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I just got back from MAGFest (The Music and Gaming Festival) and have some longer thoughts I’m going to post on it, but before I do that, I felt I’d bring a BRAND NEW convention/conference to everyone’s attention.
An acquaintance of mine, Zoya Street, is starting up Critical Proximity, a conference focused on video game criticism. You can learn more about it here:
If you’re local to San Francisco or can get there easily, I heartily recommend signing up. Even if you’re not a games critic, the conference needs new and unique voices.
More on MAGFest soon!
This project is on hold, for a number of reasons. The biggest is… actually, okay, not even going to lie, it’s depression.
Depression’s a serious thing, if you didn’t know; it sucks out all your motivation to do and be and exist and live. And I have it. I have it bad. I can still function, day to day, but keeping my mind focused on large projects like this is pretty much impossible. I’m stuck, that’s the long and short of it, I’ve lost track of my research and how I’m organizing this thing and… everything.
I won’t be able to finish this in time for my thesis, that’s for sure. I’m not abandoning it entirely, of course—I’ve come too far for that. But I do know that I can’t continue at the pace that I was, not if I want to keep a day job (which I kind of have to. This project doesn’t exactly pay the bills)
I completely dropped the ball on writing about PhilCon, which is truly unfortunate, because I learned a lot there and had a lot of my suspicions about SF fan culture re-confirmed. I also failed to write about Arisia, but that’s mostly because Arisia hit when my depression was at its worst: I could barely get out of bed in the morning, and I spent most of the con in a barely functional haze, feeling like someone else was doing the smiling and talking.
* Probably going to skip out on Boskone. I really can’t handle it right now, I feel sick and angry at myself. I may show up one or two days, but mostly I think I may spend this weekend sleeping. Sorry.
* PAXEast. I’m an Enforcer. This is intimidating.
* Gamefest! This is a tiny, brand-new event run by the Smithsonian. It’s probably only happening once. You should go!
* SanDiego Comic Con. I still haven’t bought a plane ticket…
* Chicon 7
And… that may be it, for a very long time. My life becomes increasingly complicated year by year. I have no idea where I’m going to be in 2013, if I’ll even have a job, if I’ll even have graduated. I’ll keep fighting, though, and I still love this subject, even when it hurts me. Cons are such vibrant, strange, impossible places, regardless of genre, and the more I look at them the more I can see that gossamer thread connecting them all… and, at the same time, the more I start to feel that many cons are going to need to go through some drastic changes if they’re going to survive the coming century. But I think as a cultural phenomenon they will survive, and grow. Science fiction and fantasy have gone mainstream, even if the fandom hasn’t, this is an ingraned, integral part of our culture now. As long as that’s true, people will want to gather and talk about it.
Anyway. Got a headache and a pile of writing to do for grad school (NOT about conventions, sadly), so, signing off.