That time is almost here: when gaming geeks of all kinds extricate ourselves from the rest of the world and head to Indianapolis for that mecha of nerd fun, GenCon! GenCon stands as my favorite of the big conventions. It is huge, noisy and full of people, all of whom are coming together to bask in the glow of the gaming things we love. If you’ve never been, it’s a jam-packed experience full of panels, demos, games to play, merch to buy, and people to meet. There are parties, awards ceremonies, and after-hours fun to be had too, then you get up in the morning bright and early to do it again!
This will be my fifth year attending GenCon but it is my privilege to be going this year not as an attendee but as a speaker. On top of attending great events like the Diana Jones Awards and the Ennies (go Night’s Black Agent! Win!) I’ll be behind a microphone at the following:
Thursday August 15 @ 2PM – Getting Started In The Industry – Crowne Plaza Ballroom C – Have questions about how to get started in the industry? Want to know how freelancers got their beginnings? What about self-publishing, is that really for you? Come and ask questions and listen to people who have gone through the process answer you back. I’m pleased as hell to be on this panel with the likes of Brian A Liberge (Beer Star Games), Tracy Hurley (Sand and Steam Productions), Eloy Lastana (Third Eye Games), and Matt James (Vorpal Games) and can’t wait to speak to folks about my experiences thus far.
Thursday August 15 @ 4PM – Depression, Anxiety, Treatment and the Gamer – Crown Plaza Victoria Station C/D – John Adamus will be leading more of a conversation about how to be a game developer (or just a gamer) when facing issues of mental illness. It’s my privilege to be involved in this discussion, as this topic is near and dear to my heart and my experience as a designer struggling with bi-polar disorder. This talk is meant to be a supportive environment to discuss how to keep creating and working in the industry while still dealing with the monsters you have to face. Come to share if you feel comfortable, or just listen.
Friday August 16 @ 5PM – Religious Representation In Role-Playing Games – Crown Plaza Victoria Station A/B – Come join me as I sit down with Lillian Cohen-Moore and Jaym Gates to discuss how religions are represented in role-playing games. How are real-world religions such as Islam, Christianity and Judaism treated by mainstream gaming? What are the tropes, trends and territories explored by gaming when it comes to religious characters? And what about the issue of religious appropriation of icons, traditions and mythologies integrated into gaming works? Can it be and has it been done respectfully? We’ll pick apart this difficult question together.
So that’s my schedule! In between I’ll be attending lots of other panels, getting down with the awesome D20 Burlesque crew as they show off their best to the GenCon crowd, and celebrating the awards at the Ennies. I’m also super excited to hear Patrick Rothfuss speak – he is one of my favorite fantasy authors! It’s going to be a busy GenCon. To those who will be attending, I look forward to seeing you there!
Interested in getting together with me at the convention to talk shop? Hit me up @ShoshanaKessock on Twitter and we can see about setting up a time.