GenCon 2013 has come and gone, and there is so much I could say about the experience. I’ve already done a little bit of talking about some of the more unsavory parts of the convention that went down (UnderwearGate 2013 and the Nazi cosplayers), but I wouldn’t want anyone to think that the only things that went on that weekend are unfortunate. Quite the opposite actually! Most of the time the convention was a pleasure, and I want to give a shout-out to all the amazing things I got a chance to participate in this year.
- Getting Started In the Industry Panel: I had the opportunity to speak on the Getting Started panel, talking to a full audience about what it’s like getting into freelance work in gaming as well as self-publishing. Brian Liberge, Tracy Barnett, Eloy LeSanta, and Matt Parker were wonderful to speak with and the audience was exceptionally receptive to our information dump. It was a wonder to sit back and be able to tell folks honestly that five years previously, I had been sitting in their seats with the exact same hopes to get into the industry. Now, I have this information I could share with them about how to get going!
- Religion in Gaming and Mental Health Panels: I’m lumping these two together because frankly, both of these panels were amazing and went by entirely too fast. The Religion in Gaming panel covered appropriation with Jaym Gates and Lillian Cohen-Moore and we went right after the topics about appropriating icons, legends and practices without context. The Mental Health panel was also way too short, but John Adamus and I really dug into how to work on taking care of one’s self while still working and being part of the gaming world. I felt nervous going into both panels too for different reasons – one is that I always get nervous being a moderator (for religious appropriation) and the other because speaking about dealing with my illness is still hot button for me. Nevertheless, both panels put me in a place to share information I had and discuss topics important to me.
- Mental Health And Game Design: This was the panel I was the most concerned about being a part of, and maybe rightly so. There’s still a lot of folks who don’t feel comfortable with hearing people talk earnestly about their mental health and the challenges it presents when you’re trying to be a professional. Still, John Adamus and I did a decent job for a short panel – there could have been a lot more to talk about.
The best parts of GenCon however came from the people I got to spend time with over the weekend. I was able to sit and talk about upcoming projects with a number of folks including Josh Jordan (author of Heroine), Tracy Barnett (author of School Daze), Brian Engard (author of Becoming), and many others. Needless to say its been a joy because I got the opportunity to plan some great work with amazing people AND just spend time with folks I don’t get to see very often.
Now I’m just recovering from this adventure and getting ready for the next few – PaxPrime, WyrdCon and the return to graduate school. Tune in next time for more!