Posts tagged nerds

mensbatman

Forbes, Sexism, Booth Babes, and Preparing for Cons

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Recently, Forbes.com published an article about what to wear to E3. This article was was only aimed toward women, and was amazingly offensive. Now, if you click that link you’ll see that there’s a disclaimer at the top of the article. Hilariously, after the backlash they received, they removed the offending points. While I have to applaud them for listening to the feedback, I also find it appalling that they clearly didn’t do any research on the demographic they were trying to reach with that article to begin with – and the fact that they don’t stand by their opinions. Let’s see a quote from that original article before the edit:

If you’ve been to E3 before, you know the challenge.  How do you convey credibility in promoting your game, your studio and yourself at the convention in a room full of guys gawking at larger-than-life, theme-park-like attractions and scantily clad ‘booth babes’?

Many women prefer to keep a low profile with “non booth babe” wear – like a baggy t-shirt and jeans.  But in an industry trying to attract more female gamers, its worthwhile to spend some time thinking about how what you wear can help you stand out as the savvy gaming industry expert that you are.

Looks like someone just learned the term “booth babe.”

E3 may have come and gone, but there are still plenty of conventions planned for the rest of the year, and the fact that a company as prominent as Forbes would post something like this at all is important.

Women: your credibility is not defined by your wardrobe. Your credibility should be dependent on your merits, not your appearance. Of course specific situations will require a specific dress-code; in general, if you are good at what you do, it doesn’t matter if you have green hair and cleavage. People will listen when you speak. Do not allow anyone to treat you differently based purely on what you’re wearing. Especially at a convention.

Men (and woman, in fact): you should be treating people you encounter with equal respect, no matter what they’re wearing. All people. If you judge her by her t-shirt, you could be missing out on your new favorite artist. If you judge him by his facial piercings, who knows, you may lose the chance to meet to best programmer in the room. You do not get to slut-shame women or men for their bare skin or for cosplaying. Making snap judgments about someone based on their appearance will only make you lose out on that person’s best qualities.

On “Booth Babes”:  it’s true that the gaming industry has a history of employing attractive women, dressing them scantily, and using them to bait young men into visiting their booths at cons. However, this is 2013, and these companies aren’t stupid. You will see a dramatic shift in the coming years of these companies hiring knowledgeable, personable people to represent their products. Do not assume that just because you see an attractive woman is at a booth at a convention means she’s only there to look pretty, and knows nothing about the brand she’s representing. After all, you wouldn’t see Jamie Dillion from Child’s Play or Barbara Dunkelman from RoosterTeeth at a convention, and assume they’re know-nothing booth babes, would you? No. They’re professional women who are integral parts of the companies they represent, and obtained their positions by being the best at what they do. Don’t let an antiquated gender idea sully your idea of how you want to present yourself, and certainly don’t let any silly slut-shaming prevent you from cosplaying your favorite character.

I think it’s time we start thinking more about having a good time at the conventions we attend, and worry less about being mistaken for booth babes. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some tips that might actually help you while you attend a convention. Don’t worry, fashion geeks, I’ll still include a couple of outfits for inspiration.

Tips for Attending a Con:

  1. Wear Comfy Shoes. Throughout any convention, you will be on your feet for hours a day, usually multiple days in a row. Bring a pair of shoes that you won’t worry about getting scuffed up, stepped on by other people, or getting dirty. It’s also a good idea to carry a back-up just in case.
  2. Drink Plenty of Water and Don’t Forget to Eat. There is a ton of excitement involved in going to a con, and sticking to panel and presentation schedules can make for very little free time. Plan ahead, and take a look at what food options will be near you, set alarm reminders for mealtimes on your cell phone, and carry a bottle of water with you everywhere. You don’t want to wind up dizzy and tired by 4pm just because you forgot to eat lunch.
  3. Carry Business Cards. If you’re in the industry, or hoping to network in any way, bring plenty of business cards. Don’t be pushy about giving them out, but do be creative. Conventions can be the absolutely best place to hob-knob with fellow industry workers, and make some helpful friends. Make sure you have something to give them, and make it impressive.
  4. Bring A Bag. Hitting the booths, you’ll encounter a ton of fliers, cards, posters, and prints. This doesn’t even include the various memorabilia and items you may purchase while you’re there, or the personal items you may need to bring with you. Be smart, and bring something to carry those things in. A tote bag is a cheap, easy way to address this issue, but a messenger bag might be more durable and have more handy pockets.
  5. Things to Carry in That Bag: band-aids, snacks, water, cell phone, charger/extra battery, extra pair of shoes, light jacket, camera, deodorant, mini sewing kit. You’d be surprised how often these items might come in handy. It’s possible you’ll never need any of them, but when you do, you’ll be glad you have them. Sidenote about the camera: not all venues will let you bring in a camera, so check the rules of the event before attending (this actually goes for all items), but you never know when you might run into a photo op – either an amazing cosplay of your favorite video game character, or maybe your favorite actor. Come prepared, you may never get that opportunity again!
  6. Plan and Check in with Your Buddy. The buddy system isn’t just for elementary school. It’s easy to lose your group in a large crowd, and people can easily go missing. If you’re with a friend or a group of friends, plan ahead to meet at certain places at certain times. Make sure everyone gets where they’re going safely, and be sure everyone has everyone else’s phone numbers in case of emergencies.
  7. Plot Your Course. There’s a lot to see at a convention, and you don’t want to miss out on some key opportunities. Figure out what panels you want to attend, and buy any applicable tickets early. Plot out which booths you absolutely want to visit, and find them on the floor map. Allow for plenty of time in line – it could very well be hours. You don’t need to be militant about your planning, but if you have a general plan in place, you’ll be more likely to see everything that you want to.
  8. Bring a Book. You may have to sit in line for a very long time at a busy con. Bring something to keep yourself occupied – whether it’s a good novel, a thick graphic novel, or a Sudoku book, make sure you won’t be bored. Or, you could always make new friends around you!
  9. Shower and Deodorant are Your Best Friends!  Personal hygiene should be common sense, but you’d be surprised. If you’ve ever been to a packed convention, you truly know the stink of body odor. Try to be considerate of those around you, and boost your own confidence by showering every day, and wearing deodorant and clean clothes.

Tips for Dressing at a Con:

Now, we’re not going to tell you that you shouldn’t show skin, dress provocatively, or really dress any way beyond how you want to in public. That’s nobody’s place but yours. However, we can give you some words of wisdom about being prepared for an event in how you dress. This tips go for both men and women.

  • Check the Weather. Look at the forecast for the days and locations that you’ll be out at a con. Even if it’s an indoor convention, keep travel and after-events in mind. If it’s going to rain, bring a small umbrella just in case. If it’s going to be cold later in the evening, bring a light jacket to be on the safe side.
  • Wear Layers. A packed convention hall can get gross and sweaty in an instant. If you wear a couple thin layers, you can add or remove them to adjust to your comfort level at any moment.
  • Flexible Clothing is Key. You’ll be moving around a lot, and don’t want your clothes to be restrictive. Wear something you’ll be comfortable in either sitting in a convention hall for a couple hours, or running to catch a bus.
  • Keep Your Items Close. Just like tips for visiting new cities, keep your personal belonging close to your body. While we hope everyone we come in contact with will be honest, you still need to account for the possibility that you might drop or lose something. If you have a bag that closes, or pockets that zip, use them.
  • Plan Ahead with Costumes. If you’re wearing a costume, make sure it’s something you’re not going to get hot, sweaty, or uncomfortable after a few hours. Also make sure you build yourselves some pockets or a clever carrying case (for example: if you’re cosplaying Chell from Portal, maybe make yourself a purse in the shape of a companion cube). Also, make sure any items you intend to bring to enhance your costume don’t go against the convention rules. If you’re cosplaying Gordon Freeman, it’s probably best not to bring a crowbar. You may also want to bring a change of clothes in case of emergency or if you want to change for after parties.

Any way you go, let your geek flag fly. As promised, here are a couple con-inspired outfits that might help you build your own ensemble.

Batman Inspired Con Outfit (note the tennis shoes for running around, the bag for collecting items, and the simple accessories):

 

con style - batman

Or for something a little more feminine, try this subtle Green Lantern Style get up (note the easy-to-move-in ballet flats, and the light, comfy dress that’s easy to pair with a jacket):
con style - green lantern
Sorry, fellas, I don’t have any guy outfit suggestions at this time, but feel free to list any below!
The number one rule at a convention is to have fun. You spent the money, and probably traveled to get there, so enjoy yourself! Whether you’re networking with some industry execs, or showing off your creative costuming skills, just be yourself, and have a blast.
If you have any convention wisdom you’d like to share, please leave a comment, and let others learn from your experiences!
UPDATE:
We received wonderful contribution from Rachel Steiner in the comments below, I’d love to include her suggestions here.
I can think of some amazing yet geeky men’s style that I’ve seen on people such as Chris Hardwick and even Kevin Pereira that looks put together but still allows them to show their geekiness without fear. I’ve put together a few men’s geek inspired looks on Polyvore:
A complete Batman look (Yes I know the button down costs $100+ but you can find similar items for under $20)
mensbatman
Some various neckwear for men:
neckwear
Additionally
Converse has the licensing for Batman: Arkham City. So you can customize your own pair of shoes and even have different graphics and color schemes to each shoe. For example:
batshoes
Thank you, Rachel!

Our Amazing Followers

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This is a shout out to you.

Yes. You!

We started this blog just a few short months ago. It was dreamed up by Stephanie (shinyswoots) as a way for the nerdy chicks of the Node community to share our interests and geek out about nerdy things. If you’re suddenly finding yourself questioning what a Node is, “The Node is the official Nerdist community. It is a collaboration network for creators to nerdsource (crowdsourcing with nerds) and exchange ideas,” created by Chris Hardwick, and fueled by some hard-working folks that love getting nerds together to do productive things. Ever wonder about that “n” gear shape in our logo? Totally his.

Since then, we’ve seen a tremendous growth in our readers both in numbers, and also in diversity. We’ve opened up pathways for communication with interesting and challenging folks, groups, organizations, and companies, which only allows us to do more and more. Because of this, we’ve been able to keep this going, plan exciting events for the future, and even lay down some groundwork to get you guys some really cool stuff coming up. This is all thanks to you. Basically, what I’m trying to say here is… we love you.

One area we’ve seen quite a bit of growth in is twitter. As simple as that is, our twitter account (@nerdsinbabeland) is currently up to 830 followers, and going strong. We post fun links, information, and general tidbits throughout the day, and are able to easily communicate with our fellow geeks through this medium.  We want to keep this going, and we want to show our appreciation for your help in this. Here’s the deal.  Like fun, silly things? Awesome. So do we. Recommend us to your followers to gain us more followers on the twitter. Our 1000th follower will get a sketch from me, personally (@jackietherobot), as well as whomever referred them.  I can’t promise this will be a good sketch, but I can promise it will be ridiculous. Probably random, too. In addition to that, we will also ship you and lucky # 1000 a couple of NiB buttons with our nerd-girl logo (which I drew, by the way).

Commence the scuffle, and know that we ♥ you either way.

P.S. – The Node is a closed Beta community site, and is invite-only. If you ever want an invite to the Node, just email us at info@nerdsinbabeland.com, and we’ll be happy to send you one!

chris-hardwick2

@Molly23 and @Nerdist look different today. Hmm, more mature in a way…

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Yes, today is the birthday of both Molly Lewis and Chris Hardwick! But they’re not alone!

According to “Brainy History”, they share this day with:

1992 Miley Ray Cyrus, pop-rock singer, actress, 100 Most Influential People in the World list, Time magazine, 2008, star of Disney’s ‘Hannah Montana’, debut album, ‘Meet Miley Cyrus’ had first top ten single, ‘See You Again’
1970 Oded Fehr, born in Tel Aviv, Israel, actor, television, appeared in NBC series, UC: Undercover, films include, ‘The Mummy’, ‘The Mummy Returns’
1948 Bruce Vilanch, born in New York City, New York, comedy writer, appeared regularly with Whoopi Goldberg on Hollywood Squares, appeared in Bosom Buddies, Law & Order, wrote for show Billy Crystal, Academy Awards host
1888 Harpo Marx, Adolph, New York City, actor/comedian, Marx brothers
1887 Boris Karloff, William H Pratt, Dulwich England, actor, Frankenstein
1887 Paul Malengreau, composer
1859 Billy the Kid, William H Bonney, New York City, criminal

Plus a lot more… You can find that info on their site.*

I know all the Nerds in Babeland wish you two the very best of birthdays! May today be filled with everything you want and nothing you don’t! I got a bit verbose in wishing them the best so I did two posts explaining how I was introduced to these two spectaculous** people and why you should be as enamored with them!

For Molly: Today is Molly’s 21st birthday. I am probably not the only person letting out a sigh and muttering “FINALLY!” Molly is an extremely talented musician who had some pretty rough experiences this year when asked to join in on the w00tstock fun (among other appearances). Even though she was a performer, she was not able to chill inside the venue when w00tstock held hands with SDCC the weekend of July 23-25, 2010. So, being the adventurous (and most likely bored) girl that she is… NINJA GIG outside! She took requests and hung out with people until she was able to go in to perform, then I believe she returned and chilled some more. I didn’t get to go. I was stuck on the East Coast. If anyone has vid of the NINJA GIG I would love to see it! (I keep going at this point. Too much for this double birthday post.)

For Chris: Besides his time as “Hard” (of Hard’N’Phirm), Chris also has his hands in many other pots. So many, I’m thinking he’s part octopus. An octopus with pots of something. Chris writes for Wired, hops into reviews for G4′s AOTS most recently sporting an admirable lipwarmer (That’s a mustache, ya’ll), hosts Web Soup on the G4, rocks the stand-up stage, tweets like a maniac, live-actions (Yep. I just made that a verb.) in some stuff and lets Rob Zombie kill him, does a lot of voiceworks, hosts his own podcast, blogs for his own website, and co-birthed a nerdsourcing website that he provides bandwidth for. (Once again.. I keep going.)

So Happy Birthday Chris and Molly! If I knew how to make this, I would send each one of you a shark car. Because… Well… It’s awesome.

* By the way Jules… I’m so happy you introduced us to this Curate thing. It’s wicked friggin shiny. I’m going to abuse the heck out of it.
** I use made up words. But… If you watch BSG, you should be used to that already.

Comic From http://xkcd.com/

Opinion Piece: Tech Support

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Image from http://xkcd.com

This comic touches on many very true elements of tech support. When I had to deal with my ISP’s tech support staff last month, I was brought to frustration and near-anger multiple times. While I’m sure there are individuals who are honestly lost when it comes to their computer, whose tech support call can be ended by a simple suggestion of “reboot your system”, there are surely more of us who understand the inner-workings of our systems.

I design and program systems for a living, so I understand how to get into the back-end and fiddle. Rest assured that if I’ve resorted to calling tech support, I’ve exhausted all my options. Telling me to “restart your computer, then find your Start menu” is not only belittling my intelligence, but wasting my time. Go off the script and listen to what I’m telling you! This is what I’ve tried, we’re at this point now, go from there.

Ah, if only there were indeed a secret password that we could use to bypass all the tiresome steps and go straight to someone who knows what they’re doing. Until then, geeks everywhere will continue to try to solve their own problems before resorting to the non-supportive tech support.

2 of Swords - Action

Geek Calendar

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Have you ladies seen this? Looks fun!

http://geekcalendar.co.uk/

Also the Science Tarot makes me psyched:

http://www.sciencetarot.com/cards.html

~Jenn

Reminder – GeekGirlCon Auction!

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Just a little reminder that today and tomorrow is the GeekGirlCon Auction!

2 11×17 prints of “Cupcakes?” (as shown here) done by !!! Email bids to sponsor@geekgirlcon.com by 5pm tomorrow!

Also, don’t forget that all of the proceeds from @tishalule1‘s etsy site go directly to GeekGirlCon.

Search #GGCAuctions for more details

GeekGirlCon Silent Auctions

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Just a reminder that the lovely ladies of GeekGirlCon are still holding silent auctions via Twitter.  All items being auctioned off are donated by vendors/merchants, geeky crafters, GeekGirlCon organizers and anyone else who wants to make sure this event happens. All winning bids will go straight to GeekGirlCon. No bids are ever too small!

Currently this super awesome leopard purse/tote is on sale through ‘s etsy store.  I know I know we spend a lot of money and suggest a lot of stuff on this site but this is for another great Nerdy/Geek girl cause 🙂 Also, everything in ‘s etsy store goes 100% to GeekGirlCon.

New auction items go up around Thursday or Friday.  I will continue to post them as they come out!

Search #GGCAuctions for more details

Our First Interview!! – DIF meets NIB (NSFW)

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You can download it here: http://www.downinfront.net/audio/NIB-DIF.mp3

And hear more from these boys here:

http://www.downinfront.net/

**NSFW warning.. strong language**

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