A million Thanks for Bringing this Project to Life

It was beginning to seem like the day would never come, but She Got Game is finally finished! It’s been a heck of a ride with lots of ups and downs, but it’s also been one of the most important experiences of my life. I’ve never learned more in such a short span of time. (In fact I like referring to this project as my unofficial master’s degree). But enough about me.

I’d like to draw your attention to the people who really kept this project going—my Kickstarter backers. It’s thanks to you, not only that the project was funded, but that I had the moral support to stay on track. Thanks so much to everybody who messaged me along way, who contributed to the production and who followed the project from the beginning:

Gareth Hodges - Gabe "MightyNightOwl" Arellano - Diana Ewert - Rose Pomykala - Chris Stolte - Gabriel Morgan - S.H. MacDonald - Michael J. Lawrence - Adrian Bonet - Zoe O - Manuel Bijen - Strange Graphs Music - Caitlin F Wilkie - Giovanni J. - Austin - Dr. Corinne Hyde - Christo Smallwood - Dangertoons - LizzyBuzy - Simon Linder- Nathan Sampey - Trevor Grell - Mikal Saltveit

Brad Price - Eric Smith - Lynn W. - Carol Mertz - Ian MacKenzie - Matthieu Campbell - Naicele - Dan Honig - Maddie Shirey - Tami Mitchell - Erik Hanson - Anonymous - Leo Borg - Nick Wesselmann - Lars Rikard Stavrum - Elie C.DeL Abraham 

emi E. Anter - Ryan Kelln - Thryn Henderson - Andrew Araki - Semaphore - Steve Reiss & Janet Engelhard - Patrick McCaw - Kelsey Lang - Alex Varughese - Matej Jan - saajid sam motala -Ryan Seney

Alice Rendell - Brittney Oberfeld - Terry Ibele - The Most Venerable and Highly Incorruptible Great Lord Space-Pope Impetuous X, the Allegedly Corrupt - Kevin Smith - Rachel Palmieri - Bryn Scott-Grimes - Bronwyn Frey - Aunt ML - Manuel Pallier - Smashingsuns - Shannon Sun-Higginson - Aleksandar Jankovic - Shelby Morgan - Matthew Baetzhold - Colleen M - Scott Duff -Wright S. Johnson - William Liggett - Gelarto - Mikael Tilly - Jacqueline & Sam Ashwell - KingNewbs - Steve Lubitz - James Bywater - E-J Burr - Kevin "ColdComfort" Patterson - Allison Salmon - Thomas de Groot - Jason Quinn - Barry D. - Henry Smith - Marc Le Guen - Jason Squire - Pedro Alexandre Timóteo - Borna "anothga" Pekaric - Brianna D. Jones - Hugues Barbier - Nathaniel Rosenberg - Vjosana Shkurti

Shadow Stalker - Lucinda Qu - Darryl E. Clarke - Armond Netherly - Andy Flesner - Paul Rocca - Rob McCallum, director, "NES CLUB: Nintendo Quest" - Matt Albrecht - Catt Small - Emma Gardiner - Peter "RHK" Ljungkvist - Ernst Koehler - Ian Pozzebon - Bryan Postelnek - @think_nathan - Aki Somerkallio - Scott Hewitt - Gauvain Bernard - Karl "ToxicAntidote" Abraham - Kelly Seltmann - Gavin Tomlinson - Michael V. Shaw, Jr. - Erik Demaine - Nick Wilson - Greg Conant - Sami - Adam J Curran - Tibo - Heather Cerlan- Texture Artist at Naughty Dog Follow @hmcdrummergirl - Andrew "AiViZe" Vong - Any Haigh @Wolverinesclaws - Anonymous - Carter Medley - Phildo - LollipopGeek Podcast - Erik Gallegos - Livio De La Cruz - Cognitive Discodance - Sven Haskel - Gregory Nazarian - Patrick Jarnfelt - Alex Hauge - Habo Domum - Gerry Cardinal III - Daniel Lindblom, Sweden - George Mesesan - Jeff Schingel - Per Klitgaard - Samuel F Gardener - Zfih - Morten Poulsen - Brian Gish

So now what!?

Well, the film is finished but its life is really just beginning. For now, it’s only available to certain Kickstarter backers, but I’ll be submitting it to various festivals and with any luck it’ll land somewhere near you. In the meantime, for those of you living near Toronto, I’m looking to have a private screening sometime in September so we can celebrate together.

That's all for now—and don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

GAMERella: The "Boss Up" Women's Game Jam

Long time no cybersee! Hope you’ve all been doing well as winter slowly creeps in and takes over. This week I wanted to share my thoughts on the final event I went to for the She Got Game documentary.


Wait, no...


Wait, no...

GAMERella! Ok phew, that was it. 

This was a pretty big game jam run by the women working at the TAG lab at Concordia (the same ones who ran Boob Jam.) There was actually a sister event being run at the same time in NYC by The Code Liberation Foundation which is co-directed by Nina Freeman (read a post on her work here.)

The theme of the jam was “Boss Up” and we got an awesome introduction to this topic by indie game creator Kara Stone. If you’re unfamiliar with her work, it’s totally worth checking out.

Kara explained how the initial idea for the jam was inspired by a Nicki Minaj video where she asks, "Why should I be called a bitch when I'm being assertive but a man is called a boss?" 

There’s kind of this problem out there where women who are assertive or ambitious or outspoken are labelled as bitches. This is a problem for women in all kinds of situations and careers right? As an independent artist, this topic really hits home for me. You have to be self-promotional. You have to be assertive to get anywhere and to get anyone to pay attention to you work. And you have to be comfortable delegating tasks unless you can somehow manage to do everything by yourself all the time. 

So Boss Up seemed like an appropriate starting point for the jam, also because the word is linked to gaming of course!

I ended up in a group with 4 cool ladies: Nicole Aouad, Kara Stone, Kim Hoang and Maeve Levasseur. Each of us had a pretty different skill set and experience level, so it was the ideal group environment to get something like this started. 

If you have the right hardware, anything can be made into a controller. All you need is something conductive on the object so that the response can be fed back to the computer. Kim threw out the idea that we should do something with a pink wig and high heels. That set the ball rolling.

Coding. Shopping. Drawing. Sewing. TA-DA!

Nicki Homaj: a tongue-in-cheek game where you’re dressed up as a Nicki Minaj-type character and you’re fighting off annoying comments by a jerky guy by flipping your fancy pink hair and stomping your feet (in extra extra high heels). 

The more you let him get away with it, the more he starts to win. But if you stomp your heels, you start to slow him down and if you flip your hair, his comments disappear and his mojo drops. You need to keep the air clear of his comments and stomp away your frustration to win!

You can play the game HERE.

Now to be fair, the game was actually pretty hard to play. The heels were ridiculously high—to the point that your thighs were burning by the end. You had to be pretty precise with your stomping to actually get points. The wig was also hot and itchy and, well, it’s harder than it looks to strut down the street and flip your hair all at the same time.

GAMERella produced some really cool-looking games and there was a massive range of ideas. Here are a couple others:

I also have to give props to the CBC for also covering the event in a pretty fair, well-researched way. You could tell they tried hard to give an accurate representation of what was going on and why we were doing this.

Something that really strikes me about the indie scene is how limitless the imagination is. Scarcity of $$ resources sometimes leads to incredibly creative innovations.The video games created at these jams are much more like interactive art with digital components than traditional AAA games. There was something really cathartic about joining a group and contributing ideas, rather than just sitting on the outside trying the capture the feeling of what it might be like on camera. As a visual artist, the more I learn about the communities, programs and resources at my disposal, the more I wish I had discovered this world earlier.

Anything but Convention(al): A Gal's First Con Experience

Hey fellow gamers! My name is Kristi and Cailleah has given me the great honour of letting me write a blog now and then for She Got Game. I also figured I should introduce myself a little so that you’re not all thinking some crazy chick has hacked the blog.

I have been an avid gamer since the ripe age of 5. My first experience came when I got to try the original Mario/Duck Hunt on the NES at my friend’s house one day after kindergarten. We sat down in her living room and from the minute her mom put the controller in my hand, I was hooked. My friend got bored after 10 minutes and was far more content to play with her paper dolls and Barbies but I was enamored with the world of Mario, never to look back.

From there my passion for the world of gaming only grew stronger. From my computer that was huge and only ran the game DigDug, to the Christmas when an original Playstation showed up on our doorstep from “Santa”, from n64 to Xbox 360, I’ve loved it all.

And now, thanks to Cailleah and She Got Game, I get to spread some of the stories and things I’ve discovered through gaming with a wider community of awesome people. Let’s hope this is the start of a beautiful blog-ship!

I suppose it’s about time to get into the nitty gritty details the real reason behind this post though, so here we go!

This past Saturday at the International Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre, the good people of ConBravo! hosted FanFare II, Geek Fest, a one day Geek Marketplace and Gaming event.

Super 1Up Games provided a plethora of awesome gaming selections for the masses. 

There was rarely any free table space throughout the day due to tabletop gaming popularity.

The vendor selection, though small, provided some incredibly creative and imaginative product.

Get 'em started while they're young, amiright?

There were some intense competitions happening but nothing was exciting as this Sailor Moon side scroller. Seriously. It was amazing.

The convention was small and took place in just two rooms, one for vendors and the other for special events such as live Nerf gun fights and the infamous Fandom Musical, but it also offered the opportunity for hardcore cosplayers who wanted one last hurrah to strut their stuff before the bleak, conventionless winter.

As a female gamer who has never attended a convention before this was a pretty excellent introduction. It was an intimate space and getting to tag along with the Super 1Up Games crew allowed me the opportunity to have a ton of interesting introductions and conversations with people without having to approach too many strangers on my own.

I get a little gun shy when it comes to walking up randomly to people and striking up chats and that’s something I’ve always been nervous about when it comes to conventions. I worried that I wouldn’t experience the fullness of the con if I couldn’t talk to anyone. I have always told myself that I’ll make it to FanExpo or Anime North but not having been exposed to what a convention is or could be I never seemed to have the motivation to spend the money or put together a cosplay either.

But then yesterday happened and a whole new world opened up before my eyes. With everything that’s happened in the past few months with GamerGate I think I’ve gotten too personally invested and had a bad taste in my mouth when it came to talking openly about my passions for games and overall nerddome. I’ve been feeling like I have to always be ready and on the defense but that’s been a bad headspace to be in and I felt it break at FanFare because the people are simply amazing.

What I quickly realized is that the rumours about geek and nerd conventions are true. Everyone is really, really nice and really, really awesome. I have been so blind. I mean, sure, you get the occasional person who isn’t that social but most people are so cheerful and excited to chat about all your favourite things. It was a gathering of happy, positive people who all got together because of a love of games, comics, books, and anything else you could think of.

My point is this. It’s so easy to make excuses for yourself when you’re faced with new opportunities that are intimidating, especially if you feel like a minority in what you love. My love of games and comics has always been something I’ve taken a private pride in and only recently have I begun to wear it like a badge of honour in public so this was a big step. Challenging yourself to be proud of what you love is so important and it’s something that you have to remind yourself of often. It can be a challenge to embrace what you’re passionate about all the time, but you can’t let insecurity stop you from enjoying that and finding new avenues to do so.

FanFare II wasn’t the biggest con or the most widely attended but it achieved what it set out to do, to create a space for fellow geeks to get together, embrace what we love and have a blast doing it, and isn’t that what this is all about?