The second annual geek girl festival drew all sorts of men and women, as well as celebrated women in geek culture, whether that be in programming, card games, anime or other. They had four floors of panels, vendors, gaming, connections, artists and more at the Conference Center at the Convention Center.
Highlights of my time there: a panel with women from the technical field, meeting the lovely ladies from JPL, a raunchy show of nerdlesque (featuring Gimli from Lord of the Rings), a few minutes of the Buffy sing-along to "Once More With Feeling," stumbling upon an impromtu Molly Lewis and the Doubleclicks concert in the hall, small geek girls going crazy, and an inspirational sense of community, belonging and progress.
Part of what surprised me the most about this year's convention was the amount of guys that were in attendance. I would guess there was a 70/30 ratio of gals to guys, with many of the men being younger and without children. Personally, it's inspiring for me to see how much the attendees were included and welcomed into the space. There were no stigmas attached to girls play Magic: The Gathering in the corner, or dressing up like Codex from The Guild. All of these passions were proudly on display.
Despite several panels and programs geared towards Science-Technology-Engineering-Math (STEM) topics, I felt there was still a lack when compared to anime, gaming, and general geekdom programming. One panel in particular - Tech Jobs You Never Knew You Wanted - was full to the brim, bursting with soon-to-be STEM career women, and led by five successful women in technology. The discussions it bore were pertinent and really opened my eyes to how much of the next generation is going into this field. It's definitely a step in the right direction to introduce STEM and how women can benefit from it, and I hope to see more of it in the future.
GeekGirlCon 2012 was by all means a success. There weren't any huge mistakes or issues (not that the attendees could tell anyways!), President Erica McGillivray was cool and calm for most of it, and there weren't many disappointed faces in the crowd. Plans for next year are already on the way - something I can't wait to go to again!