

Saturday: I have a panel to start the day! Join us at the Raven Theatre for Building & Creating Inclusive Communities in Tabletop/Board Gaming. After that, I’ll rush off to the Renaissance Hotel for the Guild Wars 2 Anniversary Bash! It will be a long day, but a FUN day. I’m looking forward to the panel, the PvP tourney, and the party. Mostly, I’m excited to meet a bunch of our players and fans!

Sunday: My second PAX Prime panel is on Sunday! I’ll be heading up the Women & Tabletop Gaming panel. After that, I imagine I’ll mosey around and go hit up the Green Ronin booth. Maybe a demo? I have lots of demo stuff with me.

Monday: Same as Friday. Green Ronin and maybe some demos. Might be wandering around quite a bit

I look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new people!

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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