Stemming from a panel titled ‘Geek Girls Exist,’ at San Diego Comic Con in 2010, GeekGirlCon was born out of a community effort as a way to show more representation and content for girls and women with geeky passions and interests. The convention endeavors to promote a culture that invites everyone through the doors to enjoy comics, video games, STEM, art, movies and more.
From their website, they quote comic book writer Gail Simone as to why this convention is exceptionally important:
“We don’t have to imply that men are bad and all women are perfect. We don’t have to convert every single reader to a female-friendly viewpoint. But I do think it’s in our interests to speak up and be heard in some way. To be silent is to be discounted.”
This year the convention takes place October 8 and 9 in Seattle, Washington at The Conference Center. As the convention continues to grow, this year there are even more panels and guests to fill up the panel rooms and inspire fans of all ages. Some of the conventions top guests include voice actor Ashly Burch, rapper Sammus, children’s book author Natalie McGriff and author, journalist, and comedian Bonnie Burton.
Check out the synopsis of just a few of them:
“VR and the Future of Reality”: Just like the internet in the 90s and smartphones in the 00s, virtual reality (VR) is on the cusp of revolutionizing the way humans interact with technology, and each other. In 2015-2016, we saw the first instances of commercially viable VR with Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus, PlaystationVR, and HTC Vive. We will begin this panel with an introduction to what VR is. Then we will move on to discuss the ways in which VR will change everyday tasks and experiences, using pop culture and science fiction references for context.
“Getting Away with Murder”:
How accurate is the forensic science in TV shows, movies, and books? What’s the best way to get rid of a body? How do criminal databases actually work? What is the Prosecutor’s Fallacy? Can you get DNA evidence from crab lice? Will your browser history sink you? Scientists discuss the real science behind forensic investigations.
“Exploring Mental Health In Games: Why I Made a Game About My Eating Disorder”: How can games explore the good, the not so good and well, the down right difficult parts of being human? This presentation will discuss how one developer used her eating disorder to fuel the development of her game and what she learned in the process. We’ll also look at other games, which explore mental health and discuss why games are uniquely suited for this kind of exploration.
“Rolling for Boob Size: Being a Woman in a (Masculine) D&D World”: Academics have considered how RPGs allow for the construction of the self and the exploration of varied and occasionally taboo elements of our identities. However, sometimes games like D&D can seem less than varied. The world can be inherently masculine, and this can affect the way players and DMs interact with the game. Hypermasculinity in a game, both during play and in the creation, can lead to the policing of women’s voices and limiting of female participation. Three female D&D players, DMs, and academics will discuss how tabletop role-playing games intentionally or unintentionally have prioritized straight male narratives, what it’s like to be the only woman at the table, and how we can change the narrative to allow everyone a seat at the gaming tabletop.
“The Care and Feeding of Your Geek Family”: You’ve got a nerdy family: congratulations! Now what? How can you keep your family stocked with fabulous books, comics, and shows for all ages? Join a panel of youth librarians for: – all-ages book, comic, audiobook, and media recommendations featuring diverse creators and characters; – tips and tricks for finding more great recs; – resources for supporting curious, enthusiastic young fans; – and suggestions for dealing with edgy material and challenging conversations. It’s hard to find things to watch as a family and even harder to find characters that represent our families in science fiction and fantasy. Not all geeky kids are interested in long books, some struggle with reading, and others read so fast that they’re ready to race into adult materials before they’re out of elementary school. And sometimes our desire to support enthusiastic young fans runs up against the complications of graphic or problematic content. As librarians (all of us) and parents (most of us), we constantly field questions about keeping up with voracious readers and energizing reluctant ones, finding books and media that reflect us and our communities, and addressing intense content. Professionally and personally, we actively search for SF/F off the beaten path of white/cis/heteronormative/able-bodied perspectives. Our all-ages book and media recommendations will center diversity of both creators and main characters.
“Growing Up with Science”: Do you like GoldieBlox, the LEGO Research Lab, or Galaxy Zoo? With the growing variety of science toys, books, and opportunities aimed at girls, how can you get connected? Join our panel of scientists and educators to discuss the best toys and resources, and learn how to get involved in space science with NASA and citizen science projects.
“Memento Mori, Buy Our Dolls: A Jem and the Holograms Panel”: Glamor, Glitter, Fashion, and Fame: Once you’re a Jem Girl, you’re never the same. Join the hosts of The Jem Jam podcast as they talk about their favorite glam rock soap opera, the 1980s cartoon Jem and the Holograms. What makes this show so memorable? How do the comic and movie adaptations stack up? Why is Rio here? Are the Limp Lizards actually the best band in the series? Join Annie, Kit, and Maq and reaffirm that The Misfits’ songs are, in fact, better.
“History has its eyes on Hamilton: The musical, the History, and the Impact”: Over the last year, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton has become a Broadway phenomenon. This panel will explore the impact Hamilton has had in the theater world and beyond. From the fandom its inspired to the attention it’s brought to the women in Hamilton’s life, we’ll discuss a variety of topics related to the hit musical and the founding father without a father who inspired it.
“Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling: the Representation of Asians in film, TV and gaming”: In the last few years, we’ve seen developments in the representation of Asians on our screens, be it in film, television or gaming: from Mirror’s Edge to Halo 5, and from Quantico to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Master of None in TV shows, Asians are increasingly present in our media. However, is mere presence enough for racial equity? How well do these representations fare? Despite being the largest ethnic group in the world, Asian characters often fall victim to stereotyping and tropes, are marginalized, or are underrepresented of the diversity of voices, cultures and nationalities that fall under the broad Asian umbrella. Join our panelists as they discuss changes in the representation of Asians, how far we have come, and what challenges still need to be overcome.
“¿Cómo Se Dice ‘Nerd’?”: This panel will explore the intersection of latinidad and geekdom. Let’s skip the part where we have to prove that, yes, Latinxs can be nerds and start talking about what it means to identify as a “Latinx nerd.” How does language, nationality, race, and history influence the way we interact with our fandoms, hobbies, and geekery in general? What are some of the works or places that make us feel welcome and represented and what makes us feel isolated or ignored? How can we use our geeky interests to confront issues of colorism, colonialism, and culture clashes in the Latinx community? The panel will feature self-identified Latinx creators, thinkers, and geeks.
“Casting and Molding 101”: Casting and molding can easily seem expensive and daunting to get started in with all the different products out there, but it doesn’t have to be! Come and learn about different types of casting and molding materials and what you can do with them. How to plan your project, workspace setup and safety will also be covered. From cosplay to miniatures, art or even home repairs, the possibilities are endless!
“Cosplay 101”: So you have decided you want to make a costume for a convention. Awesome! Here are some people that can give you tips on how to deal with unconventional fabrics, or what to do if you don’t know how to sew. Also, how to realize that no one is shaped like a comic book character and you are perfect just the way you are.
The con new featured programming on Saturday night called “GeekGirlCon After Dark” with adults-only panels including:
“YA After Hours”: The Secret World of YA: Sex, scandal, and shame. We’ll talk about everything subversive related to YA books, from how far the thrills and chills go to the degree of intimacy.
“Queering the Apocalypse”: A discussion about race, gender, and sexuality in dystopian pop culture. Stories about life after apocalypse are so popular right now—from The Walking Dead to Mad Max to the Hunger Games—but whose stories are represented? We’ll discuss the work of sci-fi greats like Octavia Butler and focus on what stories about dystopian futures say about society today.